Parenting 101: How to pick your Walt Disney World resort

With 25 Walt Disney World resorts to choose from, it can seem like a daunting task to pick the one that suits your family best. My family and I travel to Disney at least once a year and have stayed at several resorts. We also have our favourite that we consider our “home resort” (more on that later). One of my bucket list goals is to eventually stay at every single resort. Friends and family often ask us which is the best, but there really is no answer to that, as it all depends on what you’re looking for in a resort. So with that, how do you choose?

The first thing to do is to come up with a budget. Disney resorts are broken down into four categories; Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Campground (yes, there’s a campground!).

If you’re on a tight budget, then I’d consider looking at the value resorts. Don’t be fooled by the price tag however! Just because they are considered value, does not mean they skimp out on quality and service. All Disney resorts are kept immaculately clean, and the customer service is top notch. If all you’re looking for is a place to rest your head at the end of a park day, then value is perfect for you.

The moderate resorts are a good middle ground between the value and deluxe. They are slightly more expensive than the values, but are bigger and more sprawled out. They offer a lot of peace, quiet and tranquility. Like the value resorts, the moderates are greatly themed, allowing you to feel fully immersed in the Disney bubble.

The deluxe resort are all about location, location, location! They are conveniently placed close to the parks, offering multiple modes of transportation, such as the monorail, boats, buses, Skyliner, or foot paths. If you plan to spend a lot of the time at the Magic Kingdom for example, then a monorail resort would be the best for you. Deluxe resorts are more subtly themed than the values and moderates.

Once again, everything comes down to your family’s priorities. I always think it’s best to read up on each resort and watch YouTube videos. My children have a list of resorts they’d like to stay at based on the pools. Everyone has a different priority.

Last but not least, I couldn’t write about Disney resorts and leave out our “home resort”, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. At Fort Wilderness you can camp in a tent or RV, either your own or rented. If you’re more of a ‘glamper’ then you can stay in one of their cabins. The tent sites are the cheapest accommodations on Disney property and the cabins are considered moderate, but run at a more deluxe pricing.

All Disney resorts offer free coach shuttle to and from the Orlando airport. Other bonus perks include a 180 day booking window for all your dining, 60 booking window for your fast passes and complimentary Magic Bands.

Have you stayed on-site? I’d love to hear about it!

Meredith is a Disney obsessed stay-at-home mom. When she’s not planning a trip, you’ll find her with her nose in a book.