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 Author: The Clever Diva
 You’ve finally committed to your first big Disney trip, and you want to stay inside the World. There are so many choices, it can be overwhelming to sort out your options. Where do you start to plan your stay?

We’re on our way!
Let’s start by breaking the options down into price ranges.  Many of the resort names have the word “Disney” in them, but for this discussion, we’ll assume you know that.  And you’ll need to go the Disney website to find specific prices.  The prices vary by the time of year, and room views, etc.
Beach Club hotel room

At Walt Disney World (WDW), accommodations come in all price ranges and sizes.  And each resort has its own special charms, AND its own limitations. It really all comes down to transportation. Basically, the closer you are to any type of park, the more you’ll pay for the same type of room.  The Deluxe resorts all have one thing in common – they are close to a park.  All resorts offer bus service to all the parks and Downtown Disney.  But, if you want additional options, you’ll pay more for your room.

The Cinderella Castle at Christmas
For many visitors, the Magic Kingdom (MK) is the lead attraction at WDW.  Resorts on the monorail are the priciest – The Grand Floridian, The Contemporary, The Polynesian.  Still close, but reachable only by boat or bus, is The Wilderness Lodge (WL).  So, WL falls on the lower end of the MK Deluxe price range.

 

The exquisite lobby of the Grand Floridian
If Epcot is your favorite park and you want to stay Deluxe, consider The Beach Club, The Yacht Club, or The Boardwalk.  All are within walking distance of the International Gateway, which is considered the “back door” of Epcot.  The Boardwalk has the added advantage of a walk-way to the Disney Hollywood Studios (DHS), but it’s further than the walk into Epcot.  Boat transportation is also available at all 3 resorts.  The Epcot resorts are still Deluxe, but priced lower than the MK resorts.

 

The Boardwalk at sunset
If you want to be close to Animal Kingdom (AK), you’ll want to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  In addition to a very short bus ride to the park, you’ll see animals from windows and locations all over the hotel.  And even from your room balcony, for the cost of a Savannah view room. Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge, is the lowest priced of the Deluxe resorts.
Hippo at Animal Kingdom
If you check the prices of those resorts, but the cost doesn’t work well into your budget; consider the Moderate Resorts.  Port Orleans is in the top price range, of the moderates, and actually consists of two resorts – Riverside (POR) and French Quarter (POFQ).  From these resorts, you’ll be taking a bus to the parks, but boat transportation is available to Downtown Disney.  Rounding out the Moderate Resort options are Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs.  These resorts only offer bus service to the parks and Downtown Disney, but they are priced less than Port Orleans.  And the Cabins at Wilderness Lodge are the most affordable of the Moderate Resorts.
Port Orleans
Value resorts offer a nice place to stay, especially if you plan to spend most of your time in the park.  The rooms are smaller, and the resort itself offers fewer amenities (food courts rather than table service restaurants), but the prices are lower.  If you are planning to use Disney transportation, then yes, you’ll ride a bus everywhere, and live out of your suitcases, but you’ll have room in the budget for some nice dinners and a few souvenirs.  The lowest-priced Value Resorts are the All-Star Music Resort, the All-Star Sports Resort, and the All-Star Movies Resort.  For just a little more, you can stay at Pop Century, and the highest priced Value resort is the newest addition, the Art of Animation Resort.
All-Star Sports Resort
These are the options for typical hotel rooms. There are campgrounds if you’d rather not stay in a typical hotel room, and if you need more space and can afford to spend more, there are additional options at Disney Resorts, including villas, but that’s another article. 
To start planning, pick your price range, pick your location, and start exploring to find the best option for your family’s first stay inside Walt Disney World!

Walt Disney World is the place where our whole family is happy so it's our favorite vacation spot. I have 2 daughters, 5 and 10, and a husband with dietary issues, so we meet all the chefs at WDW. I'm the Clever Diva because I'm always looking for the cleverest way to do everything , and I want to share what I've learned with you.