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The Best Disney World Hotels for Families

Even now, with all of our trips to Walt Disney World, we frogs sometimes have a hard time deciding which hotel to stay at. Tad only wants to stay at the hotel that he needs more footage of, Lily wants a nice pool to splash around in, Leap is pretty hoppy-go-lucky, and so the tough decision gets left to me. There are so many choices when it comes to Disney World hotels. Each comes with its own amenities and distinctive Disney flavor! Luckily, we have some go-to's, and we're so hoppy to share them all with you. All of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels are amazing and tadpole-friendly, but we think a few deserve to be called the best Disney World hotels for families.

We considered everything from theming to transportation. Which hotel’s amenities provide the most entertainment for the tadpoles? Which resort has the path of least resistance for getting yourselves (and the stroller!) to the parks? We’ve thought of it all!

Without further ado, here’s our list of the best Disney World hotels for families and what makes them stand out from the rest. (We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention that we're offering discounts on all of Disney World's hotels in addition to Orlando hotels. You can view our full reviews and book!)

The Best Disney World Hotels for Families

Overall Theming and Hotel Rooms

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 

We love stepping in to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (as low as $306 a night) to start off a vacay. Hands down, it has the most spectacular lobby of any Disney resort. You feel like you’re on an African adventure with amazing animal views from the savanna-facing rooms (and there are plenty of public viewing areas, too!). As one of the largest pools on Disney World property, Uzima Springs offers a relaxing tropical oasis amidst the wildlife. In keeping up with the theme in all aspects, Boma - Flavors of Africa is our favorite buffet that includes both American and African dishes.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside 

Best Disney World Hotels for Families - Disney's Port Orleans Riverside

Recreating Southern charm, Disney’s Port Orleans - Riverside (as low as $236 a night) has beautiful grounds with manicured magnolias, bayou “swamps” and even a working water mill. Your very own princess will surely love the theming of the Royal Guest rooms, which feature Tiana and her princess pals. Many rooms can sleep up to five adults, which makes this resort a better choice for larger families. Port Orleans - Riverside has dog-friendly accommodations, so you can include your furry friend, too! We like to top it all off with a horse-drawn carriage ride along the banks of the Sassagoula River.

Most Tadpole-Friendly Amenities

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Out of all the Disney moderate resorts, Coronado Springs Resort (as low as $186 a night) has the most family-friendly amenities, including a spa, fitness center and full room service. It does not disappoint the tadpoles, either! The Dig Site is home to the Lost City of Cibola Pool, a sand volleyball court, an archaeological-themed playground and Disney World’s largest hot tub. Lily and Tad love racing down the pool’s 123-foot-long water slide.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Disney's Art of Animation Resort (as low as $171 a night) has THREE fun pools themed after fan-favorite animated movies: the Big Blue Pool, the Cozy Cone Pool and the Flippin’ Fins Pool. Inspired by “Finding Nemo,” the Big Blue Pool is the largest pool at any Disney resort, containing 308,527 gallons of water. You can also listen to music underwater! At the Cozy Cone Pool, it’s clear that the pool area gets inspiration from “Cars” with its cone-shaped cabanas (which are available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis). Lastly, you can let out your inner mermaid at the Flippin’ Fins Pool and enjoy the “Under the Sea Orchestra” conducted by Sebastian.

Disney's Beach Club Resort

We like to mention Disney’s Beach Club (as low as $396 a night) solely for its 3-acre mini water park, Stormalong Bay, that it shares with its sister hotel, Disney’s Yacht Club. We’ve even ranked it as the #1 best Disney World pool! Some of its best features include a 230-foot-long water slide from a shipwrecked pirate ship, a lazy river and a sand-bottomed, zero-entry pool. You can also swim or play water volleyball in the regular pool section, or relax in one of three hot tubs. Disney’s Beach Club also hosts a beach bash breakfast with Minnie Mouse and friends at Cape May Cafe. Both resorts are an easy walk to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance.

Top Dining Options

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort 

Polynesian Village Resort (as low as $495 a night) has spectacular on-site dining options that range from quick-service restaurants to a dinner show. Kona Cafe is a frog favorite that serves traditional American dishes with hints of Asian cuisine. You can also watch sushi chefs prepare rolls at the onstage kitchen. If you like some entertainment while you eat, cheer on hula and fire dancers, drummers and a fire-knife performer as you enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast at the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. Fans of Lilo and Stitch can dine with them and their friends at the ‘Ohana character breakfast, which includes yummy Hawaiian-style dishes.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Best Disney World Hotels for Families - Disney's Pop Century Resort

The food court at Pop Century Resort (as low as $139 a night) is one of our favorites! It’s set up with several quick-service stations that offer different food options, including burgers, pizzas and create-your-own salads, so everyone in the family is bound to find something they like. It also has a refrigerated “Grab-N-Go” market area if you’re looking for a quick bite so you have more park time. You’ll have to try out some of the unique menu items, such as POP waffles and tie-dye cheesecake.

