As a Disney Specialist – one of the most common questions I am asked is “Where is the best place to stay at Walt Disney Resort?” The answer may surprise most guests when I initially say “I don’t know!”
Let me clarify! Your resort choice is almost as personalized as the style of clothing you wear. Some people prefer “wear – wash – and go” clothing. It’s inexpensive, functional, and quick to put together when you are in a rush. Others prefer to meticulously plan their outfits with high end quality pieces that are timeless, beautiful, and have a look that speaks to the time it took to put that outfit together.
This 3 part series will look at 3 ‘Categories’ of resorts: Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts! Within those categories, there are several resorts with different themes and layouts to suit many different families!
Part 1 in this series will take a closer look at Value Resorts!
Value resorts offer guest basic accommodations when they are looking for “the best bang for their buck”! There are 4 resorts in this category:
With larger-than-life theming, Disney Value Resorts are big on everything but price! Rooms start at $89 usd/night (2016)! They all have themed pools, convenient food courts (quick service only), pizza delivery and more! Standard rooms sleep up to 4 (plus 1 child under 3 in a crib). Family suites that sleep up to 6 (plus 1 child under 3 in a crib) are available at Disney’s All Star Music and Disney’s Art of Animation resorts.
Typical standard room size is 260 sq. ft. (up to 520 sq. ft. for a suite!) Rooms are equipped with a Mini-fridge, Flat Screen TV, Wi-fi, and either a King or two DOUBLE beds. Microwaves are available upon request and are usually reserved for families with infants or medical requirements. (There are microwaves available in the food court as well). Important to note: Coffee makers are not available in value rooms!
The smaller standard size of these rooms and double beds are not suitable for families who tend to travel with large loads of luggage / equipment. Families with special needs can request an accessible room, however, due to the size of these rooms space is often cramped when attempting to fit in accessible equipment like scooters and wheelchairs.
The only transportation to / from the theme parks and Disney Springs© is Disney’s Bus system. An important note on bussing is the 3 ‘All Star’ resorts will run on one bus system which can get a little crazy at peak travel times.
These resorts are best for families who:
- Are on a budget and are willing to forego the frills for the sake of their pocket book!
- Are planning on simply sleeping at the resort and nothing more! These guests will be in the parks from opening until closing. Some may even head to Disney Springs after a shorter day in a park!
- Multi-generational families that will need several rooms. While Disney will not guarantee those rooms will be adjoining / connecting, we will do our best to coordinate that with the resort.
- Looking for rooms that will sleep families of 5 or 6! (Plus one child under 3 in a crib!)
- Guests looking for larger-than-life theming that is wall to wall brightly coloured and Disney-fied (little ones LOVE this!)
The quick service food locations at these resorts still offer a wide variety of food choices! Vegetarian, healthy options, sweets and treats are all available. The refillable drink stations are located in all the food courts as well! All food courts offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. There are also poolside snack bars and pizza delivery service.
Each Resort hotel as two heated swimming pools and a children’s pool. Poolside activities and Disney movies under the stars are available. Value resorts do not offer whirlpool tubs or children’s splash pools (except for Art of Animation – see below). Playgrounds and an arcade are on site and laundry facilities are available for guest use.
At Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (what we call a Value PLUS) there are over 1,900 character themed rooms! 864 standard rooms (that sleep up to 4 plus 1 infant in a crib) are all inspired by Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The over 1,100 other rooms are family suites that accommodate up to 6 guests (plus 1 infant in a crib). Family suites are designed with Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Disney/Pixar’s Cars and Disney’s The Lion King. The family suites offer 3 sleeping areas, 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette!
Disney’s Art of Animation offer all the same quick service dining options and three amazing heated pools! Also up for entertainment are a child’s splash area (interactive water feature), arcade, a highly themed playground and recreation activities including Disney movies under the stars!
All of these Value Resort Guests enjoy several of the benefits of staying “on-site” such as:
- Time (Extra Magic Hours): Each day, one Theme Park is open extra time for Disney’s Resort Guests only so you can enjoy select attractions with less crowds!
- Complimentary motorcoach transportation (Disney’s Magical Express) between Orlando International Airport and your Disney Resort, complete with luggage service! Bonus: parking at Disney Theme Parks is complimentary for Disney’s Resort Guests!
- Disney Love! From the day you arrive until the day you check out, you will experience incredible Disney service no matter where in the ‘world’ you stay!
Side Note: ALL Disney Resort Hotels are smoke-free. Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor smoking locations only.
Watch for the 2nd part of this 3 part series that takes a closer look at the Moderate category of Disney Resorts! A slight increase in the budget brings more value than you can imagine!
Want to know more about a particular Value Resort, check out our individual resort reviews in our comprehensive blog!