Planning a family vacation to a Disney resort can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many options to choose from, it’s essential to find the perfect destination that caters to the interests and needs of everyone in the family. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and are ready to share our insights on the best Disney resort for kids.
Whether you’re looking for thrilling attractions, immersive experiences, or just a magical atmosphere for your little ones, there’s a Disney resort guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. In this article, we’ll explore the various options and highlight the features that make them ideal for families with children of all ages.
Before diving into our recommendations, it’s important to consider factors such as location, budget, and desired amenities. Keeping these aspects in mind will ensure you choose a resort tailored to your family’s needs while still providing the Disney magic that makes vacations unforgettable. Now, let’s discover the best Disney resort for kids.
Choosing the Right Disney Resort for Your Family
Understanding Resort Categories
When planning your family vacation to Disney World, it’s important to consider the different categories of resorts available. There are three main categories to choose from:
- Value Resorts: These are the most budget-friendly options, offering standard amenities and themed environments. Some popular value resorts include Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
- Moderate Resorts: These resorts offer a balance between cost and amenities, often featuring unique themed settings and additional dining options. Examples of moderate resorts are Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
- Deluxe Resorts: The most luxurious category, deluxe resorts provide top-tier amenities, exceptional dining options, and premium locations. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are examples of deluxe resorts.
Key Factors for Selecting a Resort
When choosing the best Disney resort for your kids and family, consider the following key factors:
- Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on accommodations and select a resort category accordingly.
- Amenities: Evaluate the available amenities at each resort, such as pools, dining options, and recreational activities.
- Theme: Disney hotels often have unique themes. Make sure to select a resort with a theme that appeals to your family’s preferences.
Resort Proximity to Parks
The location of your Disney resort also plays a crucial role in selecting the best option for your family. Keep in mind the proximity of each resort to the parks you plan to visit the most. For example, if you’ll mainly be visiting Magic Kingdom, opting for a resort located near that park would be advantageous. Some examples of nearby resorts include:
- Magic Kingdom: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Epcot: Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Hollywood Studios: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Animal Kingdom: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Available Transportation Options
Lastly, transportation options should be considered when selecting a Disney resort for your family vacation. Different resorts offer varying transportation options to and from the parks, such as:
- Bus: All Disney resorts offer complimentary bus transportation to the parks and Disney Springs.
- Monorail: Some deluxe resorts, such as Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, offer monorail access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
- Skyliner: A gondola system connecting several moderate and value resorts (like Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort) to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
- Boat: Select resorts, such as Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, offer boat transportation to nearby parks like Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Taking into account these key factors and transportation options, you can confidently select the perfect Disney resort for your family’s magical vacation.
Top Disney Resorts for Families with Kids
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is one of the most popular choices for families staying at the Walt Disney World Resort. Themed around beloved animated movies like Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Cars, and The Little Mermaid, the resort is designed to appeal to children and adults alike. Providing family suites and standard rooms, Art of Animation ensures everyone has a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
The hotel offers incredible theming in its grounds and public spaces, with larger-than-life sculptures of characters from the movies. Families with kids particularly enjoy the Finding Nemo themed pool, which is the largest pool at any Disney resort.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is another great option for families seeking a deluxe Disney resort for their kids. The resort captures the spirit of the South Pacific with its lush landscaping, waterfalls, and tiki statues, ensuring a magical atmosphere for your family vacation.
Guests can enjoy the beautiful sandy beach or indulge in some exciting character dining experiences with Mickey, Minnie, and friends at ‘Ohana. The Polynesian is also conveniently located on the monorail loop, offering families easy access to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT parks.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers an amazing immersive experience for families with kids who love animals and nature. Based on African wilderness lodges, the hotel overlooks a savanna filled with over 30 species of wildlife. You can stay in a room with a view of the animals, explore the resort’s incredible art collection, and even participate in multiple educational programs.
Here’s a summary of our top Disney resorts for families with kids:
|Entertainment & Activities
|Art of Animation
|Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid
|Themed Pool, Family Suites
|Polynesian Village Resort
|Character Dining, Monorail Access, Beach
|Animal Kingdom Lodge
|Wildlife Viewing, Educational Programs, Unique Restaurants
In conclusion, these Disney resorts offer fantastic experiences for families with kids. From incredible theming at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort to an immersive adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, families will surely find a resort that best suits their interests and needs.
