The Best Building at Every WDW Value and Moderate Resort

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We all have reasons for picking the WDW resorts that we stay at. It could be cost or theme or proximity to a particular park. But no matter where you choose to stay, wouldn’t it be nice to know which building at that resort had the highest overall satisfaction? That way you could submit a room request to increase your chances of being very happy with your room. Today we’ll look at the “best” buildings at each Value and Moderate resort, followed by Deluxe and DVC resorts later today. (Updated June 1st, 2022)

In our pre-kids, rope-drop-until-post-closure touring days we loved staying the 70s section at Pop Century. I mean, who wouldn’t want to pretend to be foosball players late at night?

Explain the Math!

Easy math today! And if you’ve read any of our resort satisfaction posts, you know the drill. After every WDW stay, you can submit a post-visit survey. And if you submit a room number with that survey, then I can tell which building or section that you stayed in.

For each building (or section), I calculated the overall average satisfaction. Then I compared it to other buildings at the same resort to see which average was highest.

One other note – resort maps in this post are going to be tiny. But if you click on them, they should expand.

Best Buildings at Value Resorts

All-Star Sports

Note: All-Star Sports hasn’t been reopened long enough to gather post-reopening satisfaction, so its results are still from the pre-pandemic era.
All-Star Sports is an absolutely huge complex. It’s often packed with competitions teams or squads. It’s also regularly the cheapest resort on property at WDW. If you find yourself planning at All-Star Sports, the buildings with the highest satisfaction are in the Touchdown! area. The average rating for Building 10 is a pretty surprising 4.75. The next-highest building at All-Star Sports is Touchdown! Building 7, with an average rating of 4.58. Both are close to the main building and transportation. And there is no loud pool to contend with either.

All-Star Movies

Moving on up (as far as price is concerned) in the world of the All-Stars, we come to All-Star Movies. Another large resort with relatively cheap prices. If I would’ve guessed which area was most popular at this resort based on theme alone before seeing the results, I would have gone with Toy Story. Toy Story always wins, right? It did last year, but with the past year of results, it’s the 101 Dalmatians buildings that have pulled ahead. Or, more realistically, fell … less behind? Buildings 1 and 4 are tied with an average satisfaction of 4.6 – both of which are significantly lower than Toy Story’s 4.75 score a year ago. The 101 Dalmatians buildings are close to the main building and transportation, and don’t have a loud pool between them. All positives.

All-Star Music

All-Star Music is the first resort that I distinctly remember visiting as a kid. I remember thinking that the Calypso pool was the coolest thing ever … and that’s about it. Maybe everyone that stays there feels the same way, because the Calypso section has the highest satisfaction ratings at the resort, with Building 10 averaging 4.64. Music is also the All-Star resort with the most tunnel-of-doom-like design. Unless you’re staying in Calypso, you have a really long walk to wherever you’re staying. It’s not surprising that the next-closest section, Jazz Inn, has the next-highest satisfaction with Building 2 clocking in at 4.6.

Pop Century

We’ve discovered that Pop Century is a place that gets a lot of repeat visitors. It’s nicer than the All-Stars, and less expensive than Art of Animation. And now it has access to the Skyliner too. So which area gets the highest satisfaction ratings? The spread here is much lower than any of the other value resorts. The area with the lowest average is only 0.3 points lower than the area with the highest average. So you’re probably going to be okay no matter where you stay. But the winner here over the past year has shifted away from the 90s and to the building that probably makes most sense – Building 4 in the 1960s. You can get standard or preferred rooms here, and be within close walking distance to both the Skyliner and the main building and bus transportation. You can be by the pool, or away from it in a quieter location.

Art of Animation

Now we’re to our most expensive “value” resort. Art of Animation is a tale of two resorts – with the standard rooms and then the family suites. Unsurprisingly, the Little Mermaid area with its standard rooms has the lowest satisfaction at the resort. The surprise here is with the new winner, which is building 2. Building two is fully of Cars family suites, but it’s the one family suite building that is furthest from both the main building and the Skyliner! Even more surprising? Its average score is an astounding 4.9. Almost perfect. Building 3 is the next-best building at this resort, with a not-terrible score of 4.75. If you are looking for a Little Mermaid room, aim for Building 7. It has better scores than the other two buildings in that section – by far.

Best Buildings at Moderate Resorts

Port Orleans – French Quarter

In general, POFQ is a resort with pretty high satisfaction. It has struggled a bit since reopening, with all buildings taking a hit in average satisfaction. The one building that managed to keep well-above-average satisfaction is Building 2, with an overall satisfaction score of 4.84. Building 2 has something for everyone – quick access to a pool, calm river views, or being just steps away from the main building and transportation. It’s right in the middle of the “action”, although since this is a relatively small and quiet resort, that action is minimal. Interestingly, Building 7, the furthest removed from any action, comes in second place here.

