Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts 2024 (Ranked and Pros/Cons)

Disney World deluxe resorts are luxurious lodging for those willing to spend money on a premium hotel experience at Disney. After staying at every Disney World deluxe resort we’re sharing general pros and cons of the deluxe resort category, pros and cons of each Disney World deluxe resort, and the best Disney World deluxe resorts ranked for 2024.

Disney World Deluxe Resort Pros

Understand what to expect at Disney World deluxe resorts, a ranked list of the best Disney World deluxe resorts, and pros and cons of each hotel. #disneyworld #disneyworldresorts #familytravel #disneytips

Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts Perk: Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

Disney World deluxe resort guests are eligible for extra theme park time. Extended evening theme park hours occur on select days after the theme parks close to daytime, value, and moderate resort guests.

After dealing with normal Disney World crowds, extended evening theme park hours are a blissful experience. Short wait times and a more relaxed atmosphere makes this one of the best perks of staying at a Disney World deluxe resort.

Resort Location

One of the best features of Disney World deluxe resorts is easy access to the theme parks. Several deluxe resorts are within walking distance of Epcot, some are a short walk to Magic Kingdom, and several are on the monorail line.

Disney World is very large, about the size of San Francisco, which means transportation times can add up. Having the ability to walk to a park is one of my favorite things about several Disney World deluxe hotels.

Deluxe Resort Amenities

Stormalong Bay pool at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club has a sand covered bottom, lazy river, and large water slide

The Disney World deluxe resorts usually have nicer on-site dining options, a better pool and water slide, plus little things like additional toiletries. None of these individual items is a huge difference, but they add up to a more luxurious experience.

Disney World Deluxe Resort Room Sizes

An Incredibles themed makeover at Contemporary makes this Disney resort even more fun for families

Disney World deluxe resort guest 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 m2) at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge all the way up to 440 square feet (41 m2) at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Disney World value resort standard rooms are only about 260 square feet (24 m2) and moderates measure in around 310 square feet (29 m2). At the end of a busy day the extra space at Disney World deluxe resorts feels luxurious.

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.

Sunset views of Magic Kingdom and Space Mountain from a Disney's Contemporary Main Tower balcony

Keurig Coffee Maker

Most Disney World deluxe resort rooms have a basic Keurig K-Cup coffee maker. Although not my favorite coffee maker, these are a large step up from the flat pod coffee makers in most of the value and moderate rooms.

Disney World Deluxe Resort Cons

Understand what to expect at Disney World deluxe resorts, a ranked list of the best Disney World deluxe resorts, and pros and cons of each hotel. #disneyworld #disneyworldresorts #familytravel #disneytips

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.

If you are accustomed to staying at four and five star luxury hotels you may be disappointed at what you get for the price at Disney. Although Disney World deluxe resorts are the nicest on-site hotels, they are not the same as luxury hotels elsewhere.

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 buses to Disney World theme parks from deluxe resorts they often make multiple stops. For example, the bus route from Disney’s Beach Club to Magic Kingdom includes stops at both Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas.

Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts Ranked 2024

Understand what to expect at Disney World deluxe resorts, a ranked list of the best Disney World deluxe resorts, and pros and cons of each hotel. #disneyworld #disneyworldresorts #familytravel #disneytips

Everyone will have a different set of criteria for choosing the best Disney deluxe resort. For us close proximity to the parks 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.

Our Disney World resort ranking list below has a quick review of each resort’s pros and cons. Click on the resort name for our full review with in-depth analysis of the resort.

Cloudless blue skies above Disney's Contemporary Resort iconic main building

1. Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Best Disney World Deluxe Resort 2024)

Contemporary Resort Pros

Disney’s Contemporary Resort originally opened with Magic Kingdom in 1971, but the mid-century modern decor and recent Incredibles room updates have brought new life to the Contemporary.

Although most people think the main building is best, we enjoy Garden Wing rooms. They don’t have Magic Kingdom views, but avoid the slow elevators of the main building.

