When reminiscing about all our fantastic theme park holidays the other day, we realised we’ve stayed in quite a few on-site theme park hotels along the way.
So similar to what we did with our Disney Quick Service restaurant ranking, I thought it would be fun to list the theme park hotels we’ve stayed in from worst to best.
There’s a good mix of hotels in here, mainly from the UK and Orlando. We hope it helps you if you’re looking for great onsite theme park hotels when planning your trips.
Our Least Favourite theme park hotels
8. Thorpe Shark Cabins, Thorpe Park
Average cost: From £129 for one night for two people including 2-day park tickets
It’s with some trepidation that the Thorpe Shark Cabins sit at the bottom of our list as I know they are quite well loved. And I suppose I can see why, this is definitely one of the quirkier theme park hotels in the UK.
Set in re-purposed shipping containers, the rooms at Thorpe Park’s only on-site hotel are very compact but do the job for a couple staying for one night. To say the price includes theme park tickets and (as of right now) unlimited Fatstrack on your second day, the price is very good value as well.
The accommodation sits at the bottom of our list because it’s not really a hotel. There’s no lobby, just another shipping container to check you in. You also have to go up to the Infinity Bar and Kitchen in the park to eat your evening meal and there isn’t much to keep you entertained once the park is shut.
Not a bad place to stay for a night, but this isn’t somewhere we’d rush back to. Next time we’ll probably book a nearby hotel that has a bit more to do.
7. Big Blue Hotel, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Average cost: Around £99 for one night for two people not including park tickets
The Big Blue Hotel is one of two on-site hotels at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The hotel is directly next to the theme park, offering views of the park from some of the rooms and a special entrance for hotel guests.
This hotel is perfectly fine for a night in Blackpool but it sits near the bottom of our list as it’s not very good value for money. The Big blue Hotel website says this as a luxury hotel but to be honest the rooms were no different to a Premier Inn.
The bar and lobby area are pretty nice, but the drinks are very expensive. You also have to pay for your theme park tickets and parking on top of the room cost, perks that are usually included with on-site theme park hotels in the UK.
There are some nice touches, you can exchange your tickets for a wristband in the hotel, the breakfast was nice and the location is fantastic. But that doesn’t make up for the very high price tag, especially when there’s a perfectly decent Travelodge that’s often £30 a night round the corner.
Average theme park hotels
6. Splash Landings Hotel, Alton Towers
Average cost: Around £180 for one night for two people including 2-day park tickets
The Splash Landings Hotel is one of five accommodation options at Alton Towers. Themed as a Caribbean paradise, this hotel also boasts the Alton Towers indoor water park.
We actually really enjoyed our stay here and have talked before about the benefits of staying on-site at Alton Towers. The rooms are a little compact for the heavy price point but the hotel is heavily themed, photogenic and there’s plenty to keep you entertained in an evening.
You really do feel like you’ve entered a Caribbean paradise here and is the closest I’ve felt to an immersive Disney hotel experience in the UK.
The water park is a nice addition too although entry isn’t included in your hotel stay. Theres an epic arcade and you can take move between here and the Alton Towers Hotel through an indoor walk way.
The reason we think this theme park hotel is average is it’s pretty bloody expensive, you still have to battle the monorail to get to the parks so there’s no real benefit in terms of location and the on-site restaurant Flambo’s Jambo was terrible especially for the price.
5. Disney’s All Star Sports, Walt Disney World
Average cost: Prices vary massively but this is currently around £1,950 room only for two adults for 14 nights in September
We’re moving away from the UK for our next theme park hotel Disney’s All Star Sports.
As the cheapest hotel in Disney World the rooms are pretty basic but it’s heavily themed with a pretty nice pool area and all the amenities you need for a two-week Disney World holiday.
We’ve done a full All Star Sports review before and can comfortably say we enjoyed dour stay here very much.
it is more of a family-themed hotel than the perfect place for adults and it isn’t fancy, but you can still benefit from all the perks of staying in a Disney hotel such as extra magic hours, the Disney Dining Plan and 60 day Fastpass+ reservations.