Easiest Transportation

Disney's Contemporary Resort

Listen up frogs, this is the closest you can get to the entrance of Magic Kingdom! There is even a walkway to the park if you wish to get more steps in (hint: sometimes it’s even faster than taking the monorail). Otherwise, it’s only one monorail stop away. You can also hop on the monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center to switch routes and head to straight to Epcot. Unless it’s super busy, you generally won’t have to fold up your stroller, which we consider a huge plus.

BoardWalk Villas

The BoardWalk Villas (as low as $362 a night) has one of the best central locations of any Disney resort. You have prime access to the BoardWalk entertainment district, as well as a short Friendship Boat ride away from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. If your froggy legs are up for it, you can also walk to either park.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney Moderate Hotel - Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach Resort (as low as $180 a night) is the future home of a major Disney Skyliner hub. This means that starting in the fall of this year, you’ll be able to take the brand-new gondola system to Hollywood Studios or Epcot. At the Caribbean Beach main hub, guests can transfer routes depending on which park they want to visit, similar to the Transportation and Ticket Center. Perhaps best of all the details we’ve learned so far, there will be enough room in a gondola that most strollers won’t need to be folded up! While exact stroller sizes are unclear, larger strollers may also use a separate wheelchair queue for extra time to hop on. Until Skyliner opens, the resort has its own internal bus route, so you don’t have to walk far from your room. Aside from easy transportation, we love swimming in the Spanish fortress themed pool, Fuentes Del Morro!

There you have it—the best Disney World hotels—at least according to us frogs! Which is your favorite? Make sure to hop over to our Where to Stay in Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Timeline for more planning resources!

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Sep 3, 2014 at 4:57 p.m. Jamie Greer Says...

Hi, I am planning my family's first trip to Disney and Universal right now. I think the advantages to staying on site sound fabulous, but we do want to go to Universal Studios as well. Is there transportation from any of the Disney hotels to Universal?

Reply
Sep 4, 2014 at 8:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jamie,

Unfortunately, there is not free transportation between the two parks. You should price the cost of transport vs. the cost of renting a car. You might find for your family size, that renting makes more sense and is more convenient. We offer discounts on car rental if you are purchasing tickets. If you don't rent, your options are taxi or shuttle.

Reply
Apr 17, 2014 at 10 a.m. Why Animal Kingdom Lodge Is Our (New) Favorite Disney Deluxe Resort Says...

[...] you’ll recall from this post, for the longest time, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was our favorite Disney deluxe resort. And [...]

Reply
Jan 3, 2014 at 3:36 p.m. Top 5 Reasons to Stay in a Disney Hotel Says...

[...] Related: The Frog Family’s Favorite Disney Resorts [...]

Reply
Dec 2, 2013 at 3:48 p.m. Disney, Universal & SeaWorld Planning for December Says...

[...] gingerbread tree at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, our very favorite deluxe resort, has nothing edible on display, but it is a sight to behold. Its exposed timber and pitched roof is [...]

Reply
Oct 29, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. Disney World, Universal & SeaWorld Planning for November Says...

[...] the spirit right now, we recommend you check out our video of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (our very favorite deluxe resort) from our trip last [...]

Reply
Mar 19, 2013 at 7:02 a.m. Epcot Flower & Garden Review: Both Kids and Adults Will Enjoy This Year’s Festival Says...

[...] Port Orleans – Riverside is another great option (and the Frog Family’s favorite moderate resort). It boasts extensive, award-winning landscaping, and nothing beats a stroll along the Sassagoula [...]

Reply
Dec 13, 2012 at 1:41 p.m. ‘Surprise! We’re Going to Disney World!’ — Our Latest Trip and Stealth Planning Tips Says...

[...] of the Seasons and experience Christmas all over the world at Epcot. And we’re staying at our very favorite deluxe resort — the Wilderness Lodge — which always feels so cozy yet still impressive with its [...]

Reply
Nov 1, 2012 at 7:01 a.m. Planning for Walt Disney World in November Says...

[...] Lodge because it feels more like a traditional Christmas). By the way, the Wilderness Lodge is the Frog Family’s very favorite deluxe resort to stay [...]

Reply
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