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    Disney World Hotels

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Choosing Your Walt Disney World Hotel

Almost 90% of TouringPlans users stay at a Disney hotel during their trips. Beyond the convenience and amenities, users say they enjoy “being in the Disney bubble”— the special magic and peace of mind associated with staying inside Walt Disney World.

One family sums it up like this:

I feel more a part of everything and less like a visitor.

Consider a Disney Hotel First

We’ve stayed at over 100 hotels in and around Walt Disney World – hotel research is one of our core areas of work. We think most families’ first choice should be an on-site hotel at Walt Disney World. The slightly higher cost is generally more than offset by these benefits:

  • Better room quality Many Disney hotel rooms are among the best designed and appointed anywhere. Plus, they’re maintained much better than the average hotel room in Orlando.
  • Convenient transportation With bus, monorail, Skyliner, boat, and walking options between hotels and theme parks.
  • Magical Express Disney’s free bus service between Orlando International Airport and your Disney hotel.
  • Priority Park Reservations Disney’s park reservation system sets aside a pool of park reservations just for guests staying at Disney hotels.
  • No Resort Fees Unlike most hotels outside of Walt Disney World, Disney doesn’t charge a mysterious “resort fee” on top of their advertised rates.

Disney World Hotel Categories

Disney groups its resorts into five main categories:

  • Value Resorts have the lowest rates, along with the smallest rooms and amenities.
  • Moderate Resorts are a step up from the Values in room quality, amenities, and cost.
  • Deluxe Resorts are Disney’s top-of-the-line hotels, with extensive themeing, luxurious rooms, and superior on-site dining, recreation, and services.
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts are part of the Disney Vacation Club timeshare, these are studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom suites with kitchens. Most are attached to a Deluxe resort, and many equal or surpass Deluxe resorts in quality. They can also be a better value.
  • Fort Wilderness Campground offers upscale tent, RV, and cabin camping.

Is It "Just a Place to Sleep"?

Many families choose the cheapest hotel they can find, thinking “it’s just a place to sleep.” But most of them would've been happier at a nicer hotel.

To determine this, we've surveyed over 27,000 families to date about the brand of hotel they stay at outside of Walt Disney World, and then asked them how satisfied they were with their Disney World hotel.

Type of Hotel
Satisfied At
Outside WDW
Satisfied at
Disney Value?
Satisfied at
Disney Moderate?
Satsified at
Disney Deluxe?
Satisifed at
Disney Villa?
Budget 70% 63% 80% 70%
Moderate 71% 62% 79% 78%
Upscale 72% 50% 77%
Luxury 70% 60% 77% 78%

The takeaway? No matter what kind of hotel you stay at outside of Walt Disney World, you’ll probably be most satisfied at a Disney Deluxe or DVC resort. So even if you stay at a low-cost Microtel Inn on other trips, you’ll still be happier if you stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge instead of All-Star Music.

After doing these surveys for 30 years, we’re convinced that most people add the words “for the money I paid” to the end of every question we ask. So when you read the survey results above, it’s safe to assume that they take into account the higher cost of the hotel rooms. If you’ve got the budget, we think you’ll have a better trip by booking a Deluxe hotel or DVC.

Disney's Best Value Hotels

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort

Room quality is highest at Pop Century and All-Star Movies, where the entire room configuration has changed recently. Carpet has been replaced with vinyl “hardwood” flooring.

Queen beds are standard in most rooms, with some king beds available. More interesting is that in rooms with two queen beds, one bed folds into the wall during the day, exposing a desk. That frees up around 36 square feet of space in these 260-square-foot rooms — around 14% in all. That's big.

Bathrooms at Pop and Movies are brighter and more open, and more storage is available in the living areas.

Disney’s other Value resorts (in order of room quality):

Disney's Best Moderate Hotels

Gran Destino Tower room at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Standard rooms in the Gran Destino Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort are almost 20% larger than those in the rest of the resort. They have vinyl “hardwood” floors, large windows, good lighting, and lots of desk and storage space; rooms are also equipped with a minifridge and pod-style coffeemaker.

Bathrooms have plentiful lighting and shelf space, two sinks, a huge shower, and separate areas for grooming and the toilet, allowing three groups of people to get ready at the same time.

Chronos Lounge at Gran Destino Tower

Our favorite thing about Gran Destino is the relatively low cost of club-level rooms, which get you access to the Chronos Club lounge. The Chronos Club has fantastic views, good food throughout the day, and a friendly staff. Standard rates for these rooms can be around $200/night less than the next-cheapest club-level room, so they're probably the best value in Walt Disney World.

