This article is your complete guide to the best deluxe Disney resorts for 2023. Disney deluxe resorts are the best of the best at Walt Disney World with exquisite dining, top-notch amenities and even some rooms fit for royalty! But, if you’re going to be shelling out the extra cash for deluxe resort price tags, you might be wondering which is the best Disney deluxe resort?
We happen to love Disney’s Polynesian Resort and always recommend it as the best deluxe resort at Disney World based off of the tropical theme, Disney magic, dining and more! That’s why this article is going to rank all of the deluxe hotels at Disney and give our reasoning as to why based off of recreation, rooms, dining transportation and personal experience!
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Disney Deluxe Resorts are those of the nicest, and expensive kind at Walt Disney World with the best rooms, views, dining and access into the theme parks. The deluxe hotels Disney World has to offer allow guests to book experiences that they will never forget, like watching fireworks from your room at the Grand Floridian Resort. If you’ve ever visited the Magic Kingdom and taken the monorail into the park, you’ve probably seen the three most iconic deluxe Disney hotels 2023, and ones that have definitely made our list.
We have tried out just about every single room and restaurant in all of the deluxe hotels at Disney and know what makes for the most magical trip. So, if you’re curious about Disney’s finest hotels on property, keep reading!
A Disney Deluxe hotel separates itself from the other Disney World hotels by offering the largest rooms with the nicest features, concierge services, and top-notch transportation. Disney deluxe hotels also offer the very best dining options, character meals and room service for all of those Disney foodies out there making sure to get a bite in, as well. Disney deluxe hotels also are exclusive to Extended Evening Hours, which is not offered to guests staying at the moderate or value level.
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Starting Rates: Starting at $574 per night
Transportation: Bus, Disney Skyliner, Friendship Boats
Pros: The location is incredible being only steps away from EPCOT and the Disney Skyliner, and we think that’s the biggest pro. Most of the food options are incredible with many different options that are familiar to theme park families. There is also a dueling piano bar called Jellyrolls, which we are frequent visitors of.
Cons: The BoardWalk theme is reminiscent of Atlantic City and while some of it is charming, there are parts of the BoardWalk that are outdated and strange. The lobby area and the Belle Vue Lounge remind us a little bit of the Tower of Terror lobby, which might not go over well with really little ones.
Important to Know: As one of 2023 Disney’s deluxe resorts, The BoardWalk is also getting a huge renovation with new shopping dining being added by the end of 2023. The BoardWalk already has ice cream, sideshow games, outdoor movies, dancing and dining, but we are going to see even more come like The Cake Bake Shop and more!
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Starting Rates: Starting at $522 a night
Transportation: Bus, Disney Skyliner, Friendship Boats
Pros: The Yacht Club has an incredible location, being steps from the Swan and Dolphin, Swan Reserve, Disney’s BoardWalk, the Skyliner and EPCOT. Guests are welcome to enjoy dining and shopping at all of the resorts in the area, which is a huge perk.
Cons: The Yacht Club is meant to make you feel like you’re an exclusive member of a Disney nautical society, which can feel a little too high class for little ones. There is very little Disney theming, but there are really cool boat models in the lobby that make up for it.
Important to Know: The Yacht and Beach Club are connected, almost like on mega-resort, which makes it super convenient for families that like a lot of options. The two sister resorts share a pool area, which is massive and perfect for kids with a ginormous shipwreck slide. Stormalong Bay has a white, sand beach area, a lazy river, whirlpool and more!
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Starting Rates: Starting at $522 per night
Transportation: Bus, Disney Skyliner, Friendship Boats
Pros: The Beach Club is the closest Disney Deluxe resort to the Skyliner and EPCOT, making it perfect for those families looking to rope drop either EPCOT or Hollywood Studios. We also love the views of Crescent Lake, which has the incredible Friendship Boat service to each of those resorts and the same parks as the Skyliner.
Cons: Just like the Yacht Club, there isn’t anything overly magical or Disney themed at the Beach Club. The rooms are modern with a seaside touches, but they don’t have any characters or films that would truly make for a Disney vacation.
Important to Know: Out of Yacht Club vs Beach Club when it comes to families, we just think that Beach Club wins. Beach Club has a more casual vibe, with even a 50’s style diner and a walk-up ice cream window named Beaches and Cream, which is a huge fan favorite. If it comes down to the two, go for Beach Club with the kids and order a shake with a piece of cake on top, you can’t go wrong!
