There are many wonderful resorts at Walt Disney World, so to say what the best resorts are, it all depends on YOU and what you are looking for. There are a total of 29 Disney resorts, so you have plenty to choose from!

  • 11 Villas (DVC): Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Boulder Ridge at Wilderness Lodge, Copper Creek at Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Animal Kingdom Villas, Saratoga Springs, & Old Key West. NOTE: Even if you are not DVC – based on availability, you can stay at one.
  • 8 Deluxe: Disney’s Polynesian Village, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, & Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • 5 Moderate: The Cabins at Fort Wilderness, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Disney’s Coronado Springs, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, & Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • 5 Value: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, & All-Star Sports

I definitely have my top 3 that I believe are the best resorts for my family and we absolutely love them. If you are looking for certain qualities, here are my top recommendations for you.

Resorts on the Monorail

I love Walt Disney World monorail resorts! These are your resorts closest to the Magic Kingdom and so convenient with a quick ride on the monorail or even a boat ride over, too.

TIP: you can see Magic Kingdom’s evening fireworks show from the resort or by private boat reservation on the lake.

All the resorts on the monorail fall under the deluxe resort category, so you will also be paying a higher price for this convenience. You will also receive a higher level of accommodations though.

The Disney resorts along the monorail to the Magic Kingdom include

The Grand Floridian and Polynesian both rank as 2 of my top 3. They are both very different and unique in their own way. I love the “Grand” in Grand Floridian. The Victorian-style boasts elegance and makes this an upscale fairytale vacation. Fit for a princess!

Grand Floridian Resort Gardens

Disney’s Polynesian Village is a completely different vacation where it’s more relaxing and low-key. I love this resort in the summer and spending time at the pool with the waterfall. It also has my favorite resort quick-service meal, the Thai Coconut Meatballs at the quick-service restaurant Captain Cook’s and a Dole Whip for dessert (Note: You can have this even if you aren’t staying here)

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Disney’s Contemporary reminds me of an airport terminal and while you have the best view of Magic Kingdom (I recommend a park view room) and it’s physically the closest to the Magic Kingdom with a walking path to the entrance, in my opinion, that is what this resort is good for. If it’s all about being as close as you can get to the Magic Kingdom, then this is where you want to be.

Disney's Contemporary Resort Main Tower Inside View of Chef Mickeys

NOTE: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is also located near the Magic Kingdom; however, it is NOT located on the monorail. You will have to take a boat ride across the lake.

Best Disney Resort Closest to the Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge! There is no Disney resort that has other transportation to the Animal Kingdom park, beside bus transportation.

I absolutely love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you love animals and looking for a safari-like vacation, this is it! Book yourself a room with a Savanah view and wake up to animals grazing outside your window and balcony.

Disney’s Coronado Springs and All-Stars are other alternative Disney resorts close to the Animal Kingdom.

Resorts Near Epcot & Hollywood Studios

Resorts Closest to Epcot & Hollywood Studios are

Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club Resort

Our family’s favorite and the 3rd of our top 3 favorite resorts is Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club Resort. It’s a quick and easy walk to Epcot’s World Showcase entrance and has an awesome view of Crescent Lake and the boardwalk. It is also walking distance to Hollywood Studios, but probably around 1/2 mile, so you can take the boat or walk over to Epcot and grab a ride on the Skyliner.

Beach & Yacht Club Resort also has the most popular pool of all the Disney resorts with a zero-entry pool and sandy beach to play on as well as a sand-bottom pool and a lazy river. Oh, the pirate ship slide is pretty great, too!

You will also find the popular restaurant Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, home to the Kitchen Sink Sundae and specialty shakes. YUMMY!

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

BoardWalk Inn is the other Disney deluxe resort that is walking distance and has a boat to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Some people love this resort and some can take it or leave it. I personally find the pool with the slide coming out of the clown’s mouth a little creepy. However, the rooms are nice and the location is great.

What I like most about the BoardWalk Inn is the nightlife. The boardwalk lights up and is bustling with people at night.

Disney’s Swan & Dolphin Hotel

Technically this is not included in the 29 Disney resorts as this is not actually owned by Disney. It’s a Marriott hotel. But, it’s on Disney property right next door to Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, so it’s worth mentioning. It’s a nice hotel with great perks such as location and nice rooms for less than a deluxe resort price. Something to check out!

Disney Resorts with Skyliner

The newest to Walt Disney World is the Riviera Resort. This is a DVC resort with villa rooms. It is not walking distance nor does it have boat transportation to the parks like the others, but it does offer the Skyliner.

If you are looking for a Disney moderate resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is not far away. Now with its own personal Skyliner stop, it makes this resort easy access to these parks.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Pop Century Resort aren’t necessarily closest to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. In fact, Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts are next to ESPN World Wide of Sports Area. However, with the addition of Disney’s Skyliner transportation, they now have easy access to the parks.

Depending on your budget and price range you are looking to spend on resorts, you have your option of value, moderate, and value for easy access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios now.

What Disney Resorts Sleep 5?

Depending on your budget and plans, the best resort in this category could really be any of them. If you have more than 5 adults, definitely look into the villas and do some price comparisons.

TIP: Sometimes accommodating your family in one villa room is more economical than getting multiple rooms. 2 and 3 bedroom villas are available accommodating up to 9-12 adults.

  • All Villas: Deluxe Studio or a 1 Bedroom Villa will sleep up to 5 adults
  • All Deluxe Resorts: Disney’s deluxe resorts have 2 queen beds and a sofa bed big enough to sleep an adult comfortably.
  • Moderate Resorts: Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Coronado Springs, and the cabins at Fort Wilderness
  • Value Resorts: Art of Animation Suites (Nemo, Lion King, Cars) – one bedroom with queen bed and bathroom, pull-out sofa, and pull-down table bed.

Note: If you are sleeping 5 adults in a room or older children, you will want a deluxe resort or an Art of Animation Suite. Moderate resorts have a pull-down bed, but they are small and meant for young children.

Disney Resorts with Suites

If you have a family or group of 5 or more, you may want to consider a suite for the most room to accommodate your party size. Look at the Disney Villas or Disney’s Art of Animation Suites.

What Resorts have Waterslides and the Best Pools?

Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club – Best Pool

If you are looking for some pool time at your resort, then you are in luck! I will say that deluxe resorts are going to have the best pools and slides as well as cushioned chairs to relax in. Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club is by far the best pool with its sand-bottom pool, pirate ship slide, sandy beach with a zero-entry pool, and a lazy river.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – Best Splash Pad

If you have younger small children, the Grand Floridian has the Alice in Wonderland Splash Pad which is perfect as well as a bigger pool with a fun slide and waterfall right next to it.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Largest Pool with Splash Pad

Even though there are no water slides at value resorts, Disney’s Art of Animation’s Big Blue Pool is a great place to hang out. There are also smaller themed pools around this resort as well such as the Cozy Cone Pool in the Cars Land area.

Which Resorts Allow Dogs?

If you need to bring Fido with you on vacation, Disney will accommodate them at these resorts:

  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (Cars Suites)
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort

Currently, 2 dogs maximum are allowed per guest room and rooms are located at the ends of the resorts with walkways and easy access to grass for exercise and pet relief. Pets are expected to be well-behaved and on a leash at all times.

This is a pilot program and only certain rooms are available in order to accommodate guests with pet allergies as well.

Note: There is a nightly fee for pets. Currently, it is $75 for Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and $50 for the other resorts.

Have a MAGICAL vacation!

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