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The Best Disney World Hotels: Our Complete Pros & Cons Guide

The Best Walt Disney World Hotels: Pros & Cons Guide

The Best Walt Disney World Hotels: Pros & Cons Guide

This article is your ultimate guide to the best Disney World Hotels! With so many Disney World Resorts to choose from, picking the perfect hotel for your family can feel like a tough decision.

Lucky for you, The Park Prodigy has vacationed at every Walt Disney World hotel and we can help! Are you looking for the best Disney World hotels for Families? Or the best Disney World Hotels for couples?

With over 25+ Disney Resorts to choose from, there’s a perfect home for every family and vacation group, no matter what your travel goals or budget! 

November 2020 Update: We know these are trying times. Many of us are facing new challenges, and we are all living under a new normal. Here at The Park Prodigy we are committed to bringing you the most up to date information when planning your next trip. It’s important to note that based off of the reopen Florida tasks forces guidelines we do expect the park experiences to be different for the foreseeable future. 

Some of the best Walt Disney World hotels are still closed or operating under a modified experience. Be sure to reach out to one of The Park Prodigy team members to find out which Walt Disney World hotels are open! 

Onsite Walt Disney World Hotel Tiers

All Disney Resorts are broken out into three categories:

  • Deluxe Resorts 
  • Moderate Resorts 
  • Value Resorts

It’s important to remember each resort type varies when it comes to amenities and rates. So choosing which category you decide to stay in should align with what you’re planning to do with your time at Disney World. 

For park warriors looking to spend sun up to sun down at the parks, you’ll typically get the most bang for your buck! Investing your time in planning character meals, FastPasses, fireworks shows and extra magic hours, while spending significantly less on a room as it’s just a place to lay your head at night.

If you plan to relax by the pool with thirst-quenching frozen cocktails, you’ll be better off splurging on a deluxe or moderate hotel. These Disney resorts give you access to hot tubs, spas, specialty restaurants and more. For a more detailed look inside the best Walt Disney World Hotels, read on! 

Before we dive into the pros and cons of each resort, here are some of the benefits of choosing to stay on Disney property (no matter what category level!):

What Are The Benefits of Staying on Disney Property?

  1. Guests can make Fastpass+ selections up to 60 days before their trip.
  2. Guests can take advantage of extra magic hours at the park.
  3. Disney’s Magical Express transportation both to and from the airport.
  4. Complimentary transportation all throughout WDW property.
    • Boats, Busses and the Monorail.
  5. Access to Disney Dining plans

The Pros & Cons Of The Best Walt Disney World Hotels : Deluxe Resorts

Pros-and-cons-of-staying-at-the-contemporary-resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Rates Start at: $421.00 per night
Transportation Options: Boat, Bus, Monorail

  • Pros: The Contemporary Resort has the honor of being the only hotel on Disney Property in which you can walk to the Magic Kingdom. This can save you a tremendous amount of time when it comes to traveling back and forth to the Magic Kingdom. Especially after the fireworks when getting a bus back to your resort can take longer than waiting in line to ride Space Mountain! This alone make it one of the best hotels in Disney World for families. Beyond being in a great location, this hotel is also home to chef Mickey’s one of the more popular character dining options.

 

  • Cons: The Contemporary is not ideal for anybody that does not have the Magic Kingdom on their itinerary. Although it is the only resort in which the monorail travels straight through the lobby to pick up guests, there are very similar Deluxe options closer to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Mid-day breaks by the pool.

pros-and-cons-of-staying-at-disneys-grand-Floridian-resort

 

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Rates Start at: $597.00 per night
Transportation Options: Boat, Bus, Monorail

  • Pros: The Grand Floridian has long been considered on of the best onsite Disney World Hotels. This resort has an amazing selection of restaurants, over the top themes, stunning pools, and even a new Beauty and the Beast themed bar! At the Grand Floridian, there’s something for everyone. Some of our favorites include: dining with the characters at 1900 Park Fare, booking a cabana by the pool, and afternoon tea in the garden view tea room! The Grand Floridian is also one of the best Disney World hotels for adults, couples, and honeymoons due to the resort spa.

