Why Upgrade from a Value Resort to a Moderate Resort at Walt Disney World

upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort

There are many things to consider when deciding which resort to stay at on Disney property. How much money are you willing to spend? Which type of theme is best for you? Are you traveling with a family? How much room do you need? Which amenities are important? How important are dining and transportation features to your vacation? If you are trying to decide if you should upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort, we can help!

Resorts Accommodations Location Amenities

Value Resort Vs A Moderate Resort

Walt Disney World Value Resorts are perfect for those wanting to stay in a a themed room on Disney property with fun pools and food courts, at a value price.  All Walt Disney World Resorts have access to on-site benefits – even the Value Resorts. There are five different resorts to choose from: Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, and
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts also offer an immersive room, but the resort also offers a bit more for Guests to enjoy such as slides at the pools, table-service restaurants, and more theming. There are five different Moderate Resorts to choose from: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness.


The accommodations at a moderate resort are typically  improved for guests that upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort. The rooms will generally be slightly larger (about 60 square feet) at a moderate resort. The exception is Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s All-Star Music Resort family suites. The value resort family suites are larger in size but do cost more than a typical value resort room.

This size increase when you upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort may not be extremely noticeable, but it may also be the extra few feet that make it possible for you to survive your family for a week. Don’t forget to consider how much time you intend to spend at the resort. If you plan to stay in the parks as much as possible, then room size may not be an important feature of a resort, but if you plan to have a non-park day then the resort room may be a very important part of your vacation.

Standard rooms at Disney value resorts each accommodate four guests plus one child under three in a pack and play crib. Some of the moderate resorts can accommodate up to five guests with the addition of a pull-down bed in certain rooms.   Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach Resort each have rooms that can accommodate up to five guests.  This is the least expensive option for a family of five to stay on-site at Walt Disney World.

Disney value resorts all have a small refrigerator, and that is great for keeping drinks and even some food items cold and available in the room.  Disney moderate resorts have a refrigerator and a coffee maker in the rooms.  This can be a big plus for those of us who need our coffee or tea before we even think about leaving the hotel room.

Another big reason to upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort is the size of the beds.  Value resorts only have double beds while moderate resorts have queen sized beds.  Those added inches of bed space can really make a big difference in comfort.  For those couples who are used to a queen size or larger bed, the price to upgrade is a small price to pay to ensure a good night’s sleep.

In addition, the moderates have a much larger vanity area and most have double sinks.  Coronado Springs is the one moderate resort that doesn’t have double sinks, but it still has a larger vanity area.  Anyone who has tried to get ready for the day knows that the larger vanity area and double sinks can be a lifesaver this can be. If you will have more people using the sink area to get ready, they may be a good reason to upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort.

The theming is another factor to consider when comparing value resorts to moderate resorts. Some moderate resorts feature themed rooms such as Port Orleans Riverside’s Princess rooms and Coronado Springs’ Pirate rooms which are really immersive and fun. These rooms can add a touch of magic to your trip to Walt Disney World. Overall, the moderate resorts typically have more immersive theming and backstory whereas the value resorts tend to rely on oversized figures to portray the theme of the resort.

The moderate resorts mostly have buildings that feature architecture that is themed as well as landscaping and themed pools. The value resorts generally have generic architecture, but lots of fun paint and statues that are anything but understated. Both types of resorts have great themes, but the way the theme is presented is quite different between the two resort categories.

Location and Transportation

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness are special in that these moderate resorts feature boat transportation. Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts have boat transportation to Disney Springs. Disney’s Fort Wilderness has boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom. Transportation can be a great benefit at a Disney resort because the property is so large and it is extremely time consuming to travel from park to park.  If you would like to stay at a resort that has monorail service or is within walking distance to a Theme Park, you will have to consider one of Disney’s Deluxe properties.

The bus stop areas at moderate resorts are covered, while the bus stop areas at value resorts are not fully covered. It is a small convenience that may be important to you.  In addition, most moderate resorts have a number of conveniently located bus stops instead of the one bus stop area that is available at the value resorts.  Many guests consider this a great reason to upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort because this can save you from walking a long distance to transportation.  At the end of a long day walking through the parks, those few saved steps are important!

Transportation is not a consistent benefit when comparing moderate and value resorts. Some moderates have better bus transportation, but others do not. One thing that some people should keep in mind is the number of bus stops at the moderate resorts. Some moderate resorts have internal bus stops this prevents guests from having to walk to one central bus stop, however, this also increases the amount of time spent on the bus, since the bus must stop at more than one location. Choosing a resort that is located nearby a theme park does reduce transportation time if that is something that you feel is critical to a happy vacation.


When you upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort you also receive additional amenities. Moderate resorts have improved dining options over value resorts. Value resorts only have a quick service dining location generally in a food-court style setting. Conversely, moderate resorts all have a table service dining location in addition to a counter service location. There is one moderate exception and that is Port Orleans French Quarter, however due to it being a sister resort with Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, they share a table service restaurant. Do keep in mind that this amenity is not necessarily an exclusive benefit because any guest can make a reservation and come dine at a table service restaurant, no matter which resort the restaurant is in. It is nice to be within walking distance from your resort room to a nice table service restaurant, at times though.

The other amenities at the resorts are slightly different as well. The pools at moderate resorts are upgraded compared to the pools at value resorts. The moderate resort pools all have pool slides, whereas the value resorts will typically have a themed pool, but will lack a slide. In addition, the moderate resort pools have a hot tub while the value resorts don’t. After a long day of walking in the park, a hot tub may seem like a necessity and not an option.

The moderate resorts also have more activities than the value resorts. To look at the weekly activities at the resorts check out the activity schedule at each resort. There are several differences between moderate and value resorts.  If you are planning some time to relax at your resort, this may be a good reason to upgrade from a value resort to a moderate resort

Making a decision of which type of resort to stay in may seem difficult, but staying at a Disney resort is always a a magical experience! No matter whether you stay at a value resort or a moderate option, the Disney difference is certainly prevalent.