Travel

The 13 Best Disney World Hotels for Families

written by MORGAN FLAHERTY

The Everymom’s travel selections are curated by the editorial team. If you click something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only make recommendations we genuinely love.

Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

When it comes to visiting Disney World, there are many options to consider. You’ll want to figure out how many days you’re staying, which parks you’re visiting, what to pack, and maybe even what Disney outfit to wear. Of course, a key part of any Disney vacation is considering where to stay. As someone who has visited Disney World countless times—and who writes about Disney full-time—I’m sharing my picks for the best Disney World hotels for families.

Here, we’re sharing more about each of the Disney Resort hotel categories, the perks of staying on property, and the best Disney World hotels for families.

Benefits of Staying at a Disney World Hotel

On Disney property, you’ll find dozens of Disney World resort hotels all with different themes and costs. Families visiting Disney World will get certain benefits from staying on Disney property no matter which hotel you choose.

Early Theme Park Entry

One such benefit is Early Theme Park Entry, which will give you access to each theme park 30 minutes before its official opening. This means your family can have a “rope drop” ride before the park fills up for the day. Additionally, Disney hotel guests get access to Individual Lightning Lanes at 7 a.m. to reserve top attractions—while other theme park guests must wait until the parks open.

Staying at a Deluxe Disney hotel (more on those below!) also gives you access to Extended Evening Hours. These happen on select nights at select theme parks, allowing guests of Deluxe Resort hotels to stay an extra two hours in the parks after they close to regular guests. You can find the complete list of Extended Evening Hours here.

Complimentary Transportation

Another benefit of staying on property is access to complimentary transportation. At Disney World, you can get around to each of the theme parks by their extensive bus transportation system as well as by boat, Disney Skyliner, or Monorail, depending on which hotel you are staying at. You’ll want to keep in mind which parks you’re planning to visit and consider your resort’s distance from the park. For example, if you’re only visiting The Magic Kingdom, you probably wouldn’t want to stay in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Area to avoid longer transportation times with excited (or tired) kiddos. 

Disney Theming and Storytelling

For those who love the magic of Disney, the best Disney World resort hotels get theming right. Not to mention, each resort is staffed by helpful cast members whose job is to make your vacation magical. Plus, all Disney hotels on our list offer family-friendly recreation opportunities like Disney movie nights, campfire activities, playgrounds, jogging trails, and themed arcades.

Walt Disney World Resort Budget Categories

There are four different Walt Disney World Resort hotel budget categories on the property: Value Resort Hotels, Moderate Resort Hotels, Deluxe Resort Hotels, and Deluxe Villas. Each category also comes with different benefits that correlate. For example, Value Resort are the most budget-friendly but at the expense of some of the amenities you’ll find at the Deluxe Resort hotels, like proximity to the parks and dining options.

Disney World’s most expensive hotel category is its Deluxe Resort hotels. In general, these hotels feature the most amenities, dining options, and theme park perks. They’re also the closest to the parks—which can be key when scheduling your park days around nap times. Deluxe Villas are another option to consider and are part of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). But you don’t have to be a DVC member to book and they’re a great option for larger families who prefer condo-like accommodations. They can also be rented through DVC points rental sites. While renting through these is not quite as flexible as through the Disney World website, you can often spend significantly less renting this way than through the rack rate!

There are over 30 Walt Disney World Resort hotels to consider in each category. Here are our top picks for the best Disney World hotels for families.

The Overall Best Disney World Hotels for Families

Value – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

art of animation
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $100s per night

Location: Wide World of Sports Resort Area  

Disney’s Art of Animation is themed after Walt Disney Animation, with rooms inspired by Disney movies such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Cars, and more. The hotel features the biggest resort pool on Disney World property with the Big Blue Pool, which is inspired by Finding Nemo. Check an Art of Animation map when requesting your room if you hope to be near this popular spot.

One of the biggest benefits of Art of Animation is that it’s one of the few hotels with family suites on Disney World property. The hotel has Cars, The Lion King, and Finding Nemo-themed Family Suites, which each sleep up to six adults with one Queen Bed, one Sleeper Sofa, and One Double-Size Table Bed. This option saves bigger families from having to book two separate rooms, which can make a huge difference in the overall cost of your vacation.

