Tips for Staying on Disney Property

If you are planning to stay at a Disney Resort, I thought I’d provide some additional information that may help you choose where to stay.  Disney has lots of different “on property” options and I may be able to save ya a little money by distinguishing the categories a little more realistically.

I’m not going to consult the Disney site for exact names, there are:

Deluxe Resort hotels.

There are also Villa accommodations often associated with Disney’s Timeshare offering.  These are a different breed than the above classification.

I’ve stayed at Value Resorts (Disney All-Star Movies) and Moderate Resorts (Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort).

For our honeymoon, we stayed at Disney’s Wilderness Cabins, which are their own sort of classification.

A few years ago, I stayed at Disney’s Saratoga Springs, a Disney Timeshare property.

I’ve also been to three so-called Deluxe resorts with other travel.

Most people intent on getting their Mouse on, choose a regular Resort Hotel options in the Value, Moderate or Deluxe variety.  If you are a vacation-every-5 years type person, you are likely inclined to choose a Deluxe category hotel.  If you are a vacation-every-year type person, you are likely to pick a value or moderate resort.  

We almost always stay at moderate resorts.  Caribbean, pictured here, being my favorite.  I’ve stayed there easily 4 or 5 times.

When booking your vacation you may feel that choosing the Deluxe category hotels will guarantee you a more “posh” stay.   This is seldom the case.    Consider that Disney All Star Value Resort Rooms, Disney Moderate Resort rooms and Disney Deluxe rooms are almost identical in layout and in amenities while the price difference will change hundreds of dollars per night.

If you were to book a vacation at an All-Star Value hotel, you are probably going to be around $89-$150 per night. The Caribbean Resort, you are probably looking at $180-$275 per night.    The Polynesian, (A Deluxe Resort) will run you from $250-$390 per night.

(on average)

Room sizes will vary but only slightly.  It isn’t like you will get 2/3 larger room for your money.   I like to say, “You pay for the walk.”    Disney All Star Resorts have cheaper – looking surroundings than Moderate Resorts and so on.   I’ll grant you that the beaches, lush walkways and tiki themes of the Polynesian are really pretty fantastic to putting you in the vacation mood.   But, when you close the door to your hotel room, you are still looking at a pretty standard Days Inn style shot-gun layout room.

One difference you will see among the classifications of resorts, is crowdedness.   Go Deluxe if you want more – empty-ish busses or transportation to and from the parks.   Go Moderate and you will see some full busses and some empty.  Go Value and expect to stand on some busses, as some value resorts share bus stops.

Disney Vacation Club Timeshare Amenities are a little different and I won’t get into that because this is already longer than most peoples’ attention spans. I just wanted to provide a little heads up to anyone who may be planning a future Disney trip.   You largely pay for the grounds your hotel is on, rather than the room.  If you want a suite – stay off property or at a DVC Timeshare.  If you are cool with a regular hotel room and would still like some decent surroundings, I tend to recommend the Caribbean Beach Resort.