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One of the hardest things about planning a Disney World trip is deciding where to stay. Whether it is worth the money to stay on property is a personal decision that you must make. To help you decide, this guide gives you a peek at all of the Disney World hotels so you can pick the perfect one for your family. (And if you need more help, see my tips for finding the best hotel for your family.)
There are three levels of Disney World hotels: deluxe resorts, moderate resorts, and value resorts. The deluxe resorts are the most expensive hotels, while the value resorts are the most affordable ones on property.
Additionally, there are some Disney World hotels on property that are owned by third parties. These are generally cheaper than the Disney owned resorts, but do not always have the same theming and perks as the Disney hotels.
- The Deluxe Resorts
- The Moderate Resorts
- The Value Resorts
- Other Disney World Hotels
The Deluxe Resorts
Let’s start with the Deluxe Resorts. There are eleven of these located throughout Disney World. They have the most amenities, most restaurants, and usually the best transportation options. Additionally, the deluxe resorts are the closest ones to the parks.
Polynesian Village Resort
Theme-The Polynesian Village Resort is themed around the Polynesian culture and islands. So, everything is tropical with lots of palms, wood carvings and tikis. The feel of this resort is what you would expect from a laid-back island resort.
Location-The Polynesian Village Resort is located across the lake from the Magic Kingdom. You can see Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain from various areas around the resort.
Transportation-To reach the parks from the Polynesian, you can take the monorail, a bus, or a boat.
Dining Options-There are several restaurants at the Polynesian Resort. They include ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe. Both are table service restaurants. Captain Hook’s is a quick service restaurant. Lastly, you will find a few bars/snack locations here, including Pineapple Lanai and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
Grand Floridian Resort
Theme-The Grand Floridian Resort is themed around the Victorian elegance of Palm Beach’s golden era. You will find lots of detailed molding, marble floors, and formal flower arrangements throughout the space.
Location-This resort sits next door to the Polynesian Resort and across the lake from the Magic Kingdom. Like at the Polynesian, you can see glimpses of the Magic Kingdom from here and can watch the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks from here.
Transportation-If you stay at the Grand Floridian, your transportation options for getting to the parks are the monorail, boats, and buses.
Dining Options-The Grand Floridian has quite a few dining locations. They include three signature dining locations: Victoria & Alberts, Narcoossee’s , and Citricos. The hotel also is home to 1900 Park Fare, which is a buffet style character dining, and the Grand Floridian Cafe, another table service restaurant.
The Grand Floridian also has a quick service restaurant and three bars.
Theme-The Contemporary Resort is one of the most iconic of all of the Disney World hotels. The main building is a large A-frame structure. Its design, as the name suggests, is ultra modern. Inside, the resort is defined by a huge 90-foot-tall mural by Mary Blair.
Location-This is the third and last resort positioned along the lake. The Contemporary Resort sits closer to the Magic Kingdom than to anything else. It is the only resort within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom.
Transportation-Similar to the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian, the Contemporary Resort’s transportation options include the monorail, buses, and boats. Additionally, like mentioned above, you can also walk to the Magic Kingdom.
Dining Options-The Contemporary Resort also has several restaurants. The signature dining location is the California Grill, located on one of the top floors with a view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Additionally, there are three other table service restaurants, including the popular Chef Mickey’s character dining location. There are also four or five bars and lounges.
Theme-Wilderness Lodge is themed around the iconic turn-of-the-century national park lodges of the Northwest. The highlights of the design are a huge stone fireplace, tons of wooden beams and posts, and a meandering stream running through a portion of the lobby. Unlike many of the other resorts, the focus here is on the rustic outdoors.
Location-Wilderness Lodge is near the Magic Kingdom, but it is tucked behind the Contemporary Resort. It sits on the banks of a lake and is tucked into the trees.
Transportation-To reach the parks from this hotel, you must either take a bus or a boat.
Dining Options-The dining options at Wilderness Lodge include a character dining location, a table service restaurant, a quick service restaurant, and two bars.
Theme-Beach Club has a casual beach theme reminiscent of New England coastal towns. Throughout the resort, you will see lots of references to the ocean, the beach, and relaxed vacations.
