If you’re planning a trip to Disney soon, you’re probably wondering: what are the best deluxe resorts for families? Disney’s Deluxe Resorts are the top tier of Disney World Resorts, and a great choice for families. Of course, when choosing a Disney Resort, it sometimes comes down to cost. If you have a flexible budget, then you may want to consider staying in the magic at one of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts For Families. As a plus, all the Disney deluxe resorts have a unique theme. The Disney Riviera Resort will make you feel like you are on the shores of the Mediterranean, for example, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge gets you right up close and personal with the animals of the Savanna. Luckily, this list, which is divided into different Disney parks, is a fantastic place to start your decision-making process. Keep reading for parent-approved advice!
What Is A Disney Deluxe Hotel?
All Disney World on-property hotels are quality hotels, offering great customer service, cleanliness, and convenient transportation to the parks. What makes the Disney resorts deluxe are the additional magical extras. To start, the rooms tend to have more square footage than the other categories of resorts. Meaning many rooms can accommodate a family of five in one standard room. They also typically offer more than one mode of transportation to the parks and are typically located closer to one of the four parks. Deluxe resorts also boast larger, themed pools, fitness facilities, and valet parking. Now, starting October 2021, guests of deluxe resorts will have extra evening hours in the parks. That alone should be an incentive to spend a little extra to stay at a Disney deluxe resort!
Location and Transportation
What sets most deluxe resorts apart from the other Disney resorts is the location. The resorts tend to be closer to one of the parks, some even within walking distance. For example, The Contemporary is within walking distance to Magic Kingdom, while the Polynesian and Grand Floridian are a close monorail ride away. Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club along with the Disney Boardwalk resort are walking Distance to EPCOT and even walking distance to Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom Lodge is closest to Animal Kingdom Park.
Most Deluxe resorts also offer more than one mode of transportation. Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club resorts are not only within walking distance to EPCOT, but offer boat and the new Skyliner transportation to Hollywood Studios. Plus, bus transportation to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. The Polynesian Resort is located on the Disney Monorail, but also has the option of taking a boat to Magic Kingdom and buses to the other parks. The same goes for Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Having more transportation options helps make the deluxe resorts a more desirable stay on your family Disney vacation.
Shopping and Dining
Disney deluxe resorts take the shopping experience to the next level by offering upscale retail items. Guests will find Disney-themed Dooney and Burke bags in the retail space as well as high-end Disney luggage and clothing. Don’t worry, the shops still offer the basics like sunscreen, snacks, and coffee. Disney’s deluxe resorts also offer both counter service and table service restaurant options giving families the choice to have a fancy table service meal or finish off the day with a quick bite before bed. Many of the table service meals are award-winning, serving cuisine inspired by the theme of the resort. Families will find that most of the deluxe resorts also have character meals. Kids will love not having to go far for breakfast with Mickey and Minnie and pals.
Which Deluxe Resort Is Best for Your Family?
Choosing the deluxe Disney resort that is the best fit for your family is the hard part. It may come down to location and theme. For some, it may even come down to the pool. Finally, resort availability may be the deciding factor when booking a Disney vacation. Keep reading for suggestions on how to figure it all out!
Magic Kingdom Area Deluxe Resorts
If you’re looking for one of the best Disney World hotels for families in the Magic Kingdom area, look no further! Here are some suggestions on deluxe Disney hotels that will make your Disney stay even more magical!
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is considered the most luxurious and elegant out of all the deluxe Disney resorts. Walking into the grand lobby, laden with ornate chandeliers and flower displays, will immediately make you feel your kids feel like they are princes or princesses. Accommodations range from spacious rooms to one or two-bedroom suites that can sleep five people. Plus, the Monorail pulls right up to the hotel, and in one quick stop, puts you right into the magic of Magic Kingdom! It’s no wonder this is one of the best Disney World hotels!
