In the second part of my “Worth It – Disney Resort Edition” series, I will be focusing on Walt Disney World‘s Moderate Resorts. Sharla has already written a fantastic post on choosing which Moderate Resort for your say, so this post will be more of an overview of the category. The Moderate Resorts are Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, and Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Technically The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness are also considered to be pin the Moderate category but in my opinion, they are a category unto themselves!
As always, I will be evaluating five different metrics for each resort category. Location – how close are they to the theme parks? Rooms – how big are the rooms and how are they laid out? Amenities – what does the resort offer for pools, entertainment, etc? Dining – How is the variety and quality of the food offered? And X-Factor – what sets this category apart?
The Moderate Resorts – Are They ‘Worth It’?
As the name suggest, the Moderate Resorts are the middle of the road for Disney resorts. Their location is no exception! They are not as close to the parks as the Deluxe Resorts, and not as far as the Value Resorts. (For more information on which hotel is closest to each park, check out this post.) On the bus, Moderate Resorts are about 15-20 minutes from Magic Kingdom, 10-15 minutes from Epcot, 10-15 minutes from Hollywood Studios, and 20 minutes from Animal Kingdom.
Once upon a time, the only way to get to the theme parks from the moderate resorts was by bus. However, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort now has the Skyliner as an alternative to the bus!
My other favorite location perk at a Moderate Resort is the boat service to Disney Springs. This is available from both Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside. The leisurely ride down the Sassagoula River is a great way to get to this incredible shopping, dining, and entertainment complex!
Most rooms at Disney’s Moderate Resorts have two queen beds. Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach do have some “5th Sleeper” rooms that add a banquette bed. This is a small bench that has a narrow twin bed that folds down from the wall. It is perfect for a child or VERY small adult! The rooms are 315 sq ft with the exception of Caribbean Beach where the rooms are 340 sq ft. The sink/bathroom area is separated from the main room by a sliding door or curtain.
The new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort also has larger rooms and suites.
The Moderate Resorts are a jump up in room size and fabric qualities from the Value Resorts.
The amenities are where the Moderate Resorts really start to separate from the pack. Two words – POOL SLIDES. The Value Resort pools do not have slides and if you have kids, you know how important slides can be! Some resorts such as Port Orleans French Quarter have also added Splash zones for younger children. The pools are wonderfully themed and have activities throughout the day.
Another difference from the Value Resorts – you can find hot tubs at Moderate Resorts! A welcome addition after a long day at the parks.
In addition to the fun pools, you can enjoy making S’mores at the fire pits, watching Movies Under the Stars on select nights, and other activities. Check your Resort schedule!
Photo of the Water Play Area at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter while it was still under construction
Unlike the Value Resorts, most Moderate Resorts offer a food court, a lounge AND at least one table service restaurant. (The exception is Port Orleans French Quarter which does not have a table service restaurant.)
The menus are tied to the theme of the resort. So at Port Orleans French Quarter, you MUST try the beignets. (Bonus points for ordering the sauces!) Over at Caribbean Beach, Sebastian’s Bistro offers items such as Jerk Chicken Wings. Coronado Springs has a fantastic food court with Mexican specialties made fresh to order!
‘Worth It’ X Factor
The one thing that really sets the Moderate Resorts apart for me are the pools. From the dragon slide at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter to the 5-story Mayan Pyramid at Disney’s Coronado Springs, the pools are really something special! They make it worth the time to get back to your resort for a mid-day break. Or even scheduling a “no parks pool day” in the middle of your trip!
The Moderate Resorts are the very definition of “Worth It.” They are the ideal combination of affordable pricing and great perks! Which one is the most ‘worth it’ at its price point? I would have to go with Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. With the Skyliner access and the larger rooms, you get the most bank for your buck at this resort.
So what do you think? Are the Moderate Resorts worth it? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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