Walt Disney World is the size of a small city with 4 theme parks.  So where do the tens of thousands of people that visit the parks daily stay?

The Walt Disney World resort boasts over 20 different resorts on property and multiple good neighbor resorts.  Offering options for almost every budget and family size.  And if not, the Orlando area has many more options to choose from.

What do you get when you book at Walt Disney World resort stay?

There are two big benefits to staying at a Walt Disney World resort property.  The first is early park entry for resort guests.  Those that stay at a WDW resort or select good neighbor resorts are able to enter the 4 theme parks 30 minutes before official park opening, allowing guests additional time in the parks to visit some of the most popular attractions (please be aware that not all attractions are open for early park entry).

The second benefit is transportation.  Guests staying at a WDW resort will have transportation to and from the parks included.  This could be buses, monorail, boats, the Skyliner and/or walking paths depending on the resort.  While some good neighbor and Orlando resorts offer shuttles to the parks, these can sometimes come at an additional cost and will not receive the same access and benefits as those staying on property.

All Walt Disney World resorts include at least one on site dining location and pool.  They also have a laundry facility, recreational and activities and more for guests to enjoy.  Depending on your resort and its category can determine additional benefits.

What are the resort categories?


These resorts are designed to be budget friendly.  The rooms open to outdoor corridors but are much nicer than any motels.  Value resorts focus on fun and colorful theming for guests to enjoy.  With fun pools and accessible quick service dining, this can be a great option for those traveling with children or wanting to focus their spending in the parks.  Bonus, All Star Music and Art of Animation both offer family suites for those traveling with up to 6 to allow additional space and Pop Century and Art of Animation are located along the Skyliner route for additional transportation.

The downside to these resorts is that the rooms are usually smaller and the resorts are louder as they are popular for families (fun fact: children make noise).

Resorts included: All Star Music, All Star Sports, All Star Movies, Pop Century, Art of Animation

Standard room average prices: $150-$250 per night 

*There is also a campground at Disney’s Fort Wilderness which can often be less than $100 per night.


If you are looking for more space, more subtle theming and additional options at your resort, a moderate resort might be the right choice for your next stay at Walt Disney World.  These resorts offer everything at a value resort but also have a pool with a water slide and a table service dining location.  Most rooms still open to the exterior (though the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs now offers interior rooms) with additional space in the room at at your resort.   Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the hub of the Skyliner offering easy access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Port Orleans resorts have a short boat ride to visit Disney Springs.  Disney’s Coronado Springs also has a fitness area and spa (spa not currently available).

Downside to these resorts is that they are often larger and more spread out with multiple bus stops at the resort.

Resorts included: Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter,  Fort Wilderness Cabins

Standard room average prices: $250- $400 per night


If you are looking for the best options for space in your room, amenities at your resort and proximity to the parks, the deluxe resorts will offer all you want and more.  With a variety of dining options, pools with water slides, multiple amenities, and the most convenient transportation opportunities, these resorts carry a higher price tag but a feel of magic and luxury you can’t find elsewhere.  These resorts offer some of the best on site dining options in Walt Disney World so even if you don’t stay here, we recommend booking a meal here and you can still explore the resort a bit.  Many of these resorts have recently undergone or are undergoing renovations to add subtle Disney theming, but most offer rooms with less of a “Disney” feel which could be a pro or con depending on what you would like from your stay.

The obvious downside for these resorts is the price tag.  Many guests do not prefer to pay the price if they are spending the majority of the day in the theme parks.

Resorts included: Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Standard room average prices: $450-800 per night

Other Options:

Disney’s Vacation Club (DVC):

Walt Disney World offers a variety of studio, one, two and even three bedroom villas at a variety of resorts as part of the Disney vacation club.  These resorts are all considered deluxe properties and offer those amenities, but these rooms offer additional benefits to those looking for more space or options in room such as laundry in room and even full size kitchens depending on the room and resort.

What most guests don’t realize is that you do not have to be part of the vacation club to access these rooms for your stay.  DVC members are able to book these rooms 11 months out from their stay and have first access.  But at 7 months out, the rooms not booked become available for your travel planner to book.

Good Neighbor Resorts:

There are a number of resorts near Walt Disney World that are considered good neighbor resorts.  This means that these resorts can be booked at part of a Walt Disney World package and many offer benefits such as the resort guest early park entry and/or shuttle options.  These resorts are not owned by Disney and may offer other hotel amenities that you are looking for during your stay.


Overall, there are many choices for your stay at Walt Disney World and your Goofy Getaways Travel Planner can help you find which resort will be the best choice for your trip.  From the dates of your trip to your budget to your park priorities, we look at all the details to provide the best recommendation for you.

Ready to find out which resort is the best choice for your Walt Disney World vacation?  Message your Goofy Getaways Travel Planner to learn more.