Have you ever wondered which Disney World Resorts are within walking distance to the theme parks? There are nine resorts on Disney World property that are within walking distance to one or more of the Disney Parks.
Technically, three of the resorts are not owned and operated by Disney. However, they make up part of the Epcot Resorts Area, so we’ll include them. Those resorts are Disney’s Swan, Disney’s Dolphin, and the Swan Reserve.
In this article, we’ll discuss which resorts are within walking distance to the theme parks. Here is the list:
Disney Resorts Within Walking Distance of Parks
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Bay Lake Tower
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Swan and Dolphin Resort
- The Swan Reserve
You may have noticed that no resorts are within walking distance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. However, those of you planning to spend a reasonable amount of time at the Animal Kingdom will likely want to consider Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
We rank the Animal Kingdom Lodge as the best deluxe resort at Disney World due to the resort’s uniqueness and the whole animals in your backyard thing. It’s kind of hard to beat. In addition, it’s less than a 5-minute bus ride between the hotel and the park.
Disney Resorts Within Walking Distance to Magic Kingdom
Now that we got that out of the way, we’ll take a closer look at the resorts within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom. These resorts are all considered deluxe or deluxe villas, which are Disney’s top-tier categories of hotels.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is located on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. In the past, you could not walk to a theme park from this resort. However, things have changed.
A few years back, a new walking path opened from the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom. And I can tell you now; this walkway is a real game-changer.
The new walkway to the theme park from the resort takes an average of 10-12 minutes at a steady pace. Additionally, it will save you time in the evenings if you leave the Magic Kingdom after the fireworks.
More than likely, you’ll still want to hang out inside the park until some of the crowds thin out. However, afterward, you can go directly past the transportation lines and walk straight back to your resort.
I don’t know about you, but as long as I’m able, I would rather walk back to my resort than stand in line for 30+ minutes for transportation. The walkway provides a quick alternative back to the resort along with an escape from the pressing crowds.
Additionally, this same path makes walking to the Magic Kingdom an option for guests of Disney’s Polynesian. You can continue along the path and when you reach the Grand Floridian, you can walk back to the Polynesian.
The walk from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian will add 10 minutes or so to your journey. So, all in total, you’re looking at approximately a 25-minute walk from the resort to the theme park.
Additionally, guests of Disney’s Contemporary Resort and neighboring Bay Lake Tower can walk to Magic Kingdom. These two hotels will be the closest in proximity to Magic Kingdom Park.
The walkway to the Magic Kingdom from both resorts takes approximately 8-10 minutes. There is one public street that you have to cross on the way.
Security for the Magic Kingdom sits on the walkway. Those heading to Magic Kingdom will stop here to go through the scanner. This is a positive because you won’t have to go through the crowded security area when you get to the park.
The Contemporary’s walkway to the park bypasses the main security area at Magic Kingdom, which tends to have reasonably long lines during peak times. That said, newer security measures have been implemented in the last few years that make it much simpler to get into the parks than before.
Disney Resorts Within Walking Distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios
Now let’s go over the resorts that are within walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. For reference, Epcot and Hollywood Studios are the only theme parks within walking distance of each other.
We’ll start with Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club. Both resorts are connected by an outdoor walkway and a pool area called Stormalong Bay. The Beach Club is the softer of the two resorts, while the Yacht Club is more formal.
These two resorts are the closest to Epcot, with the Beach Club being the shortest walk. However, the distance depends largely on your room assignment.
For example, we recently stayed in a deluxe studio at Disney’s Beach Club Villas. The walk to Epcot’s International Gateway from the room was about 5-7 minutes.
Additionally, if you are staying at the Beach Club, you might have heard that the resort has a secret entrance. When you leave Epcot and come back over the little raised area by the bridge, you’ll run into the corner of the Beach Club.
If you take this entrance, you’ll follow the hallway around. Eventually, you’ll make it to the resort’s lobby. If you’re staying at the resort, you’ll want to remember this backdoor entrance of sorts, especially in the event of inclement weather.
As for walking to Hollywood Studios from the Beach and Yacht Club, the Yacht Club is a bit closer to the park. The walk to Hollywood Studios from the resorts averages 15-20 minutes, depending on your starting point.
You’ll cross over the bridge at the Swan and Dolphin and then take a left at the Boardwalk. From there, you’ll walk straight down a path along the waterway.
After you walk underneath the overpass at Buena Vista Drive, you’ll see this beauty in the distance.
And shortly after that, you’ve arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The other resorts in the area will follow the same paths to reach either Epcot or the Studios. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn will have the shortest walk to Hollywood Studios.
Additionally, Disney’s Swan and Dolphin are excellent hotel options that offer a pretty equal walking distance to either park. Or you might like to stay at Disney’s newest resort, the Swan Reserve.
Related: Review of Disney’s Swan and Dolphin
For those concerned about the distance to either park, all of the resorts in the Epcot area offer Friendship Boat service to the theme parks. Say you walk to Hollywood Studios one morning and are exhausted when it’s time to leave. There is the option to catch a boat back to your resort.
This wraps up our look at the resorts within walking distance of the Disney Parks. For more information, you can browse our list of Walt Disney World Resorts.
Or you might care to learn more about some of the resorts mentioned in this article:
- Disney’s Beach Club Review
- Disney’s Yacht Club Review
- Review of Disney’s Grand Floridian
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Review
Comments: Have you ever stayed at a Disney Resort within walking distance to a park? Do you consider walking to be an advantage? What are your thoughts?