Pros & Cons of Magic Kingdom Area Resorts in Disney World

MK area resorts_PinterestThe resorts in the Magic Kingdom area of Disney World are all considered Deluxe resorts. Many of the Deluxe resorts also have Deluxe Villas for vacation rentals. All of these resorts have direct transportation to the Magic Kingdom via boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon or via monorail. The Contemporary is the only resort that is within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom. My favorite and recommendation is the Polynesian Resort!

MK area resorts

click to enlarge

Here are the pros and cons for each of the resorts, in no particular order:

Contemporary Pros:

  • Walking distance to Magic Kingdom, or take the monorail that travels through the hotel
  • On-site character dining at Chef Mickey’s
  • High-end restaurant and lounge choices
  • Large rooms with comfortable beds
  • Great views of the nightly fireworks
  • On the shore of Bay Lake with a beach and recreation options
  • Large pool with water slides and cabanas
  • Newly remodeled, so everything seems fresh and new

Contemporary Cons::

  • No on-site child care
  • Shares bus service to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, water parks, and Downtown Disney with other monorail hotels.
  • Rooms with Magic Kingdom views are expensive

Wilderness Lodge Pros:

  • Fun national park theming that is suitable for adults and kids
  • Most rooms have balconies with a view
  • On-site child care
  • Connected by boat to the Magic Kingdom
  • Adult lounge area
  • Close to the recreational options, including bike and boat rentals, jogging trails, and fishing
  • One of the least expensive Deluxe resorts
  • Some rooms have bunk beds
  • Heated pool surrounded by pine trees and boulders

Wilderness Lodge Cons:

  • One of a couple Deluxe resorts without character dining
  • Bus transportation is often shared with the neighboring Fort Wilderness resort
  • Rooms are the smallest of all Deluxe resorts

Polynesian Resort Pros:

  • Located on the monorail system
  • Family-friendly dining, including the Ohana character dining (features Lilo & Stitch)
  • On-site child care
  • Boat service to the Magic Kingdom
  • Luau dinner shows with hula dancers, fire dancers, and all-you-can-eat buffet
  • One of the best theming of any Disney World Resort
  • Covers 39 acres of the Seven Seas Lagoon
  • Three white sand beaches and volleyball courts
  • Superb rainforest landscaping, both inside and out with dozens of tropical plant species
  • Near golf courses

Polynesian Resort Cons:

  • As a Deluxe resort, you’ll be spending at least $400+ per night
  • The refurbishments have some areas blocked off (will be done soon!)
  • No spa or fitness center
  • Shares bus transportation to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, and water parks with other monorail resorts. Sometimes there’s a wait.

Grand Floridian Pros:

  • Lovely Victorian inspired theming
  • Covers 40 acres around the Seven Seas Lagoon
  • On-site white sand beach and marina
  • Many rooms have balconies
  • Outstanding service because of the low guest-to-staff ratio
  • Several full-service restaurants to choose from
  • Spacious rooms are more than 400 sq. ft.
  • Senses, the newly remodeled luxury spa
  • Monorail, boat, and bus transportation to the parks offered
  • Alice in Wonderland themed kids pool
  • Spectacular pool area, complete with a 181-foot-long waterslide.
  • Close proximity to golf courses
  • Wedding pavilion

Grand Floridian Cons:

  • Most expensive of the Walt Disney World resorts
  • Weddings can cause a lot of crowds
  • Only one restaurant suitable for kids
  • Shares bus transportation to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, and Waterparks with other monorail-access resorts. Lines can get long.
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