Where Not to Stay
By Dave Shute
Three other resort categories exist:
- Disney Vacation Club Resorts
- The campsites and cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- The moderate resorts
While wonderful for trips after your first, none of these other categories is recommended for your first family trip.
Their distinctive characteristics (for rooms other than studios) are extra space and full kitchens. These just aren’t of much value to first time visitors who aren’t sure if they’ll ever return, who will be spending most of their time outside their rooms!
(A couple of exceptions: the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the Jambo House Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge have terrific kid appeal. Kidani Village has substantial kid appeal, but a little less than Jambo House.)
Their rooms are almost 2 feet longer and a foot wider than at the values, and the bedroom spaces are actually larger than those at some Disney deluxe resorts: see this.
Moreover, at most of the moderates you now get queen beds–a welcome change from only a few years ago, when they all had full beds (Caribbean Beach still has full beds).
The moderates have more amenities than the values, and, to an adult’s eyes, much better landscaping and exterior design.
Even so, the moderate resorts are not a better choice for your first family trip than the values, even if you could easily afford them. The issue is that alternatives have a lot more kid appeal.
If you could afford the moderates, a more kid-appealing and convenient itinerary would be to spend the first 5 nights of your trip at the wildly kid-appealing value resort Art of Animation, and the last 3 at Disney’s stunningly kid-appealing deluxe resort the Wilderness Lodge.
This approach costs you ~$150 more (total!) than staying at the moderates for 8 nights, but is much more convenient and kid-appealing.
MORE ON WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD
- For where to stay, see this
- For what you get in each resort price category, see this