Disney resort hotels are owned and operated by Disney and are located on Disney Property. If you’ve booked one of Disney’s Resort Hotels, you’ve already taken a huge step towards convenience since all resort hotel guests can take Disney’s Magical Express shuttle from the Orlando International Airport straight to the resort hotel and back. This means you don’t need to go through the hassle of renting a car and driving on unfamiliar roads.
However, if you’re not sure which Disney hotel to book, there are other ways to rank convenience.
None of the Disney Resort Hotels are more than six miles away from the furthest theme park, but six miles can be a long time on a slow bus route. Choosing a more convenient hotel, which will be different for everyone depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing, can save a ton of time, which is a premium in Disney World.
Let’s take a look at how the Disney Resort Hotels ranked when it comes to convenience.
1. Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Resort is by far the most convenient resort on Disney Property. This Deluxe Resort, which is also a Disney Vacation Club location, is on the monorail loop, and there’s only one stop between your resort and Magic Kingdom. On the way back from Magic Kingdom, take the express monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center, get off there, and take the short walk back to your resort. This can save you up to 30 minutes!
You can also take the monorail to Epcot, which will save you time over taking the bus, which is shared at this resort adding lots of time and crowds.
There are some fun things to do at this resort too. ‘Ohana hosts a character dining breakfast, Kona Café serves the legendary Tonga Toast, and this is one of the few places on property where you can get a Dole Whip. The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is also highly recommended. Finally, the white sand beaches of the resort provide a great spot to watch Happily Ever After outside of Magic Kingdom and you can even see The Electrical Water Pageant floating by.
With excellent transportation, lots of variety in dining, and fun entertainment, The Poly ranks as the most convenient resort in Disney World.
2. Disney’s Contemporary Resort
If Magic Kingdom is your primary destination, you can’t get much more convenient that Disney’s Contemporary Resort since it is right across the street. There’s no transportation required. You can walk there faster than you can drive or ride. If you don’t want to walk back to your hotel after a long day, hop on the monorail and you’ll be the first stop.
If you plan to spend a lot of time at Epcot, it’s less convenient but the monorail will take you there. You just have to get off at the TTC and switch lines. However, this is still faster than taking the bus.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also home to one of the best restaurants on Disney Property: California Grill. Situated on the 15th floor, it is only accessible by a monitored elevator, and it’s some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
3. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is another Deluxe Resort, and it’s located next to The Poly. Since it’s in the Magic Kingdom Resort area, it is very convenient for Magic Kingdom, which is the first stop on the resort monorail. The return trip takes a bit longer with four stops between Magic Kingdom and your resort. It’s faster to use the ferry if the line isn’t too long.
There are also several stops between The Grand and Epcot. The trip requires changing monorail lines at the TTC. The Grand also has buses, but they are shared with the other Magic Kingdom area Resorts.
Being right next door to The Poly, the Grand Floridian also has beautiful beaches where you can watch Happily Ever After and see the Electrical Water Pageant. The Grand Floridian is also Disney’s flagship resort with some of the highest rated restaurants in Disney World including Victoria and Albert’s, the most expensive restaurant on property. Finally, Senses Spa is a full-service spa at this resort.
4. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a Deluxe DVC Resort, but it is not on the monorail loop. Your transportation options are bus or boat. The ferries will take you to Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Buses will take you anywhere else you need to go, but the bus is shared with the other Magic Kingdom area resorts which amounts to more than 2,000 rooms per bus.
What’s more, one of my favorite things to do at the Magic Kingdom area resorts is to watch the Electrical Water Pageant, which goes by every night before stopping outside of the park.
5. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is extremely convenient if Epcot is your primary destination. If you’re visiting during The International Food and Wine Festival or the Flower and Garden Festival, it doesn’t get much better than the Boardwalk Inn since you’ll be within walking distance of Epcot’s back gate, The International Gateway. From there you are steps away from the World Showcase and all the Festival has to offfer.
You can also walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but a boat ride will save you some steps. The Boardwalk Inn also has buses that are typically shared with the Yacht and Beach Clubs to Magic Kingdom and the Swan and Dolphin Resorts to Disney’s Animal Kingdom making it less convenient to these locations.
