Today, I’m moving up the Walt Disney World resort food chain with the moderate resorts. There are four moderate resorts: Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans, and the Fort Wilderness Cabins and Campground.
In general, these resorts have rooms which are a little bit bigger than the value resorts. They also have more recreation on the resort property and some even have table-service dining options at the resort.
Caribbean Beach Resort
Located between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
The map, here, doesn’t lie. The resort is BIG. There are 33 buildings along the 42-acre Barefoot Bay Lake. The nice thing is buildings are only two-story high so you don’t have worry about a high-rise building blocking the view from the room. The 33 buildings are connected by a 1.4 mile walking trail just to give some perspective as to the size of the resort.
Everything is centered on the Old Port Royale (also called Centertown). Guests will find the Market Street Food Court, Shutters, which is a table-service, sit-down restaurant, bicycle and boat rentals, the main Pirate-themed main pool.
The resort has nine pools in total. Given the size of the resort, this is a necessity because it can be up to a 15-minute walk from Old Port Royale to the outer buildings. Each village (there are six villages: Trinidad North, Trinidad South, Jamaica, Aruba, Barbados, and Martinique) has its own beach area. Jamaica and Aruba are located on the other side of the lake from the other four villages and Old Port Royale. There is a connector bridge over the lake to get to these two villages. However, there is no swimming in the lake.
Bikes and boats are available for rent at the Barefoot Bay Marina located within Old Port Village. Sea Raycers, sailboats, pontoon boats (up to eight people), canoes, and paddle boats are available for rent. Motorboats are only rented to guests 12 and over AND at least 5 feet tall. Pontoon boats – guests must be 18 and over.
Food is available the Market Street Food Court which is open from 6 am until midnight. This is a quick-service if guests are on the dining plan.
Caribbean Beach also has a table-service restaurant at Shutters. A sample menu can be found here. http://allears.net/dining/menu/shutters/dinner
The rooms at Caribbean Beach are 340 square feet compared to the 260 square feet at the value resorts.
Some of the rooms have been converted into pirate-themed rooms.
Prices for the rooms, depending on the season, cost as little as $170/nt during the week and $190/nt on weekends. The pirate rooms are more expensive starting at $227/nt during the week and $249/nt on weekends.
Like the value rooms, Disney buses are the main form of transportation to and from the parks. There are multiple bus stops within Caribbean Beach.
Coronado Springs Resort
Located near the Animal Kingdom Park.
Another big resort with buildings around Lago Dorado. The buildings here are only two or three stories. The front desk and main dining areas are separate. The front desk is located on one side of the convention center while the dining (Pepper Market and Maya Grill) are located on the other.
A stepped Mayan Pyramid frames the 120’x90′ Dig Site pool with water slide. There are is a playground/archaeological dig site for kids by The Dig Site as well.
The buildings surround Lago Dorado. As a result, some of the buildings are healthy walk from the front of the resort, convention center, and restaurants. To counter this, Coronado Springs has its own internal shuttle service throughout the resort.
There is no boat rental available at Coronado Springs. There is bike rental.
There is a quick-service restaurant at Coronado Springs at Pepper Market open from 6 am to 11 pm. There is also a table-service restaurant, Maya Grill. And their menu: http://allears.net/dining/menu/maya-grill/dinner A lounge area that is open until 2 am is available at Rix Lounge.
The rooms are little smaller than the Caribbean Beach rooms at 314 square feet and can accommodate up to four guests.
Rates start at $175/nt during the week and $195/nt on weekends.
Buses are the only form of transportation to and from the parks.
Animal Kingdom: approximately 20 minutes
EPCOT: 10 minutes
Hollywood Studios: 10 minutes
Magic Kingdom: 20 minutes
Port Orleans is two resorts in one. There are two locations: French Quarter and Riverside. The resort, itself, is located between EPCOT and Downtown Disney.
Another massive resort in terms of layout. Each area has its own check-in area. The French Quarter is more “land-locked” than Riverside where the buildings surround river and The Fishin’ Hole island.
