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My favorite WDW resorts in each category – PREP024

My favorite WDW resorts in each category – PREP024
My favorite Disney World resorts

There are a couple dozen on-site resorts at Disney World. I often share matter-of-fact info on each but today, I’m telling you my favorites in each category.

I also have a quick tip about how to get Disney Dollars before your trip.


These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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My favorite Disney World resorts

All of the resorts are listed in the Pros and Cons of every Disney World resort post but here are my favorites in each category:

Value Resorts
My favorite Value Resorts are Pop Century and Art of Animation. Both have direct buses between the resorts and parks which makes them more convenient than any of the All-Star resorts.

Pop Century is often the least expensive option on-site. Art of Animation has suites for families of up to 6 that include 3 beds, 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette. The non-suite rooms in the Little Mermaid section are usually excluded from promotions.

I recommend booking a Preferred room at Pop Century to be closer to the main building. At Art of Animation, I recommend requesting a room close to the main building because Preferred rooms aren’t available.

Moderate Resorts
Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are sister resorts that are within walking distance of each other. Both are beautifully themed and complement each other nicely where the shortcomings of one are strengths of the other.

For instance, the transportation at Port Orleans Riverside is often not great but guests can use the Port Orleans French Quarter transportation instead. Another example is that Port Orleans French Quarter doesn’t have as many amenities because it’s a small resort but guests can walk over to Port Orleans Riverside to take advantages of things like an on-site restaurant there.

I recommend getting a Preferred room at Port Orleans Riverside to be closer to the main building. Port Orleans French Quarter is small enough that Preferred rooms aren’t available or necessary.

Deluxe Resorts
My favorite Deluxe Resorts are The Polynesian and The Beach Club. Both are beach-themed, have convenient access to 2 of the 4 parks, have great on-site restaurants and easy access to nearby resorts.

People wanting to be closer to Magic Kingdom should choose The Polynesian. People who want easy access to Epcot should choose The Beach Club.

The Polynesian has some construction going on this year so I wouldn’t advise it for 2014.

Disney Vacation Club resort
Most of the Disney Vacation Club properties are attached to Deluxe Resorts but I wanted to mention Old Key West as a standalone DVC property that has studios with more square footage and 2 queen beds instead of a queen bed and a sofa bed.

To learn how to rent DVC points, check out my article on how that works.

Quick tip of the day

Disney Dollars is paper money that works like gift cards and used to be more widely available but now they’re only available in the theme parks or you can get them by calling 407-566-4985, press option 2 and then option 3.

These are especially convenient if you plan to play Tinker Bell during your trip. As of mid-May 2016, these have been discontinued.

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Questions or other thoughts on the best place to say on-site?

Please feel free to share them in the comments.

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Shannon Albert


Friday 19th of October 2018

I've stayed at both Art of Animation and Port Orleans French Quarter. Unless you're staying in a suite (which costs more than the moderate resort rooms), you can't request a room close to the main building. The Little Mermaid rooms (non-suite rooms) are a hefty walk from the main building because they're beyond the suites.

As for the transportation at Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, it really wouldn't make much sense to use the FQ transportation instead of the transportation at Riverside because the two resorts share transportation except at the really busy time of park closings. We hated having to sit on the bus while it stopped at every Riverside bus stop (and there's a lot at that resort).

maria felix

Friday 21st of March 2014

Would prefer the quiet room and spacious . As well as the building closes to the main building . Thank you


Wednesday 26th of February 2014

FWIW, you can also walk to Hollywood studios from the beach club. Personally I wouldn't do it, but there is a track. It is about a mile I think

Shannon Albert

Thursday 27th of February 2014

Yep, we've done it many times. Takes about 15 minutes.

Maria B

Thursday 6th of February 2014

Glad to hear you like the Art of Animation resort. We will be staying there, in the Finding Nemo suite, in August. I heard these buildings are the closest to the lobby, buses, etc. We also wanted the kitchenette so we can save time in the morning by eating breakfast in our room.