For many guests, spending time in EPCOT is essential to any Walt Disney World trip, and staying as close as possible is probably high up on your list. So what are the best EPCOT resorts?
In this post, we will share our list of the best EPCOT-area hotels and rank them from best to worst. We’ve included both Disney World Resort hotels and non-Disney hotels so you have a nice choice no matter your preference.
Even though you one or two may jump out at you right away, there is more to choosing your hotel than meets the eye. You have to take into consideration price, location, hotel amenities, what the rooms are like and nearby restaurants (although if you are at all close to EPCOT that won’t be a problem).
If your goal is to be as close as possible, we will show you the exact distance from EPCOT to each of the resorts and talk about your transportation options. Most of them are within walking distance, but you also have other options like boats or the Disney Skyliner.
Just like we went over in our Guide to Magic Kingdom Resorts, you may or may not want or need to stay near EPCOT. But after you read this you’ll have a much better idea of the conveniences it offers and if that is the right area for your family.
We happen to love it near EPCOT since it’s pretty centrally located and there is a TON of things to do nearby. We’ll break it all down for you so you can make the right choice.
And if you haven’t had the chance to read them yet, here are some of our other best posts on Disney World Resorts:
- Best Disney World Resort Hotels Ranked
- Complete List of Disney World Hotels
- Best Disney Monorail Resorts
- Best Hotels Near Disney World
- Best Disney Resorts for Kids
- Best Disney Resorts for Adults
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Table of Contents
EPCOT Resort Hotels Overview
While we discussed many of our favorite EPCOT Resorts in our favorite Disney Deluxe Resorts guide, in this article, we are going to give a more in-depth look specifically at the EPCOT Resorts, in addition to some alternative options for guests looking to save additional money.
A few of these options will be ideas you likely haven’t considered previously and are worth considering depending on your needs, transportation options, and budget. We LOVE the EPCOT Resorts, and if you want to be close to the World Showcase, you’ll have a number of terrific options.
The EPCOT Resort area is up there for us with the Magic Kingdom Resort area, and for many reasons, we actually slightly prefer it for most of our Disney World Vacations. Being able to walk into the World Showcase at the back entrance of EPCOT is super convenient!
Sure, some of these options can be costly and beyond your budget, but we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how reasonably priced they can be. In general, the EPCOT Resorts are AS NICE as the Magic Kingdom Resorts in terms of quality, just at a greatly reduced nightly rate.
Throughout this guide, we will help you decide the ultimate choice for your Disney World Vacation, if you want to be in the EPCOT Resort area. We don’t think you’ll regret your choice!
The prices for EPCOT Resort Hotels can range significantly and in many cases more than the Magic Kingdom Resort hotels. While most of the EPCOT Resorts are classified as ‘Deluxe Resorts’ there is a ‘Moderate’ option and three other non-Disney hotels, which are found within walking distance of EPCOT.
So what can you expect to spend in 2023 and 2024? Here are the price ranges you’ll find depending on when you visit. Keep in mind these prices are for Standard-sized rooms with Standard views, and they already include tax.
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort: $534 – $982 per night
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn: $597 – $1044 per night
- Disney’s Riviera Resort: $443 – $814 per night*
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: $537 – $986 per night
*Disney’s Riviera Resort is technically a Deluxe Villas property, but their rooms are bookable directly through Disney. In our prices above, we have listed Disney’s Rack Rates for the Riviera Resort.
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: $258 – $479 per night
Non-Disney Owned Hotels (Within Walking Distance)*
- Walt Disney World Dolphin: $250 – $450 per night
- Walt Disney World Swan: $250 – $450 per night
- Walt Disney World Swan Reserve: $300 – $750 per night
*These prices can range a bit as they are based on supply and demand and business conventions. Pricing doesn’t come directly through Disney. These prices are what we’ve found the range to be in the upcoming months through third-party sites.
Disney’s Vacation Club Deluxe Villa Resorts Near EPCOT*
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas: $294 – $588 per night
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas: $189 – $504 per night
*These prices are assuming David’s Vacation Club Rental Price of $21.00 per point. These two resorts share the same amenities as the actual resort, they are just found in a slightly different part of the hotel.
The prices listed in our list above are mostly for standard rooms in each of these resort options. But there are further room types and sizes as well for guests looking for more flexibility.
Here are the types of rooms you’ll find at the EPCOT Resorts:
- Standard rooms or Studio rooms that will fit 4-5 guests
- 1-Bedroom Suites that generally allow between 5-7 guests
- 2-Bedroom Suites that generally will allow between 8-10 guests
- Presidential Suites that will allow up to 8 guests
- 3-Bedroom Suites that will allow for up to 12 guests
The Riviera Resort and the BoardWalk Villas are the only EPCOT Resorts that have rooms that will sleep up to 12 guests currently.
TIP: If you’d like to read any more on additional options for larger families or for bigger groups that want to share a room, check out our Guide to Disney World Suites.
All of these hotels can vary substantially in terms of the general amenities, with individual offerings at each. Here are some indulgences you will likely find at the many EPCOT Resorts:
- Pools – The EPCOT resorts have some of the nicest pools in all of Walt Disney World.
- Movies Under the Stars – A themed outdoor movie party under the stars.
- Jogging Trails – Take a walk or a jog on a picturesque pathway around the resort.
- Themed Arcades – Enjoy some traditional games and more recent games with the whole family.
- Free Transportation To and From All the Parks
- Early Theme Park Entry – Visit the parks for 30 minutes guests NOT staying at Disney Resort.
- 60-Day +10 Dining Reservations – Book your Disney Restaurants 60 days in advance when staying on-site at a Disney Resort + up to 10 additional days whereas those NOT staying in Disney only can book at a 60-day window.
- Free Parking – Guests staying at a Disney Resort get free parking both at the resort AND in the Disney theme parks. Read more in our Disney World Parking Guide.
- 7:00 Booking Window for Lightning Lanes – Guests staying at a Disney resort can book Individual Lightning Lane attractions at 7:00 am giving you a substantial advantage when it comes to booking the rides you want to go on.
- Extended Evening Hours – If you are staying at a Deluxe Resort, you can take advantage of extra time in the parks with low wait times for rides.
While these are more general amenities, we will touch on the more individualized amenities of each resort in just a second…
Which Hotels are CLOSEST to EPCOT?
While there are technically 8 EPCOT hotels, not all of them are located in the same proximity away from entering the park. In this section, we will talk about the resorts that are the closest.
Being close means you can be inside and waiting for your first attraction BEFORE other guests and you can leave AFTER other guests, maximizing your time with minimal walking or transportation usage.
What Resorts Can You Walk to EPCOT From?
Out of the 8 EPCOT Resorts, you can easily walk into the back entrance of EPCOT at the World Showcase Pavilion from 6 different resorts.
The resorts within walking distance to EPCOT are:
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas
- Disney’s Dolphin Hotel
- Disney’s Swan Hotel
- Disney’s Swan Reserve Hotel
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
The only 2 that will require separate transportation via the Disney Skyliner, are Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. They are a direct Skyliner ride away requiring only a few minutes once you are on the Skyliner.
EPCOT Hotels By Distance
Here is the list of the EPCOT Resorts in order of their distance from the park:
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas: 0.3 Miles
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas: 0.5 Miles
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: 0.8 Miles (Cannot walk)
- Disney’s Dolphin Hotel: 0.8 Miles
- Disney’s Riviera Resort: 0.3 Miles (Cannot walk)
- Disney’s Swan Hotel: 0.8 Miles
- Disney’s Swan Reserve Hotel: 0.9 Miles
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: 0.5 Miles
Disney’s Beach Club Resort – (0.3 Miles)
Disney’s Beach Club Resort has the designation of being the closest resort to EPCOT, only a short 5-min walk from the back entrance of EPCOT’s World Showcase. The Beach Club is a favorite of our family, often our home resort and one of the reasons is due to its incredible proximity to EPCOT.
