When families plan a Disney World vacation, they also consider staying at one of the many Disney World hotels. These resorts are immersive experiences that can make your trip even more magical, but with so many options, how do you choose?
This article will look at some of the best Disney World hotels to help you determine which vibes you’re seeking on your trip.
Should You Stay at a Disney World Hotel?
Walt Disney World hotels aren’t mandatory for visitors, but many people choose them because they’re popular and convenient. There are plenty of great hotels near Disney World that are outside of Disney’s property, but they won’t be Disney-themed. Yet, many people find non-Disney hotels to be more affordable.
Here’s a list of pros and cons for staying at a Disney World hotel.
- Close to the Disney parks
- Disney park transportation
- Disney-themed rooms
- Early theme park entry
- Vacation packages
- Lots of variety
Since the only major con is the price, the best Disney hotels are recommended if they fit into your budget. The price can greatly range between resorts and room types, so do your research before booking. Even if you’re planning an adult-only trip, there are still Disney hotels that will cater to your needs.
Best Disney World Hotels
Here are the 11 best Disney resort hotels to help you decide where to stay.
#1 – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Price: $602 to $6,146 per night
The Polynesian Village Resort has been around as long as Magic Kingdom has, but it’s still one of the most luxurious options. It sits along Seven Seas Lagoon, the same body of water that separates Magic Kingdom from the ticketing area. It has an island vacation theme that’s most appealing to adults and older kids.
At the resort, you’ll find gorgeous outdoor pools and several dining options, including a buffet. Some of the most notable features include the luxury bungalows guests can stay in and the views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. During the fireworks, the resort plays music to accompany them.
#2 – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Price: $201 to $912 per night
Art of Animation isn’t as high-end as the other best hotels for Disney World, but it’s one of the best Disney World hotels for families. It has areas themed after four popular Disney movies: Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Cars. There are also three pools themed after these films. This resort’s “Big Blue Pool” is the largest pool at any Disney resort.
There are plenty of themed photo opportunities around this property, and the resort has access to the Skyliner, which leads to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Since the name of this resort includes “animation,” it sometimes hosts animation classes for guests. Plus, the lobby is filled with sketches of beloved animated characters.
#3 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Average Price: $441 to $5,307 per night
If you love animals, you might want to consider Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The luxury resort has views of a massive savanna with over 30 different African species, including giraffes, gazelles, and bongos. There are public viewing spots for the savanna, but some of the higher-end rooms also have savanna views. There are ambassadors on-site to answer any animal-related questions you might have.
At this beautiful hotel, you’ll also find themed pools with a waterslide. The award-winning restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge are considered some of Disney’s best dining, so they often need reservations. This resort is the closest to Animal Kingdom, but the only park transportation that’s offered is buses.
#4 – Disney’s Riviera Resort
Average Price: $443 to $5,165 per night
Disney’s Riviera Resort is designed to make you feel like you’re at Europe’s coast. It’s an elegant option that’s most suitable for adults and teens. It overlooks the water and has relaxing pool spaces for some fun in the sun. The Disney Skyliner stops at this hotel, and it can transport guests to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.
Topolino’s Terrace is the most popular dining option on this property because it offers character breakfasts and rooftop views. At night, you can also get views of the EPCOT fireworks from the roof. Each room at this modern hotel has Disney art made specifically for the resort.
#5 – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Average Price: $453 to $5,128 per night
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is meant to replicate the lodges at America’s National Parks. It has expanded a lot since it first opened, but it has never lost its natural charm. Staying at this resort makes you feel like you’re far away from the rest of the Disney magic, but it’s only a short bus ride away from the parks. It’s the perfect resort for adults and teens looking to relax among nature.
This lodge has a large lobby filled with wood carvings, chandeliers, and fireplaces. It has a hot spring that flows from the lobby, along with several relaxing pools. There’s also a “geothermal geyser” that erupts every hour. There are plenty of traditional hotel rooms, but if you’re looking for a “glamping” trip, you can rent one of the waterfront cabins.
