Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Moderate Resorts

A couple of weeks ago, we gave you the details on planning your Disney trip and choosing from the value resorts. Moderate resorts are the next step up, and for most people, this is their stay of choice when Deluxe are out of reach and they want a few more perks than Value have to offer. walt-disney-world-trip-planning

Like Value Resorts, there are five Moderate Resorts to choose from at Walt Disney World Resort: Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Each of these have distinct themes, range in sizes, and have their own pros and cons. All offer complimentary wi-fi Internet and have mini-fridges (minus the campground). As we mentioned in our last resort post, fact sheets and details are available straight from the Walt Disney World planning site, but we want to offer our input, too—especially because some of our favourites are among these! Here’s the low down on what to know—especially when you have a Special Diet in tow!


Port Orleans Riverside

What we love:

  • Being on the Sassagoula River, Riverside is a calm sanctuary, especially when you stay in the Magnoila Bend. These two and three-story mansions are lined with beautiful foliage and house a Southern charm. There’s also Alligator Bayou, with rustic, Cajun-style buildings.
  • Downtown Disney is accessible via a boat that runs between Riverside, French Quarter, and the Marketplace and Westside.
  • French Quarter is easily accessible in a short walk along the river, making for more options for movies, the arcade, the pool, and the Food Court.

What we could pass on:

  • It’s a popular resort—one that sells out fast—and the Food Court is a frenzy at meal times. When you’re ordering with a Special Diet, allow for that extra time at this popular family-friendly resort.


Port Orleans French Quarter

What we love:

  • Small in size with a big New Orleans theme, this resort is a favourite of many (including one of ours!) It is easily accessible, shares the boat and river with Riverside, and the perfect balance of calm and fun.
  • Allergy-free Beignets. Enough said.

What we could pass on:

  • Because French Quarter is so popular and sells out quickly, it’s often not included in the same level discounts that Moderate Resorts receive.
  • It’s a small resort and has one bus stop, making it ideal for short wait and drop off times… but sometimes it shares these stops with Riverside, making a quick jaunt to or from the resort end up being a lot longer.


Coronado Springs

What we love:

  • It’s the host for our Food Allergy and Celiac Convention, of course! We love the perks that it has to offer, as being a Moderate Value with plenty of options for staying on site at our event.
  • The pools are so fun! One even has a Mayan temple right in it.

What we could pass on:

  • Being a Convention Centre can have its drawbacks—it can get overrun with business folk depending when you stay.
  • The restaurants here are non-Disney owned, making ordering with a Special Diet a little more difficult.


Caribbean Beach

What we love:

  • A super relaxed vibe, this resort features great running and walking paths, sandy white beaches, and fun activities like volleyball. It has that super “get away from it all” feel.
  • There’s always availability — likely due to its size.

What we could pass on:

  • The resort is huge… so big, in fact, that there is an internal shuttle bus to get around. If a quaint resort is more your style, this one isn’t for you… unless you’re patient enough for those buses.

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground kitchen

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

What we love:

  • The cabins are equipped with free wired Internet, which is definitely a perk from the average “roughing it”.
  • You can get adventurous with horseback riding, head over to the petting zoo, or opt for a hayride. This, of course, isn’t all… you might want to try your hand at some water sports, pick up that tennis raquet, or attend Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long… complete with marshmallow roasting. For those with allergies who can’t have the classic Jet-Puffed, you can bring your own, too.
  • You have your own kitchen facilities in all of the cabins, so if you’re wary about Special Diet dining, you can cater to yourself.
  • Trail’s End, a restaurant at the resort, is one of the cheapest buffets, but you still get that Disney Special Diet service, making it a cost efficient location to stay at for food options.

What we could pass on:

  • It’s a little remote and out of the way, and the transportation doesn’t live up to the ideal set by the other resorts.
  • There aren’t quite as many amenities here as other resorts, so definitely plan out what you’d need beforehand and make sure it is ideal for you.

In our Friday Trip Planning series, we’ll be touching on the other resorts, too, but be sure to check back with everything else we’ve posted so far! Whether you’re planning on staying at a Value resort, want to know where to eat, or plan around the Convention’s events, we’ll get it covered! Be sure to share with us your own stories and questions, too.

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11 thoughts on “Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Moderate Resorts

  1. We like to try a variety of resorts. We stayed twice at POFQ and we’ve had great experiences there and while there we’ve also eaten at POR where they’ve taken good care of us. We stayed in a cabin at FW once and had great experiences with their TS restaurants. CS the options were really limited but we had groceries delivered to our cabin having come up with a menu for it before our trip so most meals where we would otherwise eat CS we had the ingredients for a simple meal in our kitchen. We spent 2 days at CBR once and they did a great job with our food there as well but I didn’t like the layout where you can’t see the different stations from a central point so browsing what ingredients they may have was more difficult than at POR and POFQ. The only moderate resort I won’t try is CSR because we’ve just got too many allergies to risk staying at a resort where the dining is not run but Disney since we eat a lot at our resort.

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  3. We stayed at POFQ and my son wanted to get pizza. Having a milk sensitivity, it’s not always easy to find him dairy free cheese. Well, the chef at Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory asked us to wait a minute and went in the back and found some to make a pizza with! My son was so happy to enjoy his dairy free pizza, which he said was “delicious!”.

    • That’s awesome, Melanie! We love the chefs at Port Orleans French Quarter, and we’re really glad to hear that they could make your son a dairy free & delicious pizza! Love that extra Disney magic!

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