Contemporary tops our list since this resort has the shortest walk to Magic Kingdom. This is true even when accounting for the extra walk from Garden Wing rooms.

The new Contemporary rooms sleep up to five and have an adorable Incredibles theme which makes them feel more Disney than the previous decor.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort also has high end dining options like Steakhouse 71 and California Grills, but a decent quick service spot, too.

Guests looking to casually dine with Mickey and friends can simply head to Contemporary’s fourth floor for Chef Mickey’s popular character meal.

Contemporary Resort Cons

The biggest disappointment, in our opinion, is the lackluster pool at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It has been refurbished, but there have been no meaningful changes made to the pool and slide over the years.

Another Contemporary Resort disappointment is not all rooms have a balcony. To maintain the sleek look of the resort some rooms have a sliding door only. If having a balcony is important request one at check-in for the best chance of scoring one.

Lastly, some rooms at Contemporary can be loud. The open air dining and shopping area on the fourth floor can filter up to the hallways and some nearby rooms. And rooms near the connecting walkway between Garden Wing and the lobby have lots of foot traffic which leads to more noise on average.

Sunset in yellows and oranges frame Disney's Yacht Club Resort view from the boat dock

2. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Yacht Club Resort Pros

Disney’s Yacht Club has a lot of reasons it tops Smart Mouse Travel’s best Disney World deluxe resorts list. Expect large rooms that sleep up to five guests, laminate floors, and easy access to delicious on-site and nearby dining.

Yacht Club also has a better bathroom set up that newly refurbished resorts like Boardwalk Inn. Boardwalk sinks are open to the room, but Yacht Club has a sliding door that separates it from the room. This is especially helpful when families with small kids are trying to get ready without waking everyone up.

Stormalong Bay, the shared water park of Yacht and Beach Club, is a huge pro for this Disney hotel. A lazy river, giant water slide, and sand covered pool feel more special than other Disney World Deluxe Resort pools.

Epcot is an easy walk from Yacht Club and a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. The International Gateway Disney Skyliner stop is also close to Yacht Club providing another transportation option for Hollywood Studios and easy access to Disney’s Riviera resort which elevates it in our ranking.

Yacht Club Resort Cons

The number one downside of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is slow bus transportation to Magic Kingdom. The bus route includes stops at Beach Club and Boardwalk which makes the buses full and inefficient.

Yacht Club also had some minor maintenance issues on our last visit. Some shower edging needed to be replaced to keep water from dripping out, but overall the room layout and comfort is still great.

A wooden figure draped in a colorful lei and surrounded by tropical plants welcomes guests to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

3. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Polynesian Village Resort Pros

The Polynesian Resort atmosphere is my favorite of all the Disney World deluxe resorts. Large Moana themed rooms that sleep up to five, lush palm trees, a tropical bar, and a gorgeous immersive theme makes the resort feel like an oasis from the parks.

Add on perfect views of Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach and you’ll see why Polynesian is high on our list for 2024 Disney World Deluxe Resorts.

While there is a walking path from Polynesian to Magic Kingdom, it is long and has very little shade. We prefer to take the monorail or boat to Magic Kingdom. A short walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center lets you hop on a direct monorail to Epcot, too.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort Cons

We love hanging out on our Disney World Deluxe Resort balconies when taking a break, but not all Polynesian rooms have one. I request one at check-in, but haven’t always been able to get one despite cast members’ assistance.

Lastly, a new DVC tower is being built at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. While I’m excited to try out the new rooms the construction noise and unsightliness reduces the beauty of the resort right now.

Green and yellow plaid headboards, cheerful yellow walls, and adorable Disney inspired art make the new Disney's Boardwalk Inn rooms a wonderful place to stay

4. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Pros

Lively Boardwalk entertainment and access to lots of great dining makes Boardwalk Inn a fan-favorite resort. Standard rooms, some of which sleep five, were remodeled in 2023 and the fresh styling is gorgeous and functional.

