Kids tend to have different priorities than adults regarding Resort Hotels at Walt Disney World. For young Guests, in-your-face Disney theming may be the most important factor, or maybe an amazing waterslide, access to Disney Skyliner transportation, or even Mickey-shaped food.
Luckily, with dozens of Resort Hotels on the property at various budget levels (Value, Moderate, and Deluxe), there’s bound to be a Disney Resort Hotel that thrills the kids and makes the adults in your party happy! Here are some of the best WDW Resorts kids are bound to love.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts are sister Resorts, and they’re both excellent – but of the two, Beach Club has more child-friendly beachy theming. Of course, the main draw for kids and adults at either Resort Hotel is the unparalleled Stormalong Bay, the 3-acre water park-esque pool complex shared by these Deluxe Resorts.
Beach entry, sandy bottom, waterfalls, lazy river, waterslides for both young kids and older kids/adults, a shipwreck replica – it’s all here at Stormalong Bay, and it’s worth devoting an entire day to if you can!
Disney’s EPCOT Theme Park and Hollywood Studios Theme Park are within easy walking distance from Disney’s Beach Club Resort, or you can hop on a water taxi to get to either Park. Food options here are stellar: Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, Cape May Café, Ale & Compass, and Yachtsman Steakhouse are all steps away.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
This Deluxe Resort gets top marks for being steps away from Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park, typically the most beloved Park by families. Disney’s Contemporary Resort is within easy walking distance of the Park, which means it’s a snap to walk back to your room for a mid-day nap if you have young kids or if you forgot something in your room.
Kids (and, let’s be honest, adults!) also love the fact that the Walt Disney Monorail System runs through the Resort lobby, so it’s easy to hop on board, or even take a break in the lobby’s seating areas, while the kids watch the monorail, enthralled. Kids can also wave to Mickey and friends at Chef Mickey’s as they eat – for now, character dining is modified, so characters appear at a distance, but you’ll receive an autographed keepsake from the famous mouse.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter OR Riverside
We’ve stayed at both sister Port Orleans Resorts and loved them both! The theming of Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is the more kid-friendly of the two, with its cartoonish alligator musician statues, a 51-foot sea serpent slide at the feature pool, and famous Mickey-shaped beignets. You won’t find a table service restaurant here, but you can easily walk over to Riverside to eat at their table service restaurant, Boatwright’s.
Port Orleans Resort – Riverside has more adult theming with its gorgeously landscaped grounds and plantation-style architecture, but it also boasts themed Royal Guest Rooms, which are perfect for kids! Use the Resort’s rustic Ol’ Man Island pool complex, or walk over to French Quarter to use their pool. Whichever of these Moderate Resorts you choose, you’ll have access to the water taxi to Disney Springs, which makes a refreshing change from using the bus.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
One of Disney’s Value Resorts, this Resort Hotel is so new and amazingly themed that it feels a step up from other Resorts in this category. Disney’s Art of Animation brings your favorite characters from Cars, Finding Nemo, Lion King, and Little Mermaid to life in gigantic, enchanting displays throughout the grounds – and the fun theming continues inside the rooms.
Larger parties will appreciate the family suites here, accommodating up to six Guests. Kids love the Big Blue Pool, the biggest pool on WDW property, with its beautiful underwater Finding Nemo theming. And the whole family will love hopping on a gondola to soar above Walt Disney World on the Disney Skyliner!
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
Walt Disney World’s three All-Star Resorts are also Value Resorts, and of them, we’d pick Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort for kids if you’re traveling on a budget. The Resort immerses Guests in the world of Disney films, from Fantasia to 101 Dalmatians to Toy Story. You’ll find larger-than-life representations of your favorite characters hanging out, ready for photo ops, all around the Resort!
There’s a great playground here for little ones, along with a couple of pools that are great for cooling off: Fantasia Pool, complete with a Sorcerer Mickey fountain and a smaller pool and play area for very young Guests Duck Pond Pool based on The Mighty Ducks.
A fun note for water lovers – if you’re staying at any Disney All-Star Resort (All-Star Sports, All-Star Movies, or All-Star Music), you can pool-hop to any of the pools at the other All-Star Resorts!
It can be tough to choose a Disney Resort Hotel to be home base for you and your family during your Walt Disney World vacation, especially when the kids and adults in your party may not be on the same page! Happily, there are plenty of Resorts in all tiers (Value, Moderate, and Deluxe) that will make young Guests grin – and that the “big kids” in your group will also enjoy.