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8 Reasons Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts Are Worth The Extra Money

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of staying at a Disney resort, you’ll know that there’s no such thing as a bad Disney hotel. All Disney resort properties are well-maintained, expertly themed and offer certain standard Disney perks, such as access to Disney transportation and Disney’s Magical Express, early access to dining and Fastpass+ reservations, complimentary magic bands, airline check-in at the resort, extra magic hours, complimentary package delivery and self-parking. Of course, if you’ve been to Disney before, you probably also know that Disney offers a full range of onsite accommodations from value resorts to deluxe properties that can cost hundreds of dollars per night! So if you can get all of this in the same convenient location at a value or moderate resort, is it really worth paying all that extra money for a room at a deluxe property?

The answer is “yes,” the deluxe resorts are worth the extra money if it is in your budget and here’s why:

8. Access to Transportation:

Although all of the Disney resort properties do offer the same basic perks, some of those perks are a little better at the deluxe properties, like access to transportation. Most of the deluxe properties are located either on Bay Lake or on the Boardwalk, on the shores of Crescent Lake. While all resorts have access to bus transportation to all parks and Disney Springs, these deluxe waterfront resorts also have access to 2 parks by ferryboats which run about every 15 to 20 minutes. Disney bus transportation is a wonderful thing, but it can take a long time to get places and if you’ve ever run after your bus as it was pulling away, or had to wait for the next one, or the one after that, you’ll agree that having the option to take a leisurely boat ride instead is a wonderful thing!

Even better, the most luxurious Bay Lake resorts – the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian Village and the Contemporary – are on the monorail route, which provides continuous transportation between these resorts, Magic Kingdom and Epcot, 30 minutes before park opening and one hour after park closing. Guests of the monorail resorts can be in these parks within minutes. This adds up to hours of extra time over the course of a week-long stay!

7. Children’s Activity Centers:

If you’re looking for a little grown-ups only activity during your stay, you’ll need to find a safe and enjoyable place for the little tykes to spend some time. Disney World has 5 Children’s Activity Centers, which offer supervised fun for kids aged 3 to 12, including dinner, and all of these are located at deluxe resorts.

6. Deluxe Villa Rooms:

There’s nothing like being able to spend a week at Disney in a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom villa, with separate bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, a full kitchen and laundry! Family members can sleep and eat on their own schedules, have their own personal space, get up, get ready and get into the parks faster – and you can have clean clothes at the end of a 100 degree day in the hot Florida summer! These glorious accommodations are only available at deluxe resorts and are highly worth it if it’s in your budget.

5. Signature Restaurants and Entertainment:

One of the best things about a trip to Disney is the food and many of Disney’s finest restaurants are located at the deluxe resorts. While you certainly don’t have to be a guest of the resort to dine at these restaurants, when spending hundreds of dollars on a meal, it sure is a lot nicer to be able to drop your little ones off at your onsite Children’s Activity Center and then stroll leisurely across the property in your finer attire for an evening of upscale dining, than to head out to the bus an hour or more before your reservation, in the heat, using up the precious patience of the little ones before you even get to the restaurant! As well, the deluxe Boardwalk resorts are located steps away from the Atlantic Dance Hall and Jellyrolls piano bar. If dancing the night away is in your plans, it’s a lot easier when it’s right outside your hotel than a crowded late-night bus-ride away at Disney Springs!

4. Additional Amenities:

There’s no question that you’ll find everything that you need at any Disney resort, including shops supplying basic supplies and last minute souvenirs and quick-service or casual dining. However, the deluxe resorts offer so many more amenities, like fitness centers, onsite spas at certain resorts, motorized boat rentals, fishing, tennis, upscale shopping, a full range of dining options, surrey bike rentals, nearby mini-golf – the list goes on… Of course you don’t need to be a guest of these resorts to take advantage of these amenities, but you’re far more likely to do so if they’re steps away from your room than if you’re staying elsewhere and have to travel to these locations.

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3. Exclusive Perks:

While most services are available to all guests, there are certain perks that are exclusive to guests of a particular resort, such as the use of some of Disney’s most fabulous swimming pools. This includes the swimming pools at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the fabulous 3-acre sand-bottomed pool and lazy river wonderland at the Yacht and Beach Club. Guests must use their room key to access some of these pool areas and wristbands must be worn at certain resorts. While all of the Disney resorts have wonderful pools, the pools at these resorts are destinations unto themselves and it’s worth a stay at one of these resorts just to enjoy them!

Another such perk is the Wayanama Safari and Dinner available only to guests of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas. This excursion features a private dining experience at Jiko and a private safari excursion across the savannas of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is certainly a unique experience that you can’t find elsewhere in North America and is well-worth a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge just to have this opportunity!

2. Club-Level Rooms:

Club-level rooms are exclusively available at the deluxe resorts – and what a luxurious experience this can be! Club-level rooms are located in the best areas of the resorts, with exclusive elevator access and often offer the nicest views. Guests staying in the club level have access to a devoted concierge, a complimentary DVD library, and an exclusive lounge offering complimentary cuisine, including breakfast, evening appetizers and snacks and other small bites throughout the day. Complimentary drinks are also available, including wine and spirits in the evening and even complimentary champagne at the Grand Floridian!

1. Location:

One of the best perks about the luxury resorts is their location. With the exception of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, they are either located on Bay Lake or Crescent Lake, giving them a beautiful water view and seaside resort atmosphere, along with a full range of water-based activities that are not available at other resorts, like boating, fishing and parasailing at the Contemporary. The walking path beside Bay Lake between the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian Village is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in all of Disney World and the sand beach at the Polynesian Village will make you feel that you’ve truly escaped to the tropics. The Boardwalk along Crescent Lake is full of activity at night, but is quiet and peaceful in the morning and a wonderful place for a morning stroll or jog. Although both of these locations are very close to the parks, guests will feel entirely removed from the intense park atmosphere while at these resorts.

That being said, the deluxe Boardwalk resorts are located between Epcot and Hollywood Studios and are only a short walking distance or ferryboat ride from each. The deluxe monorail resorts are located within sight of Magic Kingdom and only a quick monorail ride away from Epcot. Guests can take a ferryboat to each park here as well.

Although each of Disney’s resorts is expertly themed, with a fabulous swimming pool and its own unique character, none of the value or moderate resorts have the same overall package of amenities and conveniences as the deluxe resorts do. The simple fact that guests of deluxe resorts are able to get to 2 parks within minutes saves hours of travel-time that guests of other resorts must put in, in turn adding hours of time to enjoy on vacation. When you consider that it would take a year to do everything at Disney World, this is a true advantage!

Check out “Disney’s Deluxe Resorts 101 – A Comparison of Disney’s Deluxe Accomodations”

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

About Sandra

Sandra Chu lives in the Midwest with her husband and two daughters. She is a Canadian lawyer, but became a stay-at-home Mom when she moved to the US in 2007. She fell in love with Disney World on her first trip in her late 20's and has since been back over 30 times. She loves helping people plan their Disney vacations and has been lucky enough to turn this into a career! She works as an independent agent with The Enchanted Traveler, helping people plan all types of magical dream vacations with Disney, including Disney cruises and Adventures By Disney vacations. She has been to Disney at all times of year, with kids of all ages, and has mastered the art of doing Disney with princesses! She is now exploring Disney with a tween. Every trip is a bit different, but always magical! You can find her on Facebook under The Enchanted Traveler.