Is a Disney World Moderate Resort Right for Your Vacation?

One of the hardest decisions Disney Guests face when planning a vacation at Walt Disney World is where to stay. There are dozens of Disney Resorts Hotels on the property, so there’s something perfect for every budget and taste. WDW’s Moderate Resorts might be the right choice for you if you’re looking for a Resort Hotel that offers comfort, Disney theming that isn’t over-the-top, and has a number of amenities but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Tiers of Resorts

As you research Walt Disney World Resorts, you’ll find they fall into one of three tiers: a Deluxe Resort, a Moderate Resort, or a Value Resort. If you’re a Disney Guest booking a Disney Vacation Club property, you’ll encounter another tier, the Deluxe Villa category.  

A Disney Moderate Resort is the middle ground between the kid-friendly theming and low pricing of a Disney Value Resort and the luxury and high price of a Disney Deluxe Resort. For many Disney Guests, these Resort Hotels provide the perfect blend of amenities and cost for a stay at Walt Disney World.

5 Moderate Resorts at WDW

The five Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World are Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French QuarterDisney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. There’s a delightful amount of variety among Moderate Resort offerings, so it’s worth researching each Resort Hotel before making a choice. Here are some of the elements you’ll enjoy at all WDW Moderate Resorts. 

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Lobby

Resort Theming

The theming at Walt Disney World’s Moderate Resorts is more subtle and adult-oriented than Guests will see at WDW’s Value Resorts. Each Resort Hotel has its own individual theme, whether it’s the relaxing, picturesque bayous of the Old South, the pristine beaches and cheerful colors of beaches in the tropics, or Mexico and Spain’s stunning art and architecture. What you won’t find are in-your-face Disney characters or (usually) primary colors. Nor will you encounter the often formal, upscale feel of a WDW Deluxe Resort. Guests choosing this tier can enjoy the informal, family-friendly elegance and comfort of Moderate Resort Hotels.

Resort Prices

Several factors determine what a Guest pays for a Disney Moderate Resort: the time of year, type of room/view, and the day of the week. Prices vary slightly among these Resorts, but you can expect room rates to start at about $240 and rise steeply from there. Higher prices are typically found at Disney’s Coronado Springs and The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness (because the cabins are much larger than standard rooms at other Moderate Resorts).

Resort Room Size

Guests used to Disney’s Value Resorts love the room size upgrade that comes with a stay at a Moderate Resort. Standard rooms here are 314 square feet, compared to the 260 square feet of space you’ll enjoy in a Value Resort room. Rooms contain either a king bed or two queen beds, and rooms sleep up to four or five Guests, depending on the Resort and room. Guests looking for more space can opt for a (higher-priced) suite at Disney’s Coronado Springs or a cabin at Disney’s Fort Wilderness.

Resort Food

Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World offer a quick-service restaurant and a table-service restaurant (so Guests dismayed by the lack of table-service restaurants at Value Resorts can breathe a sigh of relief). This applies to all Moderate Resorts except for Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, which has no table-service restaurant but is within easy walking distance of the table-service restaurant at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.

Resort Size

Most Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World are vast, giving Guests a fabulous sense of seclusion and privacy compared to other WDW Resorts. They are also set in stunning natural backdrops, whether that’s a winding river lined with mature trees, a shimmering lake punctuated by sandy spots to soak up the sun, or the invigorating wilderness of the forest. Of course, the grand size of Moderate Resorts can be a positive or a negative for a Guest, depending on where your room is and how much walking you’re prepared to do!

Resort Recreation 

Disney Moderate Resorts each have a large feature pool and typically also some smaller, quieter pools. The feature pools each have a hot tub and waterslide; something Guests miss at Disney’s Value Resorts. These feature pools are thematic masterpieces (giant sea serpents, towering Mayan pyramids, an old lumber mill with water flumes…), well worth dedicating a day as a Resort day to enjoy them fully.

Credit: Disney

Guests can enjoy a number of complimentary activities like campfires and Movies Under the Stars. There are other activities specific to each Moderate Resort that can take your WDW vacation to the next level. Go for a horse-drawn carriage ride, play a game of sand volleyball, or try your hand at fishing, for starters!

Resort Transportation

Like Disney’s Value Resorts, Disney’s Moderate Resorts have access to bus transportation to and from the Parks and Disney Springs. Most of them also have several bus stops scattered across the Resort, so you won’t have a long way to go to get to the bus no matter where your room is. However, because of all these internal stops, Guests may have a longer bus ride than anticipated.

Guests at some Moderate Resorts have other transportation options besides the bus! Ferries are available at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. At Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Guests can take a soaring gondola ride to Disney’s EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on the Disney Skyliner.

Bottom Line

Walt Disney World’s Moderate Resorts are a step up from Disney’s Value Resorts, without the sticker shock of a Deluxe Resort. They offer more subtle, less child-like theming while boasting an upgraded pool and recreation experience. Guests can choose between quick-service and table-service dining, and transportation options and room sizes are more impressive than those at Value Resorts. While the cost of a Disney Moderate Resort is correspondingly more than a Value Resort, it’s well worth the extra perks for many Guests!

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.