Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Travel Plan Tuesday

Last week for Travel Plan Tuesday I discussed the first thing that most people think about when they decide to go on a Disney vacation: When to go. You can read more about it here and see what time of year we like to go and why!

Today we are going to talk about deciding where you are going to stay at when you are on your Disney vacation! There are several things that you need to think about when deciding where to stay.

First you can look and see there are different levels of resorts: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe, plus Deluxe Villas and Campgrounds. Depending on your budget and what type of experience you want to have you will decide which level will best work for you. We will be staying at a Value resort because of our budget and because we won't be spending a lot of time at the resort - mainly to sleep :)

If you are looking for a resort where you can relax, use the pool facilities and will be spending more time at the resort or would just like more space, then the Value resorts are probably not for you. You will more than likely want to check out the Moderate and Deluxe resorts to meet your needs. Also, as the wording suggests, the higher levels will cost you more money per night, unless you can get in when they are running a fabulous deal such as 40% off deluxe rooms!

Once you decide which level you want to stay at, then you can choose the actual hotel! There are several choices in each of the categories to choose from. Each of them have their own theme and decorations that is different from any other one!

Value Resorts:
All-Star Movie
All-Star Music
All-Star Sports

Moderate Resorts:
The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resorts
Caribbean Beach
Coronado Springs
Port Orleans - French Quarter
Port Orleans - Riverside

Deluxe Resorts:
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Beach Club
Boardwalk Inn
Wilderness Lodge
Yacht Club
Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Deluxe Villas:
Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House
Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
Bay Lake Towers at the Contemporary Resort
Beach Club Villas
Boardwalk Villas
Old Key West
Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

There are also 2 other resorts that you can choose from:
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

I recommend checking out each resort online to determine which one you think you will like the best. You can take into consideration price, amenities that are included, dining that is available at the resort, as well as the location of the resort. For example, if you plan on using the monorail as much as you can during your visit, I would suggest staying at one of the 3 monorail resorts: Grand Floridian, Polynesian or Contemporary. Another example would be if you or members in your family love animals, I would suggest staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, as they have rooms that you can look our your window or your balcony and see all kinds of animals in their habitat!

We have decided to stay (for our first on property stay) at the Pop Century Resort. This is the newest of the Value Resorts and is not grouped together with another resort, therefore the buses run only for this resort. We do not plan on being in the room very often and with just 3 of us, there will be enough room for us. We are excited about our first stay in a Disney World hotel so we can experience the magic of Disney 24/7 while we are on vacation!

You may also choose to stay off site for different reasons. We stayed off site on our last trip because a lady at our church graciously gave us a week at one of her time-share resorts, which happened to be in the heart of Disney! I know even if you don't stay at a Disney resort, you will have a magical trip because you are in Disney. We just want to experience the magic a little more this time!

What factors did you consider when choosing your resort? Do you have any recommendations for others in choosing?


  1. We LOVE staying on property, and once we did, there was no going back!!! We stay mostly at the Values...we spend the majority of our time in the parks, so no need to spend extra money for a place to sleep and shower. We've stayed at all the value resorts, and Pop Century is our favorite (with All Star Music as a close second, mainly because of the bus situation). You will love it there!!

  2. We also love to stay on property. We try to stay at the Moderates, but honestly, I'm going to start talking him into the Values so maybe we can go more often :-)

  3. I have stayed at 12 of the different resorts, and for me the Contemporary is my favorite. It is where I stayed when I went as a child and the magic of having the monorail go right through the building is amazing.

    That being said, we typically stay at the value resorts. Like you, there is plenty of room for our family and we would rather go for longer. One tip though, if there is a deluxe or moderate resort that you would like to try, why not tack it on to the end of your trip? Just stay one or two nights there. Disney will take care of transferring your luggage over, and it may be a way to experience a resort without breaking the budget.

    Also, since you are going to be using the dining plan this time, try dining in the different deluxe resorts. It is a wonderful way to get a look around and see which is your dream favorite. Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to go after a day at Animal Kingdom and even though you are not staying at the resort you can still attend story time by the fire pit or look out over the savannah with night goggles.