This or That: Which Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Should You Choose?

Which Disney Deluxe Resort?

Which Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort should you choose?

Trying to pick between two Disney Deluxe Resort hotels is a common challenge. This post will help you decide which one to choose.

Some of the most common questions that I get revolve around choosing a Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort. Usually, these questions come in the form of “should I stay at this one or that one?”

So with that in mind, I’ve prepared this post to give my choices based on the most common comparison questions I receive. I have stayed at all of these resorts numerous times over the past 47 years (and counting), so my recommendations are based on my own experiences as a frequent traveler to Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts. For the record, I have spent somewhere in the range of 700+ nights at Disney Deluxe resort hotels.

Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

This or That: Choosing Between Two Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort?

  • Choose: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort simply outdoes Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in every category. If you like the theming of the Polynesian, you can easily walk there to get your fix.

Read a more detailed comparison between the Grand Floridian and Polynesian.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Disney’s Contemporary Resort?

  • Choose: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Same reasons as above. The decision is a bit closer here because I do like being able to walk to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower. But with the walkway from the Grand Floridian coming in the near future, even that factor will be a non issue.

Disney's Contemporary Resort at sunset.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort at sunset.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Choose: Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Both of these original Walt Disney World hotels are showing their age and both are in need of some refurbishment attention. Still, Disney’s Contemporary Resort gets the edge as a slightly higher-end property with superior amenities and unbeatable access to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Read a more detailed comparison between the Contemporary and Polynesian resorts.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Choose: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Wilderness Lodge is a great place to visit, but I don’t like to stay there. Not only is it off the beaten track in terms of transportation versus the other Magic Kingdom Resort hotels, but its amenities are undersized for the guest count. You’ll notice this in overcrowded pools and other areas.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge trees.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: would you stay here?

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Choose: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Animal Kingdom is the only Deluxe Resort that I like less than Wilderness Lodge — in terms of staying there as a guest. Don’t get me wrong, both are beautiful resort hotels with great theming. However, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is simply too isolated versus other Deluxe Resorts and the savanna view rooms get pretty tired after about 20 minutes. Plus, Animal Kingdom is the only Disney Deluxe Resort where we have had cockroaches both in our room and sighted at Boma. For these reasons and more, I recommend Disney’s Wilderness Lodge if you are making a choice between the two Disney lodges.

Read a more detailed comparison between Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort or Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Choose: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Sure, these two properties are almost the same hotel…but, they are not the same. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is quieter, slightly more upscale in ambiance and all Club Level rooms have balconies, which is not the case at the Beach Club. You get the benefit of Stormalong Bay (and all other amenities) no matter which you choose, but for the reasons I’ve noted, I’d go with the Yacht Club over the Beach Club (unless I’m staying in a DVC Villa, which are only available at the Beach Club).

Disney's Boardwalk, Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Boardwalk, Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort or Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

  • Choose: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the Boardwalk Inn. It’s just that if I’m staying in this area, I want to have the benefit of Stormalong Bay and other amenities available at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Plus, the Boardwalk has a few very undesirable room views, so you need to be careful about making a room request to try to avoid getting one of those. (Actually, you should always make a room request for any reservation. You don’t always get what you ask for, but I find that you do get it — or close to it — more often than not.)

So for these reasons, I’ll go with Yacht Club every time. The good part is that Boardwalk area is only steps away, so you are not missing out on anything. It’s a great spot with great ambiance and it’s well worth visiting (especially after dark).

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn or Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Beach Club

  • Choose: Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Pretty much a copy/paste of my answer above. While the Boardwalk’s grounds and ambiance are excellent, Disney’s Beach Club Resort has a slight edge in amenities, so opt for the Beach Club if you are undecided. But make sure to still wander over to enjoy all that the Boardwalk area has to offer as your neighbor.

Disney Saratoga Springs, Room 1127 View, Left

Looking to the left from the patio of room 1127 at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort at Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort or Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • Choose: Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

In the battle of the Disney Vacation Club Villas properties, the edge goes to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. While the rooms are larger and more modern at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, the property itself is a little smaller, has fewer amenities and is further from Disney Springs than Saratoga Springs. This is a close one, but we’ll generally opt for Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort because the property feels more open, it’s larger (great for renting bikes) and you can walk to Disney Springs instead of taking a boat — which is a big plus for us (who don’t like waiting around for Disney transportation).

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As a Luxury Disney travel expert and author, I blog regularly about upscale Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes.

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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist