It’s easy to get overwhelmed while planning your family’s Disney World vacation. In addition to learning all of the features of the 4 separate parks (plus Blizzard Beach and Disney Springs), the different transit options, and deciding between all of the add-ons to make your stay “extra magical,” choosing between the more than 25 Disney World resorts can put a mom over the edge.
I’m here to make your Disney World planning a little bit easier with my list of the 5 Best Disney World Resorts.
First, let’s start off by breaking down the categories of the resorts.
Disney World has 3 resort categories – Deluxe, Moderate, and Value, with Value pricing starting as low as $53/night and Deluxe pricing going up to $1418/night. It may seem like the Deluxe is the best option, if you can afford it, but that’s not necessarily true.
While the Deluxe Disney World resorts are amazing and boast wonderful amenities, there are some great Moderate and Value resorts that may even be a better fit for your family’s vacation style.
Without further ado, here are my top 5 DisneyWorld Resorts and why you’ll love them for your next Disney World vacation:
Disney World Polynesian Village Resort
The only place outside of the Magic Kingdom where you can get a Dole Whip, the lush Polynesian Village Resort has both traditional rooms and villas to choose from – with the villas boasting kitchenettes, private back deck with barbecues, a plunge pool and room for up to 8 people – perfect for big families, or splitting costs with a friend’s family! (And remember – it’s Disney, so if you stay at the villa, Mousekeeping takes care of those dishes!)
The resort has 9 decadent dining facilities, a nightly luau, and a morning character breakfast where kids can meet Lilo & Stitch! Lilo’s Clubhouse offers on-site childcare so you can enjoy a peaceful meal, visit to the spa, or even a solo swim while the kids have their own fun!
It’s also on the monorail, making it easy to access all of the parks – especially Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Start your morning at Cape May for a fabulous southern-style breakfast complete with Mickey & Friends! Then make your way over to Stormaway Bay, a 3 acre waterpark exclusively for guests of the Beach & Yacht Club Resorts complete with an abandoned shipwreck, waterslides, whirlpool spas, and a sandy beach-style pool for the kids.
Take a break from swimming and grab a snack either at the cabana or Beaches & Cream Soda Shop – you can head back to the pools after or walk over to Epcot, which is a mere 5 minutes away!
At night, watch a movie under the stars with the kids, or check them into the onsite childcare and enjoy a meal with your spouse at one of the 6 dining locations on property.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
A must-do for any family who likes their vacation with a side of adventure, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to 4 wildlife savannas which you can watch from the lobby, visit with animal specialists, or tour as part of the Wanyama Safari and Dinner.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge also has the option to stay in a villa, which can sleep up to 9 guests. This is perfect if you’re travelling with a large party.
Check out the 11,000-square-foot Uzimi pool with waterslides and whirlpool spas, onsite fitness and massage center – and do yourself a favor – grab some of those Zebra dome chocolates while you’re visiting.
Disney’s Port Orleans
Divided into two resorts, the French Quarter and Riverside. Disney’s Port Orleans is a PG13 way to experience Mardi Gras all year round! Live jazz music, horse-drawn carriages, Louisiana-style cuisine (including delicious beignets) and beautiful architecture. It makes for a romantic vacation just minutes away from the Disney parks.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Fun fact: this is the only place at Disney World where you can “meet” the cast of Cars. Disney’s Art of Animation resort also has the largest pool of any Disney World resort, allowing you to swim through 3 of your favorite Disney movies (Finding Nemo, Cars, and the Little Mermaid).
The resort has 3 different styles of family suites allowing for up to 6 guests each. There’s an added benefit for art loving kids too. They can actually meet with and learn drawing techniques from a real Disney animator in the hotel lobby.
While you definitely get what you pay for at the Deluxe level, I hope my Moderate and Value selections remind you that great Disney vacations don’t have to cost a ton of money!
Have you ever stayed on-property at Disney World? What’s your favorite Disney resort?