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Study ranks best Walt Disney World hotels

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

It’s officially summer vacation season, and to help travelers plan their best theme park vacation ever, the travel insurance experts at Forbes Advisor ranked the ten best Walt Disney World hotels based on price, reviews, amenities, and location.

Best Walt Disney World Hotels - Copper Creek
Photos courtesy of Walt Disney World

According to Forbes Advisor, searches related to Disney World bookings increased by +2,890% over the last three months, but with many onsite hotels to choose from, travelers may have difficulty figuring out where to stay – not to mention finding a Walt Disney World hotel that fits their budget.

Best Walt Disney World Hotels – Deluxe:

#1 Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Taking the top spot overall with a score of 81.6 points out of 100 is Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Open since 2017, the Pacific Northwest-inspired cabins sit right on the shore of Bay Lake and offer amenities like three restaurants, motorized boat rentals, and a heated pool.

Although the hotel is categorized as a deluxe accommodation, travelers looking for a more affordable stay can book a studio room, which offers all the benefits of staying at a deluxe resort but at a more affordable price. As for location, Copper Creek guests can reach the Magic Kingdom in just under ten minutes.

#2 Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Best Walt Disney World Hotels - Boulder Ridge

Taking the second spot with 79.1 points is the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The design of the hotel features late 1800s décor in a beautiful setting.

Boulder Ridge guests can take advantage of the pool at the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, and like its sister hotel, Boulder Ridge offers both deluxe studios and villas, allowing guests on various budgets to enjoy the resort. Another plus is that Boulder Ridge guests can catch a boat to Magic Kingdom.

#3 Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Best Walt Disney World Hotels - Grand Floridian

With 77.2 points, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa took third place based on price, reviews, amenities, and location. While it’s a more expensive hotel than some of the others, there’s something for guests of all ages, including The Grand Floridian Spa, many excellent dining options, and fun campfire activities – and despite its third-place ranking on this survey, the Grand Floridian’s walking path straight to the gates of the Magic Kingdom puts it at the top of many travelers’ list.

Best Walt Disney World Hotels For Value:

Many people consider Walt Disney World vacation bucket-list-worthy because of the high price tag, but the Forbes Advisor survey determined the best value hotel options for travelers looking for more bang for their buck.

#1 The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Best Walt Disney World Hotels - Fort Wilderness Campsites

With 76.04 points, the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort ranks in the survey as the best value for onsite accommodation (and sixth-best overall), thanks to pricing that starts at just above $100 per night during peak season, accommodations from a pop-up tent to a premium campsite, a wide range of amenities, and positive guest reviews.

#2 Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Best Walt Disney World Hotels - Caribbean Beach

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort comes in second place for value with 69.06 points. The hotel features five pools and a Pirate Adventure Cruise at rates from $346 per night in peak season.

#3 Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Best Walt Disney World Hotels - Art of Animation

The third best value accommodation is Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, with 66.2 points. Rated highly by guests, Art of Animation boasts the largest resort pool in Walt Disney World and rates that start at $290 per night in peak season. Plus, it’s dog-friendly, so four-legged family members don’t need to miss out on the fun.

Forbes Advisor Survey Results: Ten Best Walt Disney World Hotels

Best Walt Disney World Hotels
Image courtesy of Forbes Advisor

Methodology

Forbes Advisor ranked all Walt Disney World Resorts based on several weighted data points:

  • Room Price (per night) 
  • TripAdvisor Rating
  • Distance to Magic Kingdom (both public transportation and walking distance)
  • Number of swimming pools within the hotel
  • Number of restaurants within the hotel
  • Recreation and activity score

Scores were then calculated based on the following weightings: Room price and TripAdvisor score (weighted 100%), the number of pools and recreation/activity score (weighted 75%), and distance to Magic Kingdom and the number of restaurants (weighted 50%).

Room Price was based on the most affordable room in each given accommodation within the peak period of August 12-14, 2022, from the MouseSavers website, and the Peak period was determined by using the crowd calendar feature on the Undercover Tourist website.

The number of pools and restaurants and the recreational/activity scores were calculated from information provided on the Walt Disney World hotel comparison page. Forbes Advisor selected Magic Kingdom for the distance data point due to the park’s popularity with visitors.

No matter which Walt Disney World Resort you choose, travel insurance expert Amy Danise notes that even though Disney has a generous cancellation refund policy and offers a travel protection plan with basic coverage, it’s a good idea to consider more comprehensive travel insurance if you’re putting down large non-refundable deposits or buying non-refundable plane tickets. Click here for information.

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2 comments

Tina S June 3, 2022 - 6:52 pm

Just a quick note. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is not a value resort, but a moderate resort. But it is great!

Reply
Matt Roseboom June 5, 2022 - 7:43 am

The story is just saying it’s a great value, not that it’s a true Disney labeled Value resort.

Reply

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