Disney World Deluxe Resorts
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The 411: Disney World Deluxe Resorts vs Moderate vs Value

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Curious about the difference between Disney World Deluxe Resorts vs their Moderate and Value alternatives? The Nerds break it down!

There are a lot of decisions that go into planning a Disney World vacation – when to go, who to take, how long to stay, weather and on and on and on. Then there is the “on property” vs “off property” decisions (the Nerds always default to “on property” whenever possible) and even if this is a slam dunk for your trip…that’s just the beginning.

Disney World Deluxe Resorts
A view of Disney’s Yacht Club – one of the Disney World Deluxe Resorts.

With over 36,000 hotel rooms spanning 33 properties, narrowing it down is no easy task. Here, the Nerds are going to break down the key differences between Disney World Deluxe Resorts, Moderate Resorts and Value Resorts.

The Disney World Options

First things, first. Let’s just lay out the resorts that will be covered in this post because the three main categories do not include Deluxe Villas, Campgrounds, “Other Select Deluxe Hotels” like the Walt Disney World Dolphin or Swan hotels, or other on-site non-Disney properties like Four Seasons. We will cover the 18 resorts listed as Disney World Deluxe Resorts, Disney World Moderate Resorts and Disney World Value Resorts.

disney world deluxe resorts
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – one of the Disney World Deluxe Resorts.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts consist of eight properties:

disney world deluxe resorts
Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside, one of the Disney World Moderate Resorts.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts consist of five properties:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside
disney world deluxe resorts
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – one of the Disney World Value Resorts.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts consist of five properties:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Price Comparison

For most trips to Disney World, cost is a factor. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, for others it is an every-five-year splurge and for some it’s an annual pilgrimage. Making a Disney World vacation special is a focal point and the choice of resort can help save the budget for other portions of the trip or may eat up the lion’s share of your funds.

disney world deluxe resorts
There are wild swings in nightly rates at Disney World Deluxe Resorts vs Moderate and Value

For a quick breakdown, we selected a three-night weekday stay during a non-holiday/non-summer (e.g. school is in session) stay. The rates we list are before tax, parking or any other amenities or fees and are for standard rooms – preferred views and locations were not included.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts had standard rates ranging from $448-$655 per night and discounted rates of $291-$425 per night.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts had standard rates ranging from $206-$368 per night and discounted rates of $154-$276 per night.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts had standard rates ranging from $144-$167 per night and discounted rates of $115-$133 per night.

Resort Size

None of the Disney World resorts is, what we would call, intimate. Some of them are sprawling monstrosities (generally in a good way). One of the quickest ways to understand the size of the resort is to take stock of the approximate room count.

disney world deluxe resorts
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – one of the Disney World Moderate Resorts.

We broke out the number of rooms at the resort and added in any Disney Vacation Club villas to try and provide idea of the scope of the entire resort, not just the “standard” hotel rooms. Disney World Deluxe Resorts typically have the fewest rooms while Value Resorts typically have the most.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts range between 600 and 1,700 rooms:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge +/- 1,700
  • Disney’s Beach Club resort +/- 900
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn +/- 900
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort +/- 1,000
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa +/- 1,100
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort +/- 900
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge +/- 1,200 (+800 campsites)
  • Disney’s Yacht Club resort +/- 600

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts range between 1,000 and 2,400 rooms:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort +/- 1,500
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort +/- 2,400
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort +/- 1,200 (+800 campsites)
  • Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter +/- 2,000
  • Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside +/- 1,000

Walt Disney World Value Resorts range between 1,600 and 2,900 rooms:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort +/- 1,900
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort +/- 1,600
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort +/- 1,900
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort +/- 2,000
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort +/- 2,900

Motel-Style vs. Hotel Style

Disney World Deluxe Resorts are made up of hotel-style buildings where room doors face an interior hallway.

Disney World Deluxe Resorts
Hallway at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – one of the Disney World Deluxe Resorts.

Disney World Moderate Resorts and Disney World Value Resorts are made up of motel-style buildings where room doors face an exterior walkway.

disney world deluxe resorts
The exterior facing rooms doors of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – one of Disney World’s Value Resorts.

Resort Vibe (aka Theming)

There is no doubt that walking around a Disney World Deluxe Resort “feels” different than its Moderate or Value counterparts. The theming and general vibe of the resorts vary based on category. For example, a Disney World Deluxe Resort feels luxurious with lots of trimmed and curated plants and hedges. The buildings feel substantial and there is an air of luxury about them.

Disney World Moderate Resorts have a similar “mature” vibe about them and the theming is subtle, like the Deluxe Resorts, where you feel transported to a different place. When you are at Port Orleans, for example, it feels like you are on the bayou or in the middle of the French Quarter.

