What is the Best Disney Deluxe Resort 2023?


What is the Best Disney Deluxe Resort 2023?

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!

We really hope you find this post helpful, and if you are planning a trip to Disney World be sure to check out our other FREE vacation planning tools. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time on your next vacation and find the cheapest Walt Disney World vacation packages!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re looking for the best time to visit Disney World  check out our Disney Crowd calendar! 

 Disney World Crowd Calendar

What are Disney Deluxe Resorts?


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!

What is considered a Disney Deluxe hotel?

  • The Grand Floridian
  • The Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Riviera Resort
  • Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club
  • Disney’s Yacht Club
  • The BoardWalk Inn

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.

Disney Deluxe Resorts Ranked

  • #9 – BoardWalk
  • #8 – Yacht Club
  • #7- Beach Club
  • #6 – Wilderness Lodge
  • #5 – Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • #4 – The Riviera
  • #3 – Disney’s Grand Floridian
  • #2 – Contemporary Resort
  • #1 – Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Related post: Complete Guide to the Best Disney Springs Hotels

#9 – Disney’s BoardWalk Inn


Starting Rates: Starting at $574 per night

Dining Options:

  • Flying Fish – Fine seafood dining on the BoardWalk
  • Trattoria al Forno – Authentic Italian eatery and even a character breakfast!
  • Big River Grille & Brewing Works – Handcrafted brews and bites at this microbrewery
  • BoardWalk Deli – Sandwiches and deli favorites
  • Pizza Window – Grab a fresh slice or a whole pizza pie
  • AbracadaBar – Cocktails, magic and more
  • Leaping Horse Libations – Poolside snacks
  • BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas – Snacks and frozen cocktails
  • Belle Vue Lounge – 1930’s style lounge

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!

Related post: Complete Guide to the Disney World Boardwalk

#8 – Yacht Club


Starting Rates: Starting at $522 a night

Dining Options:

  • Ale & Compass Restaurant – North Eastern comfort food, seafood and familiar eats
  • Ale & Compass Lounge – Light snacks and delicious drinks
  • The Market at Ale & Compass – Grab and go breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse – Dry-aged beef, fresh seafood, cocktails at this signature New England steakhouse

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!

Related post: Guide to Disney Yacht Club Vs Beach Club

#7 – Beach Club


Starting Rates: Starting at $522 per night

Dining Options:

  • Cape May Cafe – Character breakfast buffet and North Eastern dinner buffet
  • Beaches and Cream Soda Shop – 50’s diner and ice cream creations
  • Beach Club Marketplace – Grab and go breakfast, lunch and dinner options
  • Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill – Frosty beverages and tasty bites

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!

Related post: Complete Guide to the Best Hotels Near EPCOT Orlando

#6 – Wilderness Lodge

Disney resorts with suites

Starting Rates: Starting at $439 per night

Dining Options:

  • Storybook Dining at Artist Point – Character dinner with classic Snow White characters
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe – Old Western themed restaurant with American eats
  • Geyser Point Bar & Grill – Waterside restaurant with burgers, beers and more
  • Roaring Fork – Quick service for breakfast, lunch and dinner with familiar fare and creative treats
  • Territory Lounge – Beer, wine, coffee and more

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!

Related post: Complete Guide to Early Entry Disney World

#5- Animal Kingdom Lodge


Starting Rates: Starting at $450 per night

Dining Options:

  • Jiko – Signature African restaurant with bold flavors and dishes
  • Boma – African-inspired buffet for breakfast and dinner
  • The Mara – Grab and go options with air conditioned dining area
  • Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar – Appetizers and cocktails
  • Victoria Falls Lounge – Bar service
  • Uzima Springs Pool Bar – Refreshing cocktails and bites
  • Sanaa – East African cuisine with views of the sunset Savanna

Transportation: Bus

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!

Related post: Complete Guide to the Best Disney World Hotels for Adults

#4 – Disney’s Riviera Resort


Starting Rates: Starting at $438 per night

Dining Options:

  • Bar Riva – Open air pool bar
  • Topolino’s Terrace – Rooftop dining with a character breakfast
  • Le Petit Cafe – Parisian style cafe
  • Primo Piatto – Grab and go quick service options

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.

