Disney World Hotel Reviews – Insider Tips, Deals and Honest Opinions
Disney World Hotel Reviews – Insider Tips, Deals and Honest Opinions
Where should you stay on your next Walt Disney World vacation? This can be a tough decision to make with so many on-property and off-property hotels. Luckily for you, we’ve stayed at all the Walt Disney World Property Hotel and several off-property hotels and are willing to share our sorta-unbiased opinion of them all in our Disney World Hotel Reviews.
What you take from these reviews is up to you but each one includes photos of the resort and rooms, the positives and negatives of each and the best place to book for the best price. While we love the fastest and easiest way to any theme park from a resort hotel, we also enjoy a good room for some sleep and relaxing.
These two things and price are weighed heavily in our reviews of each hotel. This page is updated frequently as we add new hotels and experiences (last updated Aug 29, 2022).
Remember that all our Disney World Hotel Reviews come from personal stays over the last several years. Our most recent stay was at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort in August of 2022.
If rooms or hotels have undergone a refurbishment or change, we try and stay there once these have been completed to give you a better review and understanding of these changes.
One last thing we want to point out is that Walt Disney World Property Hotels offer lots of benefits compared to most off-property hotels. This includes:
World-Class Disney service (which we find priceless).
And that’s just to name a few. What we’re getting at is that we’re huge fans of staying on property and would highly recommend it to anyone. Below you’ll find some quick reviews of each hotel where we briefly talk about the pluses and minuses of each hotel. For a more in-depth review simply click on the link to read more.
Lastly, we’re not an average rating system like you would find on Priceline or Tripadvisor. We’re a family that travels with (and without) young kids. We’re going to give you our most honest opinion about each hotel. You may disagree with us which is fine. You may have more experience than us at a certain resort which is also fine.
We’re also DVC owners at several resorts, some we love and some we don’t. We’ll be honest about those too. On the flip side, we totally understand that there are people out there who care more about room comfort and resort amenities because they spend more time at the hotel.
There are also people who only need a bed and a bathroom and spend the rest of their time in the parks. We say “you do you!”
And one more thing: You’ll notice that we can hard on the Walt Disney World busing system. While we understand it’s currently the easiest solution to getting all their guests around, we hate the line waiting and inconsistency of the buses.
We highly recommend taking an Uber or LYFT around to the parks from your hotel which is what we do. Read all about it and get free ride promo codes for your next vacation!
WALT DISNEY WORLD VALUE HOTEL REVIEWS
All-Star Movies Resort Review (Value Resort) – We’re not big fans of the All-Star Value Resort Hotels just to start you off. The rooms are small, the resorts are big (if you don’t have a preferred room you may be walking quite a distance to your room, you can only get 2 doubles or 1 kind, no queen beds and the busing system is not great. This resort tends to get skipped a lot because it’s the last stop of the 3 All-Star Resorts and if the bus is full, see ya later. The theme is fun for kids and the pools are okay. It is the oldest of the 3 All-Star Resorts and in our opinion, you can tell. Its strength is pricing. Depending on the season you can get rooms for less than $130 per night.
All-Star Music Resort Review (Value Resort) – You’ll find that our reviews of the All-Star Resorts are pretty much the same. They share many of the same weaknesses as they do strengths (which is really only one in our opinion). These are the resorts for guests who just want to hit the parks hard all day every day and then sleep somewhere semi-comfortable at night, all while spending not a lot money. Of all the All-Star Resorts, this one is our favorite for the theme and the fact that you can get family suites here. The busing system is not as bad at All-Star Movies, it’s the 2nd stop for buses so you will usually get on a bus though there may already be several people on it.
All-Star Sports Resort Review (Value Resort) – Last but not least in the All-Star group is Sports. Anyone out there who loves sports more than music and movies, this is the place for you! The biggest thing this resort has going fr it over the other two is that it’s the first stop for all buses. You’ll get freshly arrived buses with your picking of seats. You most likely will not have to stand during your ride to the theme park or water park. The rooms here are the same as they are at Movies including the fact that you can only get 2 double beds or 1 king bed. We always suggest getting a preferred room at these resorts so you’re closer to the lobbies and bus stations.
