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9 Best Disney World Luxury Hotels for Families

See recent posts by Jackie Perrin

So you”ve got a good stash of cash, and you”re looking to treat your family to a Disney World luxury hotel.

If you want to sleep in style, Walt Disney World Resort has a grand selection of posh lodging spots for you! From Deluxe Club Level guestrooms with concierge service to swanky suites with special touches, these Disney World luxury resorts offer up a splendid array of upscale options for those with high expectations and deep wallets.

Written by Jackie Perrin


Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Built around an A-Frame and overlooking Cinderella Castle and Seven Seas Lagoon, the 655-room, 15-story Deluxe category Disney"s Contemporary Resort touts easy access to the Magic Kingdom as its major selling point, though many say that spectacular theme park views come a close second. In less than 10 minutes, visitors can travel by walkway to the Magic Kingdom, or be on a monorail bound for the Transportation and Ticket Center and Epcot from this luxury hotel in Disney World.

Along with a pool and 17-foot-high waterslide, recent family-friendly improvements include expanded dining options and a new interactive water sprayground. The splash pad is located on the main deck next to the Contemporary Marina and Sammy Duvall's -- a top-notch water sports center where your kids can learn to water ski, wakeboard and tube, or even soar over Bay Lake on a sky-high parasailing adventure. The luxury Disney World resort does not have a childcare center or playground, but in-room childcare can be arranged or guests may use the centers at the neighboring Wilderness Lodge and Polynesian.

Standard guestrooms (655 total) sleep up to five guests and are 437 square feet. Preferred theme park view rooms, Club Level rooms and suites with concierge privileges are also available. No matter what lodging you choose, be sure to book a character meal at Chef Mickey"s, a concourse buffet with a view of the monorail.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

For families with tweens and teens seeking an action-packed vacation, Disney"s Boardwalk Inn delivers easy access to thrills, by way of “Atlantic City.” Steps away from Epcot"s International Gateway and just a short stroll from Disney"s Hollywood Studios, the 372-room Disney World luxury hotel lends an open door to a 1930"s seaside scene, complete with a mini-Midway, mimes and magicians.

Kids can fly down the slide at the carnival-themed Luna Park pool, play Wii games or rent bicycles at the Community Hall, then belly up to the Boardwalk Pizza window for an authentic slice. The Boardwalk offers one of the greatest varieties of drinking and dining options you'll find at any Disney property, but since most are outside the hotel proper, it"s a better spot for families with older kids versus those with stroller-age children.

Standard rooms are 434 square feet, sleep up to five, and feature luxurious linens and thoughtful “Mickey” touches. Deluxe Club Level Rooms sleep up to six, and afford guests access to a concierge lounge serving up food, beverages and personalized service. Also with Club access, two-bedroom, two-bathroom suites are 1,288 square feet and accommodate up to eight guests.

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

Offering a fun-filled water playground, onsite childcare and kid-friendly dining, all in an upscale atmosphere, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort provides guests with a family-friendly vacation experience, along with many of the perks of an onsite luxury Walt Disney World Resort stay.

A short walk or boat ride to the International Gateway at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Swan and Dolphin are two hotels in one. Designed by architect Michael Graves, the non-Disney owned properties enjoy a prime waterfront location, as well as access to Disney"s transportation system. You can rack up your rewards points and help bankroll a luxurious Disney World vacation, or take advantage of a teacher, nurse, or military discount.

Shared facilities include the showstopper Grotto Pool, featuring waterfalls, a waterslide and tropical landscaping. In addition to Disney character dining and an ice cream parlor, The Swan and Dolphin offer some of the best adult dining experiences in Orlando. Check the kids into Camp Dolphin and enjoy a kids-free dinner, or else a treatment at the Balinese-inspired spa.

Standard rooms at the Swan contain two beds and accommodate four guests, as opposed to the smaller beds and maximum occupancy of five in Walt Disney World Dolphin rooms. Executive Suites accommodate fewer people than similar spaces at the Dolphin, but offer more elbow room for traveling families. Rooms in both properties feature Westin Heavenly Beds, with pillow-top mattresses and luxurious goose down blankets and comforters.

A $125-million room redesign at both hotels is underway, scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

An overwhelming favorite among families seeking amusement and luxury, Disney"s Beach Club Resort is top on our list of kid-friendly Disney World luxury hotel options. First on your family"s “to-do” list should be a visit to Stormalong Bay, a 3-acre waterpark with a lazy river and a sandy bottom. Add to this a trip to the onsite kids club, an onsite Disney character breakfast and a stop at the beach-themed ice cream parlor and you"ve got a winner of a lux family vacation.

Just a short walk or boat ride from Epcot or Disney"s Hollywood Studios, Disney"s Beach Club Resort offers guests convenience and a lively waterfront scene, with bike rentals, cruise options and campfires on the beach. Guestrooms are at the top of the “World” in terms of comfort and design, with luxurious amenities, clever details and enhanced (rooms sleep 5) guest capacity. For those who desire extra space and comforts, Deluxe Rooms offer 25 percent more space and Club Level privileges. Concierge privileges, which include personal assistance and all-day food and beverage access, are also afforded to guests of suites, which sleep up to 7.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The revamped Oasis and Lava Pools, which feature a volcano, 142 foot-long waterslide and a waterfall compliment the new Disney Vacation Club accommodations at the Disney World luxury hotel, Disney"s Polynesian Village Resort.