 

  • Cons: This is the most expensive hotel on Disney Property. If you’re not planning to visit the Magic Kingdom, there are more affordable Deluxe options closer to Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. While the Grand Floridian definitely packs a ton of wow-factor on the outside, and the lobby (especially around the holidays) is even more beautiful. However, for families with young kids, the rooms themselves are quite plain.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Mid-day breaks by the pool.

pros-and-cons-of-staying-at-disneys-Polynesian-resort

Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Rates Start at: $495.00 per night
Transportation Options: Boat, Bus, Monorail

  • Pros: You’ll find yourself completely immersed in the resorts Hawaiian theme as soon as you arrive. For kids, the resorts largest pool (the Lava Pool), features a slide that goes straight through a volcano! This alone makes it one of the best pools in Disney World. Plus, it’s just a short monorail ride to The Magic Kingdom. Our favorite thing about this resort is that the beach offers a breathtaking view of The Magic Kingdom fireworks at night. You can even purchase a stay at one of the Disney Vacation Club villas right on the water. The Polynesian is one of the best hotels in Disney World for families. 

 

  • Cons: Just like The Contemporary and The Grand Floridian, given this resorts high price point, it is not ideal if The Magic Kingdom is not on your agenda.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Mid-day breaks by the pool.

pros-and-cons-of-staying-at-disneys-wilderness-lodge-resort

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
Rates Start at: $339.00 per night
Transportation Options: Boat, Bus

  • Pros: The Wilderness Lodge has one of the most intricately themed lobbies on Disney property. It also has a lower price point than most other Deluxe resorts, making it one of the best Disney World resort hotels for families on a budget. The pools and splash pad pack a fun slide and a water dumping bucket to keep kids entertained for hours. Plus, the resort is built on Bay Lake, with the Magic Kingdom a short boat ride away through seven seas lagoon.

 

  • Cons: Room sizes are known to be smaller and a bit dark. Also, if you’re used to quick service restaurants on-property, there aren’t many options here.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Park Open – Park Close

pros-and-cons-of-staying-at-disneys-yacht-and-beach-club-resort

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort
Rates Start at: $411.00 per night
Transportation Options: Boat, Bus

  • Pros: The Yacht and Beach Club resort is one of the best hotels inside Disney World if you’r looking to have a more relaxing vacation. You simply cannot beat the Storm-Along Bay sand bottom beach theme pool. In our opinion this hotel is number one on the list of best pools in Disney World! Our favorite parts of this beach pool include the lazy river, the poolside bar and the huge pirate ship themed water slide. Another thing we love about this resort is that it’s right next door to Beaches & Cream soda shop, home of the ever-so-popular Kitchen Sink Sundae.

 

  • Cons: Your entire party must be staying at the resort in order to use the pool. This is especially important to keep in mind if you are traveling with a large group that plans to get together during the day. Besides this we still find this to be one of the best Disney World hotels for families and best Disney World hotels for adults.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Mid-day breaks by the pool, obviously!

pros-and-cons-of-staying-at-disneys-boardwalk-resort

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Rates start at: $450.00
Transportation Options: Boat, Bus

  • Pros:Besides the obvious advantages of being located on the Disney Boardwalk, this resort is also just a short walk to the back entrance of Epcot and a 20 minute walk or a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. With the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, this is one of the best Disney world hotels to stay at for all Star Wars fans hoping to be close to the action.

 

  • Cons:Because of its close proximity to Epcot, this resort can book up fast during the fall season. It’s considered one of the best Disney World hotels for couples during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. Guests interested in staying at this resort in the Fall should start planning their trip at least 10-12 months in advance.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Mid-day breaks by the pool.

pros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-animal-kingdom-resort

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Rates Start at: $353.00
Transportation Options: Bus

  • Pros: With Savanna view rooms, Disney brings the African Safari directly to you with animals like giraffes and zebras grazing below you. The dining options are spectacular, with restaurants like Boma, Sanaaa and Jiko which feature authentic African cuisine and buffet style dining.

 

  • Cons: As far as Deluxe resorts go, this resort is unfortunately far off the beaten path. Plus, buses are your only form of complimentary transportation which isn’t ideal if you’re sightseeing throughout Disney properties for the day.For this reason we do not consider this one of the best hotels in Disney World for families with small children.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Park Open – Park Close.

pros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-saratoga-springs-resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
Rates Start at: $354.00
Transportation: Boat, Bus

  • Pros: If you are traveling with a large group on a budget, the Treehouse Villas are one of the best resort accommodations you can find. The grounds are lush and beautiful, making relaxing strolls throughout the resort a great way to unwind.

 

  • Cons: Besides the impressive villas, the other room options are pretty underwhelming, especially for a Deluxe Resort. For park goers, the only way to get around are the Disney buses.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Park Open – Park Close.