This Newport-themed resort is a light and brightly lit place with vibrancy and happiness throughout! It’s a no-frills hotel and doesn’t feel pretentious or stuffy, which we love. Feel comfortable wearing your flip-flops here, and enjoy the best pool in Disney World, Stormalong Bay!
While the Beach Club is a Deluxe Resort, and its prices can be high, it’s not on the same level as some of the higher cost Deluxe Resorts, such as the Monorail Resorts. We love the Beach Club, it’s a true timeless Disney Classic that will immediately make you feel relaxed!
Disney’s Riviera Resort – (0.3 Miles)
Situated only about 1500 feet from World Showcase, the Riviera Resort is a gorgeous new resort that was opened at the end of 2019. I was surprised that the Riviera Resort is the 2nd closest hotel to EPCOT, even though you can’t walk to EPCOT from here.
While you can’t walk to EPCOT from here, you are a short 9-min Skyliner ride away!
The French and Italian-themed Riviera Resort brings about the glamorous beach resorts of Southern France and Italy with pristine stonework and marble throughout. Its level of luxury is on par with Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, except that it’s far quieter and a more intimate-feeling resort.
While the Riviera is technically a DVC-Resort, its rooms are bookable directly through Disney, but you can also utilize a DVC-Rental company such as our favorite David’s DVC Rentals to save a little bit of money.
We love the Riviera Resort, and find that it’s a wonderful new addition to the Disney World Resort!
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – (0.5 Miles)
Situated an easy 10-minute walk away from World Showcase is Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. You’ll find the main hotel section here, the BoardWalk Inn as well as the DVC Villas all sharing the same property.
The BoardWalk Inn is a fun-themed resort that will bring you back to the glory days of popular boardwalks of the Northeast in the early 20th century! It’s a great pick for kids, as it’s got a great pool area in addition to fun activities throughout!
It’s arguably situated in one of the most happening spots in all of Walt Disney World, and that’s right on the Disney BoardWalk.
For those unfamiliar, the Disney BoardWalk is an entertainment district themed with entertainment, dining, and shops. It’s essentially a 1-street promenade that is packed with things to do and see! The BoardWalk Inn is the host resort of this area, and is situated right in the middle of the action!
A stay at the BoardWalk Inn will also put you just a short 15-minute walk away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, making it the closest walking resort from Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – (0.5 Miles)
Sharing a property and amenities with its sister resort, the Beach Club, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is situated on the opposite side of the Beach Club and is just a slightly longer walk to the back entrance of EPCOT’s World Showcase, but easily do-able.
The Yacht Club Resort is aNew England-style hotel with a darker-themed interior resort with wood tones and elegant nautical themes throughout the common areas and rooms. Thankfully, it also shares the amazing pool Stormalong Bay with the Beach Club Resort.
We love the amenities and theming of the Yacht Club and it’s a great alternative if you can’t get into the Beach Club.
The Yacht Club also has a close proximity to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, and guests have convenient access to the Disney Skyliner. We also love the restaurants found at the Yacht Club, including one of our favorite steakhouses in Disney World – Yachtsman Steakhouse!
Reasons to Stay Near EPCOT
While there are some apparent reasons and some not-so-apparent reasons to stay near EPCOT, the truth is that staying near EPCOT gives guests many options and opportunities for additional Disney World Magic.
Here are the main stand-outs of staying near EPCOT:
1. Disney Resort Perks
While this does NOT apply to those staying at a nearby non-Disney hotel (Swan, Dolphin, Swan Reserve), for those guests staying at one of the EPCOT Resorts, you’ll get all of the on-site perks of staying at a Disney World Resort such as:
- Free transportation throughout the Disney World Resort
- Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours (N/A for guests staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort)
- You can make advance dining reservations 60 days + up to 10 days prior to your trip
- Free parking both inside the parks AND at your resort
- 7:00 am booking window for guests that want to reserve Individual Lightning Lanes.
2. Being Near the Disney BoardWalk
Other than Disney Springs and the Disney Theme Parks, the Disney BoardWalk is one of the most fun entertainment districts in all of Walt Disney World! With countless restaurants, shopping, and just a terrific and vibrant vibe, we absolutely adore walking through here.
It’s also got the only nightclub in Walt Disney World, and it’s the best nighttime spot for adults to hang out in. If you’re an adult, being on the Disney BoardWalk is unsurpassed in Disney World.
3. Closeness to Multiple Parks
Literally being a hop, skip, or jump away from both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios is extremely enticing! With the ability to take a Disney Boat, walk, or take the Disney Skyliner to these two parks from most of the EPCOT Resorts, it’s incredibly convenient!
Whether you want to stay until the last guest leaves each night or you want to be the first one to enter the parks in the morning, being at an EPCOT Resort makes it very simple to do.
It’s also great to be close to EPCOT if you are planning on doing the Drinking Around the World Showcase challenge so you don’t have far to walk home after!
4. Access to the Monorail
While it will require you to walk through EPCOT and require a park pass, you can get to the Disney Monorail in a fairly limited amount of time. This affords you another opportunity for getting to the Magic Kingdom if you’d rather not take or wait for a Disney Bus.
5. Nearby Activities and Amenities
What if you don’t want to spend every waking hour at the Disney Theme Parks, and just want a change of pace? The EPCOT Resorts area has a number of terrific things to do including some of our favorites:
- Visit the Mandara Spa at The Dolphin Hotel and enjoy a wonderful treatment in their 10,5000 square-foot Balinese Spa
- Visit the Atlantic Dance Hall on the BoardWalk and enjoy the only current Disney NightClub
- Go to Jellyrolls and Sing-Along to some of your favorite songs at this Dueling Piano Bar
- Rent a 2 or 4-Person Bike at Surrey Bike Rentals on the BoardWalk and Take a Fun Ride Around the BoardWalk
- Play Miniature Golf at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course
- Sing Karaoke at Kimono’s Sushi bar inside The Swan Hotel
- Win a prize and play some fun carnival games on the BoardWalk
- Play Bocce Ball on one of the courts at the Riviera Resort
- Go shopping at the variety of gift shops along the BoardWalk
- Relax on the Beach at the Beach Club Resort on one of the hammocks or lounge chairs
- Take advantage of the incredible pool areas and outdoor splash areas outside of your resort
- Enjoy some of the Disney World Resort amenities such as Campfires, Jogging Trails, Movies Under the Stars, and the Arcades.
These are just a tiny sampling of the wonderful amount of things there is to do over by the EPCOT Resorts.
6. Incredible Dining Options
The EPCOT Resort area has some incredible dining options for all meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even some of the snack offerings and quick services are TERRIFIC!
Some of our favorite stand-out dining experiences for all times of the day are:
- Topolino’s Terrace
- Primo Piatto
- Le Petit Cafe
- Yachtsman Steakhouse
- Cape May Cafe
- Ale & Compass
- Flying Fish
- Trattoria al Forno
- Il Mulino
- Shula’s Steakhouse
And while all of these are splendid, you’re also just a short walk away from the innumerable options at EPCOT!
7. Bigger Room Sizes
Many of the EPCOT Resorts have larger room sizes for guests requiring more space, or for bigger families. With villas offering guests up to 3 bedrooms and with suites easily available, the EPCOT Resorts offer sizes to meet the various needs of guests longing to stay here.
8. Theming of Resorts
The theming at the EPCOT Resorts is so much fun! In fact, nearly all of them make it quite high on our ‘Best Resorts’ list when ranking them against the others!
Each of them does a fabulous job of allowing you to feel someplace entirely special and distinct. From the Italian and French Riviera to a famous New England Yacht Club, you’ll feel transported significantly depending on which resort you step into!
9. Stunning Views
Many of these resorts offer high vantage points to get terrific views of the Disney BoardWalk or EPCOT.
Trust me, there is nothing quite like sitting outside your resort room and watching the EPCOT Fireworks or watching the variety of different Disney guests walk up and down the Disney BoardWalk, especially on a busier evening!
