10 Fantastic Moderate Resort Experiences at Walt Disney World

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Lobby

Walt Disney World’s moderate resorts are often passed over by guests seeking either the budget-friendly accommodations of Disney’s value resorts, or the unbridled luxury of Disney’s deluxe resorts.  But Disney’s moderate resorts offer the best of both worlds: a comfortable stay with more bells and whistles than a value resort, at a price that’s easier on the wallet than a deluxe resort.  Disney’s moderate resorts include Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Port Orleans Resort Riverside, and the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.  Here are some fantastic reasons to stay at, or at least drop by, a moderate level resort at Walt Disney World!


1. Rooftop Dining With a View

Tantalizing tastes abound at Walt Disney World resorts, and one of the newest places to enjoy a meal is Tolédo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, the rooftop restaurant atop the impressive Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  As the name suggests, guests can enjoy authentic Spanish cuisine here, but the menu is only part of the draw.  The restaurant occupies an ideal spot 15 stories above the resort, giving guests a bird’s-eye view of Walt Disney World (including Tower of Terror and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!).


2. Ferry to Disney Springs

Sure, Walt Disney World’s bus transportation is efficient and easy to use, but there’s just something magical about hopping on a boat to get to your destination!  If you’re departing from either of Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts, you can cruise down the idyllic Sassagoula River all the way to Disney Springs, enjoying the fresh air and lovely river scenery all the way.

3. Disney Skyliner

Speaking of fun transportation options, it doesn’t get any better than this.  Disney Skyliner allows you to channel Tinkerbell as you soar above the trees in a gondola, marvelling at the panoramic views along the way.  The gondolas, many of which are decked out with your favorite Disney characters, connect Disney’s Epcot and Hollywood Studios with several resorts, including one moderate level resort: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.


4. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

For a perfectly relaxing moderate resort experience, head to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside, where you can enjoy a 25 minute horse-drawn carriage ride along the beautiful Sassagoula River.  You’ll feel like you’re miles away from the hustle and bustle of the parks as you unwind while taking in the peaceful natural surroundings, and the gorgeous plantation-style architecture.  Carriages can accommodate up to four adults, or two adults and three children.

5. Islands of the Caribbean Pirate Cruise

Budding buccaneers will love the children-only pirate cruise that departs from Caribbean Cay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.  Your little ones can head out on their own treasure hunt adventure as they sail around Disney’s marinas accompanied by seasoned pirates.  They’ll make new friends, hear pirate tales, and finally divide the pirate treasure among themselves at their final port of call.  Pirate cruises are a win-win situation: kids have a blast, while adults can enjoy a bit of “me” time!

6. Pirate Rooms

If you have an aspiring pirate in your party who doesn’t want the fun to end with a pirate cruise, there’s another great experience at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort that may be right up her or his alley.  Choose one of the resort’s pirate rooms, and the whole family can spend their vacation in perfect pirate style!  There are beds elaborately shaped like pirate ships, barrels and crates function as furniture, and there are pirate details galore just waiting to be discovered.  Let the swashbuckling fun begin!

7. Perfect Pools

There isn’t a pool complex we don’t love at Disney’s moderate resorts!  The 50-foot pyramid with its cascading waterfall at The Dig Site at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort takes first place for us, but you really can’t go wrong with any of these delightful pools.  There’s a 51-foot long sea serpent slide at Port Orleans French Quarter, and a Spanish colonial fort complete with cannons at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.  Ol’ Man Island Pool at Port Orleans Riverside is (literally) buckets of fun, and the rustic Meadow Swimmin’ Pool at the Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Resort features a corkscrew waterslide down a water tower.  What’s not to love?

8. Royal Rooms

Looking for rooms fit for royalty?  Head to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort for a room that will make anyone feel like a king or queen.  These royal rooms aren’t “princess” rooms (though they do feature portraits of various Disney princesses), and there’s a surprising lack of all things pink and sparkly.  Instead, these elegant rooms include deep, royal colors and castle-worthy furniture, plus luxurious touches and lots of rich wood, so there’s something that appeals to every member of the family.  And who can resist a fancy, light-up headboard?  A stay in a royal room is the next best thing to a stay in Cinderella’s Castle itself!

9. Lakeside Dining

What makes a great dining experience?  Spectacular food certainly helps, and wonderful company!  But atmosphere is just as important, and you’ll find that in spades at Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  Offering Spanish-American-inspired dishes, this restaurant sits right in the centre of the resort’s lake, Lago Dorado, and you’ll get there by crossing one of three bridges that converge here.  We love the open-air dining experience and the relaxing lake views, as well as the extra courts that provide additional seating and fun touches like a fire pit and kinetic wind sculptures.

10. Fresh Groceries

This moderate resort experience will appeal to any guests who want to be able to prepare their own meals and snacks in the comfort of their resort rooms.  If you stay at the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, you can pre-order all the fresh groceries you want for your stay, and they’ll be delivered the day you check in.  The grocery list is extensive, and includes fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen foods, desserts, coffee, deli meats, pasta, snacks, and beverages.  Perfect for families who want to sit back and relax instead of going out for every meal, this option is also a life saver for a spontaneous trip where you haven’t had a chance to make dining reservations!

About Stacy Milford

Stacy has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents, and travels whenever humanly possible. Passionate about music theatre, dessert, and adventure in the great wide somewhere, she visits Walt Disney World every year, usually during Halloween! Stacy currently divides her time between writing and teaching English as a second language to children in China, and is pretty sure growing up is over-rated.