Walt Disney World Resort Comparisons
Value, Moderate, Deluxe, Deluxe Villas, Confused???
You picked your vacation dates and this year you’re heading to Walt Disney World. Next comes the “easy” part, choosing your Disney resort. It’s only one place, how many choices can there be, right? Well, there are 5 Value Resorts, 4 Moderate Resorts, 8 Deluxe Resorts and 8 Home Away From Home Resorts. Add them up and there are 23 resorts to choose from. YIKES!
Let’s begin with an overview of what all of the resorts have in common. Guests staying at any Disney owned resort who are flying into the Orlando airport can take advantage of Magical Express. This complimentary service shuttles you to and from your Disney resort and the airport.
Speaking of the parks, do you really want to spend your vacation sitting in traffic waiting to get into the parking lot that’s the size of Rhode Island? Guests staying at Disney Resorts can use the buses, monorails and/or water ferries to get to their destination.
Charging privileges are another big plus. When you check in, you give the front desk the credit card you plan on using and they can code any or all of your group’s resort IDs with that card information. If you split up during the day, you don’t have to concern yourself with how the rest of the family is going to pay for their purchases. They can use their ID.
Ever see anyone carrying so many packages around that they look like a pack mule? Not a lot of fun when you’re getting on and off rides. Guests staying at a Disney resort can have their purchases delivered to their hotel.
“Disney Magic” may sound hokey, but there’s a lot to be said for it. No matter which resort you select, from the minute you arrive there’s a touch of Mickey everywhere, including your wake up call. You can expect to hear a familiar cartoon voice telling you to rise and shine.
Those are some of the amenities that the resorts share. Now let’s move onto the different categories and what you can expect.
(First consideration, count heads. If there are 4 or less in your party, any resort will work. If there are 5 or more, you have to choose a resort that can accommodate all of you. Mickey doesn’t do rollaway beds.)
If “Value” brings up visions of the Motel 6 your family stopped at on the way to Aunt Edwina’s, relax. These are “resorts” not simply “hotels.” The rooms average 260 sq. ft. and have either two double beds or a king bed. There are themed pools, playground, a shop and food court. While fairly basic, the many touches of Disney whimsy create a fun atmosphere. If your family needs a little more room at a value price, the Art of Animation Resort offers themed family suites, with space for up to six guests in two separate bedrooms.
The Moderate resorts are a step up when it comes to decor. Beautiful gardens are the norm with wonderful architectural details that convey that resort’s theme. The rooms average 314 sq. ft, and have either two double beds or a king bed. The Moderate resorts have a small built in refrigerator in each guest room. The artfully-designed pools have slides, there’s a playground, food court, and a full service restaurant. The Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach resorts are situated around sparkling lakes. At either of the Port Orleans resorts guests can take water transportation to Downtown Disney.
The Deluxe Villas include all of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) properties and the Ft. Wilderness Cabins. The DVC accommodations range from a studio with small kitchenette for parties up to 4, to deluxe villas that can comfortably hold parties of 12. In between are the one bedroom units that can hold 4 and the two bedroom units that can hold 8. With the exception of the studios, these units have washer/dryers, fully equipped kitchens, jetted tubs, table/chairs, living room, two or more TV’s, and the larger units have two or more bathrooms. The Ft. Wilderness Cabins can accommodate up to 6 with a set of bunk beds, double bed and a pull down double bed in the living room. There’s a fully equipped kitchen and a single bathroom.
Probably the hardest to choose from are the Deluxe resorts. You can go on an “African Safari” or head to a “South Seas Island.” The theming of the Deluxe resorts is one of the many features that sets them apart from the rest. From the New England seaside to turn of the century Victorian elegance, whatever your vacation style you’re bound to find a deluxe resort to match your tastes.
The Disney Deluxe resorts have valet parking, bell staff, concierge services, restaurants, lounges, spacious rooms, suites, room service, shops, and impeccable grounds to stroll around. Most offer water sports, bike rentals and have onsite childcare centers. All are close to at least one of the Disney theme parks.
Take the time to look at the different resort descriptions on the DIS. No matter which one you choose, the Disney resorts have a lot to offer.
- Beaches and Cream will begin accepting reservations December 18 - This small soda fountain restaurant serves burgers, sandwiches and their signature ice cream desserts.
- Limited Time Magic: Secret Santa Week - Visit the Town Square Christmas Tree on Main Street and see Duffy in his Christmas outfit. Other Disney characters will be located around the park. Get a special decorated keepsake card from each one as a souvenir.
- Limited Time Magic: Tour the Magic Kingdom with Phil Holmes - 25 lucky guests will get to tour the park with current Vice President Phil Holmes.
- Blog - Best Places to View EPCOT’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
- VIDEO: Holiday Storytellers - The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs - New to Holidays Around The World 2013 at Epcot in 2013 are the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs. The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs play multiple sets each day filled with Christmas songs done the Canadian way on the Mill Stage.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Jonathan Groff from FROZEN
- Guests at All Star Resorts will no longer receive Key to the World cards - As of 12/2/13, guests at All Star Sports Resort will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in. This will begin at All Star Music on 12/4/13 and at All Star Movies on 12/6/13. This system is already in place at Pop Century.
- VIDEO: it's a small world Holiday Full POV Ride-Through - The happiest cruise that ever sailed gets even merrier for the holidays. it's a small world, the 1964 World's Fair attraction that came to Disneyland in 1966, gets a full overlay for the holiday season including decorations and a new soundtrack!