10. The Disney Skyliner
While we LOVE the Disney Monorail, the Disney Skyliner has now moved into the #1 spot for our favorite form of transportation to the Disney parks. We love being able to use the Skyliner at any time we want, and it’s both fun and incredibly fast and efficient.
11. Quieter EPCOT Entrance
While most guests visiting EPCOT will come through the more crowded and chaotic main entrance at the front of the park, guests coming from the EPCOT Resorts will be entering through the International Gateway at the back of EPCOT’s World Showcase area.
This entrance is FAR quieter, simpler, and easier to get someplace fast! This is especially useful if you want to rope drop popular attractions such as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure or Frozen Ever After!
Best EPCOT Resorts RANKED
On paper it sounds easy to come up with a definitive ranking of EPCOT-area, but comparing them more closely, you can see that they each have distinctive pros and cons that would appeal to a variety of guests.
While we do have our favorites, we can’t really say any of them are bad and we enjoy staying at all of the ones we’ve included in our list, so don’t feel like our last-ranked resort is bad by any means. It’s going to depend on your family’s preferences.
We will NOT include non-Disney Resorts in this section and instead put them in our next section. When considering how to rank them, we will factor in the most important ranking factors such as:
- Value – Not only price, but how much bang are you getting for your buck?
- Theming – How immersive and special is the theme of this hotel? Did it make us feel like we have been transported into a unique atmosphere?
- Convenience – How close it is to EPCOT and is the walk/transportation easy from there?
- Rooms – How nice are the rooms? How big are they? Are they comfortable? Have they been recently refurbished or do they feel outdated?
- Dining Options – How good are the restaurants here and how many options are there?
- Amenities – Pools and other activities available to guests.
Some of the EPCOT-area resorts are currently getting major refurbishments, and others have recently had them so that is a big factor to us. I would say so far like at the Yacht Club and BoardWalk Inn, they have only been improvements and made the resorts even nicer than before.
Just keep in mind that even though we enjoy most of the EPCOT resorts, and we’d readily recommend them to our readers, it doesn’t mean that each one is going to be good for YOUR family. So read through the pros and cons of each one so you have a better feel for what you will like most.
Disney Resort Hotels Near EPCOT
In this section, we are going to rank the 5 main Disney World Resorts. Once again they are:
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
And while this can be challenging and debatable, these are our own personal views based on not only our own experiences, but our families, friends, and other frequent guests.
Without further ado, here’s how we rank the 5 EPCOT-area Disney World Resorts…
5. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- 2023 Cost: $258 – $479 per night
- Theme: The Spirit of the Caribbean
- Rooms: 1536
- Family Suites: No
- Address: 1114 Cayman Way, Lake Buena Vista FL 32830
Our 5th favorite EPCOT Resort is Disney’s beach-themed Caribbean Beach Resort. While there are many things we like about the Caribbean Beach, including it being the hub of the Disney Skyliner, there are a few areas it just simply can’t match up to the above choices on our list.
One plus is that it’s the only non-Deluxe Resort on our list so it gives guests an opportunity to be close to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios at significantly cheaper costs than the alternatives. And being recently renovated with a terrific zero-entry themed pool that kids adore, the Caribbean Beach Resort is no slouch.
Technically, it’s the furthest away from EPCOT, although, with a direct Skyliner ride, it can often take you there faster than the other resorts on our list. We also love the island theming of this resort, with each of the different themed sections of the resort taking on a different Caribbean Island.
The Skyliner Hub – Being the main Skyliner Hub can be a little chaotic, but SO advantageous. This means you can get direct access to both Hollywood Studios and EPCOT in only a few minutes.
Completely Renovated Hotel and Rooms – The entire resort just recently underwent a massive renovation, including the lobby, restaurants, and rooms!
One of Our Favorite Themed Pool Areas – The Fuentes del Morro Pool is a pirate-themed pool that is equipped with forts, cannons, and a water playground! Kids go crazy for this pool!
Cheap – The cheapest EPCOT Resort on our list, Caribbean Beach rooms start at only $258 per night, including tax!
Walking Distance to the Riviera Resort – Connected via a walking path to the Riviera Resort, guests staying at Caribbean Beach can easily utilize the Riviera Resorts amenities and perks with a simple short walk.
Not Deluxe – With cheap comes fewer amenities and more humble accommodations. While the Caribbean Beach isn’t “not nice”, it just isn’t deluxe in any way, shape, or form like the rest of the resorts on our list.
Furthest Away from EPCOT – The Caribbean Beach Resort is technically the furthest resort away from EPCOT and requires you to have to take additional transportation to get there. (The Disney Skyliner)
Huge Property with Long Walks – One of the largest properties in Disney World, your room at the Caribbean Beach Resort can easily be a 10-15 minute walk away from the lobby area of the resort or the bus stop. This can make a long day even longer!
Long Bus Waits – If you want to visit one of the other Disney Parks other than EPCOT or Hollywood Studios, be prepared for long bus waits. You’ll have multiple internal bus stops within the resort before leaving and getting back to your bus stop.
Limited Dining Options – While we enjoy Sebastian’s Bistro, it’s really your only spot to eat if you want a halfway decent meal. You’ll have to either visit one of the Disney Parks, Disney Springs or take a walk over to the Riviera Resort.
No Elevators – A frequent complaint of guests at Caribbean Beach is the lack of elevators at the resort. This can be a nuisance for guests with physical limitations. You of course can request a 1st level room, which is often required if you have a disability.
We’d recommend guests stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort if they want to be close to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios without breaking the bank by staying at one of the closer Deluxe Disney World Resorts.
4. Disney’s Riviera Resort
- 2023 Cost: $453 – $814 per night
- Theme: Modeled after the famous Italian and French Riviera
- Rooms: 300
- Family Suites: Yes, they have two and three-bedroom units that will fit up 8-12 guests.
- Address: 1080 Esplanade Ave, Lake Buena Vista FL 32830
The newest Disney World Resort, the Riviera Resort is a beautifully-themed and decorated resort that will take you to the shores of the Italian and French Riviera. This resort features a number of iconic tributes and pictures of Walt and Lillian’s love of the Riviera and their family vacations there.
We love the Riviera, and even though it’s ranked 4th on our list, don’t let that be a detriment to your staying here.
While it lacks some of the uniqueness and truly Disney theming in our first three choices, make no mistake about it, this resort FEELS deluxe and upscale. To us, the only resort in Disney World that feels as luxurious as the Riviera is the Grand Floridian Resort.
It’s one of the smaller Disney World Resorts and it feels quaint and quiet, far more so than the other EPCOT-area Resorts. And considering its reasonable price point, and its convenient short Skyliner ride away from EPCOT, the Riviera Resort holds tremendous value.
There are very few things we don’t love about the Riviera, but our favorite is the amount of GREAT food options that are found within the resort!
Brand New – The newest Disney World Resort, the Riviera just feels new and untouched in every way. It practically hast that new car smell still!
Easy and Quiet Skyliner Location – Located on its own Skyliner stop, the Riviera stop is the quietest Skyliner location, meaning little lines and far fewer people.
Food Options – While there aren’t a LOT of food options at the Riviera, every single one is outstanding! From the best coffee shop in Disney (Le Petit Cafe) to one of the best breakfasts and dinners in Disney (Topolino’s Terrace) to an outstanding quick service spot (Primo Piatto).
Views – Along with the Contemporary Resort and the Gran Destino Tower, the views at the Riviera Resort are amongst the best in all of Walt Disney World! Grab stunning views of the Lake Buena Vista Skyliner along the top floor outside of Topolino’s. You’ll get some picture-perfect shots!
Can’t Walk to EPCOT – Like the Caribbean Beach, unfortunately, you can’t walk to EPCOT or Hollywood Studios from the Riviera. Despite how close you technically are you will still need to take the Disney Skyliner.
