Disney has four categories to describe their resort hotels: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Villa. While the names do give you a hint that going up the chain will offer you more amenities (with corresponding higher prices), the differences you can expect in accommodations is not always clear..
Also, prices can lead to confusion. It’s actually possible for you to pay more for a room at a Value Resort, depending on the particulars, than you would pay for a room at a moderate resort.
Let’s take a look at how each of the categories of hotel stack up against one another based on various criteria:
Value: Colorful and childlike. Access to most rooms is via an exterior hallway.
Moderate: Unique resort themes. Access to most rooms is via an exterior hallway.
Deluxe: Elegant and highly detailed architecture and design. Access to rooms is via an interior hallway.
Villa: This varies, but it is often very high-end.
Considerations: Think about how far your room might be from the main services of the resort and from Disney transportation. Also, think about your compatibility with the overall atmosphere. If you have the budget and love the old Victorian style, Disney’s Grand Floridian is a perfect choice. If you don’t care for the South Pacific, skip Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Value: About 260 square feet which sleeps four people plus a baby in a crib. Family suites are twice as big.
Moderate: About 314 square feet which sleeps four people plus a baby in a crib.
Deluxe: Sizes vary from 340 to 440 square feet.
Villa: Sized vary from 314 square feet up to 2,500 square feet at grand villas, which sleep up to 12 people pus a baby in a crib.
Considerations: Think about how much time you will spend in your room. If you won’t be there very much, then a larger room may not make much of a difference for you.
Value: One sink, one toilet, and one tub / shower.
Moderate: Two sinks, one toilet, and one tub / shower.
Deluxe: Two sinks, one toilet, and one tub / shower.
Villa: Standard bathrooms, which vary based on the number of bedrooms.
Considerations: If you are traveling with friends, think about how you will deal with privacy given the layout of your room.
Value: One king-size bed or two double beds.
Moderate: One king-size bed or two queen size beds.
Deluxe: One king-size bed or two queen size beds. Some rooms have an additional day bed.
Villa: Varies depending on the room type.
Considerations: If you are traveling with friends, think about issues around privacy and sleeping arrangements.
Value: View of a pool, resort theming, woods, or a parking lot.
Moderate: View of a pool, resort theming, woods, parking lot, or a lake.
Deluxe: View of a pool, resort theming, woods, parking lot, a lake, or a theme park.
Villa: View of a pool, resort theming, woods, parking lot, a lake, a theme park, or a golf course.
Considerations: You will definitely pay more for better views. Consider how much time you plan to spend in your room.
Value: Food court and pizza via room-service delivery at night.
Moderate: Food court, pizza via room-service delivery at night, and at least one table-service restaurant.
Deluxe: Food court, full menu via room-service delivery all day, and multiple table-service restaurants.
Villa: This varies, but several Villa resorts are near Deluxe resorts, and each have access to their dining choices.
Considerations: Again, consider how much time you will spend at your resort. Also remember that you can dine at the food locations at and resort hotel without being a guest at that hotel.
Value: Bus service.
Moderate: Bus service, sometimes boat service.
Deluxe: Bus service, sometimes boat service or monorail service. Sometimes within walking distance of a theme park or Disney Springs.
Villa: Varies, but includes at least bus service and sometimes boat service.
Considerations: If you have your own car, this may not matter. Bus service can be painfully slow. If walking is an option, it can save you lots of time.
Value: Themed pool.
Moderate: Themed pool and a quiet pool.
Deluxe: Themed pool, quiet pool, water slides, and a hot tub.
Villa: Themed pool, quiet pool, water slides, and a hot tub.
Considerations: If you plan to take advantage of the pool, think about whether you need the extras like a hot tub. If you plan to visit a Disney water park, like Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, you may want to skip your resort’s pool altogether.
As with so many things in life, your choices often come down to features vs. money. Consider your budget as well as how much time you plan to spend in the resort and in your room.
Which resort category do you stay in at Disney World: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, or Villa?