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Tips for Disney World Resort Hotel Stays

pop century resort

Today I just learned about a new Disney resort: the Disney Yacht Club resort.  When I say new, I don’t mean that it’s about to be built or to open, but that I had never heard of it before.  The resort’s been around since 1990.  There are just so many hotels at Disney World, it’s hard to remember them all or keep them all straight.

It can be a dilemma for those looking to plan a Disney World vacation.  You may have crossed the first hurdle – deciding whether or not you’re going to stay on site – but you still have many big decisions left.  One of the biggest is choosing in which of Disney’s over 20 hotels to stay.  Chris Wood at The Disney Blog has a guide for narrowing down your selection.

The first tip is not to splurge too much on your room stay.  Sure, you might be able to stretch your budget to accommodate a luxury hotel, but is it really worth it?  How much time are you actually planning to spend in your hotel?  Probably not a lot, unless you really like the spa, so why blow your budget on a fancy room?  Pick something that’s comfortable both for you and your budget, and save that money for splurging elsewhere, like for a fancy dinner, an exclusive party, or special merchandise.

The second tip, and one that I think most important, is to remember how crafty Disney is in branding its resorts.  The three classifications – deluxe, moderate, and value – are named intentionally to make “deluxe” sound a lot better than “moderate,” and especially “value.”  Just taking these words as they are, “moderate” sounds to me like just all right, but not that great, and “value” sounds almost kind of shabby.

Don’t let that fool you.  All of the resorts are nice; this is Disney, after all, they’re not going to let anything slipshod have their brand name on it.  They’re just trying to upsell you into a nicer hotel.  Take a look at what the room in your range has to offer, and you just might find that it’s comfortable indeed.

The third tip is to keep the size of your group in mind.  Most of the Value rooms are for families of four, but not all of them.  The new Art of Animation rooms are designed to hold larger families.  Big groups of ten or more are best accommodated at Vacation Club suites, if you’re not willing to break the group up into multiple rooms.  Many of the value resorts offer adjoining rooms, which is the best frugal option.

The fourth and last tip is that theme really does matter.  It doesn’t seem like it should, but it does.  Disney really commits to its resort themes.  If you don’t feel like seeing pop culture paraphernalia everywhere you look, or if “Cars” isn’t your favorite Disney film, then you’re better off choosing other places to stay than the “Pop Century” resort or the “Cars” wing at the Art of Animation resort.  If you want a glimpse at what the rooms at any hotel might be like, head over to this list from the website Walt Disney World Info.  They have photos and even videos from each hotel.

I have one final tip of my own: pay attention to the latest Disney World deals.  Many of them involve resort stays, but only at certain resorts.  Be sure to include that in your vacation planning.


*(The above image by Darren Wittko is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.)