Moderate resorts are a big step up from value resorts. While Value resorts have the basic amenities expected out of most hotels, such as a pool, fast food court, arcade, etc, Moderate resorts typically add a sit-down restaurant and water slides on the pools. Moderate rooms are slightly larger than Value rooms and often have extra options available: for example, a second sink in the bathroom. There are 4 total Moderate resorts: Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans – French Quarter, and Port Orleans – Riverside.
Moderate Resort Recommendations
My favorite Moderate resort – frankly, my favorite resort at Disney World, period – is Port Orleans – French Quarter. It wraps you in a cozy, intimate bubble; perfect for relaxing after a long day in the crowded parks.
A Moderate resort with the amenities of a Deluxe, Coronado Springs packs a terrific spa, gym, multiple fantastic restaurants and bars, a themed pool, and some of the most beautiful grounds on the Walt Disney World campus.
Moderate Resort Overview
My personal Moderate favorite is Port Orleans – French Quarter. It’s themed with a Mardi Gras/New Orleans vibe that comes off as playful, but still graceful and stately. It’s a smaller resort compared to the other Moderate resorts, with all the pluses and minuses that brings; for example, Port Orleans tends to be quieter than the other resorts, but it also has no sit-down restaurant – you need to visit the nearby Port Orleans – Riverside resort to enjoy its sit-down restaurant.
I love Port Orleans – French Quarter because it’s fantastic to come back to a quiet, relaxed resort after a loud, hectic day at the parks. The small size of the resort means that everything (pool, restaurant, front desk, gift shop and arcade) is a short walk away, regardless of which resort building you’re in. Rent-able bikes mean that you can also get a good exercise in, or just have a relaxing ride around the resort grounds.
If you need to do business while on your Disney adventure, or need to be pampered with a spa, then Coronado Springs Resort is the resort for you. Coronado is the only Moderate resort with a spa, and offers busy executives a business center, with options for faxing, printing, shipping, and a store with office supplies. Coronado Springs is themed with a Mexican/Mayan/Southwestern US style designs, although these themes are toned down in the newer Gran Destino tower in Coronado Springs.
If you spend all day in the Disney theme parks, especially Epcot and Hollywood Studios, then Caribbean Beach Resort is for you. Caribbean Beach resort is styled after – what else? – the Caribbean, but it’s main selling point is that it has a Skyliner station. The Skyline is a cable car (think of the gondola cabins used in ski lifts) that can quickly take you to the Epcot or Hollywood Studios parks.
Caribbean Beach is a fantastic resort, but it’s a bit too spread out for my taste; it can take some time to get from the farther reaches of the resort to the shared amenities, restaurant, front desk, etc.
And finally, if you spend a lot of time at your resort or love shopping, consider the Port Orleans – Riverside resort. Riverside is designed as a set of stately Southern mansions, with pools shared by pairs of buildings. It’s a large resort, which means it can take a bit of time to get to the restaurant or other resort services, but it’s lovely if you want to walk around and enjoy the weather. If you love shopping, there is a regular boat that will take you to Disney Springs, a shopping and food paradise.
As you can see, each Moderate resort has its niche – it’s hard to recommend just one. My personal favorite is Port Orleans – French Quarter, but any of these resorts would be a terrific selection. My second choice is Coronado Springs Resort, with emphasis on getting a room within the Gran Destino tower section.