5 Pricey Disney World Hotels That Are Worth the Money

by | May 17, 2024 | Walt Disney World Resorts, WDW Blog

Wondering which expensive Disney World hotels are worth the price tag? We’re sharing everything you need to know about the Disney World Deluxe Resorts that are worth the price.

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Disney World hotels are broken down into four categories: Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts, Deluxe Resorts, and Deluxe Villa Resorts (the latter of which are DVC properties). As you may have guessed, the Deluxe Resorts are the most expensive, offering the most amenities, dining options, and often locations. They also offer certain perks, such as Extended Evening Hours available exclusively to guests at Deluxe Resort hotels. But, which are the best to stay at that are worth your money? We’ll be sharing which of these pricey hotels are worth the cost.

Best Expensive Disney World Hotels

Hotel With the Best Location

Disney’s Contemporary Resort stands out not just for its iconic A-frame structure but also for its unbeatable location. Situated within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom, you can get yourself from your room to the front gate in no time at all. While it’s not the only hotel offering a walking path to the park (the Grand Floridian has its own as well), the Contemporary’s is by far the closest and most convenient.

Additionally, the resort offers a unique view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the nightly Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake. Its fun design, delicious dining options, and superior location make it a great choice in the Magic Kingdom Resort area.

Hotel With the Best Dining

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort transports guests to a South Pacific paradise with lush landscaping and a laid-back atmosphere. There’s a lot to love about the hotel: its theming, its proximity to Magic Kingdom and the Transporation and Ticket Center, and the ability to watch the fireworks from the beach are all near the top of the list. But what pushes it over the edge are its dining experiences.

The Polynesian is home to popular restaurants such as ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe, as well as one of the most popular lounges on property, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. At ‘Ohana, you can enjoy an all-you-care-to-eat family-style meal with ‘Ohana noodles, honey-coriander chicken wings, and pork dumplings. For breakfast, you can enjoy a character dining meal with Mickey and Stitch while being served delicious bites like pineapple-coconut breakfast bread, Hawaiian-style ham, and Mickey-shaped waffles. And Kona Cafe is home to the famous Tonga Toast!

Trader Sam’s is a small, immersive bar with an interactive setting and some truly ambitious drinks (if you’re with a group, grab the Uh-Oa and thank us later). Even if you aren’t able to nab a spot in Grog Grotto, the outdoor Tiki Terrace counterpart is a great option to grab the same drinks!

Hotel With the Best On-Site Experience

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a destination unto itself. This African-themed resort offers views of an expansive savannah, home to over 30 species of wildlife, from zebras to giraffes. If you get a savannah-view room, you can even take in stunning views of the wildlife right from your room!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House room tour

Photo by Danny Shuster

The hotel is home to some of the best dining in all of Disney World, with Jiko, Sanaa, and Boma. It also offers a truly one-of-a-kind added experience with Starlight Safari, an after-dark safari tour through the savannah where you’ll get to see over 30 species of African wildlife up close. If you are looking to be close to the theme parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge likely won’t be your first choice. It only offers bus transportation, meaning you won’t be getting to any of the theme parks lightning fast. However, if you are looking to choose a hotel where you plan to spend a good chunk of time, this is a resort where you will find plenty to do throughout your stay.

Hotel You’ll Want to Return to Again and Again

Inspired by the turn-of-the-century National Park lodges, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge features rustic charm infused with luxury. The cozy accommodations and detailed theming lend themselves to a more tranquil retreat, taking you out of the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. It’s one of the many reasons Wilderness Lodge has become a fan-favorite for many Disney World travelers.

The hotel is home to several restaurants, including a Snow White character dining experience with appearances from the titular character, the Evil Queen, and the Dwarfs. While not located on the Monorail loop, you do have the option of taking a relaxing boat ride over to Magic Kingdom, expanding your transportation options. One stay at the Wilderness Lodge and you’ll be hooked, wanting to return time and time again.

Most Luxurious Hotel

While not technically a Disney World-owned and operated resort, the Four Seasons Orlando is the ultimate pick for luxury on Walt Disney World property. Located in the Golden Oaks area of the resort, the Four Seasons Orlando offers the utmost in luxury. The hotel is home to rooms with stunning views, multiple pools, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, and a rooftop restaurant where guests can view the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

Basically, the hotel combines the magic of Disney with the extravagance of the Four Seasons brand, and you won’t find a more luxurious hotel on the property (and it comes with an expensive price tag to prove it). However, it is worth noting that guests of the hotel do not get the added Deluxe Resort perk of Extended Evening Hours, which is one major drawback for those looking to spend more time in the parks.

How to Save Money on Expensive Disney World Hotels

So, yes, Disney World Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villa Resorts are expensive. But, is there a way to save money off the rack rate pricing (a.k.a. the price you’ll find on the Disney World website)? The answer is yes! David’s Vacation Rentals offers guests the option to rent DVC points, basically allowing you to rent a Deluxe Villa from a Disney Vacation Club member for less.

DVC points can be used at any Disney Vacation Club property, including the following at Walt Disney World:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Beach Club Villas at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • BoardWalk Villas at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness (beginning July 2024)

The cost difference can be significant. For example, if I’m looking to stay at Disney World from July 22 to 26, 2024, I can currently book a 1-bedroom Deluxe Studio With a Theme Park View for $2,520.00 on the Disney World website. This rate includes a significant percentage off with the Stay Longer and Save More on Rooms deal. However, I could save even more with David’s Vacation Club Rentals, which would be $1,932 for the same dates. That’s a savings of $588! Read more about David’s Vacation Club Rentals.

Posts by Morgan Flaherty

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Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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