Best Disney World Deluxe Hotels 2024 – Top Disney Resort Tier RANKED

Walt Disney World deluxe hotels are the highest category when it comes to cost and amenities. There are three ranges of hotels: value, moderate, and deluxe. The best Disney World deluxe hotels provide a luxurious approach to your hotel experience by offering the best amenities Disney offers along with the best Disney parks perks.

In this guide, I will rank all the Walt Disney World deluxe hotels taking into account dining, pool quality, rooms, and atmosphere. Keep reading to see which deluxe hotel ranked last and which one made the top list!

What Amenities Do Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts Have in 2024?Boardwalk beach disney world

One of the biggest perks of a deluxe Disney World hotel is the option of Extended Evening Hours which is an experience only offered to guests staying at deluxe hotels. Extended Evening Hours takes place on select nights and has included after-hours access to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios. The two most common offerings are Magic Kingdom and EPCOT while Hollywood Studios usually is only added to the list during peak travel times. Guests taking advantage of Extended Evening Hours can enter the park at 6PM and once the park closes for the evening, they have access to the most popular rides in the park. Since this perk is at the end of the day and limited to deluxe hotel guests, the lines become nearly nonexistent. Read more about Extended Evening Hours in our guide. 

Another great perk is Early Theme Park Entry which allows resort guests an extra 30 minutes in the theme park before other guests arrive. This is an amenity that's offered to all guests staying on-site at the Walt Disney World resort hotels and doesn't vary depending on what category of hotel you are still at. This jumpstart on the attractions is a great perk to start crossing rides off your to-do list.

Walt Disney World resort guests also get early access to Lightning Lane reservations and purchases using Genie+. You can begin making your ride reservations at 7AM each day which gives on-property guests a big advantage over off-site guests. This is especially crucial for most popular attractions like Slinky Dog Dash (always the first to run out of Lightning Lane return times!) and Individual Lightning Lane reservations like TRON at Magic Kingdom.

Deluxe resorts include a step up from the moderate-level Disney World resorts as they will all have hot tubs, water slides, and table service restaurants but also some more luxurious options like spa services, signature dining, and character dining. One of the largest advantages deluxe resorts have over moderate levels is the variety of transportation options which include Skyliner, monorails, water transportation, etc. You will also have Club Service available at the deluxe resort hotels for guests looking to enhance their vacation even further.

Deluxe hotels at Walt Disney World are also all traditional hotel style with all the rooms being interior rooms (with a few exceptions, noted below!) rather than the motel style you see more commonly at the value and moderate-level resorts. The rooms at the deluxe Disney hotels are also more spacious than rooms at other resort hotels and offer room service. There is also access to valet parking.

In the ranking below, I will go through all of the various differences each deluxe resort has to offer because some of them vary greatly!

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Best Disney World Deluxe Recreation OptionsDisney Deluxe Pools

The best Disney World deluxe hotels include some of the more impressive reaction options around the resort. Well, with the exception of Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground which tends to excel with the recreation options it offers since the style of that resort leans more towards an experience in itself.

One of the best aspects of the recreation Some of the recreation options at deluxe hotels are similar to moderates including:

  • arcades
  • catch and release fishing, if the resort is close to water
  • jogging trails
  • playgrounds
  • basketball or volleyball courts
  • Movies Under the Stars (a schedule of Disney movies projected outside for guests to enjoy)

Now the recreation options that set the deluxe resorts apart include:

  • the most impressive pools on Disney resort property
  • poolside cabanas
  • motorized boat rentals
  • health clubs
  • spa and fitness services
  • bike rentals
  • miniature golf
  • painting

Now some of these recreation options any guest at Walt Disney World can enjoy but these recreation offerings are all located either on-site or nearby one of the deluxe hotels. That makes it much easier to enjoy the recreation without needing to travel far. Easily one of the biggest perks of the best deluxe Disney World hotel is the pools.

How Much Do Deluxe Resorts Cost?Grand Floridian boat

The Walt Disney World deluxe resorts fall in the highest range of cost when comparing the three different hotel categories. You will see a notable increase in price in this range from the other range of pricing. The average cost of a deluxe resort starts around $465 per night and can go up to $750 per night before any seasonal Walt Disney World hotel discounts are applied. You can read more on the best Disney World discounts here.

Keep in mind that Walt Disney World usually offers a seasonal discount year round that can at times save you up to 25% off your stay depending on which resort and room type you select. So factoring in a potential discount can change that per night quite a bit. The less popular time of year you travel, the more likely you will see a higher discount for your stay.

