18 Best Disney World Hotels for an Extra-magical Vacation

Wondering where to stay at Disney World? From iconic Disney hotels to luxurious off-property resorts, these are the best hotels near Disney World.

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. As Travel + Leisure's on-staff theme park expert and frequent Disney World visitor, I've stayed at over 10 Disney resorts and visited countless others spanning every budget, style, and location to determine the top picks for every traveler. With that in mind, planning a Disney World vacation might seem overwhelming, but don't worry — we've rounded up 18 of the best hotels near Disney World to help you get started.

Related: 42 Disney World and Disneyland Tips for a Magical Vacation

Polynesian Villas Disney World
Courtesy of Disney Parks

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. 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 18 of the best Disney World hotels.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

A giraffe grazes near the balcony of guest rooms at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Ellen Creager/Getty Images

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. I've stayed at this hotel several times, and the magic of waking up to the sight of a giraffe outside your window truly never gets old.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Polynesian Resort Disney World
Courtesy of Disney Parks

One of two Disney World hotels dating back to the theme park resort's opening 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 (a personal favorite) 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 "Moana"-themed guest rooms.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Rafael Tongol/Courtesy of Disney

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

Exterior of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Courtesy of Disney

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 and the Walt Disney World Monorail in 1975 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Courtesy of Disney

Disney's Contemporary Resort opened over 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

The Swan and Dolphin Disney World
Courtesy of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

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). These hotels offer a range of suites and guest rooms, plus, the new Walt Disney World Swan Reserve offers an even more upscale vibe and fresh design.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Bird flying over water in front of Disney's Grand Floridian

Michela Sieman/Travel + Leisure

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. Fine dining restaurant Victoria & Albert's reopened in 2022, and upscale American eatery Narcoossee's just reopened this spring.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Four Seasons Disney World
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts

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. Read my review of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando to learn more about this standout property.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney Coronado Springs
Courtesy of Disney Parks

Since its 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 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

Waldorf Astoria Disney World
Courtesy of The Waldorf Astoria

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

Art of Animation Disney World
Courtesy of Disney Parks

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

The pool at Disney’s Riviera Resort
Courtesy of Disney

One of Disney's newest hotels, 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 property 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.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

a starship cabin at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.,
David Roark/Courtesy of Disney

One of the most highly anticipated Disney projects of the last decade opened 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 can become the heroes of their own Star Wars journey. I was among the first to experience Galactic Starcruiser last February, and I already want to do it again. 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). It's not your typical hotel stay — and that's exactly what makes it such an unforgettable experience.

JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

Exterior of the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

Jeff Herron/Courtesy of Marriott International

Located near the Waldorf Astoria in the Bonnet Creek area, the JW Marriott offers tons of family-focused perks, including family loft suites, the Hidden Garden Kids Club, and more. A rooftop terrace features views of Disney's nightly fireworks, and the spa offers relaxing treatments — much needed after a few long days in the parks.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Guest room with vintage furnishings in BoardWalk Inn

Courtesy of Walt Disney World

Located just a short walk from Epcot, Disney's BoardWalk Inn looks like a turn-of-the-century Northeastern boardwalk complete with string lights, candy-striped awnings, and a vintage feel. Luna Park Pool is a favorite with a 200-foot-long water slide, plus a whirlpool spa and kiddie pool. The Deluxe hotel also has several restaurants and bars to choose from, including magician-themed AbracadaBar and dueling piano bar, Jellyrolls. The resort offers easy access to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios via boat, Skyliner, and walking paths, plus bus transportation to the other parks.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Family walking out of a wave pool at Carribbean Beach Resort

Courtesy of Walt Disney World

If you're looking for a moderately priced Disney resort that's big on amenities, you may want to check out Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. The sprawling property has sections themed to Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba, each with its own pool and lakefront beach area. The Moderate resort's main Fuentes del Morro pool is themed after a Spanish fort and has water slides, cannons, and a shipwreck play area. This resort is also on the Skyliner route, so guests have easy access to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot (and free bus transportation to the other parks).

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Siblings playing at Pop Century

Courtesy of Walt Disney World

As one of the best Value resorts at Disney World, Disney's Pop Century Resort offers kitschy-cute theming, modern rooms, and convenient access to the parks. The resort is located on the Skyliner route, making it easy to get to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot, and it offers bus transportation, too. Although dining options are limited to a food court and pool bar, there are several pools to splash around in between park visits.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter

Exterior water wheel and building at Port Orleans

Courtesy of Walt Disney World

Disney's Port Orleans Resort is split into two Louisiana-themed sections: the New Orleans-inspired French Quarter and Bayou-themed Riverside. Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter wins for us with its Mardi Gras vibe, Mickey-shaped beignets, and festive Double Doubloon pool. Transportation options from this Moderate resort include a water taxi to Disney Springs and buses to the theme parks.

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