Are Disney World Deluxe Resorts Worth the Price? | magicintheplanning.com

Are Disney World Deluxe Resorts Worth the Price?

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The Walt Disney World Resort offers a wide range of accommodations on Disney property. Their Value Resorts offer the opportunity to stay on Disney property with a smaller price tag. Moderate Resorts are more expensive, but they offer more amenities and dining options. That being said, the Deluxe Resorts are the most expensive while offering some amazing amenities found nowhere else on Disney property. But are the Disney World Deluxe Resorts worth the price?


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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2024? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the return of the Disney Dining Plan, and more! (You can also find our 2023 guide here!)


 

Disney World Deluxe Resorts are in a class all their own. The resorts themselves are highly themed and offer a wide range of amenities. That being said, they are also some of the most expensive rooms at the Disney World Resort. For some, this price is totally worth it. The level of service is top-notch and the restaurants are amazing. But if your hotel room serves as nothing more than your place to sleep after a long day at the parks, these resorts may not seem worth their price tag. Ultimately, whether or not they are worth it is up to you and your family’s needs.

That being said, the perks of being on Disney property still apply including access to Disney transportation. Other basic amenities found at Disney’s Deluxe Resorts include in-room celebrations, complimentary WiFi Internet, parking for a fee, online check-in, resort airline check-in, ATM, currency exchange, childcare services, designated smoking areas, laundry and dry cleaning services, mail services, and access to Disney Signature Services.

As far as which Disney Deluxe Resort is the best… that is ultimately up to you.

To help you make your choice, here are the basics of each of the Disney World Deluxe Resorts.

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge | magicintheplanning.comLocation: Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Resort Area

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a unique destination featuring a blend of savannah views and African-inspired architecture. Guests can observe a variety of animals, including zebras, giraffes, and gazelles, in their natural habitat from their guest rooms and public areas. Experience the magic of African wilderness without ever leaving Florida at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms (which are anything but standard) all the way up to 2 bedroom club-level suites (which sleep up to 8 adults). One unique type of room is the “Savannah View” room. This room gives you a view of the savannah featuring live animals, which for many is worth the additional cost.

Dining: 

  • Jiko – The Cooking Place | $$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | African, Fine/Signature Dining
  • Boma – Flavors of Africa | $$-$$$
    • Breakfast and Dinner (reservations accepted) | African, American, Buffet, Unique/Themed Dining
  • The Mara | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Late Night | African, American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service, Fast Casual
  • Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar | $
    • Lounge | African
  • Victoria Falls Lounge | $
    • Lounge | American
  • Uzima Springs Pool Bar | $
    • Bar Service | American, Quick Service
  • Sanaa | $-$$
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (reservations accepted for lunch and dinner only) | African, Indian, Unique/Themed Dining
  • Sanaa Lounge | $$
    • Lounge | African, Indian
  • Maji Pool Bar | $
    • Bar Service | African, American, Quick Service

Recreation: Pools include the Uzima Springs Pool and the Samawati Springs Pool (located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani). You will also find splash areas for younger children to explore at Uwanja Camp and Departure Zone. This resort also includes Jambo House Campfire Activities, the Hakuna Matata Playground, Pumbaa’s Fun and Games Arcade, movies under the stars, and Wild About Painting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including bus and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. They also offer locker rentals, a resort concierge, a full-service spa, and a fitness center.

Pros:

  • Dedicated buses
  • Less expensive than the other deluxe resorts
  • Unique dining options
  • Incredible views (including Savanna View rooms!)

Cons:

  • Not within walking distance of any of the parks
  • Only bus transportation provided
  • Rooms are a bit smaller than the average Deluxe Rooms
  • While unique, African-themed dining may not appeal to picky eaters

 

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Location: Epcot® Resort Area

Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a deluxe resort located in the Epcot resort area at Walt Disney World. With its Cape Cod-inspired architecture and stunning beachfront location, this resort offers guests a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. The resort boasts a variety of amenities, including multiple restaurants, a luxurious pool area, and access to Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district.

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to exquisite club-level suites (which sleep up to 7 adults). They offer a variety of views as well as bed options to suit your family’s needs.

Dining:

  • Cape May Cafe | $$$
    • Breakfast and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Seafood, Buffet, Casual Dining, Character Dining (at breakfast only)
  • Beaches & Cream Soda Shop | $$
    • Lunch and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Casual Dining
  • Beach Club Marketplace | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service
  • Martha’s Vineyard | $
    • Lounge | American
  • Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill | $
    • Lunch | American, Quick Service
  • Ale & Compass Restaurant | $$
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Casual Dining
  • Ale & Compass Lounge | $
    • Lounge | American
  • The Market at Ale & Compass | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse | $$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Steakhouse, Fine/Signature Dining
  • Crew’s Cup Lounge | $$
    • Dinner | American

Stormalong Bay | Magic in the PlanningRecreation: Pools include Stormalong Bay (3 acres of fun!) as well as three additional leisure pools. This resort also features poolside cabana rentals, Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf, a Pirate Adventure Cruise, resort campfire activities, movies under the stars, motorized boat rentals, fishing, tennis, volleyball, jogging, and the Lafferty Place Arcade.