However, the Boardwalk Inn has it’s very own dining and entertainment complex, the Boardwalk, which is home to a dance hall, a dueling piano bar, and the ESPN Club. If you’re hungry, try Flying Fish or Trattoria al Forno for a meal or Ample Hills Creamery for a cool snack. The AbracadaBar is an excellent new lounge as well.
While transportation at this resort is 50/50, having The Boardwalk close by is something that can’t be underrated.
6. Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a Deluxe DVC location, also has access to International Gateway by walk or ferry and similar access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The buses are shared with The Yacht Club and The Boardwalk Inn to Magic Kingdom and the Swan and Dolphin to Animal Kingdom.
One of the most unique things about The Beach Club is that guests have access to the most amazing pool at any Disney Resort Hotel: Stormalong Bay. Skip the water parks, and take advantage of this three-acre water area complete with the highest hotel water slides, a lazy river, three whirlpool spas with one in each quiet pool, and an elevated tanning deck. The main pool has a zero-depth entry, which is perfect for the little ones, and there are also two kiddie pools with a miniature waterslide.
If that’s not enough, Fantasia Gardens, a 36-hole miniature golf course, is close by.
While The Beach Club is one of the more expensive Disney Resort Hotels, you get a lot of bang for your buck. You could, in theory, be perfectly happy skipping the theme parks all together and hanging out at the resort.
7. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is the sister hotel to The Beach Club. The transportation is identical, but it’s the farthest walk from Epcot’s International Gateway.
Stormalong Bay is located between The Yacht Club and The Beach Club, so if you prefer a nautically themed resort, The Yacht Club is the one for you.
Both resorts also share the Ship Shape Health Club, which offers a nice selection of fitness equipment, a full-service spa, and salon services for everyone in the family.
8. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the most removed from everything except Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It may seem like that would make The Lodge the most inconvenient resort on property, but since it doesn’t share bus service with any other resort and there are two stops within the resort, you’ll actually get to where you want to go faster than resorts close by that share buses.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is also the only resort on property that hosts live animals – at least those not naturally occurring in Florida. The savanna is home to over 30 species of wildlife including some familiar animals like zebras and giraffes and some that may be unfamiliar like gazelles and kudu. Many rooms have views of the savanna, and you can dine while enjoying the savanna as well.
With lots to do at the resort, you won’t mind being a little bit removed from the other parks.
9. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the first value resort on our list and it’s one of two resorts on property that does not share a bus with another resort. This is because it’s also one of the highest capacity resorts on property.
It’s not too far from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Disney’s Blizzard Beach, or Disney Springs, and with no shared bus you can get to any of these places pretty quickly. However, the emphasis is on family suites at this hotel, and they are closer to the bus stops than the standard rooms, which are about a five minute walk from the bus stop.
Art of Animation also has a really cool pool. The Big Blue Pool is the largest resort pool on property. The Finding Nemo theme is fun, and you’ll love the underwater speakers that play fish noises. Landscape of Flavors, AoA’s food court, is one of the top rated food courts on property with a ton of different options for every meal of the day.
10. Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is the other resort on property that does not share a bus service. It’s also the highest capacity hotel on property with almost 3,000 rooms – making it a little less convenient than Art of Animation. At the busiest times of the day, plan to arrive at the bus stop early or expect to possibly wait for a second bus. Disney is very good at dispatching enough buses to cover the crowds though.
Why are there so many people at this resort? It’s not just because there are so many rooms. It’s also arguably the most affordable resort on property. If you’re not willing to pay a premium for convenience, Pop Century is a great choice.
11. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter is less than a mile from Epcot, but it shares a bus with Port Orleans Riverside at which there are four stops. French Quarter does have a dedicated Magic Kingdom bus, but all of the other buses are shared with Port Orleans making the bus rides feel like forever.
The Mardi Gras themed pool is a lot of fun though. If you need a mid-day break or a dip after a long day in the parks, the pool at this moderate resort is pretty good. Nearby, you’ll find a hot tub and a pool bar.
12. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is also a moderate resort, but it has the classification of a conference resort. This isn’t a big deal, but seeing people in business attire can sometimes put a damper on the feeling of being in Disney World. That also means that it’s one of the largest resorts on property, which is evidence by the fact that there are four internal stops just to get to Magic Kingdom.
