Our Top Picks for the Absolute Best Disney World Hotels For Your Dream Stay!


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When planning a vacation to Disney World, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is where to stay. Deciding which resort on Disney property is best for your next Disney vacation can be challenging.

In this post, I’ll cover some of the features of each Disney resort and who it’s best for. I’ve compiled this list using my own experiences, other Disney fans’ experiences, and extensive research.

So whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned pro, read on for the best Disney World hotels recommendation!

*In this article, I’ll interchangeably use the words hotel and resort, but keep in mind that I am talking about the same thing!

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a great place to stay for families. The resort has four separate areas themed around popular Disney movies: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo.

Each area/wing has larger-than-life Disney character sculptures and landscapes that will make you feel like you’re in the movie.

The family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation resort are spacious and decorated with vibrant colors and cartoon Disney characters from the movies. The rooms can accommodate up to six people! These suites also have two bathrooms which can be very important for larger groups.

The pool located in the Nemo wing at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the largest hotel pool in Disney World! There are several smaller pools situated in the other wings.

And there’s a food court with several stations serving everything, which is great for picky eaters.

Best Disney World Hotels- Art of Animation Lion King
Best Disney World Hotels- Art of Animation cars

Category: Value Resort Hotel

Best for families with small children.


  • Disney movie-themed rooms and areas
  • Skyliner transportation (access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios)
  • 3 pools
  • Dog-friendly rooms available
  • Kitchenette in family suites (refrigerator, microwave, sink, and coffee maker)


  • Cost more than other value resorts
  • No table service restaurant
  • Some rooms are further away from the main building (especially the Little Mermaid area)

Tips: Book a Nemo family suite if you want to be close to the main building or Skyliner.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is a value resort that celebrates popular culture from the 1950s to the 1990s. Each wing of the resort is themed after a different decade. And there are plenty of activities and amenities for guests to enjoy.

There’s a big pool area, a playground, a food court, and a shop.

The Pop Century Resort is a value resort, meaning the prices are more affordable than other Disney resorts on property.

The Skyliner transportation makes Pop Century stand out from other value resorts like Disney’s All-Star Resorts. The Skyliner gondolas will make it easier for you to get to two of Walt Disney World theme parks; Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

Best Disney World Hotels- Pop Century Building
Best Disney World Hotels- Pop Century Figure

Category: Value Resort Hotel

Best for those looking for budget-friendly rooms or planning on visiting the Disney World theme parks throughout the day.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Skyliner transportation (access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios)
  • 3 pools


  • No table service restaurant
  • Theming may not be appealing to everyone
  • Extensive grounds (longer walks to the main building for some rooms)

Tips: Book a preferred room to stay close to the main building.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a resort with a unique blend of Mexican, Spanish, and Southwest American cultures. This mix of cultures makes it feel unique and different from any other resort on Disney property.

The buildings’ architecture, decor, and lakeside view are beautiful. In addition, the pool area is impressive.

The Dig Site pool has a beautiful waterfall on a Mayan-style pyramid and a 123-foot-long waterslide.

This resort is more of a convention resort with a large conference room and business center.

Coronado Springs Resort might fit your needs if you’re looking for a luxurious resort with subtle Disney-theming.

Category: Moderate Resort Hotel

Best for adults and families with older children looking for a luxurious moderate resort.


  • Variety of dining options (quick-service restaurants, table service restaurants, multiple bars, and lounge)
  • 4 pools
  • Spa service


  • Less Disney theming
  • Only bus transportation (no other transportation methods available)
  • Large grounds

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter is one of the resorts in the moderate tier. This resort is themed after the lively and vibrant culture of New Orleans (Mardi Gras vibe), with architecture and décor that reflect the city’s unique style.

Guests at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter can enjoy various recreational activities. These activities include swimming in the resort’s pool, riding a horse-drawn carriage, or renting a bicycle to explore the area.

The resort also offers a variety of dining options, including a quick-service restaurant, a café/lounge, and a poolside bar.

