Moderate resorts are the second category up for discussion in this series. When you are picking a resort to stay in you want to make sure that it is somewhere that fits what you are looking for and what you can afford. Disney can be very expensive, but you may want a room that is more than just somewhere to sleep. If that is the case then this category might be for you.
In the first part we discussed the values and how they are perfect for those that are traveling on a budget, just want a room to sleep in (if you don’t plan on spending a lot of time at the resort), or if you are traveling with kids (they love the themes). However, if you want to stay somewhere that has themes that are a little more sophisticated, rooms that are a little bigger, or have another form of transportation other than buses, I would look at the moderates. The resorts in this category are:The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness (although with the cost of the cabins I would consider these more in the deluxe category), Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans-French Quarter, and Port Orleans-Riverside.
All of the moderates are themed, but they are not as in-your-face as the values might feel. Port Orleans-French Quarter brings you to New Orleans with Mardi Gras decorations, Caribbean Beach Resort will take you to the tropics with six villages at the resort (each themed after a different island), Port Orleans-Riverside offers beautiful grounds with elegant mansions, Coronado Springs Resort has a fun Southwestern theme, and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness give you the chance to “rough it” in the woods.
The moderates will offer you a little more to do than the resorts in the value category. Like the values, the moderates have playgrounds for the kids, a jogging trail, and an arcade. In addition they also offer activities like campfires, volleyball, horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides , or a Pirate Adventure Cruise. Please note that all of these activities might not be offered at all the moderate resorts. To be sure of the activities offered at the resort of your choice just check under the “Recreation” tab. In addition to the activities offered, each moderate has a fun gift store to find fun Disney products and also everyday items you might need.
The main pools at the moderate resorts are all designed to the theme of the resort. The main pool at Port Orleans-Riverside is designed to be like an old fashioned swimmin’ hole, Port Orleans-French Quarter keeps the Mardi Gras theme going at the main pool, Caribbean Beach Resort is themed after a old Spanish fortress, and Coronado Springs Resort has a 50 foot replica of a Mayan Pyramid. Plus each of the moderate main pools has a fun water slide and hot tubs. The water slide tends to be a big plus for kids and adults. Also, there are pool bars by the main pools at the moderates. In addition to the main, themed pool, each of the moderates will have quiet pools scattered around the resort.
The moderates have more dining options than the values, as well. They have a food court and a table service restaurant. If you like to have table service meals at your resort then you might want to consider the moderates. It is nice to have both dining options available at your resort, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time there. The table service restaurants are: Maya Grill at Coronado Springs, Shutters at Old Port Royale at Caribbean Beach Resort, Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Port Orleans-Riverside (French Quarter does not have a table service, but they can use Riverside’s restaurant), and Trail’s End Restaurant at The Cabins at Fort Wilderness. In addition to the food court and table service restaurant, there are also lounges at moderates.
All of the moderate resorts have bus transportation available, but Port Orleans-Riverside, Port Orleans-French Quarter, and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness also offer boat transportation. If you don’t like having to take the buses everywhere then you can choose between the three resorts in this category that offer an additional transportation option.
Another point about the transportation is that since the moderates are spread out so much there are internal bus stops at the resort. So that means even if you are far from the lobby, there will still be a bus stop closer to your room to pick you up. If you look at the map below you will see one of the internal bus stops at the Caribbean Beach Resort. This is one of seven that are located around the resort. This is the Jamaica bus stop, so if you are staying in the Jamaica section of the resort this would be your bus stop.
The rooms at the moderates are a little bigger than the rooms at the values. They are set up the same way as the values, except that the beds are queens instead of doubles. Caribbean used to be the only moderate with doubles, but I believe they have been upgraded to queens. There is a dresser, television, table with 2 chairs, and a closet area. The sink and vanity are separate from the tub/shower and toilet.
A couple of the moderates offer some special rooms. At Caribbean Beach Resort you can reserve a Pirate Room. These rooms have ship shaped beds and are all decked out with pirate decor. At Port Orleans-Riverside you can surprise your prince or princess with a stay in a Royal Guest Room. These rooms have items in them that have been left behind as magical touches in the room. For instance, the faucets are shaped like Genie’s lamp in Aladdin. There are also fiber optic lights on the headboards that give you a fireworks show. Like all the Disney hotels, there are different views available for different costs and the special rooms will cost you more, but they look like so much fun!
If you like a more toned down theme, table service restaurants at your resort, multiple transportation options, and water slides for the pool, while not spending a fortune, then the moderate category is the way to go for you. The resorts are still themed, but not in-you-face, there are a couple of dining options, different modes of transportation, and you will not be spending nearly what it costs to stay at a deluxe resort. Now you just have to pick which moderate. Let the fun begin!
Which moderate is your favorite?
Thanks for reading!
Look for Part 3 tomorrow!
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