When it comes to Disney, they certainly know how to cater to families, and families who want to visit Disney's Orlando theme parks will find a large selection of resorts and hotels to accommodate families of all sizes. But which ones are the best? Take a look at these 10 favorites of our editors and family travelers alike.
1. Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Modeled after a seaside New England town, ship-loving guests can enjoy the nautical-themed resort, as well as board a boat to get to Epcot or Disney's Hollywood Studios. The 621-room resort features a kids' club for children 3 to 12 - Sandcastle Club - and the Stormalong Bay Pool, a three-acre water park-style pool and lake with waterslides, lagoons, waterspouts and a lazy river. Says reader kidcruzr, "The Yacht Club pools are spectacular... winding lazy rivers, sand-bottomed pools, and a snack house right there by the water's edge."
2. Disney's Beach Club Resort & Villas
Another seaside-themed property, this time modeled after Mid-Atlantic waterfront turn-of-the-century towns, offers exclusive access to Stormalong Bay at the Yacht Club, as well as the Sandcastle Club kids' program. "The list of plus reasons to stay at Disney's Beach Club Villas would indeed by seemingly endless," says reader nicolegorman. "Best pool at Disney, fantastic location, Disney customer service..."
3. Disney's Wilderness Lodge & Fort Wilderness Campground
For rugged families, as well as those on a budget, the Wilderness complex of accommodations is a favorite. The Wilderness Lodge is a massive 727-room resort made to look like turn-of-the-century American National Park lodges with onsite "rangers" providing property tours. Meanwhile, Fort Wilderness campground is a 740-acree resort with 784 campsites and 409 air-conditioned cabins. Says rouxster37, "We have four children and the cabins allowed us to really stretch out and enjoy ourselves."
4. Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas
The Boardwalk is another themed property meant to remind families of the famed boardwalks of Mid-Atlantic coastal towns. Steps away from Epcot, the Inn and Villas give families an array of accommodations - up to three-bedrooms. "The Boardwalk is probably one of the most centrally located hotels," says weircamping. "We loved the Boardwalk part of the hotel. If we ever get a chance to go again, we would stay at the Boardwalk."
5. Disney's Beach Club Resort & Villas
Another seaside-themed property, the villas provide up to two-bedroom accommodations as a Disney Vacation Club property while the resort provides 576 rooms in a New England-styled property just a short walk from Epcot. The property also features a three-acre water park with a sandy bottom - considered to be the best pool area in all of Disney. Reviews are rave: "One word: Wowzers. In a good way!" says enscott14. "Best Stay Ever," says lmotten45.
6. Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
Two Port Orleans properties are available at Disney, but it's the smaller New Orleans' French Quarter-styled, 1,008-room, 325-acre resort that is the favorite. Guests have access to bikes, boats, carriage rides and cane pole fishing in a peaceful setting that feels worlds away from the theme park hustle and bustle. "This is a great hotel for someone who wants the Disney Parks experience, but doesn't want to be staying in a super Disney-themed hotel and doesn't want to break the bank," says Elsie.
7. Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort
Adding to Disney's safari experience, the AKL, as it is called, provides 20 lodges with thatched roofs, mud fireplaces, and a 43-acre wildlife preserve. "We sat on our balcony and watched the giraffes, bison, jack rabbits do their morning thing. The animals are all around and there are staff gameskeepers around to answer any questions," says furlsilv, adding%2525252C "It was really very cool." Note: The Lodge is actually the first four floors of the property, and the fifth and sixth floors are referred to as the Jambo House Villas, which are studio to three-bedroom Disney Vacation Club villas.
8. Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Although you won't find horses roaming the grounds of this resort, inspired by Saratoga Springs, N.Y., you will find an old-fashioned, calm environment, decorated in horse-related fare. The campus-style property is spread over 107 acres and offers 1,320 units. "I stayed in 2010 and 2011 and it's the best hotel ever. The room is beautiful, clean and we had everything we needed. I strongly recommend a visit to Saratoga resort!" says glopardo.
9. Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom, the resort features a backdrop of Cinderella's Castle and Space Mountain. Another Vacation Club property, the 295-unit resort offers up to three-bedroom villas with kitchenettes to the general public, accommodating up to nine people - the maximum occupancy at Disney's Villa properties. Krismorz says of the contemporary property, "Location, location, location! I always wondered if it was worth the money to stay on Disney property. YES, without a doubt. Walking to and from Magic Kingdom is worth the price.
10. Disney's Old Key West Resort
Located in the Downtown Disney area, this 549-room resort overlooks the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course and provides beautiful sunset views reminiscent of Key West sunsets. One of the oldest and most affordable villa properties, it's also one of the most spacious. It's remote location may make it harder to get to the theme parks, but provides a quiet place to relax after a long day in lines. "For plenty of room to spread out, the money-saving kitchen with frig, and a quiet place to chill, pick OKW," says KyleK1967.
10 Best Disney World Resort Hotels for Families
Written by Lissa Poirot
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