For some, a hotel is just a place to sleep at the end of a busy day. For others, it’s part of the adventure. If you fall into the latter category, then the Disney deluxe resorts are for you.
Packed with magical benefits like extra hours in the park and some of the best dining at the Central Florida resort, these immersive hotels minutes from the Walt Disney World theme parks can be a fantastic yet pricey addition to your vacation.
Not ready to splurge just yet? Read on for why we love the deluxe Disney hotels, along with which one is right for you.
Deluxe Resort Hotels, Walt Disney World’s Most Comfortable Stay
Looking for somewhere to stay at Walt Disney World with all the bells and whistles? (After all, you’re on vacation!) Consider a stay at one of the Disney deluxe resorts.
Offering a convenient location near the theme-park action, a buffet of dining options and other great perks, these full-service properties are a great option if you’re planning to spend a good deal of time back at your hotel. There are eight different deluxe Disney resorts at Walt Disney World, each located just a short distance from one of the theme parks.
What Are Disney World Deluxe Resorts?
Deluxe resorts are considered the nicest hotels at Walt Disney World, with a high price tag to match, followed by the more affordable moderate and value resorts. Fortunately, those expensive room rates come with a few worthy benefits.
Not only do deluxe resorts tout a close proximity to one of the theme parks, but they also offer some of the finest hotel amenities Disney has to offer, including everything from character meals and fine dining to immersively themed pools and incredible views.
Here’s the complete list of Disney deluxe resorts:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Why Stay at the Disney Deluxe Hotels?
If you’re looking for some of the best of the best at Walt Disney World, you’ll find it at one of the deluxe resorts. The closest locations, the coolest hotel pools (and pool bars!), the best restaurants and lounges, the biggest rooms. And that’s not all! Deluxe hotel guests even get to enjoy more time in the parks.
Location, Location, Location
Real estate is all about having a great location, and Disney World deluxe resorts have that in spades. Ideally situated just a monorail, boat, bus or Skyliner ride away or even walking distance from one of Disney’s world-famous theme parks, you can’t beat the convenience of staying at a deluxe resort.
Over in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area, three different deluxe hotels – the Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Polynesian Village – are located along the Resort Monorail Loop, making for a quintessential park-going experience that is as iconic as it is quick and easy to use. Or, for those staying at the Wilderness Lodge, you can also hop on a boat.
Hoping to be in the middle of the magic near Disney’s foodie theme park? The Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and BoardWalk Inn are just a short walk from the International Gateway entrance to Epcot and World Showcase. You can even hop on the Disney Skyliner to Hollywood Studios.
The only deluxe resort at Disney World that doesn’t really enjoy any special transportation is Animal Kingdom Lodge, which is still a speedy 5-minute bus ride away from its namesake theme park.
But wait, there’s more! Parkside locations don’t just mean a fast trip between the park and your resort. They often come with stunning views. So, if you’ve ever wished you could watch the fireworks from the comfort of your room or see Cinderella Castle (or a giraffe!) out your window in the morning, stay at a Disney deluxe resort.
Exclusive Park Time Minus the Crowds with the Disney Deluxe Resorts’ Extra Hours Benefit
Once open to all Disney hotel guests, including those staying at value and moderate resorts, Extended Evening Hours in the theme parks is now exclusively available to people staying at Disney World deluxe and deluxe villa resorts, as well as a handful of third-party properties.
This enviable perk comes with two extra hours after “closing time” in a specific park on select days of the week, helping deluxe resort guests enjoy shorter wait times and crowd-free photos. Refer to My Disney Experience or the Walt Disney World website for the most up-to-date schedule.
Some of the Best Dining (and Drinking!) at Disney World
Hotel restaurants aren’t always known for memorable meals, but that certainly isn’t the case at the Disney deluxe resorts. Along with a quick-service restaurant, each deluxe hotel at Disney World has one or more table-service eateries to indulge in, dishing up the likes of family-friendly buffets, character breakfasts and high-end signature dining.
