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Walt Disney World is one of the top destinations for family vacations. Given the high number of properties, it can be difficult to find the best Disney resort for kids. Throughout the vacation, guests staying at Disney World hotels will enjoy exploring the theme parks, exquisite dining, and picking through the shops at Disney World. A Walt Disney World vacation requires a lot of planning, and families with children should pay attention to the importance of finding the best Disney resort.
Despite being known as a family vacation, not all Disney Resorts are equal in the eyes of children. Walt Disney World has deluxe, moderate, and value resorts. Each level offers many different resorts, all with their own features that set them apart from other resorts. Some are known for their Disney themes, others for their incredible food or pools.
Families must look at the different features to determine the best Disney resort for kids to create the best Disney vacation. Following this list will help families determine which of the Disney World resort hotels is best for them.
Best Deluxe Disney resorts for kids
Walt Disney World Deluxe resorts are the top of the line resorts for guests to stay at when visiting Disney World. Aside from the resort themes, they are also in close proximity to the theme parks. This close proximity creates shorter journeys “home” from the theme parks after a long day. As you may have guessed, the deluxe resort will be the most expensive option.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the most beautiful Disney World resorts for families to stay in. This lodge is perfect for families with kids who love to look at animals. The resort is close to Animal Kingdom, which is why guests have an excellent view of the Safari. On the flip side, transport may take longer to go to a theme park as buses are the only transportation for this resort. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is also one of the furthest Disney Resorts from the other theme parks.
Disney Beach Club Resort
The best part of Disney’s Beach Club Resort is the three-acre water park known as Stormalong Bay. This offers a shallow sand area with zero entry pool, which is ideal for young children. The sand area is more of a kiddie pool for young children. Furthermore, there is a lazy river, a whirlpool area, an open swim area, two waterfalls, and two slides. This is, of course, for guests at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Yacht Club. The Beach Club villas offer many different activities for kids of all ages. The Beach Club is arguably the best Disney World hotel in terms of amenities and pools.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Boardwalk Inn, located on Crescent Lake, is within walking distance of Epcot. If your family loves the atmosphere of the Atlantic boardwalk, this is the resort for you! It is home to Luna Park Carnival Pool, one of the most famous slides at a Disney Resort. There are many quick service options for picky eaters, along with the infamous Ample Hills Creamery.
Disney’s Contemporary resort is a short walk away from Magic Kingdom. Not only is it a short walk, but it also is themed for The Incredibles. Many kids love that the Monorail runs right through Disney’s Contemporary resort. The Monorail is excellent for guests trying to get to different theme parks quickly. The resort is known for its food, with the infamous Chef Mickey restaurant, the only restaurant to see the “Big Five.” Disney’s Contemporary resort also offers rooftop views of Magic Kingdom fireworks through California Grill.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The Grand Floridian is by far and away the fanciest resort for guests to stay at. It holds the 1900 Park Fare, which is an excellent character breakfast and dining opportunity. Furthermore, it is also relatively close to the Magic Kingdom theme park. However, the elegant theming, royal guest rooms and overall atmosphere do not usually appeal to younger children. Because of this, the Grand Floridian is not typically a resort for kids.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is another Disney World resort located along the theme park monorail. Its location allows easy transport to Magic Kingdom and Epcot without folding a stroller. Located just two stops from Magic Kingdom and one from TTC to hop on another monorail for Epcot. Guests also have the option for a boat ride to Magic Kingdom, which the kids will love. The only way for guests to go to Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs would be through Disney buses.
Kids will also love playing in the sand, enjoying the Lava Pool, and watching the infamous Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach. Regarding food, Disney’s Polynesian Resort is famous for O’hana. O’hana is an all-you-can-eat buffet with a beautiful fireworks view at night. It even offers a fantastic overwater bungalow option for families to stay in. Given the variety of activities to do along with the quick transport, Disney’s Polynesian Village resort is a top Disney World hotel.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Yacht Club is a top resort for kids as they get to share the same pool as the Beach Club. Just a short walk away from the Beach Club, families get all the great amenities discussed under the Beach Club section. This resort is typically the cheaper option compared to Disney’s Beach Club. It is also a short drive from Disney Springs for families to enjoy beautiful shops like the World of Disney.
Disney’s Riviera Resort
The Riviera is one of Disney’s newest deluxe resorts on the Skyliner. The Skyliner gives easy access to Hollywood Studios and Epcot theme parks. Kids love the Skyliner, which is a great way to get around as you do not have to fold the strollers! It is, however, a resort with smaller rooms. The smaller spaces and expense of the resort put the Riviera at the lower end of this list.
