The happiest place on earth is the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in the Sunshine state, if you’re going to visit the parks, you’re likely going to stay “on property.” This means that you’ll be staying at one of the best hotels at Disney World – but don’t worry, you’re in good hands with the Mouse’s accommodations.
There are plenty of reasons to stay on property while at Disney, namely the close proximity to the parks, the theming, and the overall value of what you’re paying for in a sea of hotel options in Orlando. The resort’s never-ending deluge of entertainment doesn’t stop at just amazing hotels: they have movies and a state-of-the-art streaming service. Disney knows how to entertain you. They’re the best in the business.
If you stay within Disney World’s walls, you’re likely to be surprised by some of your favorite characters around the hotels. Many of these characters remind us of our childhood and the magic associated with Disney, which is always inspiring. In fact, a study reveals that nostalgia can relieve pain. That’s even more of a reason to head to Disney World. Maybe all you need to cure that bad back that never goes away is a hug from Mickey Mouse.
For a stay packed with amenities and beloved characters, we’ve got you covered. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best hotels at Disney World. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Disney World Hotels, Per Experts
1. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
While you can’t go wrong with any of Disney’s Hotels, experts agree that the Polynesian combines all the things that you want out of a Disney experience.
“We almost warn against staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort because it’s going to set the bar pretty high for future Disney resort stays,” says The Points Guy.
Food, as always, is king, “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,'” notes Travel and Leisure.
“The best part of staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is getting to enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks every single night. The hotel even plays the corresponding music for all the guests watching the show from the beach,” adds Travel Lemming.
2. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you want to be transported to another world, this is the place to go. Even though it could easily go toe-to-toe with the Poly any day of the week.
It’s a true destination location, “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,” says Travel and Leisure.
“Disney brings the African Safari directly to you at this resort! With animals like giraffes and zebras grazing below you in Safari View rooms, the elegant African theme, and the incredible food options,” adds The Park Prodigy
It has a built-in attraction that other hotels don’t offer, “When you stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll have the opportunity to book a room with views of this resort’s FOUR savannas. According to the Disney website, Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to over 200 different animals,” mentions Disney Food Blog.
3. Disney’s Contemporary Resort
One of the most iconic-looking resorts at Disney World, the Contemporary has an A-Frame look to its hotel that even has a monorail that goes right through the middle of it.
All Ears says, “I love this resort since it has a direct walking lane to Magic Kingdom and the Monorail going through the resort.”
According to Undercover Tourist, transportation to the Magic Kingdom is the easiest. “There is even a walkway to the park if you wish to get more steps in (hint: sometimes it’s even faster than taking the monorail). Otherwise, it’s only one monorail stop away.”
The monorail is a highlight, “One of the coolest features of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the monorail that runs through the central atrium. Two restaurants are below the tracks so you can enjoy watching the monorails while you eat your meal,” adds Travel Lemming.
4. Disney’s Grand Floridian
Elegant and Victorian, mixed with a modern spin. This hotel is close to the legendary Magic Kingdom and deserves a spot on this list.
“If you’re taking a trip to Disney World to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, consider some rest and relaxation at the luxurious Grand Floridian Resort & Spa,” says TripSavvy.
If you’re looking for swanky, CN Traveler says, “Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa knows how to make an impression. As Disney World’s flagship resort, the Grand Floridian is it’s most opulent”
Cuddly Nest agreed with the above take, “The most exemplary and luxurious of Disney World Hotels, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Spa is charming and timeless.”
5. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Our list ends with a spectacular hotel in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, which is designed after turn-of-the-century national park lodges around the world.
This is how your family could save a few bucks, “The Wilderness Lodge has one of our favorite lobbies on Disney property. The ‘ski lodge’ vibes take us to forests in Vermont or even a resort lodge in Colorado. The price point is also more attractive. Being lower than most other Deluxe resorts makes it one of the best Disney World resort hotels for families on a budget,” says The Park Prodigy.
Disney Food Blog loves the scenery at this hotel, “this resort certainly feels upscale. It has one of the grandest lobbies of any of the hotels and the building, rooms, and outdoor areas are all GORGEOUS.”
According to Mouse Hacking, “Wilderness Lodge is a gorgeous hotel. The lobby is legendary, particularly at Christmas time, and the restaurant lineup is quite possibly the best at the resort.”
You might also be interested in:
- The Park Prodigy
- Disney Food Blog
- Mouse Hacking
- CN Traveler
- Cuddly Nest
- All Ears
- Undercover Tourist
- Travel Lemming
- Travel and Leisure
- The Points Guy
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.
You only picked the most expensive hotels. We just got back from a week at Art of Animation and I’ll take an affordable suite, where my children and I sleep in separate bedrooms, any day over one of these pricey hotels. Not to mention our hotel is home to the largest pool of any of the Disney properties. You aren’t going to Disney for a pretty lobby!
Animal Kingdom was actually cheaper than the suite at AoA when we booked, AK is far superior in every aspect…