Stop Paying Thousands of Dollars to Stay at the WRONG Disney World Hotels

Let’s be honest, not all Disney World hotels were created equal! With three different pricing categories (Value, Moderate, and Deluxe) and several different hotels within those, there’s a lot to consider when you’re deciding where to stay during your trip!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

And, if you’ve got the budget bandwidth, it’s easy to look to the Deluxe Resorts for the ultimate Disney World stay. But, just because it’s called a “Deluxe Resort” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worth thousands of extra dollars compared to other Disney resorts!

Of course, the idea of what’s “worth it” depends on what you and your family want out of your hotel. However, if you’re not careful, you could end up shelling out thousands of dollars for a sub-par room.

So, avoid the regret of booking the wrong Deluxe Resorts and take these 5 things into consideration!


Many guests staying in a Deluxe Disney World Resort have come to expect the royal treatment during their stay — you’re likely paying 500+ after all! But, no matter how you might define what makes a Deluxe Resort “worth it,” the appearance of construction equipment and refurbishment walls doesn’t exactly add up to the “Deluxe experience.”

Disney’s Riviera Resort

With such a high price tag attached to a room at hotels like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of your stay — and that probably doesn’t involve being woken up by construction noise or seeing orange fencing on your walk to breakfast.

That’s why, for some, staying at a Deluxe Resort that is under refurbishment can be a big deal-breaker.

Construction at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Recently, Disney has been in the process of refreshing quite a few of its Deluxe Resorts. For example, the Grand Floridian Resort DVC villas are in the middle of a major makeover, so you might see some construction walls and various construction vehicles around the resort.

Look out for upcoming construction projects before you book your hotel!

And, we’ve also seen quite a bit of work being done on the exterior of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.

Construction at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in early 2022

Additionally, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is set to receive new DVC Villas soon, which will bring even more construction to the resort.

Back in 2021, Disney’s Polynesian Resort was in the middle of a major construction project

So, if unsightly construction is a big deal to you, consider holding off on booking a reservation at a Disney resort under refurbishment. There are plenty of amazing places to stay in Disney World, so you have lots of options! Disney usually updates each resort’s website well in advance of when a refurbishment is planned so you can check there before you book.

Here’s How YOU Ranked the Deluxe Resorts at Disney World!

Think strategically

If you’re planning to splurge on a Deluxe Resort, make the most of your stay by thinking strategically before you decide where to stay! Sure, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is absolutely stunning, but depending on your plans, this resort might not be worth it for you and your family (especially if you want to avoid long bus rides to the parks aside from Disney’s Animal Kingdom).

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

What do we mean? Well, for example, if you want a hotel that’s close to the Magic Kingdom, but also has some kid-friendly dining options, you might want to consider Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort over somewhere like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Look at the menus at each resort to see which has your favorite options!

The same logic applies to the location itself! If you’re traveling with little ones and are planning to spend most of your time at Magic Kingdom, consider a resort on the monorail loop. These hotels are just a monorail, boat ride, or even a few steps away from the park saving you lots of travel time.

Monorail at the Polynesian

On the other hand, an all-adult party might enjoy the EPCOT nightlife, so staying close to EPCOT might be better for your group!

We tend to opt to stay at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn compared to Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club hotels, as it has more amenities and restaurants and it’s still super close to EPCOT and on Disney’s BoardWalk!

Disney’s EPCOT Resorts are so fun at night!

And, if you plan on spending a lot of time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (or even EPCOT), staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort on the Disney Skyliner route will offer the most convenient and timely transportation options.

Skyliner station at Disney’s Riviera Resort

So, before you blindly book a reservation at a nice-sounding Deluxe Resort, look at all the amenities, dining options, and location relative to what you want!

The Best and Worst Disney World Resorts at Every Price Point

Is it worth it for you?

Another thing to consider before you spend all that money on a Deluxe Resort is how much time you’re actually going to spend in your hotel room.

Riviera Resort Tower Studio room

If your family plans on being in the parks as much as possible, your hotel might only be used to shower and sleep! That could mean you’re only spending a small amount of time in your room, in which case all those Deluxe amenities might not really be helpful to you.

Beach Club Resort room

In this case, a fancy (and costly) room might not be worth it so consider saving the cash and spending that leftover money on a fancy meal, a tour, or merchandise to make your park day even better instead!

You don’t have to stay at the hotel to enjoy the dining!

Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts boast some seriously delicious meals, but did you know that you don’t need to be paying to stay there to treat yourself to a fancy breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

For example, resorts on the monorail loop are easy to get to from the Magic Kingdom, so you can easily add a visit to ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to your itinerary without staying at the hotel.

All are welcome!

