With over 30,000 hotel rooms; 3,000 Disney Vacation Club units & 799 campsites the accommodation options in Walt Disney World are numerous. Walt Disney World Resorts provide unique theming, accommodation to suit a range of budgets & the opportunity to stay in the middle of the action. Our Guide to Walt Disney World Resorts has been updated for 2019 and has essential information to help you choose your vacation resort.
Jump Right In
Our Guide to Walt Disney World Resorts is a large article with lots of useful information. If you are looking for specific information you might find it easier to hit our handy jumps.
Walt Disney World Resorts Basics including information on perks, whether to stay on-site or off-site and resort classifications
Disney World Resorts in Magic Kingdom Area featuring Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian & Fort Wilderness
Disney World Resorts in Epcot Area featuring Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, Yacht, Beach & Boardwalk
Disney World Resorts in Disney Springs Area featuring Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter
Disney World Resorts in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Area featuring Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation, Coronado Springs & the All-Star Resorts
On-site non-Disney Resort Hotels details on the resorts at Walt Disney World which are not owned by Disney
Walt Disney World Resorts The Future details on all the planned new resorts and major changes coming in the next few years.
Walt Disney World Resorts The Basics
If you are visiting Walt Disney World nothing beats being in the heart of the action by staying in a Walt Disney World Resort. Hotel guests staying at Disney owned resorts get a number of perks including:
- Free transportation around Walt Disney World
- Free transport from Orlando International Airport
- Extra Magic Hours in a selected park each day.
- Earlier booking of Fastpass and Advanced Dining Reservations.
- Free MagicBand.
- Being able to book the Disney Dining Plan as part of your reservation.
However; there are cheaper options by staying in some of the many hotels & villas located throughout the Orlando area. Although they do cater for a range of budgets it is usually possible to do Disney cheaper by not staying in a Walt Disney Resort. However, the closeness and the added extras make Disney World Resorts a popular option for many guests.
Additional advantages of staying off-site when visiting Walt Disney World include:
- It is often easier to get to other attractions eg Universal Studios.
- Hotel rooms are often bigger.
- You can experience some of the many outstanding restaurants in Orlando.
- You might get extra perks eg free breakfast.
- You can get away from Disney. Staying at Walt Disney World can be pretty intense.
However, guests have to weigh up whether these benefits outweigh the benefits that Walt Disney World offer.
We have created a post discussing whether you should say onsite or offsite when visiting Walt Disney World which will help with your decision-making.
Disney Resort Classification
Walt Disney Resorts are split into 3 price classifications:-
Value: Food courts, pizza delivery, large lively swimming pools, bus transportation, basic furnishings & no elevators.
Moderate: Full-service restaurants (not at French Quarter), food courts, room service, luggage service, swimming pools with a slide, on-site activities, bus and some boat transportation, better-furnished rooms.
Deluxe: Full-service restaurants, food courts, room service, luggage service, valet parking, a selection of swimming pools including kid activities, on-site activities, on-site childcare, monorail, boat or bus transportation, luxury furnishings, better staffing levels, elevators, luxury furnished rooms, club level, suites.
Disney Vacation Club Properties
Disney Vacation Club Villas are timeshare locations that are rented out for vacant weeks. Villas are often good options to consider when larger family groups are going to Walt Disney World. All Disney Vacation Club properties are deluxe resorts.
Disney World Resorts in Magic Kingdom Area
Disney World Resorts in the Magic Kingdom Area give you quick access to the number 1 theme park in the world. Resorts in this area are some of the most luxurious in Walt Disney World.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
For more information read our extended review of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
The Contemporary Resort is one of two resorts on property when Walt Disney World opened in 1971. There are 655 rooms and suites in this 14-story deluxe resort. Some rooms are located in the adjacent Garden Wing.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort has two separate club levels The Atrium Club & The Tower Club. Club level guests get access to a special concierge lounge and complimentary food offerings served throughout the day.
Dining options include:
Recreational amenities include water skiing, boat rentals, jogging, volleyball, parasailing, playground and two swimming pools. There is a selection of speciality shops in the resort. The Contemporary tower has a 90-foot-tall mural by Disney Legend Mary Blair celebrates the Grand Canyon and the American Southwest.
Monorail, motor coaches and watercraft provide easy access to the theme parks. It is just a short walk to the Magic Kingdom.
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
In 2005, Disney began an extensive renovation of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and it was completed in 2009. Bay Lake Tower was built on the site of the former North Wing.
