We are a huge Disney family.
We go to Disney World as often as we possibly can and never tire of the magic.
Even as my children have aged, I can’t think of a time when I’ve said we are going to Disney and anyone wasn’t excited.
It’s just our thing and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
To keep it exciting, we have added some fun goals to our Disney travel to make going to Disney even more of an adventure. The most exciting one is staying at every one of the Disney World resort hotels.
And we don’t cheat by moving around to different properties each time we visit –we have to book a new trip if we want to try a new property!
People often ask us which is the best Disney resort hotel and I honestly find that a super hard question to answer.
Each of the resort properties is so different that, depending on who you are and what you’re looking for, any one of them could be the best Disney resort hotel for you and your family.
When it comes time to choose, make a list of the things that are important to you: location, price, space, recreation, dining, theme, and other amenities are always on my list.
Then, head to the Disney website and click on “Places to Stay“.
The resorts at Disney World fall into one of five, price and size based categories: Deluxe Villas, Deluxe Resort Hotels, Moderate Resort Hotels, Value Resort Hotels, and Campgrounds.
Note: Some resort properties do not accommodate families of 5 or more.
Once you select one of these, spend some time exploring each property. Often, my final selection comes down to price and availability, but other things like dining and location come into play as well.
The best part is that no matter which hotel you select, your entire stay will be magical!
If you’re planning a trip to Disney World and want to make sure you select the best Disney resort hotel for your family, I’ve made a list of our favorites to help you narrow it down.
The Best Disney Hotel: Our Top Picks and Why We Love Them
Animal Kingdom: Best Disney Hotel for Scenery
When it comes to scenery, theme, and all-around enjoyment of location, we would say, hands down. The Animal Kingdom resort is our favorite Disney resort hotel to stay at. Visitors are immersed in a safari adventure to truly feel like they are enjoying a luxury version of a Saharan safari. There are wild, African animals and birds roaming the property and you can enjoy them right from your hotel room window.
Pro Tip: To make your stay super awesome spring for a room with a verandah facing the savannah. You’ll be able to wake up to giraffes and other animals grazing just outside your window!
Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Best Disney Hotel Quick Service Dining Location
We rarely spend time dining at the hotels, choosing instead to enjoy our meals within the parks, but Port Orleans is always the exception. Riverside Mill Food Court, their quick service style resort based dining facility, is one of our favorite places to eat across the entire resort and that includes in the parks. We love that they have so many options right in the same area and, for a quick service meal spot, the food is pretty darn good.
We usually eat breakfast on the run or in our room, but we always splurge when we stay at Port Orleans.
Contemporary Resort: Best Disney Hotel for Location
We loved this resort for it’s location on the monorail. The train pulls up right inside of the lobby of the hotel making it a super quick ride over to the Magic Kingdom. In fact, it’s so close to the Magic Kingdom that you can walk if you want! It only took us about 10 minutes to get to our room along the walking path between the hotel and the park. It’s also located on the water where you can enjoy water sports like boating, fishing, and more.
Old Key West Resort: Best Disney Hotel for Space
Our first family trip to Disney included a stay at this resort. We wanted something spacious with a kitchen for our week long adventure. While we wound up enjoying Disney fare more than we cooked for ourselves, it was nice to save a little on breakfast by making it in our room each day.
Pro Tip: Don’t worry about shopping or carrying a bunch of food to the hotel yourself. Place an order with Garden Grocer before you visit and they will deliver edible items and other necessities right to your resort during your stay.
Disney’s Yacht Club/Beach Club: Best Disney Hotel Pool
Best. Pool. Ever. It’s huge, with over 3 acres of aquatic fun for both the Beach Club and the Yacht Club resorts. Stormalong Bay, as it’s called, is a great place for spending a day away from the parks. It’s a beachside water park featuring an awesome sandy bottomed pool, a huge shipwreck replica for climbing, adventuring, and water sliding down one of the highest Disney World hotel pool slides. You can relax on an innertube in the lazy river or in one of the 3 whirlpool spas. And, of course you can fuel up by enjoying lunch and adult beverages poolside courtesy of their outdoor dining facilities.
First visit to Disney World Resort in Orlando? Check out this post for some much needed planning tips: 30 Things to Know Before You Go on a Disney World Vacation