The Best Disney World Resort for Kids: Family-Friendly Fun

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Best Disney World Resort For Kids
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Selecting a Disney World Resort for your family vacation can be as magical as the destination itself, especially when you’re aiming to delight your children with the experience of a lifetime. Disney World isn’t just another theme park; it’s a vast fantasyland where every resort has its own theme, amenities, and unique advantages for families. As you plan your trip to this enchanting place, knowing which resort caters best to the needs and dreams of your kids is crucial.

The resorts at Disney World offer a range of experiences, from the African savannah-themed Animal Kingdom Lodge, enticing children with its exotic wildlife, to the beachside joy of the Polynesian Village Resort, complete with its island vibes. Your decision will depend not only on what type of adventure your family prefers but also on the practical aspects such as proximity to the parks, budget, and the specific age-appropriate activities each resort provides.

When planning your Disney vacation, it’s essential to consider not just the excitement of the theme parks but also the downtime at the resort. Relaxing by the pool, enjoying character dining experiences, and exploring resort activities are all part of the Disney magic. Staying at the right resort enhances your vacation, giving your kids cherished memories and building stories for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • A Disney World resort can significantly enhance your family’s vacation experience.
  • Each resort offers unique themes and activities suitable for children.
  • Choosing the right resort involves considering both the fun and practical needs of your family.

Selecting the Perfect Disney Resort

When planning your Disney World vacation, choosing the right resort for your family is crucial. You’ll need to consider resort categories, convenience, entertainment options, and budget to ensure a magical stay.

Understanding Resort Categories

Disney resorts are classified into three categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. Value resorts offer the most affordable stays with thematic designs and basic amenities, ideal for families on a tight budget. Moderate resorts strike a balance, featuring enhanced theming and additional dining options. Deluxe resorts provide top-tier amenities, larger room sizes, and the most convenient access to Disney parks.

  • Value Resorts: Thematic designs, standard rooms, basic dining
  • Moderate Resorts: Upgraded theming, better dining options, additional recreational amenities
  • Deluxe Resorts: Premium services, best dining experiences, easiest park access

Key Considerations for Families

Your family’s needs play a significant role in resort selection. Family suites are available in certain resorts, offering more space for larger groups. Consider the pool and playground facilities to keep kids entertained. Disney’s family hotels have a variety of themes that can enhance your experience. Factor in your family’s interests when choosing a resort.

Convenience and Accessibility

The Disney Transportation System is a web of buses, the Monorail, and the Skyliner that makes parks and resorts accessible. Deluxe resorts often boast the best locations with Monorail or Skyliner stations nearby, while Moderate and Value resorts rely more on buses. Evaluate the proximity to parks and transportation options when selecting your resort.

Entertainment and Dining

Disney resorts offer activities such as Movies Under the Stars and multiple dining options. Deluxe resorts often feature signature dining, whereas Moderate and Value resorts have a variety of quick-service locations and the possibility of mobile ordering. For a diverse culinary scene, consider a resort like Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which provides both convenience and variety in dining.

Budgeting for Your Stay

When budgeting:

  1. Assess the total cost for your family’s stay.
  2. Consider the meal expenses according to the dining options available.
  3. Review the prices of larger rooms or suites if required.

Remember that staying at a Disney resort includes complimentary transportation and certain perks that can provide value beyond the room rate.

By carefully considering each of these factors, you’ll be able to select the Disney resort that fits your family’s preferences and budget, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Top Disney Resorts for Families with Kids

When you’re planning your trip to Disney World with children, staying at a resort that caters to the needs of families and enhances the magic of your visit is essential.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

At Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, immerse yourself in the larger-than-life settings of beloved movies such as Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Little Mermaid. This resort offers spacious family suites that can comfortably accommodate larger groups, ensuring that your family has ample space to relax. The kids will love the three creatively themed pools, including the largest resort pool in Walt Disney World Resort. Dining options like the Landscape of Flavors food court offer a variety of selections to please everyone.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is an African lodge-style resort amidst a 43-acre wildlife preserve, where over 30 species of African wildlife, including giraffes and zebras, roam freely. You have the chance to wake up to a savanna view from your room, making it an unforgettable experience. Culinary delights are at your doorstep with restaurants like Sanaa, Boma, and Jiko offering flavors of Africa. The lodge also includes a large pool area for a refreshing break from the park’s adventures.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Yacht Club

