If you’re looking for an extra easy Walt Disney World trip then look no further. By choosing Disney World Resorts Within Walking Distance of the Parks, you’re able to skip lines at the buses, add in daily breaks, and take advantage of early theme park entry more easily. Just decide which Disney park is your priority. And you can choose a resort that gets you close to the action. Here’s a rundown of all the resorts that are within walking distance of certain Disney Parks.
Why Choose a Disney Resort within Walking Distance of the Parks?
While it’s a no-brainer that you would definitely want a Hotel within Walking Distance of Disneyland, Walt Disney World is a different story. At Walt Disney World you can depend on a variety of complimentary transportation options to get you everywhere you need to go. So choosing Disney World Resorts Within Walking Distance of the Parks, may not be your top priority. However, there are more benefits to this strategy than you realize! Especially if this is your First Walt Disney World Vacation. When you are within walking distance of the Disney Park you plan to visit most, you get more options for a better vacation. Simple as that. Here are the benefits of being within walking distance of the parks at Walt Disney World.
Avoid Disney Crowds
It’s no surprise that crowds at Walt Disney World are increasing. With more disposable income, people sprint towards their next vacation, and a need to get away from real life, Walt Disney World was sure to be busy. However, since Walt Disney World is still managing a workforce shortage, increased need, and supply chain issues, crowds are inevitable. Being at Disney Resorts within Walking Distance of Walt Disney World means you can avoid the Disney crowds. When you’re in walking distance of the Disney Park you hope to visit most, you can just skip the transportation. This means no waiting in lines for the bus, no waiting in lines for the monorail or Skyliner, or boat. You can simply pull up your map app on your phone and plan for the walk instead.
Early Theme Park Entry
Early theme park entry is included with any stay at a Disney property resort. While this extra 30 minutes of park time before the park opens is a godsend, it means nothing if you’re not actually at the gates exactly 30 minutes before. Moreover, since you’re usually at the mercy of Disney transportation to get you to the gates on time, your chances of actually being there early are slim. SLIM. While it’s true we love the resorts with Disney buses, Skyliner Gondolas, Boat transportation, and the Disney Monorail, there is still waiting involved. Additionally, you may have to stop at other resorts while on board. This could delay your getting to the parks on time. For example on a recent trip, with hopes of making an 8:30 am early theme park entry time, we headed to the buses at 7:30 am. Since the park was only a 15-minute bus ride away we figured we were good to go. Actual arrival time at the Park? 9:30 am. This isn’t uncommon. Being within walking distance of Disney parks would have helped.
You Can Take Breaks as Needed
Frankly, it took us years to realize we needed an afternoon break during our Walt Disney World park days. You know, the time of day when the parks are the busiest, from 12-4 pm? When you’re wondering why every single ride has a huge line, there are people everywhere and you can’t find a place to get food, without a line, to save your life. If staying within walking distance of Walt Disney World your time is your own. You can just choose to leave the parks, without wondering how long it will take for your resort bus to show up. In fact, you can even plan these breaks as part of your Disney fun. Perhaps grab lunch on the way back to your room, or a snack, or a beverage to sip as you take in the sights. Or plan to try one of the restaurants at your resort for a lunch or dinner break, before heading back to the parks. The Disney Resort Restaurants are some of the best on Disney Property.
It’s 20 Minutes or LESS to Walk
How Long does it take to walk to Wald Disney World parks from a Disney Resort? For resorts that are close to the parks with walking access, about 20 minutes. Since this is typically less than the amount of time you’d wait for a bus, and less than the amount of time you’d be traveling, we’re here for it. Depending on where you stay the walk can be even shorter. For example, if you stay at the Beach Club Resort and head to EPCOT, the walk is less than 10 minutes to the International Gateway entrance. If you stay at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and head to Hollywood Studios, the walk is about 15 minutes to the entrance. So many options here make more sense than using transportation.
Disney Resorts Within Walking Distance of Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is home to Cinderella’s Castle, the most rides of ANY Disney Park, and is the SMALLEST park at Walt Disney World. It is also the busiest. As Walt Disney World’s most popular park, crowds are constant. If Magic Kingdom is the Disney Park you plan to visit most on your Disney Vacation, then consider Disney World Resorts Within Walking Distance of Magic Kingdom. Knowing that crowds are often the worst at Magic Kingdom, as it fills up the fastest due to Walt Disney World Capacity limitations, it’s beneficial to get there early, take breaks, and avoid crowds. Here are the Disney Resorts closest to Magic Kingdom that have walking paths.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is right next door to Magic Kingdom. This Disney Deluxe Resort is on the Disney Monorail line and features a variety of amenities. Home to Steakhouse 71, California Grill, and the Contempo Cafe, it offers ample food options. There is also a Joffrey’s coffee bar in the lobby, which is so helpful on days when you really need coffee or a smoothie. Many of the rooms are now done up in the Incredibles theme and help to add a little more Disney to the resort. Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also great for window shopping as they have three shops featuring a variety of items to browse, that you may not find in the parks. To access the walking path simply walk out the front door and turn right, you’ll see the path winding through the Bus stop area and onward to the Magic Kingdom gates.
