5 Underrated Disney World Hotels and Why You Should Stay There

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World Resorts

We’re sharing some of the most underrated Disney World hotels, overlooked hotels that you should consider for your next stay.

Whether it’s your first Disney World vacation or your fifteenth, choosing a Disney Resort hotel to stay at can be daunting. With over 25 different hotels on the property and even more in the surrounding area, it’s hard to know which hotel will be best for your family. 

Underrated Disney World Hotels

From the distance to the parks to the dining options to how comfy the beds are, there’s a lot to consider before you book your resort stay. And, if you’re going based on the hotels that you hear a lot about from other people, you might overlook some of the best hidden gems. So, don’t book your stay just yet – consider these five underrated Disney World hotels for your next trip!

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a Moderate Resort that’s often overlooked because it’s massive. The resort is home to a conference center, which draws a lot of guests who are visiting on business and, like other Moderate Resorts, the buildings with the actual hotel rooms are pretty spread out which can lead to a lot of extra walking to get to and from all the amenities. However, this hotel got a major upgrade in 2019 when the Gran Destino Tower opened.

Photo by Danny Shuster

This tower is now the main entrance to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and is home to upgraded rooms and amenities that will make you feel like you’re staying in luxury accommodations without the Deluxe Resort prices. There’s also a huge variety of delicious places to eat here, especially for a moderate resort including Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood (a rooftop restaurant with amazing views), Three Bridges Bar & Grill (where you can enjoy your meal on the lake), and Barcelona Lounge (where you can get your morning coffee or evening cocktail fix).

The theming inside Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is also a big draw to the hotel because it’s not as “over-the-top” as other Disney Resorts. With Spanish-inspired decor that mixes with tributes to Walt Disney and his work with Salvador Dali on a short film called Destino, the subtle nods to Disney can make this hotel a sweet reprieve from the parks. 

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

We only need two words to explain why Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is one of the best places to stay in Walt Disney World…Mickey Beignets! That’s right, this is the only place across the parks and resorts to enjoy Mickey-shaped Beignets year-round. These beloved Disney treats can be found at Scat Cat’s Club and come with your choice of salted caramel, strawberry, or chocolate ganache sauce. Or, you can take it to the next level and order a Mickey-shaped beignet sundae or some boozy beignets.

Aside from the beignets, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is also a great place to stay if you plan to frequent Disney Springs or want to be close to additional dining options. Boat transportation is available to Disney Springs, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is only a short walk away where you can find another quick service restaurant, table service restaurant, and lounge if you grow tired of the food at your hotel.

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort 

If you’re looking to stay at a budget-friendly Disney World Resort, you’ve got a variety of great options. However, if you’re traveling with a larger family and need space for 5-6 people in your room, you might want to look past Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and stay at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort instead! Not many people know that All-Star Music offers family suites and they’re usually cheaper than the ones at other hotels.

All-Star Music

There are instruments all over the grounds at All-Star Music. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Each family suite has two bathrooms and two separate rooms, with one queen-sized bed in one room and two queen-sized pull-down beds in the other. Plus, all of the rooms at the resort were recently updated between 2018 to 2021 with new furniture that’s more functional for families. So, you’ll be getting nicer rooms at some of the lowest prices when you stay here. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

When it comes to Deluxe Resorts, you’ve likely heard a lot about Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort, but don’t skip past Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge! This resort is basically a small zoo with four savannas that house over 200 animals and birds, making you feel like you’re staying inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And, if you book a Savanna View room, you’ll actually be able to see the animals from your balcony or window (a great distraction for kids when you need some time to yourself to get ready in the morning!).

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is also home to some of the best dining options, including Boma, Jiko – The Cooking Place, and Sanaa. So, you’ll be treated to rooms with cool views and good food – a win-win!

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel

While the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin is considered an off-site hotel, the location and perks are nearly identical to staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort. Located just a short walk from Disney’s BoardWalk near Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, this Marriott-owned and operated hotel is a great option for families who want the perks of staying at a deluxe resort without the high prices. 

Anyone staying at the Swan & Dolphin Hotel qualifies for deluxe resort guest perks, including Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, and even extended dining reservation windows. Plus, you’re within walking distance to both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or you can hop on the complimentary Disney boat transportation to get to the parks directly from your hotel without breaking a sweat. So, while the hotel isn’t themed like a Disney Resort hotel, you’re still staying in the heart of Walt Disney World with great dining options and more spacious rooms. This makes it a truly underrated Disney hotel to consider for your stay!

Still not sure where to book your stay for your Disney World vacation? Check out the best Disney World hotels for kids here or find the best hotel for your adult-only getaway here!

Posts by Jenna Saxton

Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.

Authored by
Jenna Saxton

Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.
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