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Starting Rates: Starting at $439 per night
Transportation: Boats, Bus
Pros: The Wilderness Lodge feels extremely grand and even nicer than the Contemporary or Grand Floridian, with how beautifully decorated the lobby is. The overall theme is tied in, incredibly with plenty of outdoor activities like fishing, boating, trails and more. When you’re at the Wilderness Lodge, you don’t feel like you’re next to one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world!
Cons: The biggest con of the Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is that it is the only Magic Kingdom resort that isn’t connected to the monorail line. While we do love the small boat transportation, it is slower than the monorail, which is a big con in our book.
Important to Know: Our favorite character dining experience is at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and is often underrated and overlooked. Storybook Dining at Artist Point is unlike any other character dining experience with the most immersion and the best unique character spread for meet and greets. Kids will love Wilderness Lodge, hence why is it one of the best Disney deluxe resorts for outdoor loving families!
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Starting Rates: Starting at $450 per night
Pros: We think that Animal Kingdom Lodge has the best overall dining options, with Boma and Sanaa being affordable, but delicious options to step out of your comfort zone. The standard rooms are extremely nice, especially if you can get one with a view of one of the several live animal savannas on property.
Cons: Animal Kingdom Lodge would be higher on our list if it had better transportation. It is the only deluxe Disney resort with only one mode of transportation, and it is the historical Disney bus which can be unreliable and slow. It is also the hardest transportation to take with little ones and a stroller, which has to be folded up.
Important to Know: If you’re a resort family that likes to to have a hotel that engaging activities for the family, then Animal Kingdom Lodge is perfect. It is one of the cheapest deluxe resorts at Disney World with some of the biggest benefits. There are live exotic animal savannas, sunset safaris, keeper talks, painting and crafts and so much more!
Starting Rates: Starting at $438 per night
Transportation: Bus, Disney Skyliner
Pros: The Riviera has access to the Disney Skyliner, with the perfect placement between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, which we think is great when you have kids. Being so close with simple transportation can truly change how stressful your Disney vacation will be. The Riviera is also brand new, giving it an extremely elegant feel with even the scent of the hotel smelling expensive.
Cons: The Riviera celebrates art and Walt and Lillian’s travels throughout Europe, and while you can find a lot of Disney pieces, it doesn’t scream magic. Kids might not appreciate the marbled flooring, secret libraries and Parisian-style dining offered – except for the incredible character breakfast!
Important to Know: The Riviera is one of the best deluxe resorts at Disney World 2023 for Topolino’s Terrace alone. This restaurant, specifically for breakfast, is why we’ve traveled so many times to this hotel since we love it so much. The food is top-notch, and the character experience is super unique with Mickey and his friends in their artist’s outfits.
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Starting Rates: Starting at $763 per night
Transportation: Monorail, boat, bus
Pros: The Grand Floridian is Disney’s flagship resort, so you’ll feel the magical nostalgia all around you from Walt’s original vision. There is also a good blend of Disney themed dining for adults and kids, with a character breakfast and a Disney themed bar. The Grand Floridian is a well balanced resort if you’re looking for upscale, will still family oriented.
Cons: The Grand Floridian can feel a bit dated, and some kids don’t appreciate the overall Mary Poppins theming like the other resorts. While The Grand Floridian is also going to be renovated soon, as it currently stands, the resort does feel stale.
Important to Know: The Grand Floridian is the best deluxe hotel at Disney World for families looking to pamper themselves. There is a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside of the Grand Floridian for little ones looking for a royal makeover, as well as a spa for other services. You will not be bored when staying at the Disney’s Grand Floridian.
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Starting Rates: Starting at $531 per night
Transportation: Monorail, bus, boat
Pros: The best deluxe Disney resort for families who love Pixar, as the brand new renovation comes with The Incredibles themed rooms. Each room at the Contemporary has fun and flashy decor which kids will love, as well as the best views of any monorail resort! It is also only steps from Magic Kingdom, being the closest resort to the park.
Cons: Chef Mickey’s is an extremely tempting character meal at The Contemporary, but we find that it is the weakest out of the monorail resort’s. The fab 5 character meet and greets are super cute, but the food isn’t the best and we’d recommend others over this.
Important to Know: The California Grill at the Contemporary Resort has the best views for Magic Kingdom fireworks outside of the parks. If you want to experience the fireworks like never before, rooftop from a special reserved viewing area, then you’ve got to check this out! Bring your receipt on the day you dine at California Grill and you’ll be allowed on the 15th floor viewing deck on top of the world!
