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Did you know we have been to Walt Disney World over 1,000 times? Yes, I did say 1,000! We have also stayed at every Disney World Resort and dined at every Disney Resort restaurant and food court. With all of our visits, we do have our favorite Disney Resorts.
Today, we share the best Disney World hotels. We start our list by ranking the Disney World hotels from the worst to the best. All of these hotels are Disney owned and located on Disney property.
Even the worst Disney World hotel is pretty amazing! The Disney World Resorts have incredible service and resort amenities. So, you may say picking the best Disney World hotels is like picking your favorite child.
However, for this list today we are ranking the best Disney World hotels.
In our ranking decision, we focused on these areas:
- Resort Amenities
- Resort Pools
- Family Fun
- Resort Rooms
There are over 25 Disney World Resorts. Many of these hotels also have a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) addition. Even though there is a separate Disney Vacation Club with a separate name, they are still part of the hotel with the same resort amenities.
So, we just lumped the DVC with the hotel in our ranking. That is why you will see our worst spot starts at #18. We lumped the DVC (Deluxe Villa Resorts) in with the other Disney Resorts.
Best Disney World Hotels
#18 Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Our family loves the Florida Keys! This is one of our favorite destinations. So, we love the theme of this Disney World Resort. We also love the restaurant called Olivia’s Cafe. This restaurant serves seafood and even Key Lime Pie. It is a hidden gem among dining at Disney World.
However, this resort did make the worst spot on our list. This resort is very spread out. The themed pool is cute, but not as exciting as other Disney World hotels.
It is just a very basic type resort for a Disney Deluxe price tag.
#17 Disney’s All Star Resorts
One of the Disney Value Resort is the All Star Resorts. This resort is broken down into three different themes, including Music, Sports, and Movies. I lumped all three of these hotels into this one resort because the amenities are exactly the same for all three resorts. The big difference between the resorts is the theming.
For the theming, it really depends on your own personal preference. If you have kids that like music, maybe staying at Disney’s All Star Music Resort is better for you. If you have kids that love football, maybe staying at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort is a better choice.
For The Jones Family, we like All Star Movies, All Star Sports, and then finally All Star Music. That is our personal preference.
Disney’s All Star Resort made the #18 spot for several reasons. The main reason is because this is a Disney Value Resort.
It is a less expensive resort, which means it does not have as many resort amenities. They have a quick service location, but not a sit down restaurant. The rooms are also in need of a renovation. Disney is currently updating the rooms. All of the room at Disney’s All Star Movies have been updated. I am excited to see them!
We do love this resort, because it is larger than life. All of the theming outside the resort is as tall as the three story building. In the surfing section of Disney’s All Star Sports Resort, you will see lifeguard stands and surfboards (as tall as the building). This is so much fun for little kids!
The theming at the Disney’s All Star Resorts is amazing!
#16 Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is a Disney Deluxe Villa Resort. This resort is located right next to Disney Springs. We also love this resort, because they have a ton of activities. There are more recreation activities at this resort than any other Disney Resort. They even have a fun run!
The reason this resort made the bottom of our list is because of the dining and the rooms. We do not have any must eat restaurants at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort like some of the other Disney Resorts. One of the main quick service locations is attached to a merchandise shop and is rather small. Plus, the rooms are very outdated. I know there are plans to refresh the rooms, but for now this one is on the bottom of our ranking.
#15 Disney’s Fort Wilderness
If you love camping or want to experience a rustic cabin during your Disney World vacation, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is for you. This resort has a ton of outdoor activities, including archery, bikes, canoes, fishing, and more. There is so much to do at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, you may never have to visit the theme parks.
This resort is very spread out. You have to rent a golf cart or take a bus to get from your campsite/cabin to dinner or to a boat to get to Magic Kingdom. It is spread out, so it takes a lot longer to get from one spot to another.
Since this resort is so spread out, you do not feel like you are at a hotel. You are definitely more of a resort. You will certainly get away from the crowds at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. There are a lot of amenities at this resort, but the resort pools are just okay. There is nothing super exciting about the pools at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
#14 Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort & Boardwalk Villas
This Disney Deluxe Resort is in the middle of the Walt Disney World Resort. You can enjoy two Disney Resorts in one with Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort & Boardwalk Villas Resort. Both resorts share the same amenities.
