Disney resorts are just as magical as the theme parks (says the self-proclaimed Disney staycation pro). When we stay on Disney property we fully immerse ourselves into the resort and often don’t leave until we have to. It’s fair to say we spend a lot of time at Disney resorts. As a mom of toddlers, ages 3 and 1, it’s important to find the best resorts for them.
At this current time, our family has stayed at all value, all moderate, and 2 of the deluxe level Disney resorts; we have a few toddler-friendly favorites for sure! If you’re bringing kids to a Disney resort you want them to love it as much as the theme parks, or dare I say even more? My best Disney resorts for kids list just might surprise you.
The Art of Animation Resort
Our boys love this pool and it’s perfect for all ages. On one end of the pool there’s a beach entry perfect for the littles. What we enjoy most about this resort are the room options. The Little Mermaid rooms are the standard room that sleeps up to 4 while the family style rooms have space to sleep 6 with a mini kitchen and 2 full bathrooms. If we are planning a quick trip we opt for the Mermaid rooms and if it’s a family gathering we take advantage of the family suites. Regardless of the room level you select, you’re surrounded by themes to explore.
Take a stroll and view The Little Mermaid pool area, The Cars area, The Lion King Area, and the Nemo area which is where the main pool sits. Each section has amazing photo opportunities with full-size Cars in the Cars area, characters from The Lion King, and a massive size Ursala in the Mermaid area just to name a few. From the food to the room decor to fun kid friendly large pool this is a resort the kids won’t want to leave.
This is our family’s most favorite resort and we’ve been there 7 times. Yep, we like it that much. So what makes this Disney resort so kid friendly? As you enter the resort you’re transported to a Spanish colonial Mexico and it feels so welcoming! Our boys feel right at home here with all the warmth. The dining area has fantastic options including tacos and nachos that are a must have, even for kids. The food court is vibrant and has a large bird that reaches to the ceiling. When I tell the kids we’re heading to Disney my oldest says “can we stay where the big bird is”?
The soft Mexico inspired music gets the toddlers dancing especially at the fountain entrance where live music is played often. The pool area is large with a fun slide and a large playground sits beside it. During our last stay, we never left the property! If you’re looking for a unique theme without an overload of Disney characters this Is the resort for your kids.
All Star Movie Resort
This is our favorite of the value resorts because you can have a room by Woody and Buzz! This property is filled with Disney movie characters and broken into room sections based on particular movies. We always request a preferred room, which sits by the food court and the Toy Story characters. The boys open the window and see Woody or Buzz and think it’s the greatest thing ever (because it sorta is!) This Disney resort has a couple of pools, large arcade area, and fun playground. Be sure to let the kids take photos with all the characters on the property including a photo in RC from Toy Story and Pongo from 101 Dalmatians (a few of our favorite spots).
Port Orleans: Riverside
First off, Port Orleans has two sections, Riverside and the French Quarter. We have stayed at both Disney properties, and they easily connect to explore each other regardless of which you stay at. The kids love the splash area in the French Quarter but Riverside is a great place for kids too! Riverside has a bit more of a relaxed vibe than the other resorts on the list.
Our kids enjoy outside time which is why this resort made it on the best Disney resorts for kids list. From fishing to surrey bike rides to the campfire on de’ bayou, the Riverside Resort offers a lot for children to do outdoors. The campfire before the movie on the lawn is a must when you bring the kids to this Disney resort. I also suggest upgrading your room to the royal room. The headboards light up when the kids push a button showcasing a scene from The Princess and The Frog. You can also catch a boat ride to Disney Springs from this location which the kids love! If you’re looking for a very relaxed vibe for children this is it!
“Can we sleep in a pirate bed tonight?” This is one of the many reasons we enjoy Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort, you can sleep in a pirate ship bed! These rooms are not standard rooms, but the details make it a must if you’re staying at a Disney resort with kids. Outside of the epic themed pirate room, the kid’s splash area is fantastic! It’s a splash area with a pirate ship on top that pours out large buckets of water as you play. The kids can enjoy the large main pool which is such fun, but the kid’s pool/splash area is one of my favorites. The Caribbean-themed music dance parties with the kids is a blast!
The Fort Wilderness campgrounds are worth mentioning as it is a great Disney resort for kids. It’s a fantastic property ideal for families so it should be added to the consideration list. We’ve stayed on that property twice in a cabin and enjoyed the campfire, Chip & Dale meet and greet, and the fireworks beach side.
There you have it! Our top 5 (and 6th) kid-friendly Disney resorts that you must try. What has been your favorite resort at Disney World to bring your kids to? If you are looking to base your decision on the pool read The Best Disney World Resort Pools. For a more general look at Disney World resorts read the Pros and Cons of Every Disney World Resort.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!
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