The Magic Kingdom Resorts and Hotels are some of the most sought-after destinations at the Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, the opportunity to stay at a resort nearby Magic Kingdom has a few perks that you can’t get anywhere else on Disney property.
In this review, we’ll take a look at the five hotels that make up the Magic Kingdom Resorts area. I’ll add a brief overview of each one and a link to full resort reviews where applicable. Anyone intending to spend a decent amount of time at Magic Kingdom theme park might want to consider the benefits of being so close to the park.
Additionally, those of you who don’t end up staying in this resort area might want to plan a little dining at one of these hotels on your Disney vacation. These resorts that sit on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon provide a pleasant escape from the busyness of the Disney theme park. If you know what you are doing you can easily hop over to a resort hotel on the monorail for a meal.
And you might even catch a boat ride if you prefer sailing as your main mode of Disney transportation.
Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels
The following hotels make up the Magic Kingdom Resorts area at Walt Disney World.
Each Disney World Resort listed above is a Disney Deluxe resort except for Fort Wilderness. Additionally, the following three are all considered a monorail resort.
- Grand Floridian
Therefore you can take the monorail from Magic Kingdom to any of these hotels. In addition you can take a boat to all of the five resorts except for Contemporary.
All three of the monorail resorts are within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom. Technically, Grand Floridian and the Contemporary have a direct path to Magic Kingdom. And since the Polynesian adjoins Grand Floridian, you can access the walking path from that resort as well.
As for the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness, you’ll have to take a boat or bus service over to the Disney theme park. However, they are only a short ride away in comparison to other resorts on Disney property.
The Contemporary is the original 1971 Resort that has the monorail running through it. Its A-frame shape is modern in design. There’s a separate DVC resort, Bay Lake Tower (review), connected to the hotel by a bridge.
Additionally, the Contemporary has a separate hotel area called the Garden Wing (room review). It sits out to the far backside of the resort in a more private setting.
If you’ve read any of my reviews about Disney’s Contemporary Resort, then you know that I could go on and on about the tremendous nature-like backyard that is an anomaly in comparison to the Magic Kingdom crowds within only a few minute’s walk away.
Another great thing about staying at this Magic Kingdom area hotel is the room views. You’ll end up with a theme park view or Bay Lake view when you stay in either of the main towers.
That theme park view is pretty special, especially during the evening fireworks. However, I’m a sucker for the water views out back. You can probably see why.
In addition to the large backyard with fun recreation, the Contemporary has some of the best dining options around. You can read all about them here in the Contemporary Restaurants Guide. And I have to mention that my all-time favorite signature dining location sits on the tower’s top floor, the California Grill (review).
Thinking about planning a stay here? Make sure you check with an authorized Disney travel agent about the refurbishment at this Disney resort in 2021. We recommend our travel partner, Firefly Travels.
As we make our way around the monorail resort line, we reach our next stop, Disney’s Polynesian Resort. This is the Disney hotel you’ll want to stay at when you are daydreaming about a Hawaii vacation but have to take the kids to Disney.
The moment you step foot onto the Poly’s soil, you’ll be surrounded by lush, tropical landscaping. The mood is serene, and a stay at this Disney deluxe resort will provide that true vacation feel. All the while, Magic Kingdom sits across the water, ready for you to visit at your convenience.
If you are curious about the full details of a stay at this Magic Kingdom Resort, you can read our full Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort review. The resort is scheduled to fully re-open to the public in late July of 2021. The guest rooms have been refurbished, and you can expect a touch of Moana details.
Since most guests visit the Poly at least once during their Disney vacation, I’ve put together a full guide to the Polynesian Restaurants. This will help you figure out a place to eat, pick up a Dole Whip, or order a drink that comes straight out of a pineapple.
Whether you spend a week here or drop in for a leisurely evening, the Polynesian is a welcoming retreat that you probably don’t want to miss.
Only a few steps away from the Polynesian is the Grand Floridian Resort. This hotel is considered the flagship property of all the resorts at Disney World. Grand Floridian has an iconic red roof with white siding and a casual Victorian look and feel.
A stay at this Magic Kingdom resort is pleasant, and I highly recommend looking into their villa wing, the Grand Floridian Villas. There you can reserve a deluxe studio that comes with a small kitchenette all the way up to a larger suite.
Dining options are stupendous at the Grand Floridian as well. They have not one but three different signature dining locations. You can preview all of the options available here in our Grand Floridian Restaurants guide.