Requires Transporting Skyliners to Get to Hollywood Studios – Unlike the BoardWalk EPCOT Hotels or even Caribbean Beach, a stay at the Riviera is a bit more complicated to get to Hollywood Studios. You’ll be required to take the Skyliner to Caribbean Beach and transfer to the Hollywood Studios line.
Lacks Disney Touches – Like some of the other newer Disney World Resorts, there have been many complaints about the Riviera lacking some of the nuance and theming of older Disney World Resorts. It does feel a little too plain like it could be any ole’ hotel chain resort.
Requires A Lot of Transportation – Unlike most other Deluxe Disney World Resorts, you won’t be within walking distance of Disney Springs or any of the Disney Parks. You’ll be required to take either the Disney Skyliner or Disney Buses to get everyone.
We think guests that love the theming of the Riviera and a gorgeously-themed resort will love staying at the Riviera. It’s great for people that want a quieter resort and don’t have to pay the costs of staying at some of the BoardWalk area resorts.
3. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- 2023 Cost: $597 – $1044 per night
- Theme: 20th Century New Jersey Boardwalk
- Rooms: 378 Hotel Rooms and 532 Villas on the DVC Side
- Family Suites: Yes. Standard Hotel has 2-Bedroom Suites that will fit up to 9 Guests. And the Villas Side has 3-Bedroom Units that will fit up to 12 guests.
- Address: 2100 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista FL 32830
Coming in at 3rd on our list of EPCOT Resorts is the BoardWalk Inn and Villas. This fun Boardwalk-themed Resort is one of the most lively choices for families, with loads of things to do at all times of the day!
It’s also a popular wedding resort with reception rooms at the back of the resort and a beautiful lakeside gazebo on the Disney BoardWalk.
The BoardWalk Inn is a fantastic choice for guests that want to be close to EPCOT. It also has the unique benefit of being the closest walking hotel to Hollywood Studios, in addition to only being a 5-10 minute walk to EPCOT.
If you enjoy the feel and vibes of Northeast Beaches in the summertime, you will get this at all times of the year with a stay at the BoardWalk Inn! Families of all ages enjoy it here with a plethora of things to do, both at the resort and on the actual BoardWalk.
It also has a large variety of room choices, both on the DVC Villas’ side and on the hotel’s side and rooms here can easily accommodate families of different sizes.
Location Location Location – Right in the center of the Disney BoardWalk, you can’t ask for a much better location in Disney World. With a convenient walk to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, a stay at the BoardWalk is incredibly accessible.
Nighttime Entertainment – Between street performers, Movies Under the Stars on the outside lawn promenade, carnival games, Jellyrolls, and Atlantic Dance Hall, it’s hard to run out of things to do at the BoardWalk Inn.
Dining Options – You have terrific dining options at your disposal in every direction!
Large Room Variety – With standard rooms, studio rooms, 1-bedroom suites, 2-bedroom suites, and 3-bedroom suites, there are rooms here for every family!
Activities – You won’t run out of things to do at the BoardWalk Inn! Place some miniature golf, take a bike ride around the BoardWalk, or enjoy a relaxing boat ride around Crescent Lake. There’s something for everyone here…
Theming Isn’t For Everyone – While some love the theming here, there are some (like me) that personally don’t love the boardwalk theming. It comes across as a little tacky and over the top, almost reminiscent of what you’d find with the theming at the Value Resorts.
Can Be Loud – The BoardWalk is a popular late-night spot for adults or guests leaving EPCOT after seeing the fireworks. You might find it on the louder site at all times of the day, but especially at night and on the weekends.
Expensive – The BoardWalk Inn rooms are the most expensive rooms out of all of the EPCOT Resorts. And whether or not it’s worth it is subjective, and personally, I feel better value can be found in our first two choices.
The BoardWalk Inn is a great choice for larger families that would like to share the same accommodations. It’s also great for those that prioritize location, as it’s arguably got the best location in all of Walt Disney World!
It is a solid backup choice for guests that can’t get a room at the Yacht or the Beach Club Resorts.
2. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- 2023 Cost: $537 – $986 per night
- Theme: New England-style Yacht Club
- Rooms: 635
- Family Suites: Yes. They have 2-Bedroom Club Level Suites that will sleep 6.
- Address: 1700 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista FL 32830
Coming in at 2nd on our favorite EPCOT Resorts list is Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. This is the sister resort of the Beach Club, and it’s located less than a 10-minute walk from the International Gateway at EPCOT.
The Yacht Club is an elegant New England-style Resort that will transport you to the ritzy life of a Martha’s Vineyard Resort. With a light gray exterior and darker wood interior on the inside, the Yacht Club feels very nautical but still welcoming resort for guests.
We love the Yacht Club’s amenities including its terrific pool area, Stormalong Bay, which it shares with the Beach Club Resort. This 3-acre, 750,000-gallon water wonderland offers a sand-bottomed floor and an incredible lazy river, and is easily the best pool in Disney World.
In addition to the amenities and the location, the Yacht Club also has some exceptional dining options including the underrated Ale & Compass and the wonderful Yachtsman Steakhouse.
Dog-Friendly – This is one of only four Disney World Resorts that are dog-friendly, allowing you to bring your favorite pooch for your vacation.
Dining Options – We love the Yacht Club’s dining options with two very solid Table Service Restaurants, with convenient access to the other two Table-Service options at the Beach Club.
Quieter Than Other Options – The way the Yacht Club is laid out and its location around the BoardWalk places it in a quieter area with less noise for guests looking to escape the chaos of the Disney Parks.
Terrific Pool Area – You can’t top Stormalong Bay! Guests flock to these resorts just because of the pools. Forget the need to visit the Disney Water Parks when staying here!
Expensive – The second most expensive resort on our list, the Yacht Club is just a few dollars more than the Beach Club. But when comparing them side by side, it’s hard to see the value in spending the same at the Yacht Club.
Can Feel a Bit Stuffy – Unlike the vibrant nature of the Beach Club and the BoardWalk Inn, the Yacht Club has a more sophisticated and elegant feel to it. This can come across as a little stuffy and unwelcoming for some guests.
Convention Hotel – There is a large convention center found at the Yacht Club, and you’ll often find large gatherings of business travelers staying at the Yacht Club, which can require additional time waiting in lines.
Shared Buses – The Yacht and Beach Club Resorts generally share buses when going to Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom, or Animal Kingdom. This can be frustrating at times because it lengthens your tip.
It’s a great alternative to the Beach Club. Guests that love nautical themes and boats will like the atmosphere and rustic nature of this resort over the other EPCOT Resorts.
1. Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- 2023 Cost: $534 – $982 per night
- Theme: New England-style Beach Club
- Rooms: 576 Hotel Rooms and 282 Villas on the DVC Side
- Family Suites: Yes. There are 2-Bedroom Suites that will fit up to 7 guests on the hotel side. There are also 2-Bedroom Units on the Villas side that will fit up to 8 guests.
- Address: 1800 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista FL 32830
And our absolute favorite EPCOT hotel is Disney’s Beach Club Resort! Not only is the Beach Club our favorite EPCOT Resort, but it’s also our 2nd favorite Disney World Resort overall! So what makes the Beach Club so great?
There are a number of things we love about this place! First of all, we love the Beach Club’s theming. It has a vibrant but relaxed atmosphere and walking in the doors will immediately have you feeling as if you’re relaxing at your favorite beachside hotel.
Unlike the darker wood shades of the Yacht Club, the Beach Club has more of a light pastel color scheme, which we prefer.
We love that it’s also the CLOSEST Disney World Resort to EPCOT’s back entrance at the International Gateway, and you can literally leave your hotel room and be inside EPCOT in under 10 minutes easily!
Like the Yacht Club, we also love Stormalong Bay and the entire pool area. There are also three additional leisure pools that are quiet if you so prefer.
The Beach Club has the standard hotel side, and the DVC Side, which is located at the back of the property, separated by a short little outdoor walkway. This gives you additional options for room sizes and amenities, depending on what you’re looking for.
