Disney Parks Disney Vacations Other

5 Rookie Mistakes You’re Making When You Book A Disney World Hotel

YAY! You’re planning a Disney World vacation and we couldn’t be more EXCITED for you! ::Happy dance! Happy dance!::

Magic Kingdom Sign

We’re betting you’ve already done some extensive research to figure out which Disney World resort hotel is best for you, but we want to share a few common pitfalls that trip up a lot of Disney World guests!

Which mistakes should you avoid? Let’s examine five BIG ONES!

Booking Your Disney World Resort Without a Discount

Trust us, we get it. Before we learned how things work, we overpaid for our Disney World vacations too. That’s why we want you to know there’s almost ALWAYS a discount you can apply to your trip, be it a park ticket offer, free dining offer, or room discount!

Free Dining

Always check the special offers tab on Disney World’s website before you make your reservation!

Cake Pop at Magic Kingdom

And if you forget (or already have a reservation when a new promotion or discount is released), you can usually call Disney and rebook your trip with the new discount applied!

Minnie Mouse at Hollywood Studios

Disney doesn’t normally advertise this service, but they’ll do it for you if the offer is still available for your requested room or package. Some promotions such as Disney World’s free dining offer book up VERY fast, so make sure you are signed up for our newsletter so you’ll be one of the first to know! 

Not Requesting a Room

Many Disney guests don’t realize what POWER they have! 

Lobby in Art of Animation

They show up at their Disney World resort, end up with a room they don’t like, and figure, “Well, that’s just the way it’s going to be!” This is NOT how it has to be!

Request a Room When You Book Your Reservation

Select Disney World resorts will allow you to note a room preference when you check-in online!

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

But if the resort you’re staying at doesn’t offer this feature, you can call Disney and a representative will make note of your preference on your reservation. You can request what kind of view you’d like, what building you’d like, what floor, etc (just bear in mind certain rooms will come with an added cost!).

Ask To Switch If You Don’t Like Your Room

If you realize you don’t like your room once you arrive at Disney World (maybe because it has a funky configuration or is too far from the lobby) check with the front desk. You can sometimes move to a different room IF there’s one available in the same price range. If not, you might be able to upgrade to a better room for an additional cost.

Coronado Springs Front Desk

It’s not always possible to transfer rooms or have your first preference, but we’ve found out it never hurts to ask!

Going Straight For a Deluxe Resort Without Considering Other Options

Depending on how much time you’re actually planning on spending at your hotel, a Deluxe resort might not be your best option at Disney World.

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Sure, these luxury hotels have A LOT of bells and whistles including nicer rooms, fancier grounds, and loads of other amenities; but depending on how you plan to vacation, you might not get your money’s worth out of the facilities. Whether you’re looking to hit the parks all-day-every-day and won’t be at your resort much OR you’d like a bit more space without shelling out a ton of cash, consider the Value Resorts!

Larger Rooms and Access to Disney’s Skyliner

First up, let’s look at families that might want a bit more space than standard Disney rooms provide. You don’t HAVE to look to Deluxe accommodations to find more spacious rooms! One of our favorites is the Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

These larger guest rooms cost twice what standard rooms at Art of Animation run BUT they can hold up to six adults and have a separate sitting area, TWO FULL BATHROOMS, and lots of extra space. They even include a separate sleeping area for adults and kids! We think you might be quite drawn in by them!

Art of Animation Resort

AND Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has a Disney Skyliner station (which it shares with Disney’s Pop Century Resort), meaning you can hop on a gondola and ride over to Hollywood Studios or Epcot SUPER FAST instead of taking a bus!

Many Guest Rooms Have Been Recently Remodeled

You may also want to consider staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort or one of Disney’s All-Stars Resorts — they have recently renovated many of their guest rooms!

All Things Groovy at Pop Century Resort’s Hippy Dippy Pool

For instance, all of Disney’s Pop Century Resort rooms have been completely overhauled and now feature new flooring, tiling, fixtures, giant flatscreen TVs, and all-new soft furnishings including linens and drapery! And don’t forget — it’s also a Skyliner resort like Art of Animation!!


Amenities at some of the value resorts might not be as high-end as Disney World’s more luxurious resorts, but they can still be pretty amazing! Like we previously mentioned — both Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort share a Disney Skyliner station, making it super convenient to access two of Disney World’s four theme parks.

Other than Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, you won’t find a resort that’s comparable in price with access to Disney’s Skyliner — and keep in mind Caribbean Beach’s room rates are higher since this resort is classified as Moderate and NOT a Value!

Disney Skyliner

Plus, we really dig the more playful-aspect of the Value resorts! Disney is more “present” in these resorts’ guest room decor as well as each Value resorts’ pool and play area. Kiddos (and adults too!) really seem to get a kick out of seeing larger than life representations of their favorite Disney characters, toys, musical instruments, and other crazy things sprinkled throughout the Values’ buildings and courtyards! Plus these resorts are just SO fun and colorful!

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The style of Disney World’s higher-end Moderate and Deluxe resorts skews a bit quieter and subdued. Their guest rooms and courtyards aren’t as flashy while their decor tends to only have a hint of Disney.

