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The Best Disney World Hotels for Families

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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 toadally great choices when it comes to Disney World hotels! Each comes with its own amenities and distinctive Disney flavor. Luckily, we have some go-tos, 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.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort — "Cars" area


The Best Hotels at Disney World for Families

No matter which Walt Disney World Hotel you pick, you can’t go wrong with the fully immersive Disney experience! There are lots of benefits to staying at an on-site Disney World resort hotel. With more than 25 resort hotels at Disney World, each one has features that are ideal for different groups.

In choosing our favorite hotels for families, we consider 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!)

Overall Theming and Hotel Rooms

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Best Hotels at Disney World - Animal Kingdom Lodge

We love stepping in to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to start off a vacay. Hands down, it has the most spectacular lobby of any Disney Resort hotel. 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. Check out our wild guide for Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside 

Recreating Southern charm, Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside has beautiful grounds with manicured magnolias, bayou “swamps” and even a working water mill. Your very own royalty 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! Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride along the banks of the Sassagoula River, or hop on a boat to Disney Springs for a hoppin' night out (or maybe just a Ghirardelli sundae!). Learn more about Riverside in our frogtastic guide!

Most Tadpole-Friendly Amenities

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Best Hotels at Disney World - Dig Site Pool

Out of all the Disney moderate resorts, Coronado Springs Resort 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! Learn more about Coronado Springs in our frog family guide.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Best Hotels at Disney World - Mr. Ray Statue

Disney's Art of Animation Resort 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. For tadpoles, there's also a toadally fun splash pad to enjoy. 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-served basis). You can also let out your inner mermaid at the Flippin’ Fins Pool and enjoy the “Under the Sea Orchestra” conducted by Sebastian. Plus the resort is pet-friendly so your furry friend can join on the trip! Hop on over to our full guide for more information.

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Best Hotels at Disney World - Stormalong Bay

We like to mention Disney’s Beach Club solely for its three-acre mini water park, Stormalong Bay, that it shares with its sister hotel, Disney’s Yacht Club. It's one of the top Disney World resort pools! 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 (back as of Oct. 4, 2022). Both resorts are an easy walk to EPCOT’s International Gateway entrance.

Top Dining Options

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Best Hotels at Disney World – 'Ohana

Polynesian Village Resort has spectacular on-site dining options for the whole family. 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 (Kona Cafe is currently under refurbishment and will reopen in late 2022 with an enhanced table-service experience). Enjoy family-style breakfast and dinner at 'Ohana with American and Polynesian dishes (character dining with Lilo and Stitch is back as of Sept. 27, 2022). While enjoying the beautiful theming of the resort, treat yourself to a delicious Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai. Plus, you can easily hop on the monorail and enjoy dining at the other monorail resorts or Magic Kingdom. Count us in! Learn more about this classic resort in our hoppin' guide.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Best Hotels at Disney World - Everything Pop Shopping

The food court at Pop Century Resort 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. Learn more about Pop Century in our full guide.

Easiest Transportation

Disney's Contemporary Resort

Best Hotels at Disney World — Monorail

When the monorail literally goes through your hotel, you know it's a great location. Disney's Contemporary Resort is located right next to Magic Kingdom (Listen up frogs: This is the closest you can stay to the park entrance!) 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 straight to EPCOT. Unless it’s super busy, you generally won’t have to fold up your stroller, which we consider a huge plus. Head over to our full guide for more information!

Disney's BoardWalk Villas

Best Hotels at Disney World - BoardWalk

The BoardWalk Villas 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 Disney's Hollywood Studios. If your froggy legs are up for it, you can also walk to either park.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Best Hotels at Disney World – Caribbean Beach

Caribbean Beach Resort is the home of a major Disney Skyliner hub. You can take the new gondola system directly 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. There's enough room in a gondola that most strollers won’t need to be folded up! Larger strollers may also use a separate wheelchair queue for extra time to hop on. The resort also 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


Apr 12, 2024 at 7:23 p.m.
Lindsey Says...

Thanks for this list! Our next trip to WDW will be with a 3-year old and 5-year old so we need all the suggestions we can get. ???? We took my son when he was two, before his sister arrived, and stayed at Pop Century and loved it! The wading pool with fountain jets was perfect for him to splash around in without being too deep, and he spent at least an hour there every day. It was a great location with the Skyliner right there, also! I think for our next trip we might venture over to Art of Animation and take advantage of the extra space you can get with a family suite.

Apr 12, 2024 at 3:35 p.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lindsay!

We toadally agree that Art of Animation would be a frogtastic option for your next trip! The theming is so fun for the tadpoles, and the family suites are great if you want some extra room.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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?

Apr 24, 2020 at 1:41 p.m.
CR Maness Says...

Uber or Lyft will get the job done just fine. Heck, even taxis cost less than renting. Please don't do the double waste of renting a car ... in addition to paying for it, you must pay to park it.

Apr 24, 2020 at 8:48 a.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi CR!

Yes, thank you so much for weighing in - Uber or Lyft are great options too!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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.

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