There are plenty of Disney Resort and Hotel options to choose from for all price ranges but the top tier stand out from the rest of the crowd if you’re looking to spend a little more. There are some great budget friendly options if you just need a place to rest your weary head after a fun filled day. Disney resorts come in all sorts of themes and a spread of price ranges.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is as opulent as it gets when it comes to Walt Disney World accommodations. The Victorian era is revived in the décor found in the five-story lobby complete with an open-cage elevator, magnificent chandeliers and the plush guest rooms. The public spaces are benefitting from a renovation that included adding Italian marble to the lobby. And though the Grand Floridian is kid-friendly with loads of activities, the posh resort is the best bet for young couples looking for a quieter place to stay. Extras like afternoon high tea and daily piano performances in the lobby lend an elegant tone, but there are still fun perks like character breakfasts for the kids. An on-site monorail station that is just one stop away from the Magic Kingdom is a real bonus.
Flanked by the white sand beaches of Ko Olina on the southwestern coast of Oahu, Aulani brings your favorite Disney characters to life amid lush Hawaiian scenery. The resort’s accommodations range from standard guest rooms to three-bedroom villas. Aulani invites families to take advantage of the kid-friendly pools and water play areas as well as the resort’s own snorkeling lagoon, Rainbow Reef. Should parents need some alone time, they can drop the kids off at Aunty’s Beach House for supervised activities and head off to the Laniwai Spa for a massage or to the fairways of the nearby Ko Olina Golf Club. The resort’s remote location may not be the best for guests looking to experience the sights of Honolulu.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the more unique Walt Disney World properties. It’s not the game lodge lobby’s thatched roof and chandelier made out of warrior shield reproductions; it’s the 43-acre savannah right outside your door. The resort is set up in a kraal design with balconies overlooking wild grasslands, making it all the better for you to see the ostriches, giraffes and zebras that roam the grounds. Rooms offer decorative touches like hand-carved wood and fabrics inspired by Kente cloth, a silk-cotton type of hand-woven fabric from Ghana. You’ll find all the usual makings of a high-end hotel, including complimentary Wi-Fi access, floor-to-ceiling windows and coffee makers. Meanwhile, the downstairs Boma – Flavors of Africa restaurant is highly regarded for its creative cuisine. When you’re not enjoying the park, make use of the on-site pools and playground. As its name suggests, you can find this resort in the Animal Kingdom area of Disney World.
Located near Magic Kingdom within the confines of Walt Disney World, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has an ambiance that’s reminiscent of the North America’s national parks. The lobby is built with pine and mammoth stone, and just outside the front door are 56 acres of oak and pine trees. Guests marvel at the lobby’s impressive 82-foot fireplace and love the Wilderness Lodge’s secluded feel but some say it can be difficult to reach other points of interest around the park. The Wilderness Lodge’s rustic rooms are popular with families, what kid doesn’t love wooden bunk beds? The Artist Point restaurant’s Pacific Northwest seafood, sirloin and game meat make the eatery one of the park’s more popular dinner options. While staying here, travelers have access to a variety of outdoor sports equipment, such as bicycles, sailboats and fishing gear.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is essentially a recreation of 1940s Atlantic City, complete with ferry rides, carnival games, street performers and nightlife options right outside your door. Older families and young couples love the boardwalk bustle and awesome view of nearby Epcot’s nightly fireworks displays. The surrounding area’s activity does continue late into the night so be prepared. If you want a good night’s sleep, ask for a quieter, less glamorous room with a parking lot view. Although the late-night noise may not suit younger travelers, the BoardWalk Inn’s Luna Park Pool with its Keister Coaster water slide certainly will. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a ride along the boardwalk on the resort’s community bikes.
Experience Africa’s amazing wildlife at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas, no passport required. Housed within Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort, the Kidani Villas allow guests to observe freely roaming animals like zebras and giraffes without having to rough it in the bush. Guests recommend splurging on a villa with a savanna view to get the best taste of Disney Animal Kingdom’s unique setting. The Samawati Springs pool and the Uwanja Camp are ideal retreats for kids who need a break from the theme park. When dinnertime rolls around, try the Boma restaurant for its authentic take on African cuisine. If you’re craving more variety, the resort offers eight other dining establishments serving everything from Indian fare at Sanaa to Mediterranean-, Indian- and African-inspired cuisine at Jiko.
The Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is definitely eye-catching. Situated along Walt Disney World’s Village Lake, this resort looks as though it stepped out of New York State’s Saratoga Springs area in the late 1800s. Guests adore the first-rate, personalized customer service they received starting from the moment they checked in. The rooms earn high praise, especially from larger family groups who appreciate the amount of space each accommodation affords. Regardless of whether you choose a studio, one- or two-bedroom villa or three-bedroom Treehouse Villa, you can count on staples like minifridges and coffee makers as well as complimentary Wi-Fi access. Keep in mind that this is one of the few Disney hotels that isn’t within walking distance to any Walt Disney World sites but does have a complimentary bus transfers, which run between the hotel and the Disney theme parks. Other amenities include the High Rock Spring Pool and the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is the Beach Club’s ritzier sister property as the two share a stretch of land along the shores of Crescent Lake near Walt Disney World. The stylish Yacht Club Resort echoes the upscale feel of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, complete with dark wood accents and leather furniture. The Yacht Club definitely has a more adult vibe than the neighboring Beach Club, but children should feel welcome thanks to the gigantic, kid-friendly pool, Sandcastle Club for toddlers and nearby Fantasia mini-golf course. On-site restaurants, particularly the Yachtsman Steakhouse, come highly recommended. Aside from the amenities, it is the Yacht Club’s convenient location that has many recent guests gushing.
The Beach Club Resort is Disney’s interpretation of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Though it shares beach space and a convention center and Disney’s Yacht Club, the Beach Club has a more casual feel, with wicker chairs and seashell motifs popping up across the property. You can also experience the flavors of the Atlantic coast at the resort’s restaurants. Enjoy whimsical boardwalk favorites at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, or get your fill of seafood at the Cape May Café’s buffet. And for something a little swankier, dress up for surf ‘n’ turf at the New England-inspired Yachtsman Steakhouse. There’s also a ferry service that will take you to nearby Epcot if you don’t feel like making the hike to the theme park’s back entrance.
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas location, picturesquely perched on Walt Disney World’s Crescent Lake, can’t be beat. The architecture was inspired by turn-of-the-century Atlantic City, even before the “Boardwalk Empire” era, Within easy walking distance or scenic boat-ride distance are Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park and Epcot. The all-suite villas themselves are a little bland compared to the property’s dazzling exterior. All suites come appointed with a kitchenette, a private balcony and a pastel color scheme with beach-inspired accents but if you splurge for a multi-bedroom villa you are also rewarded with an in-suite washer and dryer. All guests have access to all the amenities found at the BoardWalk Inn, including three pools, a water slide and five restaurants, including the Flying Fish Café.