The Walt Disney World Resort hotel has over twenty properties that you can choose from. With so many choices, how do you choose the best fit for your family? We are recommending the best Disney resorts for kids and families based on interests and plans.
Best Pool: Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort
Most everyone who has had the opportunity to experience Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts will agree that it is the best pool at Disney World. Your kids will LOVE splashing, swimming, and playing at Stormalong Bay.
You can float in the lazy river, climb to the top of a life-sized pirate shipwreck replica to slide down a 230 foot waterslide, play volleyball in the water, swim in the main pool, or let the kids play in the sand. You can also grab an ice cream treat from the to-go menu at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.
Bonus: If you order a kids meal from Hurricane Hanna’s Grill, your kids will receive a sand pail and shovel.
Best Theming: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
In my opinion, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has the best theming of any Walt Disney World Resort hotel. And, at a value price tag! Your kids will find larger than life statues from Disney movies that they know and love.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has four sections themed after Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. All of the sections offer family suites which can sleep up to six guests except the Little Mermaid section which offer standard rooms that can sleep up to four guests.
The theming is carried so well throughout the resort, from the rooms to the pools and food court. Your kids will find larger than life statues from Disney movies that they know and love. These make for a great photo opportunity during your visit.
Most Convenient: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
It’s hard to beat the convenience of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This tropical paradise sits across the Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom Park. You have a great view of the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular from the pool and beach area.
You can take the monorail to both Epcot and Magic Kingdom. They also offer a complimentary water taxi to the Magic Kingdom. If you don’t want to have to fold your stroller, we recommend the monorail. The Transportation and Ticket Center is next to the Polynesian so you even can walk over to board the Epcot monorail, without having to ride around and then transfer monorails.
Bonus: You can get the fan favorite Dole Whip’s at Pineapple Lanai, located just outside of the lobby.
Best Resort for Animal Lovers: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
If your kids love animals, then you HAVE to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge! This beautiful property offers savanna view rooms where you can watch animals from the comfort of your private balcony and hotel room. You’ll be able to see giraffe, zebra, cattle, antelope, kudu, wildebeest, and more on the four savannas surrounding the property.
The savanna view rooms can be booked with a king bed (for two guests) or two queen beds (for four guests). There are also less expensive categories available at the resort. Even without a savanna view room, you can still enjoy the view of the animals throughout the resort. There are various public viewing areas and even windows down the hallways for some incredible views.
Best “Bang for your Buck”: Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Pop Century Resort offers a great value for your hard earned money. It is part of the value category which are the least expensive hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort. The rooms at Pop Century were recently refurbished to include two queen beds, one of which can fold up for more space in the room. It is also part of the new Skyliner (gondola) transportation system for quick and easy access to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. You can also read my top nine reasons why I think you’ll love staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort here.
Best for Nature Lovers: Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
If your kids love nature and the great outdoors, then Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is the place for you! This huge campground can be a vacation destination in and of itself. They offer both cabins (that can sleep six guests) in addition to campsites for both tents and RV’s.
Fort Wilderness has a great location on Bay Lake. You can take a complimentary water taxi to the Magic Kingdom. You can also try archery, pony rides, carriage rides, and wagon rides. There are great dining options like Trails End and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Plus, you can’t miss Chip ‘n’ Dale’s nightly Campfire Sing-A-long, complete with s’mores.
Best Water Play Area for Littles: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter
If you are traveling with little ones, they will LOVE the Doubloon Lagoon water play area at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter. This Mardi Gras themed water play area is located next to the main pool and fully gated so guests 48 inches and under can safely explore on their own. The small size of this resort also makes it very appealing to families with small children.
Bonus: Be sure to try a Mickey beignet from Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. We especially love the seasonal pumpkin spice beignets which are available in the fall.
Best for Princesses: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside is home to Royal Guest Rooms. Royal Guest Rooms are found in the Magnolia Bend section of the resort. Royal Guest Rooms can sleep up to four guests in two queen beds, have a letter from Princess Tiana on the table, fiber optics headboards, Disney Princess artwork on the walls, and more royal touches throughout the resort. Every Disney Princess will feel like royalty in these elegant rooms.
Bonus: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside are sister resorts so they do share amenities as far as pools and dining options. You can take a complimentary water taxi between the two properties.
Best for Pirates: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is home to Pirate Rooms. These pirate themed guest rooms are located in the Trinidad South section. The pirate rooms can sleep four guests in two double beds that resemble pirate ships. You’ll also find a barrel, pile of crates, “Pirates of the Caribbean” divider curtain, and more theming throughout the room. Caribbean Beach is also part of the new Skyliner (gondola) transportation system which allows you to quickly and easily access both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
I truly believe that each Walt Disney World Resort hotel has its own unique perks and benefits. I have personally stayed at every Walt Disney World Resort hotel and would be happy to share my experiences with you regarding any property.
What do you think are the best Disney resorts for kids?
Planning a Disney World vacation? Don’t miss our guide to character meals or ten things that you should bring when traveling with a toddler.