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What Do the Walt Disney World Resort Categories Mean?

What Do the Walt Disney World Resort Categories Mean? port-orleans-2023-wdw 6

Value, Moderate, Deluxe, Deluxe Villas, Confused???

You’ve picked your vacation dates, and you’re heading to Walt Disney World. Now it’s time to choose 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 13 Disney Vacation Club Resorts at Walt Disney World. Add them up, and there are 29 resorts to choose from. YIKES!

First, let’s look at the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World-owned and operated hotel.

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort are able to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours. Each day, one of the Disney Theme Parks opens half an hour early or remains open for up to three additional hours exclusively for Disney resort guests. Don’t underestimate the number of attractions you can ride during these times, especially in the mornings.

Speaking of theme parks, you don’t want to spend your vacation sitting in traffic waiting to get into the gigantic parking lots. Guests can choose from a variety of free transportation to travel all around Walt Disney World property, including the Disney Skylinerbusesmonorails, and/or water taxis/ferries to get to their destination.

Charging privileges are another big plus. When you complete your online check-in, enter the credit card you’ll use during your trip. You can designate different cards for different members of your party. If you split up, you won’t need to worry about the rest of the family paying for their purchases. They can use their own PINs that you create within the My Disney Experience app.

“Disney Magic” may sound hokey, but there’s a lot to be said for it. No matter which resort you select, there are touches of Mickey everywhere, including your wake-up call. You can hear a familiar voice telling you to rise and shine if you use the hotel’s wake-up calls.

Those are some of the amenities that the resorts share, too. Now, let’s move on to the different categories and what you can expect.

What Do the Walt Disney World Resort Categories Mean? grand-floridian-wdw (15)

(First consideration: count heads. If there are four or fewer in your party, just about any resort will do. If there are five or more, you must choose a resort that can accommodate all of you).

Don’t worry if the word “Value” brings up visions of the Motel 6 from back in the day. These are “resorts,” not simply “hotels.” The rooms average 260 square feet and have either two double beds or a king bed. There are themed pools, a playground, a shop, and a food court. While fairly basic, the many touches of Disney’s 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 incredible architectural details that convey that resort’s theme. The rooms average 314 square feet 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, a playground, a 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 Disney Springs.

The Deluxe Villas include the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) properties and the newly-renovated Fort Wilderness Cabins. The DVC accommodations range from a studio with a 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 four and the two-bedroom units that can hold 8. Except for the studios, these units have washers and dryers, fully equipped kitchens, jetted tubs, tables/chairs, a living room, and two or more TVs, and the larger units have two or more bathrooms. The Fort Wilderness Cabins can accommodate up to 6 with a set of bunk beds, a double bed, and a pull-down double bed in the living room. There’s also a fully-equipped kitchen and a single bathroom.

Probably the hardest to choose from are the Deluxe resorts. The theming of the Deluxe resorts is one of the many features that set 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 and bike rentals. All are close to at least one of the Disney theme parks.

No matter which one you choose, the Disney resorts have a lot to offer. If you prefer to talk with an experienced travel agent who knows the ins and outs of all the Disney resorts, please reach out to us at Dreams Unlimited Travel where you can get as little or as much advice as you’d like at no additional cost.

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Senior Editor for the DIS and DCL Fan | Disney Vacation Club Member | Thrilled to have been a '13/'14 Disney Parks Moms Panelist (now planDisney) | Lover of all things Disney; the Magic of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line | ºoº


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