A Guide to Staying at a Disney Springs Resort

May 1, 2024 by Laura Pitcher

You know the makeover scene in every 90s romcom when the nerdy girl takes off her glasses and is instantly transformed into the prom queen? To me, this is exactly what happened when Downtown Disney became Disney Springs in 2015. I liked Downtown Disney, but Disney Springs not only offers incredible dining and shopping but is a truly immersive experience, with a beautiful spring running through the property for added ambiance. Disney Springs not only boasts great shopping but also has some of the best dining at Walt Disney World. Whether you’re shopping at one of the biggest Disney stores in the world at World of Disney, taking an amphicar on the water at The Boathouse, or dancing the night away at The Edison, there’s something for everyone at Disney Springs. If spending time at Disney Springs is high on your vacation to-do list, you might want to consider staying at one of the resorts close to this shopping and dining mecca. Today, we’re sharing our guide to these beautiful resorts - and don’t forget that Be Our Guest Vacations can help you book the best family vacation!

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa 

This might be the ULTIMATE resort pick for going to Disney Springs because you can walk from the resort over. This resort is inspired by the original Saratoga Springs from the 1800s - a New York retreat famous for its spa and horseracing. The Victorian architecture makes for a relaxing and picturesque getaway. My favorite part about staying here is that it’s one of only two resorts at Walt Disney World that has a spa - and as someone whose happy place is on a massage table, this is a huge perk. This resort has some incredible unique accommodations as well, including studios, and one, two, and three-bedroom villas. For an unforgettable getaway for bigger parties, consider booking the Treehouse Villa, which sleeps up to nine adults. Plus, you’ll have the bragging rights of saying that you spent your vacation in an actual treehouse. The resort has multiple pools for relaxing, including one with a 146-foot-long waterslide, that the kids in your party will love. The Disney bus system will get you to any of the parks, or you can always book a Minnie Van to travel in style. You'll have plenty of dining options, whether it's grabbing something fast at The Artist's Palette or a sit-down meal at The Turf Club Bar & Grill. Don't miss the shrimp tacos with mango aioli at The Paddock Grill!

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside is split into two distinct sections, the mansions of Magnolia Bend, and the cottages of Alligator Bayou. If you’re looking for the ultimate immersive Disney experience, consider booking a ‘Royal Guest Room’ These rooms are decked out with princess theming, including headboards with LED fireworks that go off. These special rooms sleep four, and other room types sleep five, with a pull down bed option that's perfect for a child in the family. The Riverside Mills Food Court has great Southern-inspired food options, including my favorite, the Pimento Cheese BLT sandwich. Head to the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory for a fast and casual dining option for any meal of the day. For extra ambiance and the Southern theming, you can rent a Surrey bike, or take a Horse Drawn Carriage ride along the Sassagoula River. When staying at either of the Port Orleans Resort, you will be able to use the pools at both Riverside AND French Quarter, which is a fun perk - especially if you have a kid like mine that wants to spend all their time swimming!

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort -  French Quarter 

I might be a little biased towards this resort since it was where my family stayed most often growing up, but it’s by far my favorite Moderate resort. The resort is a cleaner, movie-like version of New Orleans, with cobblestone streets and a romantic atmosphere. As a smaller moderate resort, it’s incredibly walkable, making it easy to get to restaurants, pools, or the bus system, no matter what room you’re in. Rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter currently sleep up to four guests, and you can chose between standard, garden, river, or pool views. Disney fans will tell you that one of this resort's biggest selling points is that it’s the only place at Walt Disney World where you can get Mickey-shaped beignets at the Scat Cat’s Club Cafe. You can also get a beignet ice cream sundae, for an even better dessert. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory have one of my favorite resort breakfasts - the Loaded Totcho Bowl has eggs, cheese, sausage, gravy, and bacon on top of a bed of tater tots. You’ll have bus transportation to the Disney Parks, and a complimentary water taxi will take you over to Disney Springs. 

Disney's Old Key West Resort

Not only is this resort within walking distance of Disney Springs, but it's also home to my favorite bar at Walt Disney World, The Gurgling Suitcase. Order conch fritters and a Turtle Krawl, for a combination that will put you straight into a vacation set of mind. The resort celebrates the Florida Keys, with relaxing architecture, and sprawling grounds that encourage you to slow down and enjoy the day. All of the rooms at Old Key West are set up as Disney Vacation Club style accommodations, so you'll have the choice between a Deluxe Studio, or one, two, or three-bedroom villas. As all of these have either a kitchen or a kitchenette, this can be a huge bonus if you're wanting to have any meals in your room. Olivia's Cafe is regarded by fans as one of the hidden gems of Walt Disney World, especially for brunch. Try the Banana Bread French Toast - you won't regret it! This resort has plenty of recreational activities for when you're not in the parks, including tennis and pickleball courts, beach volleyball, and three playgrounds. As the mother of a toddler, I consider any place with a playground to be a huge perk! The pool area has a dry sauna area, as well as a waterslide that goes THROUGH a giant sand castle.

These three resorts are all incredible in their own right but are made even better by their proximity to the shopping and dining of Disney Springs. No matter which resorts you book, Be Our Guest Vacations is here to make planning your trip easy, stress-free, and fun!