First Stay on Disney Property

WDW Entrance

Select a Disney Resort for your First Stay on Property

Disney Cinderella CastleThe resorts at Disney World are each a unique masterpiece.  All of the Disney Properties have a unique theme and style, and all live up to the magic.  As you can imagine, there are variations on the prices and accommodation levels.  All of the resorts discussed here are on-property, meaning they are owned, operated and located within the Walt Disney World resort property.  They are conveniently located to the parks and all of them offer free Disney transportation.   All of the Disney Resorts now offer complimentary WI-FI internet. The resorts are categorized in ranges based on amenities and price, but all of them will offer an excellent trip.

In addition this article, I highly recommend these travel guides:

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Walt Disney World Resort & Orlando

The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World

Value Resorts

This category offers the most affordable accommodations on property.  This category includes Disney’s All Star Sports, Music, Movies, Pop Century and the newest of this category, the Art of Animation resort.  All of these resorts are decorated with larger than life disney figures and oversized themes.

The All Star Sports resort features giant football helmet clad buildings overlooking a field filled with playbook X’s and O’s.  On the other end of the hotel is a Baseball themed pool with an enormous Coca-Cola cup.   Each value resort has multiple buildings all within walking distance of a pool and the main lobby.  The lobby includes a Gift Shop – Pantry Store  and a Food Court.  Most resorts have a small arcade as well. The All Star Sports resort is where I started out when I began traveling to Disney on my own as a teenager.  The rooms typically range from $85 per night during the Value season to as high as $195 during the Holiday season.

Most value resorts have two double beds and a single nightstand in-between  while some rooms are available with King Beds.  The rooms have a small bath room with a tub/shower combo and a sink and mirror directly outside.  A television on the main dresser is accompanied by a small seating table and two chairs.  These rooms are amongst the most basic available on property.  If you plan on spending most of your stay park hopping and not in the room, then this is the best room category for you.

Moderate Resorts

These resorts are a small step above the Value resorts offering more amenities, dining options and activities within the hotel grounds.  Disney’s Port Orleans, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness resort are included in this category.  Moderate rooms are about 315 sq feet in size, or approximately 1/3 larger than the value rooms.  They offer similar amenities, with upgraded themes.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is inspired by the historic French Quarter in New Orleans.  The theme is enhanced by delicious Cajun food, jazz music, and dazzling parades. When walking on the resort’s cobblestone walkways, you will hear the sound smooth jazz in the background and will smell the sweet smell of magnolia blossoms in the air. The classic street signs, flowing fountains, and antique gaslamps may make you feel like you’ve been transported to the riverfront of the Mississippi.

Deluxe Resorts

These resorts take it one notch higher than the rest.  Amenities include valet services, improved dining options including room services, concierge services, motor sports and daily activities.  These are also some of the larger resorts.  Disney’s Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club and Boardwalk as well as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are in this resort level.

The Grand Floridian Resort is a Victorian-style hotel modeled after the Del Coronado in San Diego.  This is the flagship hotel of Walt Disney World which offers world-class dining, entertainment, and luxurious accommodations in its eye catching red-gabled buildings. It is located along the bank of Lake Buena Vista with views of Cinderella Castle and the nightly Wishes fireworks.  It is conveniently located on the monorail line, one stop away from the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.  This resort could not be closer to the heart of the Walt Disney World resort.

The Deluxe Resorts are some of the classics that have been around since my early childhood.  They all hold a piece of history and are worth a visit, even if you don’t make them your vacation home.

Villa Resorts

These resorts offer larger luxurious rooms and suites.  They offer accommodations for larger families.  Many of the Villa resorts are a part of the Disney Vacation Club (timeshare).  The Bay Lake Tower is one of the newest Villa properties which provides a balance of modern and luxurious features An impressive pool, luxurious rooms with contemporary custom pieces and views of the lush landscape near Bay Lake, the courtyard, pool or Magic Kingdom make this resort special.  It is also located on the Monorail line with convenient access to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Campgrounds Resorts

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is the best place to combine nature and magic.  750 wooded acres of lush pine and cypress trees contain fully equipped campsites which let you setup a tent, camp out or trailer stay in comfort. A walk on the quiet trails may include a wildlife sighting of deer, ducks or rabbits.  The natural landscape leads to a relaxing feeling of separation from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Four different types of campsites, including Premium Campsites can accommodate everything from tents to 45-foot and longer vehicles.  There is a maximum of  10 guests per site and amenities vary.   Each campsite is equipped with a private campsite, water, cable television, electrical hook-ups, picnic table, and charcoal grill. Some locations also include a sewer hook-up.

Your Home Away From Home 

Disney does a great job of making your stay comfortable and magical.  There is always a surprise waiting around the corner at these resorts.  On one of my stays on property, Goofy showed up at the resort pool for a swim.  The varied resort options have a fit for every budget and preference. With all of the exciting resort features, the on-property resorts provide fun and excitement beyond the parks.

We would love to hear your feedback regarding your stay on property at Walt Disney World.

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