What is the best place to stay in Disney World Resorts for 2021? Things are constantly changing in Disney World and it is important to keep up to date.
Your choice of Walt Disney World Resort impacts significantly upon your vacation experience. So knowing what your best options are for Disney World Hotels is essential.
A lot has happened at Walt Disney World recently. Disney has opened up a new Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort and expanded an existing moderate resort.
In addition, they made a substantial change to a whole section of Walt Disney Worlds’ complimentary Transportation System. The new Disney Skyliner transports guests across the sky from select resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
This is great if you want to take advantage of a new, more direct line of transit. Especially from some of the resorts that used to be among the least convenient locations.
On the other hand, there are drawbacks. The Skyliner is not for everyone. If you don’t like heights or confined spaces it may be a problem.
Although all of the Disney World hotel resorts still have complimentary bus transportation, resorts with Skyliner stations are reducing the frequency of stops in 2020.
Therefore, unless you really know you are going to be fine with the Skyliner, you should probably avoid hotels with this as their primary transportation option.
With that in mind, you may reconsider booking such Disney World resorts as Disney’s Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. These are all on the Skyliner system.
1. Disney’s Riviera Resort
Our first pick is a brand new Disney Vacation Club Resort next to Caribbean Beach. This put’s it closest in location to Epcot, and it is on the Skyliner system with connections to Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios.
Let’s first say what I am not a fan of. The appearance of the outside just really doesn’t scream luxury Disney Resort to me.
I am not getting the European feel of the exterior either. I am European, have traveled extensively in Europe and this really isn’t a great representation of great architecture. Not anywhere!
It’s meant to be themed to the European Riviera and a tribute to Walt Disney’s tour of Europe in the 1930s.
I’m not sure Walt would have approved the exterior design! However, the interior is much, much better. Thankfully.
The stylish and luxurious new resort features lavish guest rooms and exquisite dining, including the rooftop restaurant Topolino’s which offers sweeping views of the Epcot resort area.
The room options at Disney’s Riviera Resort largely follow those at other DVC Resorts – studios, one, two, and some three-bedroom villas.
A unique option at the Riviera Resort is the Tower Studio Suites which are for 2 guests. They make very efficient use of the space with a pull-down Murphy Bed.
2. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
The recently renovated Saratoga Springs is one of only two Disney World resorts to have a spa that is run by Disney. Although a large amount of the renovation work has been completed it will be ongoing in 2021.
So if you decide to stay here make sure you check how your vacation may be impacted by this.
If you are looking for Disney-theming, this probably isn’t the place for you. However, the advantages still outweigh this and make it one of our picks for the best place to stay at Disney World in 2021.
One huge advantage is the proximity to Disney Springs. This area has seen a lot of changes since its Downtown Disney days.
There are so many great dining choices in this area, you will not be short of places to eat, or nightlife to entertain you.
Saratoga Springs Resort is also known for its treehouse villas that sleep up to 9 guests, an unusual occupancy.
The treehouse villas really do make you feel as though you are out in the wilderness somewhere, but of course, you are close to everything. They are a great idea if you have a larger group to accommodate.
Because Saratoga Springs was recently renovated, has new restaurants, and is so close to Disney Springs it’s one of our top picks for the best Disney World resorts in 2021.
3. Disney Coronado Springs Resort and Spa
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has always been one of our top choices and we still think this is the best bang for your buck for a Disney World Moderate Hotel.
Coronado Springs Resort just got a major upgrade with its Gran Destino Tower. The tower portion features indoor room access and much more luxury than the rest of the resort.
The Gran Destino Tower also features some Dalian inspiration in its artwork which celebrates the relationship between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali.
The name Destino itself is a reference to a collaboration between Dali and Disney that began in 1945 and was finally completed in 2003.
If you choose Coronado Springs I highly recommend staying at the Gran Destino Tower rather than the older part of the resort.
Much like the new Riviera Resort, we are not sure what was going on in the minds of those who designed the exterior. It doesn’t look great.
However, once you are inside you will change your mind completely. Don’t judge on outside appearances appears to be the moral here! Just not one that you expect to learn about a hotel design…
Coronado Springs is a huge resort. And it is a convention hotel resort as well as being a Disney resort. Some people believe that these two things do not sit very well together.
If you have young children Coronado Springs is probably not the best choice of Disney World Resort for you.
True, just like Saratoga Springs, this is not the most Disney of the Disney resorts. However, it has great dining for a moderate resort, the best pool of a moderate resort, and some good-sized nicely decorated rooms.