Disney’s Beach Club Resort and its sister property, Yacht Club, stand out as deluxe resorts offering the best of Disney hospitality. You and your kids will love Stormalong Bay, a 3-acre water wonderland that includes a life-sized shipwreck, waterslides, and a sandy bottom. Walking distance from Epcot and a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios, they are conveniently located on the Boardwalk with ample entertainment options.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Experience the island allure at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Bask in the tropical ambience with lush vegetation and exciting activities. The Lava Pool features a volcano and a thrilling waterslide, while dining options like Kona Cafe bring island flavors to your table. With access to the monorail, the transport to Magic Kingdom and Epcot is exceptionally convenient, underscoring why it is often rated as one of the best Disney resorts for families.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower

Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower provide a modern experience with a unique feature—they’re within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom, the heart of Disney magic. Quickly hop onto the monorail for fast access to the parks, allowing for easy mid-day breaks. These resorts offer a contemporary ambiance and premium views of the nightly fireworks, not to mention the wide variety of culinary experiences available to please even the pickiest eaters.

Enjoying the Disney Parks with Kids

When planning your family vacation to Disney World, selecting the right parks to visit is crucial for an unforgettable experience with your children. Each park offers unique themes and attractions tailored for family fun.

Magic Kingdom: A Dream Come True

At the Magic Kingdom, you step into a land of fairy tales and watch your children’s eyes light up as they meet their favorite Disney characters. Set sail on the Pirates of the Caribbean, soar on Peter Pan’s Flight, and experience the magical wonders of Fantasyland. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine in the enchanted Cinderella’s Royal Table where princesses come to greet you at your table.

Exploring Epcot’s Wonders

Epcot provides a blend of future technology and world cultures. Your family can engage with innovative attractions and explore the World Showcase, featuring 11 country-themed pavilions. Enjoy a meal at Sunshine Seasons for a diverse dining experience, and let your kids partake in the interactive Kidcot Fun Stops for educational activities.

The Adventure of Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers action-packed entertainment. Find yourself in the midst of Hollywood classics, with attractions like Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land and the immersive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Here, you can dine at Woody’s Lunch Box for a fun and kid-friendly meal.

The Wild Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

For a more adventurous theme park experience, Disney’s Animal Kingdom combines the thrill of amusement rides with the wonder of nature. Encounter exotic animals, take a safari journey at Kilimanjaro Safaris, and join the Wilderness Explorers to learn about wildlife. When it’s time to eat, Tusker House Restaurant offers a variety of dishes sure to please every member of the family.

Planning and Tips for an Unforgettable Disney Vacation

To ensure your Disney World Resort vacation is as magical as possible, it’s crucial to plan ahead. Paying attention to the details will maximize your enjoyment and create lasting memories, especially for children who will treasure the experience.

Scheduling Your Visit for Maximum Magic

Careful scheduling is key to experiencing the wonder of Disney. Visiting during off-peak seasons can mean fewer crowds and shorter lines, allowing more time to enjoy the attractions. Age is an important factor; consider nap times for young children when planning your park days.

  • Best Time to Visit:
    • Weekdays during the school year
    • Late January to early March
    • Late April to early June, after spring break

Maximizing Resort Amenities

Your resort is more than just a place to sleep; each one has unique theming and activities. Utilize pools and playgrounds specifically designed for kids. Don’t miss out on signature dining experiences that cater to every palate.

  • Amenities to Look For:
    • Themed pools: Every resort has a uniquely themed pool that’s a big hit with the kids.
    • Mobile ordering: Save time with mobile ordering at the Landscape of Flavors and other resort eateries.

Navigating Disney’s Transportation System

Getting around Disney is an adventure in itself. Disney’s transportation network is designed for convenience. Use the monorail and skyliner which are both attractions and practical modes of transport. Timely use of Disney transportation can save hours over the course of your vacation.

  • Transportation Tips:
    • Monorail: Best for Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
    • Skyliner: Connects select resorts to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Creating Lasting Memories with Disney Characters

Interaction with Disney characters is a quintessential part of the Disney magic. Characters are found throughout the parks, but for guaranteed face time without the wait, consider booking a character dining experience. Disney Springs also offers ample opportunities to meet and greet your favorites.

  • Memory Opportunities:
    • Character breakfasts at select resorts.
    • Unannounced meet-ups, particularly in the Magic Kingdom.

