It takes more than swimming pools and a fancy kids menu to entice kids these days.
In fact, a survey done by Booking.com showed that kids prefer having Wi-Fi, water slides, beach vacations, and a ton of activities as part of their hotel packages. And while toddlers won’t necessarily need all of these, looking for affordable hotels with amenities geared toward hosting toddlers is always ideal.
Fortunately, Disney’s resorts and hotels have been designed with kids in mind. Walt Disney World in Florida is one of the most popular choices for hotels and resorts, with an average of 58 million visitors each year. There are currently 36 resorts here, including nine Disney Vacation Club properties. Having such a vast number of resorts is great for variety and choice.
However, it also means that it can be time-consuming and frustrating trying to find one that suits your budget and kids’ preferences. For such reasons, we’ve highlighted 10 of the best Disney World hotels and resorts for toddlers.
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort was opened in May 2012 as one of Disney’s value-priced offerings. All around, it’s evident the hotel was designed with the modern family in mind. Many features appeal to children, especially the animation themes.
Kids who enjoy Disney’s animations will be treated to four of the most popular Disney characters: Cars, Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, and of course, the Lion King. But most importantly, there are over 1984 rooms, many of which are family suites capable of holding up to six people.
Why Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is Great for Kids
- Many themes excite kids. Who doesn’t want to see their kids all giggly and excited? That’s what this place does to the kids. Boys always go over the moon because of the Cars themes, while girls get excited when they see the Little Mermaid themes.
These fun themes are everywhere, including the resort rooms. All these themes enhance the magical experience for the kids by bringing mythical tales to life.
- You get all the advantages of staying in the park. This high value-package is great as it allows you and your child to stay in decent rooms while still enjoying all the advantages of the park, such as outdoor play areas, which kids love.
- Swimming pools. Beyond the fun-themed and wonderful family suites, the other thing kids enjoy at this resort are the swimming pools. There is a Cars-themed pool, Little Mermaid Pool, and a Finding Nemo pool area which could have the kids tied up the entire day.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is another hotel dubbed as a ‘value-resort,’ meaning it’s one of Disney’s lowest-priced resorts that come with other offerings. This resort features themes from the 1950s to the 1990s entertainment era.
Rooms here are divided into two: standard and preferred. The room décor and theme will depend on its location. However, all of them have central air conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Disney’s pop-century resort also features three pools: the Hippy Dippy pool, the Computer Pool, and the Bowling pool. A food court better known as ‘Everything Pop’ serves different foods, including baked goodies, pasta, and pizza.
Why Disney’s Pop Century Resort is Great for Kids
- Babysitting Services. There are babysitting services available here at the resort. Although the company offering these services is not owned or operated by Disney, they do a good job offering caregivers who provide in-room services. They include playing games, entertaining your children, and even reading.
- Heated Pools. Kids love to swim in heated pools. This hotel offers three heated pools that are all maintained at 82 degrees. The pools are great, but kids will love the themes of these swimming pools. For instance, the ‘Hippy Dippy’ pool is shaped like a big flower, while the ‘Computer’ pool is shaped like a computer monitor.
- A lot of games and activities. From campfire activities to talking walks on the jogging trail and fishing, plenty of activities will keep the little ones occupied and excited.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great option, especially for families who enjoy African Wildlife and Safaris. This resort in Orlando opened in 2001 and is an amazing themed resort at Walt Disney World.
Themed as an African lodge, you and your family can see zebras, antelopes, giraffes, and rare birds who come close to the barriers.
Most of the rooms come with either one queen size bed or two queen size beds. Rooms with king-sized beds are available but are only a handful. The rooms come with a ton of amenities, including room service, hair dryers, iron boards, and makeup mirrors, just to mention a few.
Why The Animal Kingdom Lodge is Great for Kids
- Pools. This hotel has two main pools, namely Samawatii and Uzima Springs. As resort guests, your kids can access these pools and water playground areas.
- Playground. As its name suggests, the Hakuna Matata Playground features various slides and other structures which are perfect for toddlers. This playground area overlooks the flamingo area, creating a site to behold.
- Spas. You can take this time to unwind and relax through massages offered at the Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center. Consider leaving your toddler with the in-room babysitting services offered by Kids Nite Out as you go for your massage or sauna session.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
If you’re looking for a premier pool experience, consider Disney’s Beach Club Resort. The swimming pool here is widely considered by many as the best among the Walt Disney line of resorts.
Besides its pulsating waters, this resort also features a jogging trail, volleyball and tennis courts, outdoor campfire, spas, fitness centers, and fishing excursions. One of the best-selling features of this resort is its proximity to Epcot.
Epcot is a theme park located in Disney World and is known for its attractions, fireworks, and seasonal specials. This Beach Club is located three minutes away from the entrance to Epcot, another venue for exciting and fun activities.