Disney’s other Moderate resorts (in order of room quality):

Disney's Best Deluxe Hotels

The main pool at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Disney's two best Deluxe resorts are the Grand Floridian Resort & Villas and the Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House.

Both resorts have comfortable rooms, fantastic pools, excellent service, and highly-themed environments.

Dining is what makes the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom Lodge special. The Animal Kingdom Lodge has 3 of the 10 highest-rated restaurants in Walt Disney World:

The Grand Floridian holds Walt Disney World's very best restaurant, Victoria & Albert's, and five of its other restaurants also place in the top 25 of our surveys.

If high-quality dining is a top priority for your Disney World trip and these two resorts fit in your budget, we think they're excellent choices.

A room at Disney's Grand Floridian Villas

The lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Animal Kingdom Lodge fuses African tribal architecture with the rugged style of grand East African national-park lodges. Five-story thatched-roof guest-room wings fan out from a vast central rotunda housing the lobby.

The savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Public areas and about half of the rooms offer panoramic views of a private 21-acre wildlife preserve, punctuated with streams and elevated rock outcrops, and populated with some 200 free-roaming hoofed animals and 130 birds. Almost all rooms have full balconies.

Disney’s other Deluxe resorts (in order of room quality):

Disney's Best Deluxe Villas

A living room at Disney's Bay Lake Tower

Disney’s highest-rated rooms are found at its Disney Vacation Club (DVC) time-share resorts. At the top of this list are the rooms at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Setting aside the Victorian decor, these are the most luxurious rooms in any Disney-owned hotel on-site. Almost all other DVC resorts have rooms rated above average.

Part of the Disney Vacation Club program, most of the Villa Resorts are attached to a Deluxe Resort. Because of this, they share most amenities such as pools, restaurants, and bars.

Deluxe Villas have a wide variety of rooms:

  • Studios
  • 1-Bedroom
  • 2-bedroom, and
  • 3-bedroom Grand Villas

The Studio rooms are generally the same as a Deluxe Resort room described above, while the others are much larger and contain full kitchens and usually more than one bathroom.

A kitchen at Disney's Old Key West Resort

Disney’s other Deluxe Villa resorts (in order of room quality):

Best Hotel Room Views

Our Hotel Room View Tool

One of the first decisions you’ll have when booking a Disney World hotel room is which view to select. If you’re staying at the Yacht Club, for example, do any Garden View rooms have a view of the Stormalong Bay lazy river? If you’re at the Polynesian, does a Theme Park View really improve your chances of seeing the evening fireworks? Is a Savannah View at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the money?

To help you decide, we’ve taken more than 30,000 pictures of what you’ll see from the windows of every Disney World hotel room. We know that sounds crazy. But it's true.

The first page shows you a map of the entire resort. On the left side is a set of filter options you can use to find exactly the room you want:

  • Room Type Includes Disney’s description of the view, and the bed type in the room (if we know it). All-Star Sports has Standard and Preferred views, most with double beds. Moderates will show queen beds, and so on.
  • Walking Distance to Lobby Useful for cutting down on walking time
  • Walking Distance to Transportation Allows you to find rooms near bus stops, monorails and boats
  • Floors If you prefer ground or upper-floor rooms, you can specify that here
  • Sound Level Helps find the quiet rooms at the resort
  • Accessibility Identifies ADA-accessible rooms by feature, including roll-in showers and more
  • Prices You can also filter by price by entering the date you’re checking in.

Set any of these options and click “Show Matching Rooms.” The map will highlight in red all of the buildings which have rooms matching your options.

Click on one of the buildings and you’ll see a map of all of the rooms in that building. Rooms which match your filter options will be highlighted in red:

Rooms matching your search are highlighted in red

Click on any of the individual rooms and you’ll see the view from that room:

The view from room 0335 at Disney's All-Star Sports

Once you’re looking at a room’s view, you can do a comparison of nearby views by going left or right one room, or up or down one floor.

Room Requests If you find a specific room you like, we'll automatically send Disney your request for that room, up to 30 days before you check in.

 
Disney World Hotel Data
Overview Author Ratings Reader Ratings Amenities
Num. Rooms
Cost Ranges
Parking Fees
Resort Fees
Themes
Websites
Phone Numbers
Fax Numbers
Addresses
Overall
Rooms
Fitness Centers
Pools
Sound
Lighting
Pillows
Overall
Room Quality
Check-in Efficiency
Quietness of Room
Shuttle Service
Hotel Pool
Staff
Food Court
Disney-owned
Early Theme Park Entry
Early FP+
Fitness Centers
Water Sports
Marinas
Beaches
Tennis
Biking
Suites
Club Level
Room Service
Wired Internet
Wireless Internet
Shuttle to Parks
Airport Transportation
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