Transportation Options: 

Art of Animation shares the Disney Skyliner station with Disney’s Pop Century Resort, so you can easily travel around to other hotels as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

  • Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom: Bus  
  • EPCOT and Hollywood Studios: Disney Skyliner  

Moderate – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

best disney hotels
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $200s per night

Location: Disney Springs Resort Area 

Located on the same property, Disney’s Port Orleans—Riverside and Disney’s Port Orleans—French Quarter both have access to the same restaurants and other amenities. French Quarter is inspired by New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, with cobblestone streets, magnolia blossoms, and yummy beignets, while Riverside is meant to take inspiration from rural Louisiana.

While both are great options to consider, we have to give a slight edge to Riverside for one big reason: the royal rooms. At Riverside, you can choose to stay in one of the Royal Guest Rooms, inspired by The Princess and the Frog. These rooms come with beautiful royal embellishments, as well as nods to many of the Disney princesses (you’ll spot Carpet from Aladdin on the floor, along with a Magic Lamp faucet for the sinks). These are the only princess-inspired rooms you’ll find at Disney World, so they’re a must-stay for any princess fans in your group.

Transportation Options: 

  • All Theme Parks: Bus
  • Disney Springs: Boat

Dining Highlights:

  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall: A table-service restaurant serving a New Orleans-inspired menu for dinner.
  • Scat Cat’s Club – Lounge and Cafe: The lounge offers the chance to listen to New Orleans-style jazz while enjoying Southern-inspired drinks. At the cafe, you can grab Mickey-shaped beignets and even spiked and flavored beignets (available at neighboring Port Orleans – French Quarter).

Pool Highlights: 

  • Ol’ Man Island: Swimming pool themed to an abandoned sawmill. Includes a 95-foot-long rustic waterslide. Also includes a nearby whirlpool.
  • Doubloon Lagoon: A Mardi Gras-inspired pool with a 51-foot-long sea serpent waterslide. You’ll find a whirlpool spa and water play area next door, as well as Mardi Grogs pool bar. (located at Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter).

Unique Recreational Activities:

  • Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides (at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside)
  • Bike and Surrey Bike Rentals

Deluxe – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

best disney hotels
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $400s per night

Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Want to stay at an upscale cabin-inspired hotel? Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is for you. Inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a fan-favorite hotel for a reason. Its theming is incredibly relaxing, making for a tranquil experience in the hustle and bustle of the Most Magical Place on Earth. 

Located in the Magic Kingdom Resort area, Wilderness Lodge isn’t located on the Monorail line. Instead, you can get to Magic Kingdom by taking a ferry ride. The hotel has several great dining options, including a unique character meal at Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. Also, check out Geyser Point Bar and Grill, which offers some fantastic drinks and small bites with a beautiful outdoor view.

Transportation Options: 

  • Magic Kingdom: Boat, bus 
  • Other Theme Parks: Bus

Dining Highlights:

  • Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White: Enjoy dinner at this character dining experience in a rustic setting, with the chance to meet characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Geyser Point Bar and Grill: An outdoor waterfront bar and grill serving lunch and dinner and featuring a full bar.

Pool Highlights:

This Disney World resort is also one of the best for kids thanks to its main pool: Copper Creek Springs. The nature-themed pool area includes hot and cold whirlpool spas and a water play area for kids. Older kids can ride down a 67-foot waterslide. 

Hotel guests can also look out on Seven Seas Lagoon to watch this nighttime electrical water pageant featuring lighted floats and music.

Deluxe Villa – Disney’s Beach Club Villas

disney beach club villa
Source: Tripadvisor

Villa Types Available: Deluxe Studio, 1-Bedroom Villa, 2-Bedroom Villa

Location: EPCOT Resort Area

Disney’s Beach Club Villas is a relaxing getaway themed to a charming New England-style beach hotel, conveniently located near EPCOT. Guests can also take a short walk to the Disney Skyliner and Disney Boardwalk as well as a longer trek to Hollywood Studios. This is one of the best Disney World hotels for families looking for a quieter, more laid-back location that still has easy access to everything they need.

Additionally, the Beach Club has one of the most popular pools on Disney property with Stormalong Bay. The massive pool offers over three acres of space to enjoy, including a lazy river and a 230-foot-long water slide located atop a shipwreck replica. For smaller swimmers, the Shipwreck Pool includes a kid-sized water slide.