Why Disney’s Beach Club Resort is Great for Kids
- Water time. If water gives you and your kids a sense of tranquillity, you should consider swimming in the water slide housed in a shipwreck which empties out to a larger pool area. The Beach Club shares its primary pool with Stormalong Bay creating a mini-water park.
- There’s a lazy river. Your kids will also love the lazy river where you can float and have a great swim. And if your toddler is a bit water-shy, you could try out the kiddie pool area, which comes complete with a mini-water slide.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
The Caribbean Beach Resort is ideal for families looking for a resort with a big main pool, a splash zone, a playground, and wildlife as their main attractions. But the rooms are clean and serviceable.
The Caribbean Beach Resort is the largest resort on the property, with an estimated 200 acres. The resort features rooms that are divided into five colored villages representing different areas of the Caribbean. This resort also features a lake which makes for great walking and jogging tracks.
Why Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is Great for Kids
- Safety measures. With toddlers, swimming can be challenging, especially with many pools on the property. However, the lifeguards present at this establishment are extremely competent.
They are loaded with packs and radios for communication. This automatically puts your mind at ease, especially when having a toddler. They are swift to take action in unfavorable situations. Plus, a couple of parents have reported lifeguards being nice and letting children swim up to 11 pm.
- Plenty of places to walk. Besides that, taking walks around the resort is highly enjoyable. You can enjoy wildlife such as turtles and exotic birds together with your toddler. Besides, you can relax afterward and enjoy the various Caribbean offerings the resort has to offer.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Located between Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers a great view of fireworks. It’s only a nine-minute walk from Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World. Its remarkable features attract travelers from far and wide.
Why Disney’s Contemporary Resort is Great for Kids
- Babysitting services at a fee. The resort offers babysitting services to allow parents to have a relaxing time. You will enjoy the outdoor pools, multiple restaurants, and two bars on the premises
- Swimming pools. In addition to exceptional babysitting services, the resort offers a children’s pool guarded by a skilled lifeguard. You can sign up your child for beginner-friendly swimming classes during your stay. They can never get bored at the hotel since there is a free theme park shuttle and a playground.
- Numerous water activities. There are a lot of activities at the Disney Contemporary Resort to do with your children. You can go canoeing, sailing, or water skiing. There is also fishing, surfing, and golfing.
- Adjoining rooms. You do not need to worry about your children sleeping in a different room, the hotel features connecting or adjoining rooms. You can always request a booking. If you have a toddler, the hotel will provide you with a free cot or infant bed.
- Cleaning and safety precautions. Disney Contemporary Resort maintains high standards of cleaning and safety. The staff always ensure they clean each surface with a disinfectant. You will also receive hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment at check-in. The check-in process is contactless to reduce the chances of infection.
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
The All-Star Movies Resort is located in Bay Lake, near Fantasmic, Epcot World Showcase, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you are looking for a fun and exciting vacation for your family, you will enjoy the services and amenities this hotel provides.
Why Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort is Great for Kids
- Free for kids. The resort does not charge children under two years’ accommodation fees. This is under the condition that they occupy the parent or guardian’s room while maintaining the beddings.
- Access to adjoining rooms. You can also request adjoining rooms to monitor your kids effortlessly. There are several connecting rooms for guests.
- There are babysitting services. If you need extra help with the kids, the hotel will provide a babysitter at a surcharge.
- Playground. The kids will enjoy the playground on site. They will also have fun on the complimentary theme park shuttle.
- Excellent entertainment. Kids can enjoy television in the rooms and outdoor spaces.
- Movies under the stars. Your family can have a relaxing time while watching movies on a projector outside. There are select nights where the resort showcases a movie on The Reel Spot. It’s the outdoor area that features the World Premiere Food Court.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is located at Riverside Drive in Orlando, Florida. For about $240 per night, you and your family will enjoy exciting activities at the resort. It is only a few miles away from Disney Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Disney Springs, Disney Studios, and ESPN world of Sports. Below, you will find out why your family will enjoy Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside:
Why Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside is Great for Kids
- Access to swimming pools. Your family will enjoy the versatility and number of swimming pools. The resort has six outdoor swimming pools. The kids can enjoy the child pool provided by the resort. There is also a waterslide with an interesting design. It features a traditional swimming hole and sawmill side.
- Open playground. The resort features a playground for kids to play at any given time.
- Play video games. Kids can go to the Medicine Show arcade in the Colonel’s Cotton Mill building to play video games.
- Roasting marshmallows. There are Campfire on de’ Bayou sessions where families enjoy roasting marshmallows.
- Watch movies under the stars. If you do not want to sleep early, you can watch movies under the stars. The Magnolia South swimming pool deck often showcases movies during specified times.
