Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World

by Shannon

Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World are a great choice for vacationers that don’t want to splurge on Deluxe Resort pricing but still want amenities that are a step above the Value Resort offerings.

There are 5 resorts at Walt Disney World that fall into the Moderate Resort category.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts List

  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Theming at Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts

The theming at Moderate resorts is definitely less *Disney* than the Value resorts and instead each resort features theming that really ties into the resort’s background.

The Cabin’s at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are definitely going to rank at the top when it comes to immersive theming seeing as you’re staying in an actual individual cabin in the wilderness!

In addition, the Fort Wilderness property itself has a lot of fun to offer including Pony Rides, mining for gems, a campfire singalong, themed dining, etc!

Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside also feature really great theming and atmosphere.

While both resorts are connected, the theming at the two is very different!

French Quarter has a very New Orleans & Mardi Gras vibe while Riverside has a more casual, Louisiana Bayou feel.

You can’t go wrong with either!

Disney’s Coronado Springs resort blends together elements from Spanish, Mexican, and American Southwest cultures. The atmosphere here feels more upscale, especially when you’re visiting or staying in the new Gran Destino Tower addition to this resort.

I think that the Gran Destino Tower feels very much like a Deluxe resort, it is seriously so beautiful!

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has a very fun and colorful vibe that embraces the spirit of the Caribbean.

The lobby and grounds at Caribbean Beach Resort are beautiful and the atmosphere is amazing!

Pools at Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts

The pools at Moderate Resorts are one of the most noticeable step-ups from Value resorts in my opinion.

Value Resort pools usually have nice theming but they don’t have any kind of slide or water play area (besides a small splash zone).

Moderate resorts feature really beautifully themed pools, fantastic water play areas, and water slides!

Playing at the pool is my kid’s favorite part of staying at a Walt Disney World hotel — and they really enjoy the water slides and the water play areas.

Port Orleans French Quarter has a super nice water play area! If you have younger kiddos that don’t prefer swimming (or maybe aren’t old enough yet to really swim confidently) — this is the spot for them!

Port Orleans Riverside has a very large feature pool with a waterslide. There’s also a really nice playground right nextdoor.

Remember that guests at Port Orleans can use the pools at both resorts!

Coronado Springs has a great water slide, and a pyramid waterfall that kids can enjoy. There isn’t a water play area here but there again is a nice playground next to the pool.

Caribbean Beach’s main pool has TWO slides, and a shipwreck themed water play area!

The Cabin’s at Fort Wilderness offer a large feature pool with a waterslide and a fun water play area for kids too!

It’s also worth nothing that just like the Value Resorts, there are multiple pools available at each resort. There typically is a large feature pool with all of the bells and whistles and then additional leisure pools — just for swimming.

Dining at Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts

Dining at the Moderate resorts is also a step-up from Value resorts if you’re looking for options beyond quick service meals.

Each of the Moderate resorts offers table service dining as well as quick service dining options.

Transportation at Walt Disney World Moderate Resorts

Transportation at the Moderate resorts includes bus, boat and Skyliner transportation depending on where you’re staying.

  • Skyliner to EPCOT & Hollywood Studios
    • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Bus to the parks
    • All Moderate resorts have buses
  • Boat to the parks
    • The Cabin’s at Disney’s Fort Wilderness
    • Magic Kingdom boat

You can also travel to Disney Springs via boat from both Port Orleans resorts.

Walt Disney World Moderate Resort Ranking

Okay, let me just preface and say that ranking these Moderate resorts was NOT EASY. They all have pros and cons.

I really struggled with the 4 & 5 slot and a lot of people would have zero interest in a stay at Fort Wilderness so they wouldn’t even want that resort included in the rankings.

SO please don’t hate me if you don’t agree with my rankings HAHA!

Remember, it’s just like Whose Line is it Anyways — where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter! Let’s get to it!

5. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

While I have visited this resort a ton and really do enjoy the atmosphere and the ability to use the Skyliner, I did stay here once and I just wasn’t that impressed with the room.

It felt a little dingy and musty, not what I expected for a Moderate resort. We also had a TON of street noise all night. We honestly could have just gotten a bad room but we weren’t exactly excited to stay there again (so we haven’t).

The property is also very large and very spread out so that’s something to consider when booking, make sure you take a good look at the property map and request a room in your preferable area (would you rather be close to the Skyliner station vs the main lobby area, etc).

4. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

I had a wonderful stay at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort over the summer.

The room was really nice and updated! It felt fresh and new and what I expected for a Moderate resort!

The Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs is definitely comparable to a Deluxe resort on property.

It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! If you prefer staying in a hotel where the room is in the same building as the lobby kinda deal, you’ll love the Tower.

One downfall of Coronado Springs Resort though is the only transportation to the parks is by bus.

3. The Cabin’s at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

I feel like The Cabin’s at Disney’s Fort Wilderness are a love them or hate them kinda deal. Personally my family LOVES them!!

They have a kitchen, living room, dining area, bedroom with BUNK BEDS, a deck, etc! We love the space and my kids love the idea of staying in a cabin. Plus BUNK BEDS. What kid doesn’t love a bunk bed?!

If you’re staying at the Cabins you’ll want to consider renting a golf cart to help you get around without relying on the internal bus system.

I do really like the proximity and availability of the boat rides to Magic Kingdom!

1. & 2. Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter

I am biased because I seriously love both of these resorts!! They are top favorites for me and my family.

We love the grounds, the theming, and especially the recreation that’s available! Carriage rides! Fishing! SO.MUCH.FUN!

Of course the bus being the only transportation available (besides the boat to Disney Springs) is again one of the not-so-great features of Port Orleans. But there’s something about these resorts that I just truly love.

You can’t go wrong staying at either of Port Orleans resorts. Though if I had to choose a favorite, Port Orleans Riverside would be it for me. 🙂

I hope this Moderate Resort overview is helpful! I also hope you don’t disown me after sharing my rankings HAHA!

Want to read about all of the Value resorts and my rankings there too? Click HERE!

Follow along on all of our Walt Disney World fun on Instagram @brbgoingtodisney! I share tips and tricks LIVE from the parks each week on Stories! See you there!

Don’t forget to pin this post for later!

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

4 comments

HEATHER October 28, 2021 - 12:52 pm

I’ve stayed at port Ireland and just got back from Coronado springs. We loved the updated rooms at Coronado. We choose to rent a car as we read buses could take awhile. We couldn’t believe how close we were to all the parks. I think the most was magic kingdom 10 min drive. Missing Disney, sigh.

Reply
Jennifer October 28, 2021 - 1:22 pm

I agree with Caribbean Beach! We are park goers and not really big resort people, so for me, I’d rather stay in a value resort than Caribbean Beach. Because it was our first experience at Disney, we haven’t tried another moderate level, but I’ve heard so many amazing things about Port Orleans and the extra activities at Fort Wilderness sound amazing! Do you have any pics of the pool area at Fort Wilderness?

Reply
Theresa October 29, 2021 - 8:51 am

Thank you for sharing your experiences at the resorts! The info you share is so helpful. Port Orleans – Riverside is my favorite moderate, too! We’ve stayed there our last two visits, and are leaning that direction when we visit again next year. The theming is fun, the grounds are beautiful, and we enjoyed the pool and playground.

Reply
Shannon November 2, 2021 - 10:06 am

Thanks so much Theresa! There’s something I can’t quit about Port Orleans!! It just feels magical to me.

Reply