Best Disney World resorts

I don’t want to interfere with @Jeff_AZ 's polling, so there will not be a poll in this thread. I prefer to keep things unscientific.

What is your favorite resort at WDW and what makes it the best? All reasons are valid and I probably won’t even try to tell you why you’re wrong. For reference, it might help to share what resorts you’ve stayed at.

I’ll start. I’ve only stayed at AoA, Swan and Dolphin (both), so my experience is limited. My favorite is the Swan. I LOVE the boardwalk area location. I’d be open to staying at the other Epcot resorts, but being able to book a room on points makes the price tough to beat (although it’s not as good a deal any more). I love being able to walk to 2 parks. Transportation is one of the biggest hassles at WDW. I love the waterfall/grotto pool. I like the Swan better than the Dolphin because it has queen beds instead of full size.

If the skyliner starts running early enough for rope dropping on EMH days, I might change to AoA or Pop for my favorite. I also prefer the value bus stops since there is a queue to make sure there are no line jumpers.


I have stayed at (in order):
All Star Music - family suite
Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel side- pool view
All Star Sports
Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel side - savanna view
Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel side - standard view
Pop Century
Polynesian - hotel side ?garden view
Old Key West - 2 BR
Polynesian deluxe studio (DVC) ?garden view
Art of Animation - NOT family suite

Of these, I think I love most the Poly for it’s location and ease of access to two parks. But honestly, even on the DVC side with (almost) 2 bathrooms, the space is just not enough for my family of 4. We need three sleep surfaces with boy/girl teenagers and just more room to spread out

We were totally and completely ruined by our 2BR stay at OKW. Not only was it a great resort with a fully relaxing vibe, to have the amount of space that is pretty equivalent to what our square footage is at home was pretty outstanding.

AKL has this amazing vibe that we all just love, and with so many resort activities and such great dining, we have all been longing to be back there (should have transferred over tomorrow in fact). I am thinking that once we have our 1BR stay there that might jump back up on the list.

But look out because a 1BR BLT is in our future… and there you have again ease of access to park(s)

Of the value resorts I definitely much prefer Pop over any of the others.

And :crossed_fingers: in October my daughter and I will have our first moderate stay, which I’m looking forward to.

All this to say - I can’t pick a full on favorite. I love them all for different reasons (except the All Stars which I will tolerate but didn’t love)


I feel like the All-Stars give you the benefits of being on site (60 day FPP, book all ADR 180 days from first day) but not much else. Theming I guess.

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As I’m thinking more about this, I’m finding I feel it’s a shame (for Disney, but good for me) that they did not make any 1BR units at Poly because if there were more options than deluxe studio and bungalow - tremendous points jump - I might be all “Shut up and take my money” over there.


We were spoiled early on, staying at the Polynesian in '85, '86, and '87 when it was one of the few on site options. Loved the location and the dining. Next, as best as I can remember, we stayed at CBR when it was pretty new. It was less of a positive experience, maybe because we were comparing it to the Poly. After that, we stayed at Wilderness Lodge twice. Loved it, loved the theming, the location in the woods, the bunk beds to separate the children. The next 5 or so visits were at the Swan. Love the location, the beds. In 2018 we stayed at AKL. Enjoyed the dining and the theming. Our room location from the lobby was a real hike. The time on the bus to get places seemed so long. Not likely to stay there again. Last visit was at POFQ in 2019. My favorite moderate for its compact size and just one bus stop. If the 180 day length of stay for ADR applied, I would choose the Swan hands down. If I could justify the cost, I would stay in the Epcot area Disney owned resorts, but I can’t, so I haven’t.

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It did in 2018. Officially I’m not sure it’s supposed to, but last I checked it did)

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I got conflicting answers from the Swan staff and Disney CMs on the 180+ day on ADR. That, plus a code from Disney put me at AKL.
Seriously considering how to afford that area for our next trip to minimize the need for Disney bus transportation to maintain social distancing.

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Thank you for a thread that allows us to post about resorts!

I have stayed at: POR, CSR, YC, BC, BWI, AKL (Jambo/Kidani), Poly, BLT, SSR, GFV, WL/CC. I think that is all of them…

I love, love, love all of them…all. My favorite is Wilderness Lodge. It is my home. I love the lobby, the pools, the fitness center, the QS dining, the bars/lounges, the geyser, the boat to MK, the boat to CR.


It might be easier to list the ones you haven’t stayed at. Wow!

I have a deluxe “problem”. I have OKW and BWV booked in September…hopefully.


I have stayed at Poly (80s), CBR, POR, ASM, AS, and CR. DW has declared CR has her home resort, so I’m not sure how I’m going to support that habit. I think the All-Star resorts are fine. When I went in January I stayed at AS and it did what I needed it to do. CR really was great, but I will say that our Garden Wing room had numerous issues that they had to come fix while we were out (drawer that wouldn’t close, outlet with a prong stuck in it, etc). To Disney’s credit, they fixed it all while we were out the next day. I would stay there again. For the secret trip in June that won’t be happening now, we were going to stay at Pop. Another time I guess. Maybe we’ll do CBR instead so that we’ll be at a moderate and still have the Skyliner access.

