Choosing the Right Walt Disney World Resort Hotel

This is the first decision that most clients make when planning their Walt Disney World Resort vacation. It often sets the tone for your vacation, so it’s important to us that we get it right!

There is truly a resort hotel for every occasion, budget, and travel style. If you ask 10 people for their favorite resort, you’ll likely get 10 different answers. The truth is that they’re all magical experiences. There’s no wrong resort, just the right resort for YOU!

Prioritizing Your Preferences

Here are some of our clients’ most common “top priorities”, for your consideration! Keep in mind that everyone’s priorities are different. We are here to plan your perfect vacation, not ours!

Convenience to the Parks

Each resort hotel offers different transportation options to get to the parks, with most being by bus. Transportation options also include the monorail, Skyliner, and water taxis.

Many clients with young families want maximum convenience getting to and from the parks each day, so they opt for Deluxe Resort hotel options like Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa that offer the monorail, water taxi, and walking path to Magic Kingdom Park; or Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, or Disney’s BoardWalk Inn that offer the Friendship Boats or walking path to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

If transportation and proximity to the parks are important to you, this is a great qualifying factor that narrows in your resort hotel choices! 

Resort Recreation & Amenities

Each resort hotel offers unique recreation and amenities that fit in with their theming, style, and location. While many amenities and activities can be found at a variety of resort hotels, there are some truly unique options that might stand out to your travel party!

This include things like pony rides and wagon rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, the incredible Stormalong Bay water area at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, the animal viewing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the immersive Big Blue Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

If you’re planning an action-packed vacation with most of your time spent in the parks, this might not be a top priority. For clients planning a longer (or repeat) vacation, these unique opportunities might be just the thing to add a little extra magic to their stay

Occupancy Limit & Room Size

Some clients’ travel party size immediately narrows in their resort hotel options. For instance, parties of 6 will likely choose between The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, Disney’s Art of Animation family suites, or a Deluxe Villa.

Sometimes even smaller travel parties prefer larger rooms or two bathrooms (like the family suites or villas), especially when traveling with older children or multiple households. 

There are many different floor plans, so we can find the right room size for you. For instance, my family preferred to stay in Deluxe Resort hotel standard rooms when our girls were young, so we’d have extra space for the Pack & Play, double stroller, and extra stuff that comes with a baby!


Every resort hotel is a magical experience, no matter the total package price. It’s always important to consider your budget and find personal value in the cost. For instance, some clients prefer to choose a Deluxe Resort hotel with amazing pool features, while others might choose to allocate those funds to upgrade their tickets to include the water parks.

Other Considerations

Travel Dates

Your ideal travel dates can help narrow in your resort hotel choices, based on their offerings and your preferences for that time of year.

For instance, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has a truly spectacular gingerbread display during the holidays and a whimsical display of carved chocolate Easter eggs in the Spring. If you love holiday decorations and displays, this might add significant value to your stay! Conversely, if you’re traveling in the dead of summer, the resort hotel pool might be the most important factor!

Travel Party Ages

If your travel party is all adults, you might want to stay in a resort hotel that has a great lounge or signature dining experience. You might also want to be closer to nightlife at Disney’s BoardWalk or Disney Springs.

If you have young children in your travel party, you might prefer to stay in a heavily themed and immersive resort like Disney’s Art of Animation Resort or Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, or in a resort with an outstanding kids’ water play area like Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort or Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

For multi-generational trips, you might strike a balance in convenience to the parks, proximity to nightlife, and fun for young kids by staying somewhere like Disney’s Beach Club Resort or Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.

Accessibility & Special Needs

It’s important to know that all of the resort hotels offer accessible rooms. You definitely don’t have to choose your resort hotel out of fear of it not being accessible. Still, many clients with mobility devices prefer to stay at smaller resort hotels that don’t utilize an internal bus system, so that they can get around more quickly and independently. 

Sometimes, clients have sensory needs and prefer to have quieter resort hotels or place room requests to be away from the central area of activity. Personally, we have two neurodiverse family members who play an important role in resort hotel and room selection for us.

Pick More Than One!

Some clients just can’t choose one resort hotel, so they prefer to do “split stays”. Split stays are exactly what they sound like – you split your stay between 2 or more resort hotels!

This can be a great option for clients who want to experience a Deluxe Resort hotel with budgetary constraints! This is also a great option for clients who have a favorite resort hotel, but want to try something new too!

This is our family’s personal favorite way to visit Walt Disney World Resort! We often stay at 2-3 resort hotels per vacation, so that we have multiple experiences to bring back and share with you!