Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World: A Comparison Guide

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The deluxe resort hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort offer added convenience and amenities for all guests. However, there are several to choose from as you plan your vacation. In this comparison guide for all of the Disney Deluxe Resorts, we will go through each of the resorts and list out what we feel are the pros and cons of each one!

First, though, let’s talk a little bit about the amenities available at Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts.

In my opinion, the biggest perk about staying at these resorts is proximity. Several of these hotels are found very close to at least one theme park. You are even able to walk to a few, depending on the resort you choose. There is more than one option for transportation as well, whether it’s the monorail, Disney Skyliner, boat, or bus.

Once all restaurants are open again, you will find more than one sit-down restaurant at the Deluxe resorts, including character dining at several once they all return. This is in addition to quick service options.

You also can’t beat the amenities offered at the deluxe resorts. Whether it’s an amazing main pool with a waterslide or the many resort activities, you won’t regret choosing a deluxe resort. In addition, it was recently announced that guests staying at these resorts will get to enjoy a new benefit starting this fall, with extended evening hours in the parks.

Disney Deluxe Villas have also been included here. The Deluxe Villas offer accommodations for all family sizes. There are studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom grand villas available. Some also include a full kitchen, living area, and a washer and dryer right in the villa.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the original hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is in the Magic Kingdom resort area and features clean and modern decor with the convenience of the monorail right in the hotel. There are currently refurbishments happening throughout the resort, including family-friendly updates to the rooms.

Pros: You truly can’t get any closer to the Magic Kingdom than staying here! It’s a short walk to the entrance and you can be there in about 10 minutes. It’s so convenient to be this close, especially when traveling with little ones. In addition, you even have the option of a theme park view room category. Most of the rooms here also sleep at least 5 guests, with the villas at Bay Lake Tower sleeping up to 12 people.

The dining is great too. There are quick service options and three table service restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Whether it’s a character meal with Mickey and friends or a signature dining experience with fireworks views, you can find it here! You can also grab a quick service meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and eat with a view of the monorail as it comes right through the hotel!

Cons: I’ve heard people say that this resort is “boring” or sterile. The bathroom layout may be a challenge for some too because the sink and shower are together. Some may feel it is convenient to have them in separate spaces if more than one person is trying to get ready.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

This is another original at the Walt Disney World Resort, open from the very beginning. Also found in the Magic Kingdom resort area, the Polynesian offers great views of the Magic Kingdom. You can get to the Magic Kingdom by boat or monorail and bus transportation is available to the other parks. Currently, the monorail station is closed but it is an easy walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center. Just in time for the 50th anniversary, there are refurbishments taking place here as well. The rooms have been re-imagined with touches from the popular Disney movie, Moana.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Moana Rooms

The deluxe villas – Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows – offer studio villas and bungalows. The studios sleep 5 while the bungalows sleep up to 8 people. All of the amenities at the Polynesian Village Resort are also available here. In addition, there is either a kitchenette or full kitchen, depending on the room category.

Pros: The theme of this resort is gorgeous and the main pool is amazing! The restaurants are delicious and very popular. There is a reason that there was such an uproar about the noodles! Who wants to grab a Dole Whip and then watch fireworks on the beach with the music piped in? Guest rooms are also spacious, sleeping up to 5 guests in most room types. Some of the suites sleep up to 8 people.

Cons: This resort is very popular so availability may be hard to come by if not booked early. It has a higher price point compared to some other deluxe options. At non-peak times (such as mid-day), the buses to the parks may be shared with other resorts in the area.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Photo Courtesy Disney

A staple at Walt Disney World, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is known for its Victorian elegance and beautiful grounds. It is also located in the Magic Kingdom Resort area. Like Bay Lake Tower, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are an option here with accommodations for up to 12 people.

Pros: This is another resort that has very easy access to the Magic Kingdom either by boat, monorail, or walking. A walking path was recently added and it’s a beautiful stroll over to the park. The buses are currently used to get to the other parks. One of the many room categories available includes a theme park view. When it comes time to watch the fireworks or the Electrical Water Pageant, there are plenty of spots to get a great view. The dining options here are also on point, especially for a signature experience.

Cons: This resort is at a higher price point compared to the other deluxe resorts and the rooms are in need of a refurbishment. This resort is not quite as kid-friendly as some of the other deluxe resorts (but this may be a pro for some).

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Walt Disney World

The Wilderness Lodge is another beloved deluxe resort found in the Magic Kingdom resort area. This resort features a rustic vibe, complete with amazing views and a Pacific Northwest theme. You will also find Disney’s Copper Creek Villas and Cabins and Disney’s Boulder Ridge Villas here. It is a popular resort with so much to offer!

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Lobby

Pros: This resort is at a lower price point compared to other deluxe resorts. It offers boat transportation for easy access to the Magic Kingdom. There are several great dining options and the grounds are gorgeous! I highly recommend trying this resort during the holiday season because it is especially stunning during that time of the year! The villas have accommodations for up to 12 people.

Cons: Most of the rooms here are a little smaller compared to other options and sleep up to 4 guests. At times, the buses are shared with other resorts.

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

These two resorts are together because when you stay at one of them, you are right next door to the other and have access to the same amenities. The feature pool is also shared by these two resorts, as well as with Disney’s Beach Club Villas. They are located in the Epcot resort area, which is my favorite! There are so many advantages to staying at one of these resorts!


Photo: Courtesy Disney

Pros: You are close to both Epcot (5-10 minute walk) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. To get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you could take the friendship boats or walk along the path (15-20 minutes). The Disney Skyliner is also nearby, located at Epcot’s International Gateway. You can use bus transportation to the other parks. In my opinion, one of the best pools on property – Stormalong Bay – is found here. The Boardwalk area is very peaceful, with several dining options. The theme of these resorts is also great. Most of the guest rooms sleep up to 5 people, with a few holding more. The deluxe villas can accommodate up to 8 people.

Cons: Sometimes, the buses are shared with other resorts.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is also located in the Epcot Resort area, directly across the water from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.

Pros: Like Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts, this resort is an easy walk to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The friendship boats are another option and the Disney Skyliner is nearby. There are several great dining options along the Boardwalk. It is such a pretty area and a great place to grab a bite and take in the view. Most of the rooms here will sleep up to 5 people.

Cons: There are no restaurants in the resort, they are all located on the Boardwalk. Sometimes, buses are shared with other resorts.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is such a unique resort, offering views of wild African animals throughout the resort. The deluxe villa properties Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village and Jambo House are also found here. There are several different room types available, including options with views of one of the four savannas at the resort.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby

Pros: There are several great restaurants available at this resort. Savanna views are amazing, whether from your room or at various spots throughout the resort. The pools are also great here, with a fun water playground for kids. This resort is often at a lower price point compared to other deluxe resorts. There are several different room types available between the guest rooms and villas, with accommodations that sleep up to 12 people.

Cons: You cannot walk to or view any of the parks from this resort. The rooms are a little smaller compared to other deluxe resorts, with the standard room sleeping up to 4 guests.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney's Riviera Resort

This deluxe villa resort is the newest to open and celebrates the beauty of the European Riviera. It is located on the Disney Skyliner system, between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. This resort is comprised of tower and deluxe studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom grand villas. It is also a Disney Vacation Club resort.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Pros: This resort is so beautiful and the theme is elegant and classic. There is artwork everywhere featuring some of your favorite Disney characters. This resort is right on the Disney Skyliner, making it easy to access both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are some great dining options here, including a delicious character breakfast. The rooms offer accommodations for up to 12 people.

Cons: The price point is higher at this resort and some feel that this resort doesn’t feel as much like a Disney resort as others in the same category.

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney's Old Key West Resort

This resort is another deluxe villa option and Disney Vacation Club Resort. It has a fun tropical vibe themed for the Florida Keys. It is located in the Disney Springs area of the Walt Disney World Resort and offers studio, 1-, 2-, or 3-bedroom villas.

Pros: This resort has a great theme and the rooms are very spacious, sleeping up to 12 people. It tends to be at a lower price point compared to the other deluxe villa resorts. The main pool is very nice and there are leisure pools throughout the resort. There are great dining options right at the resort and Disney Springs is accessible via ferryboat with additional restaurants and shopping there.

Cons: This resort may feel isolated compared to other options, with longer bus rides to and from the parks.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Another Disney Vacation Club resort, this deluxe villa resort has a lot to offer. Inspired by the popular retreat in New York, this resort has a Victorian theme that is incredibly charming. Like the other deluxe villas, there are several room types to choose from including studio, 1-, 2-, and 3 bedroom villas. The treehouse villa – a unique option that has 3 bedrooms and is elevated off the ground – is also available here.

Pros: The grounds are beautiful at this resort. You can walk or take the boat to Disney Springs. There are a variety of room types, sleeping up to 12 people.

Cons: The location makes this resort feel remote and it can be a long bus ride to the theme parks. The rooms are smaller compared to other villa options and may feel outdated.

As you can see, there are several amazing options if you choosing a deluxe resort. There are pros and cons to each resort but you are bound to find a good fit for your next trip!


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