Best Overall Resorts

Well here we are!  After weeks of revealing specific categories, we at Believe Vacations are ready to reveal the resort that our group thought should take home the title BEST RESORT AT DISNEY!  With a combination of food, entertainment, pools, location and other factors, we took individual scores from each category and added them to get a cumulative score.  Thus, we’ve ranked them and now it’s time for the reveal:

Honorable Mention

The Campsites and Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – While scenic and in a great location, most people want a true resort feel on a Disney vacation.

Disney’s Old Key West Resort – Close enough to take a boat ride to Disney Springs but not enough going for the entire family.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Recent refurbishments have hurt the scores of this resort but it’ll be better than ever later this year.

Disney’s All-Star Resorts – The most frequented because they are in the value resort category but lacking in amenities.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort – Yet another value resort, this one has newer rooms and thus, a slight edge on its sister value resorts.

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – What this resort has is a TON of entertainment options.  What it does not have is the price range for many people.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and Riverside – Basically two for one, most families with kids will be disappointed with the lack of Disney theme but enjoy the New Orleans atmosphere.

Top 10

Panoramic view of Disney's Beach Club Resort and Crescent Lake , lit up at night

10) Disney’s Beach Club Resort 

This New England-style resort sits in the shadow of Epcot.  Take a walk to Epcot, enjoy a nice boat ride to Hollywood Studios, enjoy a character-dining cafe experience or play in Stormalong Bay.  All in a casual-elegant environment!

View from a grassy riverbank of a ferryboat sailing the Sassagoula River
9) Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa 

Travel back to New York in the late-1800’s to this charming resort on the lake.  Larger families will enjoy the Treehouse Villas as well as the pools and spa.  And if a trip to Disney Springs is in the plan, jump in a boat that picks you up at the resort.

Giant jellyfish and Crush from Disney•Pixar's Finding Nemo amid The Big Blue Pool

8) Disney’s Art of Animation Resort 

Most would call this the “Value Resort that truly isn’t!”  While the price may be more than the other value resorts, this one more than makes up for it by being the ultimate Disney lodging place.  Larger than life statues of your favorite Disney characters? Check!  Largest pool on Disney property? Check!  Fun for all ages?  You better believe it!

The monorail entering the main concourse of Disney's Contemporary Resort at sunset

7) Disney’s Contemporary Resort 

Go back to when you were a kid wanting to go to Disney World.  Didn’t the sight of the monorail going through this resort make you want to LIVE there?  That’s why the Contemporary Resort is so popular.  It’s within mere steps of the Magic Kingdom!  It has wonderful views of the bay and the park and yes, the monorail stops inside it.  But good luck saving up enough for a stay here as there is a reason it is a deluxe resort!

Panoramic view of Crescent Lake at Disney's Yacht Club Resort, lit up at night
6) Disney’s Yacht Club Resort 

While the sister resort, Beach Club, shares many of the same amenities, Yacht Club gets the edge for two reasons.  We find it to be the more adult-friendly of the two and thus, slightly more romantic.  Also, the rooms are newer and when it comes to overall lodging, that makes a huge difference.

Top 5

A lake view of Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, lit up in the evening

5) Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

One step on the grounds at this resort and you’ll believe you truly are in Spanish Colonial Mexico.  While this resort has undergone some massive renovations for almost 2 years now, it still features one of the top pools in all of Disney.  The trail around the lake makes for a scenic stroll and because it is home to the largest convention spaces at Disney, the amenities like the fitness clubs and spas are one-of-a-kind.  What it lacks in Disney characters, it more than makes up with charm!

The grand African-themed lobby at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

4) Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge 

Tucked behind the sprawling Animal Kingdom park is the resort that shares its name as well as the property for one of Disney’s most popular attractions, Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Even if you were to take away the rooms with the views of the savanna, you would still have the quality dining, the African architecture and culture that engulfs the resort and the entertainment options only it can provide.  More than just a room with a view, this deluxe resort has the entire package.

A view of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa from across Seven Seas Lagoon
3) Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

There will not ever be a more picturesque resort!  Not just at Disney but possibly ever.  The iconic red roofs reflect over the Seven Seas Lagoon as the Monorail makes a convenient stop before the Magic Kingdom.  Elegant, sophisticated, upscale and up-class, this may be the closest any of us ever get to royalty.  Dining, spa treatments and fancy pools – treat yourself like a queen or king at least once!

A view of Disney's Polynesian Resort from Seven Seas Lagoon
2) Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort 

Closing our trio of Monorail resorts is the island-themed oasis sitting on the far side of the Seven Seas Lagoon.  This resort is the perfect blend of a beach trip at Disney.  Take off your shoes and nestle in the sand or a comfy hammock as you watch the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom.  Stay the night and take in the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.  Or skip the parks, walk the grounds and hit up the iconic Lava Pool.  Aloha indeed!

A creek whose water cascades down rocks in the courtyard at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

1) Disney’s Wilderness Lodge 

When I first got the results back from our agents, I had to double check. I wasn’t sure if this was the BEST RESORT AT DISNEY for a few reasons.  I didn’t think it was as iconic as the ones on the Monorail Loop.  I didn’t think it had near enough Disney items as the value resorts.  I did not think it offered tremendous spa and pool amenities.  And I certainly didn’t think of it as a place that you could grab a good meal.  But go back with me and look at our categories and see how it finished in each: Best Theming (#2), Best Bang for Your Buck (#2), Best View (#1), Best Location (#2), Best Pool (#3).  So when you consider all these, it truly was not surprising. But being a rout like it was, now that’s a whole different story!

So there it is, our votes for BEST RESORT AT DISNEY!  And if you are following along, that means an ideal Disney vacation would be staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, dining at the Sci-Fi Dine In at Hollywood Studios and riding Pirates of the Caribbean!  But what did we miss?  Which needed to be higher or lower?  Leave your comments in the section below and remember there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!

Brian Pavlick
brianp@believevacations.com

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.

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