And while there are certainly cheaper places to stay nearby, you can’t compete with the easy access to the parks, early park entry, and transportation. Unless otherwise stated, all of these hotels offer Extra Magic Hours, FastPass planning, and airport shuttles.
It can be overwhelming to know which one is best for your vacation, so we’ve narrowed down our picks from the many visits taken over the years. We’ve also sorted them by what park or area they’re closest to.
This list is current as of publication but at least two resorts are scheduled to open in the next two years.
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Magic Kingdom Area Disney Hotels
Contemporary Resort (read our review here)
Opened in 1971, the Contemporary Resort was one of two original properties from when Walt Disney World opened. The AAA Four-Diamond Award hotel was designed by midcentury modern architect Donald Wexler. It was even the site of a 1973 press conference with President Richard Nixon.
The hotel has over 300 rooms and the Monorail runs inside of the lobby. It also has a convention center, two pools, sports courts, an arcade, and multiple restaurants and bars.
Bay Lake Tower has over 200 units belonging to Disney Vacation Club with its own check-in and concierge desks. The tower is connected by a sky bridge to the rest of the hotel.
The Contemporary is a Deluxe level resort with rates starting around $400 per night. Transportation includes the bus, water taxi, and, of course, the monorail.
Fort Wilderness Resort
Opened in 1971, the rustic Fort Wilderness resort includes Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, along with the Disney Vacation Club villas. The resort area has access to the parks through the bus and boat.
Wilderness Lodge takes its inspiration from the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone with over 700 rooms with Native American-inspired decor. It has three restaurants, character dining, a spa and fitness center, and two pools. The Deluxe Resort starts at around $380 per night.
Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has cabins and campsites with access to a swimming pool, a dinner show, and four restaurants as well as activities like archery, fishing, and an arcade. It’s a Moderate resort with cabins from $300 per night and campsites from $100 per night.
Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins are the resort’s existing Disney Vacation Club properties. Reflections is another DVC property set to open in 2022.
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Opened in 1988, the Grand Floridian Resort has over 800 rooms spread across six buildings. The Beach Boys even filmed the music video for “Kokomo” here.
The decor is inspired by Victorian-era Palm Beach with a world-class spa, a convention center, eight restaurants, multiple bars, two pools, white sand beaches, a salon, a wedding chapel, and a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian opened in 2013 and is a Disney Vacation Club property. It has its own check-in desk and a picnic area with barbecues.
Rates start at $685 for this Deluxe Resort. It’s considered to be one of Walt Disney World’s most opulent properties. Guests can get around by boat, bus, and monorail.
Opened in 1971, the AAA Four-Diamond Award-winning Polynesian Village Resort was one of two original hotels at the park. Inspired by the South Pacific, there are nearly 500 rooms. It was at the hotel that John Lennon left The Beatles.
The Polynesian Village Resort is set up in the style of traditional “longhouses.” They have five restaurants, multiple tiki bars, character dining, and a dinner show. There are two pools and outdoor activities. The Deluxe resort starts at around $560 per night.
The Polynesian Villas & Bungalows opened in 2013 with 360 studios and overwater bungalows. The Deluxe Villa property has rooms starting at $560 per night.
The resort and neighboring villas and bungalows are connected to the parks by monorail, bus, and boat.
Epcot and Hollywood Studios Area Disney Hotels
Beach Club Resort
The Beach Club Resort is another AAA Four-Diamond winner that opened in 1990 alongside the Yacht Club. The design is inspired by the beach cottages of Newport. Along with its sister club, there’s a shared convention center.
The Deluxe resort rooms start at $465 per night. The Beach Club has eight restaurants, two bars, a fitness center, mini-golf, and an arcade. It shares Stormalong Bay with the Yacht Club, which has three pools.
The Beach Club Villas sleep between four and eight guests. The Deluxe Villa resort starts at $465 per night and can be booked through Disney Vacation Club.
The BoardWalk Inn, a AAA Four-Diamond Award property opened in 1996 and takes its inspiration from Coney Island with an entertainment district with games and performers.
BoardWalk Inn is a Deluxe resort with rooms starting at around $500 per night. Amenities include nine restaurants, multiple bars, three pools, a dance hall, mini-golf, and bike rentals.
The area’s Disney Vacation Club property is the BoardWalk Villas, which also start at $500 per night. Both properties can access the parks through the bus and boat systems as well as the walking paths.
Caribbean Beach Resort
Opened in 1988, the Caribbean Beach Resort is located near the Typhoon Lagoon water park. Its design is inspired by, of course, the Caribbean with a lagoon and gardens, not to mention colorful buildings.
There are four restaurants, six pools, a playground, and bike rentals. The moderate price resort has rooms starting at $228 per night, including pirate-themed suites. Guests get around by bus and the Skyliner gondolas.
Opened in 2019, the Riviera Resort is a part of the Disney Vacation Club and the first purpose-built hotel on the Skyliner gondola system. As the name implies, the design is inspired by the French and Italian Riviera.
The deluxe villa resort has 300 rooms and suites that can accommodate up to 12 people. There are also three restaurants and two pools. Rates start around $400 per night. Guests have access to the bus and Skyliner systems.
Swan and Dolphin Resort (read our review here)
The Swan and Dolphin Resort is one of the most recognizable properties within the resort for its sculptures of dolphins and swans visible from the highway. They were designed by modernist architect Michael Graves, who also designed Disney’s Burbank headquarters, in 1990.
The Swan Resort has 756 guest rooms while the Dolphin Resort has 1,514 guest rooms. The Deluxe resorts start at $150 per night, along with a resort fee that includes Internet, bottled water, and access to the fitness center and game room.
