Resorts at Walt Disney World have something that you can’t find anywhere else. They are unique worlds unto themselves, especially the higher they go in price. Not all hotels in Walt Disney World are owned by Disney and not all non-Disney hotels are cheap. Familiar chains provide lower-priced rooms than the cheapest Disney hotels. However, you also have options like the Four Seasons, which is just minutes away from Fort Wilderness. Four Seasons isn’t cheap. The Swan and Dolphin, on the other hand, are cheaper than they should be because they are not Disney owned. A Disney resorts comparison shows us what values we can get from each resort tier.
Even Disney’s value resorts come at a premium. With that said, Disney has a wide range of options for guests to choose from based on their budget. Each resort tier means something different with regard to the overall vacation experience. This Disney resorts comparison should help you decide what kind of experience to plan for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
Deluxe Resorts Pros and Cons
Deluxe resorts are probably the most synonymous with Walt Disney World. The two oldest hotels at Walt Disney World are deluxe resorts. Now, for the most part, deluxe resorts have the best locations with respect to their closest theme park. For the purpose of a Disney resorts comparison, you can characterize a deluxe resort by the highest level of theming, indoor room entry, more transportation options and convenience of location.
The downside of deluxe resorts is that they are so expensive. The accommodations in most cases are disproportionate to the amount of time most people can afford to stay at them. In other words, they offer a lot of amenities, including fitness centers, spas, and resort specific activities that require a lengthier stay to enjoy, but the price per night dictates a shorter stay for guests who are trying to stick to a budget. So, even though deluxe resorts offer a lot, you most likely will not take advantage of it.
Value Resorts Pros and Cons
Value resorts are the lowest cost Disney option and they have the widest range of quality. Art of Animation borders on the moderate range for accommodations. However, the All-Star resorts are pretty much identical to each other and represent the lowest rung of the bottom tier. As a whole, value resorts are characterized by a less detailed environment. The rooms have outdoor entry and the theming is achieved mostly through the use of oversized props. Although the detail is missing, fans of the value resorts often feel that the theming they do have is more “Disney”.
The downside to staying at a value resort is that you have much fewer transportation options and are typically farther from all of the Theme parks. While Pop Century and the Art of Animation will soon have the Skyliner, the rest of the value resorts will remain reliant exclusively on Disney buses with regard to complimentary transportation. Value resorts also have no table service restaurants, but they do have larger arcades. Although they price lowest, the cost is high for what you get compared with cheaper, but nicer non-Disney hotels.
Moderate Resorts Pros and Cons
Moderate resorts include Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans Riverside/French Quarter. These are the sweet spot. They have table service dining, but not the best. They are relatively close to the parks, but not within walking distance. Moderate resorts have much more detailed theming than value resorts, but they fall just shy of the level of luxury provided at a deluxe resort. One way Moderate resorts beat deluxe resorts is with noise. They have an outdoor entry like value resorts. Deluxe resort rooms leave a gap between the floor and the door. Value and Moderate resorts don’t have that gap. The rooms are constructed to better keep noise out, as well as unwanted flyers which unfortunately turn up in deluxe resort rooms all the time.
The main drawback of the moderate resorts is the smaller room sizes and the greater amount of walking you have to do on the premises. Port Orleans and Caribbean Beach have transportation alternatives to the bus system, but nowhere close to the convenience of Deluxe resorts.