With 34 amazing Disney resorts in Walt Disney World, FL, and 3 awesome Disney resorts in Disneyland, CA, choosing the best Disney resorts for kids can feel strangely akin to choosing a path through Tulgey Wood with only Wonderland signs to help you…
Luckily, there are no bad options!
Let’s be clear about that from the get-go.
But if you want to know the secret to selecting the best Disney resort for kids, the EarMarked (aka Disney authorized & highly expert) Ear To There Travel Agency is eager to share the magic ingredient.
It’s one simple question:
Which Disney resort is best for your kids?
Because each unique Disney resort is the best for someone.
Whether you’re planning a first Disney trip, braving a return after a long time away, or shaking things up, book the hotel that matches your style, amenity needs, favorite aspects of Disney, location desires, and budget.
You can’t go wrong with any of the choices available.
This article will help you decide by highlighting the best Disney resorts according to your preferences:
- The classic Disney experience
- The outdoors
- Animals to observe
- Closest to a particular park
- The most popular Tween resorts
- An escape-room-type immersive experience
- The most popular all-around resort at Walt Disney World
- The most popular all-around resort at Disneyland
Whether you choose “yonder” or “this way,” arm yourself with knowledge and prioritize your own vacation preferences to ensure a wonderful family trip.
If you want, Ear To There Travel can even take care of all the planning.
At no extra cost.
(Truly. Completely free. We’re paid by Disney to know everything there is to know about making your trip easier, more fun, and more affordable!).
Here’s our easy, no-obligation quote form for our concierge-level Disney trip planning services if the daunting details are taking the fun out of your vacation dreaming.
Now, let’s talk family adventuring…
Best Disney Resort For Kids Who Love Classic Disney
If you’re craving old-school pixie dust, like to giggle at Tugboat Mickey, or grew up at Disneyland in California… you may want to look no further than Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Bay Lake Tower villas.
- Walk to Magic Kingdom. It’s the only resort close enough.
- It’s the only reliable place in Walt Disney World to see The Big 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald) together. Make reservations for character dining at Chef Mickey’s to enjoy this perk.
- The monorail cruising through the tower takes you to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or other resorts to start and end your day!
- See Cinderella’s Castle AND Space Mountain from your hotel.
- The bright style and California flavor provide a fun theme – evocative of all things original-Disney, with heaps of epic-sized nostalgia.
- Two pools and a slide,
- Fabulous views of Bay Lake and Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks extravaganza.
- Eat at the California Grill or stake a spot at the campfires.
- Fish, boat, or take specialty cruises in the Seven Seas Lagoon.
- And more…
Best Disney Resort For Kids That Are Outdoorsy
If your group could happily spend as much time horseback riding or learning archery as playing in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom, then The Campsites or The Cabins At Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort were made for you.
Here’s what’s amazing about it:
- It’s essentially Dis-nified, glorious, glamping!
- Unlimited activities like:
- Carriage rides around wilderness trails,
- Enjoying the playground,
- Horseback riding,
- Swimming pool with a slide
- Movies under the stars
- Campfire sing-a-longs and s’mores with Chip ‘n’ Dale.
- The cabins sleep up to 10 people.
- Your hideaway has charcoal grills and your own little kitchen.
- Spectacular landscaping gives space, privacy, and gorgeous views of the pine and cypress forest.
- The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review provides dinner entertainment outside of the 4 amusement parks.
- Plus even more!
Best Resort For Kids That Love Animals
Did you watch Encanto and immediately relate to sweet, shy Antonio who blossoms around furry and feathered friends?
Consider Animal Kingdom Lodge for your next Walt Disney World sojourn.
30 different species of over 200 African animals.
Plunge into the heart of a lush welcoming wildlife preserve to:
- Enjoy gourmet dining and safari with a private tour guide,
- Learn about creatures and ecosystems from animal specialists,
- Devour the famous Bread Service at the Kidani Village restaurant, Sanaa (a secret jewel of Walt Disney World and a huge reason foodies are drawn to this resort! Drool-worthy naan bread with nine dips? YES PLEASE!)
- Take a painting class at Jiko – The Cooking Place, to capture the wild spirit of your surroundings, and
- So much more!
The only drawback is that it’s difficult to get to other parts of Walt Disney World.
It’s gonna be all buses if you decide to go this way.
We’d recommend staying here if you’re dedicated to most of your time being spent in Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Best Disney Resorts For Kids According To Location
Disney has so many incredible places to visit!
