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 property. Disney’s Value Resorts offer the opportunity to stay on Disney property at a smaller price point. Moderate Resorts are more expensive, and they offer more amenities and dining options. But the most expensive resorts offer some amazing amenities and features found nowhere else on Disney property. But are the Disney World Deluxe Resorts worth the price?


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**The reopening of Walt Disney World is an ongoing process that is constantly changing. Be sure to visit our guide to visiting Disney World during the phased reopening for updated information to guide your vacation planning!


 

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.

The Value Resorts on Disney property offer not much more than your basic (well-themed) hotel rooms. A step above that, however, is the Disney World Moderate Resort, which offers more in terms of amenities and pools. But the Deluxe resorts offer so much more. Fine dining, elaborate theming, and incredible views… these resorts stand out.

That being said, the perks of being on Disney property still apply. You gain access to Disney transportation to and from the parks as well as the airport. You also have merchandise delivery and pickup (buy something in the park and have it delivered to your resort), and you will automatically receive MagicBands for use during your stay. (*Update: Some amenities including merchandise delivery are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. In addition, MagicBands are no longer complimentary as of January 1, 2021, but they are available for purchase.)

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 eight Disney World Deluxe Resorts.

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

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

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms (which are anything but standard) all the way up to 2 bedroom suites (which sleep up to 8 adults). Except for the suites, you can choose between a king-size bed or 2 queen-size beds. One unique type of room is the “Savannah View” room. This room gives you a view of the savannah featuring live animals.

Dining: For table service, Sanaa ($-$$/current menu) is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves African and Indian-inspired cuisine. Boma – Flavors of Africa ($$-$$$/current menu) offers a unique family buffet dining experience. Jiko – The Cooking Place ($$$/current menu) is open for dinner and serves a variety of South African food. For a quick service option, The Mara ($/current menu) offers quick-service breakfast items. When it comes to lounges and bars, this resort includes the Sanaa Loung ($$/current menu), the Maji Pool Bar (current menu), the Uzima Springs Pool Bar (current menu), the Victoria Falls Lounge (current menu), and the Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar ($/current menu).

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
  • 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

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to exquisite 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: There are plenty of dining options as this resort is within walking distance to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Table service options include Ale & Compass Restaurant ($$/current menu), Yachtsman Steakhouse ($$$/current menu), and Cape May Cafe ($$$/current menu), which offers character breakfasts. And for casual dining, be sure to visit the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop ($$/current menu). Quick service options include the Beach Club Marketplace ($/current menu) and The Market at Ale & Compass ($/current menu). Lounges and bars include Martha’s Vineyard ($/current menu), Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill (current menu), Ale & Compass Lounge ($/current menu), and Crew’s Cup Lounge ($$/current menu).

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
  • 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

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

Dining: Table service options include the Flying Fish ($$$/current menu) and Trattoria al Forno ($$/current menu). And for more casual dining, be sure to visit Big River Grille & Brewing Works ($$/current menu) or the ESPN Club ($$/current menu). Quick service options include the BoardWalk Bakery ($/current menu), the Funnel Cake Cart ($/current menu), the Pizza Window ($/current menu), and The To-Go Cart ($/current menu). Lounges and bars include BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas ($/current menu), Belle Vue Lounge, ($/current menu), Leaping Horse Libations ($/current menu), and AbracadaBar ($/current menu).

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

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to 2 bedroom 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: Table service options include California Grill ($$$/current menu) and The Wave… of American Flavors ($$-$$$/current menu). For more casual dining, be sure to visit Chef Mickey’s ($$$/current menu), which offers a character breakfast. Quick service options include Contempo Café ($/current menu) and Contemporary Grounds ($/current menu). Lounges and bars include the Outer Rim ($/current menu), The Wave Lounge ($$/current menu), The Sand Bar (current menu), and Cove Bar (current menu).

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

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

Dining: Table service options include Narcoossee’s ($$$/current menu), Cítricos ($$$/current menu), and Victoria & Albert’s ($$$$/current menu). For more casual dining, be sure to visit the Grand Floridian Cafe ($$/current menu), 1900 Park Fare (current menu), and the Garden View Tea Room (current menu). Gasparilla Island Grill ($/current menu) is an option for those looking for a quick service option. Lounges and bars include Enchanted Rose ($/current menu), Beaches Pool Bar & Grill ($/current menu), Courtyard Pool Bar (current menu), and Cítricos Lounge ($/current menu).

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

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

Dining: Table service options include Kona Cafe ($$/current menu) and ‘Ohana ($$$/current menu). For more casual dining, be sure to visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto ($/current menu) and Kona Island ($/current menu). Quick service options include Capt. Cook’s ($/current menu), Pineapple Lanai ($/current menu), and Oasis Bar & Grill ($/current menu). Lounges and bars include Barefoot Pool Bar (current menu), Tambu Lounge ($/current menu), and Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace ($/current menu). This resort also features the well-known Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show!

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

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: Table service options include Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White ($$$/current menu) and Whispering Canyon Cafe ($$/current menu). Quick service options include Geyser Point Bar & Grill ($/current menu) and Roaring Fork ($/current menu). And for snacks or cocktails, be sure to visit Territory Lounge ($/current menu).

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

Room Types: This deluxe resort offers everything from standard rooms all the way up to two-bedroom 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: There are plenty of dining options as this resort is within walking distance to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Table service options include Ale & Compass Restaurant ($$/current menu), Yachtsman Steakhouse ($$$/current menu), and Cape May Cafe ($$$/current menu), which offers character breakfasts. And for casual dining, be sure to visit the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop ($$/current menu). Quick service options include the Beach Club Marketplace ($/current menu) and The Market at Ale & Compass ($/current menu). Lounges and bars include Martha’s Vineyard ($/current menu), Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill (current menu), Ale & Compass Lounge ($/current menu), and Crew’s Cup Lounge ($$/current menu).

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.

 

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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