Walt Disney World Versus Disneyland: Disney-Owned Resorts

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Today, I’m continuing my comparison of Walt Disney World and Disneyland by taking a look at the Disney-owned resorts.  First of all, I will clarify that the lodging at Walt Disney World is termed “resort”; however, the lodging at Disneyland is termed “hotel”.

All Star Movies Resort
All Star Movies Resort

Let’s start with Walt Disney World, shall we?  With 24 Disney-owned resorts on the Walt Disney World property, it might be difficult to choose where you want to stay.  Walt Disney World  Disney-owned resorts fall in four different categories:  Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa.  The main things that separate the categories are price and amenities.

Obviously, the Values are the lowest-priced on property with the exception of the family suite sections of the Values.  The Values and the Moderates are in a typical “motel” building style.  However, this does not mean that it is a “cheap” existence.  While the Values offer the smallest room sizes on property, they offer larger-than-life icons that many children enjoy.  While the Moderates still have the “motel” stye, they offer a few additional amenities than the Values by including slides in the pools and a more tranquil environment.

Once a person makes the move into the Deluxe and Deluxe Villa categories, the amenities increase even further, and the buildings are now in the “hotel” style.  Also, in several cases, the move to the Deluxe category brings a closer proximity to the parks.  For instance, one can walk to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Towers, and one could walk to EPCOT from the BoardWalk Inn, the Yacht Club, the Beach Club, the BoardWalk Villas, and the Beach Club Villas.  For some people, this proximity is definitely worth the additional cost.

Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

Now, let’s move across the country to Disneyland.  This is Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and it is Disneyland’s version of a Value resort.  Well, not really.  It is the cheapest of the three Disney-owned hotels, BUT it is far from a “Value” rate.

Compared to Walt Disney World’s 24 resorts, Disneyland has 3 Disney-owned hotels:  Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Californian Hotel & Spa.  These are listed in order from cheapest to most expensive.  In the spirit of comparison, I decided to price Disney’s All Star Movies Resort and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.  I randomly chose September 9, 2013 because that is a date in the upcoming Value 2 season at Walt Disney World.  The price (before taxes) to stay in a standard room at All Star Movies on that night is $90.  The price for a standard room at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel before taxes is $240.  Ouch!  So, that probably isn’t really a fair comparison because it’s obvious that Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is not on the same level as a Value at Walt Disney World.  Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is a very nice hotel with a lounge and a table service style restaurant that has a morning character meal.  The rooms are larger than a Value at Walt Disney World.  Actually, I know that many will disagree with me, but Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is my favorite on the Disneyland Resort property.

So, does Walt Disney World or Disneyland win the resort competition?  Like anything else, it depends on what you are looking for.  Walt Disney World Value resorts win the price competition without a doubt!  It is much cheaper to stay in a Value resort or even a Moderate resort than to stay in a Disneyland hotel.  Actually, the three Disneyland hotels are more comparable to a Deluxe level resort at Walt Disney World, so it is hard to make a comparison based on price comparison.

What I like about the Disneyland hotels is that it is easy to walk to both of the Disneyland parks from any of the three hotels.  I will be honest in saying that I prefer Disneyland over Walt Disney World because of the proximity of the hotels to the parks.  It just lends a little bit more to the experience to be that close to the parks.

What do you think?  Which do you think wins this topic?  For those who are wondering about the Good Neighbor hotels, that’s for next week.


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