Best Moderate Disney Resorts For Kids
Walt Disney World’s moderate-level resorts are still high-end but cheaper than a deluxe resorts. The moderate resorts offer more amenities than value resorts and still offer quicker transport times. Moderate resorts range from $250 to $450 a night.
Caribbean Beach Resort
Families love this resort as it brings the island life right to Walt Disney World. In addition, many kids enjoy the Caribbean Beach resort because of the pirate-themed rooms and pools. The pool is named Fuentes del Morro, named after a Spanish fortress. A water slide, a shipwreck play area, and water cannons are in the pool. It is also on a Skyliner hub, giving easy access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Despite the wonderful pirate theming, we do not recommend this resort for kids. This resort is huge, making it difficult to get to the food court and pool areas. However, given the vastness, it does offer bus transportation at many locations throughout the resort.
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is perfect for families who love camping! This resort is extensive and includes an internal bus service and electric golf carts. The travel time to parks usually sways families away from staying at the Wilderness Lodge. However, there are countless activities for kids to enjoy when staying at the resort. Despite being more of a campsite, there is a food court with a few great dining options like Hoop De Doo Musical Review. Many confuse this resort for the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but Disney’s Wilderness Lodge separates by being the camping resort.
This resort recently underwent some refurbishment, which is why it is an exquisite resort. This Disney hotel offers excellent dining options, and the pool is great for the kids. However, Coronado Springs is so large that many kids complain about walking to their rooms. Furthermore, it is a conference hotel, meaning many adults will travel for business. These two factors make Coronado Springs lower on the list of resorts for kids.
Disney’s Port Orleans resort is split into two major sections: Riverside and French Quarter. The French Quarter section is what we recommend for families with kids. This resort is the smallest moderate resort, which means less walking for the kids at the end of the day. Port Orleans French Quarter theming is based on the very popular The Princess and the Frog. Guests are also able to try the infamous beignets. The pool is perfect for kids, offering games and activities to keep the kids entertained. Port Orleans French Quarter is a top-rated resort since the Princess, and the Frog is a relatively new movie.
Best Value Disney Resorts for Kids
Walt Disney World value resorts offer families the best bang for their buck during their stay. These resorts offer all the perks for staying on Disney property, like transportation and early dining reservations. Most importantly, they offer great rates while providing excellent Disney themes. This theming is more “in your face” than the higher-level resorts. The value resorts are typically the best Disney resort for kids.
Disney’s Art of Animation
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is one of the best value resorts for kids. Young kids will love the combination of classic Disney and Pixar movies for the theming like The Little Mermaid, Cars, the Lion King, and Finding Nemo. Along with the themes, transport is easy as it is right on the Skyliner hub, with easy access to Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
The Big Blue Pool, Cozy Cone Pool, and Flippin’ Fins pool are all right in Disney’s Art of Animation. The Big Blue Pool is one of the largest pools on Walt Disney World property and is based on Finding Nemo. Flippin’ Fins is geared towards The Little Mermaid. Cozy Cone Pool is themed after Cars.
Art of Animation resort is also the only value resort that offers family suites. Family suites give families a lot more room in the rooms for larger families.
Because of the amenities, family suites, and poolside adventures, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is one of the best Disney resorts for kids.
Disney’s All-Star Movies
All Star Movies resort is perfect for kids who enjoy Disney and Pixar movies. This Disney hotel hosts two main pools: Fantasia-inspired and star-shaped pool. In addition, there are many activities for kids, like the Cannon Ball contest, cookie decorating, and scavenger hunts.
Disney’s All Star Sports
All Star Sports is perfect for kids who enjoy sports. It of course does not lack Disney characters, like Goofy with a surfboard. The resort’s business helps families who struggle to quiet down at a moment’s notice. Each section of the resort has a different pool to pick from, which will be close to your hotel room. This resort could become crowded depending on the time of year. Each year the cheerleading competition takes place, and the cheerleaders all stay at All Star Sports.
Disney’s Pop Century
Pop Century is the only other value resort on the Skyliner hub at Walt Disney World. Disney created the resort to show off famous icons from the 20th century, like the giant jukebox. The resort houses three pools: the Hippy Dippy pool, the Bowling pool, and the Computer pool. The resort offers a wide range of activities for kids, like pool parties, quizzes, and the ’70s playground. The food court looks like you stepped into a popular pizza joint in the 90s.
What is the best Disney resort for kids?
Given the many different Disney hotels families can choose from, it is important to research which Disney property works best for you. Finding the right Disney hotel is a long process that requires a lot of research to help create a great Disney vacation. If you have young kids, the value resorts would be the best Disney resort for kids thanks to the themes and expenses. For a deluxe resort, the Polynesian Resort is the top-ranked resort for kids. The top-ranked moderate resort for kids would be the Caribbean beach resort. Finally, Art of Animation is the best Disney resort for kids.