By Carol Cain, on November 12, 2013

Walt Disney World resorts

A Disney vacation is, for those young at heart, the optimal vacation experience. I remember my first Walt Disney World trip years ago (ahem) when I was 5. It’s just one of those places that you don’t forget, and for a kid, it can truly be the happiest place on earth.

But an Orlando vacation like this hasn’t always been something most people could afford. However, over the years, Walt Disney World has diversified their resort collection to better cater to families looking to experience the magic. Visitors now have more options when planning their Disney vacation thanks to the development of a variety of resorts totaling over 30 properties ranging from value resorts to deluxe villas and campgrounds.

Below you’ll find a breakdown of what types of resorts Walt Disney World offers to help you better budget and plan that magical vacation.


Value Resorts

Disney Value Resorts offer all one would hope from Walt Disney World, including themed accommodations and character highlights. There are also basic services and amenities. It’s still big on Disney magic, but smaller on budget impact. The various themes to choose from include music, sports, movies, 20th?century pop culture, and art of animation. They also offer themed pool areas, food courts, pizza delivery, and laundry facilities. Bus transportation to Walt Disney World Resort locations is an included complimentary service for all resort guests. 

The newest value resort to be added to the collection, the Art of Animation, features the illustration of some of our favorite Disney movies, such as The Little Mermaid and Cars. There are areas dedicated to each animated movie, bringing to life our favorite scenes and movie details. I may or may not have teared up a little while standing next to Lightening McQueen.

Views at the Art of Animation

Viewfinder Tip: To make the most of your budget while at Walt Disney World, take advantage of the various dining packages, as well as park tickets offered during reservations.

Moderate Resorts

Disney Moderate Resorts are a perfect combination of value and amenities. The fun themes continue, and depending on what room you book, your family can easily give into imagination and have fun with their favorite Disney fantasy. Room themes range from colorful Caribbean villages like Trinidad, Martinique, Aruba, Barbados, and Jamaica – complete with pirates – to the best of New Orleans.

Other themed amenities include pools fully-equipped with slides. Food courts and full?service dining, as well as recreation opportunities, like biking and boating, add to a great stay.

Deluxe Resorts

These are the top-of-the-line resorts and offer the most during your stay, including some of the best Disney restaurants, luxury spas, childcare centers, and on-site shops and boutiques.

Among the resorts in this collection is the breathtaking Grand Floridian, the top wedding destination resort in Walt Disney World and one of the most heavenly hotels for me. It is what my kids call “fancy.” It even smells fancy and I can’t get enough of it.

Grand Floridian Resort

Other resorts that my family has enjoyed and two of my kids’ absolute favorites, are the Beach Club and the Yacht Club, located adjacent to each other. Not only do they love the overall Cape Cod feel, but they also have one of the best pools and offer beach movie nights, as well as easy walking access to Epcot.

There are many more lodging options, including villas and campgrounds to make every visit feel like a completely new experience. It’s nice to know that when you are ready to go on that magical adventure with your loved ones that whichever resort you choose to experience, you will be received with the same level of Disney hospitality and warmth, no matter what your budget.

Which Walt Disney World Resort is on your wish list?