A trip to Walt Disney World, the happiest place on earth, will have adults and kids ecstatic, unlike anything else. And you don’t have to be in a hurry to get it all done in one day – you can take your time and make the most of every magical moment with a stay at one of the Disney resorts.
The resorts are stunning, with incredible amenities to make your stay memorable.
What to Expect at Disney Resorts?
Before we dive into the list of the best Disney resorts, let’s look at what you can generally expect at these resorts.
Disney Resorts is a collection of spectacular hotels and vacation properties owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company. Each resort has its unique theme and amenities catering to different types of travelers; remember to choose one that fits your preferences.
When you stay at a Disney resort, you can access extra perks like early park entry, complimentary transportation between resorts and theme parks, and free MagicBands for accessing FastPass+ reservations for popular attractions.
Disney offers many accommodations, from budget-friendly value resorts to luxurious deluxe resorts.
Many offer recreational activities like pools, water slides, spa services, fitness centers, arcades, movies under the stars, and even campfires with s’mores. Some rooms may have views of fireworks or other nighttime entertainment shows within the park.
You’ll find plenty of dining options at Disney resorts, from quick-service restaurants to fine dining experiences. Some also have restaurants featuring character dining experiences; think Mickey Mouse breakfasts!
While staying on the property might seem more expensive than off-site accommodations, the convenience factor of being close to the parks can save time and hassle during your vacation.
Best Disney Resorts
Take your pick from this list of best Disney resorts; you’re guaranteed a comfortable and experiential stay.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
As you walk into Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you’ll be transported to a tropical South Pacific-themed retreat.
With lush tropical landscaping, tiki torches, and a beautiful beach, you also get to experience a lei greeting before you’re shown to your comfortable rooms. And not just any rooms, but ones with Moana-inspired ambiance.
Thanks to the monorail, you can easily access Epcot, Magic Kingdom Park, and Disney’s Grand Floridian and Contemporary Resorts.
As for dining options, The Poly has Ohana and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar – cult favorites in the Disney community. The Pineapple Lanai is a great place to grab a rum-spiked dole whip.
The Poly is close to Magic Kingdom, which means you get to experience the stellar views of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom every single night. They even play accompanying music to elevate the experience as you watch the show from the beach.
Room options include standard rooms, deluxe villas, and overwater bungalows.
And here’s the best part – the resort’s largest pool (Lava Pool) features a 142-foot waterslide that goes straight through a volcano!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Imagine enjoying your morning coffee among animals like the zebra and giraffe; it’s bound to make an unforgettable experience. That’s what you get when you stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, located next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
It almost feels like the mother of all themed hotels, with a breathtaking lobby and an extensive African art collection; it’s an ecosystem away from the bustling Disney complexes.
If you’ve yearned to go on a safari, this can be your mini-safari experience! The hotel grounds house over 200 animals and birds. Book a Savanna view room for the real treat – you can see the animals up close.
While you’re here, go for the Nighttime Starlight Safari with night vision devices.
The dining options are equally spectacular here; Boma’s breakfast buffet, Sanaa’s bread service, Victoria Falls Lounge, and finally, Jiko’s African-inspired cuisine have become a Park tradition.
On the downside, no novel transportation forms, monorail, boat, or Skyliner, exist between the resort and the parks. You’ll have to make do with buses.
But then, there’s the cherry on top – the 11,000-square-foot massive pool with a waterslide.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
It also has a ski lodge vibe, and the Rocky Mountains will instantly cross your mind when you’re here!
As soon as you enter, the majestic lobby with a timbered courtyard and a little stream flowing under a wooden bridge will make your jaw drop in sheer awe.
Wilderness Lodge has family-bonding activities like fishing excursions, a campfire, a fun arcade, jogging paths, movies under the stars, the Electric Water Pageant parade, and two themed pools.
The room options include standard rooms, corner studios, and the outstanding Cooper Creek Cabins (deluxe waterfront villas with a private plunge pool). If you’re on a budget, the Wilderness Lodge pricing is more affordable than most exclusive resorts.
Among the plethora of dining options, there’s Whispering Canyon Cafe, Roaring Fork, and Geyser Point Bar & Grill. As for transportation, you’re a short ride or boat drive away from the Magic Kingdom.
Once you’ve stayed here, you’ll probably never want to leave.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
This Victorian-style resort, located close to Magic Kingdom, caters to adults and mesmerizes kids. However, it does seem perfect for adults or couples on a romantic getaway than kids.
Every aspect of this resort is absolute perfection, from the majestic lobby and manicured grounds to the spa and a white-sand beach.
Keeping with the regal feel is the award-winning Victoria & Albert’s, among the finest dining experiences in central Florida. There’s also the Beauty and the Beast-themed bar – Enchanted Rose, 1900 Park Fare, and Gasparilla Island Grill, among other dining options.
Getting to Magic Kingdom is convenient; your options include the complimentary monorail or boat service. You can even take the newly-added walking path to Magic Kingdom.
If you visit here during the winter holidays, you’ll be transported to a Christmas wonderland. A three-story Christmas tree, a life-sized gingerbread house in the lobby, and extensive decorations are some of the best you’ll ever witness.
Sip hot cocoa and enjoy those Mickey-shaped gingerbread cookies while soaking in the Christmas spirit. It doesn’t get better than this!
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Across Crescent Lake, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn has Atlantic City vibes and is a popular resort for vacationing couples or adults.
The location is one of the perks of this hotel; it’s right next to the Boardwalk and close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios too. Your transportation options include the bus, boat, and Skyliner.
With various dining, drinking, and entertainment options by the adjoining Coney Island-style Boardwalk, here’s your chance to enjoy a unique nightlife. Also, strolling along the Boardwalk before heading to the hotel is almost vaguely romantic.
Looking to grab a bite while at the Boardwalk Inn? You can access a range of dining options around the Boardwalk; whatever you crave, from ice cream or a drink to Italian cuisine, there’s all that and more. Don’t miss checking out the dueling piano bar!
The only downside is the slightly outdated rooms, but there’s so much to explore outside that you’ll probably only be inside for a short time.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
For beachy vibes and the best Disney Resort hotel pool, you needn’t look beyond Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
The main draw of this place is undoubtedly the incredible Stormalong Bay pool complex. A pool, lazy river, a sand bottom section, a 230-foot water slide, and a sprawling layout will delight adults and kids alike.
Get your beachy dose by lounging on an outdoor lounge chair, swinging on one of the outdoor swings, or napping in one of the hammocks along the sandy beachside.
Its location gives you access to endless entertainment and dining options. The highlight here is the Yachtsman Steakhouse, where they serve steaks bigger than your head! And for your sundae cravings, nothing can beat Beaches and Cream. If you’re up for a challenge, get The Kitchen Sink sundae.
Other Best Disney Resorts
Here are the other Disney Resorts that you’ll find fascinating for a comfortable and memorable stay on your Disney vacation:
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
Ready for Your Adventure?
Are you looking for adventure, luxury, or relaxation? Whichever it is, these Disney resorts will exceed your expectations! Each resort offers a unique experience and theme in addition to exceptional dining, amenities, and service.
Jude Uchella is a health and wellness advocate and founder of Health Makes You, a reliable resource for comprehensive answers to health-related questions/challenges. He is supported by a team of professionals (a doctor, an anatomist, and a fitness trainer) who contribute and fact-check content on the website.