So when it comes to how much you will spend at a deluxe resort, it really depends on the resort as you will see a large variation in pricing. The resort that falls on the lower end of the pricing spectrum per night is the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The two resorts that have the highest price point are typically the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the Polynesian Resort.

Deluxe Villas

Many of the best Disney World deluxe resorts on this list also include the option of deluxe villas. Villas at Walt Disney World offer spacious multi-room options with fully-equipped kitchens. For some locations, villas can go up to three rooms. A common misconception is that only Disney Vacation Club members can stay at the villas and most can be booked by all guests. You can also save a considerable amount of money by renting Disney Vacation Club points to stay at one of these villas rather than paying full price.

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Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort TransportationDisney Monorail Hotels

The deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World vary in transportation options. Some of the deluxe resorts are considered deluxe largely due to their physical proximity to Magic Kingdom. In fact, only the deluxe resorts offer monorail transportation to and from the park.

Like other resorts at Walt Disney World, bus transportation is always offered as an option, and depending on the size of the resort they may have large internal bus systems which can include multiple bus stops. Aside from bus transportation, you also have other types of Walt Disney World transportation offered depending on the resort:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
    • bus transportation
  • Wilderness Lodge
    • bus transportation
    • water taxi to Magic Kingdom
  • Contemporary Resort
    • bus transportation
    • monorail to Magic Kingdom or EPCOT
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort
    • bus transportation
    • Skyliner, EPCOT station
    • walking distance to EPCOT/Hollywood Studios
    • boat transportation to Hollywood Studios
  • BoardWalk Inn
    • bus transportation
    • Skyliner, EPCOT station
    • walking distance to EPCOT/Hollywood Studios
    • boat transportation to Hollywood Studios
  • Beach Club Resort
    • bus transportation
    • Skyliner, EPCOT station
    • walking distance to EPCOT/Hollywood Studios
    • boat transportation to Hollywood Studios
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    • bus transportation
    • monorail to Magic Kingdom or EPCOT
    • water taxi to Magic Kingdom
  • Polynesian Village Resort
    • bus transportation
    • monorail to Magic Kingdom or EPCOT
    • water taxi to Magic Kingdom

best Disney World deluxe resorts- water taxi

When comparing all the deluxe resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge is the only resort with just one transportation option. This is also why we see this resort named the cheapest deluxe Walt Disney World resort. And looking at our two most expensive resorts, Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resort, you can see they have the most options with nearby proximity to Magic Kingdom.

Part of your decision when picking the best deluxe Disney World resort is thinking about which theme parks you want to be closest to. The resorts located with easy access to Magic Kingdom with come with a higher price but since this is the theme park that is often visited the most during a Disney trip it may be worth that higher price point. The majority of the other resorts are located near EPCOT and Hollywood Studios with easy access (via the Skyliner) to both those theme parks. Animal Kingdom Lodge is located right next to the Animal Kingdom theme park making it further away from the other theme parks but with easy proximity to that theme park.

Now let's get into our ranking of the best deluxe Disney World hotel! For this rankings list, I tried to balance out not just transportation convenience and dining but the uniqueness of the theme.

8. Disney's BoardWalk InnDisney WDW deluxe resort

Disney's Boardwalk Inn is a waterfront resort inspired by turn-of-the-century Atlantic City. This resort is part of Disney's Boardwalk which is themed after a Coney Island-style boardwalk with carnival games, themed dining, and nightlife entertainment.

Boardwalk Inn is within walking distance of both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios which gives it easy access to these two popular parks.

The feature pool at Disney's Boardwalk Inn is the Luna Park Pool, a carnival-themed pool with a 200-foot-long waterslide. This pool is inspired by the amusement parks of the 1920s with giant elephant statues and waterslides. This is the pool that was infamously known for the clown waterslide but it was refurbed to remove the clown and add a more Disney Mickey/Minnie theme instead.

The easy access to Disney's Boardwalk is a great perk of this resort and along with it comes easy access to all the dining options on the Disney Boardwalk which includes a pizza window, icecream, deli, and coffee. The table services restaurants at Disney's Boardwalk Inn offer both Italian food and seafood.

7. Disney's Yacht Club ResortYacht Club Disney World

Disney's Yacht Club Resort is themed after the style of a New England yacht club. This lakeside resort features a lobby with nautical theming along with easy access to the Bayside Marina. The theming here isn't necessarily the most unique in comparison to other Walt Disney World Resorts which is why I ranked it lower on the list of best deluxe Disney World hotels.

