Disney Planning 2.0

Disney Planning 2.0: Which Resort to choose

So today we look into which resort to stay in. I like to be fully immersed in Disney when I go so although it may be cheaper to stay off site, I’m only considering Disney Resort Hotels.

Walt Disney World Resorts are split into three categories

  • Deluxe Resorts
  • Moderate Resorts
  • Value Resorts

The main difference between these three is the price per night. The themes of the resorts and the transportation options also stand out.
Deluxe Resorts

Deluxe resorts

These are your top of the line 5 star style resorts. The rooms are bigger and more luxurious than what you’d find in the other categories. They feature queen beds and there are better dining options to choose from. These resorts have large pools with slides and many have gym facilities. There is generally more than one transportation route to the parks and some are within walking distance to a park. If you have the budget for a Deluxe hotel the main question when choosing a resort will be what park you would like to be closest to. The Deluxe resorts are:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Moderate Resorts

Moderate resorts

These are a step down from the Moderates in theming, rooms, dining, amenities and cost. These are motel style rooms that open out to the outside. There isn’t that much of a difference in the pricing between all moderate resorts so it will come down to your favorite theme and location. The Moderate Resorts are:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Value Resorts


The Value resorts have the smallest rooms and the lowest nightly rates than any of the other categories. They are more “in your face” in their themes with larger than life characters around the common areas (Giant Little Mermaid characters, Dalmatians and Sports characters). The rooms open to the outside (motel style) and they have double beds instead of queen size beds. Transportation is often shared between resorts so the buses will be more full. The pricing can differ gteatly between these resorts so its best to shop around the resorts to find which suits your budget.

The Value Resorts are:

  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s All Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

I have only every stayed in the Beach Club Resort which is a Deluxe Resort and was in walking distance to EPCOT. This Resort was just amazing. If your budget allows I would very much recommend staying there!

Based on Research on forums, books and other sites, these would be my top 1 or 2 in each category:


Art of Animation – it is the newest resort in the Value category. Family rooms are available here and the food court options seem to be quite good. This resort is often not included in free dining deals though.


Port Orleans – Either one seems to be great, it would depend on which theme you prefer.

Coronado Springs – Although there is renovation / building work going on here at the minute, from what i can gather it shouldn’t impact on guests as much as it does in the Caribbean Beach Resort. The newly refurbished rooms are the reason I would recommend this one. They are so bright and modern.


Animal Kingdom Lodge – If your budget is only slightly higher of that of Moderate resorts this is the best deluxe for you. It’s the lowest priced of the Deluxe Resorts. It is further away from Parks (Apart from Animal Kingdom) and only has bus transportation. To make up for this it has Animals on the grounds and the resort just looks amazing!

Polynesian Resort – We went for breakfast in ‘Ohana and I just love this resort. It has the Monorail for transportation, is super close to Magic Kingdom and is just lovely. It is quite expensive but if money is no object – Do it!!

What would be your favourite resort? Let me know in the comments!!

** All Images borrowed from DisneyHolidays.ie


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