Why Families Love It
Kids can start their morning indulging in a grand breakfast feast with Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and friends, and more of their favorite characters. If families want to rush to the parks, then they can always opt for dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming at 1900 Park Fare. Plus, the excitement doesn’t stop there. In the evenings, the Grand Floridian offers movies under the stars. And, a chance for families to end their days by roasting marshmallows around an open fire! Families will also love the large pool, the zero-depth entry, and kids will get a kick out of the 181-foot slide. Younger kids will go crazy splashing around in the shallow, play area! For parents, the resort boasts the Senses Spa, a fitness center, and is home to an award-winning restaurant, Victoria & Alberts.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
In October 1971, Disney opened the first hotel, The Contemporary Resort. Since then, it has become Disney World’s most iconic hotel with the monorail running right through the middle of the hotel. Not to mention, one of the best Disney World hotels for families. Any Disney fan will immediately recognize the hotel from its famous triangular shape. A short five-minute walk with get you right to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. If you manage to get a room that overlooks the park, you and your kids can watch the nighttime spectacular, fireworks, and more! The hotel even recently renovated the rooms and gave them an updated Incredibles theme sure to make any kid feel incredible.
Why Families Love It
Families will love their stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Kids will especially enjoy the pools, hot tubs, and 17-foot-high slide! There’s also a zero-depth entry pool and a kids’ splash and play area. For more fun on the water, families can rent boats and cruise around Seven Seas Lagoon. The resort also offers movies under the stars and marshmallows roasting at night. And, it’s home to one of the most sought-after dining experiences, Chef Mickey’s. Kids will love having breakfast or dinner with Mickey and pals. Another wonderful dining experience is at the award-winning California Grill, giving you a view of the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom. If you have dinner earlier but want to come back to see the fireworks, no problem! Just present your receipt and you can go right in.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Imagine going to Disney World and staying in a luxurious, South Pacific-inspired resort. You can if you book Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! With newly refurbished rooms, your kids will feel like you’re on an island paradise. Rooms, which range from one-bedroom suites to Presidential suites, are complete with thatched accents and nods to Moana and friends featured throughout. From the resort, families can also take the monorail to Epcot or Magic Kingdom and buses are provided to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.
Why Families Love It
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort features two pools, one that was recently renovated and features a large volcano. Kids will love swimming under an “active” volcano while parents relax in the lounge chairs spread throughout. Another guest favorite is the Dole Whip stand on-site. It’s no wonder this makes our list of the best Disney World hotels for families!
Kids will also love starting or ending their day at Ohana Restaurant, Kona Cafe, or Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto for some fruity concoctions. The Polynesian is well known for their Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (currently unavailable due to Covid), an all-you-can-eat Luau with fire knife performers. You can even see Cinderella’s Castle from the resort, which is perfect for the younger kids who want to see the evening fireworks just not in with the crowds inside the park. At night, there is the well-known electric Water Pageant in the lagoon, which will dazzle kids with its synchronized lights and music.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
The moment you and your family walk into the massive lobby of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, one of the best Disney World hotels, you’ll immediately feel like you’re staying in a log cabin in the American Northwest. Meticulously decorated, the resort immerses visitors into nature throughout the entire resort, including the guest rooms. Accommodations range from one king to two queen beds, with lots of different views. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is also a convenient boat ride to Magic Kingdom and bus ride to the other 3 parks.
Why Families Love It
Kids will love playing and sliding down the water slide at the Copper Creek Spring Pool. Parents will love the zero-depth entry and separate water play area. Families won’t have to go far from the pool to enjoy a meal at Geyser Point Bar and Grill. Kids can eat while watching out for an occasional, erupting geyser! If your family is looking for evening activities at the resort, then you’ll love movies under the stars and roasting marshmallows over the fire pit. The resort also features hiking trails to explore. If you want to end your evening by dining but are not ready to say goodnight to the Disney magic, then consider eating with Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at Story Book Dining at Artist Point (temporarily closed due to Covid). Kids will love seeing the characters as they dine in this enchanted themed restaurant!
EPCOT Area Deluxe Resorts
Looking for the best Disney deluxe resorts for families in EPCOT? Luckily, they’re all within a short 5-7 minute walk to the EPCOT Park! If you plan to end your day in one of the World Showcase restaurants or watch the nighttime spectacular, your quick commute back to the hotel won’t have you waiting for any modes of transportation other than your feet. Here are a few family favorite hotels in EPCOT!
Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resorts
Although these are two different Disney resorts, they do share many of the same amenities and are connected through walkways. The Cape May-inspired Disney’s Beach Club Resort has a very open and inviting feel when you first walk into the lobby. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with all of its dark blue hues, polished, wood and brass accents will make any family feel like they are embarking on a special sea voyage onboard a luxurious yacht. Both offer various rooms for families, including a Deluxe Room that sleeps six people across one queen bed and a sofa bed. Families will love also the ease of transportation. Walk to EPCOT, walk, take the Skyliner, or take a boat to Hollywood Studios, and grab a bus to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.
Why Families Love It
Boasting three areas, the famous Stormalong Bay Pool at the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts is a Disney favorite. Try the zero-depth, sandy beach-bottomed entrance area, the lazy river, and the shallow play area, great for kids of all ages. Of course, the best feature is the pirate ship slide. Your little “mateys” can slide down the “plank” repeatedly while staying at one of the best Disney World hotels!
If the whole family wants a character breakfast and does not want to travel far, then look no further than the Cape May Café, located in the lobby of the Beach Club Resort. You can start or end the day with a wonderful meal while interacting with Mickey and Pals. Then, take care of that sweet tooth at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. Your kids will love taking a step back in time at this 1950’s-style parlor. Make sure to try the flavored sodas and malted milkshakes! Certainly, travelers will find this to be one of the best Disney World hotels for families.
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
A stay at this 1940s, Atlantic City-inspired resort will have any family excited to walk the boardwalk and grab some cotton candy or popcorn. Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is the smallest of the deluxe Disney resorts, but packs in a lot of things to do. Plus, the rooms are spacious, ranging from standard options with two queen beds to two-bedroom suites. Like the Beach and Yacht Club, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is within a short walk to Epcot, easy access to the Skyliner or boat service to Hollywood Studios, and a bus ride away from Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.
Why Families Love It
Families will have so much fun at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. Here, kids can enjoy the Luna Park Pool, which boasts a carnival theme and a slide resembling a roller coaster! You can also rent out a 4-6 person Surrey bike and take a nice ride along the promenade. Kids can try their luck at some of the vintage carnival games on the boardwalk. If parents want to challenge the kids to a round of mini-golf, then a short distance from the resort is the Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf Course. After golf, treat the kids to a pastry at the Boardwalk Bakery located right on the promenade at the resort. At night, enjoy movies under the stars or roasting marshmallows in the evening. Families will love viewing the Epcot nighttime spectacular right from the resort. For a night alone, parents can visit a 1930’s themed, adult-only dance hall.
Animal Kingdom Area Deluxe Resorts
Wildlife lovers can’t miss a chance to stay in Disney’s Animal Kingdom! If you have your heart set in this particular area of Disney, you’ll be happy to know you have a lot of options. Here’s one of the best Disney deluxe resorts for families!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you have an animal lover in the family, consider staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’ll be like experiencing a safari without traveling to Africa! Plus, it’s one of the best Disney World hotels for families. Families staying at the resort can even book a Savanna-view room, which comes with one king or two queen beds, and your little ones will wake up to views of zebras and giraffes right outside your window. Plus, The Animal Kingdom Lodge offers bus service to all four parks! Certainly, this is one of the best Disney World hotels!
Why Families Love It
Animal Kingdom Lodge also has some additional recreation to delight the entire family. With its zero-depth entry and 67-foot slide, the massive Uzima Springs pool will keep kids playing for hours. Parents will also enjoy a relaxing poolside surrounded by large canopy trees and Floridian palms. Meanwhile, kids can visit the arcade and playground. When you’re hungry, don’t miss a meal at the Sanaa Restaurant, where you can see gazelles, zebras, cranes, giraffes as you indulge in East African-inspired food! And, if there’s an artist in the family, then take advantage of the Wild About Painting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Available for kids 12 and over, they can put their talents on canvas while overlooking the Savanna and the animals grazing. Finish your evening with a movie under the stars while enjoying fire-roasted marshmallows cooked right over the open flame.
We hope you liked this list of Best Disney Deluxe Resorts For Families written by FLT Top Contributor Alison Netzer! Alison is a Disney lover and a travel planner specializing in Disney. Find more from Alison and her family online and on Instagram @aliwishesandwizardstravelco.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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