At both the values and moderates the preferred rooms either have a pool view or water view or are close to the lobby, foodcourts/resturants and bus stops. IMHO they are not worth it. One being near the pools and lobby and bus stops means more noise and foot traffic at all hours. Why would you pay more for that.
As for paying more for a view out of my door or window just not worth it. I am never in the room long enough to enjoy it.
If the two choices were the same price (Preferred Value vs Standard Moderate), I'd defintiely go with the Moderate.
A Preferred Value room just upgrades the room's location. A Moderate room (even the Standard) is larger than a Value room, and the resorts have nicer, more "grown-up" theming (not that there's anything wrong with the Value theming...) and more amenities.
But I guess it's up to you what "similar in price" means, and when you're going... Looking at the prices for Jan 1-15, for example, a Preferred Value is $97, where a Standard Moderate is $149. I'm not sure a $50/night difference would be considered "similar prices".
At all 3 Value resorts, there is a category called "preferred," and at Caribbean Beach Resort there is a category called "preferred location."
The ONLY thing that puts a room in this category is the room's physical location relative to some centralized location at the resort (food court, main pool, etc.). There is NOTHING about the interior of the room that is different from a standard room. If you took the general manager of one of those resorts and put him/her in a "preferred" room but had the curtains drawn so he/she couldn't see outside, he/she would have no way of knowing whether the room is "preferred" or not.
If you are willing to pay a few extra dollars, get the standard room at the moderate. A preferred room at any resort gets you nothing other than supposedly a better location. Rooms at a moderate resort are larger than Value rooms (about 40 square feet more depending on the resort), have a mini-fridge, have a double sink in the bathroom area, and just all around feel nicer.
I agree with those that have said if the choice is between preferred value and standard moderate, go with standard. We paid for a "water view" at the moderate and it was just close to the pool. There was nothing special about it. I'm sure values are the same.
Absolutely standard moderate! My first time staying on property, we asked for a "garden view" at a value resort. We got a room with a clump of bushes in front of a parking lot for our view :fork:. "Garden view" then is what "preferred" is now.
Thanks for all the great information so far. It sounds like a standard room at a moderate resort is a better idea, that little extra space would be nice to have and the mini-fridge is required for our stay. For about an extra $350, really only $280 because I would have to rent a fridge anyway at the value, for a 7 night stay I would have a nicer accommodations and dining options in the resort.
Please, if anymore differences come to mind post your thoughts!
I don't know if it is because of DD3, but when I book a preferred at the values, I have never faced the pool. We are usually on the 2nd level, facing "green" whether it be the trees or just the walkway between resorts - and either the backside of the rooms facing the pool or having the driveway on the other side of the trees. I have never had an issue with noise either. It works out well at the end of a long night, not having to walk that extra half mile to a standard room. Then again, when I have been down there during "quiet" time, we have booked standard and ended up in the same rooms we had that we paid preferred rates for - granted a room or two off maybe - but it was nice.
Keep in mind that when you book a preferred room at a Value like Pop you may be located close to the pool or food court but not have a view of it. The same goes with garden view or water view. You may be located near that view but not necessarily will you have a view of it.