Looking for a Great Value: Disney’s Value and Moderate Resorts Fit the Bill
So, you’re planning a visit to Walt Disney World and want to stay on-site. With nearly two-dozen options, ranging from moderate to deluxe, there are a lot to choose from! Each resort has a unique twist offering great pool areas, dining options and activities.
All of the Walt Disney World resorts are wonderfully themed, and boast lots of amenities. Guests at all Disney resorts receive tons of great benefits. Some of the perks include:
- Extra Magic Hours, when a park opens early or stays open late for Disney resort guests only
- FREE airport transportation via Disney’s Magical Express
- Complimentary transportation via bus, monorail or boat to Disney’s theme parks and Downtown Disney.
- Priority Advance Dining Reservations (allowing resort guests to book meals for their entire stay, 180 days prior to arrival date)
- Merchandise delivery to your room from the parks
- MagicBands, which serve as your room key, park ticket, Disney dining plan access card, and FastPass ticket
- FastPass Plus- offering the ability to reserve up to 3 rides/attractions per day at one park, up to 60 days in advance!
Guests can choose from nicely priced Value Resorts – big on everything except price; Moderate resorts with magically themed settings; beautiful Deluxe resorts with incredible pool complexes and waterslides, and a premium location near the theme parks. Deluxe Villa resorts provide kitchenettes and multiple bedroom options, and there is even a campsite and resort for those who’d like to “rough it” in Disney style.
This time I’ll focus on Walt Disney World’s Value and Moderate Resorts:
So you’d like to save some money, but how do you choose the right value resort for your family? All of Disney’s value resorts offer elaborate theming, food courts, pools and activities like nightly movie screenings under the stars. All value resorts offer transportation to the theme parks and Downtown Disney via bus. You can choose the value resort whose theme best matches your interests.
Disney’s All Star Resorts – all of the All-Star resorts offer standard guest rooms, accommodating up to 4 people.
- All Star Movies – Surround yourself with larger than life décor celebrating your favorite Disney All-Stars from the pups of 101 Dalmatians to the playful toys of Andy’s room in Toy Story. Guests will also enjoy the Fantasia-themed pool.
- All Star Sports – Sports fans will love the salute to their favorite sports, the surfboard pool and sporty décor, starring your favorite Disney characters. Quick service dining options can be found at the End Zone food court.
- All Star Music – Music lovers will enjoy the larger than life, music-inspired icons located around the resort (this resort also offers family suites, for parties up to 6. The guitar-shaped main pool is a hit with kids and adults alike.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
This hotel salutes the pop icons throughout the decades, and features a gigantic Rubix cube, big wheel and yo-yo amongst its exterior décor. The Hippy Dippy pool, with flower-shaped water jets, is the main pool, located in the 60s section of the resort.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
The newest Disney resort pays homage to some of Disney’s newest animation stars. Standard rooms are themed after The Little Mermaid, and family suites are designed around Cars, Finding Nemo and The Lion King. This resort features the largest resort pool at Walt Disney World, inspired by the movie Finding Nemo.
The Landscape of Flavors food court has 5 different sections offering fresh, made- to-order cuisine.
My personal favorite: Disney’s Art of Animation
This brand new resort offers affordable standard rooms as well as elaborately themed and wonderfully designed family suites for larger parties, or those families looking for more space. The pool features state-of-the art underwater speakers, and there are lots of fun activities for kids both poolside and in the lobby (kids can actually learn to draw animated characters!) I also love that the food court offers something for everyone.
These resorts offer slightly larger rooms, pools with water slides, and more dining options on-site (some moderate resorts offer table service dining options in addition to the quick service food-court style offerings at the value resorts).
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – themed after a tropical island paradise, the resort has a zero-entry pool with slides and water cannons (and 2 spas for those looking for relaxation). The food court area offers both table service and quick service dining. Pirate-themed rooms are also available. This resort is very large and spread out, so internal bus transportation is offered, in addition to the bus service to the parks.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Spanish-style accommodations await you with a feature pool that looks like the Mayan ruins. Kids will love the waterslide and adults will love the spas. The dining area has both food court and table service dining, and bus service is available within the resort as well. This resort features a large conference center, and has some “business class” rooms with access to a club lounge, and a few “junior suites” in addition to the standard rooms.
Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – If you love New Orleans’ French Quarter, you will enjoy the touches of this resort, from the Mardi Gras themed pool, complete with alligators playing the saxophone and a large sea serpent slide, to beignets at the café in the food court. Water taxi service is available to its’ sister resort, Port Orleans Riverside, as well as Downtown Disney.
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort – Think old New Orleans style, complete with a mill, gorgeously landscaped pathways and Louisiana mansions. This resort has 2 sections, Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou, with standard guest rooms featuring a pull-down trundle bed and bayou style. The Alligator Bayou guest rooms are the only moderate resort standard guest rooms that can accommodate a family of 5. Trundle bed is recommended for kids ages 9 and under. The Magnolia Bend section consists of 2 mansion buildings recently renovated with “Royal Guest Rooms,” that are themed after Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, complete with Princess touches and headboards featuring light-up fireworks. These standard guest rooms are available for an additional cost.
The Cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort – If you’re looking for rustic charm, but not quite as rustic as the campground, the cabins at Ft. Wilderness might be the right fit for your family. These cabins can sleep up to 6, and feature a kitchenette so you can cook right in your cabin. (but don’t worry, “mousekeeping” does your dishes!) The cabins are adjacent to the Ft. Wilderness Campground, where you can go for nightly movies and a campfire with Chip and Dale.
My personal favorite: Port Orleans Riverside
While all of the moderate resorts are uniquely themed, and offer great pools and other amenities, my choice is Port Orleans Riverside. The only moderate resort that can accommodate a family of 5 in a standard guest room, this resort is a great value. Guests can enjoy the amenities at both Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter, which gives you two feature pools and food courts for the price of one! The gorgeous pathways at this resort are great for runners, walkers and bikers (bike rentals are also available at the resort), or for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Disney crowds. I adore the beautifully appointed Royal Guest rooms, and the mansion buildings make you feel like you’re really in the heart of old New Orleans! My favorite amenity of this resort (and Port Orleans French Quarter) is the water taxi service to Downtown Disney (and between the 2 Port Orleans resorts). For just slightly more than the value resorts, Port Orleans Riverside offers guests a lot for the money!
In addition to Walt Disney World’s Value and Moderate Resort offerings, there are 10 Deluxe Disney Resorts that I will detail in my next article. Stay tuned!
Quality Guest Services
From the minute you arrive at your Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you will receive Disney’s unparalleled guest service. Your resort hotel staff will ensure a comfortable stay, provide a schedule of your resort’s activities and assist in making reservations for dining and special experiences when you are on-site.
These are just some of the incredible perks of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.