If we end up canceling our trip this November we’re going to lose the entire cost of a 7 night 1-bdrm DVC rental. That’s going to hurt our budget. Really hurt. If we try to do a reschedule for the summer we’re going to have to do something different for lodging. My experience is limited to SOG (not available to me anymore) and Poly. I like my hotels to be quiet and restful and cramped quarters leads to mess which leads me to stress. My husband has bad memories of buses (his family stayed at FW) and I keep hearing about large groups of young people & loud food courts at value resorts. How different are the value resorts from the deluxe? What will we be giving up? (I’ve looked at DVC studios for our proposed time frame and they’re all more expensive than POP, AoA and even CB)
We’ve stayed at value & moderate resorts A LOT over the past 20+ years and splurged for deluxe a few times. Room size is the first thing I notice between resort types; more money more space. Moderate resorts have better pools than value resorts. We stay in value when we need more than one room and since we spend most of our time in the parks it doesn’t matter much to us about the room. All resorts are crowded during holidays and peak seasons. Deluxe resorts usually have hallways that you have to walk through to get to the pool too and I don’t like walking through a lobby to go swimming. I didn’t like POP cuz the rooms were small and the murphy bed in down position caused lots of shin bruising. CB is very sprawling and unless you are in a preferred room it’s a long hike to food court, but they have quiet pools and their main pool is fun. In moderate resorts we request a room near a quiet pool and it’s always lovely. Our fav moderate resort is Coronado Springs. We also like Port Orleans French Qtr. Small resort foot print all rooms are close to food and transportation. Plus they have beniets
One important difference I have found is in the softness/comfort of the mattresses. I think it was a Pop Century that the mattresses were extremely firm… so firm I ended up putting a pillow under my back. My sister felt similarly. I have a bad back, so a good mattress is important to me. When I stayed at Wilderness Lodge this year, the mattresses were excellent, and we slept very well.
I don’t know if it was just the mattresses at Pop, or just in that room, but I’m guessing the value resorts get cheaper mattresses than the deluxe resorts in general.
Values only have 1 QS restaurant. Pools don’t have water slides. They are also the last of the bus stops which means more walking at the end of the day at the park.
Going from a 1BR villa to a value resort you’ll be giving up:
-space (and lots of it) - this will be the biggest difference for you
-amenities like TS dining and hot tubs and lounges
-peacefulness (at most, anyway)
Oh I have forgotten about the 10 mile forced march to the end of the bus depots. Oh my feet hurt just remembering
Was this recent? I think I’ve read that they recently refurbed… maybe beds improved? But good to know. Sleep after a day in the sun on my feet is going to be important!
Are there more peaceful value resorts are do you mean some of the villas are less peaceful?
There was a reason we splurged on the larger size- not to mention laundry & some meals in the room. My kids were not impressed with a cruise ship cabin we had a while back so looking for something in between!
It was 2 years ago. So, yeah, it might have been a room that needed refurb…
The value resorts are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more busy and active and will be for the most part a lot less peaceful than villas.
If your kids didn’t like the cruise ship cabin, they will not like the value hotel room; they are pretty similarly sized with only a slight edge to the hotel room.
This might be helpful with the difference between Deluxe, Moderate, and Value
By the way, even firm mattresses wouldn’t stop me from staying at Value resort again sometime. I would probably just request an extra comforter or something to put down underneath myself next time. Or if you drive you can of course bring a mattress topper. The price of a Value resort is sometimes too good to resist!
I think you’ve already gotten your question answered, but let me add a suggestion: consider Swan/Dolphin. You give up the dining plan option and the Magical Express. But you get a deluxe resort for a much lower cost. If you find online deals, it will be cheaper than a moderate. If you have lots of Marriott points, it will be cheaper than a value
Depending on when you go, the values also host groups and I’ve had a couple of miserable experiences dealing with teen tour groups. I’d choose a moderate if you can afford it. CBR has the skyliner so you’ll have to deal with the bus less, but CSR is my favorite mod and most like a deluxe – but it only has bus transportation.
One important difference for me is that Value rooms typically have two full size beds whereas moderate has two queens. If you have two to a bed, moderate is practically essential, unless each person is small or likes to cuddle.
I love this blog comparing room size:
From your description of what you want, I think you will find Values to be too small. I personally love Pop, and am so excited for the skyliner there, but I am not sure it will meet your needs. AoA has the larger suites and skyliner access, so I think should be something you consider.
I think DVC resorts are broken into 2 catagories - those that are part of a Deluxe resorts and those that are DVC-only. DVC- only give you the space and the quiet, but often don’t have as many TS options and are more sprawled out, relying on internal buses like mods. They also don’t have that quick proximity to parks, but they are cheaper to rent.
The only moderate I have stayed at is PO Riverside. I love it there. (I would also recommend French Quarter, just from seeing it). I think the pool is better than many of the Deluxe hotels. The resort is spread out, but in a manageable way where you still can walk. It is so peaceful. There is TS (it is, meh) but you can also take a boat to DS for a ton of table service. The only down side is the rooms are fine, but nothing great (I went before the refurb). But the resort itself is top notch. If I had not just bought DVC, one of the Port Orleans resorts is where my husband would always make us stay.
I don’t think that is true in any of the refurbished rooms. When we were looking at All Stars versus Pop, it seems like only All Star Sports still had the Full beds. Everything else was Queen now.
That is good to know! And good for Disney for changing that. Full size is unacceptable for two adults.
I concur… at POP they were Queen beds… which made the room even smaller but if all you’re doing there is sleeping a queen is better. I heard that the refurbs in All Stars would be like POP’s w/ two queens one of which would be a pull down. But the room size will not change and will mean less floor space to walk around the beds; hense shin bumps.
For me it has a lot to do with how much time I plan to spend in the room and at the resort. Being a newbie to onsite stays, we stayed at one of each category in the past year (Pop, CBR and BWI). I felt the beds were comfortable in all (but the day bed in the deluxe was more sturdy than the pull down bunk at CBR). CBR room may have been a bit larger than Pop, but I preferred the new refurbishment of Pop to CBR’s room. There were lots of cubbies, shelves and drawers plus a hanging area to put things away so it did not feel messy/crowded to us with 4 people plus a stroller in the room. We were at Pop in late October so probably not prime teen group timeframe, but it was quiet there for us and bus service was very good. BWI rooms furnishings were more posh but not so much that I felt the room itself was worth paying so much more. Having internal corridors is nicer, but can involve more walking since you have to go to the entrance of the resort and then walk out from there rather than a beeline to your building at a value/mod. For me, if I’m mostly using the room to shower and sleep between full park days, Pop is fine. If I was planning on spending a lot of time in the room and at the pool, or using the resorts TS/lounge/bar and other amenities then a moderate or deluxe becomes more worthwhile. Also I do think having the ability to walk or take Skyliner to some parks is a significant benefit in avoiding buses for time and Covid sake, but if you have a car that doesn’t matter.