Craving something a little stronger? Stop and enjoy a drink at one of the many great hotel bars at Disney World. These top-shelf lounges are a great spot to unwind after a long day traipsing through the theme parks. But, you don’t need to be in the mood for a cocktail or beer to swing by. Many lounges also dish up a decent selection of food, no reservation necessary.
Immersive Yet Subtle Design with a Sprinkle of Pixie Dust
While value resorts are known for their vibrant, over-the-top design overflowing with Disney magic, deluxe hotels are more understated, using transporting architecture and subtly themed details to whisk guests away to a different place or time, like a charming boardwalk during the turn of the century or a majestic national park lodge.
A pixie-dust palate cleanser, if you will. Still, you will still notice some decidedly Disney-inspired design choices, especially in the Moana and Incredibles-inspired room makeovers over at the Polynesian Village and Contemporary resorts, respectively. This makes them a great pick whether you’re traveling with kids or on an adult Disney trip.
Bigger, Better Rooms and Villas
The steep room rates at Disney’s deluxe resorts don’t just buy you more time in the parks and better food opportunities but larger rooms, as well, clocking in at between 344 to 440 square feet for a standard guestroom.
For even more space, you can also consider booking a room at one of the resorts’ Disney deluxe villas. Though technically a separate resort, spots like Disney’s Wilderness Lodge cabins, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort bungalows share most of the same amenities as their home resort while also offering considerably more space.
Next-Level Amenities and Recreational Offerings
Disney deluxe resorts aren’t just a comfortable place to rest your head at the end of the night. With a slate of recreational activities and other amenities, they’re also a fun place to hang out. While you can swim in some pretty awesome pools at a few of the moderate hotels, those at the deluxe resorts take the cake, thanks to their immersive theming and exciting waterslides.
Depending on where you decide to stay, you can also take advantage of other unique activities like pedaling a surrey bike around Crescent Lake or going even on a safari. Trying to stay fit while at Disney World? The deluxe resorts are where most of the hotel fitness centers are located at The Most Magical Place on Earth.
Finally, there’s no better way to upgrade your Disney vacation than by booking a night at one of the deluxe resorts. To really splurge, take your trip to the next level by staying club level, where you’ll enjoy thoughtful perks like complimentary refreshments throughout the day and, if you’re lucky, private fireworks viewing.
The Only Downside: They’re Expensive
Naturally, all those perks come with a price – and it is steep. Without a doubt, deluxe hotels are the most expensive resorts at Walt Disney World. Depending on what type of room you book and when you want to visit, you can expect to spend between around $450 to $3,500 or more per night.
Keep in mind that you will pay more during busier times of the year. So, if you’d like all the cushy benefits of staying at a Disney deluxe resort with a slightly more affordable price tag, opt to travel during the low or shoulder seasons.
What Is the Cheapest Disney Deluxe Resort?
Remember how real estate is all about location, location, location? Well, the same goes for the room rates at Disney World’s deluxe resorts. While the rates tend to be highest at the hotels closest to the theme parks, like those along the Magic Kingdom Resort Monorail Loop, slightly further-away properties like the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge usually have lower average nightly rates for a standard room compared to most other Disney World deluxe resorts.
Is Staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort Worth It?
So, are the deluxe Disney hotels worth the high price of admission? It depends on your group’s priorities. While perks like Extended Evening Hours, high-end restaurants, thrilling pools, big rooms and other swanky amenities are great, they’re only worthwhile if you use them.
If your kiddos will already be passed out by the time those Disney deluxe resorts’ extra hours in the park come along, or you’d rather be going on rides than splashing around in the pool, the expensive room rates might not be worth it. However, if you do plan to take advantage during your stay, it can definitely be a worthy use of your travel budget.
