When it comes to Walt Disney World hotels, the Deluxe Resorts are the big shots. These are the hotels people dream of staying in. They’re also most likely to be seen in commercials and other promotional materials. There are eight Deluxe Resorts: Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club. Choosing a hotel is an important step in vacation planning. If you’re thinking about staying in one of Walt Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts, here are some pros and cons.
Pro: Bigger Rooms: The Deluxe hotels have bigger standard rooms than Value and Moderate standards. A standard room refers to a regular hotel room, with either two full/queen beds or one king bed. The suites and Disney Vacation Club rooms are classes all their own. But with regards to standard hotel rooms, the Deluxe Resorts range from 344-440 square feet. Grand Floridian has the largest rooms coming in at 440 square feet, well over the national average 330 square foot hotel room. By the end of a week-long vacation, you’ll be glad for any extra space you have!
Con: Bigger Bill: I’m going to get the obvious one out of the way here. There’s no denying the Deluxe Resorts are significantly more expensive than Moderates, Values, Campsites, and non-Disney hotels. For most families trying make a Disney vacation as affordable as possible, Deluxe hotels are simply out of the question. Walt Disney World does offer promotions on their Deluxe Resorts at various times in the year, sometimes as much as 30% off each night, but the price tag will still be the highest on property!
Pro: Close to Parks: Walt Disney World’s Deluxe hotels are the closest to the theme parks. In fact, many of them are within walking distance of park gates. The Contemporary Resort is a five minute walk to the Magic Kingdom. Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club and the Swan and Dolphin (although Swan and Dolphin Resorts are not technically Disney hotels) are all within walking distance to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Being close to the parks is ideal for families who want to be able to return to their room during the afternoon. Proximity = convenience.
Con: Firework Noise: The downside to being closer to the parks is that you will hear the fireworks bursting outside your room. You may think that’s no big deal, until you want to turn in for an early night. Families with young kids might find this particularly hard. If you want to keep kiddos on their normal bedtime schedule, Happily Ever After late into the evening might put a damper on trying to get the kids to stay in bed, especially if they have a fear of loud noises. I’ve heard fireworks from Pop Century. I didn’t mind because I wasn’t trying to sleep at the time, and I wasn’t paying hundreds of dollars to stay in a hotel with all that noise!
Pro: Amazing Theming: All of the Deluxe Resorts feature incredible theming. Many transport their guests to another time and place, like the Victorian Era, or the 1930s (Grand Floridian and Boardwalk), and Africa, or the Pacific Northwest (Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge). Guests can enjoy these themes by visiting the lobbies or dining in one of the restaurants. But staying in these resorts is the best way to fully immerse yourself in the rich themes. The attention to detail and amazing theming carries from the lobby, to the rooms, to the restaurants and to the pools. Speaking of pools, only guests staying in that hotel, can use the pool. So if you want to experience the shipwreck themed Stormalong Bay pool, for example, then you must stay in Yacht or Beach Club.
Con: Lacks Disney Characters: Adults don’t always love the over-the-top theming found in the Value Resorts, but kids love it! Children likely won’t appreciate the nuanced theming at the Deluxe Resorts, like Grand Floridian or Yacht Club for example. Kids aren’t usually into elegance, kids are into characters. Maybe save the hotel splurge for when the kids are old enough to appreciate the theming.
Pro: Disney Vacation Club: Disney Vacation Club (often referred to as DVC) is a timeshare rental at Walt Disney World. For families that buy into the Vacation Club, it’s a terrific opportunity to stay in the Deluxe Resorts, as they are the ones that offer DVC accommodations. The rooms can be studio (regular hotel rooms), or one, two or even three bedroom villas. These are ideal for large families or gatherings with extended family. Plus, non DVC members are able to rent these rooms as well!
What are you favorite parts about the Deluxe Resorts? Anything you don’t care for? Let us know!