Honestly, there are very few things we don’t love about the Beach Club, as it just feels truly like home.
The Pool Area – I don’t need to say much more about Stormalong Bay, the lazy river, and the terrific waterslide do I? It’s incredible and easily the best in Disney World.
Location – Located a stone’s throw away from EPCOT, it’s hard to top the location of the Beach Club.
Right Next to Skyliner Stop – In addition to being right next to EPCOT, it’s also right next to the Disney Skyliner Station found here. This allows you to easily hop over to the Riviera Resort, or transfer at the Caribbean Beach Resort to the Hollywood Studios Line.
Good Family Restaurants – Both Table-Service options at the Beach Club are solid picks for families, Cape May Cafe, and Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. They are reasonably priced and offer solid food. Cape May actually is a character meal for breakfast too, which offers another nice touch!
Wonderful Theming – A walk inside the Beach Club lobby will immediately take away your concerns and stresses. It just feels airy and relaxed, and immediately puts you in vacation mode. We love the theming here!
No 3-Bedroom Options – Unlike the BoardWalk Inn and the Riviera Resort, the Beach Club only has room sizes of up to 2 bedrooms. This means for larger groups of up to 12, you’ll need to either stay somewhere else or have to get two separate rooms.
Shared Transportation – The Beach Club shares bus transportation with the Yacht Club for visits to Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. This can slow your transit time and just make trips longer, unfortunately.
It’s great for families that want to spend a significant part of their days at the resort, to make use of the pool area. It’s also great for families that want to spend a lot of time in EPCOT, making it easy for coming and going at all parts of the day.
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Non-Disney Hotels Near EPCOT
In this section, we are going to talk about our favorite non-Disney Hotels that are within an easy drive or shuttle bus away from EPCOT. While we have many that we enjoy, in this section, we will focus on our 5 favorites.
5. Melia Orlando Celebration
- 2023 Cost: $143 – $238 per night
- Theme: Modern Lakefront Hotel on a Golf Course
- Rooms: 289
- Family Suites: Yes. They have 2 and 3-Bedroom Suites.
- Address: 224 Celebration Pl. Celebration, FL 34747
Located only 3 miles away from Walt Disney World and a 10-minute drive away from EPCOT, the Melia Orlando Celebration is a great option for guests that want to stay off-site and also want to save money. It’s located in the idyllic little town of Celebration, which of course is a great ode to Disney World History.
The Melia Orlando Celebration is a 4-star hotel that starts at only $143 per night, and that includes tax, which makes it an outstanding value. Since it’s an official Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel, a stay here will entitle you to many Disney World perks, including free transportation to and from the Disney Parks.
This all-suite hotel offers spacious rooms that will fit up to 7 guests comfortably always making it a good, especially for larger families. And we love the location here, as you’ll be in the tiny village of Celebration, which is often recognized as one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the country.
Larger Rooms – This all-suite hotel features both 1 and 2-bedroom suite options with fully equipped kitchens.
Comfortable Beds – Known for their comfortable beds and soft Egyptian cotton linens.
A Dog-Friendly Hotel – They welcome dogs here at the hotel, AND they have a dog park on-site
Fun Activities – It has activities such as miniature golf, a great outdoor pool area, and table tennis.
Free Parking – Guests driving back and forth to the parks will be happy to know that the parking at the Melia is free for guests.
Budget-Friendly – Considering the larger room offerings, only paying in the $150 per night range is incredibly budget-friendly for families.
Furthest Resort from EPCOT – While it’s not FAR per se, it’s the furthest away from EPCOT in comparison to the other off-site options. It’s about a 10-minute drive away.
Expensive Nightly Resort Fees – At over $35 per night, the resort fee can be costly when multiplied over a longer trip. It should absolutely be accounted for when budgeting.
Not Deluxe or Fancy – While it’s classified as a 4-star hotel, the Melia is a nice hotel but it isn’t fancy and can feel a bit worn and outdated in spots.
- The Wilson – This seaside-inspired bistro offers both brunch and a relaxing dinner spot to grab international flavors from around the world.
A stay at the Melia is a great option for budget-friendly travelers that have a larger family and want the option of being in a larger room without breaking the bank.
4. Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort
- 2023 Cost: $200 – $350 per night
- Theme: Mediterranean-Inspired Hotel
- Rooms: 400
- Family Suites: Yes. Family Suites will fit up to 6 guests.
- Address: 14651 Chelonia Pkwy, Orlando FL 32821
Our 4th choice of EPCOT hotels that are non-Disney is the Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort. This is a beautifully-themed Mediterranean-inspired hotel that is found in the woodlands as part of the Bonnet Creek Resort Area.
In fact, it’s just 5 miles away from EPCOT, taking only a few minutes to get to.
We find that the Wyndham Grand Orlando is a solid all-around that features conveniences, several different room options, amenities for the whole family, and free shuttle transportation to each of the Disney Parks.
A 4-Star Hotel, the Wyndham Grand Orlando is a high-quality resort that comes at a fraction of the nightly cost of Disney Resort Comparables.
You’ll find four different on-site restaurants, a full-service spa, a 24-hour fitness center, and 5 different pools at this Wyndham location. We think this a terrific option that starts in the $200-a-night range.
Free Transportation – Get free transportation to all of the Disney Parks when staying here.
Awesome Outdoor Pool Area – With 5 different pools including 2 lazy rivers and 2 splash parks for kids, it’s hard to top the pool found here.
Great Restaurant Options – There are four different restaurants found here, you won’t run out of options to grab food.
Full-Service Spa and Fitness Center – With a full-service spa and a 24-hour fitness center, this Wyndham has a nice selection of amenities for guests.
Wide Range of Room Options – There are a number of different style rooms, including rooms with bunk beds which are perfect for kids.
More Expensive Than Other Options – With expensive nightly resort fees and parking fees daily, the amount of fees can add up quickly making this not such a “cheap” hotel option.
Lacks Privacy – A lot of recent reviewers have stated that they don’t like that there is a lack of privacy here, with other guests easily being able to see inside their rooms.
Isn’t In Walking Range – Unlike a few of the other options found on our list, you won’t be able to walk to the Disney Parks when staying here.
- Back Bay Bar & Grill – With both a bar area and an outdoor grill, this fun spot offers classic sports bar fare.
- Bar 1521 – A refined bar that offers sushi, several different appetizers, and specialty drinks.
- Deep Blu Seafood & Grille – An upscale family-friendly seafood restaurant that has a dress code.
- Tesoro Cove Family Fare – Buffet breakfast offered every day.
- The Barista – This coffee bar serves quick bites and Starbucks coffee.
The Wyndham is a great option for families that want a nicer and upscale resort that is within an easy 10-minute or so drive of EPCOT. You’ll get comparable quality to many of the Disney Deluxe Resorts for a tiny fraction of the cost.
3. WorldQuest Orlando Resort
- 2023 Cost: $253 – $349 per night
- Theme: Mediterranean-inspired Condo Suites
- Rooms: 180
- Family Suites: Yes. There are 2 and 3-Bedroom Suites.
- Address: 8849 Worldquest Blvd, Orlando, FL 32821
Located only about 5 minutes from EPCOT, the WorldQuest Orlando Resort incorporates a condo-like resort rental complex for guests that want more space. This resort has a distinct Mediterranean feel to it, from the exterior of the grounds to the interior of the complex.
Guests coming here can book from a variety of different room layouts, with all rooms having either two or three bedrooms. All of the rooms also have a king-sized bed along with jetted tubs, and fully stocked kitchens.
This allows you to cook from the comfort or your room, saving you considerable money potentially as well.
The rooms include washed and dryers in addition to separate living and dining areas for guests to have more space. These rooms feel very homey, almost reminiscent of the DVC Villa rooms. Guests staying at WorldQuest will have free parking and free WiFi in addition.
For the cost per night, considering the larger spaces, it really truly is a great deal! The recent reviews of WorldQuest are all incredibly favorable with many guests praising the resort on cleanliness and space in the rooms.