The mickey beignets served at Scat Cat’s Club are so delicious that I always stop by the French Quarter even if I’m not staying there. They also play some live jazz music on select evenings at the club.

If you’re looking for other dining options, you can hop onto the ferryboat that will take you to Disney Springs.

Best Disney World Hotels- French Quarter Outside View
Best Disney World Hotels- French Quarter Beignets

Category: Moderate Resort Hotel

Best for adults and families looking for a quieter resort.


  • Boat transportation to Disney Springs
  • 5 pools
  • Mickey beignets (yes, I had to include this one)
  • Smaller resort compared to others (easy to navigate)


  • Bus transportation to all parks (sometimes uses the same route as Port Orleans Resort- Riverside)
  • No table-service restaurant
  • Fewer amenities compared to other moderate resorts

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Riviera Resort is a luxurious and elegant resort that captures the magic of Europe. From the moment you walk into the gleaming white lobby, you’ll feel like you’re in a special place.

The resort is designed with beautiful archways, entrances, and towers that evoke the feeling of Europe and the Mediterranean.

The resort has rooms ranging from studios to one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas. The Tower Studios are the smallest rooms with pull-down queen Murphy beds and mini-kitchenettes.

The largest rooms are the three-bedroom suites which have full kitchens and in-room washers and dryers.

There are also three restaurants on-site, ranging from character dining at Topolino’s Terrace to quick service at Primo Piatto and Bar Riva. Le Petite Café offers delicious pastries, coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages (later in the evening).

Disney’s Riviera Resort is perfect for adults or families looking for a luxurious getaway.

Best Disney World Hotels- Riviera Resort Rooftop
Best Disney World Hotels- Riviera Resort 1 bedroom villa

Category: Deluxe Villas

Best for adults and families with older children looking for a luxurious upscale resort.


  • Skyliner transportation (access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios)
  • Variety of dining options (cafe, pool bar, quick-service restaurant, and table-service restaurant)
  • Character Dining at Toppolino’s Terrace (morning hours only)
  • Able to see Magic Kingdom and EPCOT fireworks from some rooms
  • Extended Evening Theme Park Hours


  • Very pricey
  • Subtle Disney theming

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Disney resort hotel near Animal Kingdom park.

The hotel resembles an African lodge and contains extensive wildlife habitats.

It’s home to over 200 animals and birds, including zebras and giraffes! Guests staying in a savannah view room can view the animals from their balconies.

The dining at this Walt Disney World resort is top-notch. Several restaurants are on-site, including Boma – Flavors of Africa, Jiko – The Cooking Place, and Sanaa.

My personal favorite is Sanaa, which serves up African and Indian cuisine. The food is terrific, and the view of the savannah from the restaurant is breathtaking.

Best Disney World Hotels- Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby
Best Disney World Hotels- Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannah

Category: Deluxe Resort Hotel

Best for families looking for a unique African experience or who love animals.


  • 3 Savannas on property
  • Award-winning restaurants
  • Variety of dining options (quick service restaurants, table service restaurants, bars, and lounges)
  • 2 Pools
  • Extended Evening Theme Park Hours


  • Only offers bus transportation
  • Furthest away from Magic Kingdom
  • Some rooms are further away from the lobby, and bus stops

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a deluxe resort with an early 20th-century New England beach style. It offers guests excellent amenities, including a beach area with sand, a water park area, tennis court, motorboat rental, volleyball court, and so much more! The large water park area at the Beach Club Resort, Stormalong Bay, has one of the highest water slides at Disney World Resort.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort is personally one of my favorite places to eat. You can eat New England-inspired dishes at Cape May Cafe (character dining returning on October 4, 2022) or grab a quick meal at the Beach Club Marketplace. Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, themed after a 50’s style beachside diner, is a must-visit if you love ice cream!

If you’re looking for more dining options, you could just head to the Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, or Disney’s Boardwalk across Crescent Lake.

The Beach Club is within walking distance of the Skyliner and EPCOT, making it the perfect spot for parkgoers.

