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10 Best Disney Resorts at Christmas, Revealed & Ranked

Looking for the perfect place to stay at Disney World during the Christmas season? Look no further because I’ve got you covered with this guided to the top 10 best Disney resorts at Christmas!

Here are the top Disney World resorts that will get you in the holiday spirit, from the wilderness-themed to the more luxurious ones! Keep on reading to know more about these top recommendations!

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Best for: value stays, Epcot Festival of the Holidays, and Jollywood Nights

The value resorts at Disney are pretty light on the holiday decor and offerings – but I still wanted to include at least one option.

My choice goes to Pop Century, with its fun retro vibes and Skyliner access. I also love that their Christmas tree has retro toys like Rubik’s Cubes and peace signs as ornaments. How fun!

Pop Century is usually a tiny bit more expensive than the All-Star value resorts, but I recommend splurging if you can, as the location can’t be beat!

From Pop Century, you can easily get to Epcot and Hollywood Studios via the Skyliner. Plus, you can visit Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera Resorts to see their Christmas decor and try their restaurants.

If you don’t have a lot of time on your last day at Disney, I highly recommend hopping on the Skyliner to have breakfast at Primo Piatto at Riviera Resort. The lemon blueberry pancakes are to die for!!

Alternatively, if you’re a fan of character meals, there’s a really fun character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace with stunning views of Walt Disney World from the top of the Riviera.

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter

Best for: Quick access to Disney Springs

If you like staying near Disney Springs, my favorite resort in that area during the Christmas season is Port Orleans French Quarter.

There you’ll find brightly colored holiday wreaths and trees, along with festive jazz music in the lobby. Plus, you can stop by Scat Cat’s Club & Cafe for some beignets and a cafe au lait as an afternoon snack.

Aside from the fun decor, you’ll get easy access to Disney Springs via a leisurely ferry boat ride.

There are tons of things do at Disney Springs during the Christmas season, such as the Christmas tree trail, making this area an excellent spot to base yourself for your Disney vacation.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Photo of a DuckTales themed carousel made from gingerbread at Disney's Beach Club Resort.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Best for: Pool time, Epcot Festival of the Holidays, Jollywood Nights, and New Year’s Eve

Another excellent Epcot-area resort to consider staying at during the Christmas season is the Beach Club Resort.

First, there’s an actual working gingerbread carousel in the lobby on top of a lovely Christmas tree and other holiday decor.

Plus, if you’re looking for pool time, the Beach Club Resort has the best pool at Walt Disney World, with a sand-bottom area, lazy river, water slide, and lots of lounging space.

That said, it’s a bit of a gamble though, because the weather can be unpredictable in December.

One year I went it was hot enough for shorts and this year it was cold enough for a fleece jacket – and I’m used to the cold as lifelong New Englander!

But, if you’re ok with taking that chance, the hotel is located across the lake from Disney’s BoardWalk and next door to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance, where there’s also a Skyliner station.

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

Best for: Earning or using Marriott Bonvoy points

If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member, definitely consider a Christmastime stay at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.

During the holiday season, the resort refers to itself as “Santa’s Favorite Resort,” and for good reason – it is absolutely jam-packed with holiday activities and decor!

First up, you can meet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and one of their elves, Kandy Kane, at the Swan pool on Friday-Saturday from 6-8 PM starting the day after Thanksgiving through December 23, 2023.

On select weekend dates at the Swan pool, kiddos can decorate their own cookie, as well. What a fun activity!

Over by il Mulino in the Swan building, you can see a massive chocolate Santa Claus scene made from over 1,100 pounds of chocolate.

Last, but not least, the walkway between the Swan and Dolphin buildings comes alive at night with a twinkling Christmas light show every 10 minutes after dusk.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Best for: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and monorail access

One of the most popular resorts at Disney during the Christmas season is the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, thanks to its luxurious and sophisticated Victorian-inspired decor.

Inside the lobby is a massive Christmas tree decorated with bows, bird cages, swans, and all kinds of shiny baubles. There are also smaller similarly decorated trees sprinkled throughout, as well as garland along the banisters.

But the biggest attraction here is the super popular human-sized gingerbread house that doubles as a snack shack that sells cocoa, tea, gingerbread cookies, and other Christmas-y snacks.

Lastly, as Disney World’s flagship resort, it sits on the monorail, which means you can quickly get to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and nearby resorts.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Best for: Access to Disney’s BoardWalk, Epcot Festival of the Holidays, Jollywood Nights, and New Year’s Eve

Next up on my list is Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, which is inspired by the heyday of Atlantic City. I love this property for Christmas vacation thanks to its proximity to Epcot, the BoardWalk, and the Skyliner.

