The other day, we offered six reasons to stay at a value resort. There's a lot to be said on both sides of the Disney resort spectrum, however, so here are six reasons to stay at a deluxe resort.
1. Location, Location, Location (and Transportation)
While many people may not immediately realize this, one of the big things that sets the deluxe resorts apart from Disney's other resorts is that, with the exception of Animal Kingdom Lodge, all the deluxe resorts have alternatives to bus transportation to at least one park. Because the bus system is not incredibly reliable (though it is improving), and because the buses can be a little uncomfortable, having some other means to get to the parks can be a huge perk.
2. The Best Restaurants at Your Fingertips
When we wrote about staying at Disney's value resorts, we highlighted the simple and direct food options. There's obviously a flip side to that in that the best restaurants at Walt Disney World are mostly located in deluxe resorts. Every time we visit Walt Disney World, for example, we go to Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is made immensely easier when we are actually staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
3. You Can Do a Resort Day
You definitely can do a resort day from any Disney resort, but they're likely to be much better at the deluxe resorts. The deluxe resorts have superior pools, most notably Stormalong Bay, which is essentially a small waterpark at the Yacht and Beach Club. The deluxe resorts also have better bars, access to better amenities and activities, and (mostly) better lobbies and lounging areas.
4. That Club Level Life
The only Disney resorts that offer club level are the deluxe resorts. Club level is often a pricey upgrade (usually at least $150 per night), but for the right type of traveler, or for larger groups, it can be well worth it. We reviewed the Kilimanjaro Club at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but the quick things you need to know are that it comes with access to the club level lounge and lots of free food (think appetizers, not meals) and drinks (including alcohol). With larger groups, the per person per day cost will be lower, so you might find that the free food nearly offsets the cost.
5. The Rooms are Better
Rooms at Disney vary greatly, but the overall quality will be better at deluxe resorts than at value resorts. The beds are noticeably more comfortable. The rooms are a little more spacious, though this will vary by room type. They have hallways instead of doors accessing the outside directly. More amenities (e.g. conditioner) are offered. The bathroom sink and mirror areas are separated from the rest of the room by a wall (rather than a curtain).
6. The Theming Is Unbelievable
We included this last because it is maybe the most debatable point. Plenty of people, especially children, love the theming of the value resorts. The deluxe resorts are just awe-inspiring at times, however. This is especially true at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but the Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Grand Floridian are all amazing as soon as you set foot in them.