Five Reasons to Upgrade to a Moderate Disney Resort

When giving vacation advice, some people say, “How often are you going to be in your room anyway? Just get a cheap hotel.”

There really isn’t such a thing as a “cheap hotel” in Disney since even the value resorts are wonderfully themed, clean, and welcoming. They’re certainly no Motel 6.

However, if you’re financially capable, it might be worth upgrading to a moderate resort since the differences are quite dramatic.

1. Size

A value resort room such as Pop Century or All Star Resorts averages 260 square feet. A moderate resort like Coronado Springs or Port Orleans measures about 314 square feet. This not only means that you won’t be tripping over each other, but that there’s room to sleep five instead of four. The fifth person would sleep on a cot, which costs a little extra, or a trundle bed depending on the resort. What’s more, if you are a family with young children, there is room for a Pack & Play.

You’ll also get a larger vanity in the bathroom area, which might be useful.

Some value resorts also don’t have a refrigerator, but I think this has changed in recent years with most offering them. If the room does not have a refrigerator, it will cost you an extra $10.

The rooms in the Coronado Springs Resort are bigger.
The rooms in the Coronado Springs Resort are bigger.

2. Atmosphere

Moderate resorts tend to be quieter than value resorts. Since most school, sports, and large family groups tend toward staying at the value resorts, things can be noisy into the night. If you’re looking for a romantic weekend, you probably don’t think Pop Century.

Moderate resorts tend to be more relaxing than value resorts.
Moderate resorts tend to be more relaxing than value resorts.

Moderate resorts have fewer young children, and are thus more adult friendly. They are also more romantic for that weekend getaway.

3. Amenities

As mentioned above, all moderate resorts include a refrigerator. Since some moderate resorts have convenience food available, a refrigerator might be useful for storing fruit, drinks, or even ice cream for when you don’t feel like making snack run.

Also, all moderate resorts offer a fitness center. If this is important to you, you won’t find anything like it at a value resort. If you just want to keep up your running routine, you can do that at a value resort.

Moderate resorts have water slides where as Value resorts do not.
Moderate resorts have water slides where whereas Value resorts do not.

Moderate resorts also have water slides, hot tubs, and more pools that are more elaborately themed. If you plan to spend a lot of time by the pool, a moderate resort is worth the money especially if you didn’t splurge for the Water parks and More option on your Magic Your Way Ticket.

4. Activities

Beyond the pools, slides, and hot tubs, the moderate resorts have more recreation options. Coronado Springs, for example, has volleyball courts, play grounds, and an arcade. Even more, Disney’s Port Orleans is home to horse-drawn carriage rides, bike rentals, Surrey Bike rentals, the Pirate Adventure Cruise, and fishing. These things simply aren’t available at value resorts.

Don't miss the horse-drawn carriage rides at Port Orleans Riverside.
Don’t miss the horse-drawn carriage rides at Port Orleans Riverside.

5. Dining

All Disney Dining is good, but moderate resorts have much more to offer. All value resorts have large food court areas with delicious food. You can choose from many different stations adding as much variety to your meal as you want.

Moderate resorts have a quick-service area too, but they also have table-service dining options, which will contribute to the more adult feel. You probably wouldn’t leave a deluxe resort to visit a moderate resort’s restaurant, but if you’re staying at the moderate hotel, you can certainly get the feel of a more upscale meal.

Is it worth the extra money to upgrade?

This is a question only you can answer for your traveling party. You need to decide what it is that you want to get out of your Disney Vacation.

Do you spend the extra money to upgrade from a Value to a Moderate Disney resort?