Disney World Resorts

by Jill Leviticus

There’s no shortage of places to stay at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Disney World resorts cater to a variety of guests, from families with young children who want to enjoy the magic of the Disney characters during every waking movement to child-free visitors who prefer a quieter, more deluxe experience.

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Value Resorts

All Star Sports, All Star Music, All Star Movies and Pop Century Resorts, the Walt Disney World value resorts, offer the lowest price of the on-site accommodations and the most obvious Disney theming. Towering Disney characters share the courtyards of value resorts with large pools shaped like pianos, bowling pins or baseball diamonds. While rooms are small, you’ll find them comfortable with double or king-size beds and high-speed Internet access for an additional fee. Family suites at the All Star Music Resort sleep six in a two-room suite that offers a kitchenette and two bathrooms. Large food courts at each resort offers ample choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, while gift shops feature Disney souvenirs and also offer a small selection of food items and sundries.

Moderate Resorts

Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado Springs and the Caribbean Beach Resorts are Disney’s moderate resorts. In addition to offering more spacious rooms, moderate resorts offer a few amenities not found at the value resorts, including hot tubs at the pool areas, sit-down restaurants in addition to food courts, gift shops, lush landscaping and more subtle theming. Moderate rooms offer double or king-size beds, with the exception of the Coronado Springs Resort, which features queen-size beds instead of double beds. Coronado Springs Resort also offers junior suites and a conference center. Walt Disney World includes the cabins at the Fort Wilderness Resort Campground in the moderate resort category. The stand-alone cabins feature private bedrooms and separate living areas with full kitchens.

Deluxe Resorts

Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, and the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Polynesian Resorts are Walt Disney World’s deluxe resorts. All deluxe resorts offer interior hallways, dramatic lobbies reflecting the hotels’ themes, hot tubs at the pool areas and larger rooms than you’ll find at the moderate resorts. Most rooms at deluxe resorts feature balconies, although second-floor rooms in some buildings at the Polynesian Resort don’t include balconies. Queen- or king-size beds and suites are available at all deluxe resorts. While deluxe resorts offer several sit-down restaurants, they don’t provide food courts. Instead, you’ll find a small counter-service restaurant in each resort. Conference facilities are available at the Grand Floridian, Yacht and Beach Club and Contemporary Resorts.

Deluxe Villas

Animal Kingdom Villas, Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, Beach Club and Boardwalk Villas are Disney World’s deluxe villa resorts. These resorts feature all the amenities of the deluxe resorts, but offer studio rooms and one-bedroom villas, two-bedroom villas and grand villas. Studios contain microwave and refrigerators, while villas offer separate bedrooms, living rooms and full kitchens, allowing you to enjoy a relaxing meal in your room if you wish. Jacuzzi tubs are available in villa bathrooms. Villas are timeshare resorts but are also offered at a nightly cost to non-timeshare members.

Resort Hotel Perks

No matter which Walt Disney World resort you choose, you can take advantage of Disney World’s free Magical Express bus transportation to and from the airport. Disney also provides free bus transportation from resorts to its theme parks. Many deluxe hotels offer convenient access to Walt Disney World theme parks. The Polynesian, Contemporary and Grand Floridian Resorts are all served by the monorail system. If you don’t mind a short stroll, you can walk to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary Resort. The Beach Club, Yacht Club and Boardwalk Resorts are within walking distance to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, although you can also take a free boat ride to either park.

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