The Differences Between Disney World’s Value, Moderate & Deluxe Resorts
When it comes to planning your Walt Disney World getaway, finding the perfect place to stay is your first major hurdle! That’s why when I prepare initial quotes for clients I like to include a resort from each category as a comparison of cost, amenities and more! With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to share with all our MickeyBlog readers a snapshot of what you’ll find at the resorts in each category to help you narrow in on options that you think will be a nice fit for your travelling party!
Let’s get this out of the way first so that we can talk specifics! Obviously, the main difference between Value, Moderate and Deluxe accommodation is the cost! Here’s a quick breakdown of the normal pricing range in each category:
- Value: $120 a night – $220 a night (with the exception of Family Suites which can are usually in the $300 – $450 a night range.)
- Moderate Resorts – $220 a night – $350 a night
- Deluxe Resorts- $400 – $1000+ depending on resort & room category.
That being said there will always be exceptions especially when looking at things like Preferred Room, Club Level, Suites etc but this is a rough guide.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about some distinct differences in the properties themselves.
This resort category is perfect for those looking to travel on a budget with the most affordable pricing the most affordable of the Disney categories. The Value Resorts are as follows:
- Disney’s All Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All Star Music Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Here are some of the main features you’ll find at the Value Properties:
- Rooms that Open to the Outside – I like to call this motel style. Rather than being in a central building, all of these properties in this category (with the exception of the Art of Animation Family Suites) have rooms that open right to the outside corridor. Each features a window with a curtain.
- Refurbished Rooms With Foldout Bed Options – Disney has renovated most of the guest rooms at the Value Level with the exception of Art of Animation which is a newer property. Now, most refurbished rooms feature 1 Queen Bed, 1 Queen fold-out bed which doubles as a dining room table during the day, hard flooring, walk-in showers and boast a clean modern look. However, those looking to book one of the Little Mermaid-themed rooms at Art of Animation should note that these rooms only feature two double beds.
- Larger-than-life Disney Characters – Whether its one of the All-Stars, Pop Century or the Art of Animation, all of these resorts are big on Disney character. Whether it’s a three-story Ursula in the Little Mermaid section of Art of Animation or Dancing Brooms in the Fantasia section of All-Star Movies, there’s no mistaking that you’re at Disney making it a popular option for families with small kids who want to feel like their in their favorite Disney film!
- Big Central Pool Areas but No Water Slides – Each of the Values have fun central pool area as well as smaller pools. The main pools at the Values offer fun water features and cute themes popular with kids! There’s a Bowling Pin shaped pool at Pop Century, a fun Fantasia themed pool at All Star Music with Sorcerer Mickey fountain and The Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation even pumps in music underwater so your kids can have a listen while they swim. However, for those looking for waterslides, you’ll need to upgrade as its one of the added perks of staying at a Moderate or Deluxe.
- Food Court Dining – Each of the Value Resorts offers a central Food Court where guests can choose cafeteria-style from a range of options including burgers, pizza, salad and more. There are also central drink stations for soft drinks, coffees and teas. There are no Table Service (aka sit down options) at the Values.
- Skyliner or Bus transportation to and from the Parks. If you will be using Walt Disney World transportation during your resort stay there are two types of options for Value Guests. Those staying at any of the All Star Resorts will get to ALL of the theme parks by bus. Resort buses typically leave from the Values every 10 – 20 minutes with stops at each of the four theme parks as well as Disney Springs.
- NEW for 2019! Guests at Disney’s Art of Animation and Disney’s Pop Century Resort can get to Epcot and Hollywood Studios using the new Skyliner gondola system! Transportation to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will still be by bus at these two properties!
This category is best for those who want a little bit of luxury, slightly larger rooms and some extra amenities but without the deluxe prices. The properties that fall into the Moderate category are as follows:
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.
Here are some of the features you’ll find here.
- More Adult/Sophisticated Theming – For the most part, when you move up to a moderate property you’ll find properties with more adult theming. The Moderate properties are massive and sprawling and most featuring a large lake or river at its center! Most of the Moderates also offer an internal busing system to help guests get around the resort. These properties offer lots of places to kick back and relax whether its walking along the riverbanks at the Orleans Resorts t finding a quiet hammock at the Caribbean!
- Queen Beds with Some Rooms Sleeping 5. The reason the moderates are a big hit with families is that Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach offer 5th sleeper rooms with pull-down twin bed options. This means these rooms can comfortably sleep families of 5. The Moderates also offer two Queen Beds per room which allows families to spread out a bit more and there are even King Bed options available at some of the resorts for an additional cost.
- Rooms That Open to the Outside – Similar to the Values, all of the rooms at the Moderate Resorts open directly to the outside corridors and walkways and feature a window. Guests at these resorts also have the option of being able to choose what view they want. You can knock some money off your nightly rate by going with a standard view which will be landscaping or parking lots but also have the option of splurging if you’d like to overlook one of the beautifully landscaped gardens or waterways.
- Themed Rooms – For those looking for an extra little dose of Disney magic, Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach offer themed rooms that the kids are sure to love! At Caribbean Beach, your little ones can live out their dreams of being a bonafide swashbuckler in one of the fun Pirate Rooms which even have bed shaped like pirate ships. Port Orleans Riverside is perfect for princess lovers who can stay in one of the delightfully appointed Disney Princess themed Royal Guest Rooms as a guest of Princess Tiana’s.
- Pool Areas With Waterslides – If lounging by the pool is a HUGE priority for your family then the Moderates are a good choice. Each of the resorts in this category features large central pools areas with fun waterslides These areas also typically offer other fun amenities like a kiddie pool, outdoor playground, whirlpools, volleyball courts and more! In addition to the main pools, each of the Moderates (with the exception of Port Orleans French Quarter also offer quiet pools located near the guest rooms.
