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Which Moderate Disney Resort Is Best


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Sonja Kerley



Welcome to the magical world of Disney! If you’re planning a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, you’ll have no shortage of amazing accommodations to choose from. Among the various resort options, the moderate category offers a perfect balance of comfort, amenities, and affordability. In this article, we’ll explore three of the top moderate Disney resorts and help you decide which one is the best fit for your magical vacation.


Disney’s moderate resorts are known for their immersive theming, spacious rooms, and a wide range of amenities that cater to both couples and families. Whether you’re seeking an adventurous Caribbean getaway, the charm of the Deep South, or the tranquility of a Southwest-inspired retreat, there’s a moderate Disney resort that will exceed your expectations.


Each of these resorts share some common features, including complimentary transportation to and from the parks, on-site dining options, swimming pools, and various recreational activities for all ages. However, they each have their unique charms, themes, and benefits that set them apart from one another.


Before we delve into the details of each resort, it’s important to consider a few factors that will help guide your decision. Firstly, the location of the resort can greatly impact your experience. Some guests prefer to stay closer to specific parks or dining options, while others prioritize a peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle. Secondly, the amenities and activities offered at each resort may sway your decision. From dining options to pool bars, recreational activities, and themed rooms, each moderate Disney resort offers a distinct blend of perks to enhance your stay.


Now, let’s take a closer look at the three top-rated moderate Disney resorts: Port Orleans Riverside, Caribbean Beach Resort, and Coronado Springs Resort. By examining the unique themes, amenities, and overall guest experience at each resort, we hope to help you make an informed decision that will create memories to last a lifetime.


Disney’s Moderate Resorts

Disney’s moderate resorts are a collection of enchanting and immersive accommodations that offer guests a step up from the value resorts while still providing great value for their money. These resorts are known for their meticulous theming, thoughtful amenities, and a range of room options to suit different party sizes and preferences.


The moderate resorts at Disney World include:

  1. Port Orleans Riverside: Inspired by the charm and hospitality of the rural South, Port Orleans Riverside transports guests to a tranquil and picturesque setting. With its beautiful waterfront location, horse-drawn carriage rides, and serene pathways, Port Orleans Riverside is an ideal choice for those seeking a peaceful retreat. The resort features both Alligator Bayou rooms, with rustic theming, and the stately Magnolia Bend, with elegant Southern mansions. Guests can enjoy multiple swimming pools, a themed food court, and boat transportation to Disney Springs.
  2. Caribbean Beach Resort: Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and laid-back atmosphere of the Caribbean at the Caribbean Beach Resort. This resort takes you on a journey through the tropical islands with its vibrant decor, sandy beaches, and swaying palm trees. The resort offers various room options, including the newly renovated rooms in the Trinidad section. Enjoy the fun-filled Fuentes del Morro pool, dining at the lively Banana Cabana, and the convenience of the Disney Skyliner transportation system connecting you to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  3. Coronado Springs Resort: Inspired by the rich cultures and architecture of Mexico and the American Southwest, Coronado Springs Resort combines adventure and tranquility. The resort features a stunning lake, lush landscaping, and distinctive Spanish-style buildings. Guests can choose between the standard rooms in the Casitas section or upgrade to the more luxurious Gran Destino Tower. Enjoy a relaxing swim in the Dig Site pool, dine at the acclaimed Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, and take advantage of the nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

Each of these moderate Disney resorts offers its own unique atmosphere, amenities, and dining options. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful Southern charm, a tropical Caribbean escape, or a touch of Southwest elegance, you’ll find the perfect fit among these three exceptional options.


