The Best Disney World Hotels for Families - Baby Chick

The Best Disney World Hotels for Families

Want to stay at the best Disney World hotels? Learn how to find them, book them in advance, and know what to pack.

Updated December 11, 2023
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Are you planning to visit Disney World for the first time as a family? There is much to consider, including the best Disney World hotels to stay at, how long to stay, and what you should pack. If you plan on staying on the property at a Disney World hotel, there are many hotels to choose from. To help narrow your choices a bit, we’re sharing a few of the best Disney World hotels to consider when staying with your family.

Booking a Disney World Hotel

First, when staying at Disney World, you will want to book your hotel well in advance. You can book a few ways, including through a travel agent or the Walt Disney World website.

The advantage of booking directly through the Disney World website is the cancelation policy. For a room-only reservation, you can cancel for a full refund up to five days in advance. If you cancel up to four days before your reservation, you will lose the cost of a one-night stay (which is the deposit). If you have booked a package (which includes room, ticket, etc.), you can cancel up to 30 days from your arrival date for a full refund. You can cancel up to 29 days in advance but will be charged a $200 cancellation fee. Canceling the day before or the day of arrival will result in forfeiting your entire package cost.1

The Best Disney World Hotels for Families

When you’re staying at Disney World, you are immersed in the experience of being at the Most Magical Place on Earth. Every on-site property includes select amenities and complimentary transportation to the theme parks.

Depending on your family’s needs, you really cannot go wrong choosing anywhere on-site. However, these are our picks for the five best Disney World Hotels for families.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Price Range

Value (standard room rates start at $272 per night)

Theming

Rooms and suites are themed after Disney animation, including films like Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.

About This Disney World Hotel

If you’re with family members who love Disney movies, the theming at Disney’s Art of Animation cannot be beaten! The hotel features themed sections representing films such as Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. That theming includes giant sculptures throughout the grounds, along with themed rooms.2

The resort is also one of the few of the best Disney World hotels offering spacious family suites designed to accommodate up to six guests. These suites include a master bedroom, two bathrooms, a living area that includes a kitchenette, a sleeper sofa, and a convertible table bed.2

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has three pools, the Big Blue Pool themed to Finding Nemo, including the largest pool on Disney property. Additionally, the resort offers a variety of on-site dining options, such as the Landscape of Flavors food court, the Drop Off Pool Bar, and the in-room pizza delivery service.2

Transportation

Notably, Disney’s Art of Animation is one of only two value resorts at Disney World that offers complimentary transportation besides buses. Art of Animation and Disney’s Pop Century Resort are connected to the Disney Skyliner, a gondola system connecting several hotels to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.2

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Price Range

Moderate (standard room rates start at $305 per night)

Theming

Themed after picturesque rural Louisiana.

About This Disney World Hotel

Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside may be a great pick if you stay with slightly older kids who may not need quick transportation to the theme parks or the overly Disney theming. Themed around a Louisiana bayou and the Mississippi River, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is connected to its sister resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.3

The accommodations at Riverside include standard rooms and the Royal Guest Rooms. The latter is designed to make guests feel like royalty, with luxurious touches and magical Disney elements themed to The Princess and the Frog. Rooms accommodate up to five guests, with two queen beds and a pull-down bunk-size bed. All rooms have modern amenities like mini-fridges, coffee makers, and complimentary Wi-Fi.3

Recreational activities at Riverside include the Ol’ Man Island pool complex, fishing excursions, horse-drawn carriage rides, and bike rentals. Dining options range from casual fare at Riverside Mill Food Court to the Southern-inspired cuisine at Boatwright’s Dining Hall.3

Transportation

Riverside is a moderate resort, meaning it’s the middle tier of pricing for one of the best Disney World hotels. To get to the theme parks, your only option for transportation is by bus. However, you can take a boat to Disney Springs, Disney World’s shopping and dining complex.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Price Range

Deluxe (standard room rates start at $466 per night)

Theming

Themed after a grand safari, complete with animals you can see from savanna-view rooms.

