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Is a Disney World Deluxe Resort Right for Your Vacation?

Disney Guests who want to enjoy the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation beyond the Parks love to stay on property at a Disney Resort. But with so many fabulous Disney Resort Hotels, how do you know which one is right for your family? If you want to spend time relaxing in style at your chosen Resort, and money is no object, then a Disney World Deluxe Resort might be for you!

Tiers of Resorts

Disney World divides its Resort Hotels into three main categories or tiers. Every Resort at WDW is either a Value ResortModerate Resort, or Deluxe Resort (unless you’re staying at a Disney Vacation Club Property, in which case your Resort falls into another category: the Deluxe Villa tier).

At a Disney Deluxe Resort, a Guest can expect to enjoy the best of the best in terms of location, transportation, amenities, dining, and overall vacation experience. Naturally, you’ll pay top dollar for the privilege.  

5 Deluxe Resorts at WDW

Compared to Disney’s Value and Moderate Resort offerings, there are quite a few choices in Disney’s Deluxe tier of Resorts.  Disney’s Contemporary ResortDisney’s Yacht Club, Disney’s Beach ClubDisney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort all belong to this tier. Understandably, the look and feel of each of these Resort Hotels are different. But here’s what you’ll get if you splurge on a stay at any Disney World Deluxe Resort.

Resort Theming

As you would expect, the theming at Walt Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts is spectacular. The décor is impressively elaborate, and even breath-taking and the attention to detail leaves absolutely nothing wanting. You won’t find oversized Disney characters anywhere – everything is tastefully designed for much more refined sensibilities. The theming of each Deluxe Resort is different, so Guests should look online to get a glimpse before making a choice. Whether you want to escape to a relaxing island in the South Pacific, retreat to an exclusive waterfront club in New England, or time travel back to the opulence of the Victorian era, there’s a stunningly executed Deluxe Resort theme for you!

Resort Prices

Luxury doesn’t come cheap. That being said, the price of a night at a Disney Deluxe Resort will vary considerably depending on when you go, what kind of room you book, and which Resort Hotel you choose. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort are the best bet for a Guest looking for value in a Deluxe Resort. A Guest can expect to shell out $425 bare minimum for a night in one of these Resort Hotels – and the cost escalates from there. But don’t despair – if the price of a week or two at a Deluxe Resort isn’t in the budget, you can always split your stay between a lower-cost Resort and a Deluxe Resort. This way, you’ll be able to live like a king or queen, if only for a night or two! Just make sure you finish your say with the higher-end Resort because you won’t want to go back after experiencing the best!

Resort Room Size

For the price of a room at a Disney Deluxe Resort, a Guest would expect a larger room than possible at a Disney Moderate Resort or Disney Value Resort. And indeed, Deluxe Resort rooms are generally much more spacious than Resort rooms at the lower tiers. There’s a substantial range in the size of rooms from one Deluxe Resort to the next, however, the smallest standard room comes in at 344 square feet, while the biggest is 440 square feet.

Resort Food

Some of the best restaurants on Disney property can be found within Disney Deluxe Resorts so that Guests won’t go hungry! Each Deluxe Resort Hotel offers quick-service options and table-service locations (often including character dining or killer views). Yachtsman Steakhouse, California Grill, and Boma – Flavors of Africa are just a few famously stellar dining locations within Disney Deluxe Resorts – but there are plenty more!

California Grill Restaurant

Resort Recreation 

As a Guest, you may already be familiar with all Disney Resort Hotels (pools, jogging trails, arcades, movies under the stars, campfires). Disney Deluxe Resorts, take that list and run with it! Fitness centers, basketball, tennis or volleyball courts, bike rentals, spas, boat rentals, sleigh rides, and horseback riding are just a sampling of activities in which Guests can partake at Disney Deluxe Resorts (check with your Resort Hotel for details). Plus, the pool complexes are superb: Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts are worth the trip to Walt Disney World all on its own!

Resort Location

Compared to Disney’s Value Resorts and Moderate Resorts, Deluxe Resorts enjoy privileged locations on WDW property. They’re closer to each Theme Park, sometimes even within walking distance (imagine the convenience of walking back to your Resort room to put a cranky toddler down for a nap in the middle of a long day in the Magic Kingdom?). Location is everything!

Resort Transportation

Because Disney Deluxe Resorts are so much closer to Disney’s Theme Parks than their counterparts, they also have more transportation options available for each Guest. A ubiquitous bus system is always an option, of course. But Disney Deluxe Resort Guests can also choose the Monorail or boat transportation to get to their destination (depending on the Resort). EPCOT Resorts, for instance, allow a Guest to take a ferry or walk to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t get much better than a Disney Deluxe Resort if you’re staying on Disney property! You’ll have every amenity imaginable at your fingertips. You’ll dine like royalty and enjoy the best locations to the Disney Theme Parks. You’ll have several transportation options to choose from, or you can stay at the Resort and soak up all of the designer theming or take advantage of countless recreation experiences. However you choose to spend a vacation at a Disney Deluxe Resort, you’ll enjoy it in the lap of luxury!

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.