If you’re planning to stay on property during your Disney World vacation, it’s important to choose the right resort. There are so many different places to stay, and each resort has a unique theme and atmosphere. All resorts offer amenities like transportation, a pool, dining services, a gift shop and more. There are several other factors to consider when choosing a resort. 

Check out our ranking of the Disney World resorts
Art of Animation Resort” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

As you research resorts, think about:

  • Price – What is your budget?
  • Location – Are you planning on visiting one resort more than others?
  • Transportation – How are you planning on getting to the parks?
  • Kid-Friendly – What activities will keep children entertained?
  • Time – How much time are you going to spend at the resort?
  • Dining – Are you planning to eat at the resort or in the parks?

This list will give an example of a typical day that can be spent at each resort. Try to imagine you and the rest of your party staying there. As you narrow down your choices, be sure to check out the official list of Disney World resorts for a more detailed description of the ones you like and the resorts that didn’t make it to this list. 

Each family and group are unique, so you should find something that fits exactly what you want. The top Disney World hotels on this list have qualities that can make your vacation even more memorable.

1. Beach Club Resort

This New-England style resort has so much to do around the elegant property. Begin your stay with a Disney character breakfast at Cape May Café. Then, head over to Stormalong Bay, a small water park on property. There is a sand-bottomed pool, a lazy river, a 230-foot-long waterslide and three whirlpool spas. Play a friendly game of beach volleyball or go on a guided bass fishing trip. Be sure to stop by the Lafferty Place Arcade for some fun games. Right beside the arcade is Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. Order the famous “Kitchen Sink,” a gigantic ice cream sundae with five different flavors of ice cream, pretty much any topping you can think of and an entire can of whipped cream. 

The Beach Club Resort has a welcoming and adorable theme that anyone can appreciate. There’s so much to see and do around the property, so you can spend a decent amount of time at your resort between visits at the parks. Going to the parks is especially convenient at this location because it is within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. This resort allows you to have such a magical time making memories during your Disney World vacation.

  • Resort Category: Deluxe
  • Resort Area: Epcot
  • Transportation: Boat, Bus

2. Grand Floridian 

Live out your dream Disney fantasy at the Grand Floridian. This iconic resort is luxurious and elegant. Discover the intricate details throughout the lobby and property as you walk around. Start your day with a stroll on the sandy beach and watch the Florida sun rise. As the temperature rises, go for a swim in one of the pools. Stop by Senses, a Disney spa, to relax and rejuvenate. Then, eat dinner at one of the many fine dining locations on this property. Look out across the Seven Seas Lagoon to watch the Magic Kingdom firework show light up the night sky.

The Grand Floridian is very close to Magic Kingdom, so you’ll be able to enjoy the view of the park as well as convenient transportation. Take a boat or monorail to the park rather than driving or riding a crowded bus. Adults can probably appreciate the Victorian-style theme and décor more than children, but kids can enjoy the pool, character dining and activities available. This resort is perfect for honeymooners or those wanting to go all-out on a Disney vacation.

  • Resort Category: Deluxe
  • Resort Area: Magic Kingdom
  • Transportation: Boat, Bus, Monorail

3. Animal Kingdom Lodge

Combine your Disney World vacation with an African safari adventure when you stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort is especially nice if you have a family that enjoys swimming. There are two amazing pools with waterslides, whirlpool spas, a children’s wading pool and a themed water playground. When you’re finished swimming, dine at one of the award-winning restaurants. Eat with an animal specialist or go on a private safari ride before eating a multi-course meal at the Wanyama Safari. Finish your day by watching more than 30 species of African animals roaming right outside your room’s balcony.

The authentic African village architecture and theme is breathtaking. This resort’s most unique feature is the savanna right outside the hotel. You’ll have the chance to view zebras, giraffes, flamingos and more. The rooms are luxurious with details of African culture and décor. Of course, the dining options are a great advantage of staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Visitors of any age can enjoy the splendor of the African animals in the savanna.

  • Resort Category: Deluxe
  • Resort Area: Animal Kingdom
  • Transportation: Bus

4. Polynesian Village Resort

Feel a calm wave of peaceful bliss when you stay at the Polynesian Village Resort. With a serene beach, tropical landscaping and a welcoming atmosphere, this resort is sure calm your Disney vacation stress. Take a dip in one of the pools or take a walk across the sandy beach. Go fishing or rent a boat and float along the Seven Seas Lagoon. Eat dinner at one of the popular dining experiences at this property. Experience the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, an entertaining show that includes hula dancing, fire dancing, drumming and more. Finally, grab a delicious Dole Whip and watch the Florida sunset from the beach.

Planning a Disney World trip can be stressful. Staying at the Polynesian Village Resort will keep you calm and collected as you experience all it has to offer. The dining options here are spectacular, and the cast members are extremely welcoming. It’s an iconic resort in a convenient location. It’s close enough to the Transportation and Ticket Center to walk, and the monorail stops right outside the resort. This makes transportation exceptionally simple for busy visitors.

  • Resort Category: Deluxe
  • Resort Area: Magic Kingdom
  • Transportation: Boat, Bus, Monorail

5. Art of Animation Resort

This is probably the best Disney World resort for kids. It’s especially great for large families wanting a magical Disney experience without spending the kids’ college funds. Children can have fun swimming in the largest pool of any Disney World resort. There are speakers underwater that play music and voices from the Finding Nemo characters. Adults can enjoy the Drop Off Pool Bar for a refreshing beverage. Then, kids can take a drawing class with an actual animation artist. The entire family can explore the fun themes of the hotel areas like Cars, Finding Nemo, Lion King and The Little Mermaid. 

