When we booked our last trip, we really struggled with deciding to upgrade to deluxe or not. In the past, we had stayed at the values and mods and contemplated staying at AKL for the first time. We saw a HUGE difference when we upgraded from values to mods (fell in love with mods) and wondered if we'd find the same difference when upgrading to deluxe. Our oldest daughter is obsessed with animals, and I knew the experience at AKL would add so much to our vacation for her. To upgrade from POFQ to AKL for a 10 day trip was going to be $1,200 more. Not bad, but still hard for me to swallow. We could easily afford it, so that wasn't the problem. The problem is that I'm very frugal (which is why I could afford the upgrade) and had trouble justifying the leap. In the end, we went with it. Luckily, a room discount later came out that we were able to apply to our reservation which only made it around $600 difference. For that length of stay, I thought that amount was very well justified. I would pay the $1,000-1,200 fee to upgrade, but that's my limit. We LOVED AKL, and I wouldn't trade that experience in the world. I'm so glad we did it. It was like a WDW vacation and a mini vacation to Africa all in one. The African theme and the animals really was a draw for us. It wasn't merely the idea of the deluxe. Other than the Poly or AKL, the other deluxes have no appeal to me, so for me it wouldn't be worth the additional fee to upgrade to just any deluxe just to be at a deluxe resort. I think you have to think of what is drawing you to a particular resort. Otherwise, I don't think the extra amenities (for me) are worth the extra fee. For us, AKL offered a unique stay that other deluxes don't offer; we weren't looking for the extra amenities per say, but the experience of the animals/setting. All in all, I would definitely stay at AKL again. I would be hard to get me to pay $2,000 more though. As much as we loved it, I don't think it was worth that much additional money. For that amount of money, I'd happily stay at a mod and lengthen my stay, apply to dining, apply to another trip, etc. It's hard to determine if a resort or an experience is "worth it" to someone else, though. As other posters have stated, they have done deluxe and won't go back now. It's all a matter of opinion. If nothing else, if you do decide to stay at at a mod or value, you could make a trip over to AKL or WL for a meal (Boma at AKL is wonderful). After eating, you could stroll the grounds, see the animals (if going to AKL) and get an idea if it would be worth it to you for a future trip. Good luck with your decision!