I hear it all the time, “I’m not going to be in my room very much, besides the money what is the difference between the resort categories?” Many people are surprised to find there are a lot of options between them and I hope I can help bring some clarity and help you decide which will best suit your family in both comfort and budget.

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Value Resorts

These are the cheapest hotels on property and offer a basic motel room atmosphere. You have the All Star Movies, All Star Sports, All Star Music, Pop Century and Art of Animation. I will warn you, although Art of Animation is technically classified as a Value the family suites are priced more like a moderate and the standard Little Mermaid rooms are ALWAYS excluded from any discounts.

Non Discounted prices start at $85.00 per night depending on the time you travel and the family suites are more expensive.

Moderate Resorts

These are the most popular resorts I book as an agent, they are very fairly priced and offer a lot bang for the buck! Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness are all considered moderates

Non Discounted prices start at $162.00 per night depending on your travel dates

Deluxe Resorts

Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, Boardwalk Inn, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Polynesian Village Resort, Wilderness Lodge and Yacht Club Resort are the range of choices as a deluxe. Many of these properties now offer villa selections as well if you have a large family or are traveling in a group you may find the villas as a better option for space and pricing.

Non Discounted prices start at $284.00 per night depending on travel dates.

Facts You Should Consider In Making Your Decision

Room Size

A typical room at a value is around 260 sq. ft. as opposed to 314 sq. ft. at a moderate and having the largest is the Grand Floridian at 440 sq. ft. A family of four staying a week with suitcases can be really snug in a value, but it all comes down to what is important to your family.

Bed Size

This can be a big deciding factor for a lot of my clients, the values offer 2 double beds while the moderates and deluxes are 2 queen beds and many of them now offer a trundle/day bed in addition to the 2 queens. The mattresses at the moderate and deluxe resorts are a lot more comfortable than the values.


This factor plays the biggest role in many people’s decisions. Disney offers a wide variety of transportation options for its’ on-site guests. From buses to boats and the monorail the differences in the amount of time you spend getting to and from a park can make a big difference in your day and stress level. The Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary are all on the Magic Kingdom monorail. This means if you stay at one of these three resorts you can board the monorail and in just a few stops be at the Magic Kingdom. As a mother of young children the monorail is a key factor to me because I don’t have to empty my stroller and fold it flat every time I go somewhere like I would with the bus. Also if you want to visit Epcot you simply take the monorail to the transportation and ticket center where you will exit the Magic Kingdom monorail and swap tracks for the Epcot line. If you would choose the Contemporary Resort there also is a walking trail to the Magic Kingdom that’s very convenient as well.

Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Campground both have boat service that will take you directly to the Magic Kingdom.

Beach Club, Boardwalk and Yacht Club all offer boat and walking access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. In addition there is even a second entrance to Epcot for these resorts called the International Gateway.

The moderate and value resorts only offer bus service to any of the four parks. One important thing to consider is all the All Stars share transportation, so if your family is leaning towards a value I would highly suggest Pop Century simply because it doesn’t share a bus with another resort, unless you need a family suite and then I would select Art of Animation.

Both Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter offer boat service to Downtown Disney.

Food and Restaurant Options

If you are looking for a resort that offers both quick and table service food options you need to know moderate and deluxes offer this. The values only offer food courts with quick service options only. If you enjoy room service then a deluxe resort is the only category to offer this, however the values and moderates do have pizza delivery.


Every resort has a heated themed pool and some even offer multiple pools. The moderate and deluxe resorts offer waterslides and most of the deluxe resorts now have splash pads and activity centers for the smaller children.

Overall you can see there are quite a few things that can weigh into making your decision. Having stayed in most of these resorts, I’m here to help you sort through the resorts and decide which will be best for your family and wallet because Disney has a resort and guest room to meet every family’s budget. If you’re ready to start planning your next vacation, whether it’s a Disney property or cruise, Sandals, Beaches or perhaps International I would love to help and as always my services are always FREE!! To stay up to date on all Disney happenings find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest or to get started planning your own magical vacation email or call me at 800-670-4312 Ext 144. Click here to request a free quote.

Courtney Burnside