Disney World deluxe resorts are luxurious lodging for those willing to spend money on a premium hotel experience at Disney. Each deluxe resort has a completely different style carried throughout the resort rooms and property. This article gives general pros and cons of the Disney World deluxe resort category, pros and cons of each Disney World deluxe resort, and ranks all the Disney World deluxe resorts.
Disney World Deluxe Resort Pros
One of the best features of Disney World deluxe resorts are their locations. Several deluxe resorts are within walking distance of Epcot, some are walkable to Magic Kingdom, and several are on the monorail line.
Disney World is very large, about the size of San Francisco, so transportation times can add up. Having the ability to walk to a park is one of my favorite things about some Disney World deluxe hotels.
Deluxe Resort Amenities
The Disney World deluxe resorts usually have nicer on-site dining options, a better pool plus water slide, and little things like individual toiletries. None of these individual items is a huge difference, but they add up to a more luxurious experience.
Disney World deluxe resorts are all beautiful. Each resort is unique in design but has incredible attention to detail in the common areas, restaurants, and resort rooms.
Disney World Deluxe Resort Room Sizes
Disney World deluxe resort rooms are the largest on average when compared to value or moderate resorts. Individual deluxe resort room sizes vary from around 340 square feet (32 square meters) at Wilderness and Animal Kingdom Lodges all the way up to 440 square feet (41 square meters) at Grand Floridian.
Disney World Deluxe Resort Balconies
We love that most Disney World deluxe resort rooms have a balcony with two chairs and a small side table. The balconies usually have privacy dividers between rooms and are a great place to start your day with a cup of coffee or end with a drink from the lobby bar.
Keurig Coffee Maker
Most of the deluxe resort rooms have a basic Keurig K-Cup coffee maker. Although not my favorite coffee in general, these are a large step up from the flat pod coffee makers in most of the value and moderate rooms. However, we did have a Cuisinart flat pod coffee maker at a recent Polynesian resort stay, which was disappointing.
Disney World Deluxe Resort Cons
Deluxe Resorts Are Expensive
The biggest downside of staying at a Disney World deluxe resort is the cost. The bigger rooms and nicer resorts come with a considerable increase in price.
Lackluster Bus Transportation
The great location of many of the Disney World deluxe resorts means less need to take Disney World buses. While having the monorail, boats, or even a walkway to the theme parks is great, it also means the deluxe resort bus transportation is unimpressive.
When taking a bus to a Disney World theme park from a deluxe resort it tends to make multiple stops. For example, the bus route from Disney’s Beach Club to Magic Kingdom includes stops at both Yacht Club and Boardwalk.
Lack Of An Obvious Disney Theme
Personally, I like that the Disney World deluxe resorts have a strong individual resort theme with just a nod to Disney. For example, Disney’s Contemporary Resort aesthetic is clean lines and modern design. The resort room fits with this theme, but there is almost no obvious Disney decor except for a subtle Mickey head design on the shower curtain. The deluxe resorts often have hidden Mickeys in the carpets, which are fun but not always obvious.
This subtle Disney decor is disappointing to some guests. However, I like seeing the overall theme like outdoors and U.S. National Parks at Wilderness Lodge or the tropical feel of Polynesian without having the Disney decor so front and center.
The Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts Ranked
Everyone will have a different set of criteria for choosing the best Disney World deluxe resort. For us location and ease of transportation is a big plus. We prefer resorts with less travel time even if the theme is unremarkable.
Rooms that are spacious and can easily accommodate larger families also do well in our ranking. We figure after a long day at the parks everyone could use a little extra space.
The last factor in our ranking is a mix of overall amenities. This considers pools and water slides, dining options on-site or nearby, and general theme of the Disney World deluxe resort.
The Disney World resort ranking list below has a quick review of resort pros and cons plus a link to our full review for a more in-depth understanding of the resort.
- Pros: Elegant resort, good location, excellent customer service, some rooms sleep five, Enchanted Rose Lounge, walking path to Magic Kingdom
- Cons: Expensive, most dining options are signature experiences, small bathroom
- Pros: Large rooms with laminate floors, can sleep five, great pool, walk to Epcot
- Cons: Bus transportation to Magic Kingdom can be slow
- Pros: Iconic resort within walking distance to Magic Kingdom, some rooms sleep five
- Cons: Least themed resort, pool is mediocre, not all rooms have a balcony
- Pros: Can sleep five, live entertainment on Boardwalk, walking distance to Epcot, lots of dining options
- Cons: Large resort, mediocre pool, some rooms can be loud
- Pros: Beautiful resort, great pools, excellent access to park transportation, some rooms sleep five
- Cons: Rooms need an update, not all rooms have a balcony
- Pros: Amazing animal viewing, educational opportunities, beautiful resort is an wonderful escape from the theme parks
- Cons: Far from the theme parks, all transportation is Disney buses
7. Wilderness Lodge
- Pros: Beautiful wilderness theme, relaxed atmosphere, great pool area, excellent character meal on-site
- Cons: Transportation is only by bus and boat, rooms are smaller than many other deluxe resorts
- Pros: Walking distance to Epcot, great pool, lots of dining options nearby
- Cons: Bathroom is smaller than those at Yacht Club, no blackout curtains, rooms feel less luxurious than Yacht Club
Final Thoughts On The Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts
Disney World deluxe resorts are wonderful places to relax and recharge between theme park days. Deluxe resorts have excellent dining options plus beautiful and spacious resort rooms. If the cost is not a deterrent I highly recommend a stay at a Disney World deluxe resort, especially at either Grand Floridian, Yacht Club, or Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
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