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including boat, bus, and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. There is also a Disney Skyliner station located at the International Gateway to Epcot, which is just a short walk away. They also offer a resort concierge, a full-service spa, and a fitness center.

Pros:

  • 5-10 minute walk to Epcot
  • Known for having one of the best pools of all the Disney Resort Hotels (It’s practically a mini-waterpark!)
  • Offers boat transportation to Hollywood Studios
  • Walking distance to Disney’s Skyliner (offering transportation to Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort)
  • Within walking distance of the Boardwalk restaurants and entertainment

Cons:

  • Buses are sometimes shared with other resorts
  • Some rooms have standing balconies only
  • Theming is a bit more “grown-up.” While this may be a pro for some, younger guests may miss having Disney characters and bright colors throughout the resort.

 

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Location: Epcot® Resort Area

Located at the iconic Disney BoardWalk, this resort offers stunning views of Crescent Lake and is just a short stroll away from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The charming Atlantic City-style boardwalk is filled with shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to 2 bedroom club-level suites (which sleep up to 9 adults).

Dining:

  • Flying Fish | $$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Seafood, Fine/Signature Dining
  • Trattoria al Forno | $$
    • Breakfast and Dinner (reservations accepted) | Italian, Casual Dining
  • Big River Grille & Brewing Works | $$
    • Lunch and Dinner | American, Casual Dining
  • BoardWalk Deli | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | American, Bakery, Mobile Orders, Quick Service
  • BoardWalk Ice Cream | $
    • Snacks
  • Carousel Coffee | $
    • Snacks | American, Bakery, Quick Service
  • Pizza Window | $
    • Lunch and Dinner | American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service
  • AbracadaBar | $
    • Lounge | American
  • Leaping Horse Libations | $
    • Snacks | American, Quick Service
  • BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas | $
    • Snacks | American, Mexican, Quick Service
  • Belle Vue Lounge | $
    • Lounge | American
  • Funnel Cake Cart | $
    • Snacks | American

Recreation: Pools include the carnival-themed Luna Park Pool as well as two additional leisure pools. This resort also features Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf, resort campfire activities, movies under the stars, Surrey bike rentals, fishing, tennis, jogging, a playground, the Side Show Games Arcade, and Yoga on the Lawn.

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including boat, bus, and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. There is also a Disney Skyliner station located at the International Gateway to Epcot, which is just a short walk away. They also offer a resort concierge, a full-service spa, and a fitness center.

Pros:

  • 10-15 minute walk to Epcot
  • Offers boat transportation to Hollywood Studios
  • Walking distance to Disney’s Skyliner (offering transportation to Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort)
  • Access to the Boardwalk restaurants and entertainment

Cons:

  • No restaurants inside the resort (although you do have access to the Boardwalk restaurants)
  • Buses are often shared, which means you occasionally experience longer commutes to the parks

 

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Monorail at Disney's Contemporary Resort | magicintheplanning.comLocation: Magic Kingdom Resort Area

This iconic hotel has been a landmark of the Walt Disney World Resort since its opening in 1971 and features a modern design with monorail access to Magic Kingdom. The resort boasts a variety of dining options, recreational activities, and newly remodeled Incredibles-themed rooms.

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to 2 bedroom club-level suites (which sleep up to 10 adults). They also provide a variety of views including garden views, Bay Lake views, and theme park views.

Dining Options:

  • California Grill | $$$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Seafood, Sushi, Fine/Signature Dining
  • Chef Mickey’s | $$$
    • Breakfast and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Buffet, Character Dining
  • Contempo Café | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner  American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service, Fast Casual
  • Steakhouse 71 | $$-$$$
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Steakhouse, Casual Dining
  • Contemporary Grounds | $
    • Snacks | American, Quick Service, Coffee
  • Cove Bar | $
    • Bar Service | American, Quick Service
  • Outer Rim | $
    • Bar Service | American
  • The Sand Bar | $
    • Bar Service | American, Quick Service

Recreation: The feature pool offers a 17-foot-high waterslide. There is also a leisure pool and water features (including a futuristic water playground). This resort also features The Game Station, basketball, lakeside yoga, cabana rentals, fishing, motorized boat rentals, volleyball, tennis, jogging trails, resort campfire, movies under the stars, Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage, and Specialty Cruises. (*Some of these recreational activities require an additional fee.)