Discovering Hidden Gems and Experiences

Go beyond the map for unique, often overlooked experiences. Look for hidden play areas, enjoy impromptu performances, and explore Disney Springs. These moments can be just as memorable as the planned ones.

  • Lesser-Known Experiences:
    • Secluded play spaces in resorts.
    • Off-the-beaten-path shops and eateries in Disney Springs.

Accommodations Beyond the Theme Parks

When you’re planning your Disney World vacation, choosing the right resort is crucial for ensuring your kids enjoy their stay as much as the parks themselves. Each resort offers unique themes, amenities, and access to the Disney parks, which adds to the magic of your family getaway.

Disney’s Riverside and French Quarter Resorts

At Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, you’ll immerse yourselves in the romantic ambiance of rural Louisiana. The stately mansions and quaint backwoods cottages provide a serene retreat. Port Orleans – French Quarter is smaller and offers the charm of New Orleans streets complete with Mardi Gras flair. Both feature themed pools and are connected by waterways to Disney Springs.

Disney’s All-Star Resorts and Pop Century

For a budget-friendly option, the All-Star Resorts—Movies, Music, and Sports—boast larger-than-life themes that captivate kids. Each resort’s decor reflects their respective themes; from giant football helmets to a three-story Buzz Lightyear. Disney’s Pop Century Resort showcases nostalgic pop culture from the 1950s to the 1990s with iconic toys, gadgets, and dance crazes around every corner.

The Cabins and Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort provide a rustic escape into nature, complete with spacious cabins that can sleep up to six guests. For a more traditional camping experience, the campsites at Fort Wilderness allow you to sleep under the stars while still enjoying the comforts of resort amenities.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Relax as if you’re on a tropical island at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. This sprawling resort features brightly colored buildings, sandy beaches, and a lively marketplace. It also serves as a hub for the Disney Skyliner, offering a fun and convenient way to travel to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For a luxurious stay, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers Victorian elegance and sophistication. It’s a prime location for those looking to stay in close proximity to the Magic Kingdom. Kids adore the lofty lobbies and the live orchestra that sometimes plays classic Disney tunes.

Luxury and Unique Offerings at Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Riviera Resort combines European grandeur with modern comforts. It’s the newest addition to the Disney Resort lineup and is also connected to the Disney Skyliner system. The resort boasts intricately designed accommodations and premium amenities tailored to families seeking an exclusive experience.


When choosing the best Disney resort for toddlers, you’re looking for an immersive experience that caters to young children’s needs while providing a magical Disney atmosphere. Walt Disney World Resorts offer a variety of accommodations designed with families in mind.

  • Art of Animation Resort stands out with spacious family suites and colorful theming.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge captivates kids with its wildlife and African-inspired landscapes.
  • Polynesian Village Resort provides a relaxing, tropical setting with easy access to the Magic Kingdom.

The accommodations at these resorts are crafted to ensure that your family has both the comfort and the enchantment inherent in the Disney experience. Their proximity to the parks, dining options, and pool facilities are tailored to make your stay hassle-free and enjoyable.

For the quintessential Disney vacation that keeps your little ones delighted, consider these resorts as your top choices. They balance the whimsy of Disney characters with the practicality of child-friendly amenities, making them the best Disney resorts for kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right Disney World resort for your family can significantly enhance your experience. Here, you’ll find answers to common questions about the best lodging options for those traveling with children.

What are the top Disney World resorts for families with young children?

The Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are top choices. They offer engaging themes, extensive pools, and child-friendly amenities.

Which Disney World resort is recommended for a family with a 3-year-old?

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is ideal, with its large, themed suites, and zero-entry pools perfect for toddlers.

What are the best value resorts at Disney World for a child-friendly experience?

Consider Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort for their vibrant atmosphere, fun pools, and affordable rates.

At which resort do the Disney monorail services enhance the experience for kids?

The Disney’s Contemporary Resort provides monorail access within the building, thrilling young guests and adding convenience for stroller travel.

For families with a 10-year-old, which Disney resort is considered most enjoyable?

Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a hit with preteens due to its adventurous pool complex and close proximity to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Among the moderate resorts, which one is particularly well-suited for a family visit to Disney World?

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside impresses with its lush landscapes and themed rooms that captivate the essence of classic Southern charm.

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