All about Disney Moderate Resorts, including the amenities and transportation they offer.
Through press trips, Disney Parks Moms Panel trips, and Disney Social Media Moms, I’ve stayed at some Disney resorts at no cost or discounted cost. I’ve also paid full price for many stays. All opinions are my own.
There are a number of resorts at Walt Disney World, including some that are a great value for families (Disney’s Pop Century) and some that are a big splurge (Disney’s Grand Floridian). It can be a little challenging to choose the right resort, because while you won’t spend too much time in the room, there are so many fun places that you’ll want to stay in.
Maintaining your budget is important, however, because it’s you’ll want to save money for park tickets, meals, and souvenirs. Staying at a Disney moderate resort can definitely be a great combination of price and amenities, but they can sometimes be overlooked in favor of a deluxe or value resort. Here’s what you need to know about Disney moderate resorts. Have you ever stayed at one?
All About Disney Moderate Resorts
What is a Disney Moderate Resort?
Disney offers three categories of rooms – deluxe, moderates, and value. These three resorts share the same benefits of staying on property at Walt Disney World, but have varying amenities, themes, and room styles. While deluxe resorts are luxury resorts and the value resorts are the most budget-friendly, the moderate resorts can be a good combination of both.
In general, you’ll find that the moderates have everything you need for a comfortable family vacation, including gift shops, restaurants (both food courts and table service restaurants), pools, and other fun amenities.
Rooms at Disney Moderate Resorts (Excluding the Cabins at Ft. Wilderness)
Rooms at Disney moderate resorts generally are a bit larger than value hotel rooms, but smaller than deluxe rooms. There’s typically a small table or desk, a larger bureau with drawers and a small refrigerator, two beds, and a nightstand. You’ll also find a double sink, a safe, and a closet rod in a small area right in front of the bathroom. There are sliding doors that separate that area from the sleeping area, for a little bit of privacy. I like having this small section separate from the toilet/shower, so that two people can get ready at the same time.
Rooms are accessible through an exterior door, and generally don’t have decks, balconies, or patios. Adjoining rooms may be available, by request. While the rooms aren’t huge, they definitely have what you’ll need for a fun and relaxing hotel stay.
The Cabins at Fort Wilderness are also considered a moderate resort, however, the configuration of the cabins is different from the other moderate resorts. The cabins sleep six, and offer a patio, grill, kitchen, microwave, and more.
Amenities at Disney Moderate Resorts
In room amenities include a hairdryer, refrigerator, coffee maker, and safe. You’ll also find a selection of H2O+ toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and facial soap. These larger sizes are perfect for multiple day stays.
Outside of the room, you’ll find food courts, restaurants, and bars. Coronado Springs, as a convention hotel, has a huge selection of food options, although you are likely to spend most of your time at the parks. Each of the moderate hotels has at least one pool with a water slide and kiddie pool, as well as a small playground. The moderate resorts also offer activities including outdoor movies, surrey bike rentals, and poolside fun.
Current Disney Moderate Resorts
Walt Disney World currently has five moderate resorts (four if you combine the two Port Orleans areas):
Port Orleans (Riverside and French Quarter sections)
Port Orleans is two resorts in one. There are two sections, Riverside, which is themed after the countryside of Louisiana. Within that resort, there are two areas, Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend (which looks like large mansions). The Riverside section of the resort offers a large pool called Ol’ Man Island. This pool area is 3.5-acres and includes a 95 foot long water slide. There are also five additional pools that are more quiet. Riverside has a food court as well as a table service restaurant. There are other amenities, including an arcade, surrey bike rentals, catch and release fishing, and movies by the pool.
The French Quarter side also has a pool area called Doubloon Lagoon, along with a 51-foot-long sea serpent slide and water play area. There’s also a food court, arcade, and playground.
There are several room types available at Port Orleans, including some rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people. There are also Royal Guest rooms available, which could be a special experience for families with little ones.
As a conference hotel, Coronado Spring Resort is definitely a large resort. It’s also currently undergoing refurbishment, and will be even larger. Because there is a conference facility, it includes lots of amenities to appeal to that population. At Coronado Springs, you’ll find a delicious food court called the Pepper Market, which also has a coffee bar. The resort also has the Maya Grill, La Ventanas, Cafe Rix, Siestas Cantina, and the Laguna Bar.