- Bicycle renting. You and your family can enjoy bike rides within the resort’s premises.
- Fishing. Guests enjoy fishing activities as well as canoeing.
- Pets are allowed. The resort will enable pets to the premises. Your kids can bring their dog or cat to play with during the vacation.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Situated on Lake Buena Vista, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offers a south pacific gateway. The family-friendly hotel is near Magic Kingdom, Epcot, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Walt Disney World. Below, we established a few reasons why it’s a great hotel for kids.
Why Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is Great for Kids
- Free accommodation. Polynesian Village Resort offers free stays to children staying with their guardians or parents.
- Free cots. Families receive free infant beds upon check-in.
- Babysitting services. You will have access to the hotel’s well-trained babysitters at a cost.
- Swimming pool. Polynesian Village Resort features a children’s pool. There is an attentive lifeguard always in the area to monitor.
- Playground. There is a children’s playground on site.
- Children’s club. There is an available club for children in the hotel. Parents and guardians can follow up at the reception.
- Theme Park shuttle. There is a free theme park shuttle for the families to enjoy.
- Cleaning and safety. The hotel maintains a strict standard for cleanliness. You can expect the hotel staff to disinfect the surfaces constantly. There are also hand sanitizers.
The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort located in Bay Lake provide five-star accommodation to families. Numerous cottages offer ample room to accommodate families. Below, you will find out why the hotel will be great for your family:
Why The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is Great for Kids
- Free to infants and toddlers. Parents and guardians will receive free infant beds upon check-in.
- Babysitting services. The hotel provides babysitting services to guests at a price.
- Open playground. There is a playground site for children to play with easy monitoring.
- Separate sitting area. The hotel has designated sitting areas for children.]
- Free theme park shuttle. The kids can go for the free shuttle rides the hotel offers.
- Swimming pool. The resort features a great outdoor heated pool for its guests. There is also a kid’s pool.
- Private bathroom. There is a private bathroom for kids.
- Pet-friendly policies. The hotel allows guests to camp with their pets.
Things to Remember at Disney World Hotels & Resorts
Taking a trip to Disney World is fun, but it can quickly become overwhelming, especially for kids and parents who’ve never been here before. Here’s a brief overview of the things you need to consider before your next trip to Disney World hotels and resorts.
Planning Your Trip Well to Avoid Crowds
Remember, Disney World is one of the largest and most popular attractions in the United States. In fact, they receive over 58 million visitors every year. Regardless of the time of your visit, you’re almost guaranteed crowds.
Crowds take away from the enjoyable experience that is Disney World. You might have to stand in long lines with your kids(s) and have your feet stomped on. For this reason, we advise using Disney World’s crowd calendar tool to help you figure out the best times to visit the park. Also, avoid booking resorts during the summer months, school holidays, and breaks.
Understand How Disney Resorts Work
Disney’s resorts and hotels are grouped into four: value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villas. Fortunately, each room under these categories can accommodate a set number of people and a toddler under the age of three.
But understanding how each resort works will help you plan accordingly. For instance, value Disney Resorts are better suited for families on a budget. Standard rooms here can accommodate up to four guests, while family suites can accommodate up to six guests.
Moderate Disney resorts offer more lush themes that extend to the swimming pools, and waterslides. Standard rooms here can accommodate up to five people. The Fort Wilderness Cabins can accommodate up to six guests. You’ll also get bus services and, in some cases, transportation to the parks.
If you are looking for the crème’ among all resorts, consider the Deluxe Villa Resorts. They come at a higher price point but offer spacious villas, which include full kitchens, in-room washers, and dryers. You also get bus services and Skyliner or monorail service transportation to the Parks.
Go for a Few Days to Get a Full Experience
Disney World is massive. Going for a day or two might not be enough to get the full experience. For this reason, you should consider a five-to-seven-day trip, excluding the days you take to travel. This means that if you take one or two days to travel, the total number of days you should set aside is seven to ten days.
Five days will give you plenty of time to experience all four theme parks, attractions, parades, and shows. At this point, you might be thinking of the increasing costs of a five-day stay, but Disney has made it cost-effective for families to stay longer than before. Remember to also be on the lookout for offers and promotions.
Determine Your Budget
There’s no getting around this; transportation and accommodations are the more expensive aspects of Disney World. This is especially true if you are traveling long distances. It’s a rule of thumb to try and accurately deduce the amount of money you’ll be spending during your trip.
However, other money-saving hacks could prevent you from going over the budget. For instance, you should consider carrying your own food, snacks, and supplies. Food, snacks, and other supplies are usually expensive at Disney World. For this reason, you might want to look at other food options if you are on a tight budget.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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