Port Orleans – Riverside

Compared to POFQ’s seven buildings, its sister resort has 20. Yikes. The buildings at Riverside all vary widely in walk times, themes, and size. And look, a tie! A tie! That doesn’t happen often. But since reopening, Buildings 39 and 80 both average another truly impressive 4.9 satisfaction score. If you prefer the smaller buildings of Alligator Bayou, 39 will get you quick access to transportation and a pool, as well as a mild walk to the main building. If you prefer the bigger buildings of Magnolia Bend, 80 is the place to be instead. It has slightly worse access to the main building, but slightly better access to transportation.

Caribbean Beach

Caribbean Beach used to regularly score the lowest out of any of the moderate resorts. But post-reopening, things have been shaking up a bit. The introduction of the Skyliner has certainly helped. And the building-by-building results are just … all over the place. No one section is remarkably better-rated than others, but Trinidad buildings reliably score lower than other areas. The one building that rises above the chaos is Aruba Building 51, with an average rating of 4.72. It does have easily walkable access to the pool and main building, and it’s equidistant from the two Skyliner stations, but it’s not remarkably close to either. So there’s that. Following close behind is Barbados Building 31, with its average rating of 4.71.

Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs is another sprawling resort with many buildings to choose from. And the average satisfaction scores for each building exhibit some of the widest ranges of any resort. The difference between the top and bottom building is 0.67. Last year, I immediately assumed that Gran Destino Tower was going to have the highest satisfaction here. It’s shiny and new. But I quickly learned that wasn’t true, although it’s moving up the list. The real winner here is Cabanas 8A, with average satisfaction at a whopping 4.9 since reopening. It’s a really quick walk to the pool and transportation, and it has decent bridge access to dining options.

The Cabins at Fort Wilderness

The Cabins are considered a moderate resort, but are definitely different (and priced higher) than all of the other moderate resorts. Each cabin is a 1-bedroom suite. We don’t have enough reviews from just post-reopening to make a call on best section from those alone, so I’ve added them in to the pre-pandemic ratings. Once again we have a very clear best section of the resort, and that is the 100 Loop, with an average satisfaction of 4.92. Unfortunately, there are only two cabins on that loop – it didn’t make our list of top 4 buildings overall solely because we have very few reviews from those two cabins (6 reviews from Cabin 118 and 4 reviews from Cabin 120). Both cabins have a 1-2 minute walk to Pioneer Hall and transportation. Their location is ideal. If you can’t get lucky enough to land in the 100 loop, try for the next-best sections, the 2600 loop.

What Does This Mean For You?

  1. No matter where you stay, there are buildings that end up earning better satisfactions scores, and those that tend to average lower. At some resorts this difference is negligible (like Pop Century), while at others it make a really big difference (like Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs).
  2. Buildings with the best scores are generally closer to transportation and/or the main building at the resort. There are some exceptions to that rule, but it’s a good place to start.
  3. If you use the Room Finder, no matter what the overall satisfaction is at that resort, you can find and request something that meets your needs. It has information about view, walking distances, and reviews from other users if any have been submitted.

 

Did your favorite building make the list? Like me, were you surprised by any of the results? Do you have any predictions for what we might see at Deluxe and DVC resorts? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

8 thoughts on “The Best Building at Every WDW Value and Moderate Resort

  • June 30, 2021 at 3:16 pm
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    Hey, I’ve stayed in Building 6 at POFQ!! And yes, I loved it. I would definitely hope to stay there again if they ever re-open that resort. But I’m surprised because — just anecdotally — I feel like more people prefer Building 4. It’s closest to the buses and very close to the food court. But math doesn’t lie, does it? I’m with the in-crowd!

    Reply
    • June 30, 2021 at 3:29 pm
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      Math doesn’t lie, but humans can use math to lie. Ha! That’s always the important distinction I make. I would say I also anecdotally have heard more people preferring Building 4. To be fair, the River View rooms in Building 6 are more expensive, so it could just be that people love Building 4 enough (it had 4.81 satisfaction in its own right) to not feel the need to shell out the extra money for Building 6.

      Reply
      • July 1, 2021 at 7:25 pm
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        I’m not really buying Pop. I would swear by the lakeside of building 5. We stayed in the last room closest to the lake. 2 or 3 minutes to lobby, now would be super close to skyliner and close to art of animation. All of this for standard view rate. Those buildings that are far out feel like a long way from the action.

      • July 1, 2021 at 9:30 pm
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        Pop stymies me as well. The only thing I can think of is theme. But you bring up an interesting point, Disneydadben. It would be interesting to pull a pre/post Skyliner at the relevant resorts to see if it impacted satisfaction in nearby rooms.

  • July 2, 2021 at 7:50 am
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    I wondered if the stats for Pop are affected by the fact that the 90’s building was one of the first to be renovated?

    Reply
    • July 2, 2021 at 8:14 am
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      I wondered the same thing initially, DisneyTOC. But I pulled the satisfaction numbers for just that building across time, and there was no significant change pre/post renovation.

      Reply
  • June 14, 2022 at 4:12 pm
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    That AOA result floors me! I’ve only stayed there once, several years ago when my son was 9 so the Cars theme was important. We ended up in building 2, and while it was all very nice, it sure felt like that walk to food, transportation and the big blue pool was so very looong…

    Reply
    • June 15, 2022 at 8:58 am
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      Right?! Out of all of the results, that one was very bizarre.

      Reply

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