The 9 Best Disney World Resorts by Location of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Luxury Resort Near the Magic Kingdom: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The resort is instantly recognizable by its majestic, Victorian-style architecture and picturesque location on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon."

Best Value Resort Near the Magic Kingdom: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Outside, nature trails wind through the surrounding pine forests while the lakeshore offers front row seats to the Electrical Water Pageant."

Best Luxury Resort Near Epcot: Disney’s BoardWalk Villas – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Spread out across generous living and dining areas including up to three separate bedrooms, and enjoy the freedom afforded by a full kitchen."

Best Value Resort Near Epcot: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Its exotic gardens and vibrant, tropical color scheme replicates the laid-back, island-style vibes of the Caribbean."

Best Luxury Resort Near the Animal Kingdom: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"At its heart are savanna grasslands where zebras, giraffes, and other safari animals roam freely."

Best Value Resort Near the Animal Kingdom: Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"After dinner, watch real Disney films at Movies Under the Stars events hosted on the food court lawn."

Best Luxury Resort Near Disney Springs: Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Luxurious adventures and activities range from sunrise yoga classes to bike rentals, fishing trips, and tennis courts."

Best Value Resort Near Disney Springs: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Expect cobblestone streets, antebellum architecture, and fragrant magnolia blossoms, all brought together by lively jazz music."

Best Non-Disney Resort: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"You’ll still enjoy complimentary transport to all of the resort’s theme parks, in addition to exclusive Disney Fastpass+ and Extra Magic Hours benefits."

01 of 09

Best Luxury Resort Near the Magic Kingdom: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney Resort
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Perhaps the most iconic of all the Disney Resorts, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is instantly recognizable by its majestic, Victorian-style architecture and picturesque location on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. From here, it’s just one stop on the complimentary Resort Monorail to the Magic Kingdom, while many of the resort’s rooms and public spaces provide breathtaking views of Cinderella Castle. As you enter the lobby, you'll be met by a live orchestra playing jazz and ragtime classics, setting the scene for your upscale stay.

All rooms come with a mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and soaking tub. For unrivaled luxury, book a Club Level room or suite with access to an exclusive lounge and complimentary refreshments. Amenities include two swimming pools, boat rentals, specialty cruises on the lake, and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where children can be transformed into knights and royalty. Mom and Dad can get the royal treatment also at the full-service spa and salon. The Grand Floridian’s impressive choice of restaurants includes the AAA Five Diamond Victoria & Albert’s and 1900 Park Fare for Disney character breakfasts, dinners, and tea parties. 

02 of 09

Best Value Resort Near the Magic Kingdom: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The Wilderness Lodge, one of the resorts at Walt Disney World, recreates the mountain lodges of the American west.
LtPowers/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-4.0

Connected via direct water taxi to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is modeled after the turn-of-the-century National Park lodges of America’s Great Northwest. Inside, you’ll find Native American totem poles and headdresses, stone fireplaces, and hand-hewn wooden furnishings. Outside, nature trails wind through the surrounding pine forests while the lakeshore offers front row seats to the Electrical Water Pageant. The resort has two pools, one with a 67-foot water slide, hot and cold whirlpool spas, and a children’s water play area. 

When you’re not out riding roller coasters, rent a boat and explore Bay Lake or embark on a guided fishing trip. There’s a gaming arcade for rainy days, and Movies Under the Stars for memorable summer evenings. When hunger strikes, choose from five on-site restaurants. Artist Point is a favorite for fine dining accompanied by Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, while Whispering Canyon Café spoils with all-you-can-eat buffets. The resort’s most affordable rooms have two queen beds, a mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and free Wi-Fi. 

03 of 09

Best Luxury Resort Near Epcot: Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

The Boardwalk Bakery, Spoodels, and Salty Sweets at Boardwalk Inn.
WDWbuff/Wikimedia Commons/PD-user

Built around a carnival-style boardwalk on the shores of Crescent Lake, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas evoke the old-fashioned glamor of Atlantic City in its heyday. Best of all, you’re within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Deluxe Villas are a kind of home-away-from-home for groups of friends and large families. You'll be able to spread out across the generous living and dining areas, which may include up to three separate bedrooms; and enjoy the freedom afforded by a full kitchen and private washer/dryer. 

On-site amenities include a fun-filled swimming pool complete with a water slide, kiddie pool, and whirlpool spa. There are also two quiet pools for grown-ups who would like to relax in peace. Practice your serve on the floodlit tennis courts, take part in family games and crafts at the community hall, or tee off at Fairways Miniature Golf. Restaurants include Big River Grille, the resort’s only working microbrewery and pub, and Flying Fish for sustainable seafood and prime steaks in a sophisticated setting with an open show kitchen. 

04 of 09

Best Value Resort Near Epcot: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Pool at Walt Disney World Caribbean Beach Club Resort
Michael Gray/Flickr/CC-BY-SA-2.0

The most affordable resort in this section of the park, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, connects to Epcot and Hollywood Studios via the Disney Skyliner. Its exotic gardens and vibrant, tropical color scheme replicates the laid-back, island-style vibes of the Caribbean. At the heart of the resort is Old Port Royale, an open-air dining and entertainment village. Head to Sebastian’s Bistro for sit-down feasts, browse street food-style eats at Centertown Market, or order tropical cocktails from Banana Cabana bar. 