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including monorail, boat, bus, and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. They also offer a view of Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant, a resort concierge, and a fitness center.

Pros: 

  • Easy walk to the Magic Kingdom
  • The monorail is literally a few steps away making it easy to get to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot (It actually runs through the resort itself!)
  • Views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks
  • Brand new rooms themed to The Incredibles

Cons:

  • Bathrooms don’t have separate sinks and showers (This can be a deal-breaker for some families as it makes getting ready in the morning a bit more complicated.)
  • Bus transportation is often shared with other hotels
  • The main tower is fun with the monorail and Chef Mickey’s, but it can also be noisy. (The Garden Wing is an excellent option for those wanting to stay at this resort, but still enjoy some peace and quiet away from the noise.)
  • Very pricey

 

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area

This luxurious hotel is located on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon, just a short monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom Park. The resort features elegant Victorian-style architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds. Guests can choose from a variety of room options, including standard rooms, suites, and even club-level rooms with exclusive access to a lounge. The resort also boasts a variety of dining options, including the signature restaurant Victoria & Albert’s, and a full-service spa offering massages, facials, and other pampering treatments.

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to 2 bedroom club-level suites (which sleep up to 8 adults). They also provide a variety of views including resort views, water views, and theme park views.

Dining: 

  • Narcoossee’s | $$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Seafood, Fine/Signature Dining
  • Grand Floridian Cafe | $$
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Casual Dining
  • Enchanted Rose | $
    • Lounge | American
  • Gasparilla Island Grill | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Late Night | American, Mobile Order, Quick Service
  • Beaches Pool Bar & Grill | $
    • Lunch | American, Quick Service
  • Courtyard Pool Bar | $
    • Bar Service | American, Quick Service
  • 1900 Park Fare | $$$
    • Breakfast and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Buffer, Character Dining
  • Cítricos | $$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Fine/Signature Dining
  • Cítricos Lounge | $
    • Lounge | American, Mediterranean
  • The Dining Room at Victoria & Albert’s | $$$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Fine/Signature Dining

Recreation: The Beach Pool overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon and includes a 181-foot-long waterslide. There is also the Courtyard pool for a more leisurely experience. This resort also offers an aquatic play area, poolside cabanas, motorized boat rentals, specialty cruises, movies under the stars, Arcadia Games, basketball courts, jogging, and campfire activities.

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including monorail, boat, bus, and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. They also offer a view of Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant, a resort concierge, and a full-service spa.

Pros: 

  • Monorail access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot
  • Elegant theming
  • Great dining options
  • Boat access to Magic Kingdom
  • Brand new walking path to the Magic Kingdom
  • Views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks

Cons:

  • Very pricey
  • Shared buses (which can make for longer commutes)
  • Not as child-friendly as some of the other resorts

 

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area

This iconic resort, conveniently located on the monorail system, offers an authentic South Pacific experience, complete with tropical gardens, tiki torches, and waterfalls. Guests can enjoy newly-renovated rooms and suites, with special touches like Moana-inspired artwork and plush bedding. The resort also boasts an array of dining options, including the popular ‘Ohana restaurant and the new Kona Island sushi bar.

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to club-level suites (which sleep up to 8 adults). They also provide a variety of views including pool views, lagoon views, and theme park views.

Dining: 

  • Barefoot Pool Bar | $
    • Bar Service | American, Quick Service
  • Capt. Cook’s | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | American, Seafood, Mobile Order, Quick Service
  • Pineapple Lanai | $
    • Snacks | American, Quick Service
  • Kona Cafe | $$
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Seafood, Casual Dining
  • Tambu Lounge | $
    • Lounge | American
  • ‘Ohana | $$$
    • Breakfast and Dinner (reservations accepted – breakfast features Lilo & Stitch) | American, Polynesian, Character Dining, Family Style, Unique/Themed Dining
  • Oasis Bar & Grill | $
    • Bar Service | American, Quick Service
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto | $
    • Lounge | Polynesian, Casual Dining, Unique/Themed Dining
  • Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace | $
    • Lounge | American, Polynesian
  • Kona Island | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | American, Sushi, Casual Dining

Recreation: This resort offers the newly renovated Lava Pool (which features a volcano, a waterfall, and a 142-foot-long waterslide) as well as the more relaxing Oasis Pool. Other recreational activities include movies under the stars, motorized boat rentals, campfire activities, fishing, volleyball, and a jogging trail.

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including monorail, boat, bus, and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. They also offer a view of Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant, a resort concierge, and a full-service spa.