We love the boardwalk at this resort. You can enjoy dining, shopping, and entertainment in the evening hours. It is a lot of fun for guests staying at this resort or just an evening out.
Another reason we enjoy this resort is the location. You are walking distance to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You also have access to boats to both theme parks.
#13 Disney’s Pop Century
We love Disney’s Pop Century Resort for families at Disney World. This is a Disney Value Resort plus it is located in a different county in Orlando (where the tax rate is less) so Disney’s Pop Century Resort is the least expensive hotel at Disney World.
This resort was built after Disney’s All Star Resorts, so Disney “upgraded” this resort. They took all of the good and the bad and made it better at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
I love the food court at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, all of the themed pools, and the newly renovated rooms. These new rooms are perfect for a family visiting a theme park!
I am sure you are wondering why this resort did not make higher on our best list? This resort is a less expensive hotel, so it is more popular for youth groups. There are a lot of bands, sports, and cheerleading groups that stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. This means a lot more noise than other Disney Resorts.
#12 Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
If you love New Orleans, you will love Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort near Disney Springs. This quaint hotel has a fun Mardi Gras theme with an amazing pool and splash park that sits right on the water.
This resort is also very close to dining, pool, recreation, and even boat transportation to Disney Springs. However, there are not a lot of resort amenities at this hotel. However, you can walk down to the sister property at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside.
#11 Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside
One of the Disney Moderate Resorts is called Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort. This resort has two sections called Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend. I love the quiet atmosphere of Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside. It is truly an escape from the Disney Parks!
This resort has a lot of family amenities, including horse drawn carriage rides, cane pole fishing, boat to Disney Springs, and an Ole Man Swimming Hole (pool). This resort also has an incredible themed room called the Royal Room. This room is a nominal upgrade from a Standard View Room. Your princess will love this room!
#10 Disney’s Riviera Resort
The newest Disney World Resort is Disney’s Riviera Resort. This resort is near Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. You have access to this resort and amenities. You also get access to the new Skyliner (gondola transportation).
This resort is quaint. It is one of the smallest resorts at Disney World. All of the amenities are close together, so it is more of a hotel vs a resort. We love this feature of Disney’s Riviera Resort.
This resort is also more expensive as a Disney Deluxe Villa Resort with Studios, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom, and larger suites (villas). For the more expensive cost, we prefer one of the other Disney Deluxe Resorts with more resort amenities for family fun.
#9 Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Another Disney Value Resort that is considered a Value + is called Disney’s Art of Animation. This resort is our favorite themed resort at Disney World. This resort has several different sections, including The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and CARS. Each section is truly amazing with larger than life characters. We love walking through Disney’s Art of Animation to get pictures with the family. So many amazing photo opps!
Disney’s Art of Animation also has a room category called Family Suites. These suites are basically two standard rooms built into one Family Suite. This means you have 2 bathrooms, which is huge for a family. They also have a pull own Murphy Bed that converts into a table with chairs. These suites are amazing and a lot less expensive than a 2-Bedroom Villa at one of the Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts.
#8 Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort just got bumped up higher in our favorites list. This resort just finished a huge renovation and it is spectacular! We were always a fan of this Disney World Hotel and now even more. Some things we love about Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the new Skyliner. You can hop on this new transportation to get around the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has an amazing food court area and restaurant called Sebastian’s Bistro. This sit down restaurant is a hidden gem at Disney World.
We also love the pool area of this resort, with the Pirate Ship splash park. If you have any pirate fans in your family, you can also upgrade to a Pirate Room. This is a nominal upgrade from a Standard View Room.
One of the big downsides to this resort is the size. This is a resort, so it is very spread out. It takes a leisure 5 minute walk to get from one end of the resort to the other end of the resort.
#7 Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Gran Destino Tower
We have always loved Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. This is a convention hotel, so it always had a few more resort amenities than the other Disney Moderate Resorts. It now has the new tower called Gran Destino. This new tower is amazing! The rooms are spectacular with views of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort or Disney World. You can even see Galaxy’s Edge from some of the rooms.
The new restaurants at the top of Gran Destino are amazing with a lounge and sit down dining. Both of these restaurants have incredible views of Disney World. With the addition of Gran Destino, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort jumped up higher in our list.
One of the big downsides to this resort is the groups. Since it is a convention hotel, there are a lot of groups that stay at this property. Most of the time it is just adults, but during certain events it can be youth. This can make the pool and other main areas very crowded and loud.
