By Chris Oakes, KTTC Owner & Travel Advisor
One of the most difficult decisions, and usually the single biggest swinger of the pricetag, is which resort will be the best fit for you and your traveling party? Disney has four different room booking categories: Deluxe, Deluxe Villas, Moderate, and Value. Below, the agents at KTTC Travel have outlined our top picks for each resort booking category:
Winner: Grand Floridian: The Grand, is exactly just that! The Grand Floridian gets our top pick in the deluxe category because of its location on the monorail and the proximity to Magic Kingdom! Most recently, they opened a walking path from the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom, so getting to Cinderella’s Castle can now happen by boat, by walking, or by monorail. Additionally, who doesn’t love the old time turn of the Century feel – it’s like the hotel right off of Main Street, USA! Almost all of the deluxe rooms also have balconies, which is a nice feature when a little one is napping or you just need some down time to decompress. As an added bonus, most deluxe resorts sleep 5 to a room.
Runner Up: The Boardwalk Inn: The Boardwalk gets our second place vote, because it’s a perfect mix of luxury and convenience. Boasting multiple pools, easy walkable access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, as well as close by access to the new Skyliner, located on a beautiful lake with fun magic shows and juggling shows at night for the kids, you cannot go wrong when you book here!
Winner: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort Disney Villas are an excellent option when needing something a bit more spacious for your growing travel party. At most Deluxe Villas, they have deluxe studios, one-bedroom villas, and two-bedroom villas. Bay Lake Tower wins for us in this category, because their one- and two-bedroom villas have an extra bathroom in them, and if you have a large group traveling with you, you know this extra space is most appreciated, especially when trying to get out the door in the morning onto your favorite ride! Speaking of which, it’s about an 8 minute walk from the front entrance of Bay Lake Tower to the entrance of Magic Kingdom! Need we say more?!
Runner Up: The Beach Club Villas In most cases, the Deluxe Villas are attached to a Deluxe resort in terms of proximity and shared amenities. The Beach Club Villas win as runner up, because who can resist the sand-bottomed pool at the Beach Club? Plus, this puts you very close to the International Gateway entrance of Epcot, and a short walk or boat ride to Hollywood Studios.
Winner: Gran Destino Towers at Disney’s Coronado Springs This newer tower was an addition to Disney’s Coronado Spring and it was a huge upgrade! The Coronado Springs main lobby is now located on the bottom of the Tower rooms, and the upgrade has marble everywhere you look, making you feel like you’re in an upscale big city hotel! Our favorite part of the Gran Destino Towers, is that it boasts club level rooms, offering additional amenities to guests staying in those rooms. Club level has historically been an option for Deluxe level resorts, so this is the only moderate resort on property that has club level! Additionally, these rooms are accessible from the inside, where the rest of the resort is set up more like a motel-style outdoor entrance.
Runner Up: It was a close tie between the Port Orleans Resorts and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, but with the newer addition of the Skyliner, our vote goes to Caribbean Beach! The Skyliner hub is located at Caribbean Beach, so you can float through the sky to get to Epcot, Disney’s new resort – Riviera, or Hollywood Studios! Getting to your destination becomes an experience in itself!
Winner: Pop Century There are so many great reasons why Pop is number one! First, the location has it close to Skyliner access, as well as it is walkable to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. While most Value resorts have or are soon to be undergoing renovations, Pop was one of the first, modernizing the rooms to mostly be set up with a queen sized bed (no more full size beds!!), as well as a murphy table queen sized bed, that folds up into the wall during the day, and becomes a table. This makes the smaller square footage of the room feel much more spacious.
Runner Up:Art of Animation & All Star Music The second place winner ends in a tie in this category! Travel parties come in all shapes and sizes, so parties of 4 and 5 work for most rooms, but if you need a space for 6, then we have to recommend Disney’s Art of Animation Family Suites, or the All Star Music Family Suites, which give you access to TWO full bathrooms, as well as a separate bedroom with a queen, and the other 4 have sleeping options in the shared space, usually in the form of a murphy bed or a convertible sofa.
The truth is that it doesn’t really matter where you stay, but how you stay – and our recommendation will always be to take advantage of the on-property options available to you. Regardless of where you lay your head, you’ll be in the Disney bubble, and that’s comforting enough to escape a little bit of reality, if even just for a short period of time.