Factors to Consider

When choosing the best moderate Disney resort for your vacation, there are several factors to consider. Understanding these factors will help you narrow down your options and make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Theme and Atmosphere: Each moderate resort offers a unique theme and atmosphere, creating a distinct experience for guests. Consider which theme resonates with you the most – whether it’s the charming Southern hospitality of Port Orleans Riverside, the vibrant Caribbean vibes of Caribbean Beach Resort, or the captivating blend of Mexican and Southwest influences at Coronado Springs Resort.
  2. Location: The location of the resort can greatly impact your overall experience. Consider which parks and attractions you plan to visit the most and choose a resort that offers convenient transportation options. Additionally, if you value a quiet and peaceful environment, you might prefer a resort that’s slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the parks.
  3. Room Types: Take into account the size of your party and the type of room accommodations that will best suit your needs. Each resort offers a variety of room options, including standard rooms, preferred rooms, and even suites in some cases. Determine how many people will be in your group and if you require any specific room features or amenities.
  4. Amenities and Activities: Consider the amenities and activities offered at each resort. From dining options to swimming pools, recreational activities, and special events, each resort provides a range of experiences for guests to enjoy. If certain amenities are particularly important to you, such as a themed pool or a fitness center, make sure to factor that into your decision-making process.
  5. Budget: Finally, consider your budget when choosing a moderate resort. While these resorts offer a great balance between comfort and affordability, there may be variations in pricing depending on the time of year and the specific room type. Take into account the value you place on the different features and amenities of each resort and choose accordingly.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your choices and choose the moderate Disney resort that best aligns with your preferences and vacation priorities. Whether you prioritize theme, location, room types, amenities, or budget, understanding these factors will ensure a magical and memorable stay at Walt Disney World.


Port Orleans Riverside

Immerse yourself in the charm and tranquility of the South at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. This moderate Disney resort offers a picturesque and peaceful setting, inspired by the rural beauty and hospitality of the Deep South.


Port Orleans Riverside features two distinct sections: Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend. Alligator Bayou rooms are designed with rustic theming, complete with wooden furniture and cozy Southern accents. Magnolia Bend, on the other hand, boasts elegant Southern mansions with ornate decor and serene surroundings.


One of the highlights of Port Orleans Riverside is its picturesque waterfront location. The resort is situated along the banks of the tranquil Sassagoula River, which adds to the peaceful ambience. Guests can enjoy scenic views, relaxing strolls along the riverwalk, or even take a picturesque horse-drawn carriage ride.


When it comes to dining, Port Orleans Riverside offers a fantastic food court, Riverside Mill, where you can find a variety of delicious options to satisfy your cravings. From classic American fare to hearty Southern specialties, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, the resort offers a full-service restaurant, Boatwright’s Dining Hall, renowned for its comfort food and cozy atmosphere.


One of the highlights of staying at Port Orleans Riverside is the range of recreational activities available to guests. The resort boasts six stunning swimming pools, including the feature pool, Ol’ Man Island, which offers a water slide and a hot tub. You can also rent bicycles or surrey bikes to explore the resort’s scenic grounds or play a round of mini golf at the nearby Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course.


Transportation options from Port Orleans Riverside are convenient. Guests can utilize the complimentary bus transportation to and from the theme parks, as well as water transportation to Disney Springs. The boat ride along the Sassagoula River can be a pleasant and scenic alternative to traveling by bus.


Port Orleans Riverside offers a range of room options to accommodate different party sizes and needs. From standard rooms to preferred rooms with closer proximity to the resort’s amenities, there’s a room type for every preference.


With its serene setting, beautiful theming, and a wide range of amenities and activities, Port Orleans Riverside is an excellent choice for guests seeking a peaceful retreat with a touch of Southern charm during their Disney vacation.


Caribbean Beach Resort

Escape to the vibrant and tropical atmosphere of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. This moderate Disney resort immerses guests in the colorful and laid-back vibes of the Caribbean islands, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.


Caribbean Beach Resort features a variety of room options, including the recently renovated rooms in the Trinidad section. The rooms are designed with vibrant colors, Caribbean-inspired decor, and modern amenities to ensure your comfort. Guests can choose from standard rooms or preferred rooms for added convenience.


One of the highlights of Caribbean Beach Resort is its stunning Fuentes del Morro pool. Shaped like an ancient Spanish fortress, this expansive pool complex offers water slides, water cannons, and even a shipwreck play area for young pirates. It’s the perfect place to cool off and have fun under the warm Florida sun.


The resort offers several dining options to satisfy your taste buds. The Banana Cabana pool bar is a lively spot to grab a refreshing cocktail or light bite. For a more substantial meal, guests can enjoy a delicious array of cuisines at the Centertown Market food court, offering options like classic American fare, grilled specialties, and international dishes.


One of the unique features of Caribbean Beach Resort is its proximity to the new Disney Skyliner transportation system. The Skyliner connects the resort to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, providing a scenic and convenient way to travel to and from the parks. It adds an extra touch of magic to your stay, offering stunning aerial views of the resort and its surroundings.