#6 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House & Kidani Village
Imagine giraffe and zebra right outside your balcony room? You will find this amazing African experience in the Savanna View Rooms at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is an incredible experience for the whole family!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is truly a unique resort. We love the animal experiences, culture, and dining. Two of my favorite resorts at Disney World are located at this resort, including Jiko – A Cooking Place and Sanaa.
One of the downsides of this resort is the amenities. Since it is focused on the animals, there are not as many resort amenities as some of the other Disney Deluxe Resorts. If you stay at this resort, spend the extra money to upgrade to a Savannah View Room. Many of the Standard View Rooms overlook the parking lot or are noisy from elevators or bus transportation. For this resort, upgrade to the Savannah View Room for the whole experience.
#5 Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Villas
The most luxurious Victorian themed resort at Disney World is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This resort is the most expensive resort. You are a quick monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom and Epcot. There are also more dining options at this resort than any other property. Even the pool areas is amazing with cabanas and an Alice in Wonderland themed splash park. You can even watch the Happily Ever After Fireworks across the Seven Seas Lagoon at Magic Kingdom.
This is a spectacular resort, but it is not our favorite for families. That is one reason why it does not rank as high in our list. There are a lot of great amenities, but more for adults than kids.
#4 Disney’s Contemporary & Bay Lake Tower
Did you know the original Disney World Hotels were Disney’s Golf Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort? These were the first three hotels at Disney World.
We love Disney’s Contemporary Resort for families. It is a Disney Deluxe Resort, so it is more expensive. However, it is the only Disney Resort that is walking distance from Magic Kingdom. You can also take a quick monorail ride to Epcot.
This resort has a ton of activities, including boat rentals, fishing, pool with water slides, character dining, and more. This resort even has an areas called the Concourse, where you can watch the Happily Ever After Fireworks at Magic Kingdom.
#3 Disney’s Beach Club Resort & Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Villas
The two Disney Deluxe Resorts called Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort are located side by side in the Epcot Resort Area. These two resorts have different themes, but are side by side and share the huge 3 acre pool area.
We love these Disney Deluxe Resorts! You are walking distance to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The pool area called Stormalong Bay is another huge perk with a Pirate Ship water slide. There are also several dining options, including Cape May for a character breakfast (another hidden gem) and a Clam Bake for dinner.
The pool at this resort is super strict. You can only swim in this pool if you have a MagicBand showing you are a hotel guest. You cannot invite friends to come visit you at this resort. They are super strict and only resort guests can swim.
#2 Disney’s Wilderness Lodge & Copper Creek Villas
We love Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort! Disney recently made it even better. They renovated the rooms and add a new Disney Vacation Club section called Copper Creek.
Copper Creek is amazing. They have villas and cabins. The cabins are my favorite room category at Disney World. Check out this video of the Copper Creek Cabins.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge features a fun themed pool with waterslide, geiser, and even spa. The lodge is beautiful, themed after the lodge at Yellowstone. You can even take a free Hidden Mickey hunt around the lodge. There are several amazing dining locations, including the popular Whispering Canyon Cafe.
You can even rent bikes to ride over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. It is a great resort and why it made the top of our line up.
#1 Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The #1 BEST Disney World hotel is actually the #1 repeat guest resort at Disney World. Most guests that stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort come back for another visit in the future. It is quite popular!
We love this resort for the atmosphere. We love Hawaii and staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort feels like we are back in the Aloha State. This resort even has a torch lighting ceremony at night and the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (luau).
Disney Polynesian Village Resort has some of our favorite dining. Some of these include Kona Cafe for breakfast, ‘Ohana for a character breakfast and dinner, Kona coffee, and Dole Whips by the pool. There is even a fun lounge called Trader Sam’s for the adults.
This resort sits on the Seven Seas Lagoon, so you have a great view of Cinderella Castle and the Happily Ever After Fireworks. You can even sit on a hammock and swim in the pool and watch the show. If you decide to head over to Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks (up close) it is only a boat ride away.
We love the volcano themed pool just walking distance from the guest rooms. The pool is a beach entry with a water slide, tons of lounge chairs, hot tub, and poolside bar. There is even a cute Menehune Splash Park for the little ones. If you are craving a Dole Whip, you can pick up this sweet treat right at the pool.
There is so much to love at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. That is why it made the #1 spot for the best Disney World hotels.
What is your favorite Disney Resort?
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