Is a Preferred View Worth The Cost When Staying In A Disney Resort?

Deciding to stay on Disney property when visiting Walt Disney World can result in paying more for your accommodation than staying elsewhere in Lake Buena Vista. Disney Resorts are classified into three categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. This means that there is a Walt Disney World hotel to suit every budget. 

Disney Resort Benefits

When you choose to be a Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guest, you’re guaranteed to be right in the heart of the magic. You will also receive the following benefits:

  • complimentary transport to the Disney Parks, including Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs
  • early Park entry every day of your stay at the Disney theme parks
  • complimentary Disney Resort hotel pick-up for merchandise purchased in the Disney Parks and Disney Springs
  • eligibility to make your first individual Lightning Lane purchase at 7:00 a.m. each day of your visit. All other Guests can only make their purchase when the Park opens
  • the option to connect a card to your Resort room. You can purchase food and merchandise and charge them to your Disney account. You won’t have to worry about carrying cash if you choose to take advantage of this option.

Choosing a View

Once you have decided which Disney Resort hotel to stay at, your next decision is whether to stay in a Standard View or a Preferred View. The Disney hotel of your choice will depend on the views that are offered to you. Let’s explore the different views available to you and which Walt Disney World Resorts they are offered at.


Credit: Disney

Value Resorts

In the Disney Value Resort hotels, you are generally only offered two types of room: Standard; or Preferred. A Preferred Room offers you the ability to stay in a Guest room located closer to the center of the Resort. At the center of a Disney Value Resort, you will find the main pool area, lobby, quick-service restaurant, gift shop, and the bus stop for Disney Transportation System. Views out of your hotel room window will be of the courtyard, pool, or parking area. 

The Value Resorts include:

  • Disney’s All-Star Resorts (Movies, Music, and Sport)
  • Disney’s Pop Century – This Resort offers 3 themed pools. Both Standard and Preferred Rooms offer a “Pool View” for an additional cost.
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – This Resort offers Guests the option of a Standard Room or Family Suite. The Family Suites are located closest to the Resort center.

Credit: V Mills

Moderate Resorts

Staying at a Disney Moderate Resort hotel provides further options to Guests. The views that are available include:

  • Standard Rooms – These rooms are available in all Moderate Resorts and offer views of the courtyard, Resort landscaping, or parking area. 
  • Water/Pool View – Guests can overlook pool areas at Disney’s Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, and Port Orleans Resorts. Guests staying at Coronado Springs may also have a view of Lago Dorado if they select a “Water View” room. A view of the Sassagoula River is available from Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside Resorts.
  • Woods View – This room view is exclusive to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Rooms with this view overlook the picturesque gardens.

Credit: V Mills

  • Preferred Room – Guests wishing to have a room located closer to the hotel facilities can select this option at Disney’s Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, and Port Orleans Riverside Resorts.
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness – All Cabins offer Guests a woodland view, to keep with the theming of this Disney Resort.

Credit: Disney

Deluxe Resorts

There are a variety of room views available at Disney Deluxe Resorts. The views you can choose from include:

  • Standard View – This is offered across all Deluxe Resorts and usually offers a view of the parking lot, rooftop, or service area.
  • Savannah View – An exclusive view offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Guests can enjoy views of animals such as giraffes and antelope across the Savannah.

Credit: Disney Tips

  • Pool View – This view is offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Yacht Club, Riviera, and Polynesian Village Resorts.
  • Garden View – This is available at Disney’s Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, BoardWalk Inn, Contemporary, Saratoga Springs, Beach Club, and Yacht Club. 
  • Nature/Woodland/Courtyard View – These views are available to Guests staying in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Riviera, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs Resorts.
  • Lagoon/Water/Lake View – Overlook the waters of Disney at Yacht Club, Beach Club, Contemporary, Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Riviera, Polynesian Village, and Grand Floridian Resorts. 

Credit: V Mills

  • Fairways View – If you enjoy overlooking the golf course, this view is available at Disney’s Saratoga Springs and Old Key West Resorts.
  • Theme Park View – Experience a view of Magic Kingdom and Disney Enchantment from Disney’s Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, and Contemporary Resorts. A Fireworks View is also available at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
  • Disney Skyliner View – This view is exclusive to Guests staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Depending on the location of the Guest room at the Disney Moderate Resort, Caribbean Beach, the Disney Skyliner may also be visible from here too. This also applies to rooms at Disney Value Resorts, Pop Century and Art of Animation.
  • Disney Monorail View – Although this is not a view that can be selected, Guest rooms in Disney’s Grand Floridian or at the  Contemporary / Polynesian Village Resorts may overlook the Monorail. 

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  • Club Level is available at all Deluxe Disney Resorts.

So is it worth paying for that View?

Ultimately, the different room views offered around the Walt Disney World Resort add to a Guest’s experience. But of course, they come with a price. So you may be wondering, is it really worth it to spend the extra dollars on that view at a Disney hotel? Naturally, only you can truly make that decision, but here’s our advice.

It’s a yes from us if you are:

  • going to spend a significant amount of time in your Disney hotel room. This is especially true if you will spend a few hours during the day here throughout your vacation.
  • staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You absolutely want a Savannah View. Waking up and enjoying your morning coffee while watching the giraffes – it’s a no-brainer!
  • staying in a Disney Deluxe Resort and want an immersive experience. Choose the view that is right for you and enjoy it from the comfort of your own balcony.
  • your budget is not limited, and you want everything to be just perfect (with a chef’s kiss) during your Disney vacation.
  • stopping for a night or two before embarking on a cruise with Disney Cruise Line. Start your vacation in style at a Disney Deluxe Resort with a Theme Park View. You won’t want to miss out on Disney fireworks over Magic Kingdom after a day chilling by the pool!

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However, it’s a no from us in these scenarios:

  • When your Resort room is just a base to sleep, shower, and store your belongings, the view from your room will not alter the magical vacation you’ll have. You’ll be having too much fun in the Disney Parks and at Disney Springs.
  • If your budget is already feeling stretched, save the dollars for the rest of your Disney experience instead.
  • If you want to enjoy the amenities the Disney Resort offers, rather than what’s in your Resort room.
  • When your reasoning for visiting Walt Disney World is to participate in a runDisney weekend, you’ll likely just be splitting your time between the races, Expo, Disney Parks, and the pool.
  • When you’re having a short vacation, and you’ve planned out your days in the Parks before you’ve even considered where to stay.

Credit: V Mills

So, there you have it – the lowdown on rooms with a view at Walt Disney World. Next time you’re booking that Disney vacation, we hope that your decision on the room to stay in will be made easier with our advice. Remember, too, that a Standard Room may come with a bit of Disney magic if there is availability around the Disney Resort hotel when you check in. And by Disney magic, we mean a free upgrade to a Preferred View room. Although this is not guaranteed, you may be due a magical moment at the beginning of your next Disney vacation!

About Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!