Disney World Resort has a wide range of hotel, room and villa options priced around $80 on up to $500 or more. But this list reflects a level ranging from moderate to less expensive luxury options.
At these resorts, standard rooms have two double beds to accommodate a family of four; they allow a fifth guest if it’s a child under 3-years. To accommodate your clan, there is a double sink and closet/dressing area outside the bathroom.
Among the latest perks: WDW is now welcoming dogs to Disney’s Port Orleans and Yacht Club resorts, up to two dogs per room, for a fee of $50/night. Another perk is the Skyliner aerial gondola to transport guests between Hollywood Studios, Epcot and the Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort and the Riviera Resort, a new property scheduled to open in December 2019.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
When you enter the Customs House lobby, decked out in slowly flapping ceiling fans and jalousie blinds, the decor and background music evoke the warmth of the Caribbean islands. At this property, the check-in area serves only as a springboard to find out what “island” or room cluster you’ve booked, and from there, intra-resort buses transport you past commercial and recreation facilities to one of six color-coded, themed island homes.
Stay in one of the six villages—Trinidad North, Trinidad South, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba and Jamaica—within a 5-10 minutes’ walk of Old Port Royale, the central commercial area with a casual burger place, grocery and other facilities. In addition to a large food court, there’s the sit-down Shutters Restaurant and outside, a lighthouse marking the boat rental area. Kids love the pool with two waterslide, zero-entry, and water cannons and pirate rooms complete with ship-shaped beds. The jogging trail encircling the property is 1.5-miles long and you can fish in the man-made canals encircling each island.
The Caribbean Beach opened in 1989 and to this day, its scattered pools, white sand beaches (you can watch the Epcot fireworks from here), piped-in reggae and myriad playgrounds make it one of WDW’s most popular lodgings. Standard rooms have bright floral print bedspreads and a garden view. Rates currently start around $170 depending on the season. For more information, call 407/934-3400.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (and Riverside)
Dragon-shaped waterslides and Cajun wrought-iron reflect New Orleans at the 1,008-room French Quarter part of this property, while Spanish moss and plantation style housing blocks with 2,048 rooms evoke the Mississippi at the former Riverside Resort, both now part of a combined Port Orleans Resort.
This very large and rambling oasis is one of the quietest and most homey at WDW, and in addition to theme park buses, it is serviced by water taxis between the two areas, and to Downtown Disney’s Village Marketplace and Downtown Disney. Their onsite Boatwright’s Dining Hall serves up Southern-inspired dinner in a building resembling a shipbuilding yard. There’s also plenty to do on the property like taking the family on a horse drawn carriage rides on the banks of the Sassagoula River. On the manmade Sassagoula River, kids ages 4-10 can board an Adventure Cruise and learn tricks from a crew of Jesters, or join an all-ages fishing trip. There are small powerboats (SeaRaycers), kayaks, pontoon boats and bikes for rent.
Drawbacks are the far-off location and few live shows that are offered. However, around Boatwrights Dining Hall and the River Roost bar there’s always jazz music and a lot of action nightly.
The more intimate French Quarter is reminiscent of New Orleans’ own Garden District, with three-story room blocks overlooking lush gardens or the lively Doubloon Lagoon pool. The fun food court is decorated with huge Mardi Gras masks and parade memorabilia and fresh beignets and colored beads are always on hand.
The Port Orleans Riverside is themed to resemble the antebellum South. Here, the Alligator Bayou’s rustic rooms contain two split log double bedframes, with a single trundle bed underneath, so five people can be comfortably accommodated.
This resort is so spread out that families with weary little ones will want a room close to the dining facilities; buildings 14-18 in the Alligator Bayou wing are closest. Rates currently start around $170 depending on the season. In big news, in October 2017, Disney World launched a pilot program to accept up to two dogs per room at the resort, giving them Pluto themed amenities, for a $50 per night cleaning fee. For more information, please call 407/934-6000.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
The Coronado Springs is conveniently located near to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Blizzard Beach waterpark, but its current appeal is limited by the construction noise from a 15-storey tower due to be completed in 2018. It has been the area’s top convention center hotel and meeting facility, with a variety of moderately priced rooms and the only suites in this price category. Stop by the Maya Grill after a long day for Nuevo Latino fusion cuisine before unwinding at the 24-hour fitness facility with spa, and beauty services offered by appointment.
Here, with a decor that accentuates the Spanish colonial theme, tiles and stucco are used to define three huge housing complexes set around a lagoon and a pool with waterslide built around a 50-foot replica of a Mayan pyramid. Water pours down steps to a stone structure to the Lost City of Cibola. It’s also home to the largest outdoor hot tub at Walt Disney World Resort with room for 22 people. Rates currently start around $175 depending on the season. For more information please call 407/934-7639.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
The Saratoga Springs is between the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course and Downtown Disney, and away from the theme parks. This resort was inspired by upstate New York’s ca. 1800s resort area with the same name that was famous for spa, horse racing and Victorian-style character. In the last decade, Saratoga Springs became a Disney Vacation Club property, meaning its 864 apartment-style units with kitchens are timeshares. However, when units are available, they may be booked by the night and are usually better value than suites at the hotels. The Saratoga has more spacious accommodations than most, pleasant Victorian architecture, large public facilities to handle big groups, gurgling springs, and a spa with a good reputation. Rates currently start around $327 depending on the season. For more information 407/827-1100.
Walt Disney World Options
Regardless of your budget, if you’re a real Disney fan, you’ll want to stay at a Walt Disney World Hotel because of the perks on-site hotel guests get. Here are our reviews of the top Disney World hotels in other price categories:
Don’t forget to Book Early
As soon as you make some choices, work with a travel agent to secure reservations; many resorts sell out six to eight months in advance. However, there will always be room at the inn when you realize that over 30,000 rooms are now available at Disney World. You can call Disney at 407/934-7639 or visit Disneyworld.com to get more information and brochures.
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