Pop Century Resort Review (Value Resort) – This is probably our favorite Value Resort at Walt Disney World. We love the theming of the hotel, it’s not quite as old as the All-Star Resorts and it has access to the over-popular Art of Animation Resort next door. The busing system is not bad for Pop Century, having its own dedicated buses without sharing with another resort. The food court here is good and like we said before, many of the rooms here are close enough to the Art of Animation Food Court which is our favorite place to eat out of all the Value Resorts. It’s biggest downside is that it’s pretty big and spread out. Get a preferred room here.
Art of Animation Resort Review (Value Resort) – By far this is the most popular value resort mostly because of its theming and the fact that it’s the newest of all the value resorts. We do recognize that families like this resort because it’s based around family suites but we’re not fans of them. Taking a room and saying it’s a family suite because you can register more guests in the room than a normal room doesn’t erase the fact that these rooms are only slightly bigger than regular rooms and that sleeping on a sofa bed and chair isn’t that comfortable. We’d rather have 2 queen beds and a daybed than a room like this. Whew! Glad we got that off our chests. Outside of the rooms, the pool is really cool and the busing system isn’t bad either. The food court here is the bomb, serving up some delicious foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Disney World Hotel Reviews are lots of fun!
WALT DISNEY WORLD MODERATE HOTEL REVIEWS
Caribbean Beach Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – It’s been a while since we’ve stayed here and we’ve been meaning to go back (at the same time we don’t). This moderate resort is massive and like Pop Century, it’s very spread out. This makes the busing system not great. This is the oldest of the moderate resorts so it tends to have bigger rooms. The price difference between this resort and a Value Resort isn’t much, thus people tend to “upgrade” to this resort. It’s certainly not our favorite Moderate Resort, the food court is okay and the theming is fun? We’re not quite sure about it but the kids don’t mind because of the pirate-themed rooms. This resort has recently gone under a major refurb so you can enjoy newly renovated room (we haven’t yet). The Disney Skyliner has also improved this hotels ranking and accessibility to the parks which we love.
Coronado Springs Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – This resort has always been towards the bottom of our list for hotels to stay in. The rooms and houses were old. After arriving the first time we stayed here I kept thinking we must be the only ones out here and there’s no way they fill this place up. It kind of felt like we were staying out in the boonies. While that feeling is somewhat still there (book a preferred room), the rooms have now been renovated and are a big improvement over the old. With the addition of the Gran Destino Tower in 2020 and the renovations that they’ve done has put this Moderate Resort at the top of our list. The pool area is really fun with a massive pyramid and the busing isn’t bad. Beware though that this hotel is a convention hotel and tends to house lots of business guests.
Port Orleans French Quarter Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – This was the first Moderate Resort that we stayed at and we loved it! We really felt immersed in the French Quarter theme here from the time we arrived till we left. From the houses that have your room to the streets that you walk down, everything felt authentic. The resort is small compared to every other Moderate Resort which makes for a great stay. The busing system is easy considering there is only one stop for the entire resort. Our other favorite thing about this resort is the boating system from the resort to Disney Springs. This is a must do. Enjoy a relaxing ride down the river to Disney Springs where you can enjoy a great meal, shopping and entertainment. Boats come every 15 minutes or so and continue until after Disney Springs closes. Disney World Hotel Reviews can be very helpful!
Port Orleans Riverside Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – This is the sister resort of French Quarter and is right next door. We’ve only stayed here once and it was to try out the newly remodeled Royal Guest Rooms which are a lot of fun. Much better theming than the standard rooms and better views and locations as well. The layout has a pretty decent spread which makes for longer walks if you don’t have a preferred room. This also affects the busing system which has multiple stops. The atmosphere is fantastic here and is a great place to stay for anyone who’s never stay in this category before. It tends to be a bit less expensive than French Quarter. This resort also includes the boating system to Disney Springs which we love.
Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – Love the great outdoors? Fishing, boating and living among the trees your thing? Then this is the place for you! The cabins are pretty nice and can hold a larger family (not too large). They actually do a good job at making you feel like you’ve rented a cabin (which you have). It’s homey and outdoorsy. It’s one of the most unique feelings at Walt Disney World considering you’re staying at the largest resort in the world. Plus Magic Kingdom is right across the lake! Stays here are great but be aware that the busing system isn’t.
