The Best Hotels by Disney World
By James | Last updated November 20, 2023
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When you’re booking your Walt Disney World holiday, there’s more to consider than you think when looking for the best hotels by Disney World.
Firstly there’s the proximity to the parks and how you will get to each one. Secondly there’s the resort fee’s and hidden costs that some of the hotels charge. Lastly you should consider whether you will be driving or needing to take hotel transportation. Some hotels offer parking and shuttles included within the price whilst some hotels charge for you extra for these features.
Here’s a breakdown of the top four things to consider when searching for the best hotels by Disney World:
- Cost and luxury – the difference is hotel price can be significantly different outside of the Disney World Resort but you also need to factor in quality, location and convenience
- Shuttles – Would you prefer to catch a shuttle to the parks and avoid parking charges
- Location, Location, Location – Are you better off being close to the parks, close to Disney Springs, or a bit further away
- Benefits of staying in a Disney World Resort (Dining plans, early park entry)
We’ve split out hotels in a couple of key categories so you can find the perfect type of hotel for your needs.
The best Disney World Resorts
This is our view on out top 5 hotels based on quality, price and wow factor in our search to find the best hotels by Disney World. Before we get into our top list, lets cover the additional benefits of staying in a Disney World Resort.
You can get an additional 30 minutes in the park before the park opens to the public! This gives you early access to all the rides, attractions and shops before the rush. This is a massive bonus if you wanted to beat the queues for the most popular rides.
When you book your Disney World Resort, you may also be eligible to book onto the Disney Dining Plan. With this you can dine at more than 200 locations throughout the Disney parks, hotels and Disney Springs without worrying about spending any money whilst you’re there.
Lastly let’s not forget about the experience of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. You have the unique, fun filled Disney themed hotels through to the classy, luxury hotels. All the hotels have excellent facilities and a close proximity to the parks and Disney Springs.
This will be quite a line up but we don’t just want to consider the most expensive hotel at the number one spot in our list. We want to factor in cost, quality and location into our rankings. We’ll share our 5 best Disney World Resorts and why below.
1. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
If you’re looking for the best Disney Resort hotel, then you wouldn’t look much further than the five star Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. With a great location near Magic Kingdom, it has everything you would expect from a five star Disney hotel.
From the grand piano player, playing in the evenings, to the beautiful grand decor in the hotel. Prepared to be amazed by one of Disney’s top flagship hotels. The hotel consists of three outdoor pools, a pool bar, a grand reception, free shuttle service, restaurants, spa and salon, fitness center and so much more. We couldn’t possibly ignore this hotel from the top of our list.
2. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is a beautiful lakeside hotel overlooking the stunning Crescent Lake. It’s New England style charm, spacious rooms and numerous pools make it a great choice for any Disney tourist.
It has a great location, just walking distance from Epcot and a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. The true beauty of this hotel, the decor, the rooms and the location, help to bring this into our top ranking Disney resort hotels.
3. Disney’s Beach Club Resort
It’s hard not to rank Disney’s Beach Club Resort in our top 5 Disney Resort hotels when you have it’s sister hotel, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in the mix. The two hotels share a lot of amenities as they are right next door to each other. They both share a great view over the Crescent lake, the same convenient location and a lot of the style and elegance.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort however, has a unique beach vibe, with it’s own beach to relax by in the day and caters to a more family friendly audience.
4. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
We love the late-1800s, New York and Victorian styled Resort as it offers something different and exciting to your standard hotel. Here you are surrounded by Lake Buena Vista and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista golf course so it certainly feels like you’re away from it all when you get back to the resort.
There’s plenty of fun still to be had here with a great set of pools and the relaxation options of the resorts spa. The location is near Disney Springs and from a personal perspective, this is perfect if you want a 10-15 minute stroll through the Saratoga Springs Nature Path to get to a choice of restaurants and activities at Disney Springs in the evenings.
The rooms may not feel as luxury as the first three hotels in our selection but the overall look and feel of the hotel keep this in our best hotels by Disney World list.
5. Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Just a short distance away from Lake Buena Vista and Disney Springs, you will find the charming Disney’s Old Key West Resort. The Victorian-era styled resort overlooks the Marina and is surrounded by palm tree’s. You have a choice of four swimming pools to enjoy and spacious studios and villas to break away in.
