Walt Disney World is home to more than 25 resorts – each of them amazing and magical in their own right. However, there are a few that really top the list for me – and you may be surprised that not all of them are the most expensive resorts on offer!
Walt Disney World has 3 “levels” for their resorts based on pricing (and amenities offered) – they are Deluxe, Moderate, and Value, with Value pricing starting as low as $85/night and Deluxe pricing going up to $1418/night (yes, really). However, some of the best Walt Disney World Resort hotels don’t even come close to that top tier pricing.
Here are my top 5 Walt Disney World Resorts – and why they make the list!
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Styled to look like a Hawaiian oasis, the Polynesian Village Resort starts off your stay with the traditional Hawaiian greeting of a lei, the traditional symbol of love, friendship, celebration, and honor.
The Polynesian is gorgeous, boasting an amazing “Lava” pool, an authentic Hawaiian luau twice a night, the only place at Walt Disney World where you can meet Lilo & Stitch, a character breakfast, and lots of authentic Polynesian food! It has an on-site spa, 9 dining facilities, and on-site childcare – making it a great option if you’d like an evening to yourself or with your spouse.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
This resort makes the list for it’s walking distance to the Magic Kingdom. Other than taking an expensive taxi, a Disney bus, or driving in yourself, it is the only way you can stay on site and view the daily Opening Ceremony at the Magic Kingdom gates.
It’s also great if you want to skip the cab rides for early morning breakfasts at either Cinderella’s Castle or Be Our Guest – two of the most coveted reservations at Walt Disney World. It’s also home to a great character breakfast of it’s own with Mickey & Friends at Chef Mickeys.
For train-obsessed children, you can’t miss the Monorail actually driving into the hotel – the only place in Walt Disney World where the monorail enters a hotel. There’s also a fun pool with private cabanas, plush spa, onsite childcare, nightly campfires and more add-on recreation options.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
A can’t miss option for the animal-obsessed family, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the final Deluxe option on our list – but I really skip over it!
The Lodge features one of the best pools available at any Walt Disney World resort, along with the award-winning Jiko-The Cooking Place restaurant (which houses the biggest African wine collection outside of South Africa), and the Wanyama Safari and Dinner, which allows you to visit 4 lush savannas for up-close animal encounters followed by a multiple course meal.
It also has on-site childcare and the Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center.
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Home to the Hoop-De-Doo Musical Review, the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness are a fun way to combine a weekend at the cottage with a weekend at Walt Disney World – giving you the best of both worlds.
The Cabins are outfitted with a private patio, charcoal grill and a kitchenette with fridge, microwave, stovetop and dishwasher – but don’t forget, you’re at Disney so that means “Mousekeeping” takes care of your dishes!
You’ll also have access to the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool complete with slides and whirlpool spa, and all typical amenities like Wi-Fi and on-site shuttle services to the parks.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Home to hands-down one of the best pools at Walt Disney World (okay, maybe the best) the Caribbean Beach Resort is a must-do if you have any pirates in your crew!
A tropical paradise that makes you feel like you’re actually in the Caribbean and not minutes away from the Disney parks, this resort is the perfect option if you want to combine a romantic get-away with your partner and a family trip to Disney. You have access to tons of childcare programming so you can enjoy strolls along the lush Barefoot Bay or a romantic dinner at Shutters at Old Port Royale.
You can choose between Standard and Pirate Rooms – but why wouldn’t you choose the pirate rooms?!
There you have it – my top 5 Walt Disney World Resort picks and two of them are actually in the Moderate Price Category!
Do you normally stay on-property at Walt Disney World? What’s your favorite Disney resort?
You can also try some of the Disney Springs Area Resorts!