When planning a vacation to Walt Disney World® in Orlando, Florida, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is where to stay.
There are 26 world-class resorts on-site at Disney World, each with a unique decorative theme and all offering direct transportation, either by boat, bus, or monorail, to all four Disney theme parks as well as Blizzard Beach, Disney Springs, and Typhoon Lagoon. To help narrow your search for the perfect place to stay while visiting “The Happiest Place On Earth,” here’s a guide to Disney World’s best hotels.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of Disney World’s most iconic on-site resorts, as it’s modeled and decorated in traditional African styles and is home to one of the largest collections of African art in the United States. The hotel is built in a horseshoe shape with rooms that overlook a 46-acre savanna, which is home to hundreds of free-roaming African animals such as zebras, giraffes, and ostriches. The Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a family-friendly pool, playground, and interactive animal program and is home to two African-inspired restaurants, Jiko, for formal dining, and Boma, a family-style buffet.
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando is probably one of the best hotels in all of Orlando, not just Disney World. It’s a modern resort that is all-inclusive, luxurious, and impressive, and the Four Seasons Resort Orlando features its own “Disney Planning Center” to help you get the most out of your visit. The resort boasts six on-site bars and restaurants, including an open-air, rooftop steakhouse as well as “character breakfasts” with famous Disney characters, a full-service spa, and golf course. The Four Seasons Resort Orlando is also the only hotel in Central Florida to receive the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award.
One of Disney World’s best hotels is the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, an exclusive, lavish getaway inspired by the Victorian era. The Grand Floridian features soaring architecture, intricate décor, and sophisticated amenities, such as Victoria & Albert’s, one of the highest-rated fine-dining establishments in the entire state. Families can enjoy the live orchestra in the lobby and the evening view of fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, and kids can partake in a special character experience at either the My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party, hosted by Disney princesses, or the Wonderland Tea Party, hosted by Alice and the Mad Hatter.
One of Disney’s best hotels is the Polynesian Village Resort, a tropical oasis in the heart of Orlando, Florida. The Polynesian is a deluxe resort inspired by the islands of the South Pacific and features lush vegetation, Asian statues, figurines, and carvings, and tiki-themed architecture. The main building, called the “Great Ceremonial House,” is designed after Tahitian royal assembly lodges, and instead of rooms, guests stay in lodges, called “longhouses,” and water bungalows spread out on the resort property. Guests can enjoy the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, which features traditional dancing, a fire-knife performance, and an all-you-can-eat tropical feast.
The beautiful Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World® is built in the image of turn-of-the-century National Park lodges and decorated with totem poles, Native American headdresses, and other items reminiscent of the rustic outdoors. Dining options include Artist Point, which offers Pacific-Northwest cuisine, and the Whispering Canyon Café, which is a whimsical, kid-centric eatery. Also, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge features a rustic stone hearth and a bubbling hot spring that runs through the lobby and tumbles as a waterfall into the outdoor swimming pool area.
Disney’s BoardWalk Resort is an elegant, waterfront getaway that’s modeled after Atlantic City and Coney Island at the turn of the century, complete with 1920s-themed restaurants and carnival games, and the BoardWalk Inn and Villas are among the most beautiful accommodations that Walt Disney World® has to offer. The charming, colorful atmosphere and the mix of adult entertainment, such as the Atlantic Dance Hall nightclub and Jellyrolls dueling piano bar, make the BoardWalk Resort one of Disney’s best on-site hotels.