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Choosing a Walt Disney World Resort

by | Dec 14, 2023

When you’re thinking of going on a Walt Disney World vacation, the first question that comes to mind is “Which Disney World hotel is best?” Honestly, it can be very stressful! That’s where ConciEARS comes in. Our Travel Planners are here to help you break down the planning process and hold your hand every step of the way!


Once you’ve figured out your travel dates – which is one of the things your ConciEARS Travel Planner can help you with – you might be wondering, “Which Disney World hotel should I choose?”

Which Disney World Hotel is Best For Me?

Walt Disney World Resort is a massive property, 40 square miles to be exact. Within this San Francisco-sized area, there are 30 Disney Resort Hotels to choose from. Each hotel is special in its own way with unique theming and exciting amenities. Since there are so many to choose from, Disney has split the hotels into four different categories. Let’s take a closer look at each option!

Disney Deluxe Resorts


Let’s start with Deluxe Resorts: The hotels in this category are the cream of the crop when it comes to accommodations at Walt Disney World!  You’ll get the most luxurious rooms and amenities with subtle Disney theming, plus some of the best transportation options. Some of these locations are even walking distance to a theme park! 

In addition to location and convenience, Deluxe Resort guests also get to enjoy Extended Evening Hours at select theme parks on certain days each week. This is a great opportunity to enjoy attractions with shorter wait times — for no extra cost!  Deluxe Resorts also offer fantastic restaurant selection available right there at the hotel, including character dining. And, if you opt to stay in a Club Level room, you’ll get special access to concierge service and a Club lounge with complimentary refreshments throughout the day. All this, plus the incredible pool areas, make your stay at one of the following resorts truly Deluxe!

These are the Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney Deluxe Villas


The next category we’re looking at is another Deluxe category, but this one is a step up: Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. These accommodations were specifically designed for Disney Vacation Club, meaning the Villas will be your perfect home away from home during your vacation. There are Studio, 1, 2 and 3 Bedroom Villa options in this hotel category and each room comes equipped with a kitchenette. Some even include a washer and dryer! If your family or travel party is on the larger side, you’ll find these accommodations will be the perfect fit. While the Villas were created for Disney Vacation Club, we can book a stay for anyone in one of the resorts listed below!

Check out the Deluxe Villas at Walt Disney World:

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Old Key West
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney Moderate Resorts


Next up, let’s check out Moderate Resorts. These hotels are the perfect middle-of-the-road option at Walt Disney World. In this category, you’ll find sprawling properties with comfortable accommodations. Transportation options are a bit more limited than the Deluxe Resorts, as some have only bus transportation – with the exception of Caribbean Beach and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness, which offer the Skyliner and boat transportation respectively. 

Your dining selections at these hotels include both Quick Service and Table Service options, for convenience and indulgence. Pool areas have immersive theming and fun water slides to add even more amusement to your vacation. If you’re looking for a blend of value and extra amenities, one of the following Moderate Resorts could be right for you!

Moderate Resort options at Walt Disney World:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Disney Value Resorts


Finally, let’s discuss the Value Resort hotel category. These hotels are the most budget-friendly options at Walt Disney World. You’ll find larger-than-life theming at all of these Resorts, along with comfortable rooms ranging from Standard hotel rooms to Family Suites that can accommodate up to 6 people. While you won’t find any table service restaurants, the food-court-style cafeterias satisfy any craving!  And even though the pool areas don’t have water slides, the iconic Disney theming we all know and love definitely makes up for it.

Get the most bang for your buck at one of these Value Resorts!

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies
  • Disney’s All-Star Music
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney Resorts That Break The Rules


One more thing… We can’t talk about hotel categories at Walt Disney World without bringing up the Resorts that break the rules! There are a select few that transcend the categories they have been placed into. For example, Disney’s Art of Animation is slotted as a Value Resort, but the incredible Disney theming at this hotel is exactly what I think of when I think of a Disney Resort. Plus, it is made up of mostly Family Suites that also include mini kitchenettes. In that sense, it definitely feels more like a Moderate or Deluxe resort!  

Another example is Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs. This tower has been renovated recently and it is STUNNING. Club Level Rooms and a rooftop restaurant and bar with spectacular views make this Moderate Resort feel like a Deluxe.

Don’t Forget About Offsite Hotels!

Additionally, Walt Disney World is also home to some great off-property hotels. One group of hotels in particular breaks the mold – the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels. These three properties – the Swan, Dolphin and Swan Reserve – are owned and operated by Marriott. However, they are considered on-property locations because they get all the same benefits of staying at a Disney hotel. For reference, that includes Early Entry, complimentary Disney transportation (bus and boat) and even Extended Evening Hours. So not only are they considered on-property, they also have the Deluxe benefits!  

Here at ConciEARS, our planners are experts when it comes to choosing the right Walt Disney World resort for your family.  We’ll help you narrow down your search and select just the right fit for your needs.  When you’re ready to plan your trip, be sure to contact us!  You can Request a Quote or Schedule a Call to get started.

For even more detailed information about which Walt Disney World hotel is best for you and so much more, head on over to our podcast: Ears to the Kingdom: Navigating the Magic with ConciEARS.  

I’m Bethany, a mom of two specializing in navigating theme parks with little ones in tow.  I’d love to help you plan your next magical adventure!  To work with me, simply select my name when filling out the Request a Quote form or Scheduling a Call – or feel free to contact me directly.  Can’t wait to hear from you!


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