Starting Rates: Starting at $633 per night
Transportation: Monorail, bus, boats
Pros: The Polynesian has the best food of all Monorail Resorts with even the quick service Capt. Cook’s being among our favorites for dining options. ‘Ohana is one of the hardest restaurants to get reservations at because of how good it is. You can even get Dole Whip there, with exclusive seasonal creations at Pineapple Lanai, as well. In our opinion the newly renovated rooms also make this one of the best Disney World hotels for families.
Cons: The Polynesian continues to be under construction through 2023 to continue enhancing the resort. Some guests would prefer not to see construction walls for their Disney stays.
Important to Know: Disney’s Polynesian Resort is the best Disney Deluxe Resort for families 2023 by far due to the magic of the theming, which many guest’s don’t know got a brand new renovation. If you have a little voyager or one that loves the sea, the new Moana themed rooms are perfect for you.
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The cheapest deluxe Disney resort is a tie between The Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Riviera Resort, starting at around $438 per night. The Riviera is the newest deluxe hotel on Walt Disney World property, with an elegant European theme and some of the best dining on property! The Wilderness Lodge is the perfect choice for those wanting to be close to Magic Kingdom, and have a lot of recreation options for the whole family.
Shockingly, coming in second for the cheapest Disney Deluxe resort is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, with pricing starting at $450 per night for a standard room. We think that is a great price, since Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorite deluxe Disney hotels with the best dining out of any other hotel on our list!
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The best deluxe Disney resort that is closest to the parks is going to be Disney’s Polynesian, which is the number one 2023 best Disney deluxe resort on our list. The Polynesian is a 5 minute monorail or boat ride into the iconic Magic Kingdom park, and just truly the best Disney deluxe for families amenities and location. You can’t beat any of the monorail line deluxe Disney resorts, like the Contemporary and The Grand Floridian, which are even closer than the Polynesian, just lower down on our list.
If you want the closest Disney World luxury resort to the theme parks, Disney’s Contemporary is less then a 5 minute walk to Magic Kingdom park. But, the Contemporary, Grand Floridian and the Polynesian are all on the monorail line, which gets you into Magic Kingdom in minutes.
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The best Disney World resort with theme park views is Disney’s Contemporary Resort, with stunning views of the Magic Kingdom nighttime spectaculars. Guests who stay in Bay Lake Tower, or rooms on the southern side of the Contemporary have perfect bird’s eye views of Magic Kingdom. If you’re looking for the best Disney deluxe resort with views of EPCOT, then we would go with the Riviera, which has rooftop views of the park. We highly recommend making a dinner reservation at Topolino’s Terrace to see views of the World Showcase lagoon to see the nighttime spectacular from the top of the world.
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We do have an entire guide on the best pools of Disney World, but the best pool of all deluxe Disney resorts is the Lava Pool at the Polynesian. The Lava Pool is massive, with gaslit tiki torches and the most iconic feature: the lava ruins slide, running at about 142 feet. There are also stunning views of the Seven Seas Lagoon with a nice poolside bar, and has a semi-secluded hot tub. The Disney Polynesian pool is also only steps from Pineapple Lanai, one of the only places that serves Dole Whip outside of the the Magic Kingdom!
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If you have a large family, we recommend staying at the Polynesian, which happens to be the best deluxe Disney resort for a lot of reasons. If you’re looking for a different deluxe resort that is perfect for families, we would recommend Animal Kingdom Lodge. Your little ones will feel like they’re actually explorers inside of the Lion King film with live exotic animals on property and incredible theming. There is also a huge reward for adults, with delicious dining that is suitable for little ones, but absolutely scrumptious for adults!
There is so much to love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for families, and we love to stay their ourselves.
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A: Disney World’s nicest hotel is considered the Grand Floridian, since it is the flagship resort with an upscale elegance and Victorian feel. We believe that will only continue to be true, as the Grand Floridian is getting renovated to be more modern.
A: Yes, Disney Deluxe guests get extra hours on select nights, in select parks for Extended Evening Hours for a few extra hours after regular guests. All Disney resort guests get Disney Early Entry to all theme parks, 30 minutes before park open. Make sure to check the Extended Evening hours schedule to see what park offers during your stay!
A: There are 9 deluxe Disney hotels total:
A: There are 9 deluxe hotels in Walt Disney World if you include Disney’s Riviera Resort, which is a DVC hotel. Some also consider the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to be a deluxe hotel, as well, but we consider that to be more of an experience than hotel. They include Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Polynesian Resort, Riviera, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary Resort, The Grand Floridian.
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