Resorts

How to Choose Between Disney Resort Hotels – 6 Things to Consider

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida currently includes over 25 resort hotels to accommodate its guests. With so many choices, some people find it difficult to choose! Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.

1. What is your budget?


Disney offers a wide range of hotel options to accommodate every type of budget. There are 4 specific classifications of resort hotel at Walt Disney World: Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villas. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider a value or moderate level resort. If your budget is more generous, a deluxe or deluxe villa location may be the right choice. Typically, value and moderate resort rooms are smaller and the hotels themselves have less amenities. Deluxe level resorts always offer at least one table service dining option, pools with slides, valet parking, and other recreational activities(which vary by resort) like watercraft rentals, arcades, spas, and fitness clubs. The following list includes all of the resort hotel accommodations divided by level.

Value:

  • 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
  • The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Moderate:

Deluxe:

  • 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

Deluxe Villas:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – 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 & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

2. What is your preferred location?


Disney Resort hotels are located all across the 40 square mile Disney property. If you have a strong desire to be near a certain theme park or another area, you may want to make your resort choice based on its location. Traveling to a specific area or park will take less time from a resort hotel located in that area. The following is a list of resorts sorted by location. Resorts that are marked “Monorail Resort” are connected to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot via the Disney Monorail system that runs directly to each hotel. This is perhaps the most convenient form of transportation to any theme park.

Animal Kingdom Resort Area:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports
  • Disney’s All-Star Music
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs

Wide World of Sports Resort Area:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Epcot Resort Area:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach
  • Disney’s Beach Club
  • Disney’s Yacht Club
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Downtown Disney Resort Area:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Old Key West
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs

Magic Kingdom Resort Area:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian (Monorail Resort)
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village (Monorail Resort)
  • Disney’s Contemporary (Monorail Resort)
  • Bay Lake Tower (Monorail Resort)
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness

3. How much time will you be spending in your room or at your resort?


If you plan to spend the vast majority of your Disney vacation touring the theme parks, you may not need to be in one of the most luxurious resorts. The premium paid for these hotels is based on the amenities offered at these resorts. If you aren’t going to be using the pool, visiting a spa, and plan to eat mostly in the parks, you might want to choose a less expensive hotel and put the savings toward other aspects of your trip. On the other hand, if you prefer more spacious accommodations and plan to spend time making use of the recreational offerings at your resort, a deluxe level hotel may be a good investment.

4. How many people are traveling with you?


Standard rooms at the value level resorts can only accommodate four guests (with room for one child under age 3 to sleep in a crib). Family suites at these resorts can accommodate six guests and an additional child under 3 in a crib. Standard rooms at moderate level resorts have the same occupancy guidelines with the exception of certain rooms at Port Orleans – Riverside which can accommodate an additional child age nine or under in a pull down bed. Many of the deluxe level resorts have standard rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people and an additional child under three in a crib. Deluxe villas have one, two and three bedroom suites that can hold up to twelve people. These villas include a full kitchen, a living area, a laundry room, and multiple bathrooms. If you have a large party and would like to keep everyone in the same place, a villa might be exactly what you’re looking for!

5. Are you traveling with children?


While all Disney Resort hotels are “family friendly”, some have theming and recreational options that are more appealing to children. Animal Kingdom Lodge, for example, offers views of African animals from common areas in the resort as well as some guest rooms. Art of Animation has a phenomenal pool area called “The Big Blue Pool” as well as larger than life-size statues of beloved Disney characters. The Cabins at Fort Wilderness offer opportunities for horseback riding, archery, kayak rentals and fishing. Families with children who plan to spend time “down time” at their resort may want to consider staying at one of these locations that offer extra fun for kids.

6. How important is décor?


Each Disney resort has a specific theme that is used throughout the guest rooms, common areas and grounds. While each resort is beautiful in its own way, certain resorts may appeal more to certain people. The following is a list of all Disney Resort hotels with a brief description of each resort’s theme.

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort: This resort is themed around classic Disney films. Giant sculptures of pups from 101 Dalmations, Toy story characters, and Fantasia adorn the grounds. There is also a pool themed after The Mighty Ducks.

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort: Buildings are themed after specific genres of music. Large musical instruments adorn the grounds and the pool is Calypso-themed.

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort: The facade of each building at All-Star Sports is dedicated to a specific sport. Grounds include massive sculptures of sports equipment like footballs and helmets. The pool has a surfing theme.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: Disney animation is the theme here. The hotel is divided into sections with a specific animated film theme in each area. The theme carries over into the decor of the rooms in each area. There are three major areas: The Little Mermaid, Cars, and Finding Nemo.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort: Each building here is dedicated to a specific decade in the 20th century. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Just as you might expect from the name, this resort has a strong island beach theme, with the property divided into “villages” named after Caribbean islands. Palm trees and hammocks adorn the 200 acre resort.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: This “Spanish-colonial” Mexican-themed moderate resort is centered around a large lake. There is a pool area built around a replica of a Mayan pyramid.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter: This New Orleans-themed resort offers a little taste of the New Orleans French Quarter in central Florida. There is a Mardi Gras themed pool area.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Architecture of the Antebellum South surrounds you at this moderate resort, the sister resort to French Quarter. There is even a working cotton press on the grounds, powered by a large water wheel.

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort: Fort Wilderness is Disney’s expansive campground area. The theme here is wilderness. The grounds are heavily wooded and full of natural Florida wildlife.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: This spectacular resort offers a theme African culture and animals. Live animals live in the savannahs on the grounds, and are viewable from select guest rooms and common areas throughout.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort: Disney bills this as a “New England-style” resort. There is a strong theme of boating here with water sports available on Crescent Lake. This resort shares Disney’s most phenomenal pool recreation area, Stormalong Bay, with its sister resort, Yacht Club.

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn: This resort is meant to evoke thoughts of turn-of-the-century coastal cities of the eastern seaboard. This area of Disney is a popular night-time destination for Disney guests seeking dining and nighttime entertainment like

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: While this resort does not boast the same kind of obvious theme as some of the other resorts, the general concept here is “ultra-modern”.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: This resort resembles the Victorian-Era Florida beach resorts.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Evoking the islands of the South Pacific, Polynesian Village consists of guest rooms in “longhouses” named for the Polynesian islands. Restaurants feature Polynesian inspired cuisine.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Wilderness Lodge evokes the National Park Lodges of the Northwestern US. You’ll find Native American influences throughout, as well as a serene natural setting including babbling streams and winding paths through forests.

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: Another “New England-style” resort like its sister resort, Beach Club.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort: Attached to the Contemporary via the Sky Way Bridge, Bay Lake Tower continues the ultra-modern theme.

Disney’s Old Key West Resort: As the name suggests, the Florida Keys are the inspiration behind this resort. Lush vegetation and pastel colors surround guests.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Named after the Saratoga Springs area of upstate New York, there is a strong equine theme running throughout the resort. You will notice artwork of horses and buildings and areas named after equine and racing terms.

You may also like “Disney Resorts – Can I Afford to Stay There? 9 Things To Consider” and “10 Sensational Benefits to Staying On Property at Disney World Resort.”

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

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