Which Walt Disney World Moderate Resort Is Right For You?

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POFQ Alligators

When it comes to picking which Walt Disney World Resort to stay at, the options are endless – and can be overwhelming! They come in three “sizes” – Value, Moderate, and Deluxe, and as the names suggest, the perks (and pricetag!) goes up with each level. Many families find that the Moderate Resorts are a great choice for them – not too expensive, with great theming and bigger rooms and more on-site amenities than the Value Resorts – these are a great choice for a lot of reasons! So which Moderate Resort is right for you? Read on to find out!

Port Orleans French Quarter – The New Orleans/Mardi Gras theme here gives the Resort a festive, lively atmosphere – complete with giant masks and instrument playing alligators! Despite the “party-ish” theme, the Resort is charming and romantic – its smaller than other WDW Resorts, and the cobblestone streets, beautiful buildings and courtyards are the perfect things to admire on a sunset stroll. The rooms come with two queen or a king bed and were recently remodeled. The transportation to other parts of WDW is mostly by bus – but there is a boat shuttle to Downtown Disney which makes for a great little trip down the Sassagoula River. The Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is the Resort’s counter service eatery – and they offer some delicious French Quarter specialties – like gumbo, po’boy sandwiches, and the infamous beignets.

Port Orleans Riverside – Down the river from the French Quarter you will find this large Mississippi bayou-themed Resort, where the rooms and atmosphere are more rustic and laid back. There are some special rooms here – the Royal Rooms are perfect for your little Disney Princes and Princesses. The dining options here include Riverside Mill (the counter service food court style option) which features a giant working water wheel, and Boatwright’s – the Resort’s sit down restaurant, which serves up Cajun themed specialties nightly. The option for boat transportation to Downtown Disney is available here too, as well as bus transportation to all the Parks. Taking a stroll around the grounds here is a relaxing, enjoyable experience – it’s a big place, so there’s a lot to check out along the way!

Caribbean Beach Resort – If you are looking to integrate a tropical paradise into your WDW vacation then this is definitely the place for you! The colorful buildings that house the rooms are grouped into 6 “villages”: Barbados, Martinique, Aruba, Jamaica, Trinidad North, and Trinidad South. Surrounding the villages are palm trees and beautiful white sand beaches – which sadly you aren’t allowed to swim at, but luckily there are 9 pools including one with a waterslide that will be a hit with kids and adults alike, as are the available “pirate” themed rooms (complete with Pirate ship beds!). You can rent bikes, boats, and go out on fishing expeditions here too – and once you are hungry from all that, you can head to the Market Street food court to refuel with some delicious salads, sandwiches, pizza and pasta. Or take in a more relaxing sit down meal at Shutters at Old Port Royale – where tropical drinks and Caribbean inspired dishes await.

Coronado Springs Resort – The American Southwest/Northern Mexico theme is carried throughout this Resort, from the Casitas (little houses) to the fountains and courtyards. The Resort is considered a “Convention Resort” – which means they have a ballroom and business center, as well as a junior ballroom available for business groups, and they are also the only Moderate Resort that has a fitness club/spa on property. The Resort itself is so big that they have an internal transportation system where golf carts take you to the various villages within the Resort (great for those far away rooms!). Grab a quick bite at the Pepper Market – where you can get burritos and other Mexican fare (like margaritas!), or head over to Maya Grill for a sit down meal of Tex-Mex favorites

Fort Wilderness Cabins – this may seem like a strange addition to the Moderate Resort lineup, but it’s a great option for larger parties or those with kids who don’t want to be confined to a regular Resort room. The cabins sleep up to 6, and come complete with a kitchen and dining area (including basic cookware/cutlery), and food staples are available at the trading posts within the campground – or you can bring your own food if you want. This is a great way to save money on dining, and the homey atmosphere is nice for families. The Campground itself offers a lot of activities – bike rentals, pools, play areas, horseback riding, boat rentals, and golf cart rentals too. The transportation options include bus, and a boat launch to the Magic Kingdom.

These Resorts are all great in their own ways – their theming and rooms and activities mean they are all unique and one of them just might be the perfect fit for your family! I personally favor Port Orleans French Quarter – but I would love to know YOUR thoughts – are any of these Resorts your go-to?


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Catie Hiltz is an avid Walt Disney World lover who has been vacationing there since she was tall enough to ride Space Mountain. She believes there is something for everyone at WDW-and especially writing about the benefits of vacationing there as an adult
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One thought on “Which Walt Disney World Moderate Resort Is Right For You?

  1. We have stayed at Port Orleans – Riverside twice now. My husband and I stayed in a “royal room” when we celebrated our anniversary, and we took the whole family back and stayed in a bayou room. We find it to be an excellent value compared to even the value resorts. One nice thing about the Port Orleans – Riverside is that they have a room that actually sleeps five. It has two queen size beds, and a single trundle that folds down from the wall. It is usually cheaper than the “family suites” at most of the value resorts. It is less rowdy than most of the other Disney hotels we have stayed at, and at this location, you can rent bikes, or have a horse drawn carriage ride. Our kids LOVE the main pool here with the water slide. It is slightly inconvenient that you have to take buses to any of the parks, but since we drive down, we just take our van wherever we want to go.

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