Disney World certainly knows how to cater to families, especially when it comes to onsite accommodations. Most Disney World hotels — all of which are themed — provide arcades, swimming pools, restaurants, transportation, special park privileges and more. So how do you decide which hotel is best for your family? Consider our top picks, based on family ratings.
Part of Disney Vacation Club, the recently renamed Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge provide ample space, with 2-Bedroom Villas -- the largest variation -- sleeping up to eight people. They also have kitchenettes or full kitchens for in-room meals. Guests enjoy views of the woodlands, courtyard, pool or Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort, where they have access to all onsite amenities -- a children's activity center, restaurant and the aforementioned pool, which also features a waterslide.
In 2017, the hotel will welcome a new, zero-depth entry pool (former quiet pool), as well as new dining options.
Want to camp -- or shall we say glamp -- in Disney World? You can do that at this budget-friendly favorite. The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort provide 784 campsites, some of which are fully equipped with electrical hook-ups, cable TV, picnic tables, charcoal grills and even privacy-enhancing landscaping. They sleep up to 10 people. Extra perks include a playground, bike rentals, canoe rentals, horseback riding, archery and a pool with a waterslide.
Within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom (though also accessible by complimentary monorail), Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort features an unparalleled backdrop that includes Cinderella's Castle and Space Mountain. Another Disney Vacation Club Property, the 295-room resort offers up to three-bedroom villas with kitchenettes (available to the general public), accommodating up to nine people -- the maximum occupancy at Disney's Villa Properties. It also has a restaurant and pool with a waterslide, so you and your family won't be bored when taking a break from gallivanting around the Disney parks.
Two Port Orleans properties are available at Disney World, but it's the smaller property -- modeled after New Orleans' French Quarter -- that wins with families. Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter has 1,008 accommodations, most of which sleep up to four or five guests. Guests have access to bikes, boats, carriage rides, cane pole fishing and a pool, located on 325 acres that feel worlds away from the theme parks. It is still considered one of the hotels near Disney World, though, so fear not!
Disney World vacations can be stressful to plan, but once your arrive at this property, you can kiss all that stress goodbye. Disney's Wilderness Lodge resembles a classic national park lodge, yet features added perks such as a beautiful pool and children's activity center -- shared with guests of The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Rustic, yet luxurious rooms sleep up to four guests, and some include bunk beds. Onsite dining and waterfront views are available at Artist Point.
The best feature at Disney's BoardWalk Inn is, of course, a boardwalk. Situated along Crescent Lake, the boardwalk features carnival games, restaurants and shops, plus bike rentals. Other hotel perks include a pool with a waterslide and guestrooms that sleep up to five or six guests.
Disney's Art of Animation Resort, which debuted in 2012, has something few Disney World Resort Hotels offer: Family Suites. It's also the only Disney Value Resort Hotel to offer accommodations that sleep up to six guests. Themed Family Suites ("Cars," "Finding Nemo," "The Lion King") include kitchenettes and two bathrooms, while added hotel perks include three swimming pools (including the largest one in Disney World), an arcade, food court and drawing classes.
You won't find horses roaming the grounds of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, inspired by Saratoga Springs, New York, but you will find an old-fashioned, relaxed environment. The campus-style property, located on 107 acres, offers 1,320 units, from studios to three-bedroom Treehouse Villas. Many villas provide fully equipped kitchens and washers and dryers, with the largest variation sleeping up to nine guests. The hotel, decorated in horse-inspired flare, also features a full-service spa and pool with a waterslide.
At Disney's BoardWalk Villas, families share amenities with guests at Disney's BoardWalk Inn -- bike rentals, a swimming pool and the boardwalk, of course, lined with amusements, restaurants and shops. The difference, however, is Disney's Boardwalk Villas provide more amenities -- full kitchens and balconies -- and space, sleeping up to four (Deluxe Studio) or eight (2 Bedroom Lock-Off Villa) guests.
Guests at Disney's Beach Club Villas receive exclusive access to Stormalong Bay at Disney's Yacht Club Resort, a 3-acre park with pools, lagoons, waterslides, a "shipwreck" and more. Disney's Beach Club Villas also provides Sandcastle Club, a supervised activity center for kids, as well as villas with fully equipped kitchens and in some cases, room for up to eight people. Nightly clambakes, volleyball and campfires round out the fun for families.