Best Disney World Hotels- Beach Club entrance
Best Disney World Hotels- Beach Club Pool
Best Disney World Hotels- Beach Club Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Category: Deluxe Resort Hotel

Best for families with younger children that loves swimming or playing at a water park area.


  • Skyliner transportation
  • Close to EPCOT and Disney’s Boardwalk
  • Character Dining (returning October 4, 2022)
  • Water park area within the resort
  • Extended Evening Theme Park Hours


  • It may be pricier than other deluxe resort
  • Bus service sometimes shares stops with other EPCOT resorts
  • Water taxi to Disney’s Hollywood Studios crowded

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a beautiful resort that sits on the shores of Bay Lake in the Walt Disney World Resort.

This resort is themed after the American National Park lodges from the early 20th century, and it features rustic architecture, intricate woodwork, and stunning natural surroundings.

Being at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge makes you forget that you’re at Walt Disney World (in a good way) and feel like you’re in the wilderness!

Some of the highlights of this resort include its towering lobby fireplace, a creek running inside the lobby, a beautiful main pool, and its delicious restaurants.

My family and I absolutely love staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and we always have a wonderful time!

Best Disney World Hotels- Wilderness Lodge lobby

Category: Deluxe Resort Hotel

Best for families and adults that want to experience a luxurious National Park lodge.


  • Boat transportation to Magic Kingdom
  • Theming
  • Character Dining (Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White)


  • Bus transportation stops at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (transportation to Disney parks can take a while)
  • Small and limited menu at quick service restaurant

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a sleek, modern hotel that overlooks the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Seas Lagoon, and Bay Lake. The resort has a fitness center, a pool, basketball/volleyball/tennis courts, and so much more!

One of the advantages of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is its location. It’s next to the Magic Kingdom so you can walk to the park from your room. You can easily go back to the resort for a quick break or nap before heading out to one of the Disney parks.

Multiple restaurants are located on-site, including the popular California Grill restaurant, which offers panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom Park and Seven Seas Lagoon.

Contemporary Resort underwent a significant refurbishment in 2021; a redesigned lobby, a new restaurant (Steakhouse 71), and re-themed guest rooms.

All the guest rooms in the main tower building were recently refurbished to an Incredibles-themed design.

Best Disney World Hotels- Contemporary Resort Lobby
Best Disney World Hotels- Contemporary Resort California Grill Fireworks View

Category: Deluxe Resort Hotel

Best for adults and families with older children.


  • Close to Magic Kingdom
  • Monorail transportation
  • Magic Kingdom fireworks views (from fireworks view rooms and observation deck at California Grill)
  • Award-winning restaurant
  • Character Dining at Chef Mickey’s
  • Extended Evening Theme Park Hours


  • Theming in rooms may not be for everyone (Incredibles-themed)
  • Pricey
  • Noisy for some rooms (noise from monorail and Chef Mickeys restaurant)

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a deluxe-tier hotel with a laid-back vibe. It’s themed to reflect the South Pacific style. It has a rich tropical color palette and a warm sense of hospitality.

The theming continues throughout the resort grounds with white sand beaches, torch-lit walkways, lush landscaping, a pool featuring a volcano, and waterfalls.

You can view the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom from the beach located along the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of Disney World’s popular bars, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. The atmosphere, special effects, and interactive elements make it a must-visit bar.

The rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort have recently been remodeled with a Moana-inspired design. You can spot some of the characters from the film around the space.

Best Disney World Hotels- Polynesian Village Statue

Category: Deluxe Resort Hotel

Best for families or adults looking for an island vibe resort.


  • Monorail transportation
  • Polynesian theming
  • Character Dining
  • Water play area
  • Fireworks view from the beach
  • Variety of food options (quick service restaurants, lounge, bar, table service restaurants, and cafe)
  • Dole whip!
  • Extended Evening Theme Park Hours


  • Hear construction from some rooms
  • Rooms tend to book up quickly
  • Pricey

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is one of the luxurious resorts at Walt Disney World. This deluxe resort is themed after a Victorian-era hotel.

