Often the first decision (and a really fun one!) a family must make when planning a trip to Walt Disney World is where to stay. There are many choices available. Disney offers a wide range of price points and themes. You can choose from Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts, Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villa Resorts. All have their unique charms and reasons for visitors to select them for their Disney World vacation. And, truly, there isn't a 'bad' choice in the bunch. In this post, we examine why a family would choose to stay at a Deluxe Resort, which can cost quite a bit more.
1. Room Size and Larger/more Beds
For comparison, Value resort rooms are about 260 square feet. Into this space are usually two double beds, a TV cabinet plus a small table and two chairs. Perfectly fine if you are not spending much time in the room. Park a stroller in there, however and things get really tight. A family of four can definitely fit in these rooms, but it may not be completely comfortable.
Deluxe resort rooms, however, vary from 340 square feet up to a whopping 448 square feet and offer Queen beds PLUS many rooms also have a daybed/sofa. Two Deluxe resorts (Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge) even have rooms with one Queen bed and a set of bunk beds. For our family, these rooms are super comfortable. My children don't do well sharing a bed so these are life savers for us. After all, if you're not sleeping well, you're probably not going to get the most out of your vacation. (Picture below is our room at Beach Club on a recent stay.)
2. The amazing pools!
All Disney World resorts have at least one swimming pool for cooling off on HOT HOT HOT days. Many families wisely plan to take a pool day in the middle of their vacation to rest and relax. The pools at the Deluxe Resorts offer more features like slides and elaborate theming than those at the Value resorts. Many consider Stormalong Bay at Beach and Yacht Club to be the best pool on property. It has a huge slide called the Flying Jib, a smaller slide for younger children, a lazy river, the shifting sands area featuring a sand bottom plus two hot tubs.
3. Gorgeous theming
We enjoy the variety of theming at Disney Resorts. Some are larger than life, while others are more subtle. My family loves the theming at Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. You really feel like you've entered another world at these resorts. All of the Deluxe Resorts have been well thought out, however. These are no run-of-the-mill hotels.
4. Table Service and/or character dining on site
From Cape May at the Beach Club to 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian and the ever-popular Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary, all of the Deluxe Resorts have at least one Table Service restaurant on site. Oftentimes, there are several with a signature restaurant and/or a character meal as well.
5. Inside Hallways
When it's really hot, or it's raining there is nothing nicer than entering the lobby of your resort knowing you don't have to go back outside. In fact, when we have been in a downpour and made it to the Beach Club lobby, we have been welcomed by baskets of dry towels. SOOOO NICE!!
Last but not least, in my opinion, the BEST reason to stay at a Deluxe Resort is the location! When we stay at Beach Club, we can WALK to TWO PARKS! This feature saves us hours of waiting for a bus to pick us up and drive to the parks, allowing us to make the most out of our vacation time.
There are three main "areas" for Deluxe Resorts: EPCOT Area (Beach and Yacht Clubs; The Boardwalk); Magic Kingdom Area (Wilderness Lodge, The Contemporary, Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian) and Animal Kingdom Area (Animal Kingdom Lodge). Some resorts are walking distance to a park, some are accessed by boat, monorail or bus, but ALL of these are very close to at least one theme park.
While this may seem like a minor perk, in practice it makes a big difference. After all, time is the one thing we can never replace or get more of. Every minute spent on transportation means less time enjoying the parks. It truly is a precious commodity.
So, there you have it. My 5 Reasons why choosing a Deluxe Resort might be the right choice for you!
We will cover the other resort categories in future posts.
Mary Graham is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel and she would love to help your family plan your next vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line or any other destination!! Believing that nothing beats personal experience, she has an Annual Pass to WDW and visits several times each year.