About This Disney World Hotel

For a truly unique experience that will make you feel like you have left Florida altogether, you can stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This African-inspired resort features over 30 species of exotic animals, including giraffes, zebras, and flamingos. Staying in a savanna view room will allow you to observe these amazing animals from the comfort of your porch! However, even if you aren’t in a room with a savanna view, you can still see them from the resort’s numerous viewing areas.4

Guest rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge are spacious, with standard rooms, pool view rooms, and savanna view rooms, which offer stunning views of the animals and landscapes. All rooms feature African-inspired décor and conveniences like mini-fridges, coffee makers, and complimentary Wi-Fi.4

The resort’s unique dining experiences include Boma – Flavors of Africa, a buffet-style restaurant offering African-inspired dishes, and Jiko – The Cooking Place, an upscale dining venue featuring a fusion of African, Indian, and Mediterranean flavors. Over at the neighboring Kidani Village area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can check out Sanaa, which features a menu with Indian flavors. For a more casual dining experience, guests can visit The Mara, a quick-service restaurant offering African-inspired fare and classic American favorites.4

Transportation

Transportation is one downside to consider when staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The only method of transportation to get to the theme parks is by bus.4

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Price Range

Deluxe (standard room rates start at $644 per night)

Theming

A tropical getaway, with theming inspired by the South Pacific.

About This Disney World Hotel

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort transports guests to the South Pacific, with lush gardens, sandy beaches, and enchanting tiki torch-lit pathways. This deluxe resort offers a range of accommodations, from standard rooms and suites to over-the-water bungalows, ensuring families of all sizes can find the perfect fit.5

Guest rooms at the Polynesian Village Resort are decorated with tropical touches and modern amenities, such as mini-fridges, coffee makers, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Select rooms even feature subtle Moana theming, which kids will love!5

The over-the-water bungalows can accommodate up to eight guests and offer a luxurious experience with a private deck, plunge pool, and stunning views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park.5

The resort features two pools, including the Lava Pool, which boasts a 142-foot waterslide and a zero-entry point for young swimmers. For relaxation, guests can unwind at the resort’s white-sand beach or rent a private cabana by the Oasis Pool.5

Dining options at the Polynesian Village Resort cater to various tastes, from the family-style Polynesian feast at ‘Ohana (which includes character dining) to the exotic flavors of the South Pacific at Kona Cafe. For a quick bite, guests can visit Capt. Cook’s, a fast-casual restaurant serving favorites like pulled pork nachos and Hawaiian flatbreads. Additionally, older guests can partake in the fun, immersive bar, Trader Sam’s.5

Transportation

For transportation, you can take a longer walking pathway to Magic Kingdom or get to the park by monorail or boat. Additionally, you can take a short walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center to hop on the monorail to EPCOT.5

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Price Range

Moderate (standard room rates start at $309 per night)

Theming

Inspired by a tropical paradise, with sections devoted to the islands of Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba.

About This Disney World Hotel

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort takes you on a tropical getaway, with sections themed to the islands of Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba.6

The hotel offers some room types, including standard, pirate-themed, and preferred rooms. The pirate-themed rooms feature pirate ship beds and nautical decor, making them a unique experience for children. Each room features amenities such as a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and complimentary Wi-Fi.6

The hotel offers several pools, including its main pool, the Fuentes del Morro Pool, with a pirate fortress theme and slides and water cannons. There are a variety of dining options to suit every taste. The Centertown Market is a quick-service dining location offering a range of American and Caribbean-inspired dishes. For a more immersive dining experience, families can visit Sebastian’s Bistro, a table-service restaurant that serves Caribbean-inspired cuisine with waterfront views. Additionally, the Banana Cabana pool bar offers light fare and refreshing beverages for guests to enjoy while they relax poolside.6

Transportation

Transportation is one of the most significant benefits of staying at this moderately-priced hotel. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the hub for the Disney Skyliner, meaning you will have easy transportation to both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.6

No matter where you stay at Disney World, you will be treated to a magical experience that your family is sure to love. With more than 25 hotels to choose from on-site (and even more properties close by Disney World Resort), there are endless options for you to find that will be perfect for your family.

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Morgan is a writer and editor with an overwhelming amount of Disney knowledge, and a passion for writing about beauty, parenting, and lifestyle. Read more

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