Best Deluxe Disney Resort Hotels
Ready to feel like a VIP with a stay at a deluxe Disney World hotel? If you’re not sure which of these upscale properties is right for you and your group, here’s our breakdown of the best deluxe Disney resorts according to who you’re traveling with and what you’re interested in.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Best for Animal Lovers and Adventurers
There’s no hotel at Walt Disney World quite like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. From the lush savannas teeming with wildlife that surround the resort to the popular restaurants dishing up African-inspired flavors, a stay at this deluxe resort is like stepping onto another continent. At night, you can even take in the wild scene with the help of free night-vision goggles or embark on the not-so-free Starlight Safari for up-close views of the animals.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Best for Water-Loving Families Looking for Laidback Vibes
For oceanfront vibes without the hours-long drive from Orlando, head to the Disney Beach Club Resort. More Cape Cod than Key West, a stay at the Beach Club feels like a carefree trip to Martha’s Vineyard, complete with a seafood boil and an old-school ice cream shop. And don’t miss Stormalong Bay, a sprawling water park – lazy river included – that is easily the best hotel pool at Disney World.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Best for Late-Night Fun, Incredible Dining and a Touch of Nostalgia in a Romantic Setting
With its midway games, street performers and an array of restaurants and bars sprinkled along the shores of Crescent Lake, Disney’s BoardWalk is a ton of fun for kids and adults alike and one of our favorite places to hang out outside the theme parks. To soak up as much of its nostalgic charm as possible, book a night at the BoardWalk Inn.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Best for Disney Fans and First-Timers Wanting an Iconic Experience
Of all the Walt Disney World hotels, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the most iconic. This A-frame beauty overlooking Cinderella Castle, known for the monorail that runs through it, has been around since Magic Kingdom’s opening day. Just as memorable as the setting are the resort’s restaurants, from sky-high dining at California Grill to meals with (Disney) character at Chef Mickey’s.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Best for Laidback Disney Luxury and Relaxing Spa Days
Not just the jewel of the Magic Kingdom Resort Area, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the flagship hotel at Walt Disney World. Evoking the Victorian allure of Palm Beach’s yesteryear, this deluxe resort is a favorite for those wanting to feel like a Disney VIP. For the full, luxurious experience, be sure to eat at AAA Five Diamond Award-winner Victoria & Albert’s or dine with royalty during dinner at 1900 Park Fare.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Best for Sun Seekers, Fireworks Fans and Foodies
Another opening-day hotel, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort brings the South Pacific to Walt Disney World. From its massive longhouses to the lagoon-front beach (perfect for watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks), it’s a true tropical retreat – and a foodie paradise, to boot. Savor the flavors of the island at ‘Ohana, cool down with a DOLE Whip or sip on something boozy from Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Best for Outdoorsy Families Trying to Escape the Crowds
Nestled along nearby Bay Lake, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort is a secluded sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Magic Kingdom. Here, family fun abounds, whether you’re hunting for Hidden Mickeys, splashing around in the pool, having dinner with Snow White, watching an eruption of the hotel’s resident geyser or gorging on BBQ.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Best for a Grown-Up Trip to Disney World
The Yacht Club Resort is more buttoned-up than its sister property, Disney’s Beach Club hotel. With handsome dark woods, a surf & turf restaurant and an overall stately atmosphere, it’s one of the more grown-up Disney deluxe resorts. Best of all, it shares all the amenities of the next-door Beach Club, including the incredible Stormalong Bay pool.
(BONUS!) Four Seasons Resorts Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Best for a Luxurious Escape from the Theme Parks
Though not technically a deluxe Disney hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando is easily the most luxurious property at Walt Disney World. Located near Magic Kingdom in the exclusive Golden Oak community, the Four Seasons offers such lavish perks as richly appointed rooms, a lush water park, incredible dining (including a rooftop restaurant and a character breakfast) and a championship golf course.
Well, that concludes our guide to the deluxe Disney hotels. Have you had the chance to stay at one of these swanky resorts? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how you can stretch your travel budget with our discount Walt Disney World tickets.