disney resorts

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 Disney's Magical Express. This complimentary service shuttles you to and from your Disney resort and the airport.

Next, there’s Disney’s Extra Magic Hours. Each day one of the Disney Theme Parks opens an hour early or remains open for three additional hours exclusively for Disney resort guests.

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 Disney Springs.

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.


Our travel agents will assist you in booking the perfect Disney getaway, all at no extra cost to you. Get the most out of your Disney vacation by letting us assist you with dining and park reservations, provide expert advice, answer any questions, and continuously search for discounts to ensure you get the best deal possible.