When you are planning your Walt Disney World® Resort vacation, naturally, a large part of your expenses will be attributed to lodging. Nearly all of our clients opt to stay at one of the Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels to get the full, immersive, magical experience only Disney can offer; as well as, the added advantage of unique perks such as exclusive park hours, advanced FastPass+ and Dining reservation access, complimentary airport transportation, and free transportation to Disney Theme Parks.
When you call UNIGLOBE Ohio Valley Travel for a Disney Vacation quote, our very first questions will be geared towards your desired amenities and budget in order to derive which resorts to consider for you. Disney offers 3 tiers of resorts- Value, Moderate, Deluxe- each with their own unique themes, dining options, amenities and price point. This entry will briefly address the differences between the resort categories as well as my personal recommendations to help guide you into the best fit for your traveling party. In subsequent posts, I’ll take a closer look at each resort category.
Please note that all rates included in this post are non-discounted rates which include taxes, are current at time of publishing, and are subject to change. Disney is really good about running specials throughout the year which can lower these rates, but I have provided the lowest/highest ranges for a ballpark idea. As always, we are happy to offer free, no-obligation quotes and can discuss your individual travel dates, questions, and concerns to help you make the best decision for your traveling party.
All Star Movies, All Star Music, All Star Sports, Pop Century, Art of Animation
Tier Description: The “base model” of all the resorts, value properties are as you imagine - just the basics. They are very clean, motel style with exterior room entrances and feature larger than life whimsical theming. Rooms are on the smaller side and have two double beds. Room sleep four people, and one infant in a crib. All Value Resorts also feature a Main Building which house a Food Court, Arcade, large gift shop and an outdoor pool bar area. Room service is not offered, but pizza delivery is available. There are no Table Service restaurants at Value Resorts. Complimentary Park transportation from these resorts is in the form of buses. There is one waiting area for the buses, located in front of the main building, and is not sheltered from weather.
Price range: For all tiers, prices will vary seasonally. High demand times when children are not in school such as Easter week or between Christmas and New Years are the most expensive. “Value Seasons” such as late January or early February are the lowest. There are various other rates throughout the year. For 2017, the peak non-discounted rate at an All Star property is $205/night. The lowest rate in Value Season is $106/Sun-Thurs and $143 Fri and Sat. Most of the summer runs $152 weeknight/$180weekend.
Good fit: Clients who opt to stay in a value resort tend to be very budget conscious. Folks who prefer to save money for souvenirs and plan to spend most of your time in the parks, needing only a place to crash at night, this is the tier for you.
Recommendation: My favorite Value Property is All Star Movies, especially when traveling with young children. With giant Disney movie themed flare, it gives an immersive feel to the realm of Disney World at an affordable price. The Toy Story area is ideal since it is located close to the Main Building.
All Star Music, Art of Animation
Description: Suites are available at two of the Value Properties which accommodate six people, plus one infant in a crib. These rooms will feature two bathrooms, a kitchenette with full size refrigerator and microwave, a separate bedroom with a queen size bed, a living room area with 1 Double Size Sleeper Sofa and either 1 Double Size Table Bed or 2 convertible twin size chairs/ottoman.
Price Range: All-Star Music Family Suites range from a low in late January/Early February (Value Season) of $255 weekday/$294 weekend to $459/night between Christmas and New Year. Suites at the Art of Animation range from a low at Value Season of $338 weekday/$380 weekend to $570/night between Christmas and New Year. Easter Week is $552 per night.
Good fit: Larger families with longer stays who plan to take breaks during the day. If your children require naps or you want midday swim breaks, this resort would be beneficial. You may even make use of the kitchenette to save money on meals. Otherwise, it is difficult to justify the price when you can get two regular rooms that sleep 8 people for the same price or less.
Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Cabins at Fort Wilderness, Port Orleans- Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter
Tier Description: These resorts offer increased amenities over the value properties which include table service restaurants in addition to a Food Court, more sophisticated theming, water slides at the main pool, additional “quiet” pools, slightly larger rooms (still with an exterior entrance) which have two queen beds and two sinks. Rooms can hold up to 5 adults, plus 1 infant in a crib. Moderate properties are much larger in general than the Values and are very spaced out, read: there’s a lot of walking. However, they do offer multiple bus stop pickup/drop offs throughout the resort to compensate for the vast size; this can make for a slightly longer bus ride to/from the parks. The bus waiting areas are sheltered from weather.
Price Range: A Standard Room which sleeps five at Caribbean Beach runs a non-discounted rate of $187 weekday/$216 weekend in Value Season. The standard room has its highest rate Christmas week at $300/night. For comparison, a standard room sleeping five at Port Orleans Riverside in Value Season runs a low of $213/$226 and a high of $323 Christmas week.
Good Fit: Families of five who prefer a value property often choose a Moderate Property to accommodate them as it is less expensive than a Value Suite. Families that enjoy a bit more resort amenities or who want just a little more space in their room might also choose a Moderate Property.
Recommendations: My favorite Moderate Property is Caribbean Beach Resort. The beach theme is beautifully evident with sandy beaches, hammocks, and a lovely beach-themed large pool with slide. The food court is organized by food type, which requires waiting in separate lines, but alleviates the somewhat chaotic feel of other food courts without such arrangement. I do not recommend the Pirate rooms as they are located furthest from the main building and do not add enough to justify the increased cost.
Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht & Beach Club
Tier Description: The Deluxe Resorts are the crown jewels of Disney Properties. The amenities are a giant step up from the Value Properties. Multiple Table Service locations are offered at each Resort; some of which are character dining options. Multiple Quick Service locations are also available, including poolside delivery. Full-menu room service is also offered. The pools are AMAZING with multiple water slides/waterfalls and extra detailed theming. These resorts feature grand lobbies, interior room entrances, larger room square footage, fancier bedding and upgraded complimentary bath products. Transportation to the parks varies by resort, but in addition to buses with sheltered waiting areas, Deluxe properties offer Monorail service and/or water transportation options. Some are located within walking distance to one of the four main theme parks. Standard rooms sleep five plus one infant in a crib. Additionally, most of these resorts, as well as two additional resorts (Saratoga Springs and Old Key West) also have villas which will sleep more - up to 12 guests at a fairly steep increased price.
Price Range: The lowest priced of the Deluxe resorts is Animal Kingdom Lodge with a Value Season rate for a standard room at $359 weeknight/$398 weekend and a Holiday Season rate of $575/night. A mid-priced Deluxe Resort would be the Beach and Yacht Club with a low of $421 weeknight/$461 weekend and a high of $695/night. Most expensive of the Deluxe Properties is the Grand Floridian with a low rate of $646 weeknight/$693 weekend and a high of $934/night during the Holidays.
Good Fit: People who consider vacation as an important luxury and want extra services or recreational options, typically would feel the most comfortable at a Deluxe Property. People who are not as focused on the parks and will spend more time at the resort would not be disappointed in Deluxe accommodations.
Recommendations: My favorite Deluxe Property is the Beach Club Resort. Not only does this resort have the BEST, in my opinion, pool complex which includes a sand bottomed pool and shipwreck water slide, it is also located within walking distance to EPCOT, a short boat ride (or mile walk along a path) to Hollywood Studios, and is situated across from the Boardwalk Resort. It has active nightlife options. I feel I get the most bang for my buck when staying here. If you’d like to experience a Deluxe Property with the least expense, Animal Kingdom Lodge is a nice option. It has bus transportation to all theme parks and the location on the Savannah and its active animals is a unique experience. The overall theming and amenities are very nice.
Give us a call and let us help you plan a Magical Vacation to Walt Disney World! 304-232-5171