On the negative side, the beds are small, the buses are really busy and it take forever to get to Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs from this hotel.
4. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Walt Disney World
Average cost: Prices vary massively but this is currently around £3,400 room only for two adults for 14 nights in September
I’ll start this with a caveat, we stayed at Caribbean Beach when it was in the middle of massive renovations so our stay was slightly hindered by there being no main hotel area with shops and restaurants.
This is one of Disney’s moderate hotel resorts so the rooms are decent sized and the pool areas are lovely. The new Centertown Market area looks absolutely stunning with great dining and shopping options.
We found this hotel had really chilled out vibes and was a great place to relax outside of the parks. Unlike All Star Sports the theming is understated and there’s more food and drink options making it a great theme park hotel for an adults-only trip.
Caribbean Beach is also now one of the main resorts on the Disney Skyliner which makes getting to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios super simple and stress-free. However it sits lower in the rankings because of the room-only price tag. We’d love to stay here but I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to afford it again.
Our favourite theme park hotels
3. Hard rock Hotel, Universal Orlando Resort
Average cost: Prices vary but this is currently around £800 room only for two adults for three nights in September
Hard Rock Hotel is one of seven on-site hotels at Universal Studios Orlando and is classed as one of their premier hotels. This means it comes with free express passes for the length of your stay as well as being in very close proximity to the park.
The hotel itself is modern, clean and luxurious with the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in. There’s a great selection of restaurants, shops and bars and the pool is stunning. They also serve the best frozen cocktails at the pool bar.
If you’re a music lover this hotel is perfect for you as it’s full of fantastic memorabilia and musical touches like the soundtrack playing underwater in the pool.
You can walk to Universal Studios in less than 10 minutes or jump on the very relaxing water taxi.
This hotel sits near the top of our list because it’s just beautiful with some amazing perks. The price is eye-watering though so it’s not one you’ll want to book for a budget trip.
2. Hotel Ling Bao, Phantasialand
Average cost: Prices vary but this is currently around £190 for two adults for one night in September, theme park tickets aren’t included in the price
Hotel Ling Bao is one of Phantasialand’s two on-site hotels. Located in Germany, Phantasialand is full of magic and is the perfect European park for Disney lovers.
In terms of luxury and quality, Hotel Ling Bao is a hotel that would stand up against the deluxe resorts in Disney World. Inspired by Asia, every detail of the hotel lives its theme from the artwork and decor to the gardens and food options. For more information about our stay you can read our review of Hotel Ling Bao.
Our night here was wonderful and the hotel has loads of perks; a special entrance, extra ride time on Taron, free queue jump passes and free parking.
We managed to get a good deal on this hotel but it is a little expensive in comparison to some of the other off-site hotels in the area but we felt it was totally worth the money for one night. As you can tell from where we’ve ranked this, it’s one of the best hotels we’ve ever stayed in and we had an amazing night’s stay here.
1. Royal Pacific Hotel, Universal Orlando Resort
Average cost: Prices vary but this is currently around £700 room only for two adults for three nights in September
We’ve finally made it to the top of our list with our favourite on-site theme park hotel. The top spot had to be given to Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Hotel.
This is another premier hotel at Universal Orlando and it’s utterly gorgeous. The theming is laid-back Polynesian and we were truly astounded when we walked into the lobby. Every inch of this hotel is absolutely beautiful.
There’s also tonnes of food and drink options and the most perfect pool for relaxing after a busy park day. It’s so close to Islands of Adventure that you can hear The Incredible Hulk roaring round the track and you can make it to the parks in a quick ten-minute walk.
We just adore this hotel and it’s genuinely one of the best hotels we’ve ever stayed in, never mind just one of the best theme park hotels. We’ve talked about this amazing place before, so do check out five awesome reasons to stay at Royal Pacific hotel for more about why we love it.
What do you think about our rankings? Are there any theme park hotel’s you’ve experienced that you think we should add to our list? If so, share them with us in the comments.