Wondering about the Walt Disney World Resorts, what amenities they have to offer, and which Disney World Resort you should stay at? Choosing from the 26 Disney World Resorts can be a daunting task for the first timer, and even for those who travel to Disney World fairly regularly. Here you will find a basic description of the Disney Resort categories with links to more specific information, including pricing and photos of the Disney Resorts and rooms.
Before we get to the room categories, we should mention that as a guest staying in a Disney World Resort you are entitled to some exclusive privileges:
- Extra Magic Hours
- Disney’s Magical Express
- Ability to make up to ten days of Advance Dining Reservations starting 180 days prior to check-in.
- Use of the Disney transportation system, including buses, boats and Monorails
- Free parking at all of the Disney theme parks
- Charging privileges allow you to charge purchases in the Disney resorts and theme parks to your room key.
- Package delivery service, which delivers theme park purchases to your Disney resort so you don’t have to carry them around all day.
Walt Disney World Resorts are offered in three main categories. From the least expensive Value Resorts, to the most expensive Deluxe Resorts, there is a resort level to match most any budget. In addition, there are Deluxe Villa Resorts, offering the largest (and most expensive) rooms on property. There are even cabins and campsites at Fort Wilderness. Across all categories, weekend rates (Friday/Saturday) are higher than weekday rates and pricing varies significantly by seasons and holidays.
Within each category, rooms are further broken down into price ranges based on features such as views, theme, and proximity to the lobby or other amenities. Basically, if Disney sees an abundance of requests for rooms in a certain area of a resort, they will create a new category for that area and charge a premium.
The differences between the amenities in each category are, for the most part, as one would expect: size of the rooms, furnishings, and the general “feel” of more luxury as the categories increase in price. But the differences go down to more minute details like the quality of items such as mattresses, bedding, towels, soaps provided, and even, dare I mention it, the toilet paper. This is not to say that anyone would consider staying in a Disney World Value Resort the equivalent of “slummin’ it”. These are not $35/night Motel 6 rooms. We will get more in to the details of the differences between the resort categories below…
Disney World’s Value Resorts offer basic accommodations at the lowest price point. Like I said above, these are not cheapo motel rooms in the slums. They serve a basic purpose of a clean, comfortable, safe place to sleep while on your Disney vacation. Quick-Service is the only type of dining available, there are no sit down Table-Service restaurants, and the only bars offered are at the pool. Resort grounds and rooms are whimsically themed with larger than life icons. When staying in a Disney Value Resort, you “are not in Kansas any more”, you are deeply immersed in the Disney experience. Get all the details of the value category, including photos and pricing, on our Disney World Value Resort Page.
A step up from the values, Disney World’s Moderate Resorts offer more “adult” accommodations, however children of all ages will still enjoy them. Rooms are slightly larger with more walking space, sitting space, and larger bathrooms. The grounds have more traditional landscaping that puts you in the theme of the respective resort. Moderate Resorts offer more dining options, including Table-service and, in most cases, full service bars beyond just the pool bar. Find more information about these properties on our Disney World Moderate Resort Page.
Next we come to Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts. These resort hotels offer the largest non-villa type rooms with the most luxurious amenities, most coveted locations, and the best service. They also offer some of the best food, drink, and entertainment anywhere on Walt Disney World property. When you visit one of these resorts you feel like royalty and the Cast Members treat you as such. Rates for Deluxe Resorts are 3-5 times the rate of Disney’s Value Resorts, and that’s just comparing “basic” Deluxe rooms. Add another 30% or more for rooms with the most desirable views and premium Concierge services. At these rates you may feel like you actually need to be royalty to afford one of these rooms, but that may not be the case. For all the details on these exquisite resort hotels, including photos and pricing, head over to our Disney World Deluxe Resort Page.
The fourth category of Resort Hotel on Disney World property is their Deluxe Villa Resorts. These “hotel rooms” are basically in their own wing at the other Deluxe Resort locations but are part of the Disney Vacation Club timeshare membership. However, even if you are not a Disney Vacation Club member, Disney will gladly rent you one of these units for an exorbitant price. To learn a bit more about Disney’s Deluxe Villas, and even learn how to stay in one of these rooms for about the same price as a value resort, hit up our Disney Vacation Club page.