What Makes a Deluxe, Deluxe? Disney Resort Categories Explained

If you’ve ever looked at the Disney World resort hotels, you’ve probably noticed they are broken down into a few categories — Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa.

Disney’s Riviera Resort, considered a “Deluxe Resort”

While the names might give you a general sense of what to expect with each category, what might not be so clear is just what makes each category different than the others. That’s why we’re breaking them down and getting to the bottom of what exactly makes a Deluxe Resort hotel “deluxe”!

We’re breaking down each of the Disney Resort categories, from Value to Deluxe!

Disney World Value Resorts

While there are some definite exceptions to the rule, typically Disney’s Value Resorts are considered to be the most “budget friendly”. In this category are Disney’s All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Pop Century and  Art of Animation Resorts. Since they are a bit more budget-friendly, the standard rooms at the Value Resorts are typically slightly smaller in size, with fewer amenities than you’ll find at the Moderate or Deluxe Resorts.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Each Value Resort includes a food court as a dining option, two or more swimming pools, and Disney transportation. Up until the launch of the Skyliner, buses were the only form of transportation at Disney Value Resorts, but now the Skyliner does connect Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios! Because of this, you can expect those two resorts to typically run for more expensive rates.

Disney World Moderate Resorts

The Moderate Resort hotels at Disney World are in between a Value and Deluxe, with more amenities and larger room sizes than you’d find at a Value. The Moderate Resorts include Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter and Ft. Wilderness Cabins.

Caribbean Beach Resort Pool

Additionally, a Moderate Resort hotel typically includes a full-service restaurant in addition to food courts, a swimming pool with a slide and hot tub, recreation options, and additional forms of transportation (specifically at the Caribbean Beach Resort, you can take the Skyliner directly to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and you can visit the Magic Kingdom by boat from Fort Wilderness Resort).

Disney World Deluxe Resorts

So it’s time to answer that question — what exactly makes a Deluxe Resort hotel “deluxe”? Well, for starters, a standard room at the Deluxe Resort hotels will typically be larger than what you’d get at a Value or Moderate. At most of the Deluxe Resorts, you will also have more options for transportation, including the Monorail, Skyliner, or ferry boat to get to the parks. Location is often key to the appeal of Deluxe Resorts.

Ferry Boat to Magic Kingdom

The Deluxe Resorts include Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht Club and Beach Club, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Additionally, the new Riviera Resort is considered a Deluxe Resort.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

While each of the hotels in this category are different, what puts them all in this category is that they are what most guests would consider a bit more luxurious, offering various amenities, beautiful rooms, and truly immersive experiences. For example, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can actually stay in a room where your balcony oversees various animals of the savannah, including zebras and giraffe!

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Each of the Resorts in this category will give you a particularly unique experience that lives up to it’s “deluxe” ranking.

If you’ve stayed at a Disney World Resort hotel, which has been your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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11 Replies to “What Makes a Deluxe, Deluxe? Disney Resort Categories Explained”

  1. My favorite Deluxe was the 3 bedroom, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Although a good walk to the elevators and amenities, it was well worth the walk for the experience. Oddly enough, my least favorite was the Grand Floridian 2 bedroom. The hotel is wonderful all the way around but the room experience (for us at least) was substandard for what you would expect from a Disney Deluxe resort.
    Boardwalk and Beach Club are wonderful for convenience to many amenities, EPCOT & Hollywood Studios. Polynesian is ok but their DVC needs a severe updating. Old Key West isn’t spectacular but if you want a relaxing time, it’s the one. Haven’t tried the rest yet, but we are moving down soon and will be doing staycations.

  2. Being a single mom with four kids, I really appreciate the value resorts. The pools are great, the food court is all we need, and we feel blessed to be able to visit at all. Maybe when I am alone and the kids are all out, I may splurge if possible and stay at Boardwalk, but honestly, I would miss the All Star Music. That is our favorite value resort. I am going to miss the magical express from the airport.

  3. We have stayed at the All Star Sports and Port Orleans, but once we discovered the Wilderness Lodge we were hooked. The overall theme, convenience to the parks, good restaurants make it hard to beat. The staff is outstanding and everything is so well maintained. We cant wait to go back.

  4. When my kids were younger we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside. It was very nice. For the past 10 years or so we have stayed at the boardwalk. Great resort! You can walk to two parks, great on site restaurants, street performers at night. I wouldn’t stay anywhere else

  5. Haven’t stayed at any value or moderate resorts. After two stays at Grand Floridian and one at Beach Club, I’m not sure I’d want to. I’m certainly not knocking them by any means, but our deluxe stays have been so phenomenal that others might be a let down.

    Grand Floridian was our favorite when the kids were younger due to the really close proximity to MK, but for the wife and I, Epcot is our favorite and Beach Club was so convenient.

    Heading that way in April and will be staying at Beach Club for the second time. Can’t wait!

  6. I have stayed at all resort levels over the years. I am now a vacation club member. Our home resort is Bay Lake. The most noticeable difference between the resort levels is THE NOISE LEVEL. Value resorts are super crowded, food courts and pools are both insanely crowded & insanely loud, walls of the rooms seem paper thin and you can hear every flush of your neighbor’s toilet. Moderate resorts also have paper thin walls between rooms, I’ve been woken by other guests returning to their rooms later than my family. Their food courts and pools are also insanely loud and crowed. Moderate resorts seem to me to be value resorts that charge a bit more. Deluxe resorts are quiet, much less crowded and the rooms are much larger. The first thing one notices is that their room or suite has wonderful sound insulation. You don’t feel as if you are practically sitting in the same room as the family next door.

  7. I have stayed at All Star Movies and All Star Music and I love them. Being a solo traveler it is the perfect price. I have had dinner at Widerness Lodge, Drinks at the Grand Floridian, and Polynesian. And I have to say I love the experiences but love the price tag at the values. I think you can stay where you want and enjoy the other resorts while saving some dough. With that said I do want to stay at the Polynesian one day, so I can enjoy all the Trader Sam’s I want.😊

  8. I suppose if you plan to do a lot of non-park days, a moderate or deluxe resort makes sense. But if your vacation includes mainly park days, a value resorts looks exactly the same as a deluxe resort behind closed eyelids.

  9. I have stayed at many Disney Resorts, and belong to DIsney Vacation Club. Every now and then, I have no available DVC points . Recently stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort for cash. No denying the deluxe rooms are larger, and quite beautiful. Transportation is quicker with more choices. We spend most of our time in The parks or Disney Springs. However, that deluxe Resort room at the end of a long day is wonderful. Mattresses are beyond comfortable. Any little thing you need is there or quickly delivered. Most importantly-NOISE level! At the Caribbean, I could hear every flush of my neighbors toilet! The sound of the shower! Practically everything . This is bad. Paper thin walls of less expensive resorts are awful. Peace and quiet nights at the Boardwalk are much appreciated.

  10. Basically, the big difference is room size and location. The exception is the Suites at Art of Animation, but all single rooms in Value / Moderate are pretty much the same size in Square Feet. I guess if you’re in a Tax Bracket that makes the Grand Floridian or Polynesian seem reasonable then go for it. Me, I cannot get past the fact that 2 rooms at Pop Century are cheaper than 1 at most Deluxe. And we’re never in the rooms all that much. I will admit that if price was no object, a Savannah view at Animal Kingdom sure would be cool.

    Value 260
    Moderate 314
    Yacht / Beach 380
    Contemporary 394
    Polynesian 415
    Grand Floridian 440