Disney's Value Resorts can be as low as $85 per night during off-peak visits. These resorts offer just the basics in hotel rooms and amenities, but they provide the same perks of high-end Disney Resorts, such as extended theme park hours to beat the crowds, free transportation services to parks and other resorts and compliementary airport transportation, luggage delivery and remote airline check-services.
One We Love: Disney's Pop Century Resort
The largest of all Walt Disney World Resort's, Disney's Pop Century Resort is spread over 177 acres and offers a selection of 2,880 rooms. This wild and colorful resort pays homage to all the popular pop-culture trends and fads from the 1950's through the 1990's, and includes three pools and a playground to keep families busy when not at the theme parks. Rooms are on the small side, sleeping up to four in two double beds, as well as a crib sleeper for children under three, but connecting rooms are available for larger families.
Another Favorite: Disney's All-Star Movie Resort
If your kids have ever dreamed of spending an extended amount of time with their favorite Disney character, consider this All-Star Resort, which pays tribute to classic Disney legends like 101 Dalmations and the colorful characters of Toy Story, in larger-than-life ways. The Fantasia-Themed pool is a kid favorite, as is the Duck Pond Pool, a hockey rink-themed pool modeled after the Disney classic, The Mighty Ducks. And of course, don't forget about Movies Under the Stars at Fantasia Pool, where families can come watch complimentary nighttime Disney movies. The 1,920 rooms here are not unlike the other All-Star Resorts, and include two double beds that will sleep up to four people and one child under 3.
Try Something Different: The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
And for families looking for the ultimate disney wilderness experience, check out one the resort's popular camp sites. Perfect for families small and large, these campsites sleep up to 10 people, and are available from just $49. While tents aren't included in the nightly rate, they are available for rent from the resort from $30 per night, and guests are more than welcome to bring their own.
Disney's rooms below $200 per night can be as low as $167 per night during off-peak visits. Just a slight step up from the Value Resorts in providing a little more elbow room, rooms in the Moderate Resorts may have a bit more in the decor department, as well as better pools and on-site recreation. However, a little digging may uncover deals in the Deluxe category, which means larger and more formal accommodations to enjoy.
One We Love: Disney's Port Orleans Resort -- Riverside
One of two moderately priced Port Orleans Resorts (the other is French Quarter), the 325-acre complex is themed to resemble the sleepy Old South, complete with stately manor homes and comfortable country cottages. The old-fashioned swimming hole-styled pool features waterslides, and is centered on the 3.5-acre Ol' Man Island recreation area (inspired by the famed tale of Tom Sawyer). Rooms are more spacious than the value resorts and include queen beds and bunk-size pull down beds, capable of sleeping up to five. For smaller families (no more than four), look into a one of the resort's Royal Guest Rooms, which include two queen beds with special headboards that create a digital "fireworks" display.
Another Favorite: Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
For its island theme and a top-notch aquatic play zone for the little ones, complete with a zero-entry pool and adjacent pirate ship water play area, complete with an 82-foot water slide and water cannons, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is a boatload of fun for families. For a fully immersive pirate experience, and for a little more money (from $216 per night), you can upgrade to a themed "Pirate Room," decked out in pirate decor, from beds that resemble pirate ships to pirate-themed privacy curtains.
If you have more dough to splurge, Deluxe Resorts may dip to as low as $284 at the right time of year. This category of hotels features luxury amenities like babysitting services, room service, fitness centers, valet parking, and a host of world-class restaurants from which to choose, as well as the early park admission, complimentary transportation, and enormous pools and waterslides.
One We Love: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Set on four savannas comprising 33 acres, the Lodge aims to recreate an African wildlife reserve that provides guests with a 24-hour bird's-eye view into a sanctuary housing more than 200 animals. Kids can become junior safari researchers and participate in viewings and activities, as well as romp in a 11,000-square-foot pool that includes zero-depth entry points, water slides, a wading pool and two whirlpools, all surrounded by beautiful Floridian palms. Rooms can get very pricey here, with suites climbing into the thousands, but standard and pool view rooms accommodating four people can be found for $284 per night.
Another Favorite: Disney's Wilderness Lodge
This one just squeaks in at $314, if you time it right. The 729-room resort is meant to evoke a feeling of a turn-of-the-century National Park lodge, right down to stories, sing alongs and roasted marshmallows around the campfire! There are also jogging trails, movies under the stars, a playground and swimming pools. Deluxe Studio rooms come with one queen and one double-size sleeper sofa, and can accommodate four. The One-Bedroom Villas include a king bed and queen-size sleeper, also able to accommodate four. The Two-Bedroom Villas, for larger families or families who require more space, include one king bed, two queen beds and a queen-size sleeper sofa, and can accommodate up to eight.
For Larger Families
Costs go up when trying to accommodate families of five or more, but Disney does a good job at keeping rates lower for big families.
One We Love: Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Disney's newest resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort opened its doors in May 2012 to an eager and excited public. A favorite of budget-conscious families, the property is home to more than 1,100 family suites, all designed and themed after the Disney classics, "Finding Nemo," "Cars" and "The Lion King," with 864 rooms inspired by "The Little Mermaid." With all the lively and colorful decor, families feel like they're in the actual movies! The resort features three pools -- one being the largest of all the resort pools -- and four wondrous courtyards featuring the four aforementioned films in designs. Family suites, which can accommodate families up to six people, feature two separate bathrooms, a master bedroom, one double-sized sleeper sofa, a double-sized convertible TablaBed, a living area, dining table and kitchenette. Standard rooms start at $105 per night, and family suites start roughly $265 per night.
Another Favorite: The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Set amidst 750 acres of beautiful forest, these cabins can accommodate family of six for as low as $294 per night. Cabins feature two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with a set of bunk beds, and a living area with a double-bed pull-down bed. Cabins are equipped with full kitchens, patio decks with grills, and standard hotel amenities like daily housekeeping.
This article was updated as of Jan. 10, 2014.
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