Large Spacious Rooms – This resort has only large 2 and 3-bedroom units that are more than spacious enough for larger families!
Tropical Vibe With a Tiki Bar and Nice Pool – The fun outdoor area is lined with beautiful palm trees and includes an awesome and fun Tiki Bar.
Shuttle Transportation to EPCOT – Offering both complimentary shuttle services to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, you can easily get a short shuttle ride to EPCOT.
Budget Friendly – Starting at only $253 per night, and that includes all applicable fees, the WorldQuest Orlando Resort is a great option for budgeters.
Little Outdated – Some of the reviewers commented on some of the units at WorldQuest being outdated. While they normally do a great job of updating them, some of them have not been.
Not Walking Distance to the Parks – Unlike options 1 and 2 on our list, you will not be able to get to EPCOT by walking from this resort. It is still a few miles away.
Limited Transportation to Disney – With only once-a-day transportation options to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, you’re fairly limited if you want to visit one of the other parks. You’ll have to likely take an Uber or rent a vehicle.
- Pool Bar – Your only in-house restaurant is going to be to grab food at the pool bar.
WorldQuest is awesome for guests that want to cook from their room, save money on their accommodations, or experience other parts of Central Florida instead of the Disney Parks. It’s a great home base, while only being 5 minutes from EPCOT.
2. Disney’s Swan Reserve Hotel
- 2023 Cost: $300 – $750 per night
- Theme: Luxury Boutique Hotel
- Rooms: 349
- Family Suites: Yes. But the maximum occupancy in suites is only 6 people.
- Address: 1255 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Bay Lake FL 32830
The newest of the Disney BoardWalk hotels, the Swan Reserve is the latest and greatest hotel in the Marriott line of hotels on the Disney BoardWalk. With a completely different appeal and a much smaller footprint, the Swan Reserve is a 5-star hotel that feels far more upscale and classy.
While not as much of a business hotel as the Swan and Dolphin, the Swan Reserve gives guests a more upscale option that wants to be technically on Disney Property but at the same time NOT be a Disney World Resort.
Considering it’s considerably more upscale than the Swan and the Dolphin, generally speaking, the price point isn’t considerably different. And if you’re using Marriott Bonvoy Points, you’ll often find them in the same range as far as a nightly rate.
We love the Swan and Reserve and think it adds a nice option for guests that can be close to the magic, providing an easy walking pathway to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
On the Disney BoardWalk – You can’t ask for a better location on the Disney BoardWalk, with easy walking pathways to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.
Brand-New Feel – Opening up in 2019, unlike the Swan and Dolphin which can feel outdated, the Swan Reserve feels more upscale and brand-new!
Decent Restaurant Options – In addition to the numerous options at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, the Swan Reserve dining options are solid additions and we love a couple of the options.
Small and Quaint – The layout of this room is high and not wide, providing easy access for guests. It feels far more quaint and intimate than the Swan and Dolphin Resorts.
EPCOT Fireworks Rooms – If you pay the additional costs of getting a room with a view, it could be worth it! We love the EPCOT Fireworks rooms!
Can Use Points to Book – We love the fact that if you have Marriott Bonvoy Points or Chase Rewards Points (That can be converted to Marriott), you can book rooms here!
Have to Use Swan and Dolphin Amenities – While the Swan Reserve does have its own pool and fitness center, you’ll often find yourself needing to go to the Swan or the Dolphin for additional things such as laundry, food, etc…
More Expensive – While it’s not a substantially more expensive per night fee than the Swan and Dolphin, it still is a bit. It’s generally $50-$100 more per night.
High Resort Fees and Parking Costs – With parking fees at over $34 a day to self-park and another $40+ dollars per day of resort fees, the Swan Reserve’s additional costs can add up quickly.
- Amare – A tasty Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that offers really good options for guests, open for both breakfast and dinner.
- Grounds – The grab-and-go option for guests that offers coffee, pastries, and sandwiches that are pre-made.
- Tangerine – A poolside bar and grill that offers signature drinks and casual lunch-style offerings.
- Stir – An Italian-inspired lobby lounge that offers Chef’s selection of different appetizers.
For guests that want to either use their Marriott Points or be situated right next to the Disney Parks. You can’t beat the location and the hotel itself is a step-up in terms of elegance than the Swan and Dolphin Resorts.
1. Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Hotels
- 2023 Cost: $250 – $450 per night
- Theme: Tropical and Aquatic-themed Business Hotels
- Rooms: Swan has 756 rooms. The Dolphin has 1514 rooms.
- Family Suites: Yes.
- Address: 1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd (Swan), Lake Buena Vista FL 32830, 1500 EPCOT Resorts Blvd (Dolphin), Lake Buena Vista FL 32830
While the Swan and Dolphin Hotels are technically two different hotels, they both fall under the same Marriott hotel chain. While one is technically managed by Westin and one is managed by Sheraton, they share many similarities so we included them together.
The Swan and Dolphin were both built in 1990, are found in the same hotel category and have the same general per-night rate both in dollars and points used. The only slight differences are the theming, which is actually quite similar in terms of color palettes and interior decorating.
The Swan Reserve is part of the same chain, although the Swan Reserve is a smaller boutique hotel with a higher price point. We absolutely love the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, despite some deficiencies. They have the best combination of having all of the Disney benefits and being on Disney’s property, without being technically Disney.
We’ve stayed at these hotels countless times, and we think they are truly hidden gems in Disney World. They have terrific restaurants, an unbeatable location on the Disney BoardWalk, and for incredible value.
Unbeatable Location – Situated on the other side of the Disney BoardWalk, the Swan and Dolphin are ideally situated within walking distance to both Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.
Terrific Table-Service Dining Options – There are some terrific dining options at these two resorts from top-notch steak to some of the best sushi on Disney World Property.
Onsite Full-Service Spa – The Mandara Spa at the Dolphin is one of the best spas in Walt Disney World.
A Kids Club – If you’re looking for a night out from the kids, drop them off at Camp Dolphin, found at the Dolphin Hotel.
Five Outdoor Swimming Pools – In addition to a terrific massive pool area that is shared by both hotels, there are also a few additional shared pools these two resorts have that are quieter.
Can Book With Marriott Bonvoy Points – These hotels are both bookable with Marriott Bonvoy Points, allowing you to stay here for free!
Expensive Nightly Fees and Parking – All three of the Marriott Hotels here have expensive nightly parking fees and resort fees that can add up quickly!
Convention Hotels With Many Convention Guests – These resorts were known as convention hotels for a long time and they still have frequent conventions and hotels regularly. If you’re there during one of them, it’ll feel very “business-like.” It could also crowd up the common areas such as the restaurants and lounges.
Lacks Disney Charm and Ambiance – Don’t be expecting the trademark Disney charm or theming at these resorts as they can feel a little impersonal and disconnected.
- Shula’s Steak House – A top-notch signature dining experience at the Dolphin with terrific cuts of beef.
- Il Mulino – A solid Italian Restaurant in the Swan Hotel’s lobby. There are some really great pasta dishes on the menu.
- Kimonos – One of our favorite sushi restaurants in Walt Disney World, Kimonos also doubles down as a karaoke bar.
- Todd English’s Bluezoo – The popular seafood restaurant of famed chef Todd English, you’ll find some terrific seafood dishes here.
- Rosa Mexicano – A newly opened Mexican restaurant found at the Dolphin.
- Garden Grove – A breakfast spot to grab a la carte breakfast offerings.
- Cabana Bar & Beach Club – The bar and lounge area by the main pool offers cocktails and lounge food.
- Fountain – A classic-themed diner offering all of your standard diner fare, including some great ice cream!
- Splash Pool Bar & Grill – A more informal spot that offers cocktails and lounge food.
- Phins Lounge – A contemporary lounge that is centrally located inside the Dolphin lobby.
- Picabu – A quick-service dining option found at the Dolphin offering a number grab and go items.
- Chill – A counter-service bar at the Swan that offers different chilled and frozen drinks.
- Fuel – A grab-and-go option at the Dolphin to grab coffee or premade snacks or sandwiches.
- Java – A quick-service breakfast cafe at the Swan that offers a number of specialty coffee drinks and some snacks and sandwiches.
We’d recommend the Swan and Dolphin to adults that want a great location to EPCOT or the Disney BoardWalk without being inundated with Disney theming.
It’s also a solid option for guests that want a nicer option than Disney’s Value and Moderate Resorts but don’t want to pay the rates of the Disney Deluxe Resorts.
Reasons to AVOID Staying Near EPCOT
While staying near EPCOT is ideal for many families and adults, it’s not always the best for EVERYONE. Why? In this section, we are going to talk about potential roadblocks or things that you should consider before booking your EPCOT-area Resort.
The EPCOT Resorts Can Be Expensive
Other than the Caribbean Beach Resort, all of the EPCOT Resorts are considered Deluxe Resorts by Disney’s standards, and that means they cost a LOT of money.
The idea of staying in a room that starts at over $400 a night during the SLOW season can be overwhelming for guests. We don’t blame you!
That’s why many times we stay at the Swan and Dolphin. It’s one of our favorite money-saving secrets at Disney World.
Far From Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom
While ‘far’ is subjective, and it’s certainly not far when it comes to standards outside of Walt Disney World. But taking bus rides to both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom can seem like FOREEEEEEVER. Even though in reality, it’s only a few miles away.
If your family has small kids and they want to spend a considerable amount of time at Magic Kingdom, it’s worth considering whether one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts is a better option for your family.
Shared and Slow Transportation
Guests staying at the EPCOT Resorts will often have to share buses with guests from the other EPCOT Resorts. This applies to those staying at the Yacht or Beach Club, and the Disney BoardWalk Inn.
This can make trips longer and take you a longer period of time to get back to your room at the end of the night if you’re not at EPCOT or Hollywood Studios.
No Food Courts
Many guests that are used to the Value Resorts love the conveniences of the huge food courts, which give families a number of options for every eater in the group. This is also a family-friendly way to count your pennies and not have to break the bank.
However, at the Deluxe Resorts on the BoardWalk, you’re somewhat limited with your quicker options, with mostly grab-and-go pre-made food offerings.
When staying at the EPCOT Resorts, you’ll have a significant amount of different transportation options. In this section, we will touch on each of them and when it makes sense to utilize them.
Let’s start with the best one and the reason you spend extra money to stay near EPCOT…walking!
In fact, if you’re staying at the Beach Club, Yacht Club, or BoardWalk Inn you’ll have the option to be able to walk into the International Gateway found in EPCOT’s World Showcase.
This is anywhere from a 5-10 minute walk, depending on which one of these resorts you’re staying at and it’s incredibly easy to do!
Can You Walk From Hollywood Studios to EPCOT?
Yes! Guests looking to walk from EPCOT to Hollywood Studios CAN do so. It’s about a 20-minute walk or so (1 mile), and on a nice day it’s a great way to make use of the Disney Walkways and enjoy a leisurely stroll.
Can You Walk From Magic Kingdom to EPCOT?
Unfortunately, you can’t walk from Magic Kingdom to EPCOT. The roads separating the two parks are major roads, requiring car transportation. There is no direct transportation. The easiest option is to take the Monorail with a quick transfer from the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center).
Getting to EPCOT is a breeze on the Disney Skyliner. The only EPCOT Resorts that will require the Skyliner to physically get back and forth to EPCOT are the Caribbean Beach Resort and the Riviera Resort.
The other three resorts are all within walking distance and don’t require the usage of the Skyliner.
Disney Friendship Boats will bring guests from the BoardWalk Inn, the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, and the Yacht Club. It’s a very short boat ride, but for guests that aren’t able to walk half a mile or so, it can be a convenient way to get to the back entrance of the park.
You can also take the Friendship Boats from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT as well.
There is limited, if any, bus transportation to EPCOT, from any of the EPCOT Resorts. Caribbean Beach and the Riviera are required to take the Skyliner. The Beach Club, Yacht Club, BoardWalk Inn, and Swan and Dolphin Resorts can make use of the Friendship Boats if they don’t want to walk.
While you can’t utilize the Disney Monorail at any of the EPCOT Resorts, guests coming from Magic Kingdom CAN use the monorail to get to EPCOT. With a simple transfer at the Transportation and Ticket Center, guests can hop aboard the monorail to get to the front entrance of EPCOT.
Best Way to Save Big $$$ on Disney Resorts
How to Decide Which EPCOT Hotel is Best for You
Deciding which EPCOT Resort is best for you can be a challenging proposition! With 10 different options on our list alone, picking the right one can be tough! Here are a few simple considerations for you:
Disney or No Disney – The most important thing to figure out is if you want to stay at a Disney Resort or a Non-Disney Hotel. While Disney Resorts will be more expensive, they are also more immersive and more convenient. We cover all the differences in this post.
On the Disney BoardWalk – Do you want to be on the Disney BoardWalk, giving you the most accessible possible option to EPCOT? Being on the BoardWalk gives you innumerable dining options, entertainment options, and fun! But these resorts are more expensive (other than the Swan and Dolphin), and they can be loud and more chaotic.
Deluxe or Moderate – If you want to stay at a Disney Resort but you don’t want to hurt your wallet immeasurably, then consider staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach, the only Moderate Resort on our list.
It’s a fun-themed resort that kids absolutely love, and it’s great for the whole family. And it’s only a simple Disney Skyliner ride away from both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
Theming – Look at pictures of the different resorts and consider your family’s personal preferences with the theming. Do you like the relaxed and beachy vibes of the Beach Club? Or do you resonate more with a Vintage BoardWalk-themed Resort?
These are just a few of the considerations when deciding which EPCOT Hotel is best for you. Your family likely has your own list of preferences, amenities, and budget. Balancing the many factors you have will allow you to have the best possible stay in the EPCOT area.
Best EPCOT Hotel for Kids
If on a more limited budget, we’d recommend Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. If the budget is higher, we’d highly recommend staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. You can consider renting points from David’s DVC Rental to make it more affordable for your family.
It’s hard to top Disney’s Beach Club Resort for kids. Between the fun beach theming and the best pool area in all of Disney World, Stormalong Bay, kids just LOVE the Beach Club. It was my favorite place growing up, and it still is now as a big kid!
Best EPCOT Hotel for Adults
While its appeal is limited somewhat to kids, we LOVE the Riviera Resort for adults. It’s a romantic spot that is a quiet break from the commotion of the Disney Parks.
And its signature restaurant, Topolino’s, is up there with our favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World. Plus it’s got incredible views from the rooftop.
Best Rooms at EPCOT Hotels
My favorite rooms are the rooms found at the Riviera Resort. We find that the room layout is spacious while also maximizing the available floor space. And since the hotel is only a couple of years old, they have the least amount of wear and tear on them.
Just don’t get stuck in one of those tiny tower studio rooms, you can barely fit your suitcase in there.
Which EPCOT Resort Has the Best Pool?
Since both the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts share the massive 3-acre pool area known as Stormalong Bay, we will say they can share the win. Whether it’s the waterslide, the sand-bottomed floor, or the relaxing lazy river, I don’t know. It’s just amazing and our family often spends hours and hours here on a hot summer day.
Which EPCOT Resort Has the Best Restaurants?
It’s a close call between the Yacht Club and the Riviera Resort with Topolino’s. We will give a slight edge to the Yacht Club since they have two very good table-service restaurants, Yachtsman Steakhouse and Ale & Compass.
It’s also great that you can easily walk over to the Beach Club to visit family-friendly options the Cape May Cafe and the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop.
Which EPCOT Hotel is the Cheapest?
Not counting the off-site hotels, the cheapest EPCOT Disney World Resort is Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Considered a Moderate Disney Resort, prices at the Caribbean Beach are reasonable and generally under $300 a night for most times of the year.
Which EPCOT Hotel is the Most Luxurious?
The more luxurious EPCOT Hotel is the Riviera Resort. This French and Italian-themed resort has intricate refinement and details throughout the resort. The hotel rooms and the lobby are intricately detailed with labor-intensive stonework and artistic touches throughout.
It FEELS by far the most luxurious out of all the EPCOT Resorts, even if it isn’t the most expensive.
Saving Money at EPCOT Hotels
There are a TON of ways to save money if you truly hope to stay at one of the EPCOT Hotels. Here is a list of some of our favorite ways to save money:
- Rent DVC points and stay at one of the villa resorts, such as the Beach Club Villas or the BoardWalk Villas. This will give you the same experience at a considerably cheaper cost! The Villas parts of the two hotels are just in a slightly different area of the hotel but you can still enjoy all the same amenities.
- Travel during an off-peak time. The best and cheapest times to visit Disney World are mid to late August, September, and January. This one tip can save you THOUSANDS and allow you to afford one of the EPCOT Hotels.
- Take advantage of promotions and discounts! Disney has been incredibly generous with its promotions in 2023, so make sure you take advantage of one of these deals! By utilizing an authorized travel agent, such as Show You the World Travel, they can get you the most savings!
- Cook in your room or order DoorDash or UberEats at your resort! There are TONS of places to order food from in the Disney area, by ordering food or getting your own groceries delivered, you can save significantly.
- Take advantage of Rewards Points! With most of the off-site hotels in the EPCOT Resort area being larger hotel chains, you can utilize your Hilton Points or your Marriott Points to stay at hotels such as the Swan and Dolphin!
- Utilize our favorite gift card hacks to save a few dollars here and there.
- Utilize cash-back credit cards that will refund you for travel expenses, such as the Capital One Venture Credit Card.
Read our Best Money-Saving Tips at Disney World for even more ways to spend less.
EPCOT Hotel Tips
In addition to saving money, there are a few other things you can do to maximize your Disney World Vacation while staying at an EPCOT Hotel. All of these things below are at or nearby the EPCOT Resorts.
- Utilize the Skyliner – While it’s awesome to be on the Monorail, we actually prefer the Disney Skyliner these days! All of the EPCOT Hotels are conveniently located near the Skyliner. Utilize it! Take rides around to the different Skyliner Resorts and explore them!
- Spend Time on the Disney BoardWalk – There are few places more fun and more entertaining than the Disney BoardWalk. With games, activities, shopping, and great eats, time on the BoardWalk can be incredibly fun!
- Go Fishing – Take a Guided Excursion from the Caribbean Beach Resort or the Yacht Club.
- Play Tennis or Pickleball – There are complimentary racquets and balls available for guests wanting to play some tennis or pickleball at the BoardWalk Inn Resort.
- Take Advantage of Views – The EPCOT Hotels have some stunning fireworks and Crescent Lake views throughout. Whether it’s at your hotel or at dinner at a place such as Topolino’s at the Riviera Resort.
- Play Miniature Golf – A great fun thing to do with the whole family is play mini-golf at the Fantasia Gardens course, right next to the Swan Reserve.
- Visit the Mandara Spa at the Dolphin – If you like being pampered and splurging on a nice treatment or massage, a visit to this Balinese-themed spa will start or end your trip in the ideal way!
- Take a Boat Ride – By being at an EPCOT hotel, you’ll be on or near the beautiful Crescent Lake so take advantage of it! Either take a fireworks cruise or enjoy one of the many Friendship Boat rides around the lake.
Things to Do Near EPCOT
If you’re looking to LEAVE the EPCOT vicinity and see what else the local area has to offer, here are some of our favorite things to do both inside and outside Disney World.
- Play Golf on One of the Disney Courses, such as Magnolia, Palm, Lake Buena Vista, or the 9-hole Oak Trail.
- Take Surf Lessons at Typhoon Lagoon and learn how to surf in their popular wave pool!
- Visit the Tri-Circle-D Ranch over at the Fort Wilderness Resort and go ride a horse or take a carriage ride!
- Enjoy an evening or two at Disney Springs! While we love the EPCOT Resorts, Disney Springs has a never-ending list of great places to get food and drinks. Not to mention shopping!
- Take an art class at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort which offers free drawing classes to any Walt Disney World hotel guests.
- Visit the other Walt Disney World Resorts. Outside of the EPCOT Resorts, there are still about an additional 30 Disney World Resorts that are incredibly interesting to explore!
- Go to Animal Kingdom Lodge and watch the animals! If you’re lucky, you might be able to get into Sanaa for lunch and actually watch the animals as you eat a delicious meal.
- Visit the Universal Orlando Resort. While we know some are anti-Universal, we actually love visiting the Universal Parks on occasion.
- Go to Discovery Cove. One of the most intimate animal experiences you’ll ever get to enjoy is at Discovery Cove. While it isn’t cheap, it’s an unforgettable experience!
- Go to an Orlando Magic (Basketball) or Orlando City SC (Soccer) game! Both of these teams play in the Downtown Orlando area, not far away at all from Walt Disney World.
These are just 10 of our favorite things to do near EPCOT, there are certainly many many more!
Does EPCOT Have an Official Resort?
No. There is no official EPCOT Resort, only EPCOT-area resorts and hotels.
What Resorts Connect to EPCOT?
The resorts that you could say “connect” to EPCOT include just a few along the Disney BoardWalk that are a short convenient walking path away.
Are there any EPCOT Resorts on the Monorail Loop?
No. The Monorail Loop consists only of the Magic Kingdom area resorts which include the Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, and the Polynesian Village Resort.
What is the Closest Resort Walk to EPCOT?
The resort with the closest walk to EPCOT is Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It literally is a 5-minute walk away from most sections of the hotel.
The EPCOT Area is our personal favorite place to be. While it might not be as exciting an area for smaller kids that want to be closer to Magic Kingdom, it’s the best for everyone else in our opinion. It’s got the perfect mix of Disney Imagineering, fun activities, terrific dining, and convenience.
While we love being close to Magic Kingdom, staying at an EPCOT area hotel allows you to be close to both EPCOT AND Hollywood Studios. This level of convenience and accessibility is unparalleled anywhere in Disney World if you plan on spending a good amount of time in these parks.
You are also closer to Disney Springs if you plan on spending any time there.
And with better prices than the Magic Kingdom Resorts, it’s a no-brainer for us. This isn’t to say that we don’t love the Magic Kingdom Resorts, we DO. In fact, they are some of our favorite resorts in all of Disney World.
But in general, we prefer the EPCOT area for the additional amenities, location, and accessibility you get.
Ok, so you’ve decided that you want to stay at an EPCOT Hotel, now what?! It’s time to make your reservations! To do that we recommend using an authorized Disney Travel Agent, such as Show You the World Travel, and they’ll help you from the very beginning to the very end.
If you’re still undecided about which EPCOT Resort to stay at, want to know when to visit, or just want to take advantage of the latest and greatest promotions, Show You the World Travel, will help you!
Their team of highly skilled Disney Experts knows exactly how to maximize a Disney World Vacation while also catering to the individual needs of your family. The best part of all is that they don’t charge a single dollar more than Disney charges!
They can help you do things such as booking dining reservations, purchasing park tickets, and educating you on all the most up-to-date information you need to enjoy your vacation. Trust me, you won’t be able to find an easier way to book your trip!
That wraps up our ranking of the top EPCOT Resorts. We hope that we helped you understand the pros and cons of each one enough so you can pick which one is right for your family on your next vacation!
If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the near future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.
- Disney World Vacation Planning Guide
- Disney World Crowd Calendar
- When are the Best Times to Visit Disney World?
I want to know what you think about our ranking of the best EPCOT hotels…
- What is your favorite EPCOT Resort to stay at?
- Which do you think is #1?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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