Disney moderate resorts bridge the gap between Disney value and deluxe resorts, providing more elaborate theming, pools with slides, and slightly larger rooms. For guests who want more “grown up” theming than the values provide, the beautiful landscaping of Disney’s moderate resorts provides a little luxury at the end of the day. Theming aside, there are some real tangible differences that separate Disney moderate resorts for the rest:
How moderate resorts differ from value resorts:
- Pools: Moderate resorts have slides and more elaborate theming.
- Moderates have a sit-down restaurant, whereas Disney values have food courts.
- Moderates have covered bus stops, which is a big deal 9 months out of the year.
- Moderate rooms are about only 50 square feet larger than value rooms.
- You can upgrade to a room with a king-size bed at most moderate resorts; it’s only a request at a value and it’s unlikely it will be honored since only a handful are available.
- You are less likely to encounter large tour groups at the moderates.
- The biggie: Disney moderate resorts have two queen-sized beds (except for Caribbean Beach) while the values have two double-beds.
- Standard Disney value rooms sleep 4, as do most moderates. The exception is Port Orleans-Riverside, which sleeps 5, and the Ft. Wilderness cabins, which sleep 6.
How moderate resorts differ from deluxe resorts:
- Disney deluxe resorts are the most well-themed of all the Disney resorts with incredible attention to detail.
- Deluxe resorts have world-class pools, beautiful landscaping and tastefully decorated rooms that appeal to adult guests.
- Some of the best restaurants on property are at the deluxe resorts.
- Deluxe rooms are approximately 50 – 60 square feet larger than moderate rooms.
- Several deluxe resorts are within walking distance to the parks. Others are a short monorail or boat ride away.
- Most Disney deluxe resort rooms sleep 5 people.
I have mixed feelings about the moderate resorts. On the one hand, there’s no question that I prefer the theming to that of the values, however, I’m not sure the mostly aesthetic differences make up for the higher price. It’s not that I don’t like the moderates–I do. It’s just think that the values do such a great job of doing what they do that it’s hard for me to justify paying more for a moderate room.
The moderates definitely have a different “feel” than the values and that can add to your vacation, especially if you’re the type of guest who spends a time at the resort. The walk around the lake at Coronado Springs is beautiful, especially in early morning. The boat ride to Downtown Disney from Port Orleans is relaxing and fun. Moderate lobbies are some of the prettiest on site. The amenities are better, the bedding feels more luxurious, and I definitely notice the extra space and better storage at the values. Still, I’m not sure that any of this makes up for the fact that a moderate resort can cost up to 40% more than a value.
When I talk to people who are vacillating between a moderate and a deluxe resort, I often suggest they base their decision on two things: The size of the beds and the theming. The bed issue is a simple one. If you’re tall, you might be more comfortable in a queen-sized bed, especially if you’re sharing. This seems to be a major deciding factor for guests. The other issue is a little harder to pin down because it’s difficult to justify paying more for a room based solely on how it looks. Ask yourself how much time you’ll actually spend at the resort. If you’re planning on taking advantage of the amenities, then consider a moderate, but if you’re a commando-style guest who spends most of your time in the parks, a value resort may be the best choice for you.