WALT DISNEY WORLD DELUXE HOTEL REVIEWS
BoardWalk Inn Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – This is far and away our favorite Walt Disney World Hotel for several reasons. It’s why we bought into Disney Vacation Club to begin with. This hotel has so much to offer guests! Our biggest reason for loving this hotel is location. We are true fans of walking to theme parks; anything to avoid the buses. From BoardWalk you can enjoy a leisure stroll to Epcot and be there in 5 minutes. If you want to walk to Hollywood Studios you can in about 10 minutes. If you’re not big on walking, you can take ferry boats! If you are going to take the buses anywhere BoardWalk does have a single stop for the entire resort which is great because it’s not that spread out. So busing really isn’t that bad (they do sometimes stop at Swan and Dolphin Hotels but it depends on the park and how packed the bus is). You have complete access to the Boardwalk Entertainment District right outside your room which we love! Tons of shopping, eating and nightly entertainment (be sure to check out Coney Island Chris). It’s a great place to stay for families and couples!
Beach Club Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – This would be our second favorite hotel for many of the same reasons as the BoardWalk Resort. You can walk to two theme parks or take ferry boats to both (although going from the resort hotel to Epcot would be a waste of time). You also have access to the Boardwalk Entertainment District which offers tons to do. Beach Club is also home to our favorite Walt Disney World ice cream shop, Beaches n’ Cream! We dare you to try the kitchen sink here (bring at least 3 other people with you). If you don’t have reservations which we highly recommend they do have an express counter. The lobby and dining here is fantastic. You’ll notice that one you get up into Deluxe Resorts they don’t really have food courts, it’s mostly restaurants. Busing is shared with its sister resort Yacht Club next door but we think it’s as good as it gets when it comes to busing. Oh ya, the pool here is also our most favorite pool at Walt Disney World!
Yacht Club Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – This is the sister resort of Beach Club and shares many of the same amenities including restaurants and the pool. As we mentioned above, the pool is our most favorite of all Resort Hotel pools. It’s a sand pool with water slides, waterfalls, tubes, a small river and more. The pool is massive and is one of the most secured pools at Walt Disney World because so many people try to get into it. You have to be staying at either the Yacht Club or Beach Club to use it. Cast Members will scan your MagicBands to verify. We like the rooms at Yacht Club a bit more than at Beach Club (Beach Club is older) and they feel very spacious and homey. From the Yacht Club you can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios or take the ferry boats. Busing is shared with Beach Club but works great. It’s the first stop along the route which is always nice. Disney World Hotel Reviews are the best!
Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – While not our favorite resort hotel (mostly due to its location) we love the atmosphere here! What could be better than walking out onto your patio and seeing exotic animals like giraffe and rhinos?! The cool thing about this resort is that no matter what type of room you have, you can be around some awesome animals within a few minutes of leaving your room. The resort is actually split into two houses, the lodge itself is called Jambo House. Most of the restaurants are located here as well as the biggest shop. The strange thing about this place is that it’s the second stop for buses even though it houses most of the guests. Overall the busing isn’t too bad here though getting to other parks than Animal Kingdom take a decent amount of time. Busing is really your only option here for everything. They have some great amenities here for families including an activity center that our girls love. If you’re looking for a great swimming experience, head over to Kidani Village!
Saratoga Springs Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – We’re still surprised that this resort is a Deluxe Resort and not a Moderate Resort. We think it’s because its a DVC resort that it remains this way. We’re not big fans of Saratoga Springs for several reasons. The busing system isn’t great and there are lots of stops, especially if you’re staying at a Treehouse Villa. The resort is massive and spread out like nobody’s business. It can take you a good 10 minutes just to walk to the lobby for some houses. While the grounds are nice and there are several pools, the resort is older and in need of a remodel. The only place you can really walk to is Disney Springs which is nice. For everything else you’ll need to bus. As far as food goes, none of the restaurants here stand out. In fact, most of the time we head over to Disney Springs because there are a lot more options there.
Treehouse Villas Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – We separate this from Saratoga Springs Resort because we feel like it’s in a totally different class. The Treehouse Villas are really really cool and a great place to stay for larger families. Like the Cabin at Fort Wilderness, you’re completely surrounded by trees with a river running by. You leave the mass tourism world behind when you come home to one of these villas. The shape and design of them are really cool too. They include full kitchens and plenty of space for sleeping and lounging. We would encourage you to bring a car if you’re staying here. The busing system is awful! You have to take a bus from the Treehouse to the main Saratoga Springs stop, get off, then wait for your actual theme park bus to come. It can add an additional 15-20 minutes to your trip. Otherwise, enjoy the peace and quiet!
Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – Any Magic Kingdom fans out there? This is THE place to stay if you love spending most of your days at Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Many guests only dream of staying here while a few have. We love this ressort for many reasons but mostly for its Monorail access. It’s one of the coolest looking hotels at Walt Disney World and part of that is because of how the Monorail comes in and out of the hotel. It’s a quick ride to Magic Kingdom of the other resort hotels nearby plus you can get to Epcot from here via Monorail as well. If you don’t mind a quick walk you can also get to Magic Kingdom this way with a very short security line. Dining options are great here and the busing isn’t bad when you need it. The pool is okay, not our favorite. The hotel is pricey too which one should consider. Disney World Hotel Reviews help plan better vacations!
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – It’s one of the older resorts at Walt Disney World and to us it still kind of shows. It’s caught back in the older Hawaiian culture with nothing new to share. We do love the Monorail that stops here and all the great restaurants it offers (try the Polynesian French Toast for breakfast). It offers great views of the lake and Magic Kingdom which is nothing to complain about. There are plenty of activities to do here as a family and its home to Trader Sam’s which we love for a night-time drink. Guests can also get dole-whips here which is very awesome and very unique. The busing here is okay, it’s not great as it is shared. Prices for rooms are also high here.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Review (Deluxe Resort) – Probably one of the cooler and more unique Deluxe Resorts available. If your an outdoors group who loves being surrounded by trees with tat lodge feel, this is your resort. This is probably one of our favorite places to stay during the Holiday season. They dress this place up so cool and it really feels like a family Christmas. Our girls love the tree that they put every year. The grounds are amazing and a great place to take a run or walk through. You have close access to Magic Kingdom and a boat option. It’s not super spread out which we like. The restaurants are fantastic and offer up lots of great foods to try. A lot of people pass this place up but we think it’s a steal, especially at its price point which is usually lower than the other Deluxe Resorts near Magic Kingdom.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (Deluxe Resort) – If you’re looking for the ultimate Disney experience while you’re at Walt Disney World (and the priciest) this is your hotel. Get immersed into the magic from the time you arrive till the time you leave at this Victorian-style hotel. That being said, this place it expensive, like really expensive. We don’t think you’ve ever get your monies worth personally though it does offer some great amenities. It’s on the Monorail line for quick access to Magic Kingdom. It has lots of great places to eat including our favorite Floridian Cafe for breakfast. Busing is shared with the Polynesian next door which makes it a little less great but not too bad. The rooms used to be older but were recently updated and are much more enjoyable.
WALT DISNEY WORLD DELUXE VILLA REVIEWS
If you’re not familiar with Villas at Walt Disney World or other Disney resorts, here’s a quick overview. Villas are part of Disney Vacation Club and for the most part are used by DVC members. However, a select portion of rooms can be rented by anyone whether you’re a DVC member or not. Villas offer a more homey experience for guests as everything 1 bedroom and up included a full kitchen, dining area and living space. Studios are smaller than standard rooms and include a wet bar. Villas are especially nice if you like to cook your own meals or for longer stays.
BoardWalk Villas Review (Villa Resort) – We would say the same thing about this resort as we would in our BoardWalk Inn review above. It offers all the same amenities, dining and entertainment…just on the other side of the resort. Rooms were recently redone but still lack something. We can’t put our finger on it but this is still our highest-rated resort at Walt Disney World. It’s a fantastic stay!
Beach Club Villas Review (Villa Resort) – We stayed here after their refurbishment and enjoy the rooms much better than the old ones. We stayed in a 1 bedroom villa which we enjoyed; the 4 of us had plenty of space. Of course all the amenities are the same as if you stayed at the Beach Club except you have access to laundry for free. Enjoy a very short walk to Epcot and a quick boat ride to Hollywood Studios.
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review (Villa Resort) – We think DVC got smart with this resort. We find it a better stay than at the Contemporary Resort mostly because the rooms are better. It connects to the main building of the Contemporary Resort via a skybridge and still gives guests access to the Monorail. The Top of the World Lounge is also a really cool place to hangout and watch the fireworks from Magic Kingdom. Guests staying here will notice that it’s very close to Magic Kingdom. It’s a very short walk there.