One way to simplify your vacation is to hone in on one destination per trip.
Undecided about Florida vs California? Check out this Disneyland vs Walt Disney World article.
Chosen Walt Disney World but unsure which specific park might be the most fun for your kids? Give a listen to this podcast episode exploring the best parks for each age group.
Once you’ve settled on a location, here are the Ear To There favorites with kids:
Best Resort For Kids Closest To Magic Kingdom
There are spectacular splash pads for toddlers at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
The tropical oasis of Polynesian tops the frequently-requested list for its charming atmosphere, fun activities, ease of transportation, and delicious restaurant choices.
Want to explore more options? Read this article about the best hotels near Magic Kingdom.
Best Resort For Kids Closest To Epcot
The leisurely, elegantly casual Beach Club is many families’ go-to. (Keep reading to learn other categories where this resort shines…)
For additional resort possibilities, check out all the best hotels near Epcot.
Best Resort For Kids Closest To Hollywood Studios
Best Disney Resorts For Big Kids & Tweens
Caribbean Beach with pirate-themed rooms and island markets; BoardWalk Inn with carnival games and a hopping nightlife.
Best Disney Resort For Kids That Love Star Wars or Escape Rooms
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is an incredible, fully immersive 48-hour tour on a “space cruise” where you are part of a brand new story from the minute you’re “transported” to your hotel.
Unlike the rest of Walt Disney World, costumes are welcome (but not required) for adults and children alike.
Droids roam the halls, aliens run the crew, chefs create wacky, wonderful galactic delicacies at every meal, while outer space zooms by throughout your around-the-clock adventure.
You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to have the time of your life.
But if you are – or you like sci-fi, gaming, or Cosplay – Galactic Starcruiser is a must-do.
Most Popular Disney Resorts For Kids At Walt Disney World, FL
All the deluxe villas have kitchenettes and extra amenities to suit your needs, which can be wonderful with a big group.
In terms of the overall family vacation experience, Beach Club stands above the crowd for these reasons:
- Stormalong Bay – far and away the best pool in Walt Disney World
- Several of the most sought-after eateries, such as:
- Walk to Epcot (for more food and fun)
- Walk to Hollywood Studios
- Enjoy a boat or Skyliner ride – both are fun – and easier than riding buses with strollers
- Kids cruises
- Delightful, beachy, new-England style
- Sandcastle Activity Club, available for kids staying in the Beach Club Villas
- Plus more!
Best Disney Resorts for Kids At Disneyland, CA
They’re all three pretty freaking awesome and undoubtedly little-ones-friendly, but we’d recommend them for kids in this order:
Disneyland Hotel is the original Disney destination hotel and brimming with old-school Disney nostalgia.
Don’t forget to visit Goofy’s Kitchen for Character Dining delights.
Paradise Pier has back entrance access to California Adventure and a joyful, eclectic feel.
Grand Californian is elegant, rustic, and closest (aka fastest walk) to the parks.
Best Disney Resorts For Kids By Price
We have an awesome podcast episode exploring our favorite Disney resorts in each cost category. Check it out!
Here are some highlights:
If you’re only interested in the parks and won’t use the resorts for anything but the 3 S’s (swim, shower, sleep), choose an adorable value option.
Art of Animation is a fave – plus it sleeps up to 6 people and has the largest swimming pool (inspired by Finding Nemo) in Walt Disney World.
Look how cute and character-filled your selfies could be!
If the goal is a moderate splurge, Port Orleans – Riverside would be our first choice.
With the picturesque bayou setting, extra sleeper room for a 5th person in your party, carriage rides, campfires, the Yehaa Bob Jackson playful piano show, phenomenal food, and boat rides to Disney Springs, get the elegance of a deluxe resort without the same cost – plus you can even bring your dog!
Don’t you just wanna float along on a magical vacation in the picture below?
To treat yourself like Disney royalty, consider choosing your favorite from the suggestions in this article about the best Disney deluxe resorts.
We lean toward Polynesian (lobby below) or BoardWalk Inn these days.
Both sparkle with activity, sport high-end decor, boast outrageously good food and maintain status as the most sought-after reservations.
If you still have questions, we still have plenty of expert answers!
If you’re ready to book, we’re ready to help you!
Send us a message here and we’ll build the vacation of your family’s greatest Disney dreams at one of the best Disney resorts for kids and kids-at-heart, at absolutely no extra cost.