When it comes to recreational activities, Caribbean Beach Resort offers plenty of options to keep guests entertained. You can rent bikes, embark on a guided fishing excursion, or even enjoy a nighttime campfire with marshmallow roasting. There are also lush gardens and sandy beaches throughout the resort, creating a tropical oasis where you can relax and unwind.


Caribbean Beach Resort’s theming truly transports guests to the Caribbean, creating a vibrant and immersive experience. From the colorful buildings to the swaying palm trees and white-sand beaches, every detail captures the spirit of the islands. It’s the perfect place to escape reality and indulge in the tropical paradise of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.


Coronado Springs Resort

Step into the enchanting world of Mexican and Southwest-inspired architecture and culture at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. This moderate Disney resort offers a unique blend of adventure, tranquility, and elegance, making it a popular choice for guests seeking a touch of sophistication during their Disney vacation.


Coronado Springs Resort features two distinct sections: Casitas and Gran Destino Tower. The Casitas offer standard rooms with a touch of Southwest charm, while the Gran Destino Tower provides a more upscale experience with luxurious rooms and modern amenities.


One of the standout features of Coronado Springs Resort is its stunning lake, Lago Dorado, which adds a sense of tranquility to the resort’s surroundings. Stroll along the scenic pathways, enjoy a peaceful boat ride, or simply relax by the water’s edge and take in the beauty of the resort.


Dining at Coronado Springs Resort is a culinary delight. The resort offers a range of dining options, from the casual Three Bridges Bar & Grill, situated on an island in the middle of the lake, to the acclaimed Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, located on the rooftop of Gran Destino Tower. Indulge in delicious flavors and exquisite dining experiences that will satisfy even the most discerning palates.


The Dig Site is the resort’s main pool area and a hotspot for both relaxation and fun. Families will love the Mayan-themed water slide, the Lost City of Cibola Pool, and the Explorer’s Playground. If you’re seeking a more tranquil swimming spot, the resort also offers several leisure pools scattered throughout the property.


Coronado Springs Resort offers a host of recreational activities to keep guests entertained. Rent a bike and explore the resort’s beautiful grounds, play a game of beach volleyball, or unwind with a massage at La Vida Health Club. There’s something to suit everyone’s interests and preferences.


Transportation options from Coronado Springs Resort are convenient, with complimentary bus transportation to and from the theme parks. The resort is also conveniently located near Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, allowing for easy access to the park’s thrilling attractions and exotic wildlife.


With its captivating theming, stunning lake views, and a range of upscale amenities and dining options, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is the perfect choice for guests seeking a touch of elegance and adventure during their Disney vacation.



Choosing the best moderate Disney resort for your vacation is an exciting decision that will shape your overall experience at the Walt Disney World Resort. Each of the three top-rated moderate resorts—Port Orleans Riverside, Caribbean Beach Resort, and Coronado Springs Resort—offers its own unique theme, atmosphere, and amenities, ensuring a magical and memorable stay.


If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat with a touch of Southern charm, Port Orleans Riverside is an excellent choice. Its picturesque waterfront location, rustic theming, and tranquil pathways create a serene and immersive experience. With multiple dining options, stunning swimming pools, and convenient transportation, you’ll have everything you need for a relaxing stay.


For a vibrant and tropical escape, Caribbean Beach Resort will transport you to the colorful and laid-back vibes of the Caribbean islands. Enjoy the newly renovated rooms, the expansive Fuentes del Morro pool, and the convenience of the Disney Skyliner transportation system. With a variety of dining options and numerous recreational activities, your stay will be filled with fun and relaxation.


If you’re seeking a blend of adventure and elegance, Coronado Springs Resort is the perfect choice. The Mexican and Southwest-inspired theming, luxurious rooms, and picturesque lake views create a unique and sophisticated atmosphere. Indulge in exquisite dining experiences, relax by the stunning Dig Site pool, and enjoy a range of recreational activities that cater to every interest.


Consider factors such as theme and atmosphere, location, room types, amenities, and budget when making your decision. Each resort offers something special, and by understanding your preferences and needs, you can choose the moderate Disney resort that best aligns with your vacation priorities.


No matter which moderate Disney resort you choose, you can expect immersive theming, comfortable accommodations, and a range of amenities that will enhance your stay. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, these resorts provide the perfect balance for a magical and unforgettable Disney vacation.