Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World are the height of luxury when it comes to Disney hotels. They are also the most expensive. Read on to learn all about deluxe resorts, what they include and if they might be right for your family.
Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World
The largest of all of the resort categories, the deluxe category has by far, the most hotels in its name. For the sake of simplicity, we will combine Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villa Resorts together. In total, there are 11 deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World. While there are differences between Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villa Resorts, to the average guest booking them, splitting them up is generally fairly confusing. But we will explain the differences below.
You can find out more about each deluxe resort below:
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- Disney’s Yacht Club
- Disney’s Beach Club
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
Rooms types available in the Deluxe Category
There are so many different types of rooms available in the Deluxe Category at Walt Disney World. Standard rooms with or without views that generally compare to the Value and Moderate resort rooms are available. They are larger and usually more sophisticated than you’ll find at their lower category counterparts. And many come with balconies.
But that is just the start. Deluxe resorts that are also part of, or mostly, Disney Vacation Club, have a wide variety of rooms as well. You can find studios with small mini kitchenettes, and 1,2 and 3- bedroom villas that include full kitchens. Outside of villas, there are also special accommodations that rival living quarters like The Polynesian Bungalows, The Treehouses at Saratoga Springs and the Copper Creek Cabins at Wilderness Lodge.
How much do the Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World cost?
Pricing varies tremendously in the deluxe category. Not only do the prices fluctuate a lot during different times of year, but since there are so many different types of rooms that can be booked, those prices vary a lot too. Depending on discounts, room availability and season, you can sometimes find rooms slightly under $400 per night. You’ll likely only find these rates on the least expensive deluxe resorts, like Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge, but if you’re looking to stay deluxe on a budget, we recommend checking both of those out. With the deals we’ve seen this fall, both resorts had standard rooms for even just slightly over $300 per night. The lowest rates tend to be late August after kids have gone back to school. So if you can tolerate the heat, this is a great time to take advantage of great rates.
Now that’s not always typical, but it is a testament to how low these resorts can go when demand is down, and your schedule is flexible.
On the flip side, the most expensive rooms can cost a small fortune. The monorail resorts, Riviera Resort and Beach and Yacht Club tend to be amongst the highest priced deluxe resorts. With rates varying from $450/night for standard rooms to over a thousand per night for villas, these resorts will charge a premium for the convenience alone. Again, you can sometimes find a good deal on during slower seasons when discounts are available. So if they’re on your Disney bucket list, be sure to keep an eye out for great deals.
Booking Deluxe Villas at Deluxe Resorts
In addition to that, extra desirable accommodations like the Polynesian Bungalows and the Copper Creek Cabins go for a premium price. They also go very quickly and are often very difficult for the general public to secure a reservation. You have a couple of options of either of these are on your bucket list. Firstly, you can rent DVC points. This can save you some money, but there are also some caveats you need to be aware of. Additionally, you can also try to book these accommodations as soon as they become available for the following year. And with all things Disney, if you have your heart set on staying anywhere that’s not available, just keep trying.
Deluxe Resort Amenities
One of the top reasons guests choose a deluxe resort at Walt Disney World is for the amenities. Deluxe Resorts offer a more “resort” feeling than any of the other categories at Walt Disney World. First of all, they all feel more like a hotel, than a motel. By that, we mean the doors to the rooms are located inside of the buildings. All of the Value Resorts and Moderate Resorts, minus the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, have doors that are accessed directly from outside. Some people feel safer and more secure with a hotel style set up, so if that’s you, consider a deluxe resort.
They have premium pools with slides, premium restaurants that include both quick service and table service options, most have fitness centers, and some even have spas. Many have Club Level options for booking. So, if you’re looking to elevate your stay a bit, Club Level is a great way to do that. And if you want the ultimate convenience, Deluxe Villas also have full kitchens.
Deluxe Resort Atmosphere
One big draw to the deluxe level resorts is the atmosphere. Walt Disney World can be chaotic at times. Most Value Resorts, namely the All Stars Resorts, tend to have that same chaotic vibe to them. And while many people think Deluxe Resorts will be the opposite, this is actually just not true. At least not for all of them. While Deluxe Resorts definitely have a more upscale atmosphere than the Value Resorts, depending on which location you stay at, it still might not feel that relaxed to you.
This is because many of the deluxe resorts have popular table service restaurants or other amenities that draw outside guests to the resort. So even though the atmosphere itself is more elevated, it can still be quite hectic with outside visitors. The monorail resorts at Christmastime are a perfect example of this. The lobby of the Grand Floridian at Christmas is often packed, with lines at the Gingerbread house completely wrapping through the lobby. This isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing. The bustling lobby is always fun to see during the holidays. The Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian is there for everyone to enjoy. It can be, however, a little bit of a shock if you booked it, thinking that it would be a chill and calm lobby experience. Because it certainly is not.
We definitely don’t mean this as a negative thing. But it’s good to keep in mind if you’re staying at a resort with a popular table service restaurant, or other fun feature that may attract outside guests, it’s possible the resort will feel much busier than it actually is.
Extended Evening Theme Park Hours for Deluxe Resort Guests
One big perk for deluxe resort guests is the Extended Evening Theme Park Hours. These are available only for deluxe resort guests, and only on specific nights. Guests get extended after hours, with less wait times and even opportunities for additional Virtual Queues for Tron and Cosmic Rewind. You can find out all the details about Extended Evening Theme Park hours at Walt Disney World here.
What is the difference between Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villa Resorts?
There are a few things that do separate Deluxe Resorts from their Deluxe Villa Resort counterparts. Firstly, Deluxe Villa Resorts are Disney Vacation Club Properties. This means that they can be booked both with cash and with DVC points. If you’re not a Disney Vacation Club member, you can rent DVC points and it will sometimes save you some money. This is an entirely different topic for a different post, and you can find a quick guide to renting DVC points here.
Because these properties are DVC, they are also available to book differently than standard deluxe resorts. Much of the DVC inventory is held back by Disney until DVC owners are able to book, which is 11 months out from the time of travel. So, for example, if you’re looking for a 2-bedroom villa that is more than 11 months away, it’s possible it might not show up as available, even though dates for deluxe resorts that are even further out are. This dosn’t mean that they are actually sold out. It just means that you may have to wait to book them.
In addition to variances in how these resorts are booked, Deluxe Villa Resorts also tend to have kitchenettes or full kitchens. And many also have washers and dryers. Disney Vacation Club Resort rooms also don’t receive mousekeeping every day. Mousekeeping for these types of rooms is every 4th day. So keep that in mind if you are hoping to snag a DVC room.
Are Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World worth it?
As with anything, “worth it” is subjective! If you are planning to spend a good amount of time at your resort, then we generally think deluxe resorts can be worth it. Deluxe resorts can help you feel like you’re on an actual vacation, rather than a busy and hectic trip that Walt Disney World can sometimes be. There is plenty to do at the resorts, making planning a resort day completely easy and stress free. However, if you plan to rope drop the Parks and spend much of the day out and about, you’re better off staying at a Value or Moderate Resort.
Another reason Deluxe Resorts may be worth the extra is the prime locations of some of these resorts. If you plan to spend a ton of time between Magic Kingdom and Epcot, the monorail resort location just cannot be beat for convenience. If you’re planning a girls’ trip for an Epcot Festival, you really can’t go wrong with any of the resorts on the Boardwalk. And if you love the Skyliner, the Riviera is quite convenient. Although if that’s you’re only interested in the resort because of the Skyliner, well, there are less expensive options.
And if you’re planning to travel with a larger party, or want access to a kitchen and in room laundry, the deluxe villas may be a great value for you.
We hope this guide to deluxe resorts has helped you decide if a deluxe resort is right for you!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .