If you’ve made it all the way to Part 4 firstly I’m going to assume that you have already read the previous articles. If that is the case, then I applaud you! If not, I recommend you check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to get up to speed.
In this part, I will continue looking at the full rankings for each resort. Many of the sections here are discussing the amenities of each resort. It is worth mentioning again that as some DVC resorts are part of a wider resort, the amenities for the entire resort have been taken into account. For example, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are part of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and so all amenities are counted. This does not apply when looking at the maximum room
Similarly, as Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek are both part of The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort they are listed as the entire resort in the relevant sections. The same applies to Jambo House and Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
I will say that when ranking the resorts there were far less ‘surprising’ elements than when looking at the vacation points usage, annual dues and room sizes but I have started, so I will finish…
The room availability is pretty self explanatory in terms of the ranking and does not offer any revelations but it is interesting to see how each resort stacks up nonetheless.
Initially, I was only interested in looking at the total number of dining locations at each resort. As I will tell anyone, I am not what you would call a ‘foodie’. However, as I was pulling all of the information together it was quite interesting to see how certain resorts had more or less of a particular restaurant type. The resorts are ranked by the number of dining locations that they have per type as well as by the total number.
One point of note, while I have included the yet to open Disney’s Riviera Resort, I made a judgement call at the time of writing in relation to the dining location ‘type’. There are four locations announced and detailed on the Disney Vacation Club website. Topolino’s Terrace is confirmed as a fine/signature location and Primo Piatto is confirmed as a quick-service location. The other two do not detail their ‘type’ but it would appear that Bar Riva is a lounge and La Petit Cafe is another quick service location? This does not make a great deal of difference to the rankings but I wanted to be clear on that upfront.
Despite Disney’s Saratoga Springs having so much in the way of accommodation, I was a little surprised to see how far down the list it ranks for its total number of dining locations. Of course, the resort is just a short boat trip or even a walk over to Disney Springs so I guess that balances it out. Having not visited all of the dining locations, I also can’t refer to how large the restaurants are. The reason I mention that is because a larger restaurant would effectively mean that additional locations are not needed.
As mentioned previously, dining is all rather subjective. It doesn’t matter if there is only one restaurant of a particular type. If it happens to be the best restaurant that Disney has ever opened, everything else becomes irrelevant.
Continuing the same method, I also counted up the number of pools for each resort as listed on the Disney website.
Generally speaking, each resort has two pools, one of which is usually larger, more family orientated with waterslides and all. Additional pools tend to be more leisurely focused.
What would a Disney resort be without a shop? Whether it is to pick up supplies for the room, resort merchandise or a special gift, a resort shop is essential. Some resorts capitalise on this more than others so here is how they rank…
The chart itself is pretty self-explanatory with each resort having at least one shop on site. At present, there are no details that I could find regarding Disney’s Riviera Resort but I think it goes without saying that it will have a lobby store of some description. One slight trend I did notice was that the DVC resorts which are part of a wider Disney resort do tend to have additional shops on site. That being said, much like with dining, with Saratoga Springs and perhaps even Old Key West being so close to Disney Springs, the need for on-site shopping locations is already satisfied.
As with the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ section, the ranking here is exclusive to the resorts at Walt Disney World and relates specifically to Disney provided transportation links. The links are categorised as Disney Resort Bus, Monorail Station, Water Taxi, Disney Skyliner and Walking Routes. Of course, technically, you could probably walk a lot further so this relates to the walking routes from resorts to/from parks listed by Disney. As the Minnie Van service is not free and is not resort specific, it has not been included.
If anything, this just highlights the already well-lamented fact that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge really is a little bit more difficult to get to. If you don’t have a car the options available to you are somewhat limited. Who knows, maybe one day they will extend the Disney Skyliner out towards the Animal Kingdom. What about you? Which resorts do you think could do with more transportation options?
And there we have it. That just about wraps up all of the data I have. Some areas of it are far more interesting and worthwhile than others for sure. It has certainly been an illuminating exercise for me and has allowed me to further familiarise myself with all of the DVC resorts, especially the ones that I am yet to visit. Ultimately, all of the resorts have their strengths and their weaknesses. I for one, am not afraid to say that I do not consider any of the resorts to be the ‘worst’ in any way. I would quite happily stay at any one of them.