Which DVC Resorts Are Best for Walking Around

As Disney Vacation Club members spend more time in the program, we tend to spend less of our vacation at the parks. Sure, we hit all the rides during our visit, but we also learn to admire other parts of the Disney vacation experience.

Sometimes, we enjoy walking around the place and exploring a bit. Here are the DVC resorts that have the most to experience just by walking around the place.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

I’ll start this discussion with a caveat. Most people’s lists will vary wildly on this one, as we all experience unforgettable moments at Disney. If you love a place that I don’t discuss, good! I’m glad you found a happy place in a different spot than me!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Resort

Having acknowledged that, I suspect most of us would list Animal Kingdom Villas as one of the best places for random exploration. After all, Disney hides zoos just beyond the hotel lobbies!

You can relish a stroll through an idyllic setting. During your walk, you may approach some animals who are living their lives at your vacation destination. This place is the blueprint example of how nature is healing.

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

I suspect that some of my exclusions will prove divisive. For example, most people love roaming around the monorail resorts, but only one makes this list. Similarly, I couldn’t in good conscience pick anything close to Disney’s BoardWalk or Downtown Disney because the hotel campuses are quite small. It’s their logistics that makes the walks more fun.

Conversely, many of us take Old Key West for granted because it’s the oldest DVC property. There’s a been there, done that aspect to it that undermines the gorgeous sights here.

You’ll vacillate between walking around beachy parts of the campus and…a golf course. It’s weird, but it really works. The boat dock and the walks around Old Turtle Pond Road reflect a classic South Florida lifestyle, the kind that inspired some of Ernest Hemingway’s greatest writing.

There’s something timeless about a walk across the Old Key West campus. This resort somehow marries the vibes of Hemingway, Jimmy Buffett, Arnold Palmer, and…Mickey Mouse.

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Is there anyone reading this who hasn’t spent a night watching Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian? I strongly doubt it. DVC members know that this hotel campus provides arguably the best view of Magic Kingdom from across the water.

Generally speaking, Disney designed and gradually expanded the Polynesian with wanderers in mind. In a matter of minutes, you can walk past the Lava Pool, followed by the visually stunning Bungalows.

Each of the distinctive longhouses here adds to the enriching backdrop, but it’s the sand and the island trees that will soothe your soul. Then again, you don’t even need to go outside to experience the mystical tranquility of this resort. You can simply walk around the Great Ceremonial House instead.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

Selecting Saratoga Springs almost feels like a cheat since you have little choice but to walk here. The expansive campus forces a fair amount of exploration.

Still, the journey will reward you, as Imagineers have populated the former Disney Institute grounds with all sorts of visual cues toward a popular vacation of yore. Once upon a time, tourists traveled to the foothills of the Adirondack to watch horse racing and bathe in the mineral waters.

Saratoga Springs pays tribute to both premises. You cannot help but notice all the horseracing tributes on the walking paths and in the hotel lobby. Also, the resort campus features several pools and a spa as a tribute to the glory days of Saratoga Springs, New York.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

I’ll cheat a bit here and pick the entire hotel campus rather than either set of villas here. That’s because I refuse to say which one is better. That’s entirely in the eye of the beholder or, in this case, the DVC owner.

Still, all DVC members who visit Wilderness Lodge delight in the campfire vibe of the place. You’re walking around a place modeled after national park lodges.

These resorts are built with the intention for guests to roam the grounds and discover the majesty of nature. The one at Disney is no different, even though it’s a short boat ride from Magic Kingdom. You’ll forget you’re in a tourist hot spot as you walk through the trees and admire the lake view.

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