The latest great thing about Grand Floridian is that they opened a new walkway between the resort and Magic Kingdom. So you can walk to and from the resort and theme park as you like during hours of operation. You might be thinking, why would I do that when I could take the monorail? The answer: No lines and no extra stops on your way back to the Grand! And those views of Bay Lake along the way aren’t bad either.
Florida meets the Greater Northwest Pacific is the vibe you’ll find when you visit Disney’s, Wilderness Lodge. Be prepared never to want to leave after entering those large front doors. They really get you with that blast of cold air, providing immediate relief and then a warm fireplace to help even things out when that chill kicks in.
Similar to the Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge is going to be another destination you’ll want to visit during your vacation, even if you’re not staying there. The perfect excuse for visiting? Dining. There are some excellent options like Disney’s Geyser Point Bar and Grill and the Artist Point character dining with Snow White.
Related: Disney World Character Dining
A stay at this Magic Kingdom Resort has plenty of options as far as rooms go. There are cabins (one of the most expensive accommodations at Disney) and two Disney Vacation Club Resorts, Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek Villas. That’s not even counting the regular rooms at the Lodge! Make sure you discuss your best options with an authorized travel agent. Personally, I use and recommend Firefly Travels here.
The Lodge provides bus service and boat service to the Disney park as far as accessing Magic Kingdom. Additionally, all of the Magic Kingdom area resorts provide bus service to the following destinations:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Disney Spring (Best Disney Springs Restaurants List)
- Blizzard Beach (review)
- Typhoon Lagoon
Traveling to Epcot is a little different because the monorail resorts provide monorail service to the Disney park. Well, they do when the monorail to Epcot is running. So, hopefully, that offering will return soon. Make sure to check before your vacation.
Guests of the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness will need to take a bus to reach Epcot.
Our last resort for the Magic Kingdom park area is a moderate resort. Fort Wilderness, which is a resort with campground, provides guests the opportunity to bring their own camper or RV.
Additionally, you can throw up your own tent when you rent one of their campsites. I have yet to do the whole pitch a tent at Disney thing. But seriously, you’re at the most magical place on earth. What could go wrong?
Fort Wilderness is one of the most charming locales at the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s where you’ll find tons of outdoor recreation, including horseback riding and canoeing.
Not only that, but it’s home to the Hoop De Doo Musical Revue. That’s a theatrical dining experience that includes fried chicken and strawberry shortcakes! (Currently, it’s not available like similar Walt Disney World Dining experiences.)
The boat ride to Magic Kingdom takes approximately 12 minutes, and you’ll be all the better after the calming trip across the lake. The main thing you’ll need to know is that most guests rent golf carts or bicycles to get around the Fort. With over 750 acres, it’s a pretty large place.
What Resorts are Closest to Magic Kingdom?
Out of all the resorts we covered, the ones closest to the Magic Kingdom are the following:
- Grand Floridian
Contemporary is the closest but the other two aren’t far behind.
Now if you’re wanting to stay at Disney moderate resort and aren’t a fan of camping you might consider one of these:
And if your budget leans more toward a Disney value resort, I would recommend one of these that are on the Skyliner line:
Those interested in staying at a resort hotel near Epcot might enjoy one of the following:
- Yacht Club Resort at Disney (Review)
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort (Review)
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort (Review)
Final Thoughts on Magic Kingdom Resorts
Hopefully, this review was able to put you in the right direction when choosing a resort near Disney’s Magic Kingdom. No pun intended. While these hotels are rather expensive, the overall experiences can be priceless.
Additionally, time is money. Therefore, you might end up being able to spend a good deal more time in the park since you are so close in proximity. Plus it’s ideal to get back to your room for an afternoon nap, dinner reservation, or maybe a little pool time. If you are staying further away and relying on Disney bus transportation, it can easily take a good hour to get back to your room.
These resorts are also my top recommendations for those with plans to attend extra-ticketed events at the Magic Kingdom. You can thank me later after leaving the Christmas or Halloween party after midnight and arriving back at your room in a matter of minutes.
And the same goes for when you leave in that mass exodus after the nightly fireworks. Lines are full for transportation everywhere you turn? Walk back to your room. There won’t be a line to do that.
Regardless of whether you end up selecting one of these resorts or staying a little further away, I hope you’ll enjoy your Disney Vacation. Still not sold on staying at one of these? The website specializes in providing information about the resorts, check out our full list of Disney World Hotel Reviews for more details.
Now which Magic Kingdom Resort are you looking most forward to staying at? Personally, I have had the Polynesian on my mind for a while. What about you? Let me know in the comments.