There’s a great pool area in the center of property. Called the Dig Site, this pool area is a full recreational area with a small playground, volleyball net, arcade, a sandbox, a kiddie pool, and a huge jacuzzi in addition to the large pool with waterslide. If you are looking for something that is more quiet, there are three smaller pools located around the resort.
Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is also undergoing renovations. This beach-themed resort offers a large pirate-themed pool called the Fuentes del Morro Pool. There are also two waterslides and a 12-person jacuzzi. If you’d prefer a more quiet swimming experience, there are five leisure pools located throughout the property.
There are several food options available to guests of the resort. There’s the Island Markets, the Centertown Food Truck, the Centertown Buffet, the Centertown Bar, and the Spyglass Grill.
If you have pirate-lovers, you may want to book one of the special pirate-themed rooms located at the resort. Those with five members in their family have the option of booking a room with two Queen Beds and 1 pull-down bed that can accommodate a child.
The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort
One of the most unique lodging experiences at Walt Disney World is the cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort. While this resort is typically known for camping, it does have beautiful cabins that are great for a larger family. Visiting Fort Wilderness really feels like you are out in the woods. It doesn’t at all seem like you are on the grounds of a large theme park – it’s so quiet and rustic.
Amenities at the resort include the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool, which has a corkscrew water slide. There’s also a water play area that is great for younger kids. There are also other fun activities (some which cost an extra fee) including archery, kayak rentals, fishing, bike rentals, basketball, volleyball, pony rides, wagon rides, and movies under the stars.
Transportation from Disney Moderate Resorts to the Parks
In general, you’ll need to take a bus to any of the parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios) from the moderate resorts (Fort Wilderness does have boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom). Port Orleans Resort Riverside and French Quarter offers boat service to Disney Springs, which can be a great evening activity once you are done with the parks for the day.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the best moderate resort at Walt Disney World?
That really depends. They are all great, and have their own benefits. We love the food court and pool at Coronado Springs, but I prefer the theme at Port Orleans Riverside. Port Orleans French Quarter is a great option for families with young kids, because it’s a small, quaint resort. We stayed there on our first family visit to Walt Disney World when my kids were 11 months and 2 1/2. Because it isn’t too big, it’s easy to navigate.
What are the benefits to stay on Disney property?
There are so many benefits that are great for families. Guests staying at a Disney resort can take advantage of the Magical Express – a complimentary service that can take you to and from the airport. It’s especially helpful for families with children because they’ll also take your luggage right to your room. You won’t have to get your checked bags at baggage claim – they’ll just magically appear in your room.
You’ll also receive complimentary Magic Bands 2, which can be used to as a room key, for charging privileges, for park entrance, and to store your FastPass + reservations. These can be purchased if you aren’t staying on property, but you can’t use them for charging (and obviously not to open your room).
As a resort guest, you’ll also have access to Extra Magic Hours. These are special, limited extra hours before and after park opening/closing when the parks are only open for resort guests. The hours and parks vary by day and they can be a great way to avoid crowds.
Which Disney moderate resorts are on the monorail?
Unfortunately, none of the moderate resorts are on the monorail. In fact, most of the Disney deluxe resorts aren’t on the monorail either. The only resorts on the monorail are the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort.
Are Disney moderate resorts worth it?
When it comes to Disney hotel rooms, I generally think that families should consider how much time they will spend in their room. Some families will build in a hotel day in their plans, so that they can enjoy the amenities (like the pool). Others spend every minute at the theme parks, and really just need a bed and bathroom to get ready.
I don’t find that the moderate resorts are any more convenient than the value resorts when it comes to location. But they do provide a little more room in the hotel rooms, as well as a few more amenities. If you plan to spend even a little bit of time back at your resort, then yes, a moderate resort is probably worth the extra money over a value resort.
Do any Disney moderate resorts have suites?
Disney’s Coronado Springs resort offers suites – they have junior suites, one-bedroom suites, and executive suites. In addition, the Cabins at Wilderness Lodge can accommodate up to six adults with one queen bed, one bunk bed, and one double sleeper sofa. The suites are definitely more expensive than a standard room, however, so it may move the price range from affordable to more pricey.