The Six Best Disney Resorts for Families

Best Disney resorts for families
Credit: Disney

Disney Resort hotels offer a family-friendly escape from the ordinary. When you stay in a Disney Resort hotel, you get much more than just a place to sleep. You get an entire experience. Recently Travel+Leisure honored 15 hotels with the distinction of “Best U.S Resorts for Families.” Disney Resorts from around the country took an incredible 6 of those 15 spots!

A stay at any of these resorts offers memories that last a lifetime and the extra magic we’ve all come to know and love when staying at a Disney-owned hotel. In fact, many of these resorts can be destinations in and of themselves, no parks or outside activities required! Curious if your favorite made the list? Read on to discover the best Disney Resorts for families:

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort

Grand Californian

Credit: Disney

Imagine being so close to your favorite Disney Park that you had your own private entrance! Disney’s Grand Californian has just that. Unlike its sister resort, The Grand Floridian, this craftsman-style resort has a laid-back atmosphere that’s perfect for the whole family!

Everywhere you look in this gorgeous resort, you are reminded of California, particularly Northern California, with its towering redwood forests and stone-built lodges.

Here you’ll find fun for the whole family. Tenaya Stone Spa offers a relaxing oasis for adults, while Storytellers Café offers a fun character breakfast the kids are sure to love! Throw in incredible views of Disney’s California Adventure, and you’ve got yourself a perfect family vacation!

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head

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Head over to the East Coast, where you’ll find the perfect seaside getaway! Hilton Head Island has long been a favorite beach getaway, and at Disney’s Hilton Head resort, you get a touch of world-class Disney service while you do it!

This resort is unlike any other Disney resort in that it’s heavy on beach and light on Disney. You won’t find character meet and greets here, but you will find a whole host of family-friendly activities that will be sure to make your vacation magical. The name of the game is outdoor family time at this resort. With access to 12 miles of sandy beaches, bike trails, fishing excursions, and outdoor movie nights, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors!

The perfectly appointed rooms and classic treats like Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars and Dole Whips make this the perfect getaway if you’re looking for us, sand, and family togetherness!

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i

Best Disney resorts for families

Credit: Disney

Aloha! A trip to Hawaii is impressive enough, but a trip to Disney’s Aulani makes it magical! You’ll meet characters here you’ve never seen before, like Duffy’s pals Shellie May and Olu Mel, as well as beloved favorites like Moana, stitch, and Mickey and the Gang! You can even change Kakamora with Moana or have a beach party with Chip and Dale!

This resort brings more than just Disney fun. Hawaiian culture plays a big part in the experience here. Imagineers immersed the resort with nods to Hawaiian culture (there’s even a bar where you can learn a bit of the native language)! No trip to Hawaii is complete without a luau, right? You can take part in this classic Hawaiian feast with Mickey and friends!

The spacious rooms, spa, kids club, and pristine beaches make this one unforgettable experience! Oh, and did we mention it’s all-inclusive? So you can leave your worries behind and indulge in a tropical vacation– Disney style!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Best Disney Resorts for Families

Credit: Disney

Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favorite resort at Walt Disney World! I could stay here without visiting the parks and be completely happy! Disney thought of everything when designing this resort. From cultural representatives to world-class dining, this resort has it all, but the real stars here are the animals! I mean, where else can you step out onto your balcony and have your morning coffee with a giraffe?

Home to over 200 animals and birds, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers sweeping savanna views and wildlife and even a field guide to help you learn about and track the animals you see!

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach, Florida

Vero Beach

Credit: Disney

Calling all turtle lovers, this is the resort for you! Just two hours from Walt Disney World, Disney’s Vero Beach resort sits on a picturesque shoreline along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Its proximity to Walt Disney World makes this the perfect beach getaway for families looking to do a combo trip but not quite ready to commit to a land and sea adventure aboard Disney Cruise Line!

What makes this resort so unique are the 20,000 sea turtle nests along the beach here. Because of this, Disney created the Disney Conservation Team, dedicated to protecting the Turtles and their nests. You can even join in and learn about these majestic animals while helping preserve their habitat. Disney says, “Since the program began, an astounding 1.5 million sea turtle hatchlings have taken their first flipper strokes on our beaches!”

Disney’s Beach Club Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort

Best Disney resorts for families

Credit: Disney

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts are often spoken about in the same sentence. Add to that the fact that the two buildings are connected and share a pool, and it’s easy to forget that they are two separate resorts. When asked which I prefer, I always follow up with, “Am I with my family or by myself?” because…it matters. Yacht Club is my favorite for solo or adult-only travel, but Beach Club is my favorite when the kiddos are in tow.

The colors at this resort are light and airy, and the rooms are spacious. The food here definitely favors families: Cape May Cafe offers one of the best Disney Character breakfasts around, and Beaches and Cream is an incredible low-key place to grab a bite and indulge in one-of-a-kind ice cream concoctions! It has a less stuffy feeling about it overall than Yacht Club does.

It also boasts one of the best pools, not just at Walt Disney World but worldwide! Storm Along Bay is an impressive three-acre pool with a sand bottom. A lazy river and a 230 foot water slide combine to make this pool a destination in itself!

Which is your favorite resort hotel? Did it make the list? With so many Disney Resort hotels around the world we could never choose just one favorite. Many of our go-to’s we’re included in this list of the best Disney Resorts for families by Travel+Leisure though!

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.