Anyone who plans to spend a good amount of their Walt Disney World vacation at Magic Kingdom might want to consider a hotel near the theme park. Now, I’m not talking about a hotel somewhere close to Disney World. I mean the Magic Kingdom Resorts, the premium hotels within walking distance, or a short boat or monorail ride away.
These are some of the most sought-after destinations among the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. Magic Kingdom area resorts offer guests a few perks you can’t get anywhere else on the property. However, they do come with an expensive price tag. But that is expected when discussing staying close to the most magical place on earth.
Below, we’ll preview the five hotels that make up the Magic Kingdom Resorts area. Again, if you’re planning a Magic Kingdom-heavy vacation, being near the park is a tremendous time saver. For many of us, time is money. You’ll also likely find that the resorts sitting on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon provide a pleasant escape from the busyness of the Disney theme park.
Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels
The following hotels comprise the Magic Kingdom Resorts area at Walt Disney World.
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
The Disney World Resorts listed above are considered deluxe resorts except Fort Wilderness. Additionally, Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian are monorail resorts. We’ll discuss other options for transportation below. But it’s important to know that the monorail resorts are the closest hotels to Magic Kingdom.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is an original 1971 resort with a monorail running through it. Its A-frame shape is modern in design. Guests staying at the Contemporary will have quick access to Magic Kingdom via a walking path. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk between the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom.
You can also take the resort monorail loop to Magic Kingdom. You’ll stop at the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center), Polynesian Village Resort, and Grand Floridian before reaching Magic Kingdom. However, you’ll be the first stop returning to the resort when you leave Magic Kingdom.
If you’ve read any of our articles about Disney’s Contemporary, then you know that I could go on and on about the tremendous nature-like backyard at the resort. It is an anomaly compared to the Magic Kingdom crowds only a few minutes away.
Guests staying at this hotel near Magic Kingdom are privy to stunning views. Depending on your preference, you can reserve a theme park view or a water view. A theme park view will allow you to see the nightly fireworks from your room if desired. However, I’m a sucker for the views of Bay Lake.
Related: Contemporary Resort Review
Disney’s Contemporary has excellent dining options, from their quick service restaurant Contempo Cafe to signature dining like the California Grill. You can read all about them here in the Contemporary Restaurants Guide.
Guests who prefer to have some of the comforts of home amenities-wise might prefer to stay in the neighboring Bay Lake Tower. Guests of both resorts share hotel amenities, except the Bay Lake Pool, which is only available to guests staying in Bay Lake Tower. Since Bay Lake Tower is a DVC Resort, you’ll have room upgrades like kitchenettes to complete kitchens and laundry rooms in the unit, depending on what suite you book.
Related: Bay Lake Tower Review
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Our next Magic Kingdom Resort is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This hotel represents the spirit of the South Pacific Islands. Its lush tropical landscape promotes a relaxing tone. Upon arrival, you’ll feel like you stepped off a plane in Hawaii instead of Florida.
Meanwhile, Cinderella Castle can be seen in the distance across the water from many viewpoints. You can quickly come and go to and from Magic Kingdom by taking the resort monorail or a boat at the watercraft launch behind the marina.
In 2024, it’s important to note that major construction is in progress next door to the Polynesian. Most will not be affected, but you wouldn’t want to have a room that faces the construction area–unless you enjoy watching progress unfold.
If you are curious about the full details of a stay at this Magic Kingdom Resort, you can read about our latest stay in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Review. During that visit, we stayed in the Kamehameha Club Level at the Polynesian and enjoyed the extra amenities immensely.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is only a few steps from the Polynesian. It is considered the flagship hotel of all the resorts at Disney World. Grand Floridian has an iconic red roof with white siding. You’ll know it when you see it.
Staying at this Magic Kingdom Resort is pleasant, but you might want to check the dates for the lobby refurbishment for 2024. This resort has undergone a significant refurbishment over the last two years. Unfortunately, as of this update, the lobby has not been renovated. We anticipate it being completed within the first couple of months of the new year. However, dates have yet to be released.
If the lobby was out of commission during your visit, your stay would likely not be enjoyable. Guests often spend time enjoying the gorgeous lobby. Additionally, most dining and the monorail are located around the lobby. You wouldn’t want to pay upwards of $500.00 a night to deal with a constant eyesore like construction. But when things are complete, it will likely return to being one of the top resorts we recommend.
Grand Floridian has spectacular dining options. They have three signature dining locations, a lovely lounge, one table service, and a quick-service restaurant. You can preview all of the options in our list of restaurants at Disney’s Grand Floridian.