This Disney Vacation Club resort features 295 units (2-bedroom equivalents) including studio, one and two-bedroom villas. Its fifth floor is connected by a skyway from the main tower’s fourth floor.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
For further information read our extended review of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Opened in 1988 this Victorian-themed hotel is the most luxurious resort at Walt Disney World. The hotel’s main building features an impressive five-story lobby, stained glass domes and Italian marble floors.
The Grand Floridian includes 867 rooms and suites at an average of 400 square feet. It is by far the most expensive resort at Walt Disney World.
There are two ‘club level’ lounges at the Grand Floridian. The Royal Palm Club is located in the main building & the Sugar Loaf Club is in the Sugar Loaf building. To learn more about club level read our review of the Kilimanjaro Club at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Dining options at Disney Grand Floridian Resort & Spa include:
- Victoria & Albert’s
- Gasparilla Grill & Games
- Grand Floridian Cafe
- 1900 Park Fare
The Victoria and Albert is considered as one of the top restaurants in the entire United States. It is a long-standing AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant. Overall the Grand Floridian has some of the very best restaurants in Walt Disney World.
Recreation options at Disney’s Grand Floridian include boat rentals, swimming, playground and a health club.
There is easy access to the theme parks via watercraft, motor coach and monorail.
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
This Disney Vacation Club resort opened in 2013 and includes 147 villas and studios.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
To explore this resort further read our Review on Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has 484 traditional hotel rooms/suites in addition to 20 over-the-water bungalows and 360 deluxe studio villas as part of the Disney Vacation Club Resort. It was one of the original resorts that opened with the Magic Kingdom in 1971. The Disney Vacation Club expansion opened in 2015.
The resort is designed with South Pacific Island theming along the beach of Seven Seas Lagoon. Legend has it that John Lennon signed the paperwork that officially split up the Beatles at the Polynesian Resort in 1974.
Dining options include
- Kona Café
- Captain Cook’s
- the “Spirit of Aloha” dinner show
- Tambu Lounge.
Transportation is by monorail, watercraft and motor coach.
Legend has it that John Lennon signed the paperwork that officially split up the Beatles at the Polynesian Resort in 1974.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Read our extended review of Wilderness Lodge for further information on this resort.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge opened on May 28th, 1984. Wilderness Lodge is reminiscent of Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone Park. This is a deluxe resort but is usually slightly cheaper than the other Magic Kingdom resorts.
In total there are 727 rooms at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge plus Disney Vacation Club Properties. Located on the 6th floor are the resort’s Club Level Rooms. Club level guests have access to the club lounge, also known as the Old Faithful Club.
An 82-foot-tall stone fireplace is the centrepiece of the impressive 6 storey lobby. A bubbling hot spring in the lobby expands outside the building into a roaring waterfall flowing into the swimming area. A geothermal “geyser” erupts hourly at the edge of Bay Lake. Wilderness lodge certainly has some of the most impressive theming across any Disney World Resort.
Dining options at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include:
- Artist Point
- Whispering Canyon Café
- Roaring Fork Snacks and Arcade
If you visit Whispering Canyon Café make sure you ask for the tomato sauce!
There is easy access to theme parks via watercraft and motor coach.
Disney Vacation Club at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
There are 2 Disney Vacation Club properties at Wilderness Lodge. The properties are Boulder Ridge Villas & Copper Creek Villas.
Copper Creek Villas is the newest property and opened in 2017. The resort consists of 26 Cabins along the shoreline of the resort & 158 DVC units converted from hotel rooms on the South Side of the original resort building.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground officially opened on November 19, 1971. There are 799 campsites & 409 Wilderness Cabins all set in a relaxed 700-acre wilderness setting. All campsites have close access to air-conditioned comfort stations with private showers, coin laundry facility, vending machines and telephones. This is the only camping accommodation at Walt Disney World.
Wilderness Cabins are air-conditioned cabins that sleep up to six guests and feature vaulted ceilings, fully equipped kitchens, full bathrooms, television, VCR, outdoor grills, picnic tables and a private patio deck.
Dining options include Crockett’s Tavern, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, Trail’s End Restaurant and “Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue” nightly dinner show at Pioneer Hall.
Amenities include watercraft, beach, fishing, tennis courts, two heated swimming pools, arcade game room, laundry facilities and kennel. Groceries and camping supplies at Meadow and Settlement Trading Posts
This is a massive resort and access to a car in our opinion is essential. Internal buses do run and many guests use golf carts to explore the resort.