Each part of the resort has its own main pool: French Quarter has the Doobloon Lagoon and Riverside houses the Ol’ Man Island Fishing Hole. There are smaller pool throughout both halves of the resort.
Like Caribbean Beach, there is both bike and boat rentals at Port Orleans. Bikes can be rented from 9 am to 5 pm daily while boats can be rented from 10 am to 5 pm daily.
Unlike Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs, there is no table-service restaurant at Port Orleans French Quarter. There is only the quick-service Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. If a guest is looking for table service dining, head over to Port Orleans Riverside and dine at Boatwright’s. A sample menu: http://allears.net/dining/menu/boatwrights-dining-hall/dinner Riverside has its own quick-service food court at the Riverside Mill.
Rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter can accommodate up to four people. Port Orleans Riverside can accommodate up to five people with the addition of a pull out Murphy bed in some of the rooms. Port Orleans Riverside is the larger of the two with 2,048 compared to 1,000 rooms at French Quarter.
Rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside start at $170/nt during the week and $195/nt on weekends.
Bus is only mode of transportation to and from the parks and French Quarter and Riverside each have their own buses except during slow periods at the parks when the two resorts are combined into one bus with bus, usually, stopping at Riverside first then going to the French Quarter.
There is boat transportation available to and from the Downtown Disney area.
Fort Wilderness Cabins and Campground
Located between EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom is the Fort Wilderness Cabins and Campground, one of the original Disney resorts.
Given its primary function as a resort for people who come down in RVs and wish to camp on Disney property, it’s another big resort with plenty of room for RVs with 800 campsites and 409 cabins sprinkled throughout the campground.
Guests check-in at the Reception Outpost. The cabins are 12’x42′ and have a sleeping area and living/cooking area. Each cabin has a full bathroom with shower. There are 15 comfort stations throughout the resort with private showers for guests who have come down to camp on property.
Like Coronado Springs, Fort Wilderness has its own internal transportation system. The resort is 1.5 miles long and .5 miles wide.
The resort has two pools. The main pool is located at the center of the resort and a smaller pool is located by the resort’s main entrance.
Fort Wilderness has a variety of recreational activities.
- Tennis: two lighted tennis courts
- An archery experience – can be booked 90 days in advance for guests 7 and up. 90-minute experience which costs $39 (plus tax) per person.
- Specialty Cruises of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon
- Guided horseback trail rides at the Triple-D Ranch
- Pony Rides from 10 am to 5 pm on Cinderella’s ponies at the Triple-D Farm. Guests must 2 years old and wear closed-toed shoes. Rides cost $5.
- Nightly Wagon Rides leaving from Pioneer Hall
- Bicycle rental by the hour or the day
- Fishing in the canals for free or guided tours on Bay Lake with a professional guide
- Watercraft rental
- The Electrical Water Pageant starting at 9:45 pm every night
Inside the guest cabins:
The campgrounds have two restaurants and two dinner shows located on property.
Snacks and pizza can be found at Crockett’s Tavern.
An all-you-can eat buffet at Trails End which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner: http://allears.net/dining/location/trails-end
The two dinner shows are:
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ held on select evenings at the Fort Wilderness Pavilion: http://allears.net/dining/menu/fort-wilderness-pavilion/backyard-bbq
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (two table-service DDP credits): http://allears.net/dining/menu/pioneer-hall/hoop-dee-doo
Rates for campsites start at $49/nt during the week and $57/nt on weekends. The cabins start at $294/nt during the week and $309/nt on weekends.
Bus and boat transportation is available to and from the parks:
Animal Kingdom: a bus stop at the Outpost Depot
EPCOT: a bus stop at the Outpost Depot
Hollywood Studios: a bus stop at the Outpost Depot
Magic Kingdom: internal transportation to the Settlement Depot, then walk to the marina and wait for a boat (with a green flag) to go to Magic Kingdom
That concludes the recap of Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World. Tomorrow, I’ll move on the Deluxe Resorts before closing on Friday with the Deluxe Villa Resorts.
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