I am a huge advocate for staying at Disney resorts when taking a Disney World vacation. There are so many benefits that you receive when you stay at Disney. The biggest one, is the ability to completely disconnect from the “real world” and emerge yourself into the world of Disney. And, the customer service is second to none, even at the resorts. There are other great hotels within the Orlando area, and ones that are close to Disney World, but I would choose a Disney resort every single time.
Many first time guests headed to Disney have a hard time deciding which hotel they should be staying at. With more than 25 resorts to choose from it can make the decision a tough one. But, choosing a Disney Resort should be fun. There is a range of options to choose from and something that is sure to match everyone. With so many options, how are you supposed to know which is the right one for you?
Choosing a Disney Resorts
The resorts on Disney property are broken up into three categories: value resorts, moderate resorts and deluxe resorts. Which one is right for you will depend on what you are looking for. Things that you will want to take into consideration when choosing a Disney resort, include the following:
- Cost – The lease expensive resorts can actually be cheaper to stay at than many of the non-Disney hotel properties that are in the area. If you catch the right deal, it can actually be cheaper for you to stay at Disney than to stay offsite.
- Transportation – All of the resorts have free buses that run from the resort to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs area throughout the day. However, some of the resorts are on the monorail, giving quick access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Other resorts are on a lake or river that gives you the access to take a boat to a certain theme parks or Disney Springs.
- Your style – Do you want all the amentities that a resort can offer and don’t mind paying for it? This is an important thing to consider. While all of the
Disney Value Resorts
Value resorts offer exactly that – value. They are the least expensive Disney hotels to stay at, but are still over the top with Disney fun. Each resort is themed separately and loaded with tons of bright colors that add excitement for everyone. When choosing a Disney resort, many people think of these resorts as being geared more towards children, but the truth is adults enjoy the fun themes at the resorts as well.
The following resorts are value resorts:
While not technically a resort hotel, Disney also has a campground that has tent and camper sites available.
Disney Moderate Resorts
Moderate resorts are a step up from value resorts. They are priced between value and deluxe resorts. The bright colors and Disney character themes that are found at the value resorts are replaced by a slightly more upscale theme. The resorts seem a little slower paced and have a more relaxing feel to them then the loud exciting fun of the value resorts. However, there are still tons of activities to enjoy and things to keep children busy.
The following resorts are moderate resorts:
- Port Orleans Riverside
- Port Orleans French Quarter
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Coronado Springs Resort
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Caribbean Beach Resort and Port Orleans Riverside both offer rooms that will sleep families of 5. This is the cheapest way for a family of 5 to stay at a Disney Resort.
Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter are sister resorts. You can walk between the two, take a boat between the two, and are welcome to share amenities between the two. They also offer the ability to take a boat to Disney Springs.
Disney Deluxe Resorts & Villas
Deluxe resorts are exactly what they sound like. These are luxury hotels that offer the best amenities available out of the Disney Resorts. They are also the most expensive. The resort features larger guest rooms, more room options and many restaurants. When choosing a Disney resort that is one of the Deluxe options, you can expect Disney fun in an upscale fashion.
The following resorts are deluxe resorts:
- Animal Kingdom Lodge (also has Kidani Village and Jambo House villas)
- Polynesian Village Resort (also has villas and bungalows)
- Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (also has villas)
- Wilderness Lodge (also has Boulder Ridge villas)
- Beach Club Resort (also has villas)
- Contemporary (and Bay Lake Tower)
- Yacht Club
- BoardWalk Inn (also has villas)
- Saratoga Springs Resort
- Old Key West Resort
These resorts offer additional transportation services. The Disney Monorail runs from Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. They run boats from all but Animal Kingdom Lodge.
What Disney Hotels Offer
There are some great conveniences that are offered at all of the Disney resorts. These are things that you can enjoy regardless of if you are choosing a Disney resort that is the least expensive to stay at, or paying extra to enjoy the luxury of a Deluxe. Each resort offers the normal hotel extras such as shampoo, soap and pools, but here are some other things they offer:
- Magical Express – Free bus that takes you from the airport to your resort and back to the airport at the end of your trip.
- Park Transportation – Whether by bus, boat or monorail, you will have free transportation back and forth from the parks and Disney Springs throughout the day.
- Extra Magic Hours – On specified days, certain parks will either open early or close late for guests that are staying at Disney resorts. That means you can enjoy the parks without all of the additional crowds.
- Magic Bands – These are convenient bracelet like items that you get with your Disney package. It can be used as your room key, park ticket, FastPass ticket, and allows you to charge food and items to your room.
- Advanced Dining Reservations – Guests staying at Disney resorts are able to make dining reservations at 180+ from the first day of their stay. That means when your trip is 180 days away you can make dining reservations for your entire stay. Others are only able to make them 180 days, which means they have to make them one day at a time.
- FastPass+ – Disney resort guests are able to make FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance. This means you have a chance to make your selections 30 days before anyone else.
I highly recommend staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. When we had a family of 4, my husband and I were able to find deals that made it cheaper to stay at a Disney value resort then to stay at a decent hotel outside of Disney property. And, it allowed us to take advantage of all the Disney extras. Every resort that we have stayed at on Disney property has been amazing and we have visited several for dining reservations or just to check them out. Choosing a Disney resort should be fun and not stressful.
What questions do you have about choosing a Disney resort? Leave them in the comments and I would be happy to help. °0°