Again, the pool somewhat makes up for the inconvenience of transportation though. The whole resort has a Mayan theme, and the Dig Site pool actually has a Mayan temple with a water slide! This resort also has the largest hot tub of any Disney World Resort; it fits 22 people!
It’s also one of the few resorts with a massage, salon, fitness club on the grounds. La Vida Health Club has gym equipment plus spa and salon services for the whole family.
13. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside shares buses with the French Quarter, but it ranks below the French Quarter because there are four internal stops and one external stop just to get to the theme parks. It does have a dedicated Magic Kingdom bus, but there are still four internal stops to get there!
While you’ll have to deal with long bus rides if you choose this resort, you will enjoy some newly remodeled rooms with a Princess and the Frog theme. There’s also a really nice restaurant on the grounds called Boatwright’s Dining Hall. The southern-inspired fare is complemented with a shipbuilding yard atmosphere.
14. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
The moderate resort hotels are some of the largest on property, which means that there are several bus stops along the way to prevent guests from having to walk really far. However, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has an excessive seven stops before you can even leave the resort!
The resort itself is really nice though with Pirate themed rooms and a Spanish Citadel zero-entry pool with two water slides and water cannons. There are also two spas that accommodate 12 people each and a playground with a shipwreck theme for kids under 48 inches tall.
15, 16, 17. Disney’s All-Star Resorts
Disney’s All-Star Resorts are grouped together because they share almost identical transportation.
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort and Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort share a bus for every park except for Magic Kingdom unless it’s very busy when Disney will deploy extra buses. When buses are shared, All-Star Sports is the longest ride to Magic Kingdom and the shortest ride back while All-Star Movies is the shortest ride to Magic Kingdom and the longest ride back.
Disney’s All-Star Music almost always shares a bus with the other All-Stars.
Since these buses are shared, they represent the largest number of rooms (over 4,000) serviced by a single bus service.
Another point that needs to be made about the All-Star resorts is that they are often the top choice for school groups and sports teams meaning lots of kids traveling together in large groups. If this isn’t your idea of a good vacation, skip these resorts.
18. Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Disney’s Old Key West Resort is exclusively a DVC resort. There are five internal stops, and service can be spotting during daytime slower periods since there are no “regular” guests staying here.
One nice thing about this resort, though, is that there are no “regular” guests staying here. Since most guests are familiar with Disney World, there are fewer people wondering around. Most are comfortable with everything Disney, and they know what they want to do and when. This is invaluable for the seasoned Disney guest.
19. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is also a DVC location meaning spotty bus service during slower periods. There are five internal stops, and it’s the most removed from all of the Disney parks. If you choose to stay in the Treehouse Villas, it’s even more inconvenient since you have to take a bus from the Treehouses to the main resort then pick up a theme park bus.
Saratoga Springs is, however, very close to Disney Springs, which is accessible by water taxi. With dining, shopping, and entertainment close by, it makes up for the lack of convenient transportation to other locations.
There are also a lot of amenities on property including the full-service Senses Spa and close proximity to Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.
20. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is the least convenient of all the Disney Resort Hotels mostly because it’s the largest resort on property – in terms of acres covered, not in not number of guests accommodated.
There is a boat directly to Magic Kingdom, which is pretty convenient, but you have to take an internal bus from one of two main internal stops to get there – or anywhere else.
There is a lot to do at Fort Wilderness though. The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue was the first dinner show on property, and one of the first attempts to provide guests everything they need on property so they don’t have to leave. There is swimming, archery, horseback riding, pony rides, wagon and carriage rides, ranch activities, fishing, kayaking, and so much more.
What makes this resort still a really great option is the value you get for your money. Besides the tons of activities, the room rates are really affordable. The Cabins are the most expensive, between $300 and $500 depending on when you’re visiting, but they sleep six adults. If you split the cost, that could be around $50 a night per person!
The Campsites are the least expensive rates on property. The most expensive tent or pop-up sites are around $80 while the most expensive premium campsites, which offer room for a large RV, a concrete pad, and full hook-up, are usually around $100 give or take depending on the season.
Which Disney Resort Hotel do you think is the most convenient?