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village (Villa Resort) – Like the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, this place is part of the Animal Kingdom area. Its sister house is home to more standard rooms than villas whereas Kidani Village is all villa rooms. We love the pool here more than at Jambo House and it’s much more quiet here too. You still get to see lots of animals as you roam around the grounds. It has the same ups and downs as Jambo House does when it comes to busing.
Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (Villas Resort) – You may see a pattern here when comparing Villas to Deluxe Resorts; they are essentially the same except for the rooms. We actually like the rooms here a bit more than we do the standard rooms. They are spacious and new. All the other amenities are rated the same as the Grand Floridian Resort.
Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Review (Villas Resort) – These additions to the Polynesian Village were much needed and have made stays here much better in our opinion. We love the rooms, they feel new because they are. They are spacious and have some great amenities with them. The Bungalows are positioned over the water and hold bigger parties. We don’t think the price difference is worth it however. They can be spendy! Great views though of Magic Kingdom and the lake in general.
Old Key West Resort (Villa Resort) – This is the other all-villa DVC Resort at Walt Disney World. If we’re being honest, it’s also our least favorite. However, long-time DVC members who own here love it so we won’t bash it to hard. It’s spaced out and old. The food offerings are okay and the busing system is about the same. We think you can do much better elsewhere personally. We only stayed here once and that was enough for our lifetime (unless they do a renovation or add-on).
Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (Villa Resort) – This resort is a Deluxe Resort and a Villa Resort so we would rank everything the same. Technically this resort is all Villa but it also falls into the Deluxe category for Disney. Rooms are older and the whole resort is spread out.
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge Review (Villa Resort) – It’s one of the most expensive Villa Resorts to stay at at Walt Disney World, but the luxury of these villas and cabins far surpasses any villas throughout the resort. We were lucky enough to rent both a 1 bedroom villa and a cabin, both of which were amazing. Their amenities are modern and up to date. You still feel outdoorsy even with modern design which is hard to do. The rooms are nice and big and offer great views of Wilderness Lodge Resort. There are two pools close by and all the same dining options as the Wilderness Lodge has to offer. If you’re looking to go all out for your family vacation, we think this is the place to do it, especially during the Holidays.
Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Review (Villa Resort) – These are the older villas at Wilderness Lodge but still offer some great stays. They are less expensive than Copper Creek Villas and aren’t in the same area but they still share the same amenities including pools, dining and transportation. You can always take a boat to Magic Kingdom theme park from here or buses to the other parks. This has become a popular stay among DVC members over the years but some have left to go to Copper Creek. We highly recommend visiting during the Holidays. You’ll also find that the pricing is very reasonable for what you get.
OTHER WALT DISNEY WORLD AREA HOTELS
Some of these hotels are actually on property and some are just off property. Recently Disney has included some to take part in the special offerings that property hotels have to offer including Extra Magic Hours and 60 days advance FastPass+ booking. These hotels can be cheaper than Disney-owned hotels and some can be far more expensive. Over-all, we actually love many of these hotels and frequent them often.
Swan and Dolphin Hotels Review (Deluxe Resort) – We actually really like these two property hotels that are managed by the SPG/Marriott group. They are located in the same area as BoardWalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club but are usually much less expensive. While the resorts themselves are centered around conventions, they are still a great option for those who like to be close to the parks including Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
The rooms are a bit dated and we don’t like the resort fees they charge each night but for the price we still think they are worth it. Both hotels offer lots of places to eat too and the pools are pretty decent. The busing system is okay and is shared between the two hotels and sometimes BoardWalk Inn. Because they are managed by the SPG/Marriott group, if you have membership points with them you can use them to book rooms here which is always a plus.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – Like any Four Seasons Hotel this place is pricey. It’s price range is typically higher than any Disney-owned hotel. If money is not an issue and you have a sophisticated taste for luxury, this is your resort. One of the things we love about the Four Seasons is the massive water park they have for families.
It’s actually really cool and our girls love playing there. They also have a free kids camp that your little ones can enjoy It’s definitely one of those resorts that you can spend the whole day at and take a break from the parks. Don’t have kids? Enjoy a relaxing dip at the adults only pool and jacuzzi. There’s actually underwater audio in the pool which is really cool. The busing system is great, no complaints. We’re just scraping the surface of this hotel but we highly recommend it!