With almost thirty Disney owned and operated resorts on Walt Disney World property, there’s really one (or more) for everybody! Disney classifies it’s resorts into four categories- value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villas. Let’s take a look at what some of the pros and cons of Disney resorts are and what category you may make sense for you.
The category name in and of itself lends itself to a pro – value (aka more budget friendly). The value resorts are the three separate All Star Movies, Music, and Sports, Pop Century, and the newest of the bunch, Art of Animation. A second plus for the value resorts is the in-your-face theming woven throughout. If you want to feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney film, an over-sized sports game, or an era that you may have grown up in, these are the resorts for you. Children will find the over-sized characters and scenes they love brought to life. Parents will be fans of the cafeteria style food courts at each of these resorts. There is literally countless family-friendly options at the food courts making it an easy place to grab any meal of the day – there’s something for everyone and it’s affordable! There’s also the well known tie-dye cheesecake at Everything Pop that is a must-have for many Disney guests.
All Star Movies Resort
Art of Animation – Cars section
Art of Animation – Nemo section
Tie Dye Cheesecake
The moderate category seems to be the smallest of them all, but the resorts themselves certainly aren’t! In this category, you can stay at Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, and the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground (this categorization is a bit odd to me, but let’s go with it). The most notable difference of Fort Wilderness and the rest of the resorts in this category to me is queen versus full-size beds. The cabins do not have queen size beds, and on the campsites, well, you bring your own bed. While the value resort pools are wonderfully themed, the plus at the moderate level resorts are that these pools have a water slide. Each resort also boasts a table-service restaurant in addition to quick-service. Of course, this is a middle-ground of the price points. You can get more amenities than a value, without the prices of an all-out deluxe. Most of these resorts will also accommodate families of five.
The main drawback to the deluxe resorts is price. You will pay for the amenities, comfort, and unique style each resort offers. The only other drawback I can see, is that you may never want to stay at any other resorts once you stay deluxe.
The deluxe villas are part of the Disney Vacation Club (Disney’s timeshare option), but are available for anyone to book based on availability. There are two stand alone villa properties, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs. The other villa resorts are Bay Lake Towers at the Contemporary, The Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the Beach Club Villas, The Boardwalk Villas, Grand Floridian Villas, Animal Kingdom Villas (Jambo House & Kidani Village), and still under construction, the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge. All of these except Old Key West and Saratoga Springs offer the same outstanding proximity to the theme parks. Both Old Key West and Saratoga are located next to Disney Springs though and is just a walk across a bridge from Saratoga. What these villas offer above the deluxe accommodations, is living space and kitchenettes to full-size kitchens. Deluxe studio villas include the kitchenette, while one & two bedroom villas and grand villas (three bedrooms) have full-size kitchens. Families can save money cooking some meals, or even just storing some groceries. The one-plus bedrooms also have a living room which is nice for families who may put kids to bed early or just want some additional living space. When you stay at the deluxe resorts, you tend to want to spend time there and enjoy the resort itself – the living area lends itself nicely to relaxation and hanging out. So on top of the deluxe amenities, you have more square footage in the villas.
The cons of the villas is like the deluxe resorts, the price point. While some of the villas are pretty new, the older ones are still slowly get their updates and may seem a bit dated. The villas are sometimes further from the main building or transportation options which can be a drawback for some. Also, if you’re staying with DVC points, housekeeping and trash & towel service is limited unless you want to pay an additional fee.