The Grand Floridian Resort is home to some of the best dining options at Walt Disney World. Victoria and Albert’s is an award-winning restaurant that serves Fine Dining cuisine. And if you’re looking for something quick and convenient, the Gasparilla Island Grill has sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and more.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort also has some of the best amenities at Walt Disney World. There’s a full-service spa where you can enjoy a massage, facial treatment, manicures, pedicures, or hair services.

And if you’re looking for something to do in the evening, there’s always something to do at the Grand Floridian Resort. Whether it’s listening to live music, watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, or heading to the Beauty and the Beast-inspired bar Enchanted Rose.

Best Disney World Hotels- Grand Floridian Entrance
Best Disney World Hotels- Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

Category: Deluxe Resort Hotel

Best for adults looking for a luxurious stay.


  • Close to Magic Kingdom
  • Monorail transportation
  • Beautiful Christmas decorations
  • Award-winning restaurant
  • Full-service spa
  • Extended Evening Theme Park Hours


  • Pricey
  • Outdated rooms

Tips for Booking a Walt Disney World Resort

There are several tips and tricks that I’ve learned from past Disney vacations as well as from fellow Disney experts. These tips and tricks may help you decide on your Disney World accommodations, especially if the price is one of the critical factors!

Book whenever there’s a Discount

Never pay the full price when booking a hotel! Check the official Disney World website to see whether they have special offers.

Are you booking a Disney World vacation for next year? You can add offers to your reservations later if a discount comes up.

Book using a third-party site

While my personal preference leans toward booking resorts directly through the official Walt Disney World Resort website, I must admit, opting for third-party sites can come with its own set of perks.

Disney usually doesn’t have promotions during a holiday, and special offers will vary yearly. Third-party sites usually automatically apply discounts, allowing you to save some money if no discounts are available on the official Disney World website.

Another merit is that you may be able to find rooms that are sold out on the official Disney World website! If you’re booking last minute, using a third-party site may allow you to snag a room from one of the Disney hotels you planned on booking.

The third-party sites I recommend are Undercover Tourist and Tripadvisor.

On Tripadvisor you’ll be able to compare prices from multiple hotel booking sites.

If you don’t have a preference, I recommend booking from Undercover Tourist. Undercover Tourist is an authorized Walt Disney World ticket seller, and you’ll also be able to purchase discounted tickets for Disney theme parks along with your hotel reservations.

Note: Check the modify/cancellation policy when booking through a 3rd party site and always remember the risk of booking through a third-party website!

Book from a Disney Vacation Club points rental site

Are you planning on staying at one of the Deluxe resorts like Disney’s Riviera Resort on the list? Rent Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points.

DVC is a timeshare company owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company.

Not a DVC member? No worries, you can rent DVC points from DVC members! My favorite site for DVC rentals is David’s Vacation Club Rentals. My group saved over a thousand dollars when we booked using David’s Vacation Club Rentals! Check to see how much you can save using the Cost Calculator on their website.

Note: One of the significant disadvantages of renting DVC points is that the cost is non-refundable. This is an important factor to keep in mind when renting DVC points.

Book a split stay

Can’t decide between two Disney resort hotels? Or want to splurge in a Deluxe Resort without breaking the bank? Consider splitting your stay at multiple Disney World resorts! The resort will transfer your luggage to the next resort when you take it down to Bell services and tell them that you’re transferring resorts!

What Next?

So, there you have it! A list of some of the best Disney World hotels and some tips and tricks when booking one. Of course, the “best” Walt Disney World hotel will vary depending on your group’s interests and budget. Still, I think you’ll find a hotel on this list that will make your stay in Walt Disney World unforgettable.

And don’t forget to save and share this post with your friends – they’ll want to know about these amazing options for their next trip to Disney World.

Figured out which hotel you want to stay at but don’t know what to do next? Check my Ultimate Guide for Planning a Trip to Disney World post to plan your next vacation!

Check out some of my other posts below for more tips and advice for planning your magical Disney World vacation.


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