- Walking time: ~5-10 minutes to Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Polynesian Resort Village
Another Disney Deluxe Resort accessible by monorail, and boat, Disney’s Polynesian Resort shares the same walking path at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Shades of Green. You are able to see this resort directly across the lagoon from the Magic Kingdom entrance. The Polynesian Resort features villa bungalows along with the water and tiki lamps near the pool. This island-style resort features elements from Disney’s Moana and the Polynesian Islands. And is also home to Kona Cafe, and ‘Ohana Restaurant, featuring the world-famous Hawaiian Bread Pudding. We love this resort for the beaches and Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai. To access the walking path just head to the first floor. Go past Captain Cooks, the resort’s quick-service restaurant, and out the side door. From here you’ll see a pathway leading towards the Grand Floridian. Continue walking past the Grand Floridian once you reach it, and Magic Kingdom is your next stop.
- Walking time: ~20-25 minutes to Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
One of Walt Disney World’s most popular resorts Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa features Victorian Architecture from the early 20th century. This resort offers transportation to Magic Kingdom by monorail, boat, bus, and walking path. Here you can find the Enchanted Rose Lounge inspired by Beauty and the Beast, a grand lobby that includes Disney’s life-size Gingerbread House during the holidays, and Disney’s Wedding Pavilion. We love this resort for easy afternoon breaks, browsing the specialty gift shops, like Basin. And grabbing the latest snacks at Gasparilla Grill is always a treat. The Grand Floridian Resort is also home to the Grand Floridian Cafe, which is one of the Best Brunch Places at Walt Disney World. You can access the walking path by heading to the pool area. Going right, past the wedding pavilion will bring you to the Polynesian Resort. Going left past, Gasparilla Grill will bring you toward Magic Kingdom.
- Walking time: ~15-20 minutes to Magic Kingdom
Shades of Green Resort
Disney’s Military Family Resort is accessible from a pathway near the Polynesian Resort. This resort is reserved for members of the military, offering special rates, rooms, and restaurants. With all the perks of any Disney Resort, Shades of Green is a great way to get close to the action on a budget. About 10-15 minutes from Shades of Green to the Polynesian Resort, this is one of the longer walking options available. We do, however, love that the close distance to other resorts opens up even more restaurant and shopping options for guests of Shades of Green.
- Walking time: ~10-15 minutes to Polynesian Resort + ~20-25 minutes to Magic Kingdom
Disney Resorts Within Walking Distance of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World Parks, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios are connected by a central location, called the Disney Boardwalk. These Disney Boardwalk Resorts can get you to and from either park via a walking path. As Disney World Resorts Within Walking Distance, the Boardwalk Resorts are some of the BEST resorts on Disney Property.
EPCOT Park is accessible via bus, Skyliner, monorail, and car. EPCOT’s World Showcase Entrance is called International Gateway. This is accessible by walking path, from the nearby Disney Boardwalk. Epcot features rides like Spaceship Earth, Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. EPCOT is also home to four festivals a year. The Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden Festival, Food and Wine Festival, and Festival of Holidays are all good reasons to stay at Disney World Resorts Within Walking Distance of EPCOT. As it gets you closer to the action and allows easy breaks.
Hollywood Studios is home to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. And is accessible via bus, car, and Skyliner. You can also access Hollywood Studios by Walking Path from the Disney Boardwalk Area. Hollywood Studios features the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Fantasmic, and a variety of popular franchises like Indiana Jones, the Muppets, and Disney Junior. Hollywood Studios is still seeing high crowds due to the Rise of the Resistance Ride, and as Disney’s second smallest park, fills up fast. If you’re planning on spending a couple of days at Hollywood Studios we’d recommend staying at Disney World Resorts Within Walking Distance.
Walt Disney World’s Swan Hotel is one of the three hotels just outside Disney’s Boardwalk. This trip includes the Swan and Dolphin Hotels and the Swan Reserve. The Swan Hotel at Walt Disney World is a boutique hotel with a fancier side. While the Garden Grove Restaurant sometimes includes Disney characters, in general, there isn’t really a Disney presence here. The Swan Hotel, however, offers wonderful amenities like a gym, shared pools, outdoor activities, and a coffee bar; Java. This resort rarely sees high school groups or athletic clubs and offers a quiet and easy hotel experience. Read our Swan Hotel Review for all the details.