Who knows — you might prefer being surrounded by the bigger ‘n bolder Disney stuff at one of the Value resorts because it will remind you you’re on a vacation AT Disney World!

Going Straight For a Value Resort Without Considering Other Options

Wait, didn’t we just say the opposite? But it’s true; you have to carefully weigh out ALL of your options and sometimes the best way to do this involves a little reverse engineering!

Luna Park Pool at Disney’s Boardwalk

That means taking a deep dive into what you’re expecting to get out of your trip to Disney World! This could equal spending a little bit more money on your room if you really want swankier Disney digs!

Higher Quality Vacation Experience

You know yourself better than we do — maybe a Value resort just doesn’t fit with your vision of what your vacation should be. As fun as Value resorts can be, you might need something less economical to be reminded you’re on a magical Disney vacation! We’re talking maximum relaxation in Disney World’s more opulent settings!

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

That’s why a Moderate or Deluxe resort might actually be best for you. You’ll find more amenities such as work-out facilities, more diverse and high-end dining options, business centers, and even salons and spas at some Deluxe hotels. Many of Disney World’s Deluxe properties are also closer to the parks, making them ideal if you’re hoping to avoid extended travel-times!

Better Location

Instead of hopping on a bus, you can get right over to Magic Kingdom via the Monorail if you’re staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! And from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, you can take a boat directly to Magic Kingdom!

Disney’s Contemporary Resort with Monorail Access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot

And don’t forget about the Epcot area resorts which include Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. You’ll be able to walk over to Epcot AND Hollywood Studios from all three of these resorts — or take a ferry boat as well!

Cresent Lake Ferry Boat

PLUS you’ll even have access to the International Gateway Skyliner station located in Epcot, giving you even MORE options to get to the parks!

More Restaurants and Variety

While the Value resorts have great food courts, Disney World’s Moderate and Deluxe resorts often offer the best range of dining options.

Texas Wild Boar with Elote and Salsa Verde at Victoria and Albert’s Restaurant in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Many Moderates and Deluxes have grab-n-go options for convenience while also providing a sit-down dining option, lounges or bars, and more. Some even have their own character meals, signature (meaning FANCY!) dining, and room service!

The Determining Factor

Here’s the thing: some people swear by Disney World’s Value resorts while others feel the exact opposite. The choice is ultimately yours to make!

Grand Floridian Lobby

If you think you’ll have a better trip at a Moderate or a Deluxe resort, don’t let your friends’ advice stop you from booking one of these options. Do what feels right for YOUR family.

How to Make It Work With Your Budget

If you’d like to stay at a pricier resort but having a hard time justifying cost, consider trimming a few days off of your itinerary to make staying at a Moderate or Deluxe more affordable! Not only will you be saving money on your room by staying fewer nights, but you won’t have to worry about purchasing extra food, park tickets, or additional parking costs if you’re bringing a car!

Disney’s Riviera Resort

That’s savings that can really add up quickly — which you can THEN apply to a nicer resort! Of course, the trade-off is you’ll have less time to spend at Disney World, but if staying at a pricier resort is a must-do for you it’s an option worth considering!

Not Thinking About Transportation and Proximity

Going off of what we’ve already mentioned a few times, you might really be surprised by the importance of your resort’s location. It could be the deciding factor for your whole vacation experience!

Art of Animation Entrance

If you’re planning on spending A LOT of your trip at a certain park, staying at a nearby hotel might be smart for your family.

Stay Closer to Where You Want to Spend the Most Time

Earlier we mentioned Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, along with Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort,  have access to Disney’s Skyliner — and therefore Hollywood Studios and Epcot are just a short ride away.

This makes travel to these two parks SUPER convenient, but this also means their buses to Epcot and Hollywood Studios run less frequently. This is something to consider if you have a fear of riding the Skyliner — you might have VERY limited bus access to those two parks!

Art of Animation Skyliner

If Magic Kingdom is your MUST-DO park and you plan to spend a good chunk of time there, the (pricier) Monorail resorts might be worth it to your family. Plus, these resorts often offer views of the Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon, if you want to feel right next to the magic.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks From Disney’s Contemporary Resort

And like we said before, Epcot’s resorts are awesome because you can literally walk to Epcot or Hollywood Studios from Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. If you’re looking forward to spending a lot of time at one of Epcot’s annual festivals, these resorts have an optimal location so you can pop into Epcot as you please!

We hope we helped you make a little more sense out of the tough decision you’ll be making soon and as always, we’re here to help you every step of the way!

Which Disney World resort are you thinking about staying at? Let us know in the comments below!

From our friends at
Filed Under: Featured, Walt Disney World, amenties, beginner’s guide to disney world, better access, bus transportation, deluxe resorts, dining, dining options, discount, Disney World, disney world hotel, disney world resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, disney’s grand floridian resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, disney’s skyliner, disney’s yacht and beach club resort, Epcot, family suites, first time, first trip to disney world, food courts, free dining, Hollywood Studios, how to pick a hotel, location, magic kingdom, moderate resorts, proximity to park, remodeled guest rooms, remodeled rooms, restraurants, rookie mistakes, room discount, skyliner, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, theming, transportation, Value resorts