From this spot, you can walk to Epcot for the Festival of the Holidays where you can try different kinds of food and drink from around the world, as well as learn about different holiday traditions.

Photo of the exterior of the Atlantic Dance Hall nightclub at Disney World.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Want to ring in the new year dancing the night away? No problem! Just walk on over to Atlantic Dance Hall or Jellyrolls!

Lastly, this lovely resort sits just outside the back entrance to Epcot, nearby a Skyliner station, so you are just a few minutes away from Hollywood Studios, home of Disney’s newest holiday party, Jollywood Nights.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground

Best for: RVers and outdoorsy lovers

The Fort Wilderness Campground is Disney’s best kept secret when it comes to holidays, whether it be Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, or Christmas.

Guests are known to decorate their campsites and cabins with festive decor and Christmastime is no exception!

There’s also a golf cart parade, usually held on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, where guests decorate their golf carts and make their way through the resort. It’s such a fun (and free!) way to celebrate the holiday.

And if you’re not the camping type, no problem – you can rent a golf cart or take a holiday sleigh ride to check out the decor throughout the resort.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Best for: Animal lovers and those looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind stay

If you’re looking for a special place to stay at Disney for Christmas, the Animal Kingdom Lodge should be at the top of your list.

The resort includes two lodges, Jambo House and Kidani Village, set amongst 3 savannas with freely roaming animals, such as giraffes, zebras, and pelicans.

Even if you don’t have a savanna view from your room, there are plenty of public spaces throughout the resort, both in and outside, from which you can relax and watch the animals.

Inside the Jambo House lobby, there’s a stunning Christmas tree adorned with African print bows, carved ornaments, and other African-inspired baubles.

There’s also a life-sized baby giraffe and zebra made out of gingerbread, as well as a pop-up shop selling Christmas-y treats.

While this resort is set far from most of the theme parks, it is truly a special place to stay for a special occasion, such as Christmas.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Aerial photo of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando pool complex, where you can rent a cabana to ring in the New Year!
Photo courtesy of Hilton.

Best for: Earning or using Hilton Honors points

While not an official Disney hotel, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is considered a “good neighbor” hotel that sits on Walt Disney World Resort property.

And wow is it packed with holiday fun during the Christmas season! Plus, you’ll get Hilton Honors points for your stay (or use the ones you have to snag a room!).

First up, at this luxury hotel, you can book a holiday suite, which comes with a decorated Christmas tree and holiday decor, a cookie decorating kit, a private tea party in the suite, a poolside cabana for one day, transportation to and from the parks, plus daily breakfast at Oscar’s.

If you don’t want to book the holiday suite experience, on Saturdays in December, the hotel hosts a holiday tea party at 2 PM. It includes hot cocoa, tea, treats, and tea sandwiches. Plus, if you’re not a hotel guest, parking is included in the price ($60 per adult, $35 per child).

For adults, Sir Harry’s bar transforms into St. Nick’s Holiday Bar, serving up Christmas inspired cocktails from 5-10 PM on Fridays and Saturdays in December.

Last, but not least, is the New Year’s Eve Kids Bash, which I bet both parents and kids are excited to hear about! This event runs from 7 PM to 12:30 AM for kids 5-12 and includes dinner and activities.

Parents can enjoy a nice evening out at one of the restaurants or relax by the pool with the Twilight Cabana experience, which includes party gear, sparkling wine, and a TV to watch the ball drop.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Best for: Ultimate Christmas vibes and easy access to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Magic Kingdom

Without a doubt, my favorite Disney resort at Christmas is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Nestled in a wooded area not far from Magic Kingdom, this beautiful resort is inspired by the national parks of the US Northwest.

While it doesn’t have a gingerbread display like many of the other deluxe resorts on property, it does boast a giant stone fireplace with rocking chairs to lounge in.

There’s also a small pop-up shop with Christmas gifts and snacks. Plus there are PhotoPass photographers ready to capture your memories at the lobby’s main Christmas tree, as well as at the wooden bridge over the indoor stream.

The property also includes Boulder Ridge Villas and Cooper Creek Villas & Cabins, both of which are great for longer stays and larger groups.

Lastly, the Wilderness Lodge is just a ferry ride away to Magic Kingdom, making it a great place to stay if you’re in town for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Which Disney resort is your favorite during the Christmas season?

No matter which resort you choose at Disney World for Christmas, you’re guaranteed a great time with family and friends!

Each resort brings its unique style to the holiday season, whether you’re after a rustic wilderness stay, a luxurious getaway, or an affordable spot to sleep at night, you’ll find it all.

So what are you waiting for? Book your trip now and get ready to experience the most magical holiday season Disney World can offer!

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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