#6 – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Average Price: $250 to $3,520 per night
When it first opened, the Coronado Springs Resort was often overlooked, but once it added the Gran Destino Tower, it became one of the most popular destinations. The design of the hotel is influenced by a mixture of Spanish, Mexican, and Southwest American cultures. It’s the perfect relaxing, romantic getaway, so it’s geared toward Disney-loving adults.
This resort has one of the best Disney pools with a 50-foot Mayan pyramid in the middle. It also has the largest hot tub at a Disney World resort. Some other amenities include a rooftop dining option and a 24-hour fitness center with spa treatments. It’s not as conveniently-located as some of the other hotels, but it still has bus transportation to all the Disney parks.
#7 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Average Price: $641 to $5,382 per night
You might recognize Disney’s Contemporary Resort as the hotel the Monorail rides through on its way to Magic Kingdom. The resort also has its own monorail to take guests to Magic Kingdom, and it’s within walking distance of the park. It sits on Seven Seas Lagoon, so the Magic Kingdom fireworks are visible from the property. It’s one of the hotels that opened the same year as Magic Kingdom, and it still has a modern and trendy style.
There are lots of great amenities at this resort, including pools with waterslides, character restaurants, a large atrium space, and amazing views. Many of the original rooms have been redesigned with The Incredibles themes, and more rooms have been built since it opened. It’s a classic resort that caters to all ages.
#8 – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Average Price: $258 to $551 per night
The Caribbean Beach Resort is a large property, and each area is themed after a different Caribbean island, including Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba. It’s a fun resort to explore because there are lots of paths along the water and six pools, including one main pool. Since it’s more spread out than other resorts, it feels less crowded.
It’s also in a great location because it’s within walking distance of the Skyliner, which takes you to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. There are plenty of on-site dining options, and some activities include a shipwreck play area, bike rentals, and cruises. It’s the best way to get a tropical island experience without traveling far.
#9 – Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Average Price: $534 to $4,763 per night
Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a beautiful hotel that sits along the Disney Boardwalk. Thus, it has easy access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. It’s best known for its immersive pool area, which makes you feel like you’re on the beach because it’s next to the boardwalk, a body of water, and sandy areas. It even has a sandy-bottom pool and an area that looks like a shipwreck.
The rooms are simple, elegant designs that all ages can appreciate. There are several dining options on-site and within walking distance, including a boardwalk-style ice cream shop. Many adults visiting also appreciate the health club, which includes massages and a 24-hour fitness center.
#10 – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Average Price: $4,800 to $6,000 for two-night experience
The Galactic Starcruiser has only been open since Spring 2022, but it made the list because there’s no place like it in the world. It’s more than a hotel because it’s a two-night immersive adventure. During the experience, you’ll get to stay in a room that makes you feel like you’re on a real Star Wars ship. Dining is also included, along with other experiences, such as lightsaber training and interactions with Star Wars characters. Of course, you’ll also get a chance to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during your excursion.
It’s not for everyone, but if you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan, this hotel is worth putting on your bucket list. The reason the price is so hefty is because it includes a lot more than just a room to sleep in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you book your Disney vacation, here are some common questions.
What is the Cheapest Disney World Hotel?
The cheapest Disney World hotels are the All-Star resorts, including the All-Star Music, Sports, and Movies. They start at $117 per night, and they still have adorable Disney themes.
What is the Most Expensive Disney World Hotel?
The most expensive resort on the Disney World property is the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, but Disney doesn’t own it. Without counting it, the Polynesian Bungalows and Animal Kingdom Villas are usually the next most expensive.
How Many Days Do Most Guests Stay at Disney World?
Three to four days is the most common for Disney World guests. If you want to experience all four parks, several days is ideal so you don’t have to rush to get on every ride.
Start Planning Your Disney World Vacation!
Disney World is a dream vacation for many, but a hotel Disney resort needs to be part of your plan. You can stay outside of Disney, but if you want the full magical experience, a Disney hotel is the way to go. So, do your research and find an exciting Disney hotel that fits in your budget. If you’re able, check out at least one of these best hotels at Disney World.