As far as commuting to Magic Kingdom, this hotel has the best options! You can take a walking path to Magic Kingdom, a boat, or the monorail! So you can walk to and from the resort and theme park as you like during operating hours.
You might be wondering why I would walk when I could take the monorail. The answer is no lines and no extra stops on your way back! Those views of Bay Lake along the way aren’t bad, either.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is themed to the Greater Northwest Pacific. We always joke that it feels a few degrees cooler as soon as you step off the boat dock onto the property. It’s a gorgeous resort for anyone who enjoys natural woods, fireplaces, and that great outdoors look and feel.
While the Wilderness Lodge is not on the monorail, it still sits among the Magic Kingdom Resorts. You can take a bus or a boat from the Wilderness Lodge to the Magic Kingdom. One other huge perk recently returned that provides quick access to the monorail resorts. Guests can now take a boat from the Wilderness Lodge between 3:45 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. to either the Contemporary or Fort Wilderness. If you take the blue flag launch to the Contemporary, you can use the monorail to get around.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is also home to several excellent restaurants, like Geyser Point Bar and Grill, an open-air restaurant near the back of the resort on Bay Lake. You can preview the rest of the resort’s restaurants in our Wilderness Lodge Dining Guide.
Beginning in late April 2024, the Copper Creek Villas are supposed to go under refurbishment. We don’t anticipate this refurbishment significantly impacting the resort, but you might be aware of some construction during the day if you stay in the villa wing, which is not far off the lobby. Wilderness Lodge is home to two Disney Vacation Club Resorts, Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek Villas. Boulder Ridge Villas were refurbished this last year and are now complete.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is our last resort near the Magic Kingdom area. Fort Wilderness is the only resort near Magic Kingdom under the moderate resort category. The others we’ve discussed are all deluxe resorts.
Fort Wilderness has cabins that guests can rent. Additionally, they have RV and campsites. It is one of the most charming spots at the Walt Disney World Resort. You’ll find plenty of outdoor recreation, including horseback riding and canoeing.
Not only that, but it’s home to the Hoop De Doo Musical Revue, a theatrical dining experience that includes fried chicken and strawberry shortcakes! You’ll want to secure reservations well in advance. It fills up quickly!
Guests of Fort Wilderness can take the approximately 12-minute boat ride from the Fort to the Magic Kingdom. But if you prefer, bus service is also available. Don’t forget about the blue flag launch service between Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, and the Contemporary in the afternoons and evenings.
With over 750 acres, Fort Wilderness is a pretty big place. You can spend your day at the Meadow Pool and recreation center, nights by the firepit roasting marshmallows, and participating in Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long. Or you might even visit the horses at Tri-Circle D Ranch or take a trail ride near the Settlement.
What is the Best Resort Near Magic Kingdom?
With so many options, deciding which Magic Kingdom Resort is the best is difficult. We could ask five people, who might all give us a different answer. Disney has resorts for everyone!
But for 2024, here’s how our choices stack:
- #1 Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- #2 Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- #3 Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- #4 Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- #5 Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
*Remember, if and when construction is completed at the Grand Floridian, we would rank it #1 on our list for 2024. But at this time, we want to see those significant things finished at the resort before we spend money to return.
Final Thoughts on the Magic Kingdom Resorts
Hopefully, this review put you in the right direction when choosing a resort near Disney’s Magic Kingdom. No pun intended. While the Magic Kingdom hotels are costly, the overall experience can be priceless. We also believe that time is money. By staying nearby, you’ll be able to spend more time in the park since it’s so easy to come and go from these resorts.
Plus, the location of these resorts is ideal for going back to your room to take a nap, for dinner reservations, or maybe a little pool time. If you stay further away and rely on Disney bus transportation, it can take up to an hour to get back to your room.
These resorts are also perfect for those planning extra-ticketed events at Magic Kingdom. You can thank me later when you leave the Christmas or Halloween party after midnight and arrive back to your room in minutes.
The same goes for when you leave the Magic Kingdom in the mass exodus after the nightly fireworks. That’s when the transportation lines are full everywhere you turn. You can walk back to your room when you stay at some of these Magic Kingdom Resorts. You’ll be through the crowd and in the wide open air within minutes. It’s an excellent way to decompress from the parks.
For more information about the resorts, you might enjoy browsing our condensed version of Disney World Hotel Reviews. Or try these other popular articles:
- Epcot Resort Hotels Guide
- Best Off-Site Hotels Near Disney World
- Best Marriott Hotels Near Disney World
- Benefits of Staying at a Disney World Resort
What Do You Think?
Which of these Magic Kingdom Resorts is most appealing to you? Did you find this article helpful? We love to hear from you. In the comments, let us know your thoughts and which one you would pick below.