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What is the best theme park hotel?

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Published: June 20, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Another category in this year's Theme Park Insider Awards is Best Theme Park Hotel. This award is open to "on property" hotels at theme park resorts. The award will go to the hotel with the highest average reader rating on ThemeParkInsider.com, above a minimum number of votes.

The leading contenders for this year's award are (in alphabetical order):


  • Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

    Universal Orlando

  • Universal's Hard Rock Hotel
  • Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel

    Walt Disney World

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort
  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort
  • Disney's Polynesian Resort
  • Disney's Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort

    If you have been to any of the above hotels in the past year or two, please click on their links and submit a rating.

    The award will be announced on the Fourth of July. But, for fun before then, vote for your favorite in our straw poll:

    Please tell us about your favorite, in the comments:

  • Readers' Opinions

    From Dan Rosenberg on June 20, 2008 at 12:46 PM
    What about Universal's Royal Pacific Resort?
    From Russell Meyer on June 20, 2008 at 1:44 PM
    I've only stayed at Hard Rock and Animal Kingdom Lodge, but I would definitely rate Hard Rock righer based on value. AKL is definitely a unique experience, especially if you splurge for a savanah-side room, but it's REALLY expensive, and not really worth the expense for visitors like us that spend 10+ hours per day in the parks.

    Hard Rock is not quite as high end, but they're a 5 minute walk from the park gates and CityWalk, and the hotel has great restaurants.

    One of these days, we'll take the ultimate splurge and spend a few nights at the Grand Floridian.

    From James Rao on June 20, 2008 at 3:47 PM
    I second the nomination for the Royal Pacific (read my review). Great hotel...great pool...great location....decent price.

    And no Beach Club Resort listed...wow.....I haven't been there for a few years, but the last time I went it was amazing.

    From Anthony Murphy on June 20, 2008 at 4:45 PM
    Another tough one! I greatly enjoy many of these resorts, but it seems that the Yacht Club has it all: Location, Food, Room, and Pool. Who could ask for anything better?

    Honorable mentions: Old Key West and Animal Kingdom Lodge

    From Deidre Dennis on June 21, 2008 at 7:41 PM
    We've never stayed at any of the listed hotels... we spend so little time in our rooms. We pretty much sleep and shower only there, so as long as it's in a safe area, we tend not to splurge too much on our rooms. On our next trip to WDW, we're considering spending a few extra bucks at one of the nicer resorts.
    From David Sutter on June 21, 2008 at 5:03 AM
    I voted for Portofino Bay for a few resons..but mostly because all the DIsney Hotels tend to have copies of themselfs in Fl.and Calif. And ill admit Grand Flo. is beautiful..ANd was my choice for the best...then they built Grand Calif...Ahh more of the same...And as far as their ecomomy hotels...Sorry guys Hoidlay Inns in a Disney Costume.
    From Anthony Murphy on June 21, 2008 at 7:17 AM
    Are people forgetting about places to eat and location? Nobody has a better steakhouse than Yachtsman Steakhouse. Thats one of the reason why it got my vote. The other reason is that it is so close to EPCOT

    Its better to stay at a Disney (or Universal) hotel anyway since they give you many perks that the others can't get.

    Also, there are about 30 WDW resorts while DL has 3. There is very little overlap. Grand Floridian, yes, but thats about as far as it goes. There is nothing like Animal Kingdom Lodge, Old Key West, the Beach/Yacht Club, the Polyesian, etc.

    From Joshua Counsil on June 21, 2008 at 9:48 AM
    It's a shame that Saratoga Springs didn't make the cut - it's my favorite of the DVCs.
    From Scottland Jacobson on June 21, 2008 at 3:14 PM
    The Portofino is just amazing. Luxury in the heart of one of the best theme parks in the world!
    From Mostly Anonymous on June 23, 2008 at 9:41 PM
    What's the best theme park hotel?

    That's got to be the Hotel Miracosta. And you didn't even list it!

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