Integrated whispering-gallery mode resonators are attractive devices which have found applications as selective filters, low-threshold lasers, high-speed modulators, high-sensitivity sensors and even as nonlinear converters. Their performance is governed by the level of detrimental (scattering, bulk, bending) loss incurred and the usable loss represented by the coupling rate between the resonator and its access waveguide. Practically, the latter parameter can be more accurately controlled when the resonator lies above the access waveguide, in other words, when the device uses a vertical integration scheme. So far, when using such an integration technique, the process involved a rather technically challenging step being either a planarization or a substrate transfer step. In this presentation, we propose and demonstrate an alternative method to fabricate vertically-coupled whispering-gallery mode resonators on III-V semiconductor epitaxial structures which has the benefit of being planarization-free and performed as single-side top-down process. The approach relies on a selective lateral thermal oxidation of aluminum-rich AlGaAs layers to define the buried access waveguide and enhance the vertical confinement of the whispering-gallery mode into the resonator. As a first experimental proof-of-principle of this approach, 75 µm-diameter micro-disk devices exhibiting quality factor reaching ~4500 have been successfully made.