Walt Disney World is a ginormous vacation destination to tackle. The entire property owned by the company in Orlando spans 25,000 acres and is home to more hotels than can be counted on your fingers and toes. As someone who has grown up on the west coast, and has only visited Walt Disney World a few times in my life, I continuously confuse hotels, park locations, and in general a ton of Walt Disney World information. I think you would either have to be a Disney historian or a diehard Orlando native to remember where each hotel, attraction and restaurant is located.
I am neither of those things, so today I’m going to be doing some research and sharing it with all of you. Considering the size of Walt Disney World, I honestly have no concrete concept of where everything is located at the resort. So, today I will be sharing the basic locations of all of the Walt Disney World resorts in relation to the theme parks. If location is a factor you’re interested in when looking at booking a hotel, this is the post for you!
To begin, I think a map of the entire resort would be helpful to get our bearings. Magic Kingdom is much farther north than the rest of the theme parks, and is accessible via World Drive. Then, the other three theme parks, two water parks and Disney Springs reside in a bit of a line on the southern portion of the property. Animal Kingdom is the farthest to the left, followed by Blizzard Beach. Hollywood Studios and EPCOT are pretty close together farther to the right. Then Typhoon Lagoon and Disney Springs finish the line on the east side of Walt Disney World property.
There are many roads (and other forms of Disney transportation) that connect these parks, which I will notate in the list below. If you’re interested in more details about a specific hotel, reviews will be linked to the resorts we’ve stayed at so far. With that all taken care of, let’s take a look at the Value resorts first.
Disney’s All-Star Movies, Music and Sports Resorts: These three resorts are housed on the southern most part of Walt Disney World property, directly south from Blizzard Beach. They are the southern most resorts, and therefore are almost the farthest from the Magic Kingdom (sorry Animal Kingdom lodge). The resort busses generally take 20 to 25 minutes to travel from the All Star Resorts to the Magic Kingdom. If you’re interested in quick trips to and from Walt Disney World’s most popular park, I would not recommend these hotels. On a positive note, they are quite close to Blizzard Beach!
Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts: These two resorts are built right next to each other, and are off of Osceola Parkway. They are decently close to Hollywood Studios. Lying on the southeastern side of that park, these two hotel offerings are also a quick trip off of I-4. This Floridian interstate not only travels by Walt Disney World, but SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios Florida as well. For guests looking to visit a few other theme parks during their Walt Disney World stay, this could be a good option. There is also a Skyliner station at these resorts, making the trip to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios even more magical (and easy)!
The Campsites and the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort: The Campsites and the Cabins available for guests who have a smaller budget are actually located somewhat centrally at Walt Disney World. They are on Vista Boulevard, above EPCOT and midway between it and the Magic Kingdom. I don’t think this is a bad location at all, as it is an even distance between most parks and amenities Walt Disney World has to offer. The farthest trip would be to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: Coronado Springs is located north of Blizzard Beach, and directly left of Hollywood Studios. If you’re looking for a vacation focused on Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and a water park, this is the resort for you. This resort also isn’t too far off World Drive, so the trip to Magic Kingdom isn’t as long as some of the resorts on the outskirts of company property.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and Riverside: Port Orleans Resort is split into two sections, but they are built right next to each other. Riverside is farther north than the French Quarter, and the entire resort is located northeast of EPCOT. Guests interested in eating around the world and doing a lot of shopping would be delighted with the location of Port Orleans because it is also a quick trip away from Disney Springs.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Villas – Jambo House, Kidani Village: It would make sense for Animal Kingdom Lodge to be close to Animal Kingdom, and that’s exactly where it is. The resort is to the left of Animal Kingdom, making it the farthest resort away from the Magic Kingdom. This resort is a good distance from most of Walt Disney World’s action, and guests will need to prepare for longer bus rides to all parks (except Animal Kingdom of course) when planning to book this hotel.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower: The Contemporary is located on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop, and is just southeast of the park itself. It is the closest hotel to the castle park, and boasts wonderful views of the park as well as Bay Lake. Being only one short monorail trip from the Magic Kingdom, as well as being able to walk to the park gives the Contemporary a great location in terms of Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, it is the farthest north resort, meaning that the bus rides and transportation to the rest of the parks will be longer.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Villas: The Grand Floridian is also on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop, albeit on the left side of Magic Kingdom as opposed to the right. Having access to the monorail lines is great, as is the proximity to Walt Disney World’s castle park, but is pretty far north in terms of the entire resort as a whole.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Polynesian Villas & Bungalows: The Polynesian is the third and final resort on the Magic Kingdom monorail line, and is farther south than the previous two resorts. It is directly to the left of the Transportation and Ticket Center, which connects the northern monorail line with the EPCOT line that heads south. It can be very handy to be that close to the Transportation center, giving the Polynesian a decent location. The only downside is that there are stops between the resort and the Magic Kingdom on the monorail line.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: (Boulder Ridge Villas, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins): There are a ton of different options for ways to stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and all are located in the same place. The lodge is south of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, but not connected to the monorail line. As opposed to turning left to park at the Transportation and Ticket Center, taking a right off of World Drive will take you to this smaller resort. Boat transportation is offered to the Magic Kingdom from the lodge, one of the plusses of staying at this wooded resort.
Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resorts, Beach Club Villas: These resorts are located directly to the left of EPCOT, and are an easy walk to and from that park as well as Hollywood Studios. They’re also very close to the Skyliner, allowing for easy transportation to and from Hollywood Studios if you didn’t want to walk (give those poor feet a BREAK). Close to World Drive to take guests to the Magic Kingdom, I would argue that these two resorts have some of the best locations on Walt Disney World property.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Villas: Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is located just southwest of EPCOT, and is an easy walk to the park and the Skyliner. It is a very short walk to the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts, and thus also has a great location. Next to the Swan and Dolphin, it is the closest resort to Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Old Key West and Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: These two resorts are the closest Disney has to offer if you’re looking to be near Disney Springs. Saratoga is directly north of the shopping district, and Old Key West is, well, to the west. These resorts are on the far east side of Walt Disney World property, and aren’t far off I-4. They are a bit of a distance from the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, but are a good spot for guests more interested in shopping and dining.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach and Riviera Resorts: The newest Walt Disney World resort to open is located directly north of Caribbean Beach Resort. These hotels are on the banks of the same lake, and are southeast of EPCOT. Typhoon Lagoon is almost directly east of the Riviera Resort. With access and stopping points on the Skyliner line, getting to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios is a breeze from these resorts.
What do you think about the Walt Disney World resort locations? Which do you think has the best spot? Let us know your thoughts or questions below in the comments! Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our planning guide for help! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney, please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!