Pros:

  • Monorail access to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot
  • Boat transportation to Magic Kingdom
  • Views of Magic Kingdom fireworks
  • Wonderful dining options
  • Moana-themed rooms

Cons:

  • Very pricey
  • Shared buses (which translates to longer commute times)
  • The resort is a bit more spread out than the other Deluxe Resorts

 

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney's Wilderness Lodge | magicintheplanning.comLocation: Magic Kingdom Resort Area

This stunning hotel is nestled in the heart of a beautiful pine forest, giving guests the feeling of being deep in the wilderness, even though they’re just minutes from the excitement of the parks. They offer a variety of room options, ranging from cozy standard rooms to luxurious suites with stunning views of the surrounding forests and waterways.

Room Types: This resort offers standard and deluxe rooms sleeping up to 6 adults. Many rooms offer courtyard or nature views, and some even offer a partial view of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom.

Dining: 

  • Whispering Canyon Cafe | $$
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Unique/Themed Dining
  • Geyser Point Bar & Grill | $
    • Lunch, Dinner, Bar Service | American, Quick Service
  • Roaring Fork | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service
  • Territory Lounge | $
    • Bar Service | American

Recreation: There are two unique pools, Copper Creek Springs Pool and Boulder Ridge Cove Pool. Pool areas also include whirlpools, lounge chairs, and child play areas. Other activities include bike rentals, motorized boat rentals, fishing, movies under the stars, jogging trails, Buttons and Bells Arcade, campfire activities, and Backstage Magic (a 7-hour behind-the-scenes tour with Adventures by Disney.)

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including boat, bus, and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. They also offer a view of Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant, a resort concierge, a salon, and a full-service fitness center and sauna.

Pros: 

  • Most affordable of all the Deluxe Resorts
  • Beautiful at Christmas
  • Excellent theming
  • Boat transportation to Magic Kingdom

Cons:

  • Share buses
  • Smaller rooms than the typical Deluxe Resort

 

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Disney's Yacht Club Resort | magicintheplanning.comLocation: Epcot® Resort Area

This stunning nautical-themed resort offers a plethora of amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, three swimming pools, and several dining options. The resort is situated on Crescent Lake, providing guests with stunning views and convenient access to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Additionally, the Yacht Club Resort shares amenities with its sister resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, including the famous Stormalong Bay pool complex.

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to two-bedroom club-level suites (which sleep up to 6 adults). They offer a variety of views as well as bed options to suit your family’s needs.

Dining:

  • Cape May Cafe | $$$
    • Breakfast and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Seafood, Buffet, Casual Dining, Character Dining (at breakfast only)
  • Beaches & Cream Soda Shop | $$
    • Lunch and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Casual Dining
  • Beach Club Marketplace | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner  American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service
  • Martha’s Vineyard | $
    • Lounge | American
  • Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill | $
    • Lunch | American, Quick Service
  • Ale & Compass Restaurant | $$
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Casual Dining
  • Ale & Compass Lounge | $
    • Lounge | American
  • The Market at Ale & Compass | $
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | American, Mobile Orders, Quick Service
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse | $$$
    • Dinner (reservations accepted) | American, Steakhouse, Fine/Signature Dining
  • Crew’s Cup Lounge | $$
    • Dinner | American

Recreation: Pools include Stormalong Bay (3 acres of fun!) as well as three additional leisure pools. This resort also features poolside cabana rentals, Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf, a Pirate Adventure Cruise, resort campfire activities, movies under the stars, motorized boat rentals, fishing, tennis, volleyball, jogging, and the Lafferty Place Arcade.

Amenities/Transportation: This resort offers all of the typical deluxe resort amenities including boat, bus, and taxi/limo transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. There is also a Disney Skyliner station located at the International Gateway to Epcot, which is just a short walk away. They also offer a resort concierge, a full-service spa, and a fitness center.

Pros:

  • 5-10 minute walk to Epcot
  • Known for having one of the best pools of all the Disney Resort Hotels (It’s practically a mini-waterpark!)
  • Offers boat transportation to Hollywood Studios
  • Walking distance to Disney’s Skyliner (offering transportation to Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort)
  • Within walking distance of the Boardwalk restaurants and entertainment

Cons:

  • Buses are sometimes shared with other resorts
  • Theming is a bit more “grown-up.” While this may be a pro for some, younger guests may miss having Disney characters and bright colors throughout the resort.

Are Disney World Deluxe Resorts worth the price?

Ultimately, this is a very personal decision. Do you get more for your money at a Deluxe Resort? Definitely. The restaurants, pools, proximity to the parks, additional transportation options… these things and more can greatly affect your vacation. That being said, the price tag can be a bit much for those trying to vacation with a tighter budget. Value Resorts and Moderate Resorts offer some of the same amenities while costing much less.

 

Still not sure if one of the Disney World Deluxe Resorts is for you? Be sure to check out our info page on selecting a Walt Disney World Resort for your next vacation!

Looking to plan your Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to get started!

 

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