If you choose to stay at a Disney World Resort hotel, you’re guaranteed to have access to a number of perks, amenities, and top-tier service from Cast Members! But, how far does your dollar stretch as you move up the resort levels?
Disney World has three resort levels: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. As you move to the next level, you’ll likely dish out more cash. But what does your money buy at each of these levels?
What you get at EVERY resort level
No matter where you stay in Disney World, your Disney owned- and operated- resort hotel will have at least one pool, and oftentimes it will have multiple pools to enjoy.
Every resort also has some form of shopping and dining. We’ll get into more detail with how many dining options and what kind of options you’ll find at each resort later, but know that no matter what, you will have on-site dining options available.
Like we mentioned earlier, no matter which Disney World Resort hotel you choose, you get access to all of the perks offered to on-site guests, including complimentary resort transportation, discounted MagicBand purchases ahead of your trip, 60 day FastPass+ booking windows (when available), the option to add the Disney Dining Plan to your vacation package (when available), and more. All on-site resort guests have access to Disney’s Magical Express (available through January 1st, 2022).
Let’s dive into what the major differences are at each resort level:
Disney’s Value Resorts offer the most, as the name implies, value in terms of cost per night. This may allow your party to take advantage of longer trips, more leftover money to set aside for dining and shopping, and more.
However, while you can save some considerable money by choosing to stay at a Value Resort, these hotels also offer the least in terms of hotel amenities. You will only find counter service dining available in cafeteria-like settings. These resorts also have a large amount of rooms, which can result in longer lines for transportation, especially during busy seasons.
Disney World has four Moderate Resorts: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside. The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are also included in the Moderate Resort category.
Disney World’s Moderate Resorts are one step “up” from the Value Resorts, both in amenities as well as price. Every Moderate Resort has at least one table service restaurant on-site in addition to counter service options. In many cases, you’ll find multiple on-site restaurants and lounges available, especially at Coronado Springs thanks to its new Gran Destino Tower.
Speaking of Coronado Springs, if you’re looking for more Deluxe accommodations at a lower price point, this resort may be perfect for your party. Since Coronado Springs is a conference resort, it features several amenities typically reserved for Disney’s Deluxe Resorts, including a full-service fitness center and spa, business center, and like we mentioned, more than one on-site table service restaurant.
Moderate Resorts also have larger rooms available, some with fun theming (Caribbean Beach Resort has awesome pirate-themed rooms, for example).
Finally, there are the Disney World Deluxe Resorts. This category has by far the most amount of options: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
The Deluxe Resorts have multiple on-site dining options, some of which are among the best dining options across Disney World. These resorts feature top-tier amenities, including fitness centers and spas. Certain resorts offer Club Level amenities in addition to Disney Vacation Club Villas.
As you can imagine, all of these top-tier amenities come at a price. These are by far the most pricey accommodation options if you’re looking to stay on Disney World property. So, what should you consider when deciding which resort to book?
Keep in mind your travel party’s priorities. If you want a resort with tons of activities to take advantage of on non-park days, then it may be worth it to see how a Moderate or Deluxe Resort could fit into your budget. Deluxe Resorts are destinations in and of themselves, but keep in mind that you can always visit these resorts as well — you do not need to be an overnight guest (as of this writing, you need a confirmed Dining Reservation in order to “hop” to a resort at which you are not an overnight guest).
If you only need a place with a comfy bed to sleep on at the end of each night, then you may find yourself wondering why you shelled out extra dollars to stay at a Deluxe Resort. In those instances, you may want to consider a Value Resort.
Keep in mind the pros and cons at each resort level: you may save money by staying at a Value Resort, but you’ll miss out on those extra activities and luxuries you may find at a Deluxe Resort. Like we said, staying at a Value Resort may mean you can stay longer than if you stayed at a Deluxe Resort (the price of one night at a Deluxe Resort is often two, three, sometimes even four times as much as a night at a Value Resort).
Each of the resorts has something unique and different to offer (we haven’t even begun talking about where each of these resorts are located — in general you’ll find resorts across multiple price points in all corners of Disney World), so be sure to follow along for more tips and tricks when it comes to picking the perfect Disney World Resort hotel!
What is your favorite Disney World Resort hotel? Let us know in the comments!
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