Hi everyone! It’s Hannah and I’m back with another controversial opinion piece on Disney World. Today I took the liberty of ranking the three resorts on the main Disney World monorail: Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. My disclaimer: I haven’t stayed at the GF. For ages I would praise this great luxurious land as my favorite hotel in all of WDW despite only stepping foot as a mortal guest. I won’t spoil if this has changed, but I’m a part of a Narcoosee-loving, Victoria and Albert’s alumni family, and I have formed a pretty well-rounded opinion despite not sleeping there yet. From least favorite to the elite, here is my ranking. Let’s face it, they’re all amazing and I’d stay in any of them as my permanent residence if given the change, but I want to do this regardless.
WHAT??? Let’s be real, anything I put last would cause a stir. I’ve stayed at the Poly I believe three times. The pool let me live out my Sharpay Fabulous fantasy and I got all the Pog and whip I wanted. For some reason though, I find the Poly less intriguing when resort hopping now. I went in February to try the Cinderella dole whip, and I went a few summers ago to revisit the Luau. The hardest part of this choice for me is my absolute adoration for Ohana, so much so that I chose it as my birthday breakfast this June. Ohana is an immaculate character breakfast, let’s not forget that. Still, the Poly’s lobby lacks something for me. I find that it’s kind of quiet? I don’t really get cast member interactions outside of my bag getting checked as I leave. I think the gift shops could use some sort of expansion, and they are very resort-specific rather than a place you can possibly go to if you didn’t buy something you wanted in the parks. A lot of people’s complaint with Poly is the walking between buildings, and the fact that nobody wants to do that after a harcore 16,000 step day at Animal Kingdom. The pool is awesome and one of the best, but it is very kid-centric and if you’re not into being surrounded by kids even at your resort, it’s worth considering. Lastly, Poly’s club level has awesome food choices but can get VERY crowded. It’s also in the Hawaii building which is as far from everything as the actual island state. At the end of the day, I love the Polynesian’s theme and character breakfast, but it’s my least favorite of the big three.
I used to think this place exemplified me. A classy, nice smelling food connoisseur. My favorite things about GF are the piano player, the gorgeous lobby and its elevator, and Basin. My gripes are again, the gift shops, numerous separate buildings, and a lot of its changes. I am quite far from a person that cries when Wishes leaves or a cult favorite ride is redone, and I embrace change. I didn’t care about the new bar because I didn’t even drink. I’m also a MASSIVE Beauty and the Beast stan, but something about Enchanted Rose was so odd to me.
Three of my underraged pals (aka Raf and siblings) tried their non-alcoholic drinks. I had an iced tea concoction and Raf got something that reminded me of grass. Not only were they really out there in taste, they didn’t offer any cool packaging. It wasn’t like drinking a super odd drink at Galaxy’s Edge where even if it tastes weird the photos for IG are worth it. These were extremely regular. Not to mention, they only SOMETIMES offer food?? I didn’t get to try any, AND I had to hop a rope just to get into the room with Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth. It’s still working out kinks. My other issue is the gift shops. Similarly to GF, it’s kind of resort centric. They have classy clothing, Basin-priced bath products (which I love but is now also in Springs) and small generic shops which leave me wanting some more. When I’m resort hopping, I’m itching to spend some money, and I rarely buy a single thing in GF, or have any desire to. I do love a good piano song and photoshoot in the lobby, but once you leave it, get ready for a long haul. Even my queen my love and soul Narcoosee’s is far from everything! It’s just a bit too big for its own good. The pool also lacks any Disney flair, and reminds me of any large hotel in America.
I had the great honor of having dinner at Victoria and Alberts two summers ago. Since then, everytime I ask my boyfriend about his favorite meal or dessert, I preface it with “Besides Victoria and Alberts.” It’s truly in a league of its own and helped rank it above Poly.
To me, the Contemporary is the quintessential Disney World Resort. I don’t care one bit that it’s an OG, it just gives me Disney feeling like no other besides maybe the caste.
Contemporary’s biggest offers in my opinion are: Chef Mickey, California Grill, incredible Club Level food and environment, gift shops, and monorail ease.
The California Grill for brunch or dinner is never a bad idea. Everything I’ve eaten at this place is amazing. Highlights include the bread options at brunch, the dessert plate there as well, and the donuts with blueberry ice cream for dessert at dinner. It also has arguably the best outside-of-MK views of the fireworks, where you feel like you paid for a dessert party at the kingdom but with a full meal as well. I also feel that Chef Mickey gives you all the fun and playful character meal vibes you want. It is far more casual than most, even more than Ohana, but they don’t pretend not to be. The Club Level here has beautiful views of the area including the castle, and the chef here is super nice and accommodating. It never really gets busy, even when I was visiting in summer months.
Hannah Bouchard is the co-creator for Completely Magic.