The Disney World Hotels With The BEST Theming

When you book a vacation to Disney World, you have a lot of options for where to stay. You can stay in a Disney World hotel, stay at a non-Disney hotel that’s close to the parks, or even book a vacation home through sites like Airbnb and VRBO.

Pop Century Resort

Staying at a Disney World hotel comes with some great perks like early theme park entry, plus the option to stay late in the parks on some nights if you’re staying at select Disney World hotels. Another thing you get when staying in a Disney hotel is some pretty interesting and immersive theming.

We were curious which Disney World hotel our readers thought has the best theming, so we headed over to our Facebook page to ask them (follow us there to answer future questions!). We asked: “What Disney World hotel has the BEST theming?” This is what they said!

Art of Animation

Many of our readers agreed that when talking about theming for Disney World hotels, you needed to consider whether the hotel is going for Disney theming or non-Disney theming. For example, hotels like All-Star Movies and Art of Animation are heavy with Disney theming while hotels like Saratoga Springs Resort are not. Art of Animation was by far the most commented answer to our question — people love the Disney theming!

The Little Mermaid pool at Art of Animation

One of our readers commented: “When I took my Car loving boys at ages 4, 6, and 8, Art of Animation was literally like walking into the movie set for them. It was probably hands down my greatest memory with my little boys.” Walking around Art of Animation, you’ll encounter so many life-size versions of the characters from Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Cars.

You’ll find life-size versions of some of your favorite characters!

One of the best things about Art of Animation is the Finding Nemo-themed pool, or The Big Blue Pool. One of our readers said: Each area is great, and the Finding Nemo pool is the best.” The Big Blue Pool is unique because it is the largest Disney World hotel swimming pool with over 308,000 gallons of water! One reader summed it up best by saying they “loved feeling immersed in my favorite Disney movies!!!”

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort bring animated favorites to a larger-than-life format, creating ...
Value Resort 4 - 6 Person Capacity Bus Skyliner

All-Star Movies Resort

Similarly to Art of Animation, All-Star Movies is popular due to its larger-than-life set pieces. All-Star Movies has five sections: Fantasia, Toy Story, The Mighty Ducks, 101 Dalmatians, and Herbie: The Love Bug.

The ‘101 Dalmatians’ section at the All-Star Movies Resort

About the hotel, one of our readers said: “Love the Fantasia pool, we enjoyed it when the kids were little.” Our readers generally agree that All-Star Movies is a great option if you’re looking to feel totally immersed in Disney, even when you’re not in the parks, and the Value resorts (the most inexpensive tier of Disney hotels) can be great for kids because they tend to be more colorful and in-your-face with the theming. Like one reader said: “The kids love the All-Stars.”

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort

All Star Movies Resort Highlights: What is All Star Movies? All Star Movies is the third and fin...
Value Resort Bus

Port Orleans Resorts

The Port Orleans Resorts consist of Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside. Port Orleans French Quarter is themed to — just that — the New Orleans French Quarter and is one of the smaller Moderate (mid-priced) Resorts. Port Orleans Riverside is themed to be nestled on the Mississippi River bayou and is larger and more sprawling. One guest said of French Quarter: “Having been to New Orleans many times, I think they nailed it with all the wrought iron and lanterns and beignets.”

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is pretty small!

Port Orleans French Quarter is also home to the delicious Mickey-shaped beignets, so you really can’t go wrong. Our readers are also fans of Port Orleans Riverside with one reader saying: “I feel transported every time I stay there.” 

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter

Port Orleans French Quarter Highlights: The Port Orleans French Quarter Resort opened May 17th, 1...
Moderate Resort 2 - 4 Person Capacity Bus Boat

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Another hotel that people had A LOT to say about was Animal Kingdom Lodge. This hotel is a Deluxe resort (meaning that it is one of the more expensive hotels to book) and allows you to see safari animals from some guest rooms and overlooks at the hotel.

Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby

One reader said: “Animal Kingdom Lodge is truly AMAZING and an immersive experience in so many ways, you truly feel like you have been transported to a resort in Africa when you stay there!”

You might see animals from your room!

Another reader said: “If I had to pick one, Animal Kingdom Lodge because you simply cannot top okapi and giraffes.”

One distinction many of our readers made is that they liked Animal Kingdom Lodge (and the Port Orleans Resorts, for that matter) because they are transporting. They aren’t covered in Disney characters, but instead you really feel like you could be somewhere else.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort, where the wilds of an African savanna meet the comfort...
Deluxe Resort 2 - 8 Person Capacity Bus

When picking a Disney World hotel, it all comes down to what you want to get out of your vacation. If you want to always be reminded that you are in Disney, go with Art of Animation, but if you’re looking for more subtle theming (with some Disney thrown in!), then consider Port Orleans French Quarter or Animal Kingdom Lodge.

As always, make sure to keep following AllEars for all the latest Disney World news!

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Which Disney World hotel do you think has the best theming? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “The Disney World Hotels With The BEST Theming”

  1. The Animal Kingdom Lodge, with it’s live animals, has the best/most immersive theming. Port Orleans comeing in a close 2nd. Both resorts transport guests to a different place.

  2. Polynesian is my favorite. They are getting rid of some of their theming (the luau dinner show) to put in a DVC building. I like it because it is like my favorite land in the Magic Kingdom, Adventureland.