Deluxe resorts can be too expensive for most people on a budget. On the other hand, Value resorts are certainly less expensive but have smaller rooms and more kids (noise) to contend with.
Disney’s Moderate Resorts are appealing because they have better amenities than Values yet are still affordable.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, and Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter are all priced in the same price range, while Coronado Springs tends to be slightly higher. The Cabins at Fort Wilderness are considered a “Disney Moderate Resort,” but their rates are significantly higher than standard room rates at other Moderates. However, the Cabins are larger and can sleep more people (up to 6).
As far as acreage and the sheer number of rooms, Moderates are some of the largest resorts at Disney World. Port Orleans – French Quarter is the one exception, as it is a relatively small resort by Disney World standards.
Each resort feels like its own world, spread out and away from the bustle of the park. It feels as though you are staying in an all-inclusive resort island; buildings/areas are separated from one other with walking trails and water features are found throughout the properties.
Unlike most Disney World properties, you get more of a sense of tranquil isolation.
One downside to the larger, spread-out Moderate resorts is that choosing a room location becomes an important factor. Rooms closer to the lobby, main pool, and dining areas are often more expensive and in higher demand. However, securing a better location means that you won’t have to walk as far to dine after your long day at the park.
Compared to the over-the-top themes of Disney Value resorts, the theming of Moderates is tasteful, subtle, and more “adult.”
You will find a few Disney themes throughout each resort, but they blend into the landscape much more than at Values.
Moderate resorts are a great low-key getaway and a nice retreat after your lively day at the theme parks. You could stay at a Moderate Resort and easily forget you are still inside Disney World!
Moderate resorts are themed as follows:
Caribbean Beach: Caribbean Islands
Coronado Springs: Northern Mexico and the American Southwest
The Cabins at Fort Wilderness: rustic frontier
Port Orleans – French Quarter: 19th Century New Orleans
Port Orleans – Riverside: Antebellum Louisiana plantation, bayou-side retreat
All Moderate resorts offer bus transportation to and from the theme parks.
Unlike Value resorts, Moderates have multiple bus stops throughout each resort (with the exception of Port Orleans – French Quarter). This means that you won’t have to walk too far to catch a bus.
Boat transportation is available at the following resorts: Fort Wilderness has a ferry to Magic Kingdom, while French Quarter and Riverside share ferry service to Disney Springs (the lively shopping and dining district of Disney World).
Room and Beds
The standard rooms at Disney’s Moderate Resorts offer double queen beds or one king bed. This is a nice upgrade from the double beds of Value Resorts. And while Value Resorts sleep 4 guests per room (plus 1 baby in a crib), most Moderate rooms sleep up to 5 guests.
Both Coronado Springs and Port Orleans Riverside offer two queens plus a child-size pull-out bed (sleeping 5), whereas standard rooms at Coronado springs sleeps 4 (they also offer higher-priced suites to accommodate more guests, if necessary).
Standard rooms at Moderate resorts are 314 sq ft vs. 260 sq ft of Value resorts. The one exception is Fort Wilderness Cabins. While they are priced much higher than other Moderate resorts, the cabins are the largest standard option at Disney World (504 sq ft) and come equipped with a full-sized kitchen, a queen bed, bunk beds, and a double-sized sleeper sofa.
Pools & Amenities
Moderate and Value resorts both have a great selection of pools.
One major difference is that pools at Moderates have additional features like water slides and hot tubs. Pool theming is also more elaborate at Moderates, as opposed to the kid’s/Disney character themes that a common at Value resorts.
Other than having one featured themed pool at each Moderate Resort, the larger resorts also offer several smaller, non-themed pools in different sections/wings of the resort. And like the Value resorts, you still have the arcade rooms, playground, and jogging trails, but they feel more family-oriented instead of totally dominated by kids.
Dining options at Disney Moderate Resorts are a step above the Value Resorts.
Unlike Values – which just have a quick service option – all Moderates have both a quick-service restaurant and a table-service restaurant.
The one exception is Port Orleans French Quarter (no table service option). However, this isn’t really a problem because guests can easily walk to Boatwright’s Dining Hall (Port Orleans – Riverside).
The two Port Orleans resorts also benefit from their accessibility to Disney Springs; guests can board a riverboat to Disney Springs and dine at some of Disney World’s best restaurants.
Overall, Moderate Resorts offer excellent dining options – from quick casual to wonderful table service meals.