Transportation Options: 

  • Magic Kingdom: Bus, Monorail through EPCOT
  • EPCOT: Walking, boat
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Boat, Skyliner, walking
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Bus

Dining Highlights:

  • Cape May Cafe: Buffet with character dining for breakfast and seafood and turf dishes for dinner. 
  • Martha’s Vineyard: Offering lunch, bar service, and late-night service (located at connecting Disney’s Yacht Club Resort)  
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse: New-England-style steakhouse table service restaurant (located at connecting Disney’s Yacht Club Resort).

Best Disney World Hotels for Toddlers

Value – Disney’s Pop Century Resort

best disney hotels pop century
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $100s per night

Location: Wide World of Sports Resort Area

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is a fan-favorite for guests. The theming takes you through each of the decades from the 1950s to the 1990s, so parents will enjoy fun little details around the resort that nod to fads from the past.

While the rooms are fairly basic, they still feature plenty of Disney. So you’ll find artwork featuring classic Disney theming with Mickey and other characters toddlers love. Aside from the price, the real pull for the hotel is that it’s located on the Disney Skyliner. This gondola system will connect you with Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort, a major plus.

Transportation Options: 

  • Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom: Bus  
  • EPCOT and Hollywood Studios: Disney Skyliner 

Pool Highlights: 

  • Hippy Dippy Pool is the resort’s biggest pool, themed to the 1960s, featuring flower-shaped water jets and a nearby kiddie pool area with a pop-jet water fountain—again making it one of the best Disney hotels for toddlers and little kids.

Deluxe – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

best disney hotels for families
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $600s per night

Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area

The Magic Kingdom has the most toddler-friendly attractions of all the Disney theme parks. So, if you plan on spending a lot of time at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and the Polynesian Village Resort are all located on the Monorail, and are also within walking distance of the park. Out of the three, we love the Polynesian for its theming, dining, and variety of accommodation options.

The hotel is themed to a tropical paradise, with island-inspired rooms, food, and atmosphere. You can stay in tropical-themed rooms, including Moana-inspired rooms in the main hotel. Additionally, the hotel offers two villa options, the Deluxe Studios and the Bungalows. The Deluxe Studios can fit up to five and include two bathrooms, making it easy for everyone to get ready in the morning.

The unique Bungalow villas are actually located out on the water of Seven Seas Lagoon, with private entryways for each. Each bungalow can sleep up to eight adults, with two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, living and dining areas, a washer and dryer, and a private deck with a plunge pool. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, allowing you to enjoy Disney World like never before.

The hotel also has some of the most popular dining in Disney World, including the family-style menu at ‘Ohana. Plus, you can pick up a delicious DOLE Whip over at Pineapple Lanai. 

If you stay at the Polynesian, you can head over to the beach area around the time of the fireworks. The music from the show gets piped in as you watch the fireworks across the water.

Transportation Options: 

  • Magic Kingdom: Monorail, walking, boat
  • EPCOT: Monorail
  • Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom: Bus

Dining Highlights:

  • Pineapple Lanai: Snack spot where you can get DOLE Whip, floats, and soft serve.
  • Kona Café: Table-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Menu includes Asian-inspired twists on American meals, along with a sushi kitchen.
  • ‘Ohana: A popular table-service restaurant serving a Polynesian-inspired family-style menu of food. Serves both breakfast and lunch, the former of which is a character meal featuring Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey.

Pool Highlights: 

  • Lava Pool: Themed pool with a volcano, waterfall, and 142-foot-long waterslide.
  • Oasis Pool: All-ages leisure pool with a more relaxing environment.

Deluxe Resort Villas – Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

disney hotel
Source: Walt Disney World

Villa Types Available: Deluxe Studio, 1-Bedroom Villa, 2-Bedroom Villa, 3-Bedroom Villa

Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Located just a short walk from Magic Kingdom, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the perfect location for families looking to spend a lot of time at the park. Bay Lake Tower has great views overlooking Magic Kingdom, with accommodations from Deluxe Studios up to three-bedroom Villas. These expansive options work well if you’re with a slightly larger group that needs more room.

The dining options at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are also top-notch. Chef Mickey’s character dining experience is the perfect place to stop for breakfast—and meet some Disney characters—before heading to the parks.

