Planning a Walt Disney World Trip: Choosing Your Hotel

While some people only treat their hotel as a place to rest their head between being out and about, your Walt Disney World hotel will be so much more. It is your home base. Where you will get meals. Where you will spend some much-needed downtime. As such, choosing the best hotel for you is the first big choice you make, other than going to Disney World that is.

Hotel Bands

Disney offers three main bands of hotels for their own and operated hotels and resorts, Value, Moderate and Deluxe. Part of the Deluxe are the villas that are part of each resort, I won’t really be covering them as they are mostly Oe exclusively Disney Vacation Club (DVC). As you will come to expect with Disney, different tiers or bands means vastly differing prices.




The first tier, Disney “basic”. These hotels are generally the larger across property and the most heavily themed making them the cheapest. Massive pools, maybe a few of them per resort or at least one per block of rooms.These really are the rooms I would consider somewhere to lay your head at night. Little is offered in the way of extras in these locations.

Disney Value Resorts are:

  • All-Star Movies
  • All-Star Music
  • All-Star Sports
  • Art of Animation
  • Pop Century

Rooms here are great for first-time visitors and smaller families, except for Art of Animation which does offer Family Suites.




Second tier, mid-range. Smaller than the Values generally with a bit less in your face Disney theming. Rooms are slightly larger and start to offer amenities such as an in-room coffee maker. Resorts in this bracket also provide one larger pool at each location that has a slide too, and, not just any slide, a smaller version of a flume. Most resorts here also offer quiet pools with each block of rooms except for Port Orleans French Quarter, but, when staying at any of the Port Orleans you can use any of the pools from French Quarter or Riverside.

Disney Moderate Resorts include:

  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Coronado Springs
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness
  • Port Orleans Riverside
  • Port Orleans French Quarter

Rooms here are slightly larger, offering more space and amenities in each resort, such as a bar outside of the pool bar alone. Moderates begin to cater for more grown-up Disney fans.




The most luxurious of resorts, offering the most in the way of amenities, the prime for these being the proximity to the parts or unique transportation options like being on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop. Rooms in these resorts begin to provide club level experiences, park or other outstanding views. As such, there are a variety of price bands within these hotels themselves.

Disney Deluxe Resorts include:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club Resort
  • BoardWalk Inn
  • Contemporary Resort
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Polynesian Village Resort
  • Wilderness Lodge
  • Yacht Club Resort

Choosing What is Best

There are a lot of options for you to consider. Pricing is the deciding factor, Value being on the cheaper end, Deluxe being top end with Moderate in the middle. Personally, we have chosen moderate for our trip. We want to mix the amenities with the price. Being in one of the large Value resorts which are heavily themed with lots of people really isn’t something people in my group are looking for. While we would all love a deluxe, especially the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom, we can’t justify the price for not being in the resort as much. We want the parks for most of the day, with part of each day dedicated to resting at our room/pool. I think we have made the correct decision for us and hopefully by sharing it with you, gives some insight on choosing your own.


Photos thanks to Walt Disney World

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