Hotels Close to Disney World That Are Kid-Friendly

by Robin Raven

Walt Disney World is a destination that nearly ever child wants to visit. With its four theme parks and two water parks, it offers enough entertainment to last for weeks. Yet, parents who really want to make the vacation special for their kids also realize the importance of picking a hotel that is designed with the needs of kids in mind. Certain hotels near Disney World cater to the needs of children with their own shows, rides, games, and water sports.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Set next to the Animal Kingdom theme park of Walt Disney World and near its other theme parks as well, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is a choice for children who love animals and nature. The hotel lies within a 43-acre wildlife preserve. Arusha Rock sits just outside the main entrance, and families can climb it to see views of the animals up close. An African theme continues throughout the hotel, from its architecture to the grounds to its two restaurants that offer African-inspired meals. Like any of the Disney-owned hotels in the area, staying here has perks, such as complimentary transportation to all the parks and extra hours in the theme parks e exclusive to Disney hotel guests.

Nickelodeon Suites Hotel

Staying at the Nickelodeon Suites Hotel allows children to enjoy a whole different group of characters, such as SpongeBob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer. Even the guestrooms have themes of the beloved Nickelodeon characters. The Nickelodeon Suites Hotel offers complimentary transportation to any of the four Disney theme parks throughout the day and evening. This 24-acre hotel offers luxurious amenities, but it's known for its fun. Families can enjoy 4-D movies at the hotel and two live shows starring beloved Nickelodeon cartoon characters. It even has its own mall, with multiple restaurants, shops and a deluxe arcade.

The Waldorf-Astoria Bonnet Creek Resort

The Waldorf-Astoria Bonnet Creek Resort is a lush, family-friendly resort on more than 482 pristine acres within Bonnet Creek. It's the first newly built Waldorf-Astoria since its famous New York City landmark location. The resort has a private shuttle that runs directly to and from the Walt Disney World Resort. For those using their own transportation, the resort is near all four Disney theme parks, and it's only 30 minutes from the Orlando International Airport. The Waldorf-Astoria Bonnet Creek Resort is so kid-friendly that it even has a special Children's Concierge, a program dedicated to making sure children have a happy stay. Parents who are seeking some alone time can leave their children with the supervised kids' club, where they can enjoy seasonal activities, such as biking tours, golfing lessons, scavenger hunts, water sports, and playing Rock Band on Nintendo's Wii.

Disney's Contemporary Resort

Disney's Contemporary Resort is about as close to the theme parks as can be. In fact, one of the monorails of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center goes through the hotel itself, making its architecture fun for kids. The ultra-modern hotel even offers pristine views of Cinderella's Castle and the epic Space Mountain. The resort has been recognized by the Florida Green Lodging Program for its environmentally responsible practices. The resort offers many perks for families and children, in addition to the parks offered to all Disney hotel guests, such as complimentary transportation and extra hours in the theme parks. Watercraft rentals are available directly from Disney's Contemporary Resort, and it has a state-of-the-art game room open 24 hours per day. Its largest pool has a massive, curving slide, and a wading pool is available for very small children.

About the Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.