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.
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- Victoria & Albert's will no longer accept Tables in Wonderland - This begins August 1, 2014.
- Summertime Pals Ink & Paint Cel release - This limited release will be available at the event, or pre-order by September 25 at 5:00pm EST.
- Haunted Mansion merchandise shop coming to Magic Kingdom - The former Yankee Trader shop will become a Haunted Mansion merchandise location in the near future. The decor will be inspired by Madame Leota and will carry items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program, such as apparel, home goods, souvenirs and more.
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- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
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- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
- Blog - I Can Go The Distance: Deciding is one thing, registering is another
- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
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- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- High-speed train will link Shanghai Disneyland to city
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions
- Disney's CEO Bob Iger honored as CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
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9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 10:00
9:00 - 7:00
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9:00 - 8:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Epcot FW