Motorcoach and boat transportation links the campground with all Walt Disney World Resort areas.
Disney World Resorts in Epcot Area
Disney World Resorts in the Epcot area give you good access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Resorts are in a range of budgets.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
This value-priced resort features lodge buildings and furnishings inspired by the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s pop culture. There are a massive 2880 rooms at the resort which initially opened in 2003.
Recreation includes three pools, a kiddie pool, the traditional Disney souvenir shop and the Pop Jet Playground. Everything Pop food court area provides on-site counter service meals.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
This Caribbean themed moderate resort originally opened in 1988. It is undergoing a multi-year refurbishment which includes the addition of several new facilities. Construction is still ongoing and is likely to last in 2019. However, several new facilities have now opened.
On October 8, 2018, The Old Port Royale complex opened as a reimagined new port of entry for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The new area contains 3 brand new dining locations:
- Sebastian’s Bistro a new table service location.
- Centertown Market a new quick service location
- Banana Cabana Pool Bar
Spyglass Grill located in the Trinidad area is another Quick service Location that opened in earlier in 2018.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a massive resort that has a wide choice of recreation activities including many pools, a boatyard, fishing excursions, playgrounds & jogging trail.
Transportation to theme parks available by motor coach & in 2019 by the Disney World Skyliner Transportation System.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is reminiscent of New England seashore hotels of the 1880s. There are 623 rooms & suites in this resort which opened in 1990.
Dining includes the Yachtsman Steakhouse & the new Ale & Compass plus two lounges.
Disney’s Yacht Club is located next to the Disney’s Beach Club Resort and across Crescent Lake from Disney’s BoardWalk Resort.
An expansive croquet lawn and marina lighthouse add to the resort’s ambience.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Beach Club Resort consists of 577 rooms and suites inspired by New England beach cottages of the 1860s. This Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1990.
Dining is available at Cape May Café including character breakfasts.
Centrally located between the Beach & Yacht Club is Stormalong Bay which features three lagoon areas and a thrilling water slide
Both the Beach Club & Yacht Club provide transportation via watercraft and motor coach.
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Part of Disney Vacation Club consisting of 576 units this luxury resort opened in 2002.
The 372-room BoardWalk Inn is located along Crescent Lake and includes shopping, health club. A swimming pool and a 20,000-square-foot conference centre. The resort first opened in 1996.
The BoardWalk entertainment district lies along a 0.25 miles long authentic boardwalk.
Disney’s BoardWalk restaurants include Flying Fish Café, Big River Grille and Brewing Works, ESPN Club & Trattoria al Forno.
In addition, there is a selection of bars, clubs and shops along the boardwalk.
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
There are 280-units which form part of Disney Vacation Club. Like all DVC properties, the villas can be rented by non-DVC members when not in use by members. Accommodation is available in studios and one, two, and three-bedroom villas which offer kitchens, living areas and a variety of amenities.
Disney World Resorts in Disney Springs Area
There is a fantastic choice of resorts in the Disney Springs area. These resorts come in a range of budgets but do take longer to reach the theme parks.
There is also a choice of several non-Disney owned Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels which are not covered in this guide.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
This Disney Vacation Club resort features 924 villas & studios that recall the late 1800s heyday of America’s first vacation destination. This is the largest Disney Vacation Club property and opened in several phases starting in 2004. There is now a massive 1260 rooms on this equestrian themed property.
Dining options include a table service venue called The Turf Club Bar & Grill and the quick-service restaurant The Artist’s Palette.
The Lake Buena Vista Golf Course Pro Shop and Clubhouse are situated at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
A full-service health club is available in addition to the usual Disney Resort amenities.
Bus transportation is provided to all four Walt Disney World theme parks. The resort is located across the lake from Disney Springs and can be reached by water-taxi.
There are also 60 three-bedroom Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort which opened in 2009.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter
This moderately priced resort is located in 325 acres of woodland. There are 1008 French Quarter-style rooms. The resort is next to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside & guests can share facilities.
Located on a 325-acre woodland site between Epcot and Disney Springs. Sassagoula Floatworks food court and pizza delivery. Themed pool, boat rentals, lounges, game room and retail shops. French Quarter is the only Disney Moderate Resort without a table service restaurant.
