Best Disney Hotels

January 13, 2015, 2:41 PM

What are your favorite Disney hotels? I have never stayed onsite and I would like to know what you guys think.
Say your favorite Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and DVC.

Replies (12)

January 13, 2015, 5:33 PM

It really depends on what interests you and how much you are willing to budget for a room. Here are our favorites

Old Key West (Great large rooms that isn't overly Disney)
Animal Kingdom Lodge (Great setup)
Beach/Yacht Club (Plenty of great things to do and very strong food choices)
Boardwalk (Its a resort with its own Downtown Disney)
Caribbean Beach

January 13, 2015, 7:20 PM

In case anyone cares about the west coast, at Disneyland, my picks are Grand Californian > Disneyland Hotel > Paradise Pier.

I haven't stayed at enough of the WDW hotels to offer my own opinion, but our Theme Park Insider reader ratings favor these in each category:

Deluxe: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Moderate: Disney’s Port Orleans - French Quarter Resort
Value: Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground (campsites) or Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (if you don't want to camp)

January 14, 2015, 10:54 AM

I'd recommend the Dolphin. It's not technically a full Disney resort as it's operated by Starwood, but it might as well be. Its prices seem to be in line with the moderate resorts and it's linked by boat to Epcot and DHS, as well as the Yacht Club and Boardwalk, so you can enjoy the shopping and food at those properties easily as well.

January 15, 2015, 11:35 PM

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. I recommend that one.

January 16, 2015, 7:01 AM

I love the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge, as well as Artist Point restaurant. Actually, it might be my favorite restaurant at WDW. I don't recall the room I stayed in, as I don't often remember the room details. The primary thing working against it is that the boat transportation to MK is awful. I've stayed twice, and it was terrible both times. Long waits and then leave without a full boat.

Location-wise, any of the EPCOT resorts are my favorite. I've only stayed at Boardwalk, and the hotel itself was really nothing special in my opinion. But I love the short walk to EPCOT World Showcase, and a slightly longer walk to DHS.

I stayed at one of the All-Star resorts once. Never again. Thin walls, too many unruly kids (as opposed to more well-behaved ones) and pretty uncomfortable all-around. If you are in a bind and really want to stay on property, I can't argue against any of these. But if you can find a few tens of bucks under the couch cushions, you'll enjoy a moderate hotel quite a lot more than any of the Value resorts. I admit, I haven't stayed at Art of Animation, but I've been to look around, and the Cars area and Lion King areas outside are actually really cool. Especially the Cars area - worth a trip just for that, I think.

Finally, cost-wise, I really love either Port Orleans. Once Disney Springs is finished, that will really benefit these, with the boat access to shopping and dining. P.O Riverside is very park-like. Not theme park, but the kind you can take a leisurely stroll in. Very comfortable and relaxing environment. I'm not as big on French Quarter.

January 16, 2015, 10:11 AM

My family and I always stay at the Epcot area resorts when at WDW. They are super convenient as HS and Epcot are within walking distance (or Friendship distance) and if you are park hopping you can walk through Epcot and take the monorail to MK. And the ambiance of the Epcot resorts is really special. It feels as if you are still inside one of the parks while there. At the Beach Resort they show movies at night on a blow up screen on the beach and the Boardwalk has carnival style acts on the pier.

January 18, 2015, 8:31 PM

I agree with Melanie's suggestion of the Walt Disney World Dolphin and also the adjacent Walt Disney World Swan for that matter. I have been a proud "lurker" of this site for several years now and rarely see either of these beautiful resorts get any love or praise. Though operated by Sheraton and not Disney, they share incredible aquatic theming similar to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, terrific restaurants, and all of the same transportation and EMH perks all Disney-owned on site resort guests enjoy. Particularly convenient is the boat taxi service or short walk to either Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Best yet, rooms are usually in the same price range as moderate level Disney resorts or even value Disney resorts at times with great deals being offered regularly. I highly recommend both resorts as overlooked gems on the property that rival the best the deluxe level Disney resorts have to offer.

January 19, 2015, 5:21 AM

My favorite has always been the Polynesian. Easy transportation to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, and what used to be a fantastic 3-story lobby with a giant polynesian garden reaching all the way up. However, the whole place is currently under construction, and that garden is gone. But, that's my input. Love Animal Kingdom Lodge too. As far as moderate goes, Caribbean Beach is nice, but there are 7 bus stops, so it can take a long time to get anywhere.

January 21, 2015, 8:03 PM

Value: Art of Animation
Moderate: Coronado Springs
Deluxe: Dolphin

January 28, 2015, 12:50 PM

Deluxe would be beach club
Moderate never stayed at one
Value pop century

January 29, 2015, 8:40 AM

Deluxe: Gran Floridian
Moderate: Never been in any
Value: Disney’s Art of Animation
DVC: Never been in any

January 29, 2015, 2:37 PM

The only deluxe we've stayed at is Animal Kingdom Lodge (Savannah side), so while I would recommend it, I cannot speak to whether it's better or worse than any other deluxe.

I really enjoyed Port Orleans French Quarter. The food court is a bit small, but it is a surprisingly quiet property with a nice pool and boats to DTD.

Pop Century is the only value we've stayed in, and that' primarily due to reviews. We've enjoyed our stays there, and would highly recommend it as the cheapest on-site alternative. I've heard horror stories about All-Stars, and while Art of Animation is technically categorizes as a value resort, it really isn't, and never qualifies for any promotion.

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