The Best Disney World Hotels : Moderate Resorts

pros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-coronado-springs-resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Rates start at: $218.00
Transportation Options: Bus, Skyliner

  • Pros: The theme at Coronado Springs is gorgeous, tasteful and bold. You just might forget you’re staying at a Disney resort! The Lost City of Cibola is considered one of Disney World hotels best pools for kids and adults alike. This resort packs a huge pyramid, a jacuzzi and a quick service restaurant all nearby. Plus, Disney just added the Grand Destino Tower which includes suite and concierge style services.

 

  • Cons: Like all of the moderate resorts, the resort is quite large and all of the buildings/dining areas are spread out. Unless you are staying in the new tower with concierge service, the other areas of the resort are not easily accessible.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Park Open-Park closepros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-caribbean-beach-resort

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Rates start at: $211.00
Transportation Options: Bus, Skyliner

  • Pros: With recent renovations, this resort has added some awesome new dining locations with super unique menu items. The pirate pool is expertly themed with forts and water cannons that makes playtime more magical than ever. The grounds are beautifully kept and will make you feel like you’re really in the Caribbean.

 

  • Cons: With such vast grounds, getting around the resort itself can be time consuming. Even when going to or coming home from the parks, there are multiple bus stops throughout the property which essentially eats away at your time. We do not consider this one of the best Walt Disney World hotels for families with small children.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Park Open- Park close

pros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-port-orleans-resort

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and French Quarter
Rates start at: $227.00
Transportation Options: Boat, Bus

  • Pros: Just a boat ride away from Disney Springs! This is a great option for groups who plan on enjoying the shopping, dining and nightlife that Disney Springs has to offer. The theme throughout both sections are beautiful, giving a southern charm feel throughout the grounds. Plus, there’s plenty of pathways for quiet strolls accompanied by beautiful landscapes and scenery. We find this to be one of the best Disney world hotels for adults. 

 

  • Cons: With such vast grounds, getting around the resort itself can be time consuming. Even when going to or coming home from the parks, there are multiple bus stops throughout the property which essentially eats away at your time.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Park Open- Park close.

The Best Walt Disney World Hotels: Value Resorts

pros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-all-star-resorts

Disney’s All Star Movies, Music, and Sports Resort
Rates start at: $112.00
Transportation options: Bus

  • Pros: These resorts offer an affordable option for those who are vacationing on a budget, but still want to take advantage of the many perks that come along with staying at a WDW resort. For kids especially, the theme is over the top and full of color. Many of the rooms at the All Star hotels have been recently renovated, offering ample storage space and an updated look and feel. As far as dining goes, quick service options are in abundance here. You’ll find a great variety of grab and go options that’ll please anyone in your party. 

 

  • Cons: Lines for buses can be lengthy at times due to the popularity of these hotels for families with young children.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Park Open – Park Close

pros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-pop-century-resort

Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Rates start at: $131.00
Transportation options: Bus, Skyliner

  • Pros: Guests of this resort are within walking distance to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Many guests enjoy this, because it makes it easy for them to take advantage of the different dining options and swimming pools that Disney’s Art of Animation has to offer. However, that’s not to say that Pop Century doesn’t offer their own awesome amenities. With big pools and over the top theme make this one of the best Disney World hotels for families!

 

  • Cons: Unfortunately, like many of the Value resorts, Disney’s Pop Century Resort does not offer much else to keep the kids entertained besides the pool.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Mid-day breaks by the pool

pros-and-con-of-staying-at-disneys-art-of-animation-resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Rates Start at: $157.00
Transportation Options: Bus

  • Pros: This resort is a great option for those traveling with larger groups as suite-style rooms are available here. The theme is perfect inside and out for kids and adults who are obsessed with Disney movies. Even the room options are fully dressed with fun decor. Their food court offers a bunch of different menu items to please anyone.

 

  • Cons: Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, this resort fluctuates in price, sometimes costing just as much as a Deluxe resort.

 

  • What’s the vibe? Mid-day breaks by the pool

When is the Best Time to Visit Disney World?

We can help you pick 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:

  1. Park Crowds
  2. Park Hours of Operation
  3. Ticket Prices Per Day
  4. Average Temperature

Are You Ready to Plan Your Next Disney World Trip?

You can save up to $20 per ticket when purchasing your Walt Disney World Tickets from The Park Prodigy! Learn more about Disney hotels by reading our On-site Disney World Hotels page! 

If you’re brand new to Disney vacation planning we recommend our Walt Disney World Planning Page! For additional planning tools check out Disney Dessert Parties – The Complete Guide & The Best Guide to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

Last but not least if you’re also planning a trip to Universal Studios, be sure to check out our Universal Orlando Tickets! All Park Prodigy Universal Orlando tickets will get you into the park one hour before regular park guests!