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A Closer Look at Deluxe Properties

Our last stop on our tour of Disney Properties is the Deluxe category. These fabulous resorts are quite a step up from the Moderate Resorts, delivering greatly on all the amenities your heart could desire. From grand pool complexes to spacious and luxurious rooms, Disney’s proclivity for above and beyond is very evident at the Deluxe Properties. These can be rather pricey, but as they say, you get what you pay for; and when discounts are offered, the highest discounts are offered for the Deluxe Properties.

Deluxe Properties include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, Boardwalk Inn, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Polynesian Village Resort, Wilderness Lodge and Yacht Club Resort. These resorts offer increased amenities over the Value and Moderate Resorts including: larger rooms, interior hallways, private balconies, closer proximity to theme parks (some close enough to walk to!), alternatives to bus transportation including monorail/water boats to theme parks (in most cases), a variety of dining experiences at all deluxe resorts including Character meals (at some locations), extensive room service dining options, increased onsite recreational opportunities including spas (at all deluxe locations except for the Polynesian Village Resort) and valet parking (available for a fee). The theming at the Deluxe Properties are very elegant and distinct per location. Another unique option exclusive to these resorts is the option to stay on a Club Level. These rooms, at an increased nightly rate, come with personalized concierge service, a private lounge with continental breakfast, midday snacks and evening wine- all at no additional charge. The Deluxe Resorts have the best views of all the categories, some with Theme Park views, others beautiful water views. Animal Kingdom Lodge rests along a beautiful Savannah with giraffes, zebras, and may other species right outside your window!

Standard Guest Rooms: Largest of the categories, deluxe standard rooms range in square footage from 340 at Wilderness Lodge to 448 at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. All rooms will feature either 2 Queen beds or a King Bed, with some variations depending on the resort. Most standard rooms can accommodate 5 guests plus an infant in a crib. The exceptions which will only sleep 4 plus an infant are Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge. Bathrooms are slightly larger in the Deluxe Resorts, and all feature double sinks with a bit more storage room.

Specialty Rooms: In conjunction with most Deluxe Properties are Deluxe Studios, and one, two and three Bedroom Villas which can accommodate up to 12 guests. Studios feature a mini kitchenette area while the Bedroom Villas have a full kitchen with dine-in area. It is best to call to discuss these options for larger groups.

Pools: It doesn’t get much nicer than poolside at the Deluxe Properties. Vast and sculpted, themed and comfortably unique, these year round heated pools are not your typical swimming hole. At Stormalong Bay, the shared pool complex at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, you will find a sand-bottomed pool and lazy river, a shipwreck themed water slide, zero-entry sandy beach area and multiple hot tub areas. Over at Animal Kingdom Lodge you will see 2 pool complexes: one of which, Uzima, is the largest of all pools in Walt Disney World; the other, Samawati Springs, features a water playground and a 128 ft water slide. You will not be disappointed in any of the Deluxe property pool options - save some afternoon time in your trip to enjoy them!

Transportation: As mentioned above, Deluxe Properties have different options for their complimentary travel. Some resorts, such as Polynesian Village Resort and Grand Floridian Resort and Spa are located along the Monorail. Others such as Wilderness Lodge have water taxis to send you over to Magic Kingdom, likewise from Yacht and Beach Club and Boardwalk Inn to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. And some resorts are so close you can trade transportation to your feet and take a short walk, for instance, Contemporary Resort is walk-able to Magic Kingdom, and Yacht and Beach Club is walk-able to EPCOT. This is a lovely bonus for those with hopper tickets to enjoy evenings at a nearby park, then walk home for the night.

Price Range: These 2017 room rates vary widely across resorts and weeks of the year. The current low, high, and summer rates are listed below, to give you an idea of the price range. Please call for rates during the specific week for which you are interested. Please note these prices are for the standard view, include tax, and are the non-discounted rates. Other views are going to be at an additional rate. Disney often runs specials, so it is quite possible to stay in a Deluxe Property for lower than these figures listed. Please also call for pricing of Villas, which will be significantly higher.

Animal Kingdom Lodge - Among the smallest of the Deluxe Properties, the standard room here has an area of 344 sq ft and sleeps 4, plus an infant under 3 in a crib. It is located within a couple minutes to Animal Kingdom theme park and all transportation from this resort is by bus. In Value Season, this resort runs a low of $359/$398, summer rate $407/$413 and a high of $575 Christmas week. A Savannah View room (sleeps 4) is a low of $508/$541, summer rate $582/$600, and a high Christmas week of $772 per night. Savannah view rooms, which inside are the same, offer the awesome view of giraffes and other animals right outside your window! Some standard views have a “holding area” view, but it cannot be guaranteed. Some standard view rooms are of the parking lot area.

Boardwalk Inn - This EPCOT area (walking distance) resort accommodates 5 people plus an infant in a crib in a standard room, and comes in at 434 sq feet. Value rates run $459/$479, summer rate of $505, and a Christmas week high of $730/night. The Boardwalk resort is also within water launch service or walking distance to Hollywood Studios theme park. A wonderfully bright pool area with a 200 ft roller coaster themed water slide adds to the fun.

Contemporary Resort - This Magic Kingdom area (walking distance) resort sleeps 5 guests plus an infant in a crib. The square footage for a standard room is 437. Value season rates run $425/$436, summer rate of $467/$471 and a high holiday rate of $666/night.

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa - This Magic Kingdom area (Monorail) resort sleeps 5 guests plus an infant under 3 in a crib and is 448 sq ft. Value season rate is $646/$693, Summer season runs $696/$706, and the high at Christmas week is $934/night.

Polynesian Village Resort - This Magic Kingdom area (Monorail) resort also sleeps 5 guests plus an infant under 3 in a crib and has a size of 404 sq ft. Value season is $508/$539, summer rate is $560, and Christmas high rate of $793/night.

Wilderness Lodge - This other small end Deluxe property at 340 sq ft for standard rooms, is in the Magic Kingdom area (water launch or bus) and sleeps 4 adults plus an infant under 3 in a crib. Low value season rates run $345/$370, summer rate is $412, and Christmas week high is $612/night.

Yacht and Beach Club Resort - These 2 EPCOT area (walking distance) resorts share a pool area and are located adjacent to one another. All rooms sleep 5 (plus an infant under 3 in a crib) and are 400 sq ft. Prices in Value Season for a standard view is $421/$461, summer rate $501, and a high of $695/night during Christmas week.

RECOMMENDATIONS: My ABSOLUTE favorite place is stay in all of Walt Disney World is the Beach Club Resort! The pool complex alone is reason enough to stay here, but the added benefit of being able to WALK to the countries of EPCOT (all of EPCOT really, but you enter near the countries) is HUGE when you have a park hopper pass. It allows you to experience the sights and flavors of this area on repeat visits, even after a morning spent at a different park. Recreation options include sand volleyball and a sanded lake front area with comfortable swings and campfire area. In addition to this, you have easy access to Disney’s Boardwalk Entertainment District: full of restaurants, street performers, shops and nightlife. At the price point offered, I find it to be the best value for your money and overall vacation experience. The Yacht Club is nice as well, it is simply a few steps further to EPCOT. These rooms are at present a bit worn and are in the process of being updated.

So there you have it! A final review of the Walt Disney World properties! These last few posts were only an overview- a brief glimpse into the wonderful things these properties offer. I am here to discuss in detail any of the resorts and the pros and cons. Just send an email or give me a call. I look forward to assisting you with your Walt Disney World vacation!

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