The downside? It’s not that close to any of the Disney Parks and the bus transportation is really not the best. This doesn’t seem to have been resolved since the Destino Tower was built – in fact it’s probably just got worse.
The Destino Tower is more like a deluxe resort than any other in the moderate category. If you don’t mind the lack of Disney theme, and certainly if you are staying here without the kids, it is a very strong candidate for the best place to stay in Disney World in 2021. Just maybe bring your own car…
4. Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The Contemporary Resort is a classic. It will always be one of the best places to stay at Walt Disney World. some of the best dining in California Grill and character interaction at Chef Mickey’s are just the beginning.
You really can’t beat the location of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The hotel is right next to the gates of the Magic Kingdom and has a monorail station inside. You can even walk to Magic Kingdom if you want to.
The square footage of the guest rooms is among the best in any of the other deluxe resorts. The decor is modern. Again a lot of people feel that the Contemporary isn’t Disney enough.
I really don’t agree with this – whilst the rooms aren’t exactly screaming out with Disney design, the hotel itself has plenty of reminders of where you are. Not least of which is that you are right there on the Seven Seas Lagoon with an amazing view of Magic Kingdom.
This really is our favorite Disney Monorail Hotel right now. I am not a huge fan of the Grand Floridian as I feel it is overpriced and will welcome the upgrades which are going on right now.
The Contemporary Hotel and Resort is one of the most ideal Disney World resorts you can stay in in 2021.
5. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort Hotel
Another favorite and on most people’s list of the best place to stay in Disney World are the deluxe Yacht Club and the Beach Club Hotel.
In this photo below you can see the Yacht Club on the left and Disney’s Beach Club on the right.
These are actually two separate hotels joined by one of the Best Disney World Hotel Resort Pools in any Disney Hotel, Stormalong Bay.
It’s just a short walk to Epcot where you can access the park via the lesser-known World Showcase Entrance.
You have the option of Disney World Boat Transportation to Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios.
The Skyliner Station at the International Gateway World Showcase entrance is also just a short walk away from both hotels.
You are also just a hop and skip away from the restaurants of Disney’s Boardwalk.
The Beach Club architecture evokes a bygone age of 1860’s seaside resorts.
The resort is simply stunning with its blue and white New England-style summer cottage feel. The deluxe rooms are a generous 380 square feet and sleep up to 5 guests.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort was designed by the same architect as the Beach Club and is in many ways very similar, but with a nautical theme. Rooms are the same size as in the Beach Club.
If I had to choose between the two resorts I would always go to the Beach Club.
Partly just personal taste as I like the colors and style slightly better than the Yacht Club, but also because it is closer to Epcot.
Not by much – but every footstep counts when you have been walking around the Epcot Countries all day!
6. Disney’s Pop Century Resort
If you are looking for the best place to stay in Disney World and you are on a budget, my top recommendation is Pop Century Resort.
Here you can see my article which compares this with another popular value resort:
This Disney Resort was first built in 2003, but the rooms have all been refurbished as of 2018. The resort is motel style as the front doors open into an exterior corridor.
The resort tends to be popular with families with young kids, so don’t expect peace and quiet. However, it offers some of the best value of any of the Disney World Resort Hotels.
Fortunately, the remodel replaced the double beds with a Queen and a queen-sized Murphy bed.
The new rooms are light and bright and have the very nice advantage of having wooden floors. It just makes them feel so much nicer!
The layout of the beds means it is a great option for 2 guests as well as it being large enough for a family with 2 small children. I probably wouldn’t want to stay in there with a couple of teenagers though!
I also love the fact that they replaced the shower curtains with glass shower doors. It just makes it feel so much more luxurious, but this is a Disney World Value Hotel.
There are 3 pools and a food court. I really would suggest that if you are looking for the best place to stay in Disney World accommodation on a budget you look at Pop Century.
You get all the perks of staying at a Disney World resort and you can often get some great discount pricing.
7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
I decided to save my very favorite until last! To say that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a unique experience is an understatement.
There is nowhere else in North America where you can look out of your hotel bedroom and see a giraffe!
Walt into the lobby of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and you enter a different world.
The ambiance is so relaxing, the subtle sounds of African music, the vibrant colors, and of course, the amazing setting.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is set inside a 43-acre wildlife preserve. The savannas have over 200 animals and many of the hotel rooms overlook these areas.
Aside from being such a unique place to see the animals, you will find some amazing Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants.
Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you really should visit. You can take some time to view the savannas and just take in the amazing ambiance of the hotel resort.
Where do you think is the Best Place to Stay in Disney World?
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