The Most Unique and Luxurious Disney World Hotels

These Orlando-area accommodations come with incredible amenities.

The "Partners" statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, at Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Walt Disney World can be a daunting trip — thousands of rowdy kids, endless miles to walk, humid Florida weather — but it’s a family favorite vacation for a reason. Adults and grandkids alike give into the magic of the theme park resort. Of course, it’s all the more enjoyable when you have luxury accommodations to escape to when the Disney of it all gets to be too much.

Luckily, Walt Disney World has no shortage of incredible hotels. In fact, they offer some of the most unique lodging options you can find in the state, including Polynesian-inspired bungalows and rooms that overlook a savanna with giraffes. 

While building your Disney World budget and checking travel websites, you'll find so many options it can be overwhelming. So, to make your life easier, we pulled together this list of some of the most luxurious, incredible hotels you can find in the Disney World area.

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Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge (adjacent, naturally, to Animal Kingdom) is easily one of the most unique accommodations you’ll find in Florida. The rooms at this African-themed resort hotel overlook four savannas that boast over 200 exotic animals. Visitors can sit on their balcony and admire zebras, giraffes, flamingos, gazelles, and more. 

This mini safari experience is what makes Animal Kingdom Lodge most special, but it also is home to fine dining (the bread service at Sanaa, which features African foods with an Indian twist, regularly gets raves) and one of the largest collections of African art in the United States. If you choose to stay here, you may find yourself too busy to even make it into the parks.

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

A view of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort main entrance, at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa isn’t just one of Walt Disney World’s flagship hotels, it’s also considered one of the most luxurious accommodations on the property. It’s designed to look like a Victorian-era beach resort, complete with beautiful, spacious rooms and a particularly grand lobby (think gleaming white marble with plenty of greenery and natural light). It also plays host to one of the top-rated restaurants in Disney: Victoria & Albert’s, a fine dining establishment with New American food on the menu.

But for all its grandeur, many would argue the best part about the Grand Floridian is its location. It’s right by Magic Kingdom, meaning it’s directly on the monorail line, so it'll take just a few minutes to get to Walt Disney World’s most beloved park. Plus, you’ll get stunning views of Cinderella’s Castle from the hotel.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

When you hear Four Seasons, the phrase “luxury” immediately jumps to mind. This five-star hotel offers large, beautiful suites, attentive service, a golf course, and a water park with a lazy river. There’s even a top-rated spa and an adults-only pool for when you need a break from all the kids at Disney World (and a camp section for them, too!). Finish off your day with a meal at the rooftop steakhouse. It has an amazing view of the fireworks at Walt Disney World!

Of course, many visitors to Disney World balk at the idea of staying “off property,” but the Four Seasons isn’t technically off-property. You’re right by all the attractions, and the Four Seasons still offers the perks granted to guests staying on Disney property, like access to extended theme park hours.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

A monorail zips past flower displays during the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Orange County, Florida.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You don’t have to jet off to exotic locales to get a proper waterfront bungalow experience. Instead, you can get a taste of what it’s like to vacation on a tropical island with a stay at the Polynesian Village Resort. Sure, it’s on a lake and not the ocean, but there are still water views, palm trees, and a white sand beach. 

While there are many regular hotel room options, the most luxurious choice here is one of the bungalows. These standalone structures sit right over the water and feature a private deck with a plunge pool. Plus, you get a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and other amenities.

This hotel also scores points thanks to location (right off the monorail line to Magic Kingdom, offering ease of travel and Cinderella Castle Views), the beautiful Polynesian-inspired theming, and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a unique tiki bar with creative cocktails that have incredibly unusual presentations. 

Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Much like the Four Seasons, the name Waldorf Astoria is synonymous with opulence. That’s just what you get with the five-star Orlando outpost of this high-end hotel chain. The Waldorf Astoria features spacious suites that combine modern amenities with elegant decor, skilled hospitality professionals, a top-rated golf course, and a luxury spa.

The pool area is the perfect place to relax — there are private cabanas you can rent and even a lazy river — and you’ll find multiple upscale dining options as well. While you won’t get some of the perks of staying on Disney property, it’s incredibly close to the parks and will undeniably give you a more extravagant hotel stay.

Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Cabins lodging options in Wilderness Lodge resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

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Sure, many people don’t imagine staying in a rustic cabin for the duration of their Disney stay. But the Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are worth it. The waterfront cabins at this Pacific Northwest-inspired resort aren’t just spacious, private, and beautiful; they also boast wraparound porches with private plunge pools and incredible lake views. It’s the definition of serenity.

It can be hard to tear yourself away from your secluded luxury cabin, but if you want to, you have access to the rest of the Wilderness Lodge, which has plenty of dining options, multiple pools, and art from the Pacific Northwest. You also have easy ferry access to Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

This particular resort isn’t for everyone: It was designed to be sleek, bare, and ultramodern, which may not offer the warmth a Disney guest would expect. However, the Contemporary Resort is special because of its proximity to Magic Kingdom. You can actually get rooms in the Bay Lake Tower that directly overlook the theme park, a special treat for a Disney fan. The fireworks are particularly stunning from here!

The Contemporary Resort is also unusual because the monorail runs directly through it. It’s a fun, unique feature that makes it easy to get to Magic Kingdom or go resort hopping to the Polynesian or the Grand Floridian. And of course, it has multiple pools, several great dining options, and a white sand beach.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

A view of Disneys Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Riviera is one of the newest additions to Disney World. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s inspired by the European Riviera, decorated to evoke the Mediterranean. It’s a beautiful, elegant resort, and the rooms are tasteful and spacious. There are multiple pools as well as a rooftop restaurant with amazing views and French and Italian cuisine.

It all makes for a lovely, serene stay, although many visitors will note the best part may be how you can leave the Riviera: It has access to Disney World’s newest transportation system, the Disney Skyliner. This gondola system brings you to Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and several other hotels. It’s much quicker than the buses (you don’t have to wait for them to arrive) and it’s essentially a ride itself, as you soar through the air over Disney World.

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Becca van Sambeck
Contributing Writer

Becca van Sambeck is a writer and editor with experience in many fields, including travel, entertainment, business, education, and lifestyle. Her work has appeared in outlets like NBC, Oxygen, Bravo, the University of Southern California, Elite Daily, CafeMom, Travel For Teens, and more. She currently resides in New York City.