Entertainment and Activities for Children
Themed Pools and Recreation
At Disney Resorts, we offer a variety of themed pools specifically designed with kids in mind. For instance, the Art of Animation resort houses the Big Blue Pool, inspired by the movie Finding Nemo. This pool offers a splash pad and a smaller pool perfect for toddlers and younger kids.
Another great option is the lazy river at the Yacht and Beach Club resort, which provides a relaxing and fun pool experience for the whole family. Meanwhile, the Caribbean Beach resort offers pirate-themed rooms and a Fuentes del Morro pool, complete with water cannons and water slides for endless playtime!
One of the highlights for kids visiting Disney resorts is the opportunity to meet their favorite characters. We offer various character dining experiences at our hotels. For example, Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary resort, where they can interact with Mickey, Minnie, and other beloved figures during meals.
In addition to dining, children can also enjoy meeting characters at designated locations within the resorts. The Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios offer scheduled meet-and-greets, and you never know who you might see wandering around parks!
Throughout our Disney resorts, we host different events and activities catering to kids of all ages:
- Movies Under the Stars: Families can relax on the lawn by the pool or playground to watch Disney classic movies in the evenings.
- Playgrounds: Most Disney resorts feature themed playgrounds that offer a fun and safe environment for children to unleash their energy.
- Disney’s Monorail System: A unique transportation option for getting from certain resorts to the theme parks, which adds to the magic of the experience for kids.
Moreover, families staying at the Art of Animation resort can also take advantage of the Disney Skyliner. This aerial gondola system connects the resort to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, providing a magical and convenient mode of transportation full of stunning aerial views.
Finding the best Disney resort for kids is a crucial part of planning the perfect family vacation. We are confident that, with the diverse array of themed pools, character experiences, and resort-specific events available, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Dining Options for Young Palates
Quick Service Convenience
One of the best aspects of Disney resorts is the wide range of dining options available for families with young children. For a quick meal or snack, food courts at resorts like the Art of Animation and the All-Star Resorts provide a variety of kid-friendly choices. Quick service locations are perfect for families with toddlers or young children who may not have the patience for a full sit-down meal. These convenient dining options offer delicious and nutritious meals that cater to the palates of little ones.
Family-Friendly Table Service
For a more leisurely meal, several table service restaurants throughout Disney cater specifically to families with young kids. The Polynesian Village Resort is home to family-friendly restaurants like ‘Ohana, where the all-you-can-eat Polynesian-style feast encourages sharing and bonding among family members. Another excellent option is the 1900 Park Fare restaurant located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, which boasts a diverse buffet of food selections that cater to a variety of tastes and dietary needs. We recommend these dining options for their warm atmosphere and accommodating menus.
Character Dining Highlights
Many kids dream of meeting their favorite Disney characters, and character dining experiences bring that fantasy to life. 1900 Park Fare not only offers excellent food but also hosts a delightful character dining experience featuring beloved characters like Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter. For an unforgettable character dining experience overlooking the Riviera, you can also visit Topolino’s Terrace. The variety in character dining lets you choose experiences that are sure to enchant your young children and create lasting memories.
Several accommodation options at Disney resorts cater to the needs of families with kids. We have organized them into three categories: Spacious Family Suites, Budget-Friendly Rooms, and Luxury Stays with Kid Appeal.
Spacious Family Suites
When traveling with kids, spacious family suites offer ample room for everyone to relax and unwind. Two of our favorite resorts that offer family suites are Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s All-Star Music Resort.
At the Art of Animation Resort, you’ll find themed suites inspired by popular Disney movies such as The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars. A typical suite at this resort includes:
- A master bedroom with a queen-size bed
- A living area with a double-size table bed and a double-size sleeper sofa
- Two bathrooms
- A kitchenette
Another excellent option for family suites is Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. The family suites here are inspired by different music genres and provide similar amenities to the Art of Animation Resort.
For families looking for budget-friendly options, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter are great choices.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort offers rooms decorated with a 20th-century pop culture theme. This value resort features:
- Two queen-size beds or one king-size bed
- A mini-refrigerator
- A small table with two chairs
At Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, you can experience the charm of New Orleans with its cobblestone streets and picturesque courtyards. Rooms at this moderate resort include:
- Two queen-size beds or one king-size bed
- A mini-refrigerator
- A small table with two chairs
Luxury Stays with Kid Appeal
For families seeking luxury accommodations, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort are fantastic options.
