Ask the Experts: Best Walt Disney World Hotels


If you are planning your first Walt Disney World vacation or visiting Orlando for the 20th time, it’s not easy to choose which resort to book your stay.  If you’re like me, you probably wound up on this page is because you’re trying to get as much information as possible about the best Walt Disney World hotels.  I don’t want you to only rely my opinion, so I reached out to 18 other bloggers to ask the question “What is your favorite Walt Disney World resort and why?”

Exteriors of Wilderness Lodge Resort and Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort, separated by light blue bar with title "Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Walt Disney World Hotels According to the Experts"

Value Resorts

As the lower-cost Walt Disney World resort option, many guests consider the Value Resorts to be the ideal choice for those who are on a tight budget. But that’s not the only reason people love them! Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts have plenty of fans for their theming, pools, suites and newly renovated rooms.

Art of Animation

Exterior shot of the Cars themed area of the Art of Animation resort, listed as one of the Best Walt Disney World Hotels

Angie Rumpf,  Disney Parents:  We are local annual passholders in Orlando so when we visit the resorts it is usually in a “staycation“ capacity. Because our 3 children are under the age of 10, personally we enjoy the Art of Animation resort. That pool area is easily manageable for us and there something for each of their personalities. 

Ashley S.,  Ashley & Company:  Art of Animation- the theming and suites.

 Pop Century

Giant foosball table and Mickey Mouse phone structures at Pop Century Resort

 Lucy McKenzie, Gigglebox Tells it Like it is Currently we love Pop Century.  Mostly because it’s affordable for a family on a budget and love that it has its own bus route to the parks.  We love the theming and can’t wait to see the remodeled rooms.

Moderate Resorts

The Moderate Resorts are aptly named as they offer a great middle ground between the Value and Deluxe resorts. The theming is more subdued than the values, but don’t take that to mean they don’t feel immersive; whether it’s the bayou, a tropical beach, or the great outdoors, each Moderate resort has its own distinct feel. With the addition of pool slides, lounges, and sit-down restaurants, the amenities and dining are more elevated than the Values, but still an affordable option for most guests.

Port Orleans – French Quarter

Sunset view of the waterfront area of Port Orleans French Quarter, one of the Best Walt Disney World Hotels

Janice Brady,  An Open Suitcase Port Orleans  French Quarter will always be my favorite because of the small size which makes it an easy resort to get around. Th.e easy and relaxing  boat access to Disney Springs is important for my family since we love visiting Disney Springs multiple times during our stay to dine and shop. Colorful atmosphere and the pool make it a fun resort for everyone in the family. 

Jamie Welch-Schelin, Florida’s Family Fun That’s a hard question but we love Disney’s Port Orleans Resort  French Quarter; something about the feel of it. Plus the kids love the pool

Caribbean Beach Resort

Green trees and yellow buildings help the Caribbean Beach Resort live up to its name.

Megan Miller, Gingy Love I love Caribbean Beach Resort because it is so close to the Boardwalk, Epcot, and right now a great value if you can look past the construction.

Fort Wilderness

Family of four standing on the edge of the sidewalk leading towards a beachy area at Disney's Fort Wilderness resort.
Devon Weaver’s family loves Fort Wilderness (Photo courtesy of Mama Cheaps)

Devon Weaver,  Mama Cheaps We love bringing our camper to Disney and not only enjoying super cheap lodging, but Fort Wilderness has a ton of great amenities.  It’s a wonderful place head back to for some relaxation after a busy morning or night at the Parks.  

Port Orleans – Riverside

The buildings at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort look like large, sprawling southern-style mansions.

Emily,  The Journey of Parenthood I haven’t stayed on many of the Disney Resorts but did a getaway with my daughter at Port Orleans – Riverside in the Princess themed room and LOVED IT. We had an incredible time and the room was fantastic. I’m looking forward to taking my younger daughter there next year!

Janine Young, Along With the Youngs Port Orleans Riverside – we as a family love everything about it. The charm of the resort, the pool options are great, but most notably being able to take the water taxi to Disney Springs.

Deluxe Resorts and Disney Villas

If cost isn’t a factor and you want a hotel with lavish amenities and close proximity to the theme parks, get ready to book a room at one of the Deluxe Resorts or Disney Villas. This is where you can find sand-bottom pools, Disney’s signature restaurants, and views of the fireworks from your room.  Even if you’re not staying at a Deluxe resort on your vacation, these bloggers give you plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or to simply enjoy the atmosphere.

Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts

A wooden walkway and nautically inspired architecture make Disney's Beach Club one of the Best Walt Disney World Hotels
Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Photo by Melissa from The Farm Girl Gabs

Melissa Russo, The Farm Girl Gabs:  Disney’s Beach Club. I love the Yacht Club too! I love that it is located in the Epcot area. And the theming is perfect. 

