Disney offers three levels of on-property resorts: Deluxe, Moderate and Value. The Deluxe resorts are home to Disney Vacation Club (DVC) deluxe studios and villas, where DVC members can stay using points for accommodations instead of paying in cash. DVC resorts are considered the most luxurious resorts and offer “best of the best” accommodations and amenities. Value resorts are the most affordable and child-friendly resorts on Disney property. For this article, we will compare food selections, overall aesthetic of the resorts, bed quality and room space. If you tend to stay at the Value resorts, this comparison may help you determine if you really are getting more for your money.
At DVC resorts, you’ll find restaurants and cafes serving food to match each resort’s theme. Cafes in the DVC resorts typically offer a quick-service style, while the restaurants offer table service or an upscale buffet–some even offer character dining! Cafe pricing varies for breakfast and lunch, generally ranging from $8 to $35+ per person. Restaurant pricing at DVC resorts can be expensive, with prices ranging from $15 to $35 per person for lunch and $35 to $60+ for dinner. If you aren’t an adventurous eater, there are alternate menu items available upon request, although they are not necessarily cheaper than regular menu items.
At Value Resorts, you’ll find affordable dining available in the resort food courts. The food courts offer cafeteria style seating with a variety of food options available for $15 or less per person, much like food courts you would find in a mall. Food options at the value resorts are more kid-friendly, such as burgers and fries, pizza, and a variety of hot and cold breakfast choices. Most dining plans are accepted at both DVC and Value resorts. As for discounts on dining, the majority accept Tables in Wonderland discounts, while a select few accept DVC and WDW Annual Passholder discounts.
Deluxe studio rooms in DVC resorts are more spacious than standard rooms at Value resorts. Most deluxe studio rooms at DVC resorts sleep up to 5 guests and contain two queen-sized beds and a pull-out chair/sleeper sofa, or a king-sized bed and sleeper sofa. Beds in DVC rooms have luxury quality mattresses and bedding for the utmost comfort. The high-end furniture in the room matches the theme for each resort with a few Hidden Mickeys throughout, and a kitchenette. DVC properties also offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas with fully equipped kitchens, as well as washers and dryers. The villas have an apartment-style feel to them and there are multiple bathrooms in the larger villas.
Standard rooms at the Value resorts are half the size of DVC rooms with very minimal room decor. Value resort rooms contain either a king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds, one of which being a murphy bed. These rooms do not have kitchenettes but do have 1-2 cup coffee makers and mini fridges. Preferred rooms at Value resorts offer the same amenities as the standard rooms but may cost a little more per night depending on the room’s proximity to the transportation area, shopping, and dining.
DVC resorts are all uniquely and exquisitely designed, from the artwork to the interior design, even the lush green grounds with no shortage of Hidden Mickey’s. The luxurious amenities, activities and transportation options at the DVC resorts far exceed those available at Value resorts. While the rooms at the Value resorts are simple in decor, their overall exteriors are the epitome of Disney with larger-than-life features. The Value resorts are the most kid-friendly on-property resorts when it comes to exterior appearance. All on-property Disney resorts have arcade rooms and offer Movies Under the Stars, which may also appeal to kids.
When given a choice to stay at either a DVC resort or Value resort, I will always choose DVC. If points aren’t available for use or a DVC resort does not have availability, only then will I stay at a value resort. After our first Value resort stay, my husband and I decided to plan one Value resort trip per year with a goal to stay at each resort at least once. Despite this, having stayed at both types of resort, we get more for our money with the DVC resorts.