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What’s the difference between the Disney World Hotels?

Hotel at Disney World

There are over 30 hotels at the Walt Disney World Florida resort. How on earth do you decide which one to choose??

The types of hotel are categorised as “Deluxe”, “Moderate” and “Value” – but no matter which you choose you’ll be guaranteed a stay filled with fun, magic and Pixie Dust!

Here’s a basic breakdown of the difference between types of Disney World hotels:

Deluxe Moderate Value
Price
(based on one night stay in August)
Top price:
Ranges between £274 – £425
Mid-price:
Ranges between £156 – £288
Lowest price:
Ranges between £103 – £118
Room Size Between 344 – 440 sq ft (depending on resort) About 314 sq ft on average About 260 sq ft on average
Recommended For These are the most luxurious resorts, so are recommended for couples, honeymooners or those on a short visit who want to take advantage of proximity to the parks. These hotels have plenty of activities and things to do in-resort, so are recommended for families, guests staying for more than a few days (to make use of the amenities) and those who may want to spend less time in the actual parks. These cheerful, colourful hotels have more basic amenities, so are recommended for young families and those who do not tend to spend a lot of time in their resort.

Want an idea of what to expect at each type of resort? Here are a few examples of the different Disney hotels you could be staying in:

Deluxe Resorts

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Grand Floridian Beach Resort
The Grand Floridian Beach Resort

Where: Magic Kingdom area

Theme: Lavish, Victorian-style elegance

Rooms: Standard rooms sleep 3-5, suites up to 8. Club-level upgrades are also available

Room amenities: Rooms include a safe, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge, coffee maker

Restaurants & Dining:

  • The award-winning Victoria and Albert’s – the most prestigious (and expensive) restaurant at Disney World!
  • Table service restaurants: Narcoossee’s and Citricos
  • Character buffet dining: 1900 Park Fare.
  • For a more relaxed sit down meal: Grand Floridian Café
  • Self-service at Gasparilla Island Grill
  • 24-hour room service

Transport available to the parks: Bus, boat, monorail, valet parking

Facilities: 2 swimming pools, playground, beach, recreational activities, health club and spa

Stay here if: You’re looking for pure decadence

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Lobby
The Lobby at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Where: Magic Kingdom area

Theme: Inspired by the great outdoors – namely America’s National Parks

Rooms: Standard room sleeps 4, deluxe up to 6. Club-level upgrades are also available

Room amenities: Rooms include a safe, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge, coffee maker

Restaurants & Dining:

  • Table service restaurants: Artist Point and Whispering Canyon Café
  • Roaring Fork quick-service food court
  • Territory Lounge
  • Room service

Transport available to the parks: Bus, boat, valet parking

Facilities: 2 swimming pools, playground, beach, recreational activities

Stay here if: You love rustic elegance, roaring fireplaces and nature trails through mighty pine forests

Other deluxe category resorts include:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Moderate Resorts

Port Orleans Riverside

Royal Guest Room at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside
The Royal Guest Room at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside

Where: Disney Springs area

Theme: Has a New Orleans feel, with nods to the Princess and the Frog

Rooms: Standard room sleeps up to 5

Room amenities: Rooms include a safe, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge, coffee maker

Restaurants & Dining:

  • Riverside Mill quick-service food court
  • Boatwright’s table service restaurant
  • River Roost lounge serving snacks and drinks
  • Pizza delivery to your room

Transport available to the parks: Bus, Boat (to Disney Springs). Free parking is available for guests

Facilities: 6 swimming pools, playground, recreational activities

Stay here if: You want to experience the rustic charm and genteel hospitality of the Deep South – at Disney World!

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Pepper Market Food Court at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Pepper Market Food Court at Disney’s Coronado Springs

Where: Animal Kingdom area

Theme: Spanish Colonial Mexico

Rooms: Standard room sleeps 4, suites up to 6. Business-level upgrades are also available

Room amenities: Rooms include a safe, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge, coffee maker

Restaurants & Dining:

  • Pepper Market counter service food court
  • Maya Grill and Las Ventanas table service restaurants
  • Rix Lounge
  • Room Service (breakfast & dinner)

Transport available to the parks: Buses. Free parking is available for guests

Facilities: 4 swimming pools, playground, recreational activities. There is also a full-service health club on-site.

Stay here if: You’re looking for a hotel with an on-site health club, spa and 24-hour fitness facilities

Other moderate resorts include:

  • Port Orleans French Quarter
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Value Resorts

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Lion King Room at Disney's Art of Animation Resort
A Lion King Room at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Where: Disney’s World Wide of Sports area

Theme: The courtyards and the hotel rooms themselves have the themes of well-loved Disney and Disney•Pixar movies!

Rooms: Standard rooms sleep 4 and suites sleeping up to 6 (suites also have 2 bathrooms and kitchenette)

Room amenities: Rooms include a safe, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge, coffee maker

Restaurants & Dining:

  • “Landscape of Flavours” self-service food court
  • Pizza delivery to your room
  • There are no table service restaurants at value resorts

Transport available to the parks: Buses. Free parking is available for guests

Facilities: 3 swimming pools, playground

Stay here if: You want to stay in a room that’s decorated just like your favourite Disney Movie (I really want to stay in the Little Mermaid room!)

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney's Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Pop Century Resort by night

Where: World Wide of Sports area

Theme: Pop Culture through the ages, themed on the unforgettable fads of the 1950s – 1990s!

Rooms: Standard room sleeps 4

Room amenities: Rooms include a safe, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge, coffee maker

Restaurants & Dining:

  • “Everything Pop” self-service food court
  • Pizza delivery to your room
  • There are no table service restaurants at value resorts

Transport available to the parks: Buses. Free parking is available for guests

Facilities: 3 swimming pools, playground

Stay here if: You love everything Retro, from yo-yos to Play-Doh, Rubik’s Cubes to rollerblades!

Other Value Resorts include:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

Whichever Disney Resort you choose, they all come with seriously exciting extras like Extra Magic Hours, transport to the parks, a “Magical Express” airport shuttle and the advantage of booking FastPasses 60 days before your visit.

Have a Magical time!

More Tips from the Disney Mum:

How to Make the Most of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours

The Beginner’s Guide to Disney Magic Bands

Is the Disney World Memory Maker worth it?

When is the best time of year to go to Florida?

The 5 Best Disney Character Dining Experiences

About the author:

Janine Pipe has been to Florida 6 times in the last 12 years and is a self-confessed Disney World addict! She has a 5-year-old daughter who has already travelled to Florida twice. Janine runs a Florida Travel Planning company and contributes to various Disney-inspired blogs.
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