13 Best Disney World Hotels for an Extra-magical Vacation
When Disney World first opened 50 years ago, the resort had just one theme park and two hotels. Today, the massive resort complex is home to more than 20 themed Walt Disney World hotels and four of the world's most popular theme parks. With that in mind, planning a Disney World vacation might seem overwhelming, but don't worry — we've rounded up 13 of the best hotels near Disney World to help you get started.
Before you book a room, there are a few things you should know about Disney World hotels. Disney categorizes their on-site hotels and resorts as Deluxe, Deluxe Villas, Moderate, Value, and Campgrounds. All Disney resorts have benefits like complimentary transportation to the theme parks, early park entry, and of course, Disney-level theming and service. Deluxe properties tend to be the most expensive, the closest to the theme parks (although this isn't always the case), and the most luxurious, and starting this fall, guests staying at a resort in the Deluxe category can enjoy extended nighttime hours in the theme parks, too. There are also area hotels that are not owned by Disney — like the Four Seasons and Waldorf Astoria — that offer some of the same perks found at Disney hotels.
From safari-inspired luxury hotels to guest-favorite properties celebrating 50 years of magical memories, here are 13 of the best Disney World hotels.
Related: More Disney vacations
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Start each day by greeting giraffes, zebras, and other animals when you stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. With an African safari feel, this resort offers an experience unlike anything found elsewhere in the United States. The Deluxe resort is located near Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, but it feels like it's part of the park thanks to the animal programs and savanna-view rooms. Other on-site amenities include themed pools and unique dining experiences showcasing African flavors.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
One of two Disney World hotels dating back to the theme park resort's opening day 50 years ago, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is a guest favorite, loved for its Polynesian-inspired design and proximity to Magic Kingdom Park. The Polynesian Village Resort has great dining options: Trader Sam's Grog Grotto serves up tiki drinks with a touch of Disney magic, Dole Whips are available at Pineapple Lanai, and guests rave about the breakfast and dinner at 'Ohana. Visiting the theme parks is easy thanks to the Deluxe hotel's monorail stop, and you can even spot the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach. Recent additions include overwater bungalows and new "Moana"-themed guest rooms.
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
With decor inspired by the country's majestic national park lodges, Disney's Wilderness Lodge offers rustic luxury with comfortable rooms and lots of character. The Deluxe resort provides boat transportation to Magic Kingdom (and bus transportation to other parks), as well as several eateries with crowd-pleasing American menus. Themed pools and outdoor areas that draw inspiration from U.S. national parks give this Disney World hotel a unique atmosphere you won't find elsewhere.
Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Nautical and sophisticated, Disney's Yacht Club Resort offers easy access to both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios — both a short walk, boat ride, or Skyliner trip away. This Deluxe resort has one of the best pools at Disney World: Stormalong Bay is a three-acre themed pool area with a lazy river, waterslide, and more. Like its name implies, the resort has an old-school New England yacht club theme that is elegant without feeling stuffy, and it has great views of the charming BoardWalk Inn across the lake.
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Contemporary Resort opened 50 years ago, and guests still love its iconic A-frame main tower. The modern Deluxe resort has a fantastic location — the monorail runs right through the middle of the hotel, and you can walk to Magic Kingdom Park — and plenty of great amenities, including fun pools and fantastic views. California Grill is a guest-favorite restaurant, and Chef Mickey's offers a character breakfast that's the perfect start to a Disney-filled day. The resort got some updates just in time for Disney World's 50th anniversary, including a new dining venue, Steakhouse 71, and reimagined guest rooms with a theme inspired by "The Incredibles."
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts
Like a few other properties on this list, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts aren't Disney-owned properties, but their close proximity to the parks and on-site Disney resort benefits make them worth checking out. Plus, Marriott Bonvoy members will be happy to know that they can earn (or use) points here because these are Marriott-managed hotels. Guests can enjoy perks like early entry and extended hours at Disney parks and complimentary transportation (you can even walk to Hollywood Studios or Epcot from these hotels). The hotels offer a range of suites and guest rooms, six pools, and 18 restaurants and lounges. Plus, the brand-new Walt Disney World Swan Reserve opens in fall 2021.
