There are over 30 hotels on Disney Property. It can be difficult to differentiate between them and even more difficult to choose which one to stay at. Hopefully with this handy guide, you will be able to narrow down which hotel category will be best for your trip
Value resorts are the most economical option to stay at on Disney Property. They have fun themes, pools, and eateries. The standard room at a Value resort will sleep 4 (plus one baby under 3). There are family suites at select value resorts that sleep up to 6. Each bathroom will have the shower and toilet in one room and the sink just outside. I like that they separate them because more than one person can get ready at a time. Family suites will have 2 bathrooms. There will be a main pool and then “satellite” pools in other areas within the resort. Select value resorts also have a water feature/play area for younger ones.
Transportation is where resorts differ greatly. Value resorts rely on buses only to get to parks & Disney Springs. At some of the value’s a single bus will stop at more than one resort. This is important to consider when planning reservations and getting to and from parks. The time it takes you to get to your destination will greatly increase if you need to stop at another resort first. Buses will be more crowded and the lines to get home from the parks at night can be quite long. (The exception will be when the Disney Skyliner joins Pop Century and Art of Animation to Epcot & Hollywood Studios later in 2019)
Value Resort’s will have a great entertainment staff for kid’s games and parties. They will have movies under the stars, a playground, and fun larger-than-life figures that kids love taking photos with. Their dining options are quite simple. They have a food court, a pool bar, and pizza delivery to your room.
Moderate Resorts are the next level up in amenities. The rooms are larger and you will have two sinks instead of just one. Most moderate standard rooms will sleep 4 guests. Select rooms at Port Orleans – Riverside will sleep a 5th guest. The cabins at Ft. Wilderness will sleep up to 6. Pools at moderate resorts will each have a waterside and water features as well as a hot tub spa. There will also be additional pools throughout the resort.
Transportation at Moderate resorts is a little less crowded and easier to navigate. Select resorts will have a water taxi to Disney Springs. We always think this is a great ride to take! Most of these resorts have dedicated buses it will be quicker and easier to get to parks. Caribbean Beach will also be part of the Skyliner later this year.
Additional recreation and entertainment will be available at moderate resorts. Bike rentals and water recreation rentals are available at select resorts. Some of the moderates have nighttime entertainment as well which is always nice if you retire from the parks early. Ft. Wilderness does have the campfire & movie with Chip & Dale as well. There are more options for dining at moderate resorts. In addition to the food court and pool bar, most have at least one table service restaurant and a bar/lounge. Some of these lounges do serve appetizers.
These 5 star accommodations are where Disney really WOW’s its guests. The rooms are larger and most standard rooms can accommodate 5. The pools at the deluxe resorts are themed with great detail. Most having several water slides and features as well as a child’s water playground and spa/hot tub. These too, have the smaller pools scattered around the property.
This resort category has more options as far as transportation. Some of these hotels are on the resort monorail line that leads directly to The Magic Kingdom. You can also access the Epcot line of the monorail here via the Transportation/Ticket Center. Select Deluxe’s are within walking distance to one or more parks.
In addition to all of the recreation the moderate hotels have, they have health centers and some of these hotels offer spa/salon services. Select hotels have kids activity centers where children can go for activities & games. They will also watch over your little ones so that you can get out on your own for a bit. The deluxe hotels all offer more than one table service restaurant. Some have signature dining and some also offer character dining.
Deluxe Villas are rooms at select deluxe resorts. They share all the same amenities as the deluxe resort that they are housed at. These rooms can range in size from Studio to 3 bedroom. Villas can sleep up to 12 so they are great for larger families or multiple parties traveling together. Excluding the studio villas, the other villas offer several amenities that make this option feel like a home away from home. You will have your very own kitchen and dining room. A second bathroom will come in handy when housing that many people, as will the in-villa washer/dryer. While these were purposed for Disney Vacation Club, they are often available for guests to reserve.
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