Home to more than a dozen theme parks, Orlando perhaps offers (arguably) the best family-friendly hotels in the world. If you have (or had) any children and grandchildren, you’ve likely spent some time in Florida. And your children have mentioned their wish to visit this magical destination — dozens of times. But with so many hotels and so little time, what are the best family-friendly Walt Disney World hotels? We’ve got the scoop.
If you’ve got kids, Orlando is THE family vacation on their radar, and the cool thing about Hotel-Scoop writers is that we’ve stayed at literally dozens of the Orlando hotels. Not that we know everything, but we do know a little bit about hotels.
We’re bringing all that knowledge together into one post for an ultimate click-and-learn hotel review guide to the best family-friendly Walt Disney World hotels in Orlando for families. If you see something you like, click on the link and learn more about that hotel, reviewed by a Hotel-Scoop writer that experienced a stay there.
Best Family Friendly Walt Disney World Hotels in Orlando
We’re talking 25 Disney resort hotels — enough to make your rollercoaster-loving heart spin, right? Pick from budget-value to luxurious resort hotels, and all these Disney hotels include free transportation to all their theme parks — and round-trip complimentary transportation airrpot on the Disney magic (which is the bomb, as my grandkids say). Here’s a quick list and short overview of our favorite Walt Disney World resorts and hotels:
Value Disney hotels are best for families on a budget.
My personal favorite is the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort with kid-friendly room themes of Finding Nemo, the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, and Cars. My multi-gen family loved the extra elbow room in the family suites, and I loved that my room had a door for some privacy. Of course, we all were fans of the pool. And the price is right. Rates start at $115.
Moderate Value Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
I first stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, back in 2015, and I will again with my daughter and 2 other grandchildren in February (2017). This Spanish colonial-themed Disney hotel is massive, sprawling around a 22-acre lake. Accommodations are in Casitas, Ranchos and beachfront Cabanas. I stayed in a standard room, admittedly a bit packed for the 5 of us, but we managed. Because really how often do you stay in your hotel room when the Walt Disney World theme parks are right there.
The grandkids gave the Coronado two thumbs because they are little fishies and loved the pools. Our rooms overlooked a standard sized pool, which the kids took advantage of every evening after exploring the parks. But the real seller was the pool complex, the Dig Site Pool. We’re talking a 50-foot pyramid with water features with the Jaguar (water) Slide plunging into the pool.
And this popular meeting hotel (the largest of 6 convention hotels at Disney) is actually expanding. In 2018, Disney’s Coronado Springs will add a new 15-story tower with 500 additional rooms, a new rooftop restaurant, and lounge perched on the tower with panoramic views of the parks’ nighttime fireworks.
Rates for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort start at $175.
Deluxe Walt Disney World Resorts
My family tends to lean toward the deluxe Disney hotels, due to their location and the more upscale feel (not quite a luxury price).
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Back in 2013, I embarked on my first solo trip to Disney with a stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This African-inspired resort stole my heart. I truly loved the safari-like setting, the prime location near the Animal Kingdom theme park, and my early morning coffee looking out the window with a view of one of the 4 savannas where giraffes and zebras roamed. Rates start at $300 for standard view.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
For families with young children, the Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a perfect choice as you can walk to the Magic Kingdom or a quick monorail hop to other theme parks. I’ve stayed here a few times, and I agree with Jodi Grundig’s review. (Be sure to read her review as Jodi gives you the room break down which will make it easier to book the right room for your family!)
The rooms are awesome, the amenities are great — but the view from the top floor restaurant is consistently voted as the best place to watch Disney fireworks! Rates seldom drop below $350.
Deluxe Disney Resorts near Epcot
If your favorite park is Epcot, you’ll love that you can walk when you book a room at any of these three resorts: Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, or Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. You can also take a short water taxi ride to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For transportation to other Disney theme and water parks.
Other than the ease of transportation, our favorite pool of the Disney resorts is by far the one at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. The rooms are nicer, and the resort just more elegant. There are pros and cons to each of these, so go ahead and click the links above to get the full review. In my opinion, all three are worth booking to be that close to Epcot, so perhaps go with the resort that offers the best nightly rate.
Rates for any of these Disney resorts near Epcot, start around $375.
Deluxe Villas at Walt Disney World
Many of the above-listed resorts also offer villas, including Disney’s Contemporary, Animal Kingdom, Beach Club, and BoardWalk. Also worth checking out for its villas & bungalows is Disney’s Polynesian.
My favorite to date is Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. When traveling with our grand family of 4, we were delighted to open the door to our one-bedroom villa! Say hello to private shut-the-door-space for grandparents.
This villa also featured plenty of elbow room for the whole family: foyer, full kitchen, table and chairs for dining, living room, one bathroom with a tub and sink. And yes there was another bathroom with a shower and sink, the latter with a toilet/watering closet. The extra space was a clincher, but add in that the hotel pool and bar were directly across the street from our room — and we were sold.
And the finale? Water ferry to Disney Springs where there’s plenty of restaurants and entertainment. We would definitely return to this resort.
Rates for 1-bedroom Villa start at $450, although you can book a deluxe studio starting at $315.
Multigenerational Walt Disney World Resorts
I put together a round-up of resorts that cater to extended families. From the villas to bungalows your family vacation just got better and roomier when traveling with your family.
Alternative Lodging near Walt Disney World, Orlando
It’s a hotel…but it’s also a condo. Skip the Disney price tag with a stay at Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club.
My multigenerational family were a bit hesitant to stay off property at Disney, but after several days cramped into deluxe hotel rooms, we were thankful to finally get some space at Mystic Dunes. Two bedrooms, a dining room, full kitchen, two baths, AND a living room with a balcony overlooking the golf course — we just wished we had stayed more than one night!
Our fearless editor and leader at Hotel-Scoop Tim Leffel admits that a hotel room isn’t always the best lodging choice for everyone. For families and groups hitting the theme parks (and already reeling from the price of those park tickets!), get some room to spread out in Orlando with a condo from All Star Vacation Homes without reeling from the resort price tag. Plenty of room for a big family in this house with an amazing theater room for about $400 per night.