This resort shares many amenities with Disney's Beach Club Resort. A key shared amenity is the 3-acre pool area called Stormalong Bay. This giant pool area features water slides, a lazy river, three whirlpool spas, and an elevated tanning deck. This pool is easily what makes Disney's Yacht Club a fan favorite and stands out from the rest of the deluxe resorts. Access to this pool is a huge asset to staying at Disney's Yacht Club Resort!

This resort hotel is located in the EPCOT area and the transportation options provide quick and easy access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

Another unique feature of Disney's Yacht Club is that it is the only deluxe Disney World hotel that is dog friendly. There is a small section of dog-friendly rooms and guests can bring up to two dogs for an additional $75 per night.

Since Yacht Club shares amenities with Beach Club resort, you do get more dining options with traditional food, seafood, and the popular Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. 

6. Disney's Wilderness Lodgebest Disney World deluxe resort

Disney's Wilderness Lodge is inspired by America's Great Northwest and the turn-of-the-century National Park lodges. The resort is built using American craftsmanship and transports guests to feel like they stepped into the Great Northwest. The resort features nature trails through pine forests and rocking chairs overlooking creeks. The inside of the resort includes totem poles, headdresses, and a rustic fireplace. The theming here is beautiful and you will forget you are in Florida staying at this resort. The A+ of theming at this resort brings it up higher on our ranking of best Disney World deluxe hotels.

The two pools at Disney's Wilderness Resort, Copper Creek Springs and Boulder Ridge Cove, are all themed around nature. Copper Creek Springs includes a 67-foot waterslide built into rocks and Boulder Ridge Cove features a zero-entry wilderness pool.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge deserves an honorary mention for how beautiful this resort is during the holiday season at Walt Disney World. In fact, this resort is easily one of the most desired at that time of the year due to the beauty of the Christmas decorations.

The transportation at Disney's Wilderness Lodge is a bit more limited as bus transportation is the main option along with water transportation to Magic Kingdom. Considering other deluxe resort hotels have more variety in transportation options, this brings Wilderness Lodge down on the list. But truly, all of these Disney World deluxe hotels are fantastic so it really comes to prioritizing your preferences.

The dining at Disney's Wilderness Lodge focuses primarily on American style/old-west food but this location also includes a character dining experience called Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. This is a popular character dining option at Disney World especially due to the great interactions with the Evil Queen.

5. Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeAnimal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is surrounded by four savannas with over 200 animals and birds. This African-inspired hotel also features one of the largest collections of African art in the United States. The hotel itself is shaped like a horseshoe so you can take in the savanna view from all areas of the hotel. The theming of this resort is what sets it apart from the rest and being able to view animals like giraffes, zebra, etc. from either your room (if you book a savanna view room) or other areas around the resort. See our Animal Kingdom Lodge room review for more details! There are plenty of animal viewing areas around the resort and you will feel like you stepped right into an African savannah.

The 11,000-square-foot pool features a waterslide and a zero-dept entry point. The pool itself is surrounded by large canopy trees and there are nearby animal exhibits to view like flamingos!

The biggest drawback with the Animal Kingdom Lodge is that it is located near Animal Kingdom which puts it furthest away from the other three theme parks. Because of its proximity, it also only offers bus transportation. However, due to the impressive theming of this resort along with the incorporation of savannah animals, I rank it high on this list of best Disney World deluxe hotels. See the Animal Kingdom Lodge map for everything you need to know about the layout of the resort!

The dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge is also another area that puts this resort higher on the list of best Disney deluxe resorts. The table service restaurants, Jiko- The Cooking Place and Boma-Flavors of Africa, are some of the most highly rated for their quality African cuisine.

4. Disney's Contemporary ResortContemporary Resort Disney World

Disney's Contemporary Resort is known for being the Disney World hotel with the monorail that goes through it! This best Disney World deluxe resort is located close to Magic Kingdom hence the winning monorail transportation. The interior of the hotel also features a 90-foot-tall mural by Disney Legend Mary Blair which celebrates the Grand Canyon and the American Southwest.

Disney's Contemporary Resort is modern with a bit of a Disney touch added with other recently refurbished rooms featuring subtle Incredibles decor. This resort's theming is much more subtle than the other deluxe resorts but fans of this resort love the amenities this resort offers like the interior monorail station!

