First Timer’s Cor­ner

WHY VALUE RE­SORTS ARE GREAT FOR FIRST TIMERS

WDW Magazine - - Contents - BY DAVE SHUTE

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?

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