The 4 BEST Disney World Hotels for First-Time Visitors

Choosing a hotel is one of the most difficult choices to make during the Disney World trip planning process. Is budget more important? Or is it location? Restaurants??

Disney’s Grand Floridian

If you’re visiting Disney World for the first time, you’re not alone if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the hotel options. So we were curious — what do our readers think?? We asked DFB readers, “Name one Disney World hotel you’d recommend to someone visiting for the first time!” 

We reached out on Facebook (go ahead and give us a follow if you want to share your thoughts in the future!) to find out which Disney World hotels are the most recommended for first-time visitors, and there were four standouts! Let’s get into it!

Art of Animation

Art of Animation, one of Disney World’s five value resort hotels, was one of the most recommended hotels by our readers! From the fun theming to the nearby Disney Skyliner access, Art of Animation could be a great choice for first-time visitors, especially families with kids. Not all Disney hotels are exclusively Disney-themed, but Art of Animation checks that box.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

One reader said, “My first stay was at Art of Animation and I loved it. Even though I’m an adult I loved seeing all of the theming and statues at the resort. The Skyliner is great bonus transportation.” Around the Art of Animation, you can find themes dedicated to The Little MermaidThe Lion KingCars, and Finding Nemo. Take pictures with statues as you head to the Skyliner, which provides transportation to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Art of Animation

Art of Animation also has family suites available for groups of up to six, so it can be a roomy and affordable option for families. A reader said, “Art of Animation suites. Great theming, food court has lots of options, and it now has access to the Skyliner. It’s a Value resort that presents as a moderate.”

Family Suite at Art of Animation — Living Area

Several of our readers said Art of Animation is a great option for young kids, especially if you take the time to explore all the statues around the resort. One reader said, “We stayed at AoA for our very first visit [and] I couldn’t have imagined a more magical first visit with the kids!”

Take a pic with Ariel!

Along with all the statues, Art of Animation is also known for lots of colors AND the largest Disney World hotel pool, the Big Blue Pool (as well as two other pools!). Another reader commented, “Art of Animation if you have little ones because it is so bright and vivid with all the colors and has multiple pools!”

Big Blue Pool

If you love a good Disney theme and need to stick to a budget, Art of Animation might be a good option for your first Disney World visit!

8 reasons you should definitely consider a Disney World value hotel!

Disney’s Port Orleans — French Quarter or Riverside

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort is a moderate resort known for two different theming options — either French Quarter or Riverside. Many of our readers recommended both themes as an ideal hotel option, with a few more votes for French Quarter.

Port Orleans Riverside

One reader likes both themes, commenting, “Port Orleans — French Quart for quiet, Riverside for the pools and more to enjoy.” Another reader added, “Port Orleans. It was my first and made me fall in love with staying on property,” and a reader noted that French Quarter “was quiet and peaceful after a day of hectic crowds.”

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter

One of the benefits of staying at Port Orleans is the available Sassagoula River Cruise boat transportation to Disney Springs! A reader said, “Port Orleans! Either one resort. Great food and lovely boat rides to Disney Springs. We prefer French Quarter as it’s a smaller resort and less chaos.”

Port Orleans Sassagoula Boat

And if you’re into beignets, staying at Port Orleans — French Quarter gets you easy access to beignets at the Scat Cat Cafe! One reader said, “No, the beignets do not taste anything like Cafe Du Monde’s, but that’s okay, they’re still a good snack.” They ARE shaped like Mickey, after all!

Is that enough sugar? We’re not sure.

Ultimately, our readers said staying at either Port Orleans Resort is great for a first-timer, with most recommendations for French Quarter. A reader noted that French Quarter has “one bus stop, smaller resort when compared to others, and a boat taxi that takes you to and from Disney Springs.”

Port Orleans — French Quarter

So if you’re considering Port Orleans, you might want to lean toward French Quarter — but either side would be a great option for a first-timer!

The pros and cons of staying at a Disney World moderate resort!

Pop Century

Another value resort made the list of recommendations for first-timers! MANY readers came to support Pop Century, another value resort located on the Disney Skyliner line.

Pop Century

One reader said, “Always recommend Pop Century. Love the rooms since they redid them. Skyliner is great. Theming is fun but not over the top. It’s a good price point to put you in the bubble and save some money for other fun things while there.” 

Hippy Dippy Pool at Pop Century

Another reader said, “Pop century! It’s a value resort but it honestly feels more moderate,” and Toni F. said, “Great value and theming, lots of food choices, and access to the Skyliner.”

Disney Skyliner Station

When it comes to the rooms, a reader said, “The beds were comfy and we really weren’t in the room that much. You pay for convenience and location,” and another reader commented, “Good value on rooms.”

Full Room at Pop Century

If you have a budget to stick to but still want to take advantage of Disney World hotel perks, Pop Century is a great option!

Ranking EVERY single Disney World value resort!

BoardWalk Inn

And finally, if you’re willing to splurge for your first visit, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn was a popular recommendation for first-timers! This deluxe hotel will generally require you to have a higher hotel budget, but there are a LOT of conveniences you get there.

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

The BoardWalk in is located on Disney’s BoardWalk, which is a short walk to EPCOT and the EPCOT Skyliner station, and it’s not a terrible walk to Hollywood Studios, either! And if you strategize your Park Pass Reservations, you could also walk through EPCOT to use the EPCOT Monorail to get to Magic Kingdom!

Disney’s Boardwalk

One reader had a lot to say, explaining, “I would have to say the Boardwalk for a first time visitor and here is why. With connections to the Skyliner and all of its hotels and destinations, a walk to EPCOT and the monorail connections, the boats, and the shops. You have easy access to three of the parks without ever needing bus transportation. It’s the one central location that connects you to almost everything. It’s literally the Kevin Bacon of Disney World.”

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Other commenters agreed saying, “Everything about Boardwalk is delightful,” and one reader even had a list of pros, “Boardwalk. 1. Walk to two parks, 2. Cool pool, 3. The Boardwalk experience for down time. 4. The bakery.”

BoardWalk Inn Pool

If you’re willing to splurge a bit on your hotel budget for your first visit, the BoardWalk Inn is a super convenient choice that could help you maximize your time in Disney World!

The pros and cons of staying at a Disney World deluxe hotel.

So what do you think? Do you agree with this list? Keep reading DFB for more Disney World news and updates!

A definitive ranking of EVERY Disney World hotel!

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Which Disney World hotel would YOU recommend for a first-timer? Tell us in the comments!

The post The 4 BEST Disney World Hotels for First-Time Visitors first appeared on the disney food blog.


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