First Timer’s Corner
WHY VALUE RESORTS ARE GREAT FOR FIRST TIMERS
Disney’s Value Resorts—and I’m thinking here their regular rooms, not their double-sized (and more than double-priced Family Suites)—are great choices for first time visitors. They share all the best reasons to stay in a Disney-owned Resort, offer these reasons at the lowest price, and have their biggest negatives moderated because of the way that First Timers use their hotels.
There are many distinct benefits to staying in a Disney-owned Resort. Of these, the most important is being able to book your Fastpass+ 60-days before you arrive—compared to 30-days ahead for everyone else (except those who stay at the Swan and Dolphin). Other benefits include no “Resort fees,” free transportation between Orlando International Airport and your hotel, free and frequent theme park transportation, and, if you are driving, free parking at both the hotel and at the theme parks.
All the Disney-owned hotels have these same benefits. What differs among them is price, room and bed size, richness of theming, dining quality, pool theming and amenities, and price. I know, I said price twice, but it’s a big deal. Most Disney hotels are divided into three price classes—deluxe Resorts, which cost from $400 to $1,000 a night, Moderate Resorts at $200 to $300 a night, and Value Resorts at $100 to $250 a night.
So if you stay at a Value Resort—art of Animation, Pop Century, or All-star Movies, All-star Music, or All-star Sports—you get access to all the key benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort at price of ten to twenty percent of what some other people are paying!
Now, for the lower price, you do get fewer goodies. Value Resort two-bedrooms are about as small as you’ll find in the U.S., other than in some center city hotels; the beds (except in the newly-refurbed rooms at Pop Century, only about 20% of its rooms so far) are full-sized, rather than the queens that you’ll find in almost all Moderate and Deluxe rooms; dining options are dull and limited, especially compared to those at the Deluxe Resorts; and the pools, while entirely adequate, are missing the interesting theming and fun slides that you’ll find at the Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.
But for most First Timers, this won’t matter much. This is because First Timers spend more of their time in the parks themselves! If you are like most First Timers, you’ll be using your hotel primarily for sleeping, and not spending a lot of time at its pool or in its dining facilities. The rest of the time you’ll be enjoying the parks, which, after all, is what you came to Walt Disney World to do.
So if you will be using your hotel as simply a place to sleep and as a way to access the benefits of a staying at any Disney Resort, and can fit into full beds, then why pay any more than what the least expensive beds cost?