5 Best Hotels at Walt Disney World: Unbeatable Luxury & Magical Stays




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When planning your magical vacation to Walt Disney World, choosing the right hotel can enhance your experience. With numerous options available, it’s essential to consider the top five hotels that stand out for their atmosphere, amenities, and proximity to the theme parks.

By staying at one of these exceptional hotels, you’ll not only be immersed in the Disney magic, from luxurious accommodations to unique themes but also have convenient access to entertainment and dining options.

Discover the five best hotels to make your Walt Disney World trip unforgettable.

Grand Floridian Hotel
Grand Floridian hotel.

5 Best Hotels at Walt Disney World

When planning your trip to Walt Disney World, your hotel choice is crucial for a memorable experience. Here are the top five hotels in the resort:

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Considered the flagship resort of Disney World, the Grand Floridian offers top-notch luxury and elegance. From the opulent lobby to its award-winning Victoria & Albert’s restaurant, you’ll immerse in a lavish stay.

Located close to Magic Kingdom, it offers easy monorail access to the park. This resort is an ideal choice if you value sophistication and top-notch amenities during your stay.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Famous for its modern architecture and design, Disney’s Contemporary Resort houses the iconic California Grill restaurant. The resort’s proximity to Magic Kingdom is a bonus, offering a stunning view of the nightly fireworks.

The monorail passes directly through the resort, providing easy transportation to nearby theme parks. You’ll enjoy the combination of style and convenience at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

If you dream of a tropical island getaway, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the perfect choice. Its lush surroundings and charming ambiance will transport you to the South Pacific.

Located on the Seven Seas Lagoon, it offers multiple dining options and a beautiful white-sand beach. You’ll have direct monorail access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot from this delightful resort.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Experience the African savannah at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This uniquely themed resort brings you closer to nature with its wildlife-viewing areas and African-inspired architecture.

Boasting an impressive pool area and multiple dining options, you’ll revel in the resort’s exotic atmosphere. Plus, you’re just a short shuttle bus ride away from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Inspired by the rustic lodges of America’s National Parks, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offers a serene escape. Surrounded by towering pines and waterways, you’ll enjoy the comforts of a luxurious retreat.

This resort features an impressive lobby, themed dining experiences, and easy boat access to Magic Kingdom. Embrace the spirit of the wilderness while staying within the heart of Walt Disney World Resort.

Grand Floridian Hotel May 2005
Me In the Grand Floridian 2005

Hotel Categories and Themes

When planning your Walt Disney World vacation, it’s essential to choose a hotel that suits your needs and preferences. Disney World offers various hotel categories, each with its unique themes and amenities.

Value Resorts

Value Resorts are an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers who still want to enjoy Disney magic. These hotels feature fun and colorful themes inspired by Disney classics.

For example, Art of Animation Resort immerses you in popular animated movies like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. Another option is the Pop Century Resort, which celebrates the fashions, toys, and catchphrases of the 1950s to 1990s.

Moderate Resorts

Moderate Resorts offer a balance between quality and affordability, with more extensive amenities and diverse themes. From the Caribbean-inspired atmosphere at Caribbean Beach Resort to the elegant European charm of Disney’s Riviera Resort, there’s something for everyone in this category.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, located near Disney Springs, provides a convenient location for both leisure and business travelers.

Deluxe Resorts

Deluxe Resorts boast luxurious accommodations, top-notch amenities, and stunning locations, perfect for those willing to splurge on their Disney vacation. Wilderness Lodge, for instance, transports you to the great American Northwest, immersed in rustic elegance and natural beauty.

For those seeking a truly upscale experience, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, situated within the Walt Disney World Resort, promises a luxurious stay in a prestigious hotel brand known for its impeccable service and refined ambiance.

Dining Options

At the California Grill, located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, treat yourself to a fine dining experience with delicious American cuisine and stunning views of the Magic Kingdom park.

Savor mouthwatering African-inspired dishes at Jiko, nestled within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You’ll love the diverse flavors and wine selections from South Africa.

For a taste of the islands, visit Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Here, you can indulge in the famous Tonga Toast, a scrumptious banana-stuffed French toast.

  • California Grill: American Cuisine
  • Jiko: African Flavors
  • Kona Café: Island-themed Dishes

If you’re a fan of tropical concoctions and a relaxed atmosphere, head over to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, also located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This tiki bar offers exotic drinks and small bites in an immersive setting.

Recreation and Amenities

At Walt Disney World, resort hotels offer a variety of recreational facilities and amenities to enhance your stay.

Pools and Water Parks

Stormalong Bay, located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, features a sand-bottomed pool, water slides, and a lazy river. Here, you can enjoy a beachside experience with crystal clear waters and exciting water activities.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort features the Hippy Dippy Pool, a flower-shaped swimming pool that’s perfect for a relaxing dip after a day in the parks. Make a splash, unwind, and enjoy some family fun in the sun with numerous poolside activities.

Transportation and Monorail

Your stay at a Disney resort comes with complimentary transportation options, including bus, boat, and monorail services. These options will ensure a seamless travel experience within the Walt Disney World property, including transportation to theme parks and Disney Springs.

The monorail is a convenient, quick, and enjoyable mode of transportation that connects the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and select resort hotels, such as Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, as well as the Seven Seas Lagoon area.

Where to Stay Near Disney World

Alternative Luxury Hotels

If you’re looking for upscale accommodations near Disney World, consider the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa. It offers a luxurious experience while still providing convenient access to the parks.

Another deluxe option is the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, where you will be treated to exceptional service, amenities, and attention to detail.

Off-Property Resorts

Marriott Bonvoy offers a variety of off-property resorts near Disney World, catering to different budgets and preferences. These include the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, which provides unparalleled luxury for your getaway.

The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista and DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando, both near Disney Springs, are excellent choices for off-property stays with numerous amenities and convenient access to the parks.

If you have Hilton Gold or Diamond elite status, you may want to consider staying with the brand to benefit from your Hilton elite benefits.


For a more outdoorsy experience, there are campgrounds available near Disney World, providing a unique and affordable alternative to traditional hotels. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a popular option that offers a range of camping options.

There are also several non-Disney campgrounds in the area, such as the KOA and Thousand Trails Orlando, providing additional choices for those in search of a more rustic or budget-friendly stay.

Additional Considerations

Value and Service

When choosing a Disney World hotel, consider the value and service that each hotel offers. Factor in the amenities, activities, and dining options available at each resort.

Pay attention to guest reviews to get an insight into the level of service you can expect. Each resort varies in terms of service quality, so weigh the price against the facilities and amenities you prioritize.

Location and Proximity to Theme Parks

Think about your hotel’s location and its accessibility to Walt Disney World theme parks. Some hotels are closer to the parks, which can save you time and effort when traveling to and from the attractions.

Take note of the transportation options provided by the resort, such as shuttle buses, boats, or monorails, as this can impact your overall experience and convenience during your stay in Orlando, Florida.

For additional hotel ideas for vacations for kids of all ages be sure to check out this article.

About the author

Hi, I’m Paul Stamp, the adventurer behind this site! I’m in charge of all content and editing. 

I went on my first adventure in 1989 aged just 12 when I flew from the UK to Walt Disney World in Florida with my friend and his family.

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