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Hundreds of hotels claim to be the best for Walt Disney World Resorts in Florida, but how do you choose? We are here to help, here’s our list of the 5 best hotels for Disney World in Orlando.
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Disney’s Coronado Spring Resort
One of the best hotels for Disney World is also a high rise hotel in the Walt Disney World Resort family, say hello to Coronado Springs Resort. At nearly 20 stories high, the property fashioned after a spanish style resort with hanging moorish lanterns and large archways with Spanish tile.
The resort is split between the Gran Destino tower, a traditional monolithic hotel, and lower level suites modeled after the Spanish Casitas (little houses). All have been finished to a high quality standard with excellent furnishings and amenities.
The location of the hotel is on Lake Buena Vista sandwiched between Disney Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom theme parks.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort provides a refined guest experience with distinct Spanish style and all of the benefits of being an on-site Disney-owned resort.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
One of the most iconic hotels in the entire Walt Disney World Resort is Disney’s Contemporary Resort. While it is a short walk from Disney’s Magic Kingdom – don’t you dare walk to the park. The hotel is known for the monorail that runs through the third floor of the hotel.
The triangular design features a number of ascending balcony tiered levels with views of the park outside of the hotel and from the interior balconies looking down on the monorail and restaurants and shops.
Despite the name, the Contemporary resort is due for a refit but it’s hard to find a more iconic hotel on the Walt Disney World Resort grounds. Families can enjoy the character breakfasts, nightly fireworks and valet service.
The greatest value of this property is its proximity to the Magic Kingdom. Suites and Lobbies absolutely advises guests to use the monorail to get to the park (see above) but from Disney World Annual Passholders here’s a pro tip: walk home from the parks after the fireworks to avoid long and slow lines on the monorail. It’s a 5-10 minute walk but the line for the 30 second monorail can be 30-60 minutes depending on the congestion of the park.
Being close enough to the Magic Kingdom makes this a continued favorite in the best hotels for Disney World round up.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
One of the most unique properties in the Walt Disney World Resort complex is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The property is themed after south Pacific islander culture with a mix of Polynesia locales contributing to the style, decor, and design of the resort.
Disney excels at enveloping their clients in an immersive experience and the Polynesian is just such an experience. From tiki torches guiding walkways to the traditional appearance of in character staff, families will have the opportunity to enjoy the islander experience with the convenience of a Walt Disney World resort property. That all encompassing experience extends to the world-famous Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto bar.
Due to its nearness to the Magic Kingdom, guests at the Polynesian will be able to utilize the monorail or take a boat ride to arrive at the park gates. On Extra Magic Hour days, Polynesian’s guests will have additional hours to enjoy the theme parks without the general public to fill the ride queues. The boat ride and the extra hours make this resort a familiar name on the best hotels for Disney World list.
Disney’s Polyneisian Village Resort is on the premium side of the WDW family of hotels at about $500/nt in low season for standard rooms. Lagoon and theme park view rooms also available.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Connecting with the beautiful world around them is one of the goals of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This premium Disney hotel is one of the newest additions to the family, in celebration of its African safari themed park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
One of the most luxurious properties from Disney World hotels, it’s home to one of the largest collections of African art in the United States. Families can safely interact with more than 30 exotic animals on the grounds or get close with a safari cruise. Zebras, giraffes, flamingos, kudu – these aren’t animatronics, these are living, breathing, animals that children can see and learn more about.
The property is a stark departure from the American West-themed Fort Wilderness resort, both in terms of accommodations and offerings. The Animal Kingdom lodge features a swimming pool with water slide, and villas for guests interested in a more exclusive experience.
The deluxe resort gives the sense of connection with the Lion King despite the modern amenities of a five-star resort like childcare services, and valet.
Disney’s Art Animation Resort
Of all the properties on this list, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is certainly the most affordable, but depending on the park and activities your family is likely to participate in, it could also be the best located.
A recent addition to the resort has been a cable car system that delivers guests to Disney Hollywood Studios or Epcot Center right from the resort. The “Skyliner”cable cars are a beautiful way to visit each theme park and are approximately the same distance apart, it’s certainly an efficient and enjoyable way to transit. Busses are also available for those who may prefer something closer to terra firma.
There are two aspects that make Disney’s Art of Animation Resort key for so many visitors. The first is the history on display. Disney, at its core, is an animation studio that branched out into all of these other beautiful and wonderful aspects of cinema and entertainment. However, they have never strayed far from delivering magic through animation and throughout the resort this is celebrated. Original sketches from Finding Nemo to early Mickey works are on display. There’s a sense of history and reflection in this property.
The second key for this resort is the price point. It’s one of the more affordable resorts in the area making a Disney dream come true for families of every budget. But that doesn’t mean that the property is light on amenities. It boasts the largest swimming pool of any resort in Walt Disney World, has leading transportation options, full food-service with reasonable meal plans, and all of the other services and benefits of a Disney property.
The resort is an outdoor access hotel with hundreds of rooms in nearby blocks. It is part of the value brands along with Disney Pop Century within the World of Sports complex.
BONUS: Waldorf-Astoria Orlando
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando has made a number of our “Best of” Orlando lists. It’s luxurious with exceedingly high quality finishes. It benefits from some of the closest proximity to the Walt Disney World Resort of true luxury hotels in the area.
Visitors to the resort have as many things to do outside of visiting the parks when they come back to the Waldorf-Astoria. As part of the Bonnet Creek complex, it shares a huge water park with the neighboring hotel, the Hilton Bonnet Creek. Guests from the Waldorf-Astoria can use the lazy river, whirlpools and zero-entry swimming pools, but have their own private pools at the Waldorf that are unavailable to Hilton guests.
The complex boasts an 18-hole championship golf course and fireworks display views nightly.
It’s just 2.3 miles away from Hollywood Studios and is a sophisticated approach to a Disney World vacation.
The hotel is a familiar name on our best hotels for Disney World, giving guests access to Disney’s Extra Magic Hours (extra time in the park not available for guests staying outside the network), Disney-expert concierge desk, and free transportation to the parks aboard its private, luxury coach.
One distinct advantage that the Waldorf-Astoria has over Walt Disney World Resort-owned hotels is that guests have access to the Hilton Honors loyalty program. All Hilton Honors members are able to earn and burn points for their stay. Elite Honors members are invited to a complimentary breakfast daily and will be offered complimentary room upgrades as available at checkin with a 2 pm checkout.
The 5 Best Hotels For Disney World in Orlando, Florida
The city of Orlando is full of excellent, family-friendly properties. Many of our favorites couldn’t make this list, and the same might be true for properties you’ve stayed in around the area. However, as a result of frequenting the area as Disney Annual Passholders and global travelers, this is our list of the 5 best hotels for Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
What do you think? Do you have favorites that should have made this list but didn’t?