The Simple Guide to Disney Planning

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Explore Disney Resorts2019-08-06T19:56:43-05:00

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Why Should We Stay in a Disney Resort?

The only reason not to stay at a Disney resort is if you have a very large family, a small budget, and need multiple rooms — and you have another option that will save a LOT of money.

There are Disney resort options where you can usually book a room from just over $100/night if you want to save money on costs.

Add to that the incredible benefits of staying “on property” and you not only save money by staying at Disney, but you save time and avoid the stress of commuting, parking, waiting in lines, and missing out on Extra Magic Hours.

It includes free transportation to the airport and back on The Disney Magical Express and free transportation between resorts and parks. It also entitles you to a dining plan, which can help save money — and definitely ups the splurge factor for vacation-mode decadence by allowing you to order anything off the menu, rather than trying to save money one appetizer at a time.

Resort Benefits

  • Spend more time at the parks during Extra Magic Hours when at least one theme park is open earlier or closes later for resort guests.

  • Make advance reservations for attractions (FastPasses) 30 days before anyone else.

  • Complimentary transportation between resorts and parks and car parking at theme parks.

  • Disney Dining Plan options (sometimes available for free with a seasonal promotion).

  • Your MagicBand serves as your room key and grants you charging privileges anywhere on Disney World property.

  • Complimentary airport service

    • Check bags from your home airport through to your room
    • Check into your airline from your resort for your return flight — collect your boarding pass and even check your bags at the Airline Check-In desk — then head straight for the security desk when you arrive at the airport
    • Disney Magical Express airport shuttle provides roundtrip service
  • Imaginatively themed rooms, grounds, and pools.

  • Incomparable customer service.


Resort Benefits

  • Spend more time at the parks during Extra Magic Hours when at least one theme park is open earlier or closes later for resort guests.

  • Make advance reservations for attractions (FastPasses) 30 days before anyone else.

  • Complimentary transportation between resorts and parks and car parking at theme parks.

  • Disney Dining Plan options (sometimes available for free with a seasonal promotion).

  • Your MagicBand serves as your room key and grants you charging privileges anywhere on Disney World property.

  • Complimentary airport service

    • Check bags from your home airport through to your room
    • Check into your airline from your resort for your return flight — collect your boarding pass and even check your bags at the Airline Check-In desk — then head straight for the security desk when you arrive at the airport
    • Disney Magical Express airport shuttle provides roundtrip service
  • Imaginatively themed rooms, grounds, and pools.

  • Incomparable customer service.

Disney Resort Categories

Soon to have over 30 resorts, Disney World offers a wide range of options for your stay. These are categorized into Deluxe, Moderate, or Value resort categories, and differ in price, proximity to parks, amenities, transportation and dining options, and design and theming.

Every Disney resort has a story to tell, often casting its guests as the star of the show. Each resort has a unique theme that sets the stage through imaginative art, color and design. Its clever visuals and exquisite detail are designed to both surprise and delight. Value resorts do this through big, bold colors and iconic art where Deluxe resorts have a more relaxed, refined ambiance combining subtle details with superb service.

In addition to the expected determinants like season, demand, room type and special promotions, the cost of each resort category is primarily determined by how close it is to a Theme Park, with deluxe resorts offering special transit options like the monorail, boats, or ability to get there on foot. You’ll pay a premium for these luxuries, which largely account for the cost of the room.

DELUXE RESORTS

This category ensures that you are close to at least one theme park, and have unique transportation options (monorail, boat, walking). Deluxe resorts offer a variety of dining options that include fine dining and lounges. They are distinctive in their theming, which includes impeccable landscaping and design.

Amenities include valet parking, concierge services, lounges, live music and boutique-style shops. Most also offer water sports, watercraft rentals, bike rentals, live music, a spa and/or health center and have onsite childcare centers.

The deluxe resorts are:

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

Club Level Rooms are available in the Deluxe category and offer personalized concierge service, a lounge with complimentary continental breakfast, midday snacks and evening wine, hors d’oeuvres, cordials and desserts, for a premium price.

DELUXE VILLAS

Villas are part of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC), and are in high demand, only becoming available to the public after being offered to DVC members first.

What sets these apart from the Deluxe resorts is their layout –– they are available in studios, 1-, 2- and 3- bedrooms; and include kitchen facilities, a washer and dryer, balconies or patios, and may include multiple bathrooms, and whirlpool spas.

Studios have kitchenettes, which include a sink, microwave, and mini fridge. The others have fully stocked kitchens.

The deluxe villas are:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Kidani Village
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
  • The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

MODERATE RESORTS

Moderate resorts are an excellent compromise between cost and convenience, offering fantastic theming, lush landscaping, and expanded dining options.

This category also features Disney Story Rooms that include pirate-themed rooms at Caribbean Beach and Royalty Guest Rooms at Port Orleans–Riverside. Fort Wilderness cabins offer more spacious accommodations or pitch a tent or bring an RV to make camp at Fort Wilderness at lower prices than the value resorts.

The moderate resorts are:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — Riverside
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins

VALUE RESORTS

The budget-sensitive value resorts offer the same benefits of staying on property while being competitively priced.

The latest round of refurbishments at Pop Century have elevated the options with rooms that now rival the moderate resorts. For larger groups, All-Star Music resort and Art of Animation offer family rooms that can accommodate as many as 6 with 3 separate living spaces and a kitchenette.

The value resorts are:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Don’t let exploring these exciting options overwhelm you — visit our PLAN IT guide to keep it simple and streamline the process.

Resort Comparison Chart

Included Amenities

All Disney resorts include the following amenities:

  • Free internet access
  • Feature pools
  • Mini fridge and Keurig coffee maker
  • Access to microwave (in room or at food courts)
  • Transportation to parks and Disney Springs
  • Free roundtrip shuttle service to airport
  • Free MagicBands for each guest
  • Onsite recreation: playgrounds, jogging trails, arcades
  • Spas, health clubs, bicycle and watercraft rentals (Deluxe only, varies*)
RESORT
CATEGORY
COST /
NIGHT
ROOM
OPTIONS
DINING
OPTIONS

Deluxe Villas

$425

to

$1200+

  • Sleeps up to 12* guests + crib
  • Studios, 1-, 2- and 3- bdrms
  • Stocked kitchens, living facilities
  • Washer/dryer, patio/balcony*
  • Club Level option
  • 440 sq gt up to 2800 sq ft
  • Signature dining*
  • Character dining*
  • Room service
  • Concierge level
  • Casual dining restaurants (1-4*)
  • Quick Service
  • Poolside Snack bar

Deluxe Resorts

$350

to

$800+

  • Sleeps up to 4 or 5 + crib
  • 2 queens/ 1 king/ sofabed*
  • Club Level option
  • 344-440 sq ft
  • Signature dining*
  • Character dining*
  • Room service
  • Concierge level
  • Casual dining restaurants (1-4*)
  • Quick Service
  • Poolside Snack bar

Moderate Resorts

$170

to

$330+

  • Sleeps up to 4 or 5 + crib
  • 2 doubles/ 2 queens/ 1 king
  • Story room options at Caribbean Beach
    Art of Animation, Port Orleans Riverside
  • Rooms 314 sq ft / Cabins 504 sq ft
  • Casual dining restaurant
  • Quick Service Food Court
  • Poolside Snack bar
  • Pizza Delivery

Value Resorts

$100

to

$200+

  • Sleeps up to 4 or 6 + crib
  • 2 doubles/ 2 queens/ 1 king
  • 260 sq ft
  • Quick Service Food Court
  • Pizza Delivery

*Varies by resort and is not available at all resorts in this category.

Explore Dining