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Do Guests Really Have to Pay Extra For More Disney Magic?

Do Deluxe Dinsey hotels have more magic
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort is known as the Most Magical Place on Earth, and there are a lot of reasons for that. There are incredible rides and attractions that can be found in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. There are also nearly 400 delectable places to grab a bite to eat and satisfy your hunger. And we can’t forget the amazing character interactions throughout the parks. And, of course, the more than two dozen hotels that you can choose to stay at during your trip.

A family enjoying a sunny day outdoors; a woman in a yellow dress and a man in a striped shirt playfully chase two children wearing hats near an elaborate tree structure in a park.

Credit: Disney

Related: From Bottom to Top: Ranking Disney World Resorts

Disney wants everyone who visits Walt Disney World to be able to find a hotel on property that fits into their budget. So, they have hotels that range in price from Value to Deluxe. It doesn’t matter which type of Disney hotel you choose, — Value, Moderate, or Deluxe — you will get to stay at a gorgeous hotel that has its own unique theme.

Now, Deluxe Resorts will give you the nicest amenities and best perks — including extra time in the parks — but are they truly more magical?

Courtyard Pool with Guests at Grand Floridian

Credit: Disney

One Redditor recently asked those who have stayed at Moderate and Deluxe Disney hotels that very question. They had stayed at the All-Star Sports and thought that its “cheesy” nature kept them in the Disney bubble. They also thought that the “nicer” Disney hotels looked more like ones you could find anywhere.

I’ve been to WDW once and we stayed in All Star Sports and I watched (still do) alot of vlogs on Disney World as a whole to make the most of our stay and make sure we see and eat everything we can. Upon seeing hotels other than All Stars, Pop and AoA without having the really over the top themeing, the giant characters and set pieces I feel like I would never stay in a moderate or deluxe resort because they always look alot more like hotels from anywhere in the world. A massive part of our trip was enjoying how ultimately cheesy the All Stars resort was and made us feel even more like kids and in the “Disney bubble” and I’m just wondering how people who have done both feel?

Disney's All Stars Sports Resort

Credit: Disney

To be honest, there was no real consensus among those who responded to the Reddit post. Although there was agreement that the Deluxe Disney World hotels did not have less theming, they had more subtle theming.

I don’t think the Deluxes “look like hotels from anywhere in the world” at all. The only one you may be able to say that about is Riviera because the theming is more subtle. Animal Kingdom Lodge has the Savannah which is really cool. Wilderness Lodge is themed to look like the Old Faithful inn in Yellowstone. The Polnesian [sic] has a really relaxed feel and some of the best dining on property (aside from ‘Ohana). The Contemporary has the monorail going through it and has an incredibly unique design.

It may not be what you’re looking for, but the Deluxes for me have more of a mature styling. I wouldn’t say the same for the Moderates, but I’ve also never stayed there. The rooms in the Deluxes are also a lot nicer than the rooms in the value resorts (as they should be for the price difference).

Lava Pool at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Credit: Disney Dining

Related: Disney Deluxe vs. Moderate Resorts: What You Need to Know

There were those who agreed with the OP (Original Poster), that the “over the top” theming was what made the Value hotels special.

I am with you! Personally I LOVE the over the top theming. We can afford to stay at a moderate, but part of the fun for us is the theming. I don’t want to pay $$$ for a hotel I would stay at anywhere else.

Disney's All Star Music Resort

Credit: Disney

Others felt that the Value Resorts — like All Star Sports — were a little too “kid-like”. They liked the subtle theming of the Moderate and Deluxe hotels, as it made them feel a little more high-end.

I was never a fan of the All-Stars look. Reminds me of party decorations for kids. I loved Port Orleans French Quarter, because it was highly themed, but subtle. The Moderates are nice for that. You’re definitely somewhere special, but it’s not quite as jarring when you’re dragging back from a park at midnight.

Now I live here, and don’t do the hotels. My sister fell in love with Yacht Club a couple years ago. The decor is a little more standard nautical theming, but being adjacent to Boardwalk, and a quick stroll from Epcot was magical.

Disney's Yacht Club

Credit: Disney

Then, there were some who loved the extras that you get at Deluxe Resorts. Many of the Deluxe hotels have private balconies, better restaurants, and a more relaxed feel. They also love that Deluxe Resorts enable guests to get more time in the parks, since extended evening hours are only available to guests staying in Deluxe hotels.

We love staying deluxe. We like having more space, having a balcony, and not walking out of our room to the outside. Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite resorts and it’s absolutely amazing sitting outside and seeing the animals. The deluxe evening hours are pretty great too.

animal kingdom lodge

Credit: Disney Parks

When deciding which Walt Disney World hotel is best for you, it is important to consider a number of things. What is your budget? What theme park do you want to be close to? Do you want to do a lot of your dining at the hotel? Will you use amenities like the swimming pool?

All of these are important. But one thing is for sure, no matter where you stay, you are sure to have a magical time!

Do you think Deluxe Disney World hotels have that extra magical feel? Or are they overrated? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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