You won’t find fine dining locations or luxurious amenities at Art of Animation, but the resort is magical in other ways. Adults and children alike can appreciate the décor and atmosphere of this resort. It’s welcoming and filled with the Disney icons and characters that everyone adores. The lobby is decorated with different stages of animation from famous Disney movies. If you have a large family or group, stay in a family suite. This resort allows dogs, so you can bring every member of the family! 

  • Resort Category: Value
  • Resort Area: Wide World of Sports
  • Transportation: Bus

6. BoardWalk Inn 

Night owls will find this resort to be the best because of the variety of dining services, bars, snack carts and entertainment in one, convenient location. Start your day here by driving the short distance to Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf. Then, jump in the carnival-themed pool with a waterslide or one of the leisure pools on property. Go back to your lavish room for a quick power nap. If you’re not tired out just yet, visit the Muscles and Bustles Health Club to exercise, enjoy the sauna or get a massage. Finally, take the time to explore the Coney-island inspired boardwalk. Go to a bar, fine dining restaurant, bakery or snack cart to calm all your cravings.

If you’re planning on spending a lot of your Disney vacation at the resort, this is your place. There is so much to see and do at the BoardWalk Inn. The bright colors and charming details of this waterfront resort will keep you smiling and stress-free as you explore. Another great advantage of this resort is the short distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It’s so close that you can actually walk to both parks!

  • Resort Category: Deluxe
  • Resort Area: Epcot
  • Transportation: Boat, Bus

7. Wilderness Lodge

Escape the hustle and bustle of Orlando and enjoy the beauty of nature at Wilderness Lodge. As you step into the lobby, look around at the gorgeous details inspired by National Park lodges of northwestern America. Sit on one of the rocking chairs that face a large stone fireplace and read a book. Then, take in the beauty of the property as you walk to the lake behind the resort. Go fishing, rent a boat, or go on a bike ride. If you’re up for it, take a jog or just walk around the peaceful trail surrounded by pine trees. As the night approaches, visit the Buttons and Bells arcade before watching the sunset from your balcony. 

The sheer beauty and comfort of this resort makes it unique. It offers several outdoor activities for guests to explore the Florida wildlife. Wilderness Lodge is just a short distance from Magic Kingdom, but it feels very isolated and separated from the chaos of the parks. Even though it’s close to Magic Kingdom, this location does not offer transportation by monorail. This resort is perfect for guests wanting a luxurious stay with a comfortable atmosphere.

  • Resort Category: Deluxe
  • Resort Area: Magic Kingdom
  • Transportation: Boat, Bus

8. Port Orleans Resorts

Whether you stay in the French Quarter or Riverside section, immerse yourself in the rich Cajun culture. Take a walk around the beautiful property made to look just like New Orleans. Be sure to look at every detail of the resort that showcases the history and architecture of The Big Easy. If you don’t feel like walking, climb aboard a horse-drawn carriage that will take you around the gorgeous river. Then, head to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory for some delicious beignets. As the day winds down, stop by Scat Cat’s Club for a drink and entertainment. 

The two Port Orleans resorts perfectly portray a city that encourages an easy-going lifestyle. Feel your stresses slip away when you stay here. It’s a gorgeous property that transports you from Orlando to New Orleans as soon as you step foot in the lobby. Most of the rooms are pretty basic hotel rooms, but the Riverside section does offer rooms with unique details from Princess and the Frog. The themed décor, landscaping and buildings are what really make this resort stand out. It’s perfect for visitors wanting a unique theme without breaking the budget

  • Resort Category: Moderate
  • Resort Area: Disney Springs
  • Transportation: Boat, Bus

9. Caribbean Beach Resort

This resort is a perfect blend of relaxation for adults and fun activities for children. With a calming tropical island theme, it’s a great getaway from the chaos of the Disney parks. Spend your time relaxing on a hammock near the water. Take a stroll around the beautiful property and revel in the beautiful Caribbean theme. Kids can find excitement in a pirate-themed room, an amazing pool or a pirate adventure cruise. Finish the night with a drink at Banana Cabana, a great bar service.

The Caribbean Beach Resort is affordable without lacking beauty and class. Whether you’re feeling adventurous or stressed, this resort has something for you to do. It’s a very kid-friendly resort that keeps adults in mind. There’s a bar service and several dining options, but the restaurants are primarily average quick-service dining locations. It’s not a very luxurious place to stay, but there is much to do and explore. 

  • Resort Category: Moderate
  • Resort Area: Epcot
  • Transportation: Bus

10. All-Star Resorts

Disney’s All-Star Resorts are actually sectioned into three separate hotels: All-Star Sports, All-Star Music and All-Star Movies. Each one is so fun to explore because there are several statues, decorations and icons throughout the property that correlate with the theme. Take the time to walk around these statues because they make great photo-ops. Visit the amazingly themed pools or grab a bite to eat at the quick-service food court. 

These resorts make it onto the list simply because of their affordability. A Disney World vacation is extremely expensive. Everything is overpriced but oh-so tempting to buy. Staying at one of the All-Star resorts could save you money because of the cheap prices per night.

Just be aware that you really get what you pay for at these resorts. The rooms are very straightforward, and there aren’t many amenities available. It’s similar quality to any other value hotel with the basic accommodations of every other Disney resort. 

  • Resort Category: Value
  • Resort Area: Animal Kingdom
  • Transportation: Bus

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