There is a Riverboat to Disney Springs & a motor coach to all theme parks.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside
For further information read our extended review of Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is a Moderate Resort at Walt Disney World. Riverside consists of 2,048 rooms in three-story Southern-style mansions and two-story rustic bayou dwellings. It is divided into Alligator Bayou (Bayou) and Magnolia Bend (mansions).
The resort originally opened February 2, 1992, as Disney’s Dixie Landings Resort. It was renamed in 2001. It now forms part of a larger resort combined with Disney’s’ Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.
Recreation includes Ol’ Man Island a 3 ½-acre old-fashioned swimming hole with slides. In addition, there are playgrounds, quiet pools, boat rentals, game room, The River Roost Lounge Bar and gift shop.
Playing at the River Roost Lounge on Wednesday to Saturday from 8:30 pm is Bob Jackson. Bob performs a very popular piano sing-along comedy show and has developed a cult following.
Dining includes Riverside Mill food court and Boatwright’s Dining Hall.
Transportation is via motor coach to other Walt Disney World attractions. There is a riverboat to Disney Springs.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
For further information read our Guide to Disney’s Old Key West Resort
There are 761 rooms in a Key West setting. This is the original Disney Vacation Club timeshare property opening in 1991. It is located in peaceful grounds along waterways and the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.
Accommodations include deluxe studios, one and two-bedroom homes and two-story, three-bedroom Grand Villas that sleep up to 12. Rooms are larger than at other DVC properties.
Dining includes Olivia’s Café, poolside fare at the Gurgling Suitcase and Good’s Food to Go quick-service restaurant.
There is a health club, tennis courts, 4 swimming pools, sauna and bar among recreation activities on site.
This is a large resort and many guests will be located some distance away from the Hospitality House.
The resort is linked by motor coach to all other Walt Disney World parks & is served by 5 internal bus stops. There is a water-taxi to Disney Springs.
Disney World Resorts in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Area
Disney World Resorts in the Animal Kingdom Area do take longer to get to all the theme parks except the Animal Kingdom. Although there is a fantastic choice of resorts if you intend to spend the majority of your time in Magic Kingdom travelling will take longer.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Read our extended review of Animal Kingdom Lodge for more information.
This Deluxe resort with 972-rooms opened in 2001. The resort has an African village design featuring hand-carved furnishings, African art and a giant fireplace in a soaring lobby.
The resort is known as Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House whilst the nearby 100% Disney Vacation Club property is known as Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village.
Animal Kingdom Lodge often is cheaper than other Deluxe Walt Disney World Resorts. Many guests are put off by the distance to other theme parks but this is an outstanding resort with some of the best facilities at Walt Disney World.
Jambo House features 24-hour views to its own 46-acre savanna of free-roaming mammals and tropical birds. The savanna is a highlight for many guests of their vacation. Many hotel rooms, for an extra price, feature a balcony view of the Savanna.
There are two full-service restaurants – Boma-Flavors of Africa and Jiko-The Cooking Place plus a quick-service eatery. Animal Kingdom Lodge is rated by many Disney World experts as the best Disney World Hotel for food options.
The Kilimanjaro Club is a concierge club level serving members with drinks and snacks. We have created a review of our stay at The Kilimajaro Club which provides an idea of the facilities offered at all Walt Disney World Club Level.s
Animal Kingdom Lodge often is cheaper than other Deluxe Walt Disney World Resorts. Many guests are put off by the distance to other theme parks but it is an outstanding resort with some of the best restraints in Walt Disney World.
The Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
This Disney Vacation Club resort offers 449 units (2-bedroom equivalents) featuring studio, one and three-bedroom vacation villas at Jambo House and Kidani Village.
Kidani Village features Sanaa restaurant a modernlifeisgood.com favourite which features “the art of African cooking with Indian flavors”.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is inspired by the American Southwest and regions of Mexico. The resort encircles a 15-acre lagoon and opened in 1997. The resort is currently undergoing major renovations including the addition of a new 15 story tower. The tower is due to open in Summer 2019 and will feature a two-level entrance lobby, 545 guest rooms (including 50 suites), a themed and unique rooftop table-service restaurant, two presidential suites and more.
As part of the renovations, all 1800 existing rooms have been refurbished. Once work has been completed there will be over 2400 rooms at the Coronado Springs Resort.
A second new restaurant will be located on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, Lago Dorado. New walkways will stretch across the lake, allowing quick and convenient passage to and from all areas of the resort.