The resort is great for families looking for some extra space in the villas and is also a very family friendly hotel with the onsite activities and playgrounds. This resort would be slightly higher in our rankings if it was slightly closer to the parks or Disney Springs.
The best cheap hotels near Disney World
This is our list of the best quality cheap hotels near Disney World. We include several factors here including location but with the main focus being great value for money. One thing we wanted to avoid here is to list the very cheapest hotels near Disney World as that won’t provide any value to our readers. These hotels are a mix of value for money, location, convenience and quality for the price.
1. Blue Heron Beach Resort
This hotel is a very reasonably priced hotel that sits just outside of Disney Springs. It would take you 40 minutes to walk there or a short drive. Here you will avoid the Disney Resort fees and you wouldn’t be paying too much if you needed to taxi or shuttle to the parks. There are plenty of transport options to discuss at the reception that you can arrange. The last time we checked, the parking was free, so you will also avoid any hidden parking costs to your holiday.
The rooms are apartments, so you can stock up your food for the week in the fridge and prepare meals in the kitchen. The hotel has a pool and overlooks Lake Bryan. Sitting just a stones throw from the I-4, you can also get to Universal Studio’s conveniently. This may also be the best priced hotel in our list depending on the dates you travel.
2. Pop Century Resort
This may not be the cheapest of options here in the list, but in our view, it’s the best value Disney World Resort hotel for the price you pay. The Pop Century Resort is a fun themed, Disney resort with lots activities. the resort is packed with outrageous Disney decorations throughout, a nice sized pool, attractive rooms and great transportation options.
At the Pop Century Resort, you have the option to catch the Disney Skyliner which is an aerial gondola giving you breath-taking views across the Walt Disney World resort all the way to Epcot.
3. Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
The Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek is a very highly reviewed hotel, that offers reasonable prices, great quality and it’s a great location for the Disney Parks. The hotel pools are fantastic, they even have two lazy rivers. The rooms are clean, spacious and welcoming. The hotel feel throughout is luxury and when you factor in the price you pay, you can get a really good deal for your time here. For the price you pay and the quality and location you receive, it’s hard to pick a better value for money hotel. The only reason for it being third is that it’s likely to be the most expensive in the list.
Being on the Disney Resort, you pay a small resort fee but this covers your transport to the Disney Parks and Disney springs.
4. Blue Tree Resort at Lake Buena Vista
The Blue Tree Resort is one of the cheaper options in this list but it offers a good location and value for money. The hotel is a three star offering clean rooms, several pools, large suites with one or two bedroom options and kitchens to prepare your breakfasts and Disney snacks.
For the price, you also have access to the hotel facilities which include the pools, mini golf, beach volleyball, basketball and tennis courts. Not to mention the hotel guests have access to a complimentary shuttle the Disney parks and SeaWorld.
5. Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area
The Wyndham Garden is a fantastic option with the best location to Disney Springs. This may be the cheapest hotel within a 5-10 minute walk of Disney Springs and for this reason, we had to include this hotel in our list. Enjoy your days at the parks and take a stroll to one of the many Disney Springs restaurants in the evening.
Whilst there are cheaper hotels further out, this offers fantastic value for money for the quality and location. You are sure to save money in transportation by staying here which will lower your overall holiday cost. The rooms are good quality and you have a nice pool to relax by on your quieter days. Being on resort, you get 30 minutes of early access to the parks and a shuttle service. To cover the costs for these services, there is a resort fee applicable.
The best hotels near Disney Springs
This list comprises of some of the best hotels around they Disney Springs Area that offer a short journey to get to Disney Springs, an area where you may wish to spend the majority of your evenings to explore and try out some of the amazing restaurants on offer here.
1. Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando – Disney Springs Area
A very stylish and sleek hotel, with amazing customer reviews, this hotel tops our charts for value and affordability. With reasonable prices for this hotel, there’s no wonder customers are very satisfied with their stay as they feel they got real value when staying here.
The hotel offers a clean cut, sophisticated stay with everything you would expect from a hotel at a high standard. Within a 10-15 minute walk to Disney Springs, you can’t go wrong with this hotel within the Disney Springs search criteria. The best part about this deal is that there are no resort fees to pay and you get a complimentary shuttle to the parks.
2. Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area
Slightly closer to Disney Springs than the Drury Plaza with a 5-10 minute walk, Holiday Inn Orlando seconds our best value hotels near Disney Springs. Another clean and smart hotel with many of the standard features you would expect from a hotel chain in Florida, including a pool, fitness suite and good sized rooms.
