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  • Writer's pictureRose@WhereToGoTravelCo

Choosing the Perfect Resort at Walt Disney World

Updated: 5 days ago

Embarking on a Walt Disney World adventure is a journey into a world of enchantment. Choosing where to stay is a crucial part of the magic, and Walt Disney World offers a spectrum of resorts tailored to different desires.

couple looking at fireworks over the Boardwalk Inn

Staying on Walt Disney World property is not just a choice; it's an immersion into the enchanting tales that Disney crafts so masterfully.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Villas categories. Let's delve in and hopefully uncover where YOU should stay for your enchanting trip to Walt Disney World.

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But first, what about staying offsite?

Staying on Disney property is undoubtedly our recommendation. At the end of the day, Disney is about telling a story, painting a picture, and creating a complete experience, right?

Well, the resorts on property certainly aren’t an exception. Each has been carefully crafted and immerses you in a story – and we LOVE that.

Plus, staying on the property comes with perks that hotels off-site just don’t have. Added value!

However, there are SO many resorts (more than 25!). So, how do you select the best one for your family?

Well, we’re here to break it down for you!

Disney separates its resorts into four categories - value, moderate, deluxe, and villas (usually part of the Disney Vacation Club but can be booked for cash). Pricing usually follows this model as it sounds – value is a better price per night than deluxe. The same goes for features onsite and the availability of certain amenities.

Let’s do a quick breakdown!


Starting with Value resorts, these offer a wallet-friendly stay, but with a small compromise on space and amenities. The rooms, at around 260 square feet, are cozy, and while family suites provide more room (approximately 520 square feet), they lack certain luxuries.

Views can differ from parking areas and wooded areas to swimming pools – and naturally the better the view, the higher the price.

Speaking of swimming pools, the pools here are typically themed and could be interactive, but here’s your warning – no slides! If water slides are a deal-breaker, Value resorts are not for you.

Dining options are slim, too, with your only options being a food court or pool bar.

Other forms of recreation can be limited – think poolside games, a playground, and an occasional movie outside at night.

Finally, transportation provided by Disney (a perk of staying onsite!) will usually be via bus.

The only exceptions to this are the Art of Animation Resort and Pop Century, which recently were added to the new-ish Skyliner route. And that's one reason they made our favorites list!

Our Favorite Value Resorts:

Value resorts are the gateway to the magic, providing budget-friendly options without compromising on the whimsical Disney experience. Art of Animation and Pop Century, two distinct resorts, encapsulate the essence of Disney storytelling.

Art of Animation: Immerse yourself in the world of beloved Disney and Pixar characters. The resort features themed family suites, allowing guests to step into the worlds of The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars.

Pop Century: Journey through the decades with a nostalgic stay at Pop Century. From giant Rubix cubes to yo-yos, the resort celebrates iconic pop culture moments. It's a vibrant and economical choice for those seeking a delightful and budget-conscious Disney experience.

All Value Resorts: All Star Movies, All Star Music, All Star Sports, Art of Animation, Pop Century, and Campsites at Fort Wilderness.

Art of Animation Resort
Disney's Art of Animation Resort


Moderate resorts step up the game with larger rooms (around 300 square feet), additional amenities, and more dining choices. The possibility of rooms facing natural bodies of water adds a scenic touch. While buses remain the main mode of transportation, some resorts offer boat services to Disney Springs.

Pools, other recreation, and dining options are a little more robust with the addition of “quiet pools,” water recreation, bikes, a health club (Coronado Springs), at least one table service restaurant, and a lounge.

Our Favorite Moderate Resorts:

Coronado Springs: A fusion of Mexican, American Southwest, and Colonial Spanish influences, Coronado Springs immerses guests in a tranquil atmosphere. With a scenic lake and beautifully landscaped grounds, it's a perfect blend of relaxation and Disney enchantment.

Port Orleans French Quarter: Transport yourself to the charm of New Orleans in this quaint and picturesque resort. With cobblestone streets, gas lamps, and jazz-themed decor, it offers a unique and tranquil escape.

Moderate Resorts: Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside, and Cabins at Fort Wilderness


Now, enter the realm of Disney's Deluxe resorts – where the magic truly intensifies. With room sizes ranging from 344 to 440 square feet, Deluxe accommodations provide more privacy and varied bed configurations, never smaller than a queen. Pools boast slides, hot tubs, and other water features. Spa services, extensive dining options, and proximity to parks make Deluxe resorts an unparalleled experience. Transportation expands to buses, Skyliner, boats, walking, and monorails.