Other recreation activities include pools, Health Club, hair-styling salon, bike rentals, watercraft rentals, arcade, sand volleyball court, kiddie pool and playground.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
The newest resort hotel at Walt Disney World. 1,120 family suites and 864 standard guest rooms make up this family friendly value resort. The resort opened in 2012 and is the 5th resort in the value category.
The big blue world of Nemo and friends, the Pride Lands of Africa, under the sea in Ariel’s grotto, a super-charged adventure through Radiator Springs provide the themes in four distinctly designed wings.
Family suites include two bathrooms, a kitchenette and three separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to six. All rooms have basic furnishing but are comfortable.
Dining options in the main Animation Hall include a poolside snack bar, pizza delivery and Landscape of Flavors food court featuring many made to order offerings.
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
Features 1,920 value-priced rooms in buildings festooned with larger-than-life sports icons representing surfing, basketball, tennis, baseball and football. The resort opened in 1994.
There is a food court, pizza delivery, swimming pools and a retail store on site.
Walt Disney World transportation system is included to get you to the parks.
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
A 1,920-room resort which opened in 1999. This value resort has the same facilities and amenities as featured at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.
Images from “101 Dalmatians,” “Toy Story,” “Fantasia,” “The Mighty Ducks” and “The Love Bug” adorn the resort hotel.
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
This value resort features 1,489 value-priced rooms and 215 family suites. The resort opened in 1994.
Buildings feature icons representing jazz, rock, Broadway, calypso and country music.
Facilities and amenities are the same as Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.
On-site non-Disney Resort Hotels
There are several hotels on-site that are not owned by Walt Disney World. Many of these offer similar perks to Walt Disney World(eg access to Extra Magic Hours). These resorts do vary in price & luxury but some offer the opportunity to stay near the Magic at a reduced price.
Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels
Guests who want to stay near the action but do not necessarily want to stay in a Disney World Resort might consider staying one of the Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels. These hotels offer several resort advantages and can usually be slightly cheaper than booking an official Disney Resort.
There are 7 non-Disney Disney Springs Resort Areas Hotels. The hotels are:
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Lake Buena Vista
- B Resort & Spa
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
- Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel
- Buena Vista Palace Resort & Spa
- Holiday Inn – Orlando Lake Buena Vista
Swan & Dolphin Resort
These resorts opened in 1990 and are near Disney’s Boardwalk. An extension to the resort is being constructed and is due to open in 2020.
Guests have many similar access rights in comparison to Disney Resort Hotels but theme park room charging & the Disney Dining Plan are not available.
Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
This luxury resort located close to the Magic Kingdom opened in 2014. Guests have access to Extra Magic Hours and the extended Fastpass+ booking window although currently this is only advertised as available to the end of 2018.
Shades of Green
This exclusive resort is owned by the Department of Defense. The resort is designed to offer a vacation spot for US service members and their families. The resort was previously owned by Disney and was called the Golf Resort.
Bonnet Creek Resort
A collection of hotels on a patch of land Walt Disney failed to buy. Access to the resort is via Walt Disney World. Guests do not have access to Extra Magic Hours or other Walt Disney World Resort benefits.
Walt Disney World Resorts The Future
Nothing ever keeps still at Walt Disney World and both Caribbean Beach Resort and Coronado Springs Resort are currently in the last stages of major renovations. In addition, many resorts will have pool closures and room refurbishment throughout the year.
Disney Skyliner is an upcoming gondola lift system that will connect Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Riviera Resort to Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Expect some construction in all these resorts.
There are 3 new Walt Disney World Resorts that have been announced. Each resort are in different stages of construction:
- Disney Riviera Resort is a new resort being constructed. It is expected to open in Fall 2019. It will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club Property.
- A Star Wars Hotel was announced at D23. No opening date has been announced yet for this future resort. The hotel will be located just south of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney is promising an immersive experience where each guest will have their own unique adventure.
- A new nature-themed resort was announced in October 2018 on the site of the former River Country. The hotel will include over 900 rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas across a unique variety of accommodation types. The resort is scheduled to open in 2022 and no name for the resort has yet been announced.
Learn More about Walt Disney World
Our Guide to Walt Disney World is a great starting point to plan your Disney World Vacation.
We have created a selection of Disney World Planning Tips to help create the Ultimate Disney Vacation.
Fancy something different on your next vacation? Why not try the Ultimate Disney World Resort Hop?