This hotel has access to the early park entry benefit meaning you can arrive 30 minutes before opening time and hop onto your favorite ride with no queues. The hotel also offers a shuttle service to all the Disney Parks.
3. Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs
This is our first four star hotel in this list so expect to pay slightly more for this hotel. Hilton Orlando offers a great stay with a corporate feel including conference and meeting areas, two pools and fitness suite. This is an official Disney World hotel and therefore you get option to arrive to the parks 30 minutes before the parks open to the public.
The walk is around 5-10 minutes to Disney Springs and there are shuttles running back and forth to the parks regularly. The rooms are nice and spacious and include a desk to compliment the corporate feel.
4. Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area
We also included the Wyndham Garden in our cheap hotels near Disney world list. This hotel offers a great location at a great price. You’re only a 5 minute walk to Disney Springs and the hotel includes a lot of features such as pools, a fitness suite, games room, bar and lounge.
The rooms are spacious and clean and for what is likely to be the lowest price hotel in the list. You can still expect to have a pleasant stay here at this well priced hotel. This hotel offers the 30 minute early park entry and shuttle rides to the parks.
Thanks for checking out our top hotel list. Now that you’ve found the right hotel that fits your criteria. You may now want to consider your park tickets. We have a great set of recommendations for you when it comes to tickets. Our guide will help you on what can sometime be a complex set of options. Check out our Disney World Tickets page.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
Disney operate around 20 resort hotels and villa complexes within the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
There are also about nine other non-Disney hotels (with an additional 6,000 rooms) situated within the Walt Disney World Resort.
Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel has a number of advantages. Prices are generally higher than similar non-Disney properties elsewhere in the Greater Orlando area.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Choices
Walt Disney World Resort hotels are classified into several broad bands:
- Disney’s Value Resorts are budget ‘motel’ style hotels. The Pop Century Resort is in the Disney-MGM Studios Resort Area and the All-Star Sports Resort, All-Star Music Resort and All-Star Movies Resorts are all in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area – Check Prices
- Disney’s Moderate Resorts are mid-ranged hotels. The Caribbean Beach Resort is in the Epcot Resort Area, the Coronado Springs Resort is in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area and the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort and Port Orleans Riverside Resort are both in the Disney Springs Resort Area – Check Prices
- Disney’s Deluxe Resorts are top end hotels. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area, the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, BoardWalk Inn, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are all in the Epcot Resort Area, the Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Polynesian Resort and Wilderness Lodge are all in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area – Check Prices
- Disney’s Vacation Club Resorts offer suite and villa style accommodation. The Old Key West Resort is in the Disney Springs Resort Area, the Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is close to the Disney Springs Resort Area, the Beach Club Villas are in the Epcot Resort Area, the BoardWalk Villas are close to Epcot and The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area. There is also Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area – Check prices
Non Disney World Hotels
There are also a number of non-Disney hotels in the Disney Springs Resort Area. Namely the Holiday Inn at Walt Disney World, the Hotel Royal Plaza, the Doubletree Guest Suites Resort, the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort and the Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa.
Benefits of staying at a Disney Resort
There are a number of benefits of staying in a Disney Resort hotel including:
- You can make FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance, non resort guests can only book 30 days in advance
- You can buy exclusive E-Ride tickets to you ride certain attractions in the Magic Kingdom after the park has closed
- You are close to the parks which means it is easier to take time out to recharge the batteries
- You have unlimited access to all of the Disney transportation services including motor coaches, monorails and ferries.
- You can purchase an Unlimited pass for the entire duration of your stay. You get complimentary delivery of any shopping purchased in the parks back to your hotel
- You can purchase a Disney Dining Plan for the duration of your stay
- You get free parking at each of the parks but you do have to pay nightly parking at your resort
- You can gain early entry to the parks on certain days. This generally means less queuing and more time in the attractions.
- You are guaranteed admission to the parks even when the parks are turning other guests away because they are full. Very useful if you visit during some of the busier holiday seasons
at Walt Disney World Resort hotels you can also charge meals, shopping etc. to your hotel room. You can eat Disney character meals in the hotels and of course you get 24 hours a day Disney magic.
All Disney Resort hotels are non-smoking. Guests are not permitted to smoke in the hotels or in their rooms or on their balconies or patios. Special outside designated smoking areas are provided.