The same thing goes for Disney’s Riviera Resort! It’s easy to get to the Riviera from the Disney Skyliner, so you can still enjoy the atmosphere and the restaurants without paying thousands of dollars.

It’s so fun to explore other hotels!

If you’re more interested in soaking up the hotel atmosphere than the room itself, you can explore Disney’s resorts in your free time — for FREE! Just keep in mind that, right now, Disney is only allowing guests staying at the hotel or those with a dining reservation or mobile order to park in the parking lots. If you don’t have any of these consider hopping on Disney transportation!

Consider staying at the Swan & Dolphin Resort

The Swan & Dolphin Resort is right next to EPCOT (and a boat ride to Disney’s Hollywood Studios), yet a room at these hotels can be booked for much less than the nearby Disney hotels!

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Keep in mind that the Swan and Dolphin Hotel is not officially owned by Disney, so the atmosphere doesn’t necessarily scream “Disney.” But, guests staying at this hotel have access to most of the same perks as a Disney resort guest.

The Swan and Dolphin is right next to Disney’s Boardwalk, Yacht, and Beach Club Resorts

Plus, you can also earn (or use) Marriott Bonvoy points when staying at the Swan and Dolphin, which is a great added bonus!

Your view might disappoint you

Many of the Deluxe Disney World Resorts tout stunning views of the Disney parks, fireworks spectaculars, and even wildlife — but, not all rooms guarantee a great view.

View from Disney’s Old Key West Resort

For example, if you plan to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’re probably interested in seeing some animals from your room (that’s kind of the main appeal!). But, unless you pay the premium price to upgrade to a Savanna View room, you could be looking at the parking lot rather than the wildlife.

Your view might really make or break your experience!

At pretty much every Disney Deluxe Resort, the only way to guarantee an amazing view is to upgrade to a Theme Park View or a Savanna View, which can cost significantly more.

Click HERE For a List Of The BEST Rooms to Stay in at EVERY Monorail Resort!

Well, there you have it! When you’re planning your next Disney World vacation, think strategically and weigh all the pros and cons before you make your decision on where to stay — you could end up saving yourself a LOT of money! And, in the meantime, stay tuned to AllEars for more of the latest Disney planning tips, tricks, and updates!

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4 Replies to “Stop Paying Thousands of Dollars to Stay at the WRONG Disney World Hotels”

  1. Or, you can stay off property and save enough to buy your park tickets and
    maybe even more! A few years ago I paid $180/night at the Wilderness Lodge.
    Now they want $455/night PLUS $25/night to park your car. Ridiculous.

  2. I find moderate resorts well themed, relaxing and because they’re spread out the chances of getting a quiet room quite high. Construction occurs in particular rooms and front desk places guests away from it.

  3. I stayed at the Swan last trip. The Swan and Dolphin do charge a resort fee, but even with the resort fee they are at least $300 cheaper a night than the cheapest standard rooms at Yacht, Beach, and Boardwalk. You are still eligible for early morning and deluxe evening hours as well as booking your restaurants 60 days in advance. The location is great being able to walk to Epcot and HS, or take the boat. I personally walked to avoid crowds. Some complain about the buses for AK and MK because they don’t drop you off at the entrance like the rest of the Disney resorts. I didn’t have an issue with this. I found the Swan and Dolphin buses to be minimally crowded. I never had to worry about standing-room only like I have in past years with the Disney buses. I didn’t mind being dropped off at TTC for MK and having to take the boat over if it meant a less-crowded bus.

    The staff I didn’t find to be as nice as at an actual Disney resort. We had an issue with our bathroom fan not working the entire week of our stay. I texted the resort twice and was told engineering would like at it, and they obviously never did. I complained upon check-out and they refused to do anything for me. I wrote a letter to management and it took 3 months to get a response back from a manager finally who is offering me a $150 credit to use towards our next stay (we are staying at the Dolphin 1/2 the week and Yacht Club the other 1/2 of the week next trip because Swan & Dolphin was already fully booked for the week we’re going).

    I do hear online of others saying that the management and staff aren’t the greatest at the Swan and Dolphin, which is a shame because the location is fantastic and it’s so much cheaper than Yacht, Beach, and Boardwalk.

    Magic-bands do not work at the Swan and Dolphin. They will give you a room key. And for some reason if you book a package MDE will not let you add your park ticket #’s until you check-in. Both years my travel agent had to call Disney for me to add a temporary generic park pass to my account on MDE so I’m able to book restaurants ahead of time 60 days out.

    I do wish when the Dining plan returns that Swan and Dolphin resort guests were eligible, but they are not.

  4. Just stayed at Yacht and Beach and had scaffolding and workers directly outside my balcony the whole stay. No apologies from management and that room should never have been rented. The usual “We have nothing else available” after complaining, of course. Buyer beware!!