- Atlanta Braves spring training tickets now on sale - The Atlanta Braves return to ESPN Wide World of Sports for their annual spring training. Tickets are first come/first served and the games take place at Champion Stadium.
- Blog - Give Kids the World Village and Giving Tuesday December 3, 2013
- VIDEO: Gran Fiesta Tour POV Ride-Through - Donald Duck disappears on his way to a Three Caballeros performance in Mexico City and his friends, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles, set out to search for him.
- Blog - Brewing Now: Joffrey’s Disney Parks Collection of Coffees
- Blog - A Brit’s Perspective – Visiting the UK in Orlando
- Specialty food and drink offered for holidays at Epcot - New this holiday season, each country will be serving a specialty food and drink.
- New bus loop at Magic Kingdom open - In addition to regular single stops, there are several double stops that will accommodate two regular buses or one of the new articulated buses.
- Limited Time Magic: Donate a Duffy the Disney Bear to Toys for Tots - Visit the Once Upon a Toy store or the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney and with every $5 purchase, Disney will donate a Duffy the Disney Bear toy to Toys for Tots.
- Limited Time Magic: Jolly Year of the Ear - Celebrate the season in style with Santa Mickey and Minnie Santa ear hats - only available for a short time at the Emporium at Magic Kingdom.
- Times and dates for Epcot holiday storytellers - Each country has its own special theme that highlights its culture. Storytellers will delight you with tales of their heritage and how the holidays are celebrated in their homeland.
- VIDEO: "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen in Celebrate the Magic - This holiday season, "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen is featured in Celebrate the Magic, the nighttime projection show on Cinderella Castle.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle November 11, 2013 - Night
- Blog - Happy Thanksgiving from the Magic Kingdom!
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
- Blog - Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: Turnstile-Free!
- New holiday entertainment for the Canada pavilion at Epcot - Follow the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs on a musical tour to discover the country's holiday customs.
- Blog - Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights 101
- Royal Caribbean is offering a $200 Onboard Credit and 50% Reduced Deposit! - The offer is only available for booking on December 2, 3 and 4, 2013.
- Disney Vacation Club members offered event at Splitsville Luxury Lanes - On December 2 and 9 from 5-6:45pm, the experience will include bowling, shoe rental, a shared appetizer, an entree (or kids' meal), a signature beverage and a special DVC gift.
- Several rehabs added for early 2014 - The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Festival of the Lion King, Kali River Rapids, and the Studio Backlot Tour have all been added to the rehab list.
- Aulani named Best for Families by Fodor's Travel - Aulani was recently named "Best for Families" by Fodor's Travel in their "Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts for 2013" list.
- Blog - Review: “Frozen”
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
- Limited Time Magic: Thanksgiving Treats Available - Special treats will be available at various locations in the theme parks.
- New Year's Eve dining info for Swan and Dolphin Hotels - The restaurants of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will be offering special New Year's Eve menus.
- Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can save up to 37% at select hotels - Discount is valid for travel between 1/4/14-3/18/14, 3/14/14-3/29/14, 1/19/14-3/13/14 and 3/30/14-4/12/14.
- Blog - Why I’m excited to take my baby on a Disney Cruise!
- Limited Time Magic: Jingle Cruise poster giveaway - Celebrate the Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park with a complimentary mini poster while supplies last.
- Several rehabs scheduled for the Magic Kingdom - Among the closings are The Plaza Restaurant, Pinocchio Village Haus, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Barnstormer, and the Liberty Square Riverboat.
- Blog - Disney’s Newest Animated Feature “Frozen” Flurries Into Theme Parks On Both Coasts
- The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special to return? - Rumors are that the popular holiday version of The Comedy Warehouse will be returning to Hollywood Studios this year.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE: Nikon becomes the Official Camera of Walt Disney World and Disneyland
- VIDEO: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2013 - What happens when you combine one 30,000 pound, 65 foot tree, one 40 foot star, 5500 twinkling lights, 430 feet of garland, 325 ornaments, 275 feet of strung popcorn, 400 flickering candles, 135 candy canes, 100 gingerbread cookies and the Disney Characters? Why, you have the perfect recipe for Christmas at the Magic Kingdom!
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Photography - Creative photos from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Christmas dining options for Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Christmas menus.
- Thanksgiving dining options at Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Thanksgiving menus.
- New looks available for the holidays at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Now through 1/3/14, little girls can choose from a Frozen Package or a Holiday Minnie Package.
- Santa Claus comes to Downtown Disney - At the Marketplace, you'll find Santa Claus waiting to greet you at his chalet in front of the World of Disney store.
- VIDEO: Josh Gad - Voice of Olaf in "Frozen" - Interview - Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in "Frozen" and "World of Color - Winter Dreams" and Tony Award nominee for "The Book of Mormon", takes a few minutes to talk about how important it was to work on a Disney film that led to a theme park experience and the music behind it all.
- All guests at Pop Century will now use MagicBands - As of 11/14/13, guests at Pop Century will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in.
- Heart is the third musical group to cancel SeaWorld performance
- Willie Nelson backs out of SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew & BBQ event
- Disney obtains distrbution rights to future Indiana Jones films
- Family sues Disney when woman dies from complications after a fall
- Disney's PhotoPass+ changing to Memory Maker
- WestJet debuts Sorcerer Mickey plane
- Seaworld Orlando's Shamu show closes for 3 months
- Barenaked Ladies cancels SeaWorld concert due to animal rights issue
- 12-year-old girl protests SeaWorld parade float
- SeaWorld plans several events for early 2014
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 7:00
9:00 - 9:30
11:00 - 9:30
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 5:00
10:00 - 5:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Epcot FW