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Tip: Hotel Club Levels

lounge-concierge-level-disney-beach-club

If you have some extra room in your budget, consider upgrading your hotel room to ‘Club Level.’ Formally known as the Club Level Concierge, this special floor option is available in all Disney Deluxe Resorts. Know upfront that it is a fairly expensive option, especially when it’s on top of the price of a room in a Deluxe Resort. However, there are a lot of perks to staying on Club Level, and you should consider it when planning your vacation.

Club Level, to start with, is (in most locations) a select floor of a resort that operates in a “members only” format. When you arrive for check in, you’re escorted directly to the Club Level floor and allowed to bypass the front desk chaos completely. These Club Level check-ins are very personalized and accommodating; hotel staff are available to print your park tickets, make last minute reservations, and even provide you with something to eat and drink while you wait.

That brings me to another perk: the Club Level Lounge. The Lounge is a sitting and dining area with several couches and tables and television sets. There is a food area that lays out small meals and snacks throughout the day, plus coffee in the morning and wine and beer at night. One great thing about this option is the availability of breakfast each morning; if you’re getting up early before you hit the parks and don’t want to pay for an expensive meal every day, the Club Level is a really helpful tool. Don’t expect any of the food options to substitute a three-course meal; most of the offerings are small finger foods (bagels, vegetable plates, chips, various appetizers), but it’s a decent alternative if you don’t have the time for a full meal.

The service on Club Level is also impressive. Wait staff is very accommodating, and if you’re stopping in while the Lounge happens to be closed and setting up for the next meal period, there are always employees available to grab you some extra food. Some hotels offer additional perks, as well. For example, the Club Level of the Yacht Club comes with a private balcony that you can enjoy any time of the day, and happens to be a great viewing location of Magic Kingdom’s Wishes.

I really enjoyed staying on Club Level, and I would highly recommend that you try it out if you’ve got the room in your budget.

 

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Deluxe Resorts

Deluxe resorts run anywhere from $288 to $488 per night, making them some of the most expensive hotels on Disney property. If your budget has room for these extra expenses, I highly recommend giving these resorts a try, as they are both accommodating and scenic. The hotels in this category are as follows:

Lobby lounge area with a balcony window overlooking the savanna

Animal Kingdom Lodge

This unique resort takes you into the heart of Africa, and gives you a once-in-a-lifetime view of the animals that live in the savanna. The hotel is located in the Animal Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include up-close animal encounters, vibrant African dining, and a pool with a water slide.

Palm trees, walkway and windmill over Stormalong Bay at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Beach Club Resort

This New England-inspired hotel exhibits the atmosphere of old Seaside resorts, complete with a Club Level Concierge Lounge and the famous pool, Stormalong Bay. The hotel is located in the Epcot resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat.  The resort is a short boat ride away from Hollywood Studios, and is only a walk away from World Showcase, Epcot. Amenities include a sandy beach, lazy river, several popular dining options (Cape May Cafe and Beaches & Cream), and a health club.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn lit up at night

BoardWalk Inn

Inspired by Atlantic City and Coney Island boardwalks, the BoardWalk Inn is a waterfront hotel that features classic carnival games and vibrant night life. The hotel is located in the Epcot resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. The resort is only a short walk or boat ride away from both Hollywood Studios and World Showcase, Epcot. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, one-of-a-kind dining, and a view of the Epcot fireworks.

The monorail entering the main concourse of Disney's Contemporary Resort at sunset

Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is an iconic stop on the monorail, and is home to white-sand beaches and spectacular views. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by monorail or bus. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, a California grill, and easy access to one of the resort’s most popular parks.

The lobby of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa as seen from a second-floor landing

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

This Victorian style resort is perhaps the most exclusive on Disney property, and boasts an unmatched view of the fireworks above Cinderella Castle. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by monorail, boat, or bus. Amenities include a world-class spa and health club, impressive pool, and exquisite dining options.

Nighttime view of Disney's Polynesian Resort seen from a nearby beach

Polynesian Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a tropical paradise resting on the beaches of Seven Seas Lagoon, featuring palm trees, koi ponds, and a vibrant Hawaiian nightlife. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by monorail, boat, or bus. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, a nighttime luau, and spectacular volcano display.

Nighttime view of Silver Creek Springs pool featuring a waterslide and a hot tub

Wilderness Lodge

Inspired by the American Northwest, the Wilderness Lodge features nature trails and a murmuring creek that bring to mind classic National Park cabins. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, thematic dining option, and an incredible fireplace.

Panoramic view of the marina and watercraft rentals at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Yacht Club Resort

Similar to its sister resort, the Yacht Club is a New England-themed lakeside hotel complete with a Club Level Concierge Lounge and access to Stormalong Bay. The hotel is located in the Epcot resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. The resort is a short boat ride away from Hollywood Studios, and is only a walk away from World Showcase, Epcot. Amenities include a more mature atmosphere than the Beach Club, a health club, and the famous Yachtsman Steakhouse.

All images courtesy of disneyworld.disney.go.com. For more information on any of these hotels, please visit the official website.

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