Location-Beach Club is one of several resorts located just outside of Epcot’s International Gateway entrance. This is a great location because it is centrally located and puts you super close to two parks.
Transportation-To get to the parks, you can take a bus or a boat. You can easily walk from Beach Club to Epcot. You can also walk to Hollywood Studios, but it take about 10-15 minutes to get there.
Dining Options-Beach Club has one character dining restaurant, one table service restaurant, a quick service food court area, and a couple of bars and snack locations.
Theme-Yacht Club is a sister resort to Beach Club. They are similar but different. They also share some amenities. The theme of the Yacht Club is classic New England style yacht clubs. There is a formal air about the resort. And there are nautical touches throughout. One of the best features of this resort is the sandy bottom main pool, Stormalong Bay.
Location-The Yacht Club sits next to Beach Club, just a short distance away from the back entrance to Epcot. It is also a hop, skip, and a jump away from Hollywood Studios. This is such a great location! Not only are you close to two parks, but there are so many dining options within walking distance!
Transportation-If you stay at Yacht Club, you can reach the parks by either walking, taking a bus, or jumping on a boat.
Dining Options-At Yacht Club, you can choose to eat at Yachtsman Steakhouse, a signature restaurant, Ale and Compass, a table service restaurant, or the resort’s quick service restaurant. You can also enjoy the bar onsite.
Theme-Rounding out the Epcot resorts is the Boardwalk Inn. Its theme is inspired by whimsical charm of the turn-of-the-century Atlantic City boardwalk. This fun theme is carried out through a giant clown shaped pool slide, an actual boardwalk, carnival games, and even saltwater taffy!
Location-The Boardwalk Inn sits next door to the Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts. It is, therefore, just steps from Epcot and only a short distance from Hollywood Studios.
Transportation-Similar to the Beach Club and Yacht Club, you can walk, take a bus, or enjoy a boat ride to get to the parks from Boardwalk Inn.
Dining Options-Due to having the boardwalk, there are quite a few food locations available at the Boardwalk Inn. There are three table service restaurants here, including a pizza place. Additionally, you will find a walk up pizza window, a deli, two bakeries, a funnel cake window, an ice cream shop, and a couple of bars.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Theme-The Animal Kingdom Lodge is themed after a fancy safari lodge you might stay in on an African safari. Everything in this hotel is inspired by Africa and animals. There is a savannah with animals on the backside of the hotel. Many of the rooms have balconies that overlook the savannah.
Location-Animal Kingdom Lodge is considered the most remote of all the Disney World hotels, but this really doesn’t mean much. This resort is next to Animal Kingdom, but it is not within walking distance to the park.
Transportation-The only transportation available at Animal Kingdom Lodge is buses.
Dining Options-There are two table service restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge: Boma and Jiko. They are both fantastic! They also have one quick service restaurant and a couple bars/lounges.
Theme-The newest resort at Disney World is Riviera Resort, which is inspired by the Riviera region of Europe. There are tons of European and Mediterranean touches, such as beautiful gardens, fountains, arches, and porticos.
Location-The Riviera Resort is located in the Epcot area, but it is not within walking distances like some of the other resorts. Instead, it is closer to Caribbean Beach resort.
Transportation-You have a couple of options when looking to get to the parks from here. You can either take a bus or the Skyliner gondolas.
Dining Options-Because this is the newest resort, it also has some of the newest restaurants on property. You will find one character dining location, and one quick service restaurant. Additionally, there is a bar and a couple of take out windows, including a gelato cart.
Saratoga Springs Resort
Theme-Saratoga Springs takes its thematic cues from the Victorian style of Saratoga Springs, New York of the late 1800’s. There are lots of references to the horse racing and spas that made Saratoga famous.
Location-Saratoga Springs is just a short distance from Disney Springs. In fact, it is close enough that you can walk between the two. It also sits next to Old Key West.
Transportation-You can walk or take a boat to Disney Springs, but you will need to take a bus to any of the parks.
Dining Options- Saratoga Springs has one table service restaurant and one quick service eatery. It also has a couple different bars and some walk up take out windows.
