Selecting Your Walt Disney World Resort
Among the many reasons people love Disney vacations, the impeccable attention to detail is what makes Disney experiences truly seamless and magical. When it comes to accommodations, Walt Disney World continues to leave no stone unturned at any of its 28 luxurious resorts featuring unparalleled theming and comfort at a variety of budget levels. Onsite hotels also offer exclusive perks, including free airport transportation, access to pre-booked fast passes for park attractions 60 days prior to travel, convenient location and free transportation to the parks, the option to add a Disney dining plan, and the ability to make dining reservations 180 days out from the trip. Yet given the wide variety of options, it can be difficult to make a selection that best suits your vacation preferences. There are many factors to consider in order to make the most of your Walt Disney World resort experience.
1. Research the Hotel Booking Categories
Disney World offers multiple hotel booking categories, including Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Disney Vacation Club Villas. Consider what is best for your budget depending on your length of stay, number of guests in your party, and the value you see in the offerings at each level.
If you are strategically planning a budget-conscious trip, you will be pleasantly surprised by the way Disney’s continuous dedication to quality carries over to these more-affordable options in the Walt Disney World Resort Value category. Offering fun theming, large food courts with great variety, and standard rooms featuring full-size beds, Value resorts certainly live up to their name. At the Moderate and Deluxe levels, you will find queen-sized beds, larger rooms, table-service restaurants on resort property, water slides at resort pools, more transportation options, as well as boat, watercraft, and bike rentals. Deluxe resorts are indeed the grandest, with interior hallways, room options including balconies, additional signature restaurants, and more advantageous locations offering access to the parks through convenient modes of transportation like the world-renowned monorail, boats, and direct walking paths. Villas offer additional convenience with full kitchens, washers, and dryers. This category is preferable for larger families who desire multiple bedrooms in one connected unit.
2. Decide What Matters Most to You
Once you have determined your desired hotel booking category, compare the hotel options. While most offer similar amenities within a category, each has unique advantages depending on location, food selections, and transportation options. Further, the layouts of the hotels can vary depending on their sizes and designs. This can impact your proximity to the main lobby, pool, bus stops, and other resort amenities.
3. Consider Your Theming Preferences
One of the most fascinating aspects of each Walt Disney World resort is their capacity to tell stories. Each one is distinguished by its incredible theming that creates an immersive experience beyond what you will find at most hotels. To get the best feel for the unique themes at each resort, visit the Walt Disney World website for pictures and descriptions or the Disney Parks YouTube Channel for resort videos.
1. Value – Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Featuring your favorites from mid-to-late 20th century pop culture, Pop Century’s jovial atmosphere will allow you to truly appreciate popular slang, funky fashions, toys, and dance styles that defined several major decades. The resort is divided into sections by decade and themed accordingly with larger-than-life decor. Whether it’s the Lady and the Tramp statue in the 50s section, the 60s section’s “Hippie Dippy Pool,” the 70’s Twister play areas, the Rubik’s Cube staircase in the 80s section, or the giant floppy disks in the 90s section, you surely cannot miss these fantastic remnants of the past. This resort’s unique offerings from those of other Value resorts include a pool with water jets as well as Everything Pop Shopping and Dining.
2. Moderate – Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts – French Quarter
Reflecting the passion and ornate nature of New Orleans’s renowned French Quarter, this resort’s magnolia blossoms, cobblestone streets, wrought-iron balconies, and Mardi Gras characters will certainly “jazz things up” on your vacation. Convenient because of its compact layout, single bus stop, and boat transportation to Disney Springs, Port Orleans French Quarter is also a practical choice. The one-man-jazz-band at Scat Cat’s Club as well as the option for horse-drawn carriage rides further distinguish this resort from the rest.
3. Deluxe – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Revel in the “spirit of the South Pacific” at this luxurious Deluxe resort. Located on the monorail (with direct service to Magic Kingdom), you will certainly feel relaxed as you enjoy its convenience, comfort, and island-feel. After you delight in Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Show family-style luau, watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks over the Seven Seas Lagoon from one of the best viewing locations.
4. Villa – Disney’s Beach Club Villas
The decadent décor and cool colors evoke senses of sophistication and relaxation at this New England-style beach hotel. Arguably one of the best-located resorts, with a direct walking path to Epcot and boat service to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can easily access the parks while enjoying these Deluxe accommodations. The Beach Club is also home to the largest resort pool area on property, featuring a sand-bottom pool and an incredible waterslide. Its villas were just recently renovated, and the update further heightened its level of charm and elegance. This is a phenomenal option for larger parties or those desiring a full kitchen and living room area.
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