Disney World Value Resorts have a kitschy feel. These large properties tend to “force” the theming through large props vs subtle touches. There is Disney magic here, to be sure, but it is the “in your face” style of theming of Toontown vs Adventureland which transports you to a specific place and time with its decor, music, color schemes, etc.

The Nerds feel like each of these resorts is unique depending on your companions. When the Nerdlings were smaller, they LOVED Value Resorts because seeing 3-story tall Disney characters and drawings was a treat. And we still enjoy Value Resorts. At times, feeling like we are on safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or in Hawaii at Disney’s Polynesian Village is a terrific treat.

Room Size and Layout

As expected, the rooms at a Value Resort are smaller than those at a Disney World Deluxe Resort. As the price and tier of resort hotel increases, so does the size of the room.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts are approximately 344 square feet (up to 440 at the Grand Floridian) for a standard room. Rooms typically have two queen beds or one king bed. Many rooms have a twin pull-out bed.

disney world deluxe resorts
A pull-out twin bed at Disney’s Polynesian Village.
disney world deluxe resorts
The twin bed when it is stored.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts are approximately 314 square feet (up to 504 at The Cabins at Fort Wilderness) for a standard room. Rooms typically have two queen beds or one king bed. Some rooms, like those at Port Orleans – Riverside, have a trundle or Murphy bed.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts are approximately 340 square feet for a standard room. Rooms typically have two double beds or one king bed. Some rooms, like those at the recently renovated Pop Century, have a Murphy bed that pulls out over the table.

There are family suites at Value Resorts that hit the 500 square foot range and larger rooms available in other categories as well.

Bathroom Exposé

Perhaps more than interior square footage, the layout of the bathroom has an impact on your trip (especially when you start putting four or five people in a room!). In short, bathrooms matter.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts have two sinks with the commode and shower/tub often behind a second door. Generally, the sink area is separated from the bedroom by a door.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts have two sinks with the commode and shower/tub often behind their own door. Typically, the sink area is separated from the bedroom by a curtain or sliding partition.

disney world deluxe resorts
Disney’s Pop Century is a Value Resort with a single sink and sliding partition between the bedroom and bathroom.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts have one sink with the commode and shower/tub often behind their own door. In some resorts, the sink area is open to the bedroom while in others, like Disney’s Pop Century resort, it is separated from the bedroom by a sliding partition.

Dining, Eating and Nourishment

If you know the Nerd, you know we love eating at Disney World (and nothing beats a Mickey Pretzel!). The dining options vary significantly between Disney World Deluxe Resorts and Moderate/Value resorts.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts typically have a quick service food court, poolside snack bar, indoor bar/lounge, room service and multiple table service dining options.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts generally have a quick service food court, poolside snack bar, one table service dining option, and pizza delivery is available to the room.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts generally have a quick service food court, poolside snack bar, and pizza delivery is available to the room.

How important resort dining is for your trip likely depends on your theme park touring schedule. If you are at the parks from open to close, it’s possible the dining options will be mostly closed when you are at the resort. On the other hand, if your group enjoys half days at the park with R&R at the hotel, this may be a crucial piece of your resort decision making.

Swimming Pool News

If you know the Nerd, you know we love eating at Disney World (and nothing beats a Mickey Pretzel!). The dining options vary significantly between Disney World Deluxe Resorts and Moderate/Value resorts.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts typically have a highly themed main swimming pool with a water feature and/or a water slide, a separate “quiet” pool and a hot tub.

disney world deluxe resorts
The Lava Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village – a Disney World Deluxe Resort – features a main pool, kiddie splash zone, water slide, waterfall and hot tub.
disney world deluxe resorts
The hot tub at Disney’s Polynesian Village.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts generally have a highly themed main swimming pool with a water feature and/or a water slide and a separate “quiet” pool.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts typically have a highly themed main swimming pool and many have a water feature.

disney world deluxe resorts
The Hippy Dippy Pool at Disney’s Pop Century – a Disney World Value Resort – features a main pool and a kiddie pool.

Amenities and More

Each category of Disney World Resorts offers a variety of amenities, some of which may be important to your trip.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts you can expect a swimming pool with poolside games and entertainment, playground(s), and a health club. Some have additional amenities like a spa, arcade and/or bike rentals.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts you can expect a swimming pool with poolside games and entertainment and a playground(s). Some have additional amenities like a health club, arcade and/or bike rentals.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts you can expect a swimming pool with poolside games and entertainment and a playground(s).

Other Factors

There are many other things to consider when selecting a resort including proximity to your favorite park, transportation options and overall preference. These types of considerations go beyond the Disney World Deluxe Resorts vs Moderate Resorts vs Value Resorts. For example, only some Disney World Deluxe Resorts have access to the monorail from the hotel. On the other hand, the Disney Skyliner can be accessed at Value, Moderate and Deluxe properties.

No matter what you choose, the Nerds are confident you will have a magical time!

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