When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, there are several factors that go into the decision making. Which park should you visit first? Where should you eat? What should your FastPass+ selections be? One of the first decisions you’ll make for your trip will be where you are staying. Disney resorts are your home away from home, giving you a place to relax and wind down from the magical days you spend in the parks. Depending on your budget and what you’re hoping to experience during your stay, Disney offers three tiers of resorts to choose from. To help you choose, we have put together a list of the 7 things Disney insiders love about the Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World. The Moderate Resorts include: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.
While they are not the least expensive resorts to visit, the price range is still comparable to similar hotels outside of Disney property. When you factor in all of the perks and extras you get for staying on property, you realize that the benefits are worth the extra cost. You can expect to pay around $70-$100 more than a value resort (depending on the time of year and which resorts you are comparing) but most of the standard room rates will fluctuate between $200-$250 per night. While that may seem like a lot to many, you’ll quickly realize that you get a lot for that amount.
With four resorts to choose from (and the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort), there are plenty of options to consider in the moderate resorts. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, both Riverside and French Quarter offer quick access to Disney Springs, while Coronado Springs is closest to Animal Kingdom. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is just outside of Epcot and the cabins at Fort Wilderness are a quick bus ride to the Magic Kingdom. Beyond where each resort is nestled, there are lots of other factors to consider when deciding which moderate resort to choose. Depending on your style and what you are looking for in your home away from home, there is certainly a resort to meet your needs and give you that magical place to rest and relax in between visiting the parks.
Each resort has a unique theme that is carried throughout the buildings, landscape, main lobbies, dining areas, pools and the rooms. Two that are similar are the Port Orleans resorts, though each one has its own distinct flair. Riverside definitely has the feel of rural Louisiana, with everything from white-column mansions to the cottages on the Bayou. French Quarter carries the feel of New Orleans famous French Quarter throughout the property, with cobblestone pathways and gas lamps, while the fun and vibrant colors of Mardi Gras can be seen in all of the theming.
Disney’s Coronado Springs is a beautiful display of classic Spanish Colonial Mexico situated around a 22-acre lake. The brightly colored beachfront cabanas mark the outline of the resort while a 50-foot replica of a Mayan pyramid sits in the heart of the resort. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort can also be found by the water. It surrounds a 45-acre bay with palm trees and white-sand beaches giving you the feel of the Caribbean in one of the six themed villages.
In keeping with each unique theme, each resort has extra activities available for guests. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available at Port Orleans, taking you along the Sassagoula River to both resorts. Campfires and sing-alongs with characters are also available at some of the moderate resorts. Bike rentals, canoe and kayak rentals, sports and even a Pirate Adventure Cruise are some of the extras available to you to explore your resort and enjoy your time on Disney property. Plus, the pools are a blast! There are lots of things to experience for all ages and there’s surely something that would interest everyone in your group.
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In addition to the usual busses at each resort, there are other modes of transportation available to you. The buses are incredibly convenient and dedicated to your individual resort, but for a more laid back way to travel, the boats at Port Orleans can be a great way to venture down the Sassagoula River to Disney Springs. With the Pirate Adventure Cruises and rentals available, spending time on the water can be a great way to enjoy the landscape and scenery of the resorts.
One of the biggest perks of moving to a moderate resort is the size of the rooms. The rooms are larger than value resorts and one of the reasons why is that the moderate resorts have queen-size beds instead of the full-size beds you would find in the value resort rooms. Many of the rooms are also able to hold up to 5 adults instead of 4, making it more financially viable for slightly larger groups and families. There’s typically a larger space in the bathroom and sink area and the extra square footage gives you the perfect excuse to fill your room with your favorite souvenirs from the park.
With the exception of Port Orleans – French Quarter, each resort has a dedicated restaurant on property, while they all have quick service options available as well. For example, you can dine on gumbo or jambalaya at the Boatwright Dining Hall at Riverside, or you can try the dinner buffet at the Trail’s End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness. Coronado Springs has two restaurants available, giving you the option of upscale Mexican and American cuisines at the Maya Grill, or a more casual dining experience at Las Ventanas. Caribbean Beach restaurants are currently under construction with good things to come in summer of 2018. While the French Quarter doesn’t have a dedicated restaurant, there is one thing that you can’t get at any of the other resorts, the Beignets. Deliciously fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar, these New Orleans treats can certainly make up for the lack of restaurant, plus you don’t need a reservation to enjoy them.
Which moderate resort is your favorite? Which one would you go back to over and over again? Let us know in the comments!