Want a pretty Disney World resort that won't empty your bank account? Then the Walt Disney World Moderate resorts might work out well for you.
Beautiful landscaping, some themed rooms, and moderate prices are what you can expect at Moderate resorts.
Sound like a good fit? Check out the info below.
Disney World resort categories
The Walt Disney World Resort is huge, and outside of its 4 main theme parks, 2 water parks, shopping district, and sports facilities, it is also home to over 2 dozen different resorts with a total of over 30,000 rooms.
All of those resorts and rooms means you have a ton of options to choose from when planning your vacation.
When trying to decide which resort is best for your family, many people start by looking at average prices and resort amenities.
While most hotels and resorts in destinations outside of Disney World are grouped and designated by "stars" (such as 3 star hotels or 4 star hotels), Disney World instead groups their resorts with similar prices and amenities by the following terms:
Disney World Moderate resorts are an excellent choice for anybody looking for a pretty resort with a few more amenities than you might find at a Value Resort.
List of Disney World Moderate resorts
Disney World has 4 main resorts at the Moderate level:
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Coronado Springs Resort
- Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Disney also includes the Cabins at Ft. Wilderness in the Moderate category, though it's very different than the other resorts and is really kind of its own unique thing.
Moderate resort room sizes
The average room size for a standard Moderate room is approximately 314 square feet.
Want to see how that stacks up against other resort categories?
Check out the comparison chart below.
As you can see, the Moderate rooms are right in the middle of rooms in the other categories.
Two of Disney's Moderate resorts - Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach Resort - offer themed rooms that are some of the most fun in all of Disney World.
At Caribbean Beach Resort, you'll find Pirate Rooms.
At Port Orleans - Riverside, there are beautiful Royal rooms.
These rooms are in buildings that are some of the furthest from the main buildings at the resort, but the special theming may make it worth it for many.
All rooms are accessible via exterior hallways
If you take away all the pretty theming of the exteriors, you'll see that the buildings themselves resemble motels like Super 8 and that the rooms are accessible via exterior hallways and corridors versus interior hallways.
Moderate resort prices
Disney World Moderate resorts are right in the middle of the price range for Disney World resorts, starting around $232 during regular seasons.
That price point is a huge selling factor for many families, particular those with 5 per room since many Moderate resort rooms will allow up to 5, while only suites at the Value Resort level are large enough to accommodate more than 4.
Discounts at Disney World Moderate resorts
Most people don't realize that just because a discount is out and the resort you plan on staying at is eligible to have that discount does not mean you will automatically get the discounted price.
Discounts have to be applied (either by initially booking under the discount or modifying an existing reservation to include it), but once the number of rooms that Disney has made available to be booked under a discount have been secured, that's it.
More availability for rooms at a discount won't open up unless somebody cancels or Disney decides to release more rooms.
Moderate resort theming
The theming at Moderate resorts is pretty, but not very "Disney" per se.
With gorgeous landscaping and theming based on various beautiful locations, the Moderate resorts are certainly lovely though.
For that reason, families with little ones who want more fun theming might want to consider a Value Resort.
Swimming pools at Moderate resorts
Unlike the Value resorts, the nicely-themed pools at the Moderate resorts have slides.
Moderates also have quiet pools available.
The best swimming pool at a Moderate resort is definitely Coronado Springs Resort which has a 50-foot Mayan temple at the center of its main pool.
Dining options at Moderate resorts
Each Moderate resort offers a food court, Table Service restaurant*, a lounge bar and a pool bar.
Pizza delivery is also available.
In many ways, these dining options are the most convenient for all kinds of groups who may want something quick for one meal, and the option to have a sit-down meal at another.
*Port Orleans - French Quarter doesn't have its own Table Service restaurant, but it's a quick walk or bus stop away from Riverside if a nearby sit-down meal is what you want.
Transportation at Moderate resorts
If you want to leave the driving to Disney, bus transportation is the main Disney transportation option from the Moderate resorts.
With lots of internal bus stops at the Moderate resorts (except for French Quarter), the transportation is also one of the biggest drawbacks if you plan to use Disney's transportation.
Each time you hop on a bus, you have to wait for it to stop at the other bus stops along the way.
Compare that to Value Resorts that have just 1 bus stop per resort, and the Moderate resort buses can end up taking much longer to get you to/from places at Disney World.
The two Port Orleans resorts also have a boat option to get to/from Disney Springs.
Have your own car? Moderate resorts can actually be really great (as long as you don't mind the parking fees, but more on that below) because you can park near your room.
In addition to buses, Disney is adding another option soon, with guests at Caribbean Beach Resort (as well as Pop Century and Art of Animation, which are Value resorts) having access to the Disney Skyliner beginning in fall 2019.
The image below reflects the proposed station at Hollywood Studios and in true Disney fashion the stations look like they will be almost as cute (and well themed) as the gondola cars themselves!
In 2018, Disney began charging all resort guests for parking. The cost for parking at a Moderate resorts is $19/night.
If you are thinking about driving to Disney World or if you are planning on renting a car, we recommend you take a look at our giant post all about parking at Disney World.
Best Moderate resort
While the rankings below could shift, particularly as Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs undergo changes, there are reasons we find some better than others.
Here are our rankings for the Moderate resorts at Disney World:
#4 - Caribbean Beach Resort
Caribbean Beach has great staff, beautiful landscaping, a view of Illuminations from the beach areas, the ability for families of up to 5 to stay, and a new main building and restaurant.
However, it's also logistically difficult with 7 internal bus stops and has been in the process of major renovations, making it the last of our Moderate resorts.
#3 - Coronado Springs Resort
Coronado Springs definitely has a more grown-up feel than other resorts, particularly because it's a convention hotel that caters to that group more than families.
The Preferred Rooms here are a fairly good value, but don't put you close to the main pool.
This resort has extra amenities that are not offered as other moderates such as an on-site salon, health club, and business class (concierge) option for rooms.
It also has a tower under construction that will be opening in July 2019 that will add more rooms and amenities to the resort.
#2 - Port Orleans French Quarter
The small size of this resort means that everything is more convenient, but it doesn't offer as many amenities as a larger resort.
But the things it lacks (such as an on-site restaurant) are easily made up for by heading next door to Riverside.
There's only 1 bus stop here which is often convenient, but buses are sometimes shared with Riverside.
#1 - Port Orleans Riverside
With the best value for a Preferred Room, ability for families of up to 5 to stay here, the boat to Disney Springs, and a good food court and on-site restaurant, this is our favorite of the moderates.
The reputation for transportation being difficult here is well-deserved, but Disney is working on making that easier.
People with a car will find it even more convenient, though we don't recommend driving to Magic Kingdom since the buses can deliver you to the front of the park.
There you go! Hopefully we covered everything you'd want to know about the Disney Moderate resorts. Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments.