With more than 20 Resort hotels to choose from in the Walt Disney World Resort, it can be a daunting task to narrow the list down and pick the right one for your vacation.
Today we are going to focus on the group that Disney calls its Moderate Resorts.
Why Choose a Moderate Resort?
The Moderates, as the name implies, will cost you more than the Value resorts, but not as much as the Deluxe resorts. That, in and of itself, does not tell you very much. Here is what you can expect when you stay at a Moderate resort:
- Rack Rates start at $149 per night + Tax, but many discounts are available throughout the year.
- Rooms are 314 – 340 sqft.
- They have 2 Double or 2 Queen Sized beds in a standard room
- Each room has it’s own mini-fridge.
- Each Resort has a Food Court.
- All Resorts except French Quarter have a full service sit down restaurant.
- All resorts have lounges
- All resorts have a special pool complex, most with water slides.
- Extensive landscaping and theming that differentiate them from the Value resorts.
- All resorts have bike and water craft rentals available.
- Walking and jogging trails.
In summary, the Moderate resort hotels have larger rooms and more resort amenities than the Value hotels. This can make a big difference on longer trips, with older children, or if you plan on spending a fair amount of time at the resort during your vacation.
Here are snapshots of your choices for Moderate resort hotels:
- This sprawling, 200 acre, tropical themed resort is set around the 45 acre Barefoot Bay with white sand beaches.
- The brightly colored 2,112 rooms are divided into 6 villages named after Caribbean islands.
- A sprawling pool complex themed like an old Spanish fortress: complete with towers, antique cannons, and a waterslide.
- Pirate themed rooms are being added.
Port Orleans Riverside:
- This 2,048-room hotel pays homage to rural Louisiana.
- The resort is split into 2 sections, the Alligator Bayou with backwoods style cottages, landscaping, and decorations; and the white-columned Magnolia Bend Mansions with their formal gardens and stately decorations.
- The 3.5-acre Ol' Man Island extensive pool complex is encircled by a bend of the Sassagoula River.
- This resort has the best food court of all of the Moderates, with a large variety of choices and plenty of seating.
- Although the resort is large, it is organized to keep the walking reasonable.
- You may catch a free boat ride to Downtown Disney along the Sassagoula River.
Port Orleans French Quarter:
The Riverside pays homage to rural Louisiana, but the French Quarter is themed to embrace New Orleans during Mardis Gras.
- This resort is the smallest of the Moderates, but still has over 1,000 rooms.
- The least amount of walking is required at this resort.
- The main pool area has a fun water slide that kids of all ages enjoy.
- This resort is within walking distance to the Riverside and although it does not have a sit-down restaurant of its own, you can walk to Boatwright's at the Riverside.
- The Resort has an American Southwest theme to it's 1,921 rooms in 3 distinctly different themed areas.
- This resort has the best main pool area of all of the moderates. The Mayan pyramid ruins make a wonderful backdrop. It also has a 22 person hot tub.
- The food court here, the Pepper Market, is unique to all of Disney World. It has an ala carte set up with various pods (stations) where you "build" your meal. The food is very good, but slightly more expensive than the other food courts.
- This resort also has convention facilities on site and frequently has a large number of convention goers present.
You can't go wrong at any of these resorts. I have personally had the opportunity to stay at each of them over the last several years. They are all beautiful and can be a vacation destination all to themselves.
If I had to pick a favorite, I would pick the Port Orleans Riverside. I have had several wonderful vacations there and I enjoy the relaxing Bayou landscaping and decorations.