1. Value Resorts:
Disney World has 5 value resorts – the 3 All Star Resorts, the Pop Century and the Art of Animation. These rooms are the smallest at 260 square feet. The 3 All Star Resorts are basically the same, the only difference being the individual theme of the resort (sports, music or movies). These resorts have 2 double beds and a single bathroom and have exterior access to the rooms from an outdoor hallway. The Pop Century also has exterior access but has recently been renovated so that rooms now offer either a King or Queen and a Queen-size table bed. These resorts all sleep up to 4, with the exception of a few Family Suite rooms at the All Star Music Resort, which can accommodate 6.
The Art of Animation is a kind of a hybrid value/moderate resort in that it has many of the same features as the other value resorts, like exterior access and 2 double beds in its standard rooms, but it also offers a large number of Family Suites in a variety of themes, which feature a master bedroom, 2 bathrooms, a kitchenette and can sleep up to 6. For this reason, although it is classified as a value resort, the price-tag is more similar to that of the moderate resorts.
Other than some variety in room configuration, all the value resorts are similar in that they offer only food courts (there are no restaurants), the pools, while wonderfully Disney-themed, are simple pools without any slides or water features, and the only transportation to the parks and Disney Springs is by bus. All of these resorts are located in the Wide World of Sports area and are the farthest away from the parks of all the resorts.
2. Moderate Resorts:
Disney has 4 moderate resorts – Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. These rooms are a bit larger than the value ones, averaging about 325 square feet. These resorts are a little closer to the parks, they typically offer 2 Queen-size beds instead of the doubles at the value resorts, room access is through an interior hallway and they generally sleep up to 5. The Wilderness Cabins sleep up to 6 and offer a full kitchen for a slightly higher price-tag of around $330 per night. These resorts have restaurants as well as food courts and they have multiple pools throughout the property. Each of these resorts has a main pool that is much more imaginative than those at the value resorts and offers water-slides and other special features like the Mayan-themed pool at Coronado Springs, which features a 50-foot pyramid and a 123-foot water slide.
Moderate resorts also offer some unique rooms like the pirate-themed rooms at Caribbean Beach, where guests sleep in pirate-ship shaped beds, and the Royal Guest Rooms at Port Orleans – Riverside, which feature Disney murals with firework effects, as well as princess-themed decorations fit for royalty. Guests will also find lobby concierges and a much wider range of amenities, such as fishing, bike rentals, volleyball and even horseback riding and archery at the Fort Wilderness Resort. Coronado Springs also offers a health club and spa.
There is much more to do at the moderate resorts than at the value resorts. They are definitely more than just a place to rest. At the moment, the primary mode of transportation available here is bus service, but Disney is currently in the process of a constructing a system of ski-resort-like gondolas which will connect Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach with both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. These gondolas are expected to have very high capacity and will transport guests to and from the parks much more efficiently than the current bus system. Expect these resorts to become even more popular once the gondola system is completed! Boat transportation is available from Port Orleans to Disney Springs as well as between Fort Wilderness and Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center, where guests transfer to the Epcot monorail.
3. Deluxe Resorts:
Disney has 8 luxury resorts – the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, the Contemporary, the Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Beach Club, the Yacht Club and the Boardwalk Inn. These resorts are all differently themed and are the ultimate in luxury! If you stay in one of these, you really need to build in time to simply enjoy your resort because they are truly destinations in and of themselves!
These resorts offer the largest rooms on property, ranging from 380 to 420 square feet. The rooms offer a King bed and a daybed or 2 Queens and a daybed and sleep up to 5 people. At this level, everything is a little higher quality, with higher quality linens, more luxurious bathrooms and even television in the bathroom mirrors in some rooms. Only the luxury resorts have balconies.
With the exception of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, these resorts are all located in either the Magic Kingdom area or on Disney’s Boardwalk, both of which are very close to 2 of the 4 Disney parks. The Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Contemporary are all located on Disney’s monorail, which allows the fastest and easiest form of transportation to Magic Kingdom and the transfer point to the Epcot monorail. All of the Magic Kingdom area resorts also have access to ferryboat transportation to the parks. The Boardwalk Inn, Beach and Yacht Club are all located on Disney’s Boardwalk, which is conveniently located between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Guests can walk or take a ferryboat to either of these parks from their resorts.
These hotels all have multiple restaurants, including some of Disney’s finest signature restaurants and some that offer some of Disney’s best character dining. Because of their close proximity to each other, there is a much wider range of dining and entertainment available at these hotels. All of the monorail resorts have views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks and entertainment is available all day in the boardwalk area, including music and buskers.
There are even more amenities available at the luxury resorts, such as club level rooms with an exclusive concierge. These resorts have fitness centers and luxury spas, as well as boat rentals, a range of water sports and even yacht rentals at the Grand Floridian. The sky is pretty much the limit at Disney’s deluxe resorts!
All on-site Disney resorts are fabulous! There is no such thing as a bad Disney resort! But there are different degrees of fabulous available across the 3 categories that can really alter the quality of your stay. You just have to pick which level of fabulous is right for you!