Transportation Options: 

  • Magic Kingdom: Monorail, walking, boat
  • EPCOT: Monorail
  • Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom: Bus

Dining Highlights:

  • Chef Mickey’s: Character dining with Mickey, Minnie, and friends. Buffet is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • California Grill: Table service restaurant available for dinner with incredible views of Magic Kingdom. Also home to the California Grill Lounge. 
  • Steakhouse 71: Table service steakhouse with an a la carte menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also home to Steakhouse 71 Lounge. 
  • Cove Bar: Private pool bar exclusive to those staying at Bay Lake Tower (or DVC members). 

Pool Highlights: 

  • Bay Cove Pool: Exclusive to guests at Bay Lake Tower and DVC members. Features a 148-foot-long waterslide, whirlpool spa, and water play area.

Best Disney World Hotels for Young Kids Ages 3-5

Moderate – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

best disney resort hotels
Source: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $200s per night

Location: EPCOT Resort Area

Fun theming, great transportation, and an incredible pool make the Caribbean Beach Resort a top pick for families. The hotel is notable for being the hub of the Disney Skyliner, meaning you can easily get to and from EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and other hotels located on the line. 

Themed after the islands of the Caribbean, the hotel also comes with tropical inspiration that will make you feel like you’re on an island vacation. The resort also has an incredibly fun pool, the Fuentes del Morro Pool kids will love (finishing renovations in April 2024). Themed like a Spanish fortress, the pool is perfect for pirate-obsessed kiddos. Young kids will have a blast shooting water cannons and zipping down the two water slides, while the zero-entry pool section is perfect for toddlers. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s located right next to the pool bar Banana Cabana, where you can pick up tropical drinks and small bites.

Transportation Options: 

  • Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • EPCOT and Hollywood Studios: Disney Skyliner 

Dining Highlights:

  • Sebastian’s Bistro: Table service restaurant with family-style dishes inspired by the Caribbean.
  • Spyglass Grill: A casual quick-service restaurant serving American fare with a Caribbean twist. Available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Deluxe Resort Villas – Walt Disney World Swan Reserve

best disney hotels
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $200s per night

Location: EPCOT Resort Area

The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve joined the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels in the EPCOT Resort area in 2022. All three hotels are technically off-property Disney World hotels, but offer the benefits of staying at a Deluxe Resort hotel (that includes access to Extended Evening Hours). Guests can use the on-site pool or enjoy five additional pools, a 3-acre grotto, and two lap pools available at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel.

The Swan Reserve is notable for its fantastic location, incredible dining, and particularly great views (you can get a great view of the EPCOT fireworks from the upper levels in case the kiddos are already asleep). If you are a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can also take advantage of points to get particularly great deals staying here, as the hotel is owned by Marriott.

Transportation Options:

  • Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • EPCOT: Walking, boat
  • Hollywood Studios: Walking, boat

Dining Highlights:

  • Amare: Mediterranean table-service restaurant available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Grounds: All-day spot to grab coffee or grab-n-go prepared food. 

Unique Resort Perks for Families: 

  • Camp Dolphin: A supervised kids club for ages 4-12 located at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel (costs $12 per child per hour).

Best Disney World Hotels for Older Kids

Value – Disney’s All-Star Movies

best disney hotels
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $100s per night

Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area 

Similar to Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort celebrates Disney movies with its theming. Here you’ll find giant statues of characters around the resort, along with themed rooms and amenities. Millennial parents will love the Duck Pond Pool with theming inspired by the ‘90s movie The Mighty Ducks.

While the hotel doesn’t offer the same perk of being on the Disney Skyliner, it does so at a major difference from Art of Animation—the cost. While both are Value Resort hotels, Disney’s All-Star Movies is typically one of the cheaper on-site hotels you can book at Walt Disney World (along with the other All-Star Resorts). So, if you love the theming of Disney movies but want a less expensive option than Art of Animation, Disney’s All-Star Movies is the best option to consider.

Transportation Options: 

  • All theme parks: Bus   

Moderate – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

best disney hotels
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $200s per night

Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area 

Taking inspiration from a blend of Spanish, Mexican, and Southwest American cultures, Disney’s Coronado Springs features one of the coolest pools on the property and some of the best dining experiences at any hotel. But, the real reason it makes the list is because it has a secret—on this Moderate Resort property, you’ll find a hotel that very much comes with Deluxe accommodations.

At Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, you can stay at Gran Destino Tower, which is not its own unique hotel but, instead, a tower complex located on the property. While Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort may be considered a Moderate hotel, Gran Destino Tower is notable for having some more luxurious accommodations at a more moderate price tag (plus, it has an onsite Spa and workout facility at the La Vida Health Club).

And with older kids, you don’t have to worry about rushing home for naps, knowing this hotel is a little further away from the theme parks. So, if you’re looking for the accommodations of a Deluxe Resort at a Moderate Resort price, staying at Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is the way to do it.

Transportation Options: 

  • All Theme Parks: Bus 

Dining Highlights:

  • Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood: A table service restaurant with Spanish-inspired cuisine.
  • Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago: A lakefront table service restaurant with sandwiches, shared plates, salads, and more.
  • Rix Sports Bar & Grill: An upscale sports lounge with classic bar food and 31 TVs.

Pool Highlights: 

  • Older kids will love the massive Lost City of Cibola Pool pool is inspired by the Mayan ruins, featuring a 50-foot pyramid and a 123-foot-long water slide. Also features the largest hot tub on Disney World property, fitting up to 22 people. 

Deluxe – Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

best disney hotels
Source: Tripadvisor

Standard Room Pricing: Starting in the $500s per night

Location: EPCOT Resort Area

If you plan on spending a lot of time at EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can’t beat staying at the EPCOT Resort area hotels like Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. The hotel is located right on Disney’s Boardwalk, themed to resemble spots like Coney Island and Atlantic City in the early 1900s, which features a variety of different entertainment spots, gift shops, and dining options. The BoardWalk Inn can be a great Disney Hotel for older kids who want to meander nearby, play carnival games at night, and partake in some unique eats like the slices at Pizza Window or eats from the Funnel Cake cart.

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is also a short boat ride away from EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, both of which also have walking paths available on foot. Additionally, you are just steps away from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, as well as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. This close proximity gives you endless dining and entertainment you can enjoy while staying at the hotel. If that weren’t enough, you’re right by the Disney Skyliner, which connects you to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, as well as Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts.

Transportation Options:

  • Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • EPCOT: Walking, boat
  • Hollywood Studios: Walking, boat, Skyliner

Dining Options:

  • Flying Fish: Table-service restaurant serving a menu of sustainable seafood for dinner.
  • Big River Grille & Brewing Works: A working microbrewery that serves both lunch and dinner, with soups, salad, entrees, and beer samplers. 

Pool Highlights: 

  • The carnival-themed Luna Park Pool includes a 200-foot-long waterslide designed to look like a 1920s roller coaster. Plus, it includes a whirlpool spa and a kiddie pool, if younger siblings are in tow.

Unique Recreational Activities:

  • Boat Rentals
  • Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf: Fantasia-themed mini golf is located within walking distance. 
  • Surrey Bike Rentals 

Deluxe Resort Villas – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

animal kingdom
Source: Tripadvisor

Villa Types Available: Deluxe Studio, 1-, 2-, 3-Bedroom Villas

Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area

It doesn’t get better for animal-loving families than Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House and Kidani Village. The property includes views of four lush savannas, where over 200 animals like giraffes, bongos, zebras, and birds freely roam. And the resort’s horseshoe-curved design was intentionally inspired by the traditional African kraal.

For families who prefer an escape from the busyness of the parks, the Animal Kingdom Villas offer a tranquil retreat. Guests should be aware it’s a bit further away from EPCOT, the Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. To make transportation easier, guests can use Disney’s Minnie Van service—a collaboration with Lyft—for paid private rides to the parks. 

Transportation Options: 

  • All Theme Parks: Bus

Dining Highlights:

  • Jiko – The Cooking Place: An upscale table-service dinner restaurant serving a blend of traditional African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine, with kid-menu options, too. 
  • Sanaa and Sanaa Lounge: Offers casual quick-service breakfast and a more upscale table-service dinner experience African cooking and Indian flavors while taking in views of the Savanna. 

Pool Highlights: 

  • Samawati Springs Pool: A kids’ paradise, this pool includes an exciting waterslide and Uwanja Camp—an animal observation site-themed water. Playground with squirting flowers, a rope bridge, water cannons, and more.
  • Uzima Pool: 11,000-square-foot pool experience, featuring zero-depth entry, a thrilling waterslide, and a children’s wading pool. 
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