Where to Stay at Walt Disney World

When you’re planning your Walt Disney World vacation, one of the biggest factors is where to stay! From onsite to offsite, from a deluxe resort to a value one, which one do you pick?

And how do you pick?

Yes, it does matter where you stay! There are many factors driving your decision as to where to stay (budget, kid friendly, close to parks, etc) but at the end of the day, it does matter where you stay.

When deciding where to stay on your Disney vacation, we suggest that you choose to stay on site at a Walt Disney World Resort if your budget allows. Families with younger kids should look into themed resorts such as Art of Animation and the All Star Resorts.

where to stay for disney vacation

Here are all the details you need to know and think about when figuring out where to stay as you plan your Disney World vacation.

Staying On-site at a Disney World Resort

Whenever we’re asked where you should stay as you plan your trip, we always recommend staying at an official Walt Disney World resort hotel if your budget allows. When you stay on-site, there’s many additional perks to be had and the magic of Disney will continue at your hotel!

POP Century Resort
Pop Century Resort

Here are some of the best perks when staying on-site:

  1. Non-stop Disney Magic
  2. Free Disney Transportation
  3. Genie+ Perks
  4. Extended Evening Hours for Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts
  5. Get In The Parks Early
  6. Utilize the Disney Dining Plan
  7. Make Dining Reservations Early
  8. Less Travel Time
  9. Send Purchases to Your Room
Grand Floridian overlooking-lobby
Disney’s Grand Floridian

There are three Disney Hotel tiers – Value, Moderate and Deluxe. There is technically a fourth category called Deluxe Villas for Disney Vacation Club members. We won’t focus on that. There are many differences when it comes to each tier. You can find out more details here.

Here are all the different Disney hotels categorized by tier.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts List

Disney value resorts list

According to our 2022 Disney World statistics, 30% of visitors who stayed on site choose a value resort. Here is a list of the Disney Value Resorts:

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts

disney moderate resort list

According to our 2022 Disney World statistics, 23% of people who stay on site stay at a moderate resort. Here is the current list of Disney Moderate Resorts:

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts List

Disney deluxe resort list

According to our research, 47% of people who stayed on site choose a deluxe resort. These hotels have the best of everything, including club level concierge services. Here is the current list of Disney Deluxe Resorts:

beach club Disney

How to Choose a Disney World Resort Hotel

Here are a few things to consider when choosing your hotel:

  1. Cost of hotel and your budget
  2. Themed decor vs classic decor
  3. The importance of a pool
  4. Proximity to parks
  5. Traveling with kids vs adults only

Our recommendations are:

  • Best Resort Overall: Polynesian Resort
  • Best Deluxe Hotel: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian Resort
  • Best Moderate Hotel for Adults: Port Orleans Resort (French Quarter)
  • Best Moderate Hotel for Families: Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Best Value Resort: Pop Century (see our review here!)
  • Hotel Closest to Magic Kingdom: Contemporary
  • Best Pool: Stormalong Bay at Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
  • Best Hotel for Toddlers: All Star Movies Resort and Art of Animation Resort
Disney swimming pool

Staying Off-Site

Your budget or family situation may not allow for staying on-site at a Disney World Resort Hotel. And that’s ok! There are some perks about staying off-site.

  1. Save Money and Have More Space
  2. Free Transportation to the Parks
  3. More Food Options (kitchen, local restaurants, etc.)

Unlike on-site, the options are endless when it comes to what hotel to pick when staying off-site! We’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 hotels to stay at on this post. These hotels are all very close to the Disney Parks, you will be pleasantly surprised!


  • David Flavin

    Dave visited Disneyland as a little boy and made his first visit to Walt Disney World in 1972. He has been visiting Disney World every few years since!

    Dave and his wife took their young family to Disney World several times all while on a teacher's budget. He knows how precious time and money are, and his goal is to help you not waste either while you are on your Walt Disney World Vacation.

    Dave's three kids are grown up and married. Dave loves his role as a grandfather to 9!

    Dave's favorite attraction at Walt Disney World is The Pirates of the Caribbean. When he isn't writing about Disney he enjoys composing music for Disney+ series, hanging out with his wife and their golden doodle, and being with his family.

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