The dual resorts have two lap pools and one grotto pool with a waterslide and waterfall. The resort has a Mandara Spa and a nearby mini-golf course. Guests also have access to a full golf course. There are 18 restaurants and bars, including character dining.
The pair of hotels are operated by Sheraton and Westin hotels, respectively, although they function as Disney hotels. Guests can use Bonvoy points and have access to Fast Passes and early park entry, along with transportation on the boat and bus. They do not have access to the Magical Express from the airport.
Along with the Beach Club, the Yacht Club opened in 1990. The hotel boasts over 600 guest rooms and takes its inspiration from the yacht clubs of New England.
It shares eight restaurants with the neighboring hotel, along with the pools. The Deluxe Resort has transportation by water taxi and bus, along with the walking paths. Rates start around $400 per night.
Animal Kingdom Area Disney Hotels
The All-Star collection of resorts are all in the value category and opened in the 1990s. They each feature quirky pop culture designs focused on different topics. Rates for all are around $125 per night and include bus transportation.
All-Star Music Resort opened in 1994 and has 1,604 rooms inspired by genres of music. It has a guitar-shaped pool, a food court, and an arcade. Oversized guitars and jukeboxes are among the decor.
All-Star Sports also opened in 1994 with 1,920 rooms. Giant football helmets and a surfboard-shaped swimming pool are among the features, along with a food court.
All-Star Movies Resort opened in 1999 and boasts 1,920 rooms. The design focuses on some of Disney’s biggest hits including 101 Dalmations and Toy Story. It has a food court, pool bar, and pizza delivery along with themed pools, an arcade, and a playground.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Opened in 2001, the Animal Kingdom resort is one of the most sought-after, especially the rooms that face the animal habitats, home to over 200 creatures, with African textiles and decor.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge, a Deluxe resort, boasts 1,307 rooms starting at $402 per night. It’s home to five award-winning restaurants, five bars, and experiences like wine tastings and lunch with an animal specialist. There are also multiple pools, a fitness center, a playground, and an arcade.
The Animal Kingdom Villas are broken up into the Kidani and Jambo houses, with a total of 708 rooms. The Disney Vacation Club property starts at $402 per night. Guests also have access to bus transport.
Coronado Springs Resort (read our review here)
Opened in 1997, the Coronado Springs Resort has a Spanish and Southwestern-inspired style. The hotel has a convention center and 1,951 rooms between the main hotel, a tower built in 2017, and the casitas.
The hotel has 8 bars and restaurants, including the popular Toledo restaurant. There’s also a fitness center, a salon, multiple pools, and a playground.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Area Hotels
Art of Animation
The Art of Animation Resort is a value resort that opened in 2012. It’s inspired by the Disney animated films and boasts the largest pool of any Disney World resort. There’s an all-day restaurant, bar, and pizza delivery.
The dog-friendly hotel has 984 rooms starting at $184 per night. There are rooms decorated in the style of The Little Mermaid along with suites of The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. Guests can get around by bus and Skyliner.
Opened in 2003, Pop Century Resort has different areas inspired by the last few decades. The value property has items from the last 50 years like giant yo-yos, rollerblades, and Rubik’s cubes.
The resort has 2,880 rooms and rates start around $162 per night. It also has a restaurant, pool bar, and pizza delivery. Enjoy multiple pools, an arcade, and a playground. Guests can access the bus and Skyliner.
Disney Springs Area Hotels
Old Key West Resort
Built in 1991, the Old Key West is one of the original Disney Vacation Club resorts, inspired by, of course, Key West, Florida. The resort has 761 rooms, including one to three-bedroom suites, starting at $389 per night. Some have kitchens.
The resort has four restaurants and pizza delivery, a pool, a fitness center, a game room, an arcade, bike rentals, and sports courts. Guests can get around by bus and boat.
Inspired by the beauty of New Orleans, Port Orleans Resort was built starting in 1991. The French Quarter area opened first, followed by Riverside the following year. Both are Moderate resorts.
Between the two, there are over 3,000 rooms. Rates start at $237 at both of the properties and both have access to transportation via bus and boat. Each has its own playground and pool but share a jogging trail and carriage rides.
Riverside has a restaurant and food court, along with two bars. French Quarter has another restaurant and two bars inspired by those of Bourbon Street, including a jazz club.
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Opened in 2004, Saratoga Springs Resort is a Disney Vacation Club property inspired by its namesake in upstate New York. There are a total of 1,320 rooms, made up of vacation home units and treehouse villas. Rates start at $390 per night.
The resort has four restaurants and two bars to choose from along with pools, a spa, a game room, an arcade, a community hall, and a golf course. Guests get around by bus and boat.
Disney-Affiliated Hotels in Disney Springs
Disney Springs has seven resort hotels with easy access to the parks on shuttles every 30 minutes. Guests receive benefits like Extra Magic Hours and FastPasses as well as affordable rates. They do not have access to the Magical Express airport bus.
They include B Resort & Spa, Best Western Lake Buena Vista, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area, and Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista.
Best Places to Stay Outside of Walt Disney World
Don’t forget about the hotels near Walt Disney World, including those on International Drive. Margaritaville Resort Orlando has tropical-inspired rooms and rental homes with restaurants, bars, and pools.
Bohemian Hotel Celebration is a stylish boutique hotel full of art in the “Disney neighborhood,” a short drive from the theme parks.
Looking for camping near Disney World? The Orlando/Kissimmee KOA and Tropical Palms RV Resort are both convenient to the park with all the amenities.