In the next section of our Walt Disney World Vacation Overview Series, we are going to talk about the resorts. Now, Disney World has 36 resort hotels on the grounds, 26 of which are owned and operated by Disney.
Out of those 26, 9 of them are for Disney Vacation Club members- so we wont get too much into those till later. What we want to focus on are the resorts that are the easiest to get and what those options are!
The Resorts are set up in a tier system. What this means is that each resort falls under one of three categories. The categories for the Walt Disney World Resorts are Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts, and Deluxe. These tiers are based on the resorts sizes, amenities, transportation options and price.
We’ll start with the Value Resorts. These are the least expensive of the Walt Disney Resorts but they don’t lack in the magically experience!
They all have a dining area, stocked with various goodies (and yes, they accommodate allergies!) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the gift area sections they have the standard souvenirs like coffee cups and towels while they also have snacks and drinks.
All of the Disney Value resorts have the usual conveniences you would expect at a Disney hotel. Mail, laundry, dry-cleaning, complimentary wi-fi, airline check-in, designated smoking areas, and ATMs.
The Value Resorts also have some other amenities like the pools and a jogging trail. While the pools don’t have slides, they do have poolside activities that happen throughout the day. Other cool options for the value resorts are the indoor arcades and the playgrounds.
The two best perks of the Walt Disney World Resorts are the free transportation and the Extra Magic Hours.
The transportation and extra magic hours are the main reason we stay at Disney so often even though we live right up the road! Because you really can’t go wrong with the list of amenities, the adorable themes and the perks of transportation and extra magic hours that you get by staying on-site at the Disney World Value Resort hotels.
The next tier up is the Moderate Resorts and these are some of my favorites! The moderate resorts at Walt Disney World Resort provide some of the best options for the price. Plus the blend of affordability and amenities make Moderate Resorts a great options for most families.
While the Value Resorts focus more on cartoonish theming- The Moderate Resorts focus more on cultural themes. They offer all the amenities of the Value resorts with some nice additions!
Disney’s Port Orleans offers horse-drawn carriage rides, bike rentals and catch-and-release fishing. Disney’s Caribbean Beach offers a pirates adventure cruise, bike rentals, sand volleyball and catch-and-release fishing. Disney’s Coronado Springs offers bike rentals and sand volleyball. They also have nicer themed room with queen sized beds (value resorts have the full sized beds).
Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villas
Staying at a Deluxe Resort is similar to the name, its where Disney goes above and beyond! These rooms tend to be a little bigger than most other rooms on the grounds, and they have more amenities.
So you get all of the perks of the other tiers, with some nice additions like valet parking, higher quality dining on site and more recreation choices at the resort. This takes your Disney vacation from regular to extraordinary!
My favorite part about staying at the Deluxe resorts is how much closer they are to the parks, and transportation also seems to move a lot faster from these resorts (maybe its in my head… but I do feel that way!). We tend to save the Deluxe Resorts for special occasions, like honeymoons, but we’ve taken the kids before and their were lots of other kids there too!
The Deluxe Villas are similar to the resorts, but they sleep way more people! Most of these are also at a different location than the other Deluxe properties, but still full of the same amenities.
So now that you have a general understanding of the what and where, let’s compare some of the basic features of all the resorts.
The value resorts have double beds that sleep four, whereas the Moderate and Deluxe resorts have queen beds. King Sized beds can be found sprinkled throughout the resorts, you just have to hunt to find them!
The value and moderate resorts have food court style options- which is great for a large family of picky eaters, but the Deluxe resorts only have one quick service option that can be limiting on food choices. Both the Moderate and Deluxe have Table Dining options that help to add to the ambience of finer vacationing. Deluxe resorts also offer Signature and Character dining as part of their 5 star service.
For the most part, the value and moderate resorts only options are the buses. There are three moderate resorts that have the Water Taxi boat service and those are Ports Orleans Riverside, French Quarter and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. The Deluxe Resorts have several more transportation options, like the monorail, boat taxis and walking. You can also call a ‘Minnie Van’ from any of the resorts (and they come with two car seats!) You’ve got options!
Every resort on Disney property has a pool (thank goodness, because Florida is hot!) but the types of pools differ across the tiers. The value pools are, well, value based (but your kids wont mind, I promise!). They don’t have anything fancy besides some theming and pool side activities that Disney Cast members run. The moderate pools are absolutely a step up. Here the theming is top quality and you’ve got water slides!! So how can the Deluxe pools beat water slides? With even bigger water slides, of course! They also have more pool options to choose from, which limits the amount of loud rowdy teenagers you might run into on your afternoon swim.
Disney Vacation Club
In a nut shell, Disney Vacation Club is like a Disney Time Share. Except its way more magical. If you’re a DVC member, you’ll have different options for the resorts and a host of other discounts and perks.
So Pretty much, Disney is Amazing
In the end, you’ll love where you stay on Disney Property, no matter what Tier it all comes with Disney Magic. And not to overwhelm you with options, but you can get special Disney packages ordered to your room before you come. Seriously, I love staying on Disney Property!!!
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