Understanding Walt Disney World Resort Categories

Updated: 1 day ago

Heading to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando can, at times, feel like a daunting task. Resort Options, Ticket Options, Park Reservations, Dining Reservations - the list goes on when it comes down to planning a strategic, yet enjoyable vacation to see your favorite Mouse and his pals!


But planning a Walt Disney World Vacation doesn't have to be complicated!

That's where we come in! Having an Advisor on your side through every step of the process is important for any level of planner. We help you sift through the information overload and focus only on options that make the most sense for you, your family, and your travel style.


Our crucial first step in the planning process? Determining if you are a Value, Moderate, or Deluxe Traveler.


Now, you may be wondering "what on earth does that even mean?"


Walt Disney World Resort Resort Levels

These resort levels exist, not to drive you crazy, but to deliver the level of experience that each traveler individually is looking for. Combine that with all the different theming that each resort offers and you are sure to land on the perfect resort option with your advisor's help.


Here are some differences to look at with all of the different Walt Disney World Resort Levels:


DISNEY VALUE RESORTS

Walt Disney World Value Resorts typically have the most Disney-specific theming. These are the hotels where they don't strive for hidden Mickey's, they throw them in your face. It's also important to note these hotel options are typically the furthest hotel options from the parks and other amenities, have no on-site sit-down dining (just cafeteria style), and offer the least transportation options so get used to taking the bus or a Lyft. This is also where you usually find the school camps, cheer teams, and younger families. So if noise is a concern for you, we suggest you head up a bit in the category. Value resorts are usually perfect for the super budget-conscious traveler that understands they are there to lay their heads at night, and will likely be on the move in the parks for the duration of their stay.


Average Cost - $120 - $279 Per Night

Transportation - Bus Only


WHICH RESORTS ARE VALUE RESORTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD?

Disney’s All-Stars Music

All-Stars Movies

All-Stars Sports

The Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds

The Value Plus Concept

If you need a budget-conscious vacation but want just a bit of escalated service, we usually suggest what has been dubbed the "Value Plus" category. These value resorts have some bonuses, especially now with the added Skyliner Transportation option. You still have limited dining options, and your proximity is still pretty far out. But you gain added suite options, and room designs that allow for a bit more movement when needed like the introduction of the Queen size Pull Down Table Beds. For the Traveler, that again just needs a place to stay but a more elevated experience and ease of transportation, this category is for you.


Average Cost - $168 - $345 Per Night

Transportation - Bus and Skyliner


WHICH RESORTS ARE VALUE PLUS RESORTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD?

Art of Animation

Pop Century




DISNEY MODERATE RESORTS

This tends to be the Walt Disney World 'sweet spot' when it comes to balancing budget and amenities. It's also, ironically, where there is the least inventory. So if a Moderate is on your list of must-haves - get it fast! When moving to the Moderate category, you get water slides at the pools, more transportation options, more upscale theming, and additional food options. You also are closer to the parks and can get around property faster than the typical value guest. Caribbean Beach at the hub for the Skyliner, and the boat transportation from Port Orleans is worth the added per night cost alone in my opinion.


Average Cost - $250 - $747 Per Night

Transportation - Bus, Skyliner and/or Boat


WHICH RESORTS ARE MODERATE RESORTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD?

Caribbean Beach

Coronado Springs

Port Orleans- French Quarter

Port Orleans- Riverside

Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort



DISNEY DELUXE RESORTS

There are quite a few bonuses when we get into the Deluxe-level resorts. Not only are you getting more food and drink options, more transportation options, and much better proximity to the parks - but you're also getting the option to add on some nice additional cost perks such as concierge amenities and cabanas. Deluxe resorts are truly what we would consider 'resorts' with their business centers, spas, gyms, and even convention space and Villa options (which we will get to next). These are perfect for the traveler that truly is looking for a 5-star experience, needs more in-room amenities and restaurant accessibility, and wants more time exploring non-park entertainment.


Average Cost - $392 - $1428 Per Night

Transportation - Monorail, Bus, Skyliner, and/or Boat


WHICH RESORTS ARE DELUXE RESORTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD?

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Beach Club

Boardwalk Inn

The Contemporary

The Grand Floridian

The Polynesian

Wilderness Lodge

Yacht Club

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Galactic Starcruiser Star Wars Hotel (this in itself is an entirely different beast, but it lands here just for now!)




DISNEY DELUXE VILLAS

In addition to the usual Deluxe amenities, The Disney Deluxe Villas at Deluxe Resorts offer multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, and living spaces. These are perfect for extended families that want to stay together, larger families, or families with older kids. These are also ideal for families with dietary restrictions that would like to be able to prepare meals and snacks in their room for easier options.


Average Cost - $392 - $1428 Per Night and even more for Multi Rooms!

Transportation - Monorail, Bus, Skyliner, and/or Boat


WHICH RESORTS ARE DELUXE VILLAS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD?

Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary

Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge

Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House

Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

Beach Club Villas

Board Walk Villas

Old Key West Resort

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

The Villas at Grand Floridian



 

The information overload is real when you're looking at a Walt Disney World Vacation. We know that, and we are here for it! This is just scratching the surface of how the options are vastly different, and each hotel within the categories is unique in its own way. Be sure to connect with a Lotus Travel Concierge Disney Specialist so we can cut through the chaos and get you exactly what you need.

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