It’s widely known that Disney World is essentially like its own city. Its sprawling footprint is roughly the size of Manhattan, with four theme parks, two water parks, and nearly thirty resort hotels (with plenty of land left to spare!).
So location can play a major factor when deciding which Disney World resort hotel to stay in during your vacation.
We’re breaking down exactly where in Disney World you can find each hotel, plus the pros and cons to each area!
Magic Kingdom Resort Area
First up, let’s talk about those Magic Kingdom Resort area hotels! Most of these will be found along the “Monorail loop” and are mere minutes from the front gates of the iconic Disney World park. If you reference the map above, however, these resorts are quite far from the other three parks!
Next up, there’s Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. As of this writing the Monorail station is closed because of ongoing refurbishments at the resort, but this is another great resort option if your goal is to be as close as possible to Magic Kingdom.
But if you want to be as close to Magic Kingdom as possible, your top choice will be Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The hotel is just steps from the park entrance! To get back to the hotel at the end of the night, you can either walk or take the Monorail — the Contemporary is the first stop!
There are a couple of other lodging options in the Magic Kingdom area that are not on the monorail loop. These include Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and The Cabins and Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. You’re just a leisurely boat ride away from the park, and the serene resort grounds feel like a true escape from the hustle and bustle of Magic Kingdom. Since they’re not along the Monorail loop, you’ll find a quieter vibe with less foot traffic.
EPCOT Resort Area
Perhaps EPCOT is your favorite park, or you’re planning on spending a lot of your vacation at one of the park’s festivals. You’ll want to consider staying at a resort in the EPCOT Resort Area, which will also put you in close proximity to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For this, we’re also including the resorts along the Disney Skyliner route, which have direct access to these two parks!
There are a few resorts that are within walking distance to EPCOT via the park’s International Gateway entrance in World Showcase. The closest is Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
Just across Crescent Lake from Yacht and Beach Club is Disney’s BoardWalk Inn! This resort has a lively nightlife scene with Jellyrolls, the dueling piano bar, and other entertainment options.
A quick Skyliner ride from EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, a Moderate Resort that just went through a massive refurbishment!
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is a Value Resort along the Skyliner Route, meaning you’re just minutes from EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is right next door to Pop Century Resort via the Generation Gap Bridge and shares a Skyliner stop with the resort.
We also want to give a shout out to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels! These are located on Disney property right in between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, though they are not owned or operated by Disney. These are actually Marriott resorts but come with a lot of the same perks as a Disney resort, including FastPass+ priority.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a few nearby resorts! The closet one is, of course, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This unique resort even has its own savannas with a variety of animals, like giraffes and zebras! Keep in mind that you’ll need bus transportation to all four theme parks from this resort, including Animal Kingdom.
Also nearby is Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort! This resort recently opened its Gran Destino Tower addition, with new and unique dining options. Coronado Springs is also relatively close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios as it is to Animal Kingdom, which means a quick bus ride separates you from the parks! From Hollywood Studios, you could also take the Disney Skyliner to EPCOT.
Finally, Disney’s All Star Resorts (Sports, Music, and Movies) are located in the Animal Kingdom Resort area as well. Currently, bus transportation will be your only method in getting to all four theme parks.
Disney Springs Resort Area
Finally, there are the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels. If you’re all about nightlife on your Disney World vacation and you want easy access to all the shopping and dining in Disney Springs, these resorts may be perfect for you! Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is within walking distance of Disney Springs via pedestrian walkway (we’re talking MINUTES from some of our favorite Disney World restaurants)! You can also take a Sassagoula River boat.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort is right next door to Saratoga Springs, with easy boat access to Disney Springs. Keep in mind that while these resorts are close to Disney Springs, they are rather far from the four theme parks, so you’ll want to allow for extra transportation time (especially with those massive internal bus loops at Saratoga Springs and Old Key West!).
If you’re looking to save even more on your hotel accommodations, Disney World has several third-party partner hotels in the Disney Springs area. These hotels are just as close, if not closer, to Disney Springs as the four resorts mentioned above, and the rooms are often at a fraction of the cost! Staying at these Disney Springs area hotels also gives you access to many of the same perks as staying at a Disney-owned resort.
Click here for 10 Disney World Resort hotels to consider booking if you want to do more than just the theme parks!
What is your favorite Disney World Resort hotel to stay at when you’re on vacation? Let us know in the comments!
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