What are your favorite Disney Resorts? Over the years we have stayed at several on site resorts at Walt Disney World, and just like the attractions in the parks, we have our favorites, not so favorites, and the ones in between. But even our least favorite resort isn’t really that bad, after all it is on Disney World property!
For those of you who are not familiar with how Disney groups their resorts, they use three levels of accomodations; Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. I’ll explain what makes each level different from the others, list what resorts fall into each category, and share with you which ones we have stayed at (in italics), and finally give you our favorites and why!
These are your basic run of the mill hotels, but with a touch of Disney magic. Things you can expect in a value resort are, oversized decorative icons, a large themed swimming pool, a couple of less themed “quite pools”, a food court, arcade and of course gift shop. These tend to belarger resorts, and further away from the theme parks. Also all of the rooms open up to the outside. The resorts on property that fall into this category are: All Star Sports, All Star Music, All Star Movies, and Pop Century.
Our favorite: All Star Music
Our family enjoys All Star Music mostly because of the feel of the resort. The resort is very large, but the walkways and landscaping make it feel very subdued. I especially enjoy walkingaround at night. The fountains and walkways are lit as if you were out exploring an old city, looking for some live jazz to listen to. The oversize icons are present, but they don’t feel as in your face here. While we have not experienced them, All Star Music offers family suites, which are good for families larger than four people.
Moderate resorts also have outside facing exits, but the rooms are larger, and have more upscale trimmings. These resorts are themed, but with decorations, and landscaping. Some resorts have specially themed rooms, like pirate ships, and Finding Nemo. At moderate resorts each room comes with a small refrigerator. Most moderate resorts have a food court and a sit down restaurant. The pools have slides, and might be elaborately themed, depending on if they have been recently renovated. They tend to be closer to the theme parks compared to the value resorts. Disney’s moderate resorts are: Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, and Coronado Springs. Plus the Swan and Dolphin resorts are included in this category.
Our favorite: Coronado Springs
This is the level of accommodations we have the least experience with, and we love both of the moderate resorts we have stayed at, but Coronado Springs edges out French Quarter. Again we love the theme of Coronado Springs. It has a very American Southwest/Mexico theme. It reminds us a lot of Arizona, where most of my wife’s family lives. The Mexican ruins themed pool and dig site is awesome! We also really love the Pepper Market food court (with a twist). The rooms are recently renovated with queen size beds, and you get the benefit of the nicer H2O Plus Spa toiletries here. A couple of months back I wrote about our first experience at Coronado Springs, for more details click here to check it out!
These are the crème de la crème of Disney resorts! Their location is great, the Theme Parks are usually just a short monorail, or boat ride away. Some are even walking distance to a park or two! The resorts feature elaborate themes, lots of activities, multiple dining options (quick service or sit down), and awesome pools! The rooms are interior, and much larger than lower categories. The jump from moderate to deluxe is much greater than value to moderate! Many of the resorts are also part of Disney’s Vacation Club, so one and two bedroom villas might also be available! Disney’s deluxe resorts are: The Contemporary, The Polynesian, The Grand Flordian, The Yacht and Beach Club, The Boardwalk, The Widerness Lodge, and The Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Our favorite: Beach Club
This was a tough one to decide. We also love the Contemporary for its location (walking distance to Magic Kingdom), and we love the feel of Wilderness Lodge. What makes me know that Beach Club is our favorite? The feeling we get when we walk in. It just feels like home. The sights and smells, and Beaches and Cream… Ummmm No Way Jose Sundae… Sorry, I lost my train of thought! Oh yeah, and the location! A 5 minute walk to Epcot’s World Showcase… Plus the entertainment of the Boardwalk across the lake. Plus the attached Yacht Club with it’s signature restaurant The Yachtsman… Oh and the best pool on property, Stormalong Bay, with it’s sand bottom and awesome waterslide! The Beach Club is also home to one of our favorite character meals at Cape May Café. Here you can have breakfast with Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald, and getting a reservation is usually pretty easy.
I hope that we share some favorites with you. One day I'll stay at all of them, for research purposes of course!