Best Disney Deluxe Resorts
Disney World has three tiers of resorts – Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. While there are no “bad” Disney hotels, Disney Deluxe resorts offer guests the best of everything: better transportation options, upscale decor, spacious rooms, amazing dining variety, beautiful pools, on-site recreation services, and loads of other great amenities. If you aren’t scared off by the higher prices, Disney’s Deluxe resorts then you will be rewarded with plenty of extra magic that you won’t get at other hotels. With that said, let’s first review the aspects that make Deluxe resorts the superior lodging choice at Walt Disney World. Next, we will count down the best Disney Deluxe Resorts to help you decide which one is right for your vacation.
Disney’s Deluxe resorts are hard to define. There are major differences in location, themes, dining options, transportation services, on-site services, property layout, pools, etc. If we had to narrow it down, the three major defining characteristics are 1. better transportation options, 2. better amenities, and 3. more expensive (unfortunately).
There are 8 Disney Deluxe resorts in total, spread out in different sections of Disney World. They can be grouped as follows:
While Value Resorts provide an inexpensive and kid-friendly option – and Moderates have slightly higher rates yet better amenities, ambiance, and transportation options than Values – Disney Deluxe resorts offer the best of everything (minus an affordable price tag, of course). One of the biggest differentiating factors of Deluxe resorts is their proximity and accessibility to the theme parks. Transportation options at Deluxes are much more varied and – in general – much better. Unlike Value and Moderate resorts – where guests are dependent on bus transportation – Disney Deluxe resorts offer a wide range of transportation options ranging from monorails and boats to buses and even walking to the theme parks.
Guests staying at the Magic Kingdom area resorts have the option of taking the monorail or boats to magic, and buses to the other theme parks and water parks. Because of its close proximity, guests staying at the Contemporary can walk to Magic Kingdom if they wish. Those staying at the Boardwalk area resorts can either walk or take a ferry boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and buses to other theme parks and water parks. Guests staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge can either walk to Animal Kingdom or use bus transportation to get to other theme park destinations.
And of course, all guests staying at a Walt Disney World on-site property receives early access to FastPass+ and Dining reservations, complimentary MagicBands, Extra Magic Hours, Disney Dining Plan eligibility, complimentary transportation to/from the airport, and more. This alone makes staying at a Walt Disney resort a better option than staying at an off-site (non-Disney) resort.
When it comes to Disney Deluxe resorts, there is only one glaring negative: the price. Unfortunately, Disney’s Deluxe resorts are priced significantly higher than Value and Moderate resorts.
There is a vast range of pricing among the Deluxe resorts, depending on which resort you choose and the time of year you go. You can expect the least expensive standard Deluxe rooms to cost a few hundred dollars (during the value season), whereas the most lavish rooms can top-out in the thousands (!). Many guests will be priced-out of Deluxe resorts and should instead focus on finding a Value or Moderate resort that fits within their budget (there are plenty of great options to choose from). But for those of looking to splurge on your vacation – or for you whom money is not an issue – we hope that you find our top 8 best Disney Deluxe resorts list helpful in narrowing down your choice.
Each Disney Deluxe resort offers something special. They are all fabulous in their own special way, so ranking them is a difficult – and subjective – task. Our rankings are based on a combination of different factors, including location, transportation, theme, dining, value, pools, landscaping, and amenities.