- Both Food Court and Table Service Dining – At each of the Moderates, you’ll find a range of dining options. The properties have Food Courts similar to those offered at the Value Resorts for meals on the go. There’s also Table Service options for those wanting a sit down meal and most Moderates also offer a lounge or bar.
- Bus transportation or Skyliner to and From the Parks – Similar to the Values, if you’re using Disney Transportation to get to and from the parks each day, it will be by bus in. The only exception is Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter both of which offer a Water Taxi Service that takes guests to Disney Springs. The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort can also be grouped into the Moderate Category which also includes boat service to the Magic Kingdom.
This is Disney’s top-tier accommodation where guests will enjoy decadent theming and extra amenities like spas, character dining and more! Entry-level Deluxes (like Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge) starting at around $450 a night going up to in excess of $700 for a stay at some of the monorail resorts. But with so many delightful properties that fall into this category, you are bound to find your perfect fit.
Disney’s Deluxe Resorts are As Follows:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Here are just some of the advantages of booking a Deluxe stay.
- Luxury Themed Properties – Each of these resorts will transport you to another time and place with unrivalled theming and hospitality. Whether it’s walking down the promenade of turn-of-the-century Atlantic City at the Boardwalk Inn or being whisked away to a tropical island at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you can select your vacationing environment!
- Queen Beds with Some Rooms Sleeping 5. Similar to the Moderate resorts, Deluxe rooms feature 2 Queens beds. Some properties also offer a King Bed and for families of 5, many have pullout sofa beds or daybeds.
- Internal Rooms- Unlike the Values or the Moderate Resorts, most Disney’s Deluxe Resorts feature rooms that are accessed from the inside of the resorts. However, some properties do have outer buildings that you have to walk to the Garden Wing at the Contemporary, The Outer Buildings at Grand Floridian or the buildings at the Polynesian.
- Magnificent Pool Ares With Waterslides – These are the best swimming areas you’ll find in all of Walt Disney World. For pool lovers a highlight is definitely Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club complete with sand-bottomed pool, lazy river, shipwreck waterslide and more! The pool area at the Polynesian is also something special with a Volcano theme and where else can you sunbathe near a flamboyance of flamingos then at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!
- Dining, Dining and More Dining– Any of the Deluxe Resorts are a food-lovers paradise. You’ll find Food Courts, Table Service Restaurants, Fine Dining Restaurants, Character Dining, Lounges, Tea Rooms and so much more! Many of Walt Disney World’s most esteemed chefs can be found cooking away at these incredible properties so you’ll definitely want to bring your appetites.
- Extra Perks – The resorts also feature nearly every amenity imaginable from on-site gyms, salons, spas, valet parking and more. Many of these resorts also pull out all of the stops during the Christmas period where you’ll find everything from towering trees to life-sized gingerbread creations adding yet another element of magic!
- Enhanced Disney Transportation Options – With the exception of Animal Kingdom Lodge, all of the Deluxes properties offer more than just bus transportation to get you to and from the theme parks. For the ultimate in convenience choose a stay at one of the Monorail Resorts (Grand Floridian, Polynesian or Contemporary) and you’re just a quick ride away from Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Each of the Epcot Resorts (Yacht and Beach Club and Boardwalk Inn) allow you to either walk or boat to Epcot and take a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. At Wilderness Lodge you’re just a short boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom. Its best to plot out where you’ll be spending most of your theme park time and plan your stay accordingly!
There is also a fourth type of accommodation at Walt Disney World- The Villas! Primarily designed as accommodation for Disney’s timeshare program, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC), the villa properties offer Studios, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3- bedroom villa options. Those belonging to the timeshare scheme have first dibs on the rooms at these properties but rooms are regularly released to Disney allowing guests to book them as you would any other resort room.
Deluxe Villa Resorts are as follows:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Cabins & Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vilas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Many of the Deluxe Villas are housed on the property of a corresponding deluxe resort and therefore share the same amenities as the Deluxes. There are some exceptions to this most notably Old Key West Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort and the soon to open Riviera Resort which are exclusively villa properties.
The villas offer a whole host of additional amenities. For instance, guests staying in a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom villa can enjoy a full kitchen, dining area, 2 bathrooms, and a washer and dryer, jacuzzi tub and more making it perfect for those with larger families looking to spread out while enjoying the comforts of home. Villa options can vary in price with Studios sometimes starting as low as $400 but multiple bedroom options running in excess of $800 a night.
We hope you’ll find this rundown of Disney World’s Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts helpful when making your Disney plans. Now I want to take a minute to quickly talk about the perks when it comes to staying onsite! Nothing beats staying in the heart of the magic and onsite guests get to take advantage of the following awesome amenities:
- Free parking at the theme parks
- Free Disney Transportation to the theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs
- Extra Magic Hours – Allowing onsite guests to enter the parks before they open to the public!
- Fastpasses – Onsite guests can book your FastPasses 30 days before the general public ensuring you get front of the line access for the attractions you want.
- Free Airport Pick -up- Disney Magical Express will take you from Orlando International Airport to your Walt Disney World Resort. They’ll even pick up your luggage for you and deliver it to your room!
- MagicBands – These wristbands make unlocking your room, entering the parks, using your FastPasses and even paying for purchases a breeze!
- Resort Events – From campfires to movies under the stars you can enjoy a whole host of fun activities during your onsite stay at Walt Disney World!
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Disney World getaway today! Getting started is easy! Simply fill out our form below to get your FREE, no-obligation quote from MickeyTravels.
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