We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. At no extra cost to you, I only recommend products I have experience with. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
You’ve made the decision to visit the Happiest Place on Earth and now begins the planning process. First off, how do you choose a Walt Disney Word Resort to stay. With Disney being one of the top places to visit in the United States, your choices are nearly endless: On-property or off, luxury or budget, with a kitchen or dining plan just to name a few.
Do you want to stay on Walt Disney World property or nearby?
Staying on-property has its perks. You’re closer to the theme parks, you have WDW transportation available to you, the hotels are uniquely themed and maintain high Disney standards and you have the option of adding on a Disney Dining Plan. Staying on property is convenient for families with little ones needing a mid-day break.
If you choose to stay off property, you may save a few dollars on the rate of the resort. You will often still have bus transportation available but will be further from park entrances, so allow for extra time to and from the resort. Additionally, if you travel often, you may secure a few free frequent traveler nights saving you more money.
Staying on property? Choose your budget.
Disney divides its resort accommodations into Deluxe, Moderate and Value with a couple of exceptions thrown in. The Deluxe resorts will have full and quick service dining available on premise, concierge services, spacious rooms, room service, themed pools and other select amenities such as child care services, fitness centers, water sports, spa and salons. All of the Deluxe resorts are a few minutes away from one of the theme parks by boat, bus or even monorail. Within the Deluxe Category are also home away from home options (Deluxe Villas) with 1-3 bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens.
The Moderate resorts are also beautifully themed, have quick and full service dining, a small refrigerator in the room and fun pools. They may not be as close to the theme parks as the Deluxe, but are still closer than an off property resort and have access to Disney transportation.
Value Resorts at Disney may be their least expensive, but do not sacrifice on quality, atmosphere or amenities. All Value resorts have on-site quick service dining, over-the-top theming and Disney transportation. One of the Value resorts, Disney’s Art of Animation, even offers family sized suites for families of six.
Include dining, eat out or make your own dinners.
One of the benefits of staying at a Disney resort is the option to add-on the Disney Dining plan. Available in three different packages, Disney Dining allows you to pay one price up front and dine at any of the resorts or theme parks. Disney Dining works well if you’re going to stay at the Walt Disney World resort your entire vacation. Alternatively, you can choose to eat at the same restaurants that are on the dining plan, just pay as you go. If you stay in one of Disney’s home away from home locations, you can even get groceries and make your own meals. This is nice when you have small children or special needs diets (though Disney will accommodate those as well.)
Choose your favorite theme.
Once you’ve narrowed down your budget and dining options, you can choose the theme of your resort. On Disney property, you can enjoy everything from the bygone era of the 1920’s at Disney’s BoardWalk to larger than life size sporting equipment at the All-Star Sports Resort. Off property, you can even enjoy a water park attached to a hotel. If you have a favorite theme, there is likely a resort to match.
Still overwhelmed by the options available to you? Contact a certified Disney Travel Planner. They can help you narrow down the options that’s right for your family.