Shame on me. I promised you this post a while ago. As you know we have visited Disney World and traveled on a Disney Cruise but I promised you some dining and hotel tips.
Walt Disney World resort has a lot of hotels to offer in all categories from cabins at the Wilderness Lodge and a motel room at All Stars resort to nicer places such as the Port Orleans Resort and the high end resorts such as the Grand Floridian Beach and the Polynesian. I have had the luxury of staying at the Grand Floridian (= Disneyland Hotel in Paris) and the Polynesian Village Resort – truly a great but to my opinion overpriced resorts. This time Disney’s Boardwalk was high on my list because of the beautiful architecture and location but we ended up at the Swan Hotel. A nice 4 star hotel that reminds me a lot of the New York Hotel in Disneyland Paris.
The Swan is a nice hotel with a good price quality balance and with a little beach and some pools, character dining and breakfast and easy access to Epcot and the Hollywood Studios by boat. You can access the other parks by complimentary bus transportation but keep in mind it takes a long time to get to your destination because you visit like ALL the hotels in your area. Taxi was an easier option for our party.
As for the eating out there are a lot of options.
We needed to make sure to get some gluten free options and contrary to Europe, in the US people are much more understanding and willing to find alternatives. Maybe it has to do with the tip or the threat of a possible law suit, but I truly believe that people in the US understand the risks of eating foods you are intolerant or allergic to a better than the standard restaurateur in Europe.
In the parks we even found food stands offering gluten free cupcakes and cookies by Babycakes New York.
When you visit Disney try to book dinner at the California Grill in the Contemporary Resort. That way you can watch the fireworks in Magic Kingdom from the restaurant with the music they play in the park. The Tokyo Dining restaurant in Epcot is a nice place to watch the Illuminations Show. We had a nice sushi dinner there but were a little tired after a long day in Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center on top of our jet lag.
We also dined at Fultons Crab House, very nice crab there- but you already figured that out no? The restaurant is situated in Downtown Disney nice for some late night shopping and entertainment. The restaurant it self is located in a large Mississippi boat and has a large bar where you can enjoy some oysters and shrimp with a nice glass of wine while waiting for your table.
There are plenty of nice restaurants but you need to book way in advance. I have started 6 weeks before our trip and the restaurants on my wish list were already fully booked.
Disney has a great planner you can use to book your trip, fast pass, restaurant reservations and other extras. Make sure to take a look. If not guest relations at the hotels and parks can help you for finding the right restaurant for you.
Tip make sure you bring a sweater of scarf for indoor dining because all hotels and restaurants are very chilly due to the air conditioning.
If you have some tips on Disney dining and sleeping, please feel free to share them. I think we will go back in a couple of years so all tips are welcome.