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Checking into Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa feels like stepping into a seaside Victorian resort (with a sprinkle of Disney flair, of course). This lovely Deluxe resort is just one stop away from Magic Kingdom Park on the monorail, and you can see the nighttime fireworks or the Electrical Water Pageant for a magical end to a day at the theme parks. From the resort, you can walk (or take the monorail) to the Magic Kingdom, hop on the monorail to Epcot, or grab the buses to the other Disney parks. There are several dining options, including a "Beauty and the Beast"-themed lounge, Enchanted Rose, plus pools, a spa, and more.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Tucked away in a picturesque residential setting, yet just a short drive from the Disney World theme parks, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort offers five-star luxury with upscale accommodations, an outstanding food and beverage program, and incredible amenities. The AAA Five Diamond resort has a beautifully landscaped family pool complex with waterslides and a lazy river, plus an adults-only pool oasis (a rarity at Disney World). From the calming spa to the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando to the rooftop Capa steakhouse and lounge, adults will love the luxe amenities. Plus, the Kids for All Seasons program offers supervised children's activities, so parents can enjoy some much-needed alone time. And there's plenty on property for Disney fans, too, including a character breakfast, rooms with views of the theme parks and nightly fireworks, and perks like early entry to the Disney parks.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Since its recent refurbishment and the addition of the Gran Destino Tower, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort has become one of the top choices in the Moderate resort category. Located near Disney's Animal Kingdom, this Spanish-, Mexican-, and American Southwest-inspired hotel has one of the best pools on property, with a 50-foot Mayan pyramid centerpiece and a 123-foot waterslide (the resort also has the largest hot tub at Walt Disney World, plus three other pools spread across its sprawling grounds). Rooftop Toledo — Tapas, Steak, & Seafood and Dahlia Lounge offer upscale Spanish flavors with a great view. We recommend staying in the Gran Destino Tower for easy access to the restaurants and resort transportation — with nearly 2,000 rooms spread out in many buildings across the resort, some are a bit of a walk from the main tower.
Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Located in the Bonnet Creek area near the Disney theme parks and Disney Springs, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando offers a luxe stay with perks like transportation to the parks, early theme park entry, and rooms with theme park views. The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, award-winning Bull & Bear restaurant, Waldorf Astoria Spa, and beautiful pools are among the amenities that make this a top choice for a hotel near Disney World.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
With hotel areas themed to "Finding Nemo," "The Little Mermaid," "The Lion King," and "Cars," Disney's Art of Animation Resort is ideal for families with young kids (and nostalgic adult guests). This Value resort offers great bang for your buck — guests can take advantage of bus and Skyliner transportation to the theme parks, plus several pools. Family suites themed to the above Disney and Pixar animated movies can sleep up to six guests, so the whole family can spread out and relax after days of riding Space Mountain and waving to Mickey Mouse.
Disney's Riviera Resort
Disney's newest hotel, Disney's Riviera Resort, transports guests to the European coast with Mediterranean decor and dining influences inspired by Walt Disney's travels. This Deluxe Villa resort is located in the Epcot resort area, connected to both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot via the Skyliner. Topolino's Terrace is a standout dining option, offering a delightful character breakfast featuring Mickey and friends (and French and Italian flavors) in a beautiful rooftop setting.
Coming Soon: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
One of the most highly anticipated Disney projects of the decade is scheduled to open in spring 2022. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is taking immersive experiences to the next level with two-night adventures aboard the Halcyon starcruiser, where travelers will get to become the heroes of their own Star Wars journey. The package includes a two-night stay on the "ship," meals, and onboard experiences (think: lightsaber training, interactions with Star Wars characters, a trip to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and more).