Old Key West Resort
Theme-Old Key West draws inspiration for its decor from the nostalgia for the Florida Keys of the past. It features lots of water, pastel colors, cool palm trees, and relaxed comfy furniture. The main pool has a huge sand castle water slide.
Location-Old Key West is located near Disney Springs. Additionally, it is adjacent to Saratoga Springs Resort.
Transportation-If you stay at Old Key West, you can take a boat or bus to Disney Springs, but can only access the parks by bus.
Dining Options-Old Key West offers one table service restaurant and two quick service options.
The Moderate Resorts
The middle level price range of Disney World hotels is the moderates. These resorts have more space than the values but smaller price tags than the deluxe resorts. They are a great option for many families. However, they are the biggest and most spread out of all the resorts onsite.
Caribbean Beach Resort
Theme-As you might imagine, the Caribbean Beach Resort is themed after the Caribbean islands. You will find fun beachy details and laid back island vibes. You will see vibrant colors and fun Calypso music around the resort.
Location-This is another Epcot area resort, but it is not within walking distance. It is located near the Riviera Resort.
Transportation-The transportation between the parks and this resort include buses and the Skyliner gondolas.
Dining Options-If you are looking to eat at Caribbean Beach, you can choose from one table service restaurant, two quick service restaurants, including a food court, and a bar/lounge.
Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Theme-Port Orleans Riverside has two very distinct sections, but both take their theme from the romantic memories of rural Louisiana along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.
The Magnolia Bend section features stately mansions with formal gardens and white columns. Alligator Bayou, on the other hand, has smaller backwoods cottages that are tucked into the pine trees to create a quaint and cozy environment.
Location-Port Orleans Riverside lies along the banks of the Sassagoula River next door to its sister resort, Port Orleans French Quarter. Further downriver, you will find Disney Springs.
Transportation-From here, you must take a bus to reach any of the parks. But, you can take a boat to get to Disney Springs.
Dining Options-Port Orleans Riverside offers one table service restaurant, one quick service food court, and two lounges for your enjoyment.
Port Orleans French Quarter
Theme-Port Orleans French Quarter has one of the most fun themes of all the Disney World hotels. It is basically a clean version of the French Quarter district of New Orleans. This is the French Quarter you don’t mind showing to your kids!
This is my all-time favorite resort on property. It is also the smallest of the Disney World hotels.
Location-Port Orleans French Quarter sits on the Sassagoula River next to Port Orleans Riverside and just up river from Disney Springs.
Transportation-You can reach Disney Springs by boat or bus. You can get to the parks by bus.
Dining Options-There is no table service restaurants at Port Orleans French Quarter. But there is a quick service food court and a couple lounges.
Coronado Springs Resort
Theme-The designers of Coronado Springs looked to the Spanish, Mexican, and American Southwest cultures to find the theme of this resort. The focal point of the main pool is a huge Mayan pyramid.
Location-Coronado Springs is located near Animal Kingdom.
Transportation-You will need to take a bus to get to any of the parks or Disney Springs from this resort.
Dining Options-Coronado Springs has three table service restaurants, two quick service dining options, and four or five bars.
Theme-Fort Wilderness takes advantage of the rich history of the American frontier for its theme. This resort has both cabins and campgrounds nestled in a forest of pine and cypress trees that is teeming with wildlife.
Location-As you would expect, this resort has a remote feeling as it sits off by itself behind the Contemporary Resort and off to the side of Wilderness Lodge.
Transportation-You can take a boat to the Magic Kingdom, but you must take a bus to the other three parks.
Dining Options-The food options at Fort Wilderness are a bit different from what you will see at the other resorts. They have one buffet style table service restaurant and one dinner show. They also have a food truck, a take out window, and a couple of snack bars.
The Value Resorts
The most budget-friendly category of Disney World hotels is the value resorts. While they each have a different theme, they all have larger-than-life, brightly colored, cartoon-like statues that dominate their surroundings.
Art of Animation Resort
Theme-Art of Animation is themed around some of Disney’s most beloved animated movies: The Lion King, Cars, Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo. There is a separate area devoted to each movie. Each has three story tall statues of the films’ characters.
