by Brittany DiCologero
The first step to choosing a Disney resort, is choosing to stay on Disney property. Staying off property can be cheaper, however the disadvantages outweigh the advantages of doing this in our opinion. Unless you planned a very last minute, budget friendly trip, or you already own a vacation home off property, I would look into Disney resorts only. Disney resort guests are surrounded by the magic, close to the theme parks, and can take advantage of additional perks like Extra Magic Hours and complimentary transportation between the parks, and even to and from the airport.
Once you’ve decided to go with a Disney resort, an important step will be determining how much you’re willing to spend on said resort. Disney makes choosing a resort based on budget easy, as the resorts are broken up into different tiers based on price: value, moderate, and deluxe. If you can browse through the resort options on the official Walt Disney World website, and narrow down which tier you’re looking at, you’re off to a good start.
Location is the next most important part of choosing a resort. Liking the theme of the resort you choose might be important too, but not nearly as much as having the resort be close to your favorite parks. Of course with the value resorts, you’re kind of limited in terms of location, but if this is a trade off you’re willing to make to help your budget it is totally worth it to choose a value resort over a deluxe with a nicer location– all of the resorts are on Disney property, and while they might not all have monorails or boats, getting around will still be very easy.
As you’d probably expect, the more expensive the resort is, the better the amenities are. For most guests, dining is the only amenity that could make or break a resort stay. If you prefer to stay at a resort that has at least one table service restaurant, the value resorts aren’t for you. Value resorts generally have food court style options, moderates typically have both the food court and one table service restaurant, and deluxe resorts will have one quick service option and multiple table service restaurants. Another amenity that might be a deal breaker is the pool– as values have standard pools, moderates have water slides, and so on and so forth.
Before you book your resort stay, click the “special offers” link. There may be a discount available for the dates and resort you’ve selected, and the discount will only go through if you book it through the special offer link.
If all else fails when trying to decide which Disney resort to book, I tend to either go with Port Orleans (either Riverside or French Quarter) or any of the All Stars. At the end of the day, you’re paying for a place to sleep and take a shower, so if my budget is tight, or I’m going on a last minute trip, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose a value or moderate over a deluxe. I’m hardly in the room anyway, and can still eat dinner and go shopping at any of the resorts regardless of whether or not I’m staying there.