The close proximity to Magic Kingdom is a huge perk for Disney's Contemporary Resort and it's even within walking distance although you will save some steps if you take the monorail. This nearness also allows guests to enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the hotel.

The dining at the Contemporary Resort easily places it high near the top of the list as some of the best table service dining is offered like the California Grill, Chef Mickey's character dining experience, and Steakhouse 71.

3. Disney's Beach Club ResortDisneys beach club

Disney's Beach Club Resort is a highly popular resort at Walt Disney World. This New England-style resort hotel includes the well-known pool (we might even call it a small water park in itself) called Stormalong Bay which it shares with Disney's Yacht Club. Stormalong Bay is a 3-acre water pool area including a life-size shipwreck, pools, and lagoons. This pool includes a lazy river and one of the highest waterslides at Walt Disney World.

Disney's Beach Club Resort is located within walking distance of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. One of the key aspects of most best Disney World deluxe resorts is the ease of transportation since many of them are built so close to the theme parks.

Disney's Beach Club Resort's beach theme is present throughout the resort but in a tasteful, turn-of-the-century atmosphere. Disney's Beach Club Resort is joined in the center by Disney's Yacht Club so this close proximity offers an advantage to enjoy the amenities and dining at both resorts. Beach Club does have a more relaxed atmosphere than the Yacht Club which makes sense even considering their names. A day at the beach or a day at the yacht club? Due to Disney's Beach Club Resort's popularity, it's clear many Disney guests love the theme here.

Since Disney's Beach Club shares amenities with Disney's Yacht Club resort, you do get more dining options with traditional food, seafood, and the popular Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.

2. Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & SpaGrand Floridian Resort

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the epitome of luxury and sophistication at Disney World. This Victorian-style deluxe hotel is considered at the top of the list when it comes to high-end services at Disney. The inspiration behind the hotel is a timeless Victorian style in Palm Beach's golden era.

Disney's Grand Floridian is known for its luxury with deluxe amenities including its own spa, lobby entertainment which often includes a pianist, and an on-site Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. This resort also includes the top-tier level of club service you can enjoy so this hotel is a good fit for guests wanting to splurge. This is one of the best Disney World resorts for adults!

Being one of the Magic Kingdom resorts, this hotel offers monorail transportation and guests can even walk to Magic Kingdom. This is a big perk for guests that want to spend most of their time in Magic Kingdom.

This resort is also the best resort to visit during the holidays at Walt Disney World. The lobby is transformed into a literal wonderland with an enormous Christmas tree and a gingerbread replica of the resort that acts as a functioning small food/gift stand. The decor at the Grand Floridian is so impressive this time of year that a visit to the Grand Floridian is often included on every must-do Walt Disney World Christmas list.

This resort also features some of the highest-class dining options (called signature dining) at Walt Disney World. Among those is Victoria and Albert's which offers a variety of experiences with food crafted from award-winning chefs. Another exciting dining option is the Enchanted Rose which is a bar service experience themed after Beauty and the Beast.

1. Disney's Polynesian Village ResortDisney's Polynesian Village Resort Review - entry

The honor of the top of the list for best Disney World deluxe Resort goes to the Polynesian Village Resort. This popular hotel is inspired by the spirit of the South Pacific with tropical plants and lush vegetation throughout the entire hotel along with a theme that carries into the outdoor island ambiance.

This beautiful resort is split into different buildings and the pathways are lit with tiki torches and white sand beach throughout the entire area. The newly redone hotel rooms at the resort carry the island atmosphere into the room along with the addition of Moana themes. One of the show stoppers for room options at the Polynesian is the Bora Bora Bungalows. These bungalows are inspired by the overwater bungalows of the south pacific. These are more luxurious accommodations but these private bungalows add to the charm and the uniqueness of this resort.

The pool at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort includes a volcano with a waterslide and an enormous pool. This pool also features a large infinity hot tub. This resort is gorgeous and you will truly feel like you're in the South Pacific. This is one of the most popular resorts at Walt Disney World so guests looking to take advantage of discounts will want to jump on this one quickly.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is also home to two of the most popular dining experiences at Walt Disney World: ‘Ohana character dining (featuring Stitch!) and Trader Sam's Grog Grotto (themed tiki bar) with help place this resort at the top of the list.

Regardless of where your favorite deluxe Disney World resort ranked on our list, these resorts are all top-tier quality hence the category of a deluxe resort!

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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