The resort’s pool complex resembles a Spanish colonial fort and is a guaranteed favorite with kids thanks to its zero-entry pool, slides, and water cannons. There’s even a shipwreck play area for the smallest adventurers. Children aged 4 to 12 can also sign up for a Pirate Adventure Cruise, while other resort activities include catch-and-release fishing, volleyball, and Movies Under the Stars. Pick a standard room and benefit from free Wi-Fi, a coffeemaker, and a mini-fridge; or upgrade to a pirate-themed room complete with galleon-shaped beds. 

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05 of 09

Best Luxury Resort Near the Animal Kingdom: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village

Lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World.
Dunderklumpen/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Located a short bus ride from the Animal Kingdom, Kidani Village boasts a horseshoe layout inspired by a traditional African kraal. At its heart are savanna grasslands where zebras, giraffes, and other safari animals roam freely. Kids will love Samawati Springs Pool with its water slide and whirlpool spas; and Uwanja Camp, a splash playground complete with geysers and water cannons. Other facilities include two floodlit tennis courts, a state-of-the-art fitness center and community hall, and evening campfire sessions with safari stories and roasted marshmallows. 

Numerous on-site restaurants follow the resort’s African theme. Head to Boma - Flavors of Africa for all-you-can-eat buffets inspired by the sights and sounds of the continent’s colorful marketplaces. Sanaa offers East African cuisine and impressive Sunset Savanna views; while Maji Pool Bar is a romantic spot for open-air cocktails. In terms of accommodation, choose a Deluxe Studio with a kitchenette and sleeper sofa, or a Deluxe Villa with up to three bedrooms. The latter has its own full kitchen and laundry facilities. 

06 of 09

Best Value Resort Near the Animal Kingdom: Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

Of the three budget-friendly All-Star Resorts in the Animal Kingdom area, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort receives the best reviews. Decor is defined by larger-than-life characters from iconic animations including Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, and The Mighty Ducks. Ride the bus to the Animal Kingdom and the other theme parks; or stay home for a fun afternoon at the Fantasia-themed pool. Here, Sorcerer Mickey sprays water over swimmers while Silver Screen Spirits Pool Bar serves specialty cocktails.

Other amenities include a children’s playground, jogging trails, and an arcade with video and pinball games. At meal times, make your way to the World Premiere Food Court, where five marquees serve all-American fare in a setting that resembles a movie theater lobby. After dinner, watch real Disney films at Movies Under the Stars events hosted on the food court lawn. Standard rooms start from $117 per night excluding tax, making them amongst the cheapest in the entire park. Free Wi-Fi, a coffeemaker, and a mini-fridge come as standard. 

07 of 09

Best Luxury Resort Near Disney Springs: Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Saratoga Springs Resort
Jeff Kays/Flickr/cc-by-2.0

The Victorian charm of New York’s famous spa and horse racing retreat, Saratoga Springs, is brought to life by this elegant Disney Resort. Situated in between rolling golf courses and the blue waters of Lake Buena Vista, it’s a short boat ride from the Disney Springs entertainment complex. There’s plenty to do on-site, too. Check out five different swimming pools, including The Paddock Pool with its water slides and horseshoe-shaped whirlpool spa. Play a round on Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, or indulge in a massage at Senses Spa. 

Other activities range from sunrise yoga classes to bike rentals, fishing trips, and tennis courts. When you need to refuel, head to The Paddock Grill for burgers and cocktails by the pool; or sit down to a succulent steak amidst the refined horse-racing club decor of The Turf Club Bar and Grill. Accommodation is provided in the beautifully decorated Deluxe Studios and Villas, the latter of which have full kitchens and multiple bedrooms. For something special, try to reserve the elevated Treehouse Villa which has enough room for up to nine adults.

08 of 09

Best Value Resort Near Disney Springs: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter

Orlando - Disney World - Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter - Guest Room Building
Jared/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Just one complimentary water taxi ride away from Disney Springs, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter immerses you in the romance and mystery of historic New Orleans. Expect cobblestone streets, antebellum architecture, and fragrant magnolia blossoms, all brought together by lively jazz music. Happy hours are spent by the Mardi Gras-themed pool, riding on the sea serpent slide or soaking in the hot tub. In between swim sessions, make sure to stop in at Mardi Grogs pool bar for cocktails. 

Other ways to pass the time at this atmospheric resort include painting classes, horse-drawn carriage rides along the landscaped Sassagoula River, and Beignet Fun Runs on Sundays. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is your go-to for classic Creole and Cajun cuisine, while Scat Cat’s Club revives the speakeasies of the past with Southern-inspired drinks and live jazz. All rooms are decorated in classic colonial style, with overhead ceiling fans and polished wooden floors and include free Wi-Fi, a coffeemaker, and mini-fridge and you'll have the choice to opt for a king or two queen size beds.

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09 of 09

Best Non-Disney Resort: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Located in between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, this Four Seasons Resort is the ideal choice for luxury travelers who prefer the idea of an independent hotel. You’ll still enjoy complimentary transport to all of the resort’s theme parks, in addition to exclusive Disney Fastpass+ and Extra Magic Hours benefits. Some of Disney’s most famous faces even make an appearance at Ravello restaurant’s twice-weekly character breakfasts. And yet, the resort is a lakeside oasis that feels far removed from the park’s crowds and queues. 

Cruise down the lazy river at Explorer Island water park, or receiving pro coaching on the tennis courts. A supervised kids club gives parents the chance to play a round on the Tom Fazio-designed golf course or to enjoy a pampering session at The Spa. There are six restaurants and bars, of which 17th-floor steakhouse Capa is a particular highlight. Book a table on the outdoor terrace and get VIP seats for the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. All rooms and suites come with marble bathrooms and private balconies. 

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