Walk to Epcot or take a boat ride to Hollywood Studios. Guests of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn also have a short walk to the Skyliner which whisks you to Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Boardwalk Inn Cons

While I love the new room design I am disappointed that the Boardwalk Inn bathroom doesn’t have a door separating it from the room. Having the sinks open to the room makes Boardwalk Inn standard rooms less functional than those at Yacht Club or even Disney’s Grand Floridian.

Some guests love the excitement of having performers out late at night along the Boardwalk, but light sleepers or those with small kids may not like the noise. I would skip water view and Boardwalk view rooms if noise is a concern.

Lastly, Boardwalk Inn and Villas share a pool and water slide. The pool is relatively small in our opinion and the slide isn’t anything special.

Shade of blue and subtle Mary Poppins inspired decor transform Disney's Grand Floridian standard rooms into a charming oasis

5. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Grand Floridian Resort Pros

The newly remodeled Mary Poppins rooms at Grand Floridian are delightful and some even sleep up to five guests. The standard rooms are large and while the updated bathrooms are still small, they are an improvement over the previous design.

Grand Floridian has the second shortest walk to Magic Kingdom and access to the monorail which is always a popular transportation option.

Grab a cocktail at Enchanted Rose, a Beauty and the Beast inspired bar, and look for all the clever references to the story in the detailed design.

Grand Floridian Cons

Disney’s Grand Floridian is on average the most expensive Disney World deluxe resort. The small bathroom and expensive signature dining options often make Grand Floridian feel like a bad value compared to other deluxe hotels.

Carved wooden headboards, rich browns, and a savanna view make Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge a unique experience

6. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge Pros

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a peaceful respite with unbelievable animal views and a lovely atmosphere. Savannah view rooms make watching animals from your private balcony a unique Disney World experience, but those with standard rooms can go to outdoor areas for similar views.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Cons

Rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge are some of the smallest Disney World deluxe resort rooms. Although the atmosphere is top notch the limited room space plus bus transportation to all four theme parks drops it in our ranking.

Rocky outcroppings covered in pine trees with a cascading waterfall provide ambiance for the green roofed, log cabin styling of Disney's Wilderness Lodge

7. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge Pros

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge lobby instantly reminds me of the Grand Canyon southern rim and all the amazing memories we made there. The design is thoughtfully done and the tree covered grounds are a beautiful escape.

There are also several good on-site dining options. Our favorite at Wilderness Lodge is Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White, a delightfully different character meal featuring rare characters.

Wilderness Lodge Cons

Despite a stunning lobby and overall gorgeous resort there are two things that drop Wilderness Lodge to the bottom of our list. The first is that standard rooms are smaller than other similarly priced deluxe resorts.

The second downside of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is transportation to the theme parks is all by bus except for an optional boat ride to Magic Kingdom. While the boat is a fun way to get to Magic Kingdom it is inefficient and slow.

Bright yellow roses and traditional furniture greet guests to the upscale Beach Club Resort

8. Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Beach Club Pros

Beach Club is the sister resort of Yacht Club with lots of the same wonderful features like Stormalong Bay, walking distance to Epcot, a boat ride to Hollywood Studios, and easy access to the Disney Skyliner.

Breakfast with Minnie and friends and tasty ice cream at Beaches and Cream adds to the charm of Beach Club.

Beach Club Cons

The Beach Club bathrooms are smaller and overall the rooms feel less luxurious than Yacht Club. Because they share all the same great amenities I prefer staying in Yacht Club rooms instead of those at Beach Club.

Final Thoughts On The Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts 2024

Disney World deluxe resorts are wonderful places to relax with excellent dining options, gorgeous pools, extended evening hours, and beautiful, spacious resort rooms. If the cost is not a deterrent I highly recommend staying at a Disney World deluxe resort especially if your dates have extended evening theme park hours.

Prefer to save a little money by staying at a value or moderate resort? Get help picking the right Disney World resort for your next Disney vacation with our guide and use some of that extra money to splurge on character meals.

After staying at all the Disney World deluxe resorts we are ranking the best Disney World deluxe resorts plus pros and cons of each hotel.