Best Disney World Hotels: Top 5 Magical Stays, According To Experts

Walt Disney World is a magical place where dreams come true for people of all ages. From thrilling rides to enchanting shows, there is something for everyone to enjoy. But a visit to Disney World can be a truly immersive experience if you choose to stay at one of the many on-site hotels. Staying on property offers a multitude of benefits that can enhance your vacation in countless ways, from convenient transportation to special perks like early access to the parks. The best Disney World hotels enhance your vacation by making every moment on-theme, magical, and worth the wait!

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Disney World is part of every kid’s dream summer as researchers discovered the average child would also like to include three trips to amusement parks in their summer plans and buy five new toys to play with. It sounds like those dream-filled summers to a theme park are needed as more than half (55%) haven’t had a vacation in at least three years however, 70 percent are planning to take one within the next 18 months.

After the events of 2020, families are depending on feel-good fun this year, like beach days or backyard festivities. Some of the top planned summer activities include going to the beach, barbeques, camping trips, and pool days.

Before you check into your stay, let’s dive into the top five hotels that make for a magical trip. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best Disney World hotels. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

Disney castle during daytime
Disney World castle (Photo by Alyssa Eakin on Unsplash)

The List: Best Disney World Hotels, According to Travel Experts

1. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

This resort is themed after the South Pacific, with a beautiful white-sand beach, lush tropical landscaping, and a stunning volcano pool. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and there are plenty of dining options, including a character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch.

“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,” writes 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,” adds 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,” says Travel Lemming

2. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

This hotel is inspired by the great lodges of the American Northwest, with a massive stone fireplace in the lobby and a beautiful pool with a waterfall. The rooms are cozy and comfortable, with rustic touches like carved wooden headboards.

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,” mentions 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.”

If you’re visiting during the holiday season, make sure to remember what Mouse Hacking says: “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.”

3. Disney’s Beach Club Resort

This hotel is located on the shores of Crescent Lake, and has a classic New England beach resort feel, with pastel colors, white trim, and a charming boardwalk. The pool is one of the best on property, with a lazy river, sand bottom, and a shipwreck slide.

“We feel that Disney’s Beach Club Resort is among the most well-rounded hotels at Walt Disney World, with a great location, strong table service dining, great theming, and top-notch amenities. It’s the resort we’d choose for our Walt Disney World vacations,” claims Disney Tourist Blog.

According to Mickey Visit, “The Villas at Walt Disney World’s Beach Club Resort is a true home away from home. After just one stay, we were absolutely convinced as to why this resort is popular. I immediately fell in love with its coastal ambiance. Whether you’re looking for a home base to park hop or even just do a resort-only stay, the Villas at Disney’s Beach Club Resort really do have it all. ”

It’s well worth the money: “With its understated, beachy elegance, must-try dining, and a boatload of recreational offerings, it’s well worth the pricey room rates. The Disney World resort with the best pool, the Beach Club Resort is also a winner with even the youngest of guests,” says Park Savers.

4. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

This resort is inspired by the savannas of Africa and has a stunning lobby with a thatched roof and hand-carved furnishings. Many of the rooms have balconies overlooking the savanna, where you can see animals like giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests grazing.

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,” raves 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,” points out Disney Food Blog.

5. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

This hotel is located on the boardwalk next to Crescent Lake and has a charming 1930s Atlantic City theme. The rooms are comfortable and stylish, and there are plenty of dining options, including the popular Flying Fish restaurant and the BoardWalk Bakery.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (

WDW Magazine mentions: “When it comes to location, you can’t beat Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. Nestled comfortably between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the BoardWalk offers easy walking to two parks. That’s right: You. Can. Walk. To. Two. Different. Parks. From. Your. Hotel. Room.”

AllEars comments on the theming, “The lobby has beautiful furnishings, whimsical carousel rugs, interesting models of roller coasters and carousels, and music that will take you back to the Great Gatsby era. The window seats along the hall of the lobby are inviting conversation areas. The chandeliers and hard wood floors add an air of elegance to this lively, fun at heart resort. Outside the lobby is a wonderful deck with chairs to sit back and people watch, read a book, or just take a few moments to relax.”

“When you get down on the boardwalk, you will find a ton of options for eating, drinking and desserts.  It has one of the most robust dining lineups across all of the resorts at Disney World,” states Disney Daily Dime.

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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.



  1. 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!

    1. Animal Kingdom was actually cheaper than the suite at AoA when we booked, AK is far superior in every aspect…

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