Amidst a plethora of resort options, we believe that the Deluxe category stands out, offering not just accommodations but a grand experience that complements the magic of Disney.

It’s the views, recreation, dining, and transportation that set deluxe resorts apart.

Get ready for a splash-tastic experience! Imagine lazy afternoons by the pool, thrilling water slides, and bubbling hot tubs. The soundtrack? Laughter, joy, and the refreshing sounds of a deluxe pool day.

Treat yourself to a pampering session at the resort spa. Close your eyes and envision serenity and skilled hands offering massages that transport you to a world of relaxation. It's not just a spa day; it's a rejuvenating escape.

Savor a world of culinary delights with an abundance of table service restaurants, room service, and the potential for character dining experiences. Envision a delectable journey where every meal is a feast for the senses, whether it's the elegance of a fine dining establishment, the convenience of room service, or the joy of sharing a meal with beloved Disney characters.

Feel the magic just steps away. Envision leisurely walks to the park, the monorail humming you closer to the enchantment, or a boat ride offering scenic views. Imagine being so close that every moment in the park becomes effortlessly magical.

We love the Deluxe Resorts so much that we created a whole guide dedicated to them!

Inside, we explore each resort's unique features, including dining options and other amenities to enhance your trip. Plus, we give you insider insights into each resort's Club Level offerings! If you're thinking about a trip to Walt Disney World you don't want to miss it. Grab your free copy below.

Our Favorite Deluxe Resorts:

BoardWalk Inn: Experience the charm of a 1940s Atlantic City boardwalk. With waterfront dining, carnival games, and a lively atmosphere, BoardWalk Inn offers an unparalleled blend of luxury and entertainment. If EPCOT and Hollywood Studios top your list, the location of BoardWalk Inn is hard to beat.

Boardwalk Update: the rooms have been renovated and they're wonderful!

Contemporary: A modern masterpiece, the Contemporary Resort is a monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom. With sleek design, rooftop dining at California Grill, and the iconic monorail passing through, it's a deluxe experience with a futuristic twist.

Polynesian: Transport yourself to a South Pacific paradise with lush landscapes and tiki torches. Polynesian Resort combines luxury with the spirit of aloha, featuring unique dining experiences and stunning views of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

All Deluxe Resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club.

Disney's Grand Floridian Lobby
Grand Floridian Lobby


Finally, the Villas, a part of the Disney Vacation Club program, elevate the experience with villa-style rooms, ranging from studios to three-bedroom setups. Found in Deluxe properties, Villas offer enhanced amenities akin to their Deluxe counterparts.

We’ll keep things simple here. Villas are a part of the Disney Vacation Club program but can be booked for cash.

Our Favorite Villas:

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins: We love Copper Creek Villas for an extra touch of wilderness luxury. Imagine rustic elegance, where the whispers of nature seamlessly blend with deluxe amenities. It's not just an accommodation; it's a retreat into rustic sophistication.

Polynesian Villas and Bungalows: Overwater bungalows and luxurious villas set against the backdrop of the Polynesian theme make this resort a tropical paradise. With stunning views and unique accommodations, it's the epitome of Disney luxury.

Villas Include: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary, Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Villas at Jambo House and Kidani Village, Beach Club Villas, BoardWalk Villas, Old Key West, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Riviera Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, Villas at Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Disney's Polynesian Resort Bungalows
The Polynesian Bungalows

Planning Your Next Walt Disney World Trip

Are you considering a Walt Disney World Vacation? When it comes to planning your Disney World vacation, here's why you should entrust your Disney dreams to us:

Expertise Beyond Magic:

We're passionate about all things Disney and regularly travel to Walt Disney World with our own families. With in-depth knowledge of the parks, resorts, and insider tips, we craft personalized experiences that surpass expectations.

Tailored to Your Wishes:

We're not just experts in all things Disney, we become experts in YOU. Your Disney adventure should reflect your dreams and through personalized consultations, we aim to understand your preferences, ensuring every detail aligns with your vision. Your wishes are our guide, and we turn them into reality.

Seamless Booking Process:

Planning a Disney escape can be overwhelming. With Where To Go Travel Co, the process becomes seamless. From securing coveted reservations to managing your itinerary, we handle the details, leaving you to anticipate the magic.

Magical Extras Unveiled:

Our expertise extends to uncovering those magical extras – from hidden gems in the parks to special events and experiences. We bring the unexpected enchantment to your Disney journey.

Embark on a journey where every moment is a chapter in your own fairy tale. Let Where To Go Travel Co be your guide to Disney magic.

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Don't forget to snag the Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts Guide!


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