Value Resorts – This resort category is perfect for those looking to travel on a budget with prices the most affordable of the Disney categories. To learn about the other categories check out my post. Value Resorts offer:
- Larger-than-life Disney Characters – They are colorful, vibrant and perfect for children. Art of Animation has a 4-story Ursula from the Little Mermaid, All Star Movies features towering Dalmatians or and swimming pools are in fun shapes like bowling pins. What they lack in terms of luxury they completely make up for in fun.
- Double Beds – Where as the Moderate and Deluxes feature Queen bed options, the standard rooms at the values will offer 2 double beds.
- Rooms that Open to the Outside – I like to call this motel style. Rather than being in a central building, all of the resorts in the Value Category (with the exception of the Art of Animation Family Suites) have rooms that open right to the outside corridor and feature a window with curtain.
- Large Central Pool Areas but No Water Slides – Each of the Values has a delightful central pool area as well as some satellite pools. Each of the pools at the Values offer fun water features and cute theming that families love. The Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation even pumps in music underwater so your kids can have a listen while they swim. However, for those looking for waterslides, you’ll need to upgrade as its one of the added perks of staying at a Moderate or Deluxe.
- Food Court Dining – Each of the Value Resorts will offer a central Food Court where guests can choose cafeteria style from a range of different options. There are no Table Service options at the Values.
- Bus transportation to and from the Parks. It is the only mode of transportation to the parks and Disney Springs. Resort buses typically leave from the Values every 10 – 20 minutes with stops at each of the four theme parks as well as Disney Springs.
All Star Sports
Spread over a vast expanse, the All Star resorts comprise 30 three-story motel-style guest-room Buildings. Although the three resorts are neighbors, each resort has its own lobby, food court, and registration area.
At the All Star Sports Resort, bigger is better. You’ll find bright, bold and colorful pop art icons such as a 4-story football helmet, giant “tennis ball can” and megaphone-shaped stairwells.
You check into the All Star Sports Resort in Stadium Hall. From the moment you arrive, the fun theme is evident. This is the main lobby, arcade, food court and gift shop rolled into one.
The End Zone Food Court is Counter Service for Breakfast you will find platters with eggs, sausage, bacon, a biscuit, and potatoes, Croissant breakfast sandwiches, omelets, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, grits, a variety of bakery and cold items
Lunch & Dinner you will see your favorite ball park classics.
Individual & family-sized pizza, breadsticks, create-your-own pasta, meatball & hot Italian deli subs, nachos, taco salad, chicken nuggets, grilled chicken sandwiches, create-your-own burgers, hot dogs, french fries, chili cheese fries and more.
The five featured sports themed building areas are: football, tennis, baseball, basketball and surfing. The two 3-story Touchdown buildings face each other across the football field. Giant helmets (large enough to fit a 200-foot tall football player) enclose the stairwells.
Preferred Rooms are located in the Surfing and Football buildings.
All Star Sports has 2 pools. The largest, Surfboard Bay Pool, sits directly behind the Stadium Hall lobby and food court, between the two buildings dedicated to the genre of the same name. The pool features a wavy look, although is not a wave pool.
The other smaller pool, The Grand Slam Pool, is located near the Baseball area. This pool area is themed like a like a baseball diamond, and features large bats and baseballs. The Grand Slam Pool is considered a “quiet pool,” meaning that loud play and splashing around are discouraged.
Just outside of the food court and on the way to the Surfboard Bay Pool is the . Grandstand Spirits Bar. It has outdoor seating and a limited drink menu, with several beer selections, a couple of wines, and a small selection of spirits. It’s fine if you want a Budweiser or strawberry margarita to relax with by the pool, or to get a nightcap on the way back to your room for the night.
The All Star Music themes are Country, Broadway, Jazz, Rock and Calypso. Oversized pop icons are found everywhere. In the Country section you’ll find a pair of size 270 Cowboy Boots. Walk along the “Great White Way” of course “Beauty and the Beast” is on the marquee.
Melody Hall is All Star Music’s lobby. In it you will find the check-in counter, concierge, Note’able Games Arcade, the gift shop Maestro Mickey’s, and Intermission Food Court.
“Intermission Food Court” offers several different counters with a variety of food options, a “Grab & Go” market for grocery-type choices, a colossal dining room, and plenty of themed atmosphere. You will find the same type of food as the All Star Sports.
The Calypso Pool is the main pool here and shaped like a guitar (complete with the 3 Caballeros shooting water in the middle). The kiddie pool makes up the head stock of the guitar. This is where you can find the Singing Spirits Pool Bar. This is the largest pool of all the value resorts. The second pool at All Star Music is the Piano pool, shaped like a piano (with a keyboard deck).
The Jazz and Calypso Buildings feature Preferred Rooms and Family Suites, the 192 suites measure roughly 520 square feet, slightly larger than the cabins at Fort Wilderness but slightly smaller than Art of Animation’s Family Suites. Each suite, formed from the combination of two formerly separate rooms, includes a kitchenette with mini-refrigerator, microwave, and coffeemaker. Sleeping accommodations include a queen bed in the bedroom, plus a pullout sleeper sofa, a chair bed, and an ottoman bed. We’re not sure we’d let adult friends (ones we want to keep, anyway) on the sofa bed or the chair or ottoman beds, but they’re fine for children. A hefty door separates the two rooms. There are two bathrooms.
Last of the All Stars and my favorite theming of the three is All Star Movies. The All Star Movies Resort features five adorable film-inspired themed areas. Fantasia, Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, Mighty Ducks and The Love Bug. At the 101 Dalmatians buildings, you’ll find a 40 foot tall Pongo and a 35 foot tall Perdita while their spotted pups decorate the railings..Toy Story lovers will adore the 35 foot tall Buzz Lightyear and the 25 foot tall Woody. The Green Army Men stand guard at the tops of the building. “Herbie,” the loveable VW Beetle, is 5 times its normal size. Sorcerer’s paraphernalia such as a giant hat, spell book, broom and bucket, ballerinas and nutcracker soldiers are found adorning the Fantasia buildings. Sports fans will be ready for action with the giant hockey sticks, pucks, nets and duck-billed masks found at the Mighty Ducks buildings.
Cinