When planning a trip to Disney World, one of the most important decisions comes when it's time to reserve a hotel. Which hotels offer important extras, like complimentary shuttles to the parks, yet realistically meet your budget?
Value Resorts - Under $150/Night
Disney World's Value Resorts offer rates as low as $85 per night during off-peak visits, and although guestrooms and amenities are basic, guests enjoy the same perks of high-end Disney Resorts, such as extended theme park hours, free shuttle services, and complimentary airport transportation, luggage delivery and remote airline check-services. For even less, you can also stay at The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort -- most sites sleep up to 10, with rates from just $54 per night.
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Disney's Art of Animation Resort features something that other Value Resorts don't: Family Suites. The suites sleep up to six guests, and include kitchenettes for added savings, plus free Wi-Fi. Other perks at this resort -- inspired by all things Disney Pixar -- include the largest pool in Disney World (plus two more pools), along with movies under the stars. Families also enjoy an arcade and playground between trips to the parks. Rates start around $120 per night.
Disney's Pop Century Resort
The largest of all Walt Disney World Resorts, Disney's Pop Century Resort pays homage to all the pop-culture trends from the 1950's through the 1990's, and includes three pools, a playground and arcade to keep families busy when not at the theme parks. Rooms are on the small side, sleeping up to four in two double beds (plus a crib sleeper for children under 3), but connecting rooms are available for larger families, as is free Wi-Fi. Rates start around $108 per night.
Moderate Resorts - Under $200/Night
Disney World's Moderate Resorts typically start around $180 per night, with added amenities, such as restaurants with table service and water sports rentals, plus a focus on themes -- many hotels are built to mimic other popular destinations. For example, a href="/disneys-coronado-springs-resort/htl/">Disney's Coronado Springs Resort transports guests to the American Southwest.
Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
One of two moderately priced Port Orleans Resorts (the other is French Quarter), Disney's Port Orleans Resort -- Riverside is themed to resemble the sleepy Old South, complete with stately manor homes and comfortable country cottages. The swimming hole-like pool features waterslides, and is centered on the 3.5-acre Ol' Man Island recreation area (inspired by the famed tale of Tom Sawyer). Spacious rooms include queen beds and bunk-size pull-down beds, capable of sleeping up to five. For smaller families (no more than four), look into one of the resort's Royal Guest Rooms, which include two queen beds with special headboards that create a digital "fireworks" display. Rates start around $181 per night.
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is a boatload of fun for families, with an island theme that includes an aquatic play zone for little ones, complete with a zero-entry pool. There's also a pirate ship water play area and an 82-foot waterslide. If you want a truly unique experience (and for a little more money), you can upgrade to a themed "Pirate Room," decked out with beds that resemble pirate ships and pirate-themed privacy curtains.
Deluxe Resorts - Under $400/NightIf you have more dough to splurge, Deluxe Resorts offer rates from around $360 per night (sometimes less in off-peak seasons). This category of hotels features top-notch amenities, such as babysitting services, room service, valet parking, and a host of world-class restaurants, in addition to early park admission and free transportation.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Set on four savannas comprising 33 acres, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge aims to recreate an African wildlife reserve that provides guests with a 24-hour, bird's-eye view of a sanctuary with more than 200 animals. Kids can become junior safari researchers and participate in viewings and activities, as well as romp in a 11,000-square-foot pool that includes zero-depth entry points, water slides, a wading pool and two whirlpools, all surrounded by beautiful Floridian palms. Rates start around $289 per night.
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Disney's Wilderness Lodge has 729 rooms, meant to evoke the atmosphere of a turn-of-the-century National Park lodge, right down to storytime, sing-a-longs and roasted marshmallows around the campfire! There are also jogging trails, movies under the stars, a playground and swimming pools. Deluxe Studio rooms come with one queen and one double-size sofa bed, and can accommodate four. The One-Bedroom Villas include a king bed and queen-size sofa bed, also able to accommodate four. The Two-Bedroom Villas, for larger families or families who require more space, include one king bed, two queen beds and a queen-size sofa bed, and can accommodate up to eight. Rates start around $294 per night.
More From Family Vacation Critic:
9 Secrets to Saving at Disney
5 Nearly Free Experiences in Disney World
Disney World Resorts for Every Budget
Written by Lissa Poirot
Find Your Family Vacation