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Trip Planning Part III - Choosing a Disney World Resort

In earlier posts we talked about choosing When you will visit Walt Disney World and How Long you will stay during your trip. Now it is time to look at Choosing the resort you will stay at.

The Walt Disney World Resort has certainly added a variety of options over the years to help find an on site option that can fit almost everyone’s tastes and budget. Each resort offers unique theming and special touches that makes it different from the others. By understanding what each offers, you can make the best choice for you and your family.

The Value Resorts
This group includes: Pop Century, All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, & All-Star Movies. These resorts offer an attractive price point and can get down to as low as $59/night with seasonal specials. The rooms are the size of standard hotel rooms, but they have special decorations and theming to fit the resort. Food Courts are available in the main building to get reasonable priced meals. Full Disney World transportation privileges are available to take you to all of the Parks and Downtown Disney. I think that these resorts work best if you are spending a lot of time in the parks and not a lot in the rooms. The smaller room sizes also work best if you have younger children.

The Moderate Resorts
Here we have Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado Springs, & Caribbean Beach Resorts. These resorts offer larger rooms and increased resort theming. These resorts are the type that you could spend days without going to the parks if you were so inclined. My favorite from this group is the Port Orleans Riverside at which I have stayed several times. There is a peaceful quality as you walk through the wonderful landscaping of the Alligator Bayou section that really makes you feel that you are on vacation. The resorts are spread out and are huge. Expect to do a fair amount of walking, but the several bus stops keep it reasonable. Each resort has a themed main pool area with water slide and separate quiet pools.

The Deluxe Resorts

This group includes the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, The Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Yacht Club, & Boardwalk Inn. As you would expect with the increase in price you add larger room sizes, more theming, and increase in resort amenities. Each of these resorts can be considered a vacation destination unto themselves. Each also has excellent dining options located within or adjacent to the resort. Themed Pools with slides are also part of these resorts. A stay at any of these resorts will add many special moments to your vacation, but if you only visit your room to sleep, then the added expense of these resorts may not be the best option.

The Deluxe Villas (DVC resorts)
The DVC (Disney vacation Club) resorts currently include: Old Key West, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Saratoga Springs, Wilderness Lodge, & Animal Kingdom Villas (with more beings added). These Disney Timeshares can also be reserved for cash reservations on a limited basis. They provide larger rooms with kitchens and room for 4 – 12 people depending upon the room category. These resorts also have wonderful theming and large themed pools with slides. They are excellent for longer trips, since you have the option to cook some meals in your room. They also have extra space to unwind and relax.

As you can see there are lots of choices to choose from. I have found a lot of fun over the years in trying different resorts to see what you like and to experience the different themes and atmospheres. It is hard to go wrong choosing any of them. They all give you the same Disney Resort Guest Privileges: Magic Express Service, Access to Free Disney Transportation to all of the Parks, and special Extra Magic Hours in the parks.

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