- Walking time: ~10 minutes to EPCOT
- Walking time: ~10 minutes to Hollywood Studios
The Dolphin Hotel is a large hotel, known for its triangular roof rising above the Disney Boardwalk. The Dolphin offers a variety of rooms that include views of the parks. Also included are the shared amenities with the Swan, like beaches, pools, and outdoor activities. The Dolphin Hotel is home to Todd English’s Blue Zoo, a Disney gift shop, and the coffee shop; Fuel. There is a variety of restaurants at this resort as well. The Dolphin has minimal Disney influence given that it is often hosting business conferences, but its proximity to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and the Disney Boardwalk is desirable. Read our Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Review for all the details.
- Walking time: ~10 minutes to EPCOT
- Walking time: ~10 minutes to Hollywood Studios
Swan Reserve Hotel
The Swan Reserve Hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection and opened in late 2021. This luxury resort offers views of Walt Disney World’s theme parks and a few restaurants on-site. There is a rooftop viewing area called the VUE, sometimes open to guests of the hotel when not booked for other events. You can also grab a quick coffee, lunch, or snack at the coffee shop, Grounds. We like this resort as a way to stay out of the crazy Disney crowds, but that still allows us to be close to the action.
- Walking time: ~20 minutes to EPCOT
- Walking time: ~20 minutes to Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is one of our favorite resorts. With a 1920’s Atlantic seaside theme, this resort offers up garden views and close proximity to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. We love that the lawn of this resort is on Disney’s Boardwalk and that the Boardwalk Bakery is the resort’s mug refill station. If you’re looking for a light breakfast or drink, you can head to Belle Vue Lounge. And the resort’s signature restaurant is Trattoria al Forno, which serves one of the best breakfasts at Walt Disney World. We also love the Pizza Window here for a quick dinner at Disney’s Boardwalk.
- Walking time: ~5-10 minutes to EPCOT
- Walking time: ~10-15 minutes to Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Yacht Club is sailor and yachtsman-themed, complete with anchors, sailing knots, and loads of Hidden Mickeys. As Yacht Club is one of Disney’s more grown-up resorts, you can find the Ale and Compass Lounge and Restaurant, which is simply one of the best restaurants on Disney property, and budget-friendly too. We also love Yacht Club for its wide porches for lounging and its proximity to the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop! Also on the Disney Boardwalk, you can simply take a step out of the front door and head to the parks.
- Walking time: ~10-15 minutes to EPCOT
- Walking time: ~15-20 minutes to Hollywood Studios
The Beach Club shares many amenities with the Yacht Club, including a pool and a pirate ship water slide! As a Disney Deluxe Resort, the Beach Club includes tons of amenities including a gym, the Cape May Restaurant, a gift shop, and a lobby that smells of the beach! We also love the Beach Club during the holidays when the Gingerbread Carousel, arrives in the lobby. This resort is so close to the EPCOT International Gateway that if you’re on a mission to try all the food booths at any EPCOT festival, Beach Club is where you should stay.
- Walking time: ~5-10 minutes to EPCOT
- Walking time: ~20-25 minutes to Hollywood Studios
Disney Resorts Within Walking Distance of Animal Kingdom
Are there any Disney Resorts within walking distance of Animal Kingdom? No. Unfortunately. Animal Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s largest park, with much of the land used for the animals. As a result, the closest Disney Resort to Animal Kingdom is Animal Kingdom Lodge. The only transportation option available for Animal Kingdom Lodge is Disney Bus transportation. Luckily, Animal Kingdom Lodge is about 10 minutes away from Animal Kingdom. While there aren’t any Disney Resorts within Walking Distance of Animal Kingdom, this is a short bus ride as Animal Kingdom Lodge is well worth the stay.
Disney World Resorts Within Walking Distance
There you have it. All the Walt Disney World Resorts within Walking Distance of the Parks. Apart from all the obvious reasons, choosing a Disney World Resort within walking distance is also one of our top things to do at Disney World for Adults. Because it just makes life easier. And since you’re on vacation, we figure you deserve things that are easy! Hopefully, we’ve shared some attractive reasons to stay at resorts close to Disney Parks. Thankfully, even if walking paths may not factor into every day of your Disney Vacation, there will be times when it’s good to know your options. Check out our Disney Walking Paths at Walt Disney World for runDisney.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.