A perennial favorite for its white sand beach, onsite childcare center and easy monorail access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, the “Poly” also plays host to two popular dining experiences - a breakfast with Lilo and Stitch and Disney"s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. Lilo"s Playhouse offers nightly supervised entertainment for kids ages 3 to 12. Before or after the sun goes down, parents can enjoy a refreshing Dole whip pineapple treat and kick back in a lounge chair, while the kids play at the Kiki Tiki"s Splash Area.

The resort offers 478 rooms (404 square feet) that sleep five, and six one-and two-bedroom suites, ranging in size from 760 to 1,163 square feet. Suites sleep five to eight guests and include privileges at the exclusive (and fun to say) King Kamehameha Club, a concierge lounge. Your personal concierge caretaker can help you with everything from pre-trip itinerary planning to coordinating custom-made leis, late-notice dinner reservations and onsite hula lessons.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Striking and sophisticated, Disney"s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa rolls out the red carpet for gracious guests with elegant tastes and refined expectations. Just a few minutes from the Magic Kingdom, the Victorian seaside-themed flagship property is a popular spot for VIP guests and weddings, and even has its own romantic wedding pavilion. Despite all of this seemingly adult-oriented grandeur, the Grand Floridian is surprisingly kid-friendly luxury hotel in Disney World.

At the zero-entry sand-beach Beach Pool, kids can play cast-led games, join a daily “Un-Birthday Party,” race down a winding waterslide and splash around in an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed sprayground. Onsite dining options include a “Mary Poppins”-themed character breakfast and a dinner buffet with Cinderella and her court. At 1900 Park Fare, young ladies and gents can polish their manners at an afternoon tea party, hosted by Alice in Wonderland and The Mad Hatter, and for young ladies only, there"s a VIP “Princess Tea” fantasy experience, featuring the royal treatment and a meet-and-greet with Sleeping Beauty. At Senses Spa, girls can get a magical manicure or pedicure, while mom gets her own paws pampered.

For boys and girls, a Pirate Adventure Cruise ships out from the resort marina daily, stopping at ports of call in search of treasure. For a special treat, families can book a nighttime fireworks cruise aboard The Grand 1, a 52-foot private yacht with a captain and optional butler service.

Situated directly on the resort monorail, The Grand Floridian offers easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, making it a top choice for families who don"t mind paying a price for convenience. Standard rooms sleep five and, at 448 square feet, are some of the most spacious on Disney property. Suites and Club Level Rooms feature enhanced amenities, including dedicated concierge service and access to all-day food and beverages.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Visually stunning and set amongst some of the most serene surroundings on Disney property, Disney"s Wilderness Lodge is grand in every way that matters to families. Currently undergoing extensive renovations, many areas of this luxury Disney World hotel -- like the Hidden Springs Pool, beach and playground -- are closed through 2017.

Designed to evoke the feel of famous American National Park lodges at the turn of the century, the 727-room resort offers an onsite kids" club and comfortably rustic-themed guestrooms, some of which have bunk beds. Deluxe Club Level rooms are a luxuriously spacious 500-square-feet, sleep up to six, and feature access to the private Old Faithful Club, featuring four daily food and beverage presentations.

From the resort beachfront overlooking Bay Lake, guests enjoy a great view of the nightly fireworks and the Electrical Boat parade. Complimentary direct transportation to the Magic Kingdom is provided by water launch, and leisure boat and bike rentals are available at the resort marina at this Disney World luxury resort.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas

Get an up-close view of giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and more at Animal Kingdom Lodge, a Disney Deluxe Resort where it definitely pays to pay more for a preferential view. Overlooking a 46-acre savannah that"s home to more than 200 animals, the African horseshoe-shaped property is a working wildlife preserve where guests can learn about animal habits and conservation.

Besides an amazing outlook, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers many extras that make a vacation special for families. A zero-entry pool, splash ground, waterslide and a game room will keep the kids cool when the mercury soars, while staff-led games are available poolside and in the hotel lobby. If you want to enjoy a leisurely dinner at Jiko, the resort"s signature restaurant, Simba"s Clubhouse will provide supervised care for your cubs while you relax.

Standard guestrooms are 344 square feet and sleep up to four. Some rooms contain bunk beds, including some Concierge, or Club Level rooms. For larger families, there are suites, which also come with concierge privileges. One-bedroom suites are 777 square feet and sleep up to five. Two-bedroom suites are 1,083 square feet and sleep up to eight.

Unique to this Disney World luxury resort are the Deluxe Studios (316 square feet) and one-bedroom villas -- both Disney Vacation Club accommodations -- which come with Kilimanjaro Club lounge access. Concierge level guests get some extra “wild” privileges, including the ability to book a private guided Sunrise Safari Breakfast. Night Safari Tour and Wanamaya Safari, a dinner tour, are additional animal viewing options, and are available exclusively to Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas guests.

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Immerse yourself in luxury Disney World from stem to stern at Disney's Yacht Club Resort, a nautical-themed property that's cultured enough for an admiral, yet still kid-friendly.

Somewhat more sedate than its Beach Club Resort sister, with which it shares the coolest pool in all of Walt Disney World, the 621-room resort features full balconies in most rooms (a great perch for parents while little ones nap), an upscale steakhouse that caters to both junior and adult palates, and Concierge Club service at the Regatta Club lounge. The lounge is available to Club Level and Suite guests, and features all-day food and beverage access.

If you prefer extra elbow-room in a luxury Disney World hotel, options range from 533-square-foot Deluxe Club Level rooms that sleep up to six, to two-bedroom 2,374-square-foot suites, which sleep up to eight guests.

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