Disney Planning ~ The Differences Between WDW Resort Levels

Planning a Walt Disney World vacation has gotten just a little more difficult over the years. So much goes into planning a trip between dining reservations, timelines to make reservations, FastPasses, show times, where to stay, how to get there, etc. With so many Disney on-site resorts to choose from, deciding where to stay is often the first problem many face when starting to plan.

Differences WDW Resorts

All Walt Disney World resorts have pools and other amenities that most families like to have on a vacation.

Of course, budget plays a huge part in the decision making for many. Walt Disney World resort rooms come in all shapes and sizes and all different budget levels. Know your budget before starting to plan so that you can automatically narrow down your choices by cost.

Be sure to keep in mind when looking at pricing on the Walt Disney World website that tax (between 12.5% and 13.5%) will be added to your cost. If you drive to WDW property, you will also be charged a per night parking fee (rate depends on level of resort). There is also a range of pricing for each level of resort based on the time of year you decide to visit or season that you visit.

Also, the advertised per night rate is based on two adults per room. There is an additional adult charge for adults three and four in any room. That charge is based on level of resort and starts at around $10 per additional adult per night and goes as high as $25 per additional adult per night.

The levels of resorts at Walt Disney World are:

Value Resorts

The value resorts are:

  • All Star Movies
  • All Star Music
  • All Star Sports
  • Pop Century
  • Art of Animation

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The value resorts can start at around $100 per night and go as high as $210 per night depending on room size and season. The typical value resort standard room sleeps up to four plus allows for a crib for a baby. The average size is around 260 square feet. The typical family suite in a value resort can sleep up to six guests plus a baby in a crib and is approximately 520 square feet.

Standard rooms offer two full size beds or one king size bed. The family suites at Art of Animation offer one queen size bed, one full size sleeper sofa, and one full size pull-down table bed. The family suites at All Star Music have a queen size bed, a double sleeper sofa, a twin size sleeper chair, and a twin size sleeper ottoman.

Disney’s All Star Movies Resort

Are these accommodations roomy – No. But if you will be out of the resort all day and just need a pillow to rest your head at night the value resorts are ideal when it comes to price. There are no coffee makers in the standard rooms of the value resorts but there is a dormitory size refrigerator. 

Moderate Resorts

The moderate resorts are:

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

The typical standard rooms at Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, and Port Orleans are approximately 314 square feet. These rooms sleep up to four guests, plus a baby in a crib. There are some rooms at Port Orleans Riverside that can accommodate five guests plus a baby. There are a handful of suites at Coronado Springs. The standard moderate resorts start at around $187 per night and go up from there.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge cabins

The Fort Wilderness cabins are a bit larger at approximately 504 square feet and can sleep up to six guests plus a baby.

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter

The moderate level standard rooms are equipped with two queen size beds or one king size bed. Some rooms at Port Orleans Riverside have a twin-size trundle bed. The moderate level resorts offer refrigerators and coffee makers.

Deluxe Resorts

The deluxe resorts are:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club Resort
  • BoardWalk Inn
  • Contemporary Resort
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Polynesian Village Resort
  • Wilderness Lodge
  • Yacht Club Resort

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Photo Credit: WDWNews.com

Disney’s deluxe resorts offer a variety of room types and sizes. The standard rooms which are approximately 344 square feet at Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge, sleep four plus a crib for a baby. The rooms at the deluxe level can go up to suites of 1,000 square feet and each room level/size can accommodate a different number of individuals. Many of the standard rooms at the deluxe resorts offer two queen size beds and an additional twin size daybed and allow five individuals per room. Most standard deluxe rooms start at around $350 per night or more.

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Photo Credit: WDWNews.com

Villa Resorts

There are studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom villas at various deluxe resorts on Walt Disney World property. These range in size from a 316 square foot studio at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, to a nearly 2,500 square foot three bedroom grand villa at the Boardwalk.

Most studio rooms sleep up to four guests plus a baby. The grand villas sleep up to 12 guests plus a baby. Beds vary depending on room type. In most villa rooms, there is a combination of traditional beds and sleeper sofas and chairs. The cost for a studio villa can be around the same as a deluxe room. The larger villas, accommodating larger numbers of individuals can often cost as much as several thousand dollars per night.

I’m a moderate resort lover myself with my favorite resort being Port Orleans French Quarter for a number of reasons. Mostly due to cost and size. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a stay at a deluxe every now and then but it’s usually when the room cost is being shared or when a Disney promotion makes it difficult to pass up because of huge savings.

Which level of Walt Disney World resort is your favorite?