Additionally, the rooms have tons of references to the movies throughout their designs.
Location-Art of Animation sits next door to Pop Century Resort. It is near Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
Transportation-For transportation to the parks, you can either take a bus or the Skyliner gondolas.
Dining Options-Art of Animation has a food court and a pool bar.
Pop Century Resort
Theme-Pop Century has one of the most unique themes of the Disney World hotels. It is based on the pop culture of the 1950’s through the 1990’s. Here, you will find giant yo-yo’s, Rubik’s cubes, Walkman’s, and other favorite toys and items.
Location-Pop Century is the next door neighbor to Art of Animation. It is close to the Wide World of Sports Complex.
Transportation-Your transportation options at this resort include the Skyliner gondolas and the buses.
Dining Options-Your only dining options at Pop Century are a food court and a pool bar.
All Star Sports Resort
Theme-All Star Sports highlights sports through its theme, including football, baseball, basketball, surfing, and tennis. You will see over-the-top tennis rackets, football helmets, and more. The main pool is shaped like a baseball field.
Location-All Star Sports sits in a row with All Star Music and All Star Movies Resorts. They all sit in the Animal Kingdom area of Disney World.
Transportation-Your only transportation option to the parks is buses.
Dining Options-All Star Sports only has a food court and a pool bar.
All Star Movies Resort
Theme-All Star Movies Resort has as the center of its theme classic Disney movies. The featured movies are: Toy Story, Fantasia, Love Bug, 101 Dalmatians, and Mighty Ducks. Your kids will love the giant dogs, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and all the other movie inspired props.
Location-All Star Movies sits along side All Star Sports and All Star Music Resorts in the Animal Kingdom area of Disney World.
Transportation-You must take a bus to get to any of the parks from this resort.
Dining Options-The only dining options at All Star Movies is a food court and a pool bar.
All Star Music Resort
Theme-The theme of All Star Music is popular music genres, including country, rock and roll, Broadway show tunes, calypso, and jazz. The large icons around the resort include a juke box, ginormous cowboy boots, and musical instruments.
Location-All Star Music sits with All Star Sports and All Star Movies. It is not far from Animal Kingdom.
Transportation-The only way to get to the parks from here is on a bus.
Dining Options-Like the other value resorts, the only food options at this resort are a food court and a pool bar.
Other Disney World Hotels
While the vast majority of the Disney World hotels are owned and operated by Disney, there are a few exceptions. The first are the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. The other ones are collectively referred to as the Disney Springs Resorts.
Swan and Dolphin Hotels
The Swan and Dolphin Hotels are operated by Marriott. They really don’t have much theming, other than a huge swan on the top of the Swan Hotel and a large fish on the top of the Dolphin Hotel.
These two sit side by side in the Epcot area, just a short distance from the Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club, and Yacht Club.
You can take Disney buses or boats to get to the parks from these two hotels. You can also walk to Epcot or Hollywood Studios.
The Disney Springs Resorts
There are currently 7 Disney Springs Resorts. These are all third party hotels which are located just down the street from Disney Springs.
While these hotels allow you to stay on Disney World property at a much lower price than staying in a Disney owned hotel, there are some disadvantages to them. First, they don’t have any Disney theming, except for a few promotional signs and a small gift shop.
Secondly, while these resorts do offer buses to the parks, they are not the same as the Disney transportation. These shuttles run on a strict schedule and do not run continuously like the Disney ones do. And the buses go to multiple hotels, making it a longer journey to get to or from the parks.
Lastly, the guests at these hotels get some of the benefits of staying on property but not all of them. So, when considering whether to stay here, you will need to decide which of these benefits are most important to you and determine whether you will get those perks at these resorts.
There are a lot of choices when you want to stay on property during your Disney World vacation. This guide gives you a summary of all of the Disney World hotels. I hope it helps you decide which hotel is best for your family!
To book your trip, head to Disney World’s website.
P.S. Are you planning a trip to Disney World and not sure what you need to do or when? Do you feel completely overwhelmed by it all? My Disney World Trip Planning Checklist can help! It will guide you through every step of the planning process! And it’s FREE! Grab yours in the box below!