Tammy Graham,  Living the Disney Dream:  Disney’s Beach Club Villas is my favorite resort. We love the beachy-feel, the amazing pool/water park, the food offerings, and the walking path to Epcot – perfection! 

Jennifer,  My Boys and Their Toys Disney’s Yacht Club because it’s clean, has great service and their pool is amazing! This is a great place for families with children. The boat access to Epcot is unique, and there’s special dining/shopping at the boardwalk that’s unique to this resort. My favorite is the beachfront view from the rooms!

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Bright blue skies and colorful balconies overlooking the green savanna at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Theresa Mabe, In Sight: Full Life: I have stayed in almost every Walt Disney World Resort hotel at least once, and Animal Kingdom Lodge is permanently locked at the top of my list. Walking into that lobby is such a majestic experience, and I absolutely love how they have African art, influences and knowledge throughout the resort. Every dining experience I’ve had there has been phenomenal, and is there any better way to wake up in the morning than sipping coffee on the balcony while watching the wildlife wander the savanna? I would stay here every trip if I could. (Hey, had to include my own thoughts here! If you want to read what I think about a couple other resorts, check out my post Walt Disney World Accommodations for Large Families!)

Copper Creek Cabins at Wilderness Lodge

Wood tables, flooring and other accents play on the wilderness theming at the Copper Creek Cabins.
Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Villas, photo by Allison at Jones Family Travels

Allison Jones, Jones Family Travels There are so many Disney Resorts to love! Our favorite Disney Resort for the whole family is Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. These cabins sit right on the water with spectacular views of Happily Ever After Fireworks and Electrical Water Pageant. You can even relax in the hot tub on the patio, with your favorite drink! These cabins are a retreat for the whole family, especially after the crazy days at the parks.

The Overwhelming Favorite – Disney’s Polynesian Resort Village

I wasn’t shocked when talking about the best Walt Disney World hotels that the Polynesian came out as the clear favorite. It’s one of the most popular resorts for all guests, and I’m excited any opportunity I have to visit it during a Walt Disney World vacation. Rather than me talking about all the reasons I love it, I’ll let my fellow bloggers share what’s so special about this resort.

At Disney's Polynesian Resort, looking above the lobby you see blue skies and brightly colored light fixtures.

Carrie Hurst, A Princess and Her Pirates My favorite Disney Resort is the Polynesian.  I love it for so many reasons! First, the theming is amazing, and I find it very relaxing.  The tiki torches, landscaping, the smells….it’s all amazing. Second, the pool area is fantastic for kids and families of all ages.  There is nothing like sitting poolside and seeing Cinderella’s Castle in the distance! There are so many amazing dining options, and I find it is easy to navigate.   Plus, being on the monorail is the best! 

Patty Moliterno,  A Mother’s Random Thoughts and WDW POV:  Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort because it gives me the feeling of traveling somewhere exotic. I love the attention to detail, the restaurants, and the Dole Whips!

View overlooking Bay Lake towards the bungalows and Magic Kingdom from rooms at the Polynesian Village Resort.

Kim Seghers, This Ole Mom Polynesian Resort King Kamehameha Club Level is my favorite. Why? I love when I step into the lobby to check in, and they place the lei around my neck, and they escort my family to our building. It makes me feel special and pampered. Just the extra pixie dust sprinkled on my family makes staying at the Poly more magical. Also, I love the beautiful views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and of the Castle from the club level lounge and the rooms. Everything about the poly including the grounds is AMAZING!! 

Tina M. Brown, Footprints in Pixie Dust Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort ~ I mean Dole Whips at your finger tips, fabulous restaurants, tremendous view of Happily Ever After and an island feel I have yet to experience in real life.

Lisa Cameron, Adventures in Familyhood My favorite Disney Resort is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Its location on the monorail loop makes it convenient for families. The theming of the resort is amazing. At times you forget you are actually at Walt Disney World. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is also home to some of the best restaurants on property such as ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe.

What’s Your Favorite?

As you can see, when talking to people about the best Walt Disney World hotels, their responses are as diverse as the resorts they described.  Did your favorite make the list? I’d love to know which resorts you love and want to revisit time and time again.  And thank you so much to all of the bloggers who participated in this post! Even though we all focus a lot of our writing on Disney, you can see that our personal experiences and preferences give us a unique point of view and something new to add. I hope you’ll spend some time checking out their blogs as well and I can’t wait to hear which resort you’ve decided to book for your next Disney vacation!



Theresa is a Maryland native who is grateful to only be a 2-hour flight from Walt Disney World. She loves exploring new locations & cuisines, and can beat anybody in a game of “Oh! You know what else that actor was in?” Although myopic macular degeneration is deteriorating her eyesight, it hasn’t dampened her spirit or sense of humor; she likes to tell people this simply makes her a “temporary visionary.” Visit About Theresa to learn more or send an email to insightfulllife@gmail.com!


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