Our family loves to go to Disney World anytime, but we really love to go during the Christmas season. In my opinion, no one does Christmas like Disney World. While we enjoy all four parks during this time of year, there is something our family looks forward to every year and that is resort hopping! Take a peek and find out why you should Resort Hop At Disney World!
Resort Hop At Disney World
Every resort has it’s own unique theme and you can find Christmas trees, elaborate decorations and even Gingerbread displays which are amazing to see. Plus, they smell soooo good. You can also find many sweet treats that only come around at Christmas time. Since the weather is a slight bit cooler this time of year, enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate, coffee or even eggnog in front of a fireplace or outdoor fire pit just makes it feel even more like Christmas.
Resort hopping is completely free to do and is a nice break away from the parks. It allows you to see more of what Disney World has that you may not have known about. Of course, each location has plenty of dining and shopping options but one of our favorite things is relaxing in one of the chairs, couches or rocking chairs either in the lobby or throughout the resort. We love to find a cozy spot and just take in the atmosphere.
If you love to find fun and unique Christmas gifts, the resort shops are the way to go. They are typically less crowded and since Christmas begins at Disney World in November, it gives you plenty of time to pick out those special Christmas presents.
To get the most out of our resort hopping experience, we pick out four resorts to visit for the day. This way, we can take time at each location to really enjoy all the Christmas fun that each one has to offer. Let me share with you our trip from last year and how we used the Disney Transportation System to get to each one. Plus, some of the highlights we enjoyed during our time at each of the four resorts we chose.
We parked our car at Disney Springs where we then caught a Disney Transportation Bus to head over to this resort. The tree here was beautifully located in the lobby near the check in/out desk. They had small gingerbread displays that the cast members made. It looked to be a fun competition as each one was labeled by department.
Fort Wilderness Lodge
We took a bus from Coronado Springs to the Magic Kingdom and then took the boat over to this resort. To us, this resort feels the most like Christmas with the roaring fireplace, a beautiful tree that stands right in the center of the lobby and reindeer decorations displayed above the entrance. We spent the most time at this resort. Just enjoying rocking in a rocking chair and sipping a warm delicious hot chocolate in front of the fireplace. Christmas music in the background and the sound of people laughing and having a good time on vacation made for a very enjoyable and relaxing experience.
Fort Wilderness Campground
Just a boat ride away from the lodge we headed over to the campgrounds and it is just as beautiful. The Christmas tree here is outdoors and with the weather being cooler this time of year again makes this resort feel like Christmas. We packed our own lunch and enjoyed an outdoor picnic here. After lunch we walked over to Tri-Circle-D Ranch to visit Cinderella’s Ponies and the majestic horses of Main Street, U.S.A. This ranch is amazing!
We took the opportunity to explore the ranch as this was the first time we had visited this part of Disney World. The horses are beautiful, and it was amazing to see the cast members interacting with them. We happened to be there at the time that some of them were getting fed and others were getting their baths. For us it was amazing to see all the behind the scenes being done. The horses we all love to see on Main Street pulling the trolley and Cinderella’s carriage during the parades have their own home here and for the longest time our family never knew about this amazing location. Here on this ranch they also offer wagon rides, horse drawn carriage rides and horseback riding which come with a cost. However, exploring the ranch is free. If you love horses, this is a must do.
FUN FACT: The horses are treated as cast members and have their own cast member badges. SO awesome!
After a boat ride from Fort Wilderness Campground, we headed over to spend time at the Contemporary Resort. While they have Christmas trees throughout this resort, they did not have a huge tree like the other resorts. I think this is because they are known more for the amazing gingerbread displays. Last year the theme was Cinderella. They have been known to change the theme which is exciting because each year that we go we may get to experience something new. Real ingredients are used to bring the gingerbread displays to life. The list of how much of each ingredient is used is displayed nearby. Let’s just say it is way more than we would use baking our own cookies at home. We enjoyed some gingerbread cookies while we were there mine of course were gluten free, but the rest of the family enjoyed the regular ones. We ate them out on the patio and enjoyed the view of the Magic Kingdom.
Doing The Resort Hop At Disney World
We really enjoy using the Disney Transportation System to resort hop but you can drive your own vehicle as well if you prefer. Day guest can enjoy complimentary standard self-parking while visiting the resorts.
We are so excited for this year we cannot wait to visit four different resorts. If you are a Florida resident like me, you can enjoy resort hopping even if you are not planning on going to the parks. If you are not from Florida but your magical vacation is in November/December, think about taking a day in your vacation to resort hop. We chose four to explore but you can choose what works best for you.
Resort Hop At Disney World Extra Tips
- Make sure you take your camera and autograph books. You are likely to run into some of your favorite characters all decked out in their Christmas best while visiting the resorts. This is a great meet and greet opportunity with much shorter lines than in the parks. A photo with your best pal in front of a beautiful Christmas tree would not only be a great memory but could be used to make an amazing Christmas cards to send to your loved ones.
- If you choose to use the Disney Transportation System to resort hop, make sure to allow that travel time in your day. This is especially important if you make any dining reservations at the resorts you choose to visit. Transportation usually runs every 20 minutes however sometimes it can be longer due to guest demand.
- Money saving tip: Don’t want to spend a lot while enjoying a free resort hopping day? Pack a lunch to take with you. There are plenty of places at every resort that you can find to sit down and enjoy lunch. Also, bring a refillable water bottle you can refill at the water fountains or you can walk up to a quick service restaurant and ask for a cup of ice water and pour it in your bottle. Just like in the parks, a cup of ice water is free.
We think you will LOVE resort hopping if you give it a try! If you are heading to the magic during this holiday season, be sure to check out MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY!
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