There are so many Walt Disney World resorts to choose from that it can be hard to narrow down your choice, especially with little ones.
Here are the factors we think are most important and our picks in every resort category.
Factors to consider
Before we jump into specific hotel recommendations, here are some important factors that are specific to people with babies and toddlers that we take into consideration when choosing favorite resorts.
Transportation is always an important factor in deciding resorts, but it becomes way more important when you have little ones.
That’s because getting to/from hotels for mid-day breaks could factor in so having an easy commute could be important.
But transportation is also important because the need to fold strollers on buses can be so cumbersome that having resorts with non-bus transportation can be way more convenient.
When you have little ones, you often need quick, easy dining options available. Resorts with food courts and good quick service choices will be better for this.
There are lots of themes and varieties of resorts to choose from – some more little kid friendly than others.
You may prefer the bright colors of the Value Resorts or the gorgeous theming at a resort like Animal Kingdom Lodge that’s great for animal lovers.
When traveling with a little one, you’ll have to consider the layout of the room.
Where will a Pack n Play fit? Do you want a patio/balcony to hang out on when they go to bed? Do you need access to a kitchen and washer/dryer?
Best resorts for littles in each category
So with all of that criteria out of the way, here are some good suggestions in each of the resort categories – Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Villas.
Value Resorts are all very colorful and fun, making them especially well suited for travel groups with young children.
Pop Century Resort
This has long been our favorite Value Resort due to its transportation and price being better than other options, but the addition of the Skyliner has made that even more so.
The ability to roll a stroller onto the Skyliner to get to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios is a huge perk (double wide strollers have to be broken down so this only works for singles and front-to-back style strollers).
Plus, you’re just a Skyliner ride away from Riviera Resort which has Topolino’s character breakfast – the most popular character meal at Walt Disney World.
Pop also has a food court available for quick food options. The smaller rooms could be a factor, though if you only need 1 bed, the other can stay folded up which allows for more floorspace.
Art of Animation Resort
Art of Animation Resort has all of the perks of Pop Century Resort (and it’s easy to move between the 2 resorts if you want to try food at both, for example), but Art of Animation has better food in their food court, incredibly good theming, and most of the resort is suites.
The suite sections are themed after Finding Nemo, Lion King, and Cars – and some of the best theming in all of Walt Disney World. The standard-sized rooms are Little Mermaid themed.
Although Art of Animation is in the Value Resort category, the rooms aren’t cheap, so factor that into your decision as you choose.
Moderate Resorts, in general, aren’t the most kid friendly because they are gorgeous but not necessarily as fun for little ones as some resorts in the other categories. However, there is 1 that sticks out above the others.
Caribbean Beach Resort
This resort has had a big glow up in the last few years as the food options have improved and the Skyliner hub was built here.
Having the Skyliner hub located at the resort means you’re just 1 stop away from Hollywood Studios and Epcot – and without the need to collapse a stroller like you do on the buses (this applies to single or front-to-back strollers).
The resort also has an island playground in the middle of it, a fun pool, and is located right next to Riviera Resort putting you within walking distance of Topolino’s character breakfast – the most popular character meal at Walt Disney World.
Some of the rooms are pirate themed (though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend them as they’re outdated and not very conveniently located) and many accommodate up to 5 people.
Truth be told, there are a lot of resorts in the Deluxe category that are easy to recommend. They all have rooms available with balconies/patios, most are located near at least 1 park, and the rooms are bigger than other resorts.
Here are a few faves.
Beach Club Resort
Located right next to the International Gateway of Epcot, this resort is a 5-8 minute walk away. It also has the best pool of any resort, is within walking/boating/Skyliner distance to Hollywood Studios, and has access to all of the nearby resorts for entertainment and dining.
Right next to Magic Kingdom is the Contemporary Resort which is just a short walk away. This resort also has monorail as an option (no need to fold up your stroller there), the monorail running right through the building, and Chef Mickey’s character meal right on site.
Theme park view rooms have balconies that allow you to view the Magic Kingdom fireworks and Electrical Water Pageant right from your room.
Polynesian Village Resort
The Polynesian resort gives you easy monorail access to 2 parks (no need to fold up your stroller), great on site dining options, gorgeous theming, a fun pool, and many rooms have balconies/patios with some having views of the water where you can view fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
This resort will not have the transportation benefits of the resorts above as it uses buses to get to all parks, but it is less expensive than other Deluxe Resorts, maybe the most gorgeous of any resort, has rooms with savannah views, and some of the best onsite dining options.
Deluxe Villa Resorts
Villa Resorts are resorts that give you a home-away-from-home feel with features like kitchens, larger layout options, washers and dryers, and free parking.
All of the Deluxe Resorts listed above have adjacent Villa Resorts so if you’d like the perks of those + more room options, consider their Villa counterpart.
|Deluxe Resort||Deluxe Villa Counterpart|
|Beach Club Resort||Beach Club Villas|
|Contemporary Resort||Bay Lake Tower|
|Polynesian Village Resort||Polynesian Villas|
|Animal Kingdom Lodge||Animal Kingdom Villas|
Of particular interest is the studio rooms at Polynesian Villas which are large and have 2 different bathroom spaces.
Though you can book Villas directly with Disney, one of the most affordable ways to stay in the Deluxe Villa Resorts is by renting points but there are pros/cons of this approach.
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