Located on the Monorail Loop, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offers easy access to Magic Kingdom and a lush tropical environment. Amenities at this deluxe resort include:
- Club-level access (available for select rooms)
- Access to the Lava Pool and the Oasis Pool
- Monorail transportation to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort offers guests an elegant New England-style atmosphere. Situated along the picturesque Crescent Lake, this deluxe resort provides:
- Club-level access (available for select rooms)
- Access to the shared Stormalong Bay pool complex
- Walking distance to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
For families that prefer home-like accommodations, options like Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort are excellent choices. These resorts offer multi-bedroom villas and cabins that include full kitchens and spacious living areas.
Amenities and Resort Services
Childcare and Babysitting
At Disney resorts, we understand that parents may want some time to themselves. That’s why many hotels, such as the Beach Club Resort, offer childcare and babysitting services for families with kids. These services are provided by experienced, trained staff who ensure a safe and fun environment for your little ones. Most resorts even have themed activity centers where kids can engage in arts, crafts, games, and other activities inspired by popular Disney characters like The Lion King.
Laundry and Convenience Services
Disney resorts are equipped to make your stay as convenient as possible. Many hotels offer self-service laundry facilities, making it easy for families to pack light and still have clean clothes throughout their vacation. Additionally, some resorts, such as Art of Animation and Pop Century, provide on-site convenience stores where you can purchase essential items like snacks, drinks, and toiletries. Transportation is also made simple with the various options available, including complimentary bus services and the Skyliner, connecting resorts to the theme parks and other entertainment areas.
Play Areas and Arcades
Our Disney resorts cater to kids of all ages with a variety of play areas and arcades. For instance, Art of Animation offers themed play areas inspired by The Lion King, where little kids can immerse themselves in the world of their favorite characters. For older children and even adults, our resorts also feature well-equipped arcades with various games to provide endless fun and entertainment. Here’s a brief overview of what some popular resorts offer:
|Play Area Theme
|Art of Animation
|The Lion King
|Pixel Play Arcade
|Fast Forward Arcade
|Beach Club Resort
|Lafferty Place Arcade
We strive to provide families with all the amenities and services needed for a memorable and stress-free Disney vacation.
Practical Considerations for a Disney Trip
Best Times to Visit
When planning a Disney World vacation for families with kids, it’s essential to consider the best times to visit. In general, we recommend avoiding major holidays and school breaks to escape the peak crowds. The most suitable months are typically January, September, and early December. During these periods, not only are wait times for attractions shorter, but hotels and flights tend to be more affordable as well.
Navigating the expansive Walt Disney World can be a bit overwhelming, but their transportation system simplifies the process. Here are three main options:
- Monorail: This iconic mode of transportation is ideal for guests staying at the Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. It offers easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
- Buses: The complimentary Disney bus system connects each resort with every theme park, water park, and Disney Springs. For example, Port Orleans Riverside provides bus transportation to all four parks.
- Disney Skyliner: A fun and efficient transportation mode connecting Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot with select resorts like Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Riviera Resort. Skyliner stations are conveniently scattered, making it an enjoyable experience for all ages.
If staying at a Disney resort within walking distance to theme parks like Disney’s Beach Club Resort or Boardwalk (near Epcot), you can take advantage of the pleasant stroll.
Budgeting for Your Stay
When determining the most suitable Disney resort for your family vacation, it’s essential to assess your budget. Disney resorts are categorized into three tiers:
- Value Resorts: These are the most budget-friendly options, such as Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. They offer basic amenities and immersive theming.
- Moderate Resorts: A more comfortable stay could be had at moderate resorts like Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside or Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. They provide additional amenities, such as more dining options and recreational facilities.
- Deluxe Resorts: For a truly luxurious experience, consider deluxe resorts like Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort or Disney’s Beach Club Resort. These offer top-notch accommodations, multiple restaurants, and exclusive benefits like walking distance to the theme parks.
When budgeting, also take into consideration daily park tickets, dining costs, and any additional expenses such as souvenirs or special experiences.