How to Choose a Disney World Resort Hotel | Magic in the Planning

How to Choose a Disney World Resort Hotel


The Walt Disney World Resort is home to a wide range of hotel accommodation options. And even though there are plenty of budget-friendly hotel options outside of Disney property, there are quite a few reasons why staying on property is worth the extra cost. With over two dozen Disney Resort Hotel locations to choose from, making your final choice of where to stay could be difficult! Which one is the best for you and your family? Here’s everything you should keep in mind when it comes time to choose a Disney World Resort Hotel.

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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2024? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the return of the Disney Dining Plan, and more!



Disney's Contemporary Resort | magicintheplanning.comFor many, this will be one of the biggest concerns. How much do you want to spend on your Disney accommodations? Fortunately, Disney offers a wide range of options.

Keep in mind that these are starting prices. They can certainly be higher depending on the season or night of the week. Another thing to consider is that you don’t have to stay in the same resort for your entire vacation. My family chose to stay in a Value resort for a few nights and switch to a Deluxe Resort for the remainder of our trip. (And Disney made this super easy by transferring our luggage for us while we were visiting the parks!) This allowed us to save a little while still having the opportunity to stay in a deluxe hotel.



The pool at Disney's Art of Animation Resort | magicintheplanning.comDifferent resorts have different amenities. What is important to you and your family? And perhaps the more important question… how much time will you be spending at your resort?

For my family, the amenities weren’t a huge priority. We knew we would be spending most of our days in the parks and only returning to our room to sleep and eat breakfast in the morning. But for your family, this might look quite a bit different. And I’m sure it goes without saying, but the more deluxe your resort, the more deluxe your amenities. So keep this in mind when choosing your budget.



This was something that I didn’t spend too much time thinking about on my first couple of visits to Walt Disney World. But all of that has changed since then. I now try to keep in mind what parks we are visiting when I book our hotel reservations… especially since I like to stay in more than one resort during each vacation. Walt Disney World is very spread out. Some bus rides can last 20 minutes or more depending on which park you are going to from your specific resort.

Are you planning on spending most of your time in Magic Kingdom? Consider one of the resorts on the monorail system. Are you visiting Hollywood Studios? Perhaps you would like to stay in one of the hotels on the new Disney Skyliner system.



The Monorail at Disney's Contemporary Resort | magicintheplanning.comEvery resort hotel has transportation to and from the parks as well as elsewhere throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. But they do differ slightly in what kind of transportation is offered. There are a few directly on the monorail system. Some offer ferry service to certain parks. Others even offer Skyliner transportation! And don’t forget about bus transportation… Disney not only offers this to and from the parks but to the airport as well. (*Free bus transportation to and from the airport will be suspended at the end of 2021.)


Dining Options

How much time do you plan on spending at your resort? Is dining important to you? For us, breakfast was the meal we cared most about. After all, it would be the only meal we consistently ate each day at our resort. Most of our other meals we would have in the parks. Needless to say, when it came time to choose a Disney World Resort for my family, I looked first at breakfast options to be sure our needs were covered. If you’re one to spend a lot of time at your resort or you plan to have a couple of days at your hotel rather than the parks, dining will be much higher on your list of priorities.


Family Size

Some Disney Resort Hotels are very typical. You get to choose a king-size bed or two queens. These are perfect for your typical couple or family of four. But what if you’re traveling with a larger group? What if you are a family of six? Or what if you are traveling with grandparents or other family members or friends?

Disney offers quite a few options for these situations. We took a trip a few years back with grandparents and the six of us were able to stay in a family suite at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. It offered a private bedroom with a queen bed and its own bathroom as well as the main room with two double-sized pull-down/sofa beds and a second bathroom. This was perfect for our family!



Disney's Wilderness Lodge |

Every Disney resort has a theme. Some are more subtle than others, but they ALL incorporate a theme of some kind. When traveling with kids, we chose the Finding Nemo suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. My husband and I, however, chose to stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge as we wanted something a little more “grown-up” for our vacation without the kids.


When it comes time to choose a Disney World Resort Hotel for you and your family, you really can’t go wrong. With so many options, there really is something for everybody. Happy planning!!


Looking to plan your Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to get started!


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