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I appreciate the thought. :slightly_smiling_face: I will have to do a poll on this someday! Great topic.

Here is my ranking and thoughts on the resorts I have stayed at:

  1. Wilderness Lodge: beautiful resort, good location (boat to MK is great), love the theme; cons: no monorail access - a walking path to Contemporary would be nice!
  2. Port Orleans French Quarter: very classy theming, charming rooms, beignets!, awesome pool, ferry to DS; cons: location, lots of walking if not near bus stop
  3. Grand Floridian: great location to MK, but bad for other parks; too expensive for what you get. Theming is meh
  4. Old Key West: Beautiful secluded resort; terribly inconvenient for getting to parks or around resort - get a car or Uber/Minnie Van

I have a DCV reservation for a 2BR at BCV next month, which I’m hoping I will be able to move to 2021. I am hoping it will be toward the top of my list after I check it out!


I’ll be watching this thread.

I haven’t stayed on property since 1995, when we stayed in Dixie Landings (aka, Port Orleans Riverside). At the time, it was Disney’s budget hotel, and the rooms were barely on par with any typical hotel room…but the ground were nice. I know things have been upgraded.

But in August (?) we have booked All Star Movies. Why? It is cheap. Not expecting much, but we did decided to go with Movies instead of Music despite being a little bit more because they have updated the rooms. Music has double beds, but Movies is now Queen (with pull-down second bed). It just gets us on property…but I don’t love the location, amenities, nor styling.

December trip, we’ll be in Boardwalk Villas (1 bedroom) and Studio in the Contemporary. So, it will be quite a big change from August. :slight_smile:

What I’m curious about, in general, are the more “bargain” places you can do DVC rentals for…like, if you have a car, is it worth considering Old Key West, Coronado, etc?

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Is space what you’re after? Then in some cases it’s worth the splurge.

Coronado, though, has large rooms for hotel so that might not be one that would win out.

Otherwise, for me no. If it’s a budget trip it’s a value resort. If budget isn’t so much of a concern, then I’m going deluxe. Moderates are rarely moderate enough in price IMO to stay that course vs upgrade to a low cost deluxe (WL and AKL tend to be the most budget friendly in that category FYI). I suppose that’s why I’ve yet to stay at one even though I find them appealing. The price point needs to be better.

We are opting moderate for DDs birthday because she asked for a theme park view room at GF and we are not made of money so we said she could pick any resort from the value or moderate category, just to get her in check. :wink:


We’ve only stayed at Poly and Coronado. Our first trip (Poly) was planned as possibly our only Disneyworld trip (stop laughing), so we “treated” ourselves…although we rented DVC points and it ended up being cheaper than a moderate!

If our June trip happens, we’ll try Caribbean Beach. October is currently a split stay between Dolphin (on Marriott points) and Yacht Club. Super excited to stay in EPCOT area for walking distance to 2 parks and YC for Stormalong Bay.

Given that we’re usually a party of 5 (Coronado was just DH & I), our choices are somewhat limited. The convenient location of the deluxes tends to weigh pretty heavily on our decision making.

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For those who are following and have stayed at resorts with multiple bus stops, how frequently do you experience buses being full and having to wait for the next one? That is my concern with those resorts. I already don’t like the buses. Have full buses drive by when I’m trying to rope drop would drive me insane.

Kind of. I mean, I like the IDEA of staying on property, but for the money, we have to spend a lot to be cramped together. For the August trip, we’re putting 5 of us across two different rooms at Movies, not including my DS and DIL (who decided to splurge and go with POR). All said, though, we’re still spending more than TWICE what we could spend by renting off site.

But I am looking at the future, when there will be more trips with just me and my wife (and possibly our youngest DS) and we can look at single room options.

AKL – its been Home since we bought DVC in 2007. Its where I stayed over 10 Goofy Challenges and 2 Dopey Challenges with DD – it is our place. I love Jambo and Kidani both, for different reasons (Jambo spectacular, Kidani cozy), and same (I get to visit Africa and see giraffes while having my morning coffee on the veranda).

However, we love visiting WL, and as a result I bought a contract there last year. But we’ve not stayed there yet because My April Star Wars race weekend got , well, you know. I have a stay booked there in Sept and in Dec, so we’re going to give it a chance to vault to #1


We’ve stayed at AOA, Pop, POR, and Contemporary.

We’ve really enjoyed all resorts we’ve stayed at (other than AOA - meh) but Contemporary wins hands down due to ease of access. It isn’t the best themed resort but it was so convenient with two small children and the standard room is pretty big.

We’ve also visited Poly, AKL, and WL and love the feel at all three. We’re in the process of buying DVC at Poly and hope to get additional points at AKL in the future so we obviously think we’d like staying at those :grinning:

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I’ve stayed at all of the deluxe resorts, most of the DVC villas and all of the moderate resorts. I don’t dislike any of them. Picking a favorite is hard. CSR is my favorite moderate resort. I would have to say AKL for favorite deluxe/DVC. We’ve stayed there more than any other resort despite it not being our DVC home resort. AKL is beautiful, the dining choices are excellent, the pools are great and of course the animals.