Related post: Complete Guide to Disney Character Dining Experiences

#3 – Disney’s Grand Floridian


Starting Rates: Starting at $763 per night

Dining Options:

  • Citricos – Inspired by Mary Poppins enjoy elevated gastronomic cuisine
  • Narcoossee’s – Waterfront seafood restaurant
  • Grand Floridian Cafe – American classics in the English countryside
  • Enchanted Rose – Beauty and the Beast inspired bar
  • Gasparilla Island Grill – Casual quick service with familiar eats
  • 1900 Park Fare – Disney character buffet in a carousel-themed dining room
  • Garden View Tea Room – Traditional tea room
  • Victoria & Albert’s – Dine at Disney’s fanciest restaurant with this 7-course Victorian meal

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.

Related post: The Complete Guide to the Disney World Monorail

#2 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort


Starting Rates: Starting at $531 per night

Dining Options:

  • Steakhouse 71 – Modern Disney steakhouse
  • California Grill – Rooftop culinary creations with an award-winning experience
  • Chef Mickey’s – Character breakfast and dinner with the Fab 5 characters
  • Contempo Cafe – Grab and go burgers, sandwiches, treats and more
  • Contemporary Grounds – Snacks and coffee
  • Outer Rim – Bar service overlooking Bay Lake

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!

Related post: The Ultimate Disney Packing List : What to Bring to Disney

#1 – Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Starting Rates: Starting at $633 per night

Dining Options:

  • Capt. Cook’s – Polynesian inspired quick service restaurant
  • Pineapple Lanai – Get iconic Dole Whip creations
  • Kona Cafe – Asian inspired cafe with continental cuisine
  • Tambu Lounge – Late night bar service
  • ‘Ohana – Signature Polynesian restaurant with all you care to eat fare and a character breakfast
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – Mystical and magical bar with treasure, totems and enchanting items
  • Kona Island – Coffee, pastries and more

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.

Related post: The Average Cost of a Disney Vacation

What is the Cheapest Disney Deluxe Hotel?


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!

Related post: Top 10 Best Disney World Restaurants

What is the Best Disney Deluxe Resort Close to Parks?

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.

Related post: Complete Guide to Disney for Adults

What is the Best Deluxe Resorts with Theme Park Views?


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.

Related post: The Best Breakfast at Disney World

What is the Best Deluxe Resorts for Days by the Pool?


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!

Related post: Complete Guide to the Best Disney Resort Pools

What is the Best Disney Deluxe Resort for Families?

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.

Related post: Ranking the Best Restaurants in Animal Kingdom

2023 Best Deluxe Disney Resort FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Disney World’s nicest hotel?

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.

Q: Do Disney deluxe guests get extra hours?

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!

Q: What are the Disney deluxe resorts?

A: There are 9 deluxe Disney hotels total:

  • The Grand Floridian
  • The Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Riviera Resort
  • Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • The BoardWalk Inn

Q: How many Disney deluxe resorts are there?

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.

When is The Best Time to Visit Disney World?

Our Disney  World Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.

Are You Ready to Plan Your Next Disney World Trip?

Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be sure to speak with a Disney World Travel Agent for the most recent deals and promotions. The Park Prodigy will provide a Free Quote for all Disney World Vacation Packages. The Park Prodigy can also help you save up to $20 per ticket when purchasing your Walt Disney World Tickets, and we offer promotional discounts for special events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tickets and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets.

Don’t forget to check out our wonderful friends over at Theme Park Today, as well

Nik Chapman

Nik Chapman is the executive editor and one of the main content creators for The Park Prodigy blog and social media pages. With a lifelong love for Disney and Universal, Nik immersed themselves in the Orlando area for three years to fully indulge in the magic of the theme parks. In between going to the parks and creating content for The Park Prodigy, Nik also hosted a Disney themed podcast with her two best friends and helps run multiple Disney-themed social media accounts which help over one million people per year. Drawing from their experience as a local Florida resident, Nik brings a unique perspective to the world of theme parks.