The prices are different but what else? is it that the locations are better for the deluxes and they have monorails?
Not all deluxes have monorails...just the Poly, the Comtemporary (toaster hotel) and the Grand Flordian...The Deluxes also have a better selection of places to eat...Also the Values (All Stars and Pop Century) are further out on the property...Ive only stayed at Fort Wilderness cabins and Pop Century...I loved them both...however on my next trip next December I will be staying at the Contemporary..I think I am going to love the ease of getting to the Magic Kingdom!
Definitely more choices to eat. To me, location is relative, as depending on where you spend a majority of your time you may or may not be close to that park, and you may or may not be spending your nights in a deluxe or value or mod. Hope that made sense, its 1am here right now.
Having now stayed at all 3 I would say there was really not an awful lot to choose between the moderates and the budgets except a certain ambiance and a sit down restraunt - the deluxe was far better in terms of its location facilities and above all else the fact that everything was close and under 1 roof. Don't get me wrong I loved my stays in the AS and Pop resorts and the POR but found the walking around the hotels with kids realy quite exhauting at times ( there was also the perennial what do we do with our cups debate)
they are more plush and look soooooooo much better, i visited my 1st disney hotel in oct this yr and i was blown away the boardwalk is awesome, and just walking or doing a circuit of the actual boardwalk was great, took loads of photos of it
Overall, the deluxe resorts are smaller, with fewer, larger rooms. They also have at least 1 TS restaurant (except BWI, which is on the Boardwalk and has many options immediately outside the doors) and more amenities. The themed decor--both interior and exterior--is more elaborate, main pool usually has a slide and there may be a hot tub. There are bicycle and water craft rentals at the deluxe resorts. Some also have spa, gym and/or hair salons. They have the prime locations. The EPCOT resorts have water transportation to/from DHS and EPCOT as well as bus service to the other parks. The monorail resorts have monorail transportation to MK and TTC and water transportation to MK. FW and WL have water transportation to MK. All have bus transportation to the other parks.
As Skywatcher noted, there are more similarities than differences between the moderate and value resorts. The rooms at the moderate resorts are a bit larger and the main pool usually has a slide. They also have a TS restaurant, in addition to CS/food court. CSR is closer to a deluxe in that it is a convention resort and has more amenities. The Dig Site is a cool play area for children, and they have a hair salon and gym facilities. The overall resort size is similar to that of the values--very large!
The value resorts are just that. A neat, clean place to relax and recharge. They have larger than life themed icons, but the overall decor is much simpler than the deluxe resorts. Each one has a main pool and quiet pools. The dining options are limited to CS/food court. Based on my visits to Pop Century, some of the food is pretty good and the menus are reasonably varied. I'm a picky eater, so I haven't tried many of the options. The rooms are smaller than the moderate resorts. The value resorts are very large. The All Star resorts are very convenient to AK and Pop Century is convenient to EPCOT and DHS. Bus transportation only. The longest bus ride from a resort to a park is about 20 minutes, depending on traffic.
The choice really is decided by your budget, needs of your family/group and desired amenities. We've had excellent service at all three resort levels.
I have stayed at Pop, a value, and Coronado Springs, a moderate. I found these differences.... The moderate had a slightly larger room than the value plus it had a curtain to pull across the washing area unlike the value. And the other difference to the room was we had a small fridge already in the room, with the value resort you have to pay daily for a fridge unless you get one on meds grounds. The Moderate resort was a little bit more upmarket in my view but given the choice again I would save my money and go value. Can't comment on the deluxe ones though wish I could!
Oh! And in the deluxe category, all of the resorts are under one roof, as Skywatcher said. Except the Polynesian. It's a series of longhouses and a cermonial house, so you do have to go outside to visit the restaurants. Just in case that's important!
Good thing Crayola posted just before I did!
Forgot that the deluxe and moderate resorts all have a small refrigerator in the room at no charge. It's possible to rent them at the value resorts, but it becomes fairly expensive for a longer visit.
Oh! And CSR also has water craft rentals--the only moderate that does. I think they also have bicycle rentals, but I don't remember for sure.
The GF and CR aren't under all one roof either.
Personally, location to me is almost immaterial, unless it's FWF and I want to be at the BC.
It's all down to what you prefer. Our very first love is the BC. We love the ambience, the lightness, the space, the pool, the proximity to EPCOT.
Our favorite DVC is OKW. It's the largest room/villa size, and has the best walking areas, the nicest trail to DTD... not the best food selection (but we often cook when we are there).
We've enjoyed both All Stars and Pop Century. We've never stayed at a moderate, although my brother did. We visited him at Port Orleans. I really would like to stay there one day.
Our least favorite (of those we've stayed in) is BWV. Noisy, generally shabby, with hit or miss staff...just don't get how that can be a deluxe. I know loads of folks love it though. Again, it's down to personal preference, eh?
Amenities, cost, food choices, and pool "elaborateness" are some of the immediate differences. Believe it or not, the bus service at some deluxes is terrible! They share and those puppies get jam packed and terribly crowded.