Planning (Part 2)
Ok! You have your dates set, and you’re ready to get into planning the “Vacation of the Year.” Keeping your options and your mind open, we will now start looking into where we will be staying while at Walt Disney World. Considering your budget, you need to start weighing options of either a Disney Resort or staying off-property.
Our family has stayed on and off property, and there are pros and cons to each. There are cons to staying on-property? Absolutely! Remember, in the last post, I stated that each step to planning brings in hundreds of other questions on the same subject? Well, here is where it all starts. There are a lot of options and each decision will impact your vacation in one way or another.
Deluxe resorts are high-end hotels with all the fixins’. You can get an awesome view of a savannah complete with roaming wildlife, or a beautiful, picturesque view of a lake. But you can also get views of parking lots and roofs. I’ve seen pictures of the latter, and it astounds me that it was planned out that way. You want your vacation to be something you’ll look back on and enjoy the memories.
There are three levels of resorts available to everyone that wants to stay on-property at Walt Disney World. There are the deluxe resorts, the moderate resorts, and the value resorts. Each has different levels of amenities available, as well as personal comforts. There are other available options, but these are the most basic.
Value resorts are exactly that, what you see is what you get. You can ask for specific options, but they aren’t always granted. Value resorts are great for families and couples, alike. They offer a basic hotel-style room in a themed building, a themed pool, and a food court. There are buses to take you to and from the park, and they have a store for forgotten items, as well as a gift shop. Basically, all of the resorts, no matter what their level, have these things, but the value resort is limited to these.
My family especially likes Pop Century, in the value resort level. We have stayed at the All-Star Resorts, but this one sticks out to us the most. The food court is an awesome experience, and despite our staying elsewhere, we try to make it over to this food court each year. We don’t always make it, but it is an option when we are visiting.
The moderate resorts offer more to their guests, and are in the mid-range of budgeting expense. The rooms are a bit larger, there are more activities to get involved in, and the grounds are larger. I have read that kayaking is an added activity at moderate resorts, but I haven’t experienced it yet. It sounds like a bonus I would be interested in, for sure. Also, there are playgrounds and boat rentals available.
Of the moderate resorts, we have only stayed at one: Port Orleans, French Quarter. The experience was excellent, and we were in a corner room next to the river. Downtown Disney was just a boat ride away, and the grounds were scenic. The paths to the pool and the food court were named with street signs. The artwork and décor in the food court was memorable, but the food court itself wasn’t. I mean, I remember being there, but the food was something I wanted to forget. We visited the other resort, related to Port Orleans, Riverside, and their food court was very good. We’d wished we had known that beforehand, but so goes the whole learning experience, and now we can say we stayed at this resort and chalk it off the list.
The deluxe resorts have beautifully manicured grounds, with exquisite landscaping. They have a day spa, and multiple pools. They also have restaurants to fit the definition of fine dining, and an optional concierge level. This level of resort has all of the amenities known to staying in a five-star hotel, and even more. The deluxe resorts have two categories: The rooms within the resort itself, and the villas.
My wife and I have stayed at the Board Walk Villas and the extra perks to being in a deluxe resort was comparable to the comforts of flying first class. All along the boardwalk there were eateries, fun opportunities to rent surrey bikes, boats, or take in the view across the lakes. Epcot and Hollywood Studios were within walking distance, and the nighttime views were extraordinary.
There are two other options to staying on-property at Walt Disney World: DVC (Disney Vacation Club), which is a time share buy-in and the campground, at Fort Wilderness. There’s camping available for people staying in tents as well as sites for fifth-wheel and motorhomes.
For more information on DVC opportunities: Vacation
For more information on Camping opportunities: Camping
For more information on the resorts: Resorts
When deciding where to stay at Walt Disney World, always remain budget conscious. For those of you that don’t have to worry about a budget, and I think those are few and far between, then I encourage you to research the different amenities available at each resort in order to make it memorable for you and your family.
What resorts have you stayed at? What amenities do you think are essential to a quality stay at a resort? Any comments? Please feel free to leave one or more. I enjoy reading them, and look forward to answering any questions you might have.
Continuing the planning stages of our vacation, we remain WDW or Bust. If you’d like to contact me directly, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on facebook and twitter. I look forward to reading your comments.
Thank you and have a magical day!