Pros And Cons Of Walt Disney World’s Value Resorts

If you’re a Walt Disney World fanatic like me, you probably book a flight to Orlando at least once a year (if not many more!). But all the Disney magic in the world can’t make up for the fact that it’s not always financially feasible to book your hotel room at one of the pricey Disney resort hotels.

However, when the benefits for on-site hotel guests range from free transportation to dining plans to the ability to make reservations for the most popular attractions and restaurants ahead of the general public,it’s worth your while to consider what Walt Disney World’s “value” resorts have to offer.

Disney’s value resorts provide the convenience of being just a stone’s throw away from the theme parks but without the $300 or more price tag that can come with a night in a “moderate” resort like the Caribbean Beach, or the $600 or more you’d have to shell out for a night at a “deluxe” resort like the Polynesian.

We’ve laid out the pros and cons of Disney’s more reasonably-priced lodging options so you can make the best choice for your family — and your budget!


  • The cost. If you’re on a budget but want to stay on-site, the value resorts will offer the most bang for your buck. Period. Rack rates average $100 to about $200 a night, which is on par with what you might expect to pay at a similar motel anywhere else. When compared to a deluxe resort like the Grand Floridian — which can climb closer to a whopping $1,000 per night depending on the season and your room selection — the value resorts offer the average Disney-goer the ability to stay and play for a few days, and still have enough money left over for that Mickey t-shirt. All Disney resorts now charge for overnight parking, but value resorts are the least expensive fee per night compared to moderate or deluxe resort fees.
  • Same perks. A major draw of Disney’s on-site properties is the fact that airport transportation and Disney transportation are available for getting around its massive resort will be provided at no additional cost. Extra Magic Hours and early FastPass+ reservations can make a big difference. But even if you choose a value resort, you’ll still have access to the same perks as those who opt for the pricier hotels.
  • Location, location, location. Like all of Disney’s on-site hotels, the value resorts offer guests the opportunity to be completely immersed in the Disney experience. You’ll likely save a few bucks by staying at a motel chain outside of the Disney property, but if you don’t want to invest in a rental car or you plan to head back to your hotel for an afternoon swim or nap, even the most cost-conscious consumer should seriously consider a value resort.
  • Kid-friendly atmosphere. Got little ones? Their gleeful screams will likely go unnoticed at All-Star Sports, but your noisy brood may get a few raised eyebrows at a more elegant resort like the Grand Floridian. The value resorts seem to have been built with families in mind, and all offer play areas and special entertainment to delight your kiddos, from movie nights to pool games and activities.

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  • Larger-than-life theming. If you’re a kid (or a kid at heart), you’ll probably love the flashy colors and enormous statues of Disney characters at a resort like All-Star Movies. You will never once forget that you’re vacationing at Walt Disney World at a value resort, whereas the moderate and deluxe resorts tend to offer more subtle, understated theming. Mom and Dad can take a walk down memory lane with the Pop Century’s “decades” theme, while Art of Animation allows kiddos to dive under the sea with Ariel in one of its splashy Little Mermaid rooms.
  • Cleanliness and customer service. In terms of their size and amenities, the value rooms may not be anything to write home about — but don’t think for a second that opting for a value resort is akin to bunking at a Motel 6. Disney maintains the same level of cleanliness and customer service that you’ll find at its pricier lodgings — a feature you may not necessarily enjoy if you stay at a cheap motel off property.
  • Family suites. Families of five or more on a budget may run into trouble when it comes time to book a standard four-person hotel room. But thanks to the family suites at Art of Animation and All-Star Music, a larger clan can have all the extra space they need — and Mom and Dad can enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet in their own room.


  • Noise levels. If you don’t necessarily care to listen to your neighbors flushing the toilet or their four-year-old’s temper tantrum, a value resort may not be for you. The smaller rooms seem to come with paper-thin walls, and if you end up in a room that faces the pool or anywhere fellow guests may gather, you could be in for a rough night.
  • Small rooms. Were you hoping to spend some close, personal time with your family? You’ve found the perfect place to do it. The value rooms tend to be small and cramped, and in terms of relaxation, you shouldn’t expect more than a clean place to rest your head (and your feet!) after a full day at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Double beds. Traveling with someone who isn’t pint-sized? The majority of the value resorts only offer double beds, which can cause tight sleeping quarters for two larger adults. While king-sized beds are available in select rooms, groups of grown-ups should probably seek out the queen- and king-sized beds at a handful of moderate resorts (like Coronado Springs) or the deluxe hotels.
  • Lack of amenities. If you’re hoping to have access to an in-room coffee maker or microwave, you’ll have to book your stay elsewhere. The value resorts now boast mini-fridges in all of the rooms, but if hotel amenities like a fitness center, lounge bar, or room service options are important to you, you’ll probably be happier at a moderate resort.
  • Basic accommodations. Although Disney does a fabulous job with its theming (particularly at its newest and most expensive value resort, Art of Animation), you still shouldn’t expect fancier accommodations than what you might find at a Holiday Inn or other budget motel chain. Couples seeking a more romantic ambiance or families who plan to do more than shower and sleep at their resort may be disappointed.
  • No water slides. Some parents invest thousands of dollars in a Disney vacation only to discover that their kids are more interested in swimming. Families should be aware that while the pools are large and attractively themed, the value resorts do not offer the thrill of plunging down water slides — a perk you’ll find at the more expensive on-site Disney hotels.
  • Limited dining options. The Contemporary Resort may be known for an award-winning restaurant like California Grill, but you’re not going to find fine dining at a value resort. You’ll be able to choose from a smorgasbord of cuisines in their bustling, brightly-colored food courts, but you won’t have access to convenient sit-down dining at your hotel.

About Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer L. Nelson donned her first pair of personalized mouse ears at age 4. A lifelong Disney fanatic and avid runner, the New Jersey resident visits both Walt Disney World and Disneyland several times a year to cross the finish line of one of runDisney’s half or full marathons; among her proudest accomplishments to date was completing the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend’s 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon to earn the coveted inaugural Dopey Challenge medal. When it comes to theme park touring, she’s a self-described “commando” visitor who arrives at rope drop, follows a strict touring plan (and never waits in line!), and soaks up the Disney magic until the final gift shop has closed. She is a freelance writer and editor who blogs about her personal weight loss journey, running exploits, and Disney obsession at