Disney Resorts – 9 Factors to Help You Decide Which One’s Right for You

With so many interesting resorts to choose from on Walt Disney World property, it’s no wonder that it can be a difficult choice. Here are some factors you might want to consider when making the decision that’s perfect for you!

1. Cost

If cost wasn’t a factor, we’d all be staying in Deluxe accommodations, right? The fact is, money matters! Compare the features and amenities that differentiate the Value, Moderate, and Deluxe resorts. You might not care about upgrades, and would prefer to make the vacation more affordable. (You’ll find that difference between the resort levels are similar to some the factors listed here- resort size, transportation, bed comfort, etc.)

2. Promotions

Also related to cost, Disney often offers a resort room promotion of up to 30% off. The key here is “up to.” You can take advantage of a 15-30% off rate at all of the resorts, but the biggest savings is at the Deluxe resorts. In other words, you won’t be saving 30% at the Value resorts. So, if you have wanted to stay at a higher accommodation level, consider this as a perfect time to do so.

3. Location, location, location

All of Disney’s resorts are “on property”, but let’s not forget how massive the property is! While proximity to certain parks may be a non-factor to some people, others really like being close to their favorite, which cuts down on the amount of time it takes to get there (whether driving, or taking the Disney transportation system). Think about whether there is a park you might visit frequently on your trip. Location is a huge factor for me, because I like to spend evenings in the World Showcase at Epcot. Being able to walk along the boardwalk to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance is perfect for me!

4. Size

Some of the resorts are simply huge. You may find yourself rooming in a remote location and making quite a trek to the bus stop or food court. You may have experienced this if you stayed at a sprawling resort like Coronado Springs. Or, you may not like how many crowded bus stops you must stop at within your resort when you are eager to get to the park in the morning (think All-Star Resorts or the Caribbean Beach Resort) Again, these are non-issues for many guests. When in doubt, ask about your room’s proximity to the amenities that are important to you when you check in.

5. Transportation

Don’t get me wrong- I’m thankful for the busses provided by Disney, but I really do enjoy alternative methods of getting to the parks. Sometimes it’s simply quicker to walk, if that’s an option. You can actually walk easily to the International Gateway, or back entrance, of Epcot from Epcot area resorts (Yacht and Beach Club, Boardwalk, and Swan and Dolphin). In fact, you can even trek from these resorts on a slightly longer walk to Hollywood Studios. Not up for starting your day with a hike? Hope on one of the water taxis, which service all of the previously listed resorts, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Boat travel is an option near the Magic Kingdom, as well, and it connects the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower, Fort Wilderness, and Wilderness Lodge. You can also walk very quickly to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower. Water taxi is even available from some resorts (Port Orleans, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs) to Downtown Disney!

6. Pool amenities

All of Disney’s resorts have marvelous pools, but some are extra fabulous. If you have a really aquatic child in your party and you know you’ll be spending tons of time in the water, you may want to check out the pools at the resorts you are considering. Look for extra special features like multiple pools, water slides, quiet pools for relaxation, etc. Check out our article “Top 5 Disney World Resort Pools” for more information.

7. Dining

Sometimes having a really nice food court can be very convenient, especially if you want to grab a quick bite on the way to the parks in the morning or have a light, grab-and- go lunch or to use up remaining meal plan credits on your last day. You may also like the convenience of having a signature dining restaurant at your resort – think about how much easier it is to dress up for dinner when dinner is at your own resort!

8. Special considerations

Is there something really special about a particular resort that you want to experience? Maybe you just can’t resist waking up to a giraffe outside your room in the morning at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Or, perhaps you can’t resist the Westin “Heavenly Bed” at the Swan and Dolphin. Perhaps the amazing pool at the Beach Club is calling your name. Whatever your priority is, let it inform your decision!

Bonus Tip!

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9. Considerations for large parties

If you’re traveling with a large party, you’ll want to inquire at the resort about how you can be accommodated. Both the Art of Animation and All-Star Music Resorts have family suites available. Family cabins are available at Fort Wilderness, and most of the Deluxe resorts offer suites as well. At other resorts, you may be able to request adjoining rooms, or rooms in close proximity.

How do you choose your resort when you travel? Do you try different ones each time, or do you have a favorite that you are loyal to?

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 price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

About Meredith Smisek

Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart who works as an elementary school counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and corgi. Meredith is a DVC member who loves music, podcasts, crafting, and "talking Disney" with anyone and everyone.

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