Theme Park Insider Awards: Vote for the Best Moderate/Value Hotel

January 9, 2019, 1:21 PM · Welcome to the finals of the 2019 Theme Park Insider Awards! Today, we announce the finalists in our first category, which is a new one this year — Best Moderate/Value Hotel.

We are introducing this award to honor hotels that provide excellence for theme park visitors on a budget. It's one thing to create a world-class experience when price is no object. But hotels that deliver world-class value at real-world prices deserve special praise from our readers.

The finalists in this category were the on-site theme park resort hotels in these price categories that received the highest average ratings from Theme Park Insider readers over the previous 12 months.

Universal's Aventura Hotel

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Disney's Port Orleans - French Quarter Resort

Disney's Port Orleans - French Quarter Resort

Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside Resort

Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside Resort

Universal's Sapphire Falls Resort

Universal's Sapphire Falls Resort

Your vote will help determine the winner! Voting will be open for one week from the time of this post. While we encourage campaigning in the comments, brigading is not cool. Let's allow the Theme Park Insider community to pick the winner.

We will announce the winners of the 2019 Theme Park Insider Awards later this month. Still to come: Voting for Best Deluxe Hotel, Best Quick Service Restaurant, Best Table Service Restaurant, Best Show, Best Roller Coaster, Best Themed Ride, and Best Theme Park.

Replies (11)

January 9, 2019 at 1:33 PM

I can't possibly vote for Fort Wilderness. First, if you're not tent camping or have an RV, the resort is most decidedly not "value" priced with cabins that often exceed the costs of suites/villas at deluxe resorts. Secondly, few people ever camp at the campsites as most frequent WDW visitors use Fort Wilderness reservations as "place holders" to gain access to Magic Hours, early FP+ access, and free DDP promotions. I think more people book campsites but instead stay at an offsite hotel just so they can get the perks of staying on-site at cut-rate prices. Is a resort really a value if people spend money on reservations only to never step foot on the property?

January 9, 2019 at 1:57 PM

Why are these nominees only from the USA and from exactly 2 theme park destination resorts in Central Florida? There are qualified candidates elsewhere, especially overseas.

January 9, 2019 at 2:01 PM

Would not Breakers be deemed a moderate hotel .... ? If so, it gets my vote.
I've never stayed at any of those you listed.

I'm with Dave on the overseas part .... the Alton Towers hotel was great as well ... ?

January 9, 2019 at 2:38 PM

I would consider Hotel Breakers a "deluxe" hotel. Price-wise, it's on par with Orlando-area deluxe resorts with summer rates rarely below $300/night. It's essentially the Grand Floridian of Cedar Point compared to the other lodging options in Sandusky. Breakers Express would be the "moderate/value" hotel of Cedar Point, and it's really just a re-branded Days Inn - don't think that deserves to be nominated in this category.

I agree that it's a shame the choices are limited to hotels in Orlando, but the nominees are based on TPI ratings and reviews, so that means hotels and resorts in other parts of the world simply don't match the offerings in Orlando. Plus, I don't think there are a lot of resort-owned hotels in other places that would fall into this value/moderate category. This category is pretty exclusive to Orlando (and is growing) with most other resorts around the world instead with just deluxe hotels and partnering with popular hotel chains to fill the moderate/value niche. None of the Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, or Disneyland Paris hotels would fall into the value/moderate category.

January 9, 2019 at 7:52 PM

Gotta say CABANA BAY #1! There is a relaxing feel to the resort, light and airy with wonderful 50s nostalgia, great rooms/suites with plenty of space for the family, great pools, good food options (especially for breakfast), a BOWLING ALLEY! and the best accessibility and view into any theme park in Orlando, that with Volcano Bay. All this and it’s also very affordable.
My #2 would be Port Orleans Riverside. Love Boatwrights for dinner and the themed Princess Rooms.

January 9, 2019 at 3:19 PM

That's simply not the case. There are plenty of theme park destination on-site resort hotels outside of Florida that qualify price wise. Merlin Entertainments has met their corporate goal of having an onsite hotel property at each of their theme parks, including all of their LEGOLAND theme parks worldwide as well as their theme park resorts division in Europe. Europa-Park and Port Aventura World offer this category, as does Efteling. Disneyland Paris has two moderate on-site resorts. Shanghai Disney's Toy Story Hotel and Tokyo Disney Resort's Ambassador are both considered Moderate. I certainly don't consider Hotel Breakers premium- in fact, that property covers multiple price points and it isn't the only on-site option at Cedar Point. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom has multiple on-site hotels at different price points as well. It seems more that the active posters on Theme Park Insider mostly frequent USA Disney and Universal theme parks and only remember overseas theme parks when it's time to vote on brackets that automatically include them- odd since Efteling and Tokyo DisneySeas are rightfully honored here while we're to believe most of those voters had no experience at the on-site resorts at these places? When it comes to on-site resort options at theme parks at multiple price points it certainly is not quite a "Small World" after all....and not all of those places are run by The Mouse nor by Loews for Universal Orlando.

January 9, 2019 at 6:34 PM

Robert .... is it possible to add an option for "Other" and let people add their moderate hotel choice ??

For me, who has never stayed at any of those hotels, it would be great to be able to add my choice.

Let's also not forget, that a moderate hotel for one group of people can be viewed as premium by others, and even budget for the select few.

January 10, 2019 at 11:38 AM

Went with Riverside as loved the place since it was Dixie Landings and just love its charm and nice amenities.

January 10, 2019 at 1:37 PM

Voted for Cabana Bay due to its great pricing and really cool theming. Love the fact that its so close to Volcano Bay and overall doesn't feel like a "cheap" hotel. Sapphire Falls is cool too but there's more stuff to do at Cabana Bay.

January 10, 2019 at 2:27 PM

I'm going with Sapphire, since it also includes the water taxi. And it's an easy walk from there if you want to enjoy Aventura's roof top bar or Cabana Bay's bowling alley.

January 14, 2019 at 9:47 PM

I'll be at the Days Inn on I-Drive. That's closer to my definition of "value".

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