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Every Disney hotel NBA teams are staying in, explained

The players will be staying in the best of the best Disney has to offer.

The most magical place on Earth is going to be home for the return of the 2019-2020 NBA season. Yes, that’s Disney World. As we get more and more details about the July 30 return date, we finally have an answer to a popular question: Where will the players be staying?

There are over 25 Disney resorts to choose from but since the parks will be re-opening at the same time as the NBA is returning, the league was going to have to find a way to keep their players safe and in the “bubble.”

Teams were split into hotels based on seeding and placed in three different hotels across Walt Disney World resort. Contrary to popular belief, not all Disney hotels are filled with Mickey Mouse heads and cotton candy and screaming kids. In fact, a lot of the hotels are really nice. Disney breaks their hotels into three categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. The value being for the more budget conscious families and the Deluxe resorts being for those who have a bit more cash to throw around. The NBA players will obviously be in the Deluxe locations.

I’m going to write this as if players will have full access to the amenities at their respective hotel. For example, the NBA teams will have special culinary teams on site but in fairness to the hotels, we’re going to touch on the restaurants at each so you can get a better idea of what these properties are really like. We’ve also learned the NBA players are going to have a ton of extra amenities added in that are not normally onsite like a players-only lounge, DJs, video gaming areas, and more.

But let’s get to these Disney hotels.

Hotel: The Gran Destino Tower

Teams: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat

The Gran Destino Tower is the newest and maybe nicest hotel in all of Disney World. If you don’t want to argue that it’s the nicest, well it’s certainly the newest. It’s a 15-story, 545-room tower connected to the popular Coronado Springs hotel and opened in July of 2019.

What does it look like?

How are the rooms?
Pretty stinking nice.

What about the food?
There are two restaurants and two lounges that are exclusively for the Gran Destino Tower. Two of those are on the 16th floor and have panoramic views so I hope they’re able to be utilized by the players.

How far is it from ESPN Wide World of Sports?
About 10 minutes with no traffic. The closest of the three locations.

Anything else I need to know?
It has the best pool in all of Disney. I have sat here and had many Pina Colava’s, a Disney resort drink.

Hotel: The Grand Floridian

Teams: Thunder, 76ers, Rockets, Pacers, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies, Magic

While this hotel is a legendary and a quite fancy Disney hotel, the perk to this property has always been its extremely close proximity to the Magic Kingdom and easy access to Epcot. It’s definitely more elegant than trendy, and the lobbies are gorgeous. But it’s not really my personal taste despite how historic it is.

What does it look like?
I know I said it’s older but whew it’s nice.

How are the rooms?
A little dated.

What about the food?
I’ll be honest, The Grand Floridian has a bunch of fancy restaurants that I can’t afford a seat in. There is Citrico’s and Narcoossee’s and apparently Victoria & Albert’s Chef Tables Dinner has a 10-course offering? It’s $250 per guest! Maybe this will be part of Disney’s curated culinary experience. I usually stick with the corn dogs in Magic Kingdom.

How far is it from ESPN Wide World of Sports?
13-18 minutes depending on traffic. It’s a bit farther than Gran Destino Tower.

Anything else I need to know?
Yeah. The lobby during the holidays is absolutely stunning.

Hotel: The Yacht Club

Teams: Blazers, Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Wizards

The Yacht Club is part of Disney’s Boardwalk which is an area right outside of Epcot that is filled with shops, restaurants, and the famous JellyRolls — a dueling piano bar. While most of this is probably off limits to the players, it’s still a really cool place to be and hopefully the views and vibe will be relaxing enough.

What does it look like?

How are the rooms?
Not too bad here!

What about the food?
It’s got two signature restaurants of it’s own in The Yachtsman Steakhouse and Ale & Compass Restaurant. I personally prefer Cape May Cafe but that’s a meal where Mickey comes around to your table and I’m sure that’s off limits during NBA season. This is also where I plug my love for Mickey waffles.

How far is it from ESPN’s Wide World of Sports?
Google maps gives it about 12 minutes. Not bad.

Anything else I should know?
Yes. Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. Order the Kitchen Sink. It serves four people and has Scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chips while smothered in every topping possible.

Hotels I personally would have preferred if I were LeBron James

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Why? The animals that are outside of your window!

The Polynesian

Why? Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar.

If you ever want to know how to plan a trip to Disney for adults that includes all the cool stuff you didn’t know Disney had to offer, hit me up.