What to Expect at a Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort - Travel Blog, News, Updates and More



What to Expect at a Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts

As we had noted in our last blog, the moderate resorts have grade A immersive theming,  but the Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts take it to another level.  For example, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge you truly feel like you’re on another continent with beautiful artwork, music and food. When you step outside you find yourself overlooking a savannah featuring over 30 different species of African wildlife such as giraffes, zebras, antelope and more, you know you are at a special place. Similarly, each Deluxe Resort is wonderful in its own unique way.  The Deluxe Resort category includes the following:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort & Disney’s Bay Lake Tower

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Disney’s Riviera Resort)

  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

What you can expect:

Rooms: The Walt Disney World deluxe resorts have the most spacious of the standard rooms on property from 344 sq. ft at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to 440 sq. ft. at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. In these rooms you will find different variations of queen beds, king beds as well as sleeper sofas and daybeds depending on the room category. Similar to the moderate resorts, you will find a double vanity in the bathroom, but it may feel a little more spacious with those larger overall room sizes! Although theming may be subtle, many rooms in the deluxe category will have nods to popular Disney movies such as the Incredibles-inspired guest rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

BONUS: Due to their proximity to the theme parks, many of these resort options will offer theme park view rooms where you can enjoy nightly fireworks from your balcony.  However, if you opt to forgo the theme park view room there are also viewing areas all around the resorts to enjoy the show.


All Standard themed rooms at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort are Moana themed.

Dining:  At each deluxe resort you will find multiple table service dining options, many of which are award winning with signature menus. The restaurants will offer delicious dishes with cuisine that matches the resort theme or culture represented. At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you can find a selection of food and beverage inspired by the tropical islands. Some of the table service restaurants may also offer character dining experiences as well! One of our favorites is ‘Breakfast a la Art with Mickey & Friends’ at Topolino’s Terrace - Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort. In addition to table service locations at each resort, you may also find quick service locations, pool bars, indoor lounges and a full room service menu available all day.

Recreation: The feature pools found at the deluxe resorts will offer fun waterslides, interactive water components and hot tubs. However, as we have moved up to the deluxe tier you will also find additional elements such as waterfalls or sand play areas. At Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts you will find a 3-acre water play area with a sand bottom pool, lazy river, slides and a shallow sandy beach area to play in. You will also find “quiet” pools for those wanting a more relaxing afternoon. Recreation Cast Members organize jam-packed programming all day long with fun dance parties, poolside games, crafts and evening entertainment as well. Speaking of evening entertainment, when you stay at one of the EPCOT Area resorts (Disney’s Boardwalk Inn or Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts) you have tons of nightly entertainment just outside your door. Find plenty of performers, bars and restaurants along the Boardwalk as it comes alive when the sun goes down. Some resorts offer pontoon boat rentals or other add-on experiences which may be a great way to enhance your enjoyment of the resort. Health clubs and spas set deluxe resorts apart from other resort categories. With the exception of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, a moderate resort that was recently redesigned to offer many “deluxe” amenities, it is at the deluxe resorts where you will find a variety of spa treatments including facials, massages, manicures and more.

Bonus: Deluxe resort guests can enjoy extended evening theme park hours on certain days at certain theme parks. So once the park closes, you can take advantage of little to no wait times on your favorite rides. 


Stormalong Bay at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts offers 3 acres of fun, including a 230-foot waterslide, a lazy river and sand bottom pool.

Transportation:  The deluxe resorts all are located in close proximity to at least one Disney destination and offer alternate transportation option(s) in addition to standard bus transportation (the only exception to this is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge that only offers bus transportation due to its proximity. Depending on the resort you’ve chosen, the other transportation options could be the Walt Disney World Monorail, the Disney Skyliner or boat transportation. Some resorts offer the option to walk nearby theme parks.

The Magic Kingdom area resorts are on the Monorail line which provides quick and easy access to both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.  Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is considered a Magic Kingdom area resort but is not accessible via the monorail, instead there is boat transportation to Magic Kingdom.

At the EPCOT-area resorts, you are just a few minute walk or boat ride to the International Gateway entrance to EPCOT. The Disney Skyliner provides transportation to Disney’s Hollywood Studios but guests also have the option to walk or take boat transportation.

At Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, guests use bus transportation to get to the theme parks but do offer a walking path and/or boat transportation to Disney Springs.  


The variety of transportation options offered at the Disney Deluxe Resorts make your transportation around Walt Disney World easy and fun!

In summary, at a Disney Deluxe Resort you find:

  • Exquisite theming and luxurious amenities

  • Convenient locations close to the theme parks or Disney Springs

  • Multiple transportation options

  • Larger standard rooms that sleep a family of 5 as well as 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom villas options that provide a full kitchen and living room area.

  • Club-Level room categories with concierge services.

  • Table service dining options, including Signature Dining options

  • Amazing pools, hot tubs, and other water features

  • Fitness centers, room service, and spas at some resorts.

  • Recreation activities such as surrey bike and boat rentals

  • Cast Member organized resort activities

Now that you understand the differences between the Walt Disney World resort categories we hope that you see that you can’t go wrong with choosing any level of resort as they are all amazing. The BEST category and specific resort for your family is dependent on many factors including specific needs, budget and preferences.  All resorts will offer a variety of rooms, dining, recreation and transportation options but most importantly - all Walt Disney World Resorts keep you staying within the magic. The Cast Members are a huge part of how the magic is kept alive throughout Walt Disney World and having them around to welcome you back from the parks, to provide you with fun and games, and to answer your questions is reason enough to stay at a Walt Disney World resort!

Our Pure Magic Vacations agents are ready to help make your next vacation magical and memorable. The magic is calling you, so reach out to an agent today to get started on booking your dream vacation! 

Planning magical vacations for families since 2011, Pure Magic Vacations is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Travel Agency - EarMarked Platinum Producer.


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