Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Rating: 4.0 Pearls
From the gazelles and giraffes freely roaming the grounds to the enormous pool with a waterslide, the safari-themed Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge was designed to amaze and delight children. Throughout the day, staff members lead (free) educational activities for children like craft-making, African drumming, or mini-lessons about the where giraffes come from. Here, even the learning is captivating.
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Rating: 4.0 Pearls
It's not exactly luxurious -- the bedding is subpar and crowds are a constant -- but the 727-room Wilderness Lodge is still a superb family resort. It has lake access, hiking trails, a standout pool and waterslide, free daily kids' activities, a great gym, and elaborate, Western frontier decor (including an exploding geyser) to keep kids enthralled -- all just five minutes from the Magic Kingdom.
Disney Port Orleans Resort - Riverside Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Designed to evoke an old town in the Mississippi Delta, the huge, 2,048-room Riverside is one of Disney's best values. Its guest rooms aren't as new as those at the Coronado, for example, but its central location, fun pool complex, large rooms that sleep five, and beautiful setting make it a great family pick for the price.
Disney's Pop Century Resort Rating: 2.5 Pearls
The pros: It has three enormous pools and a massive arcade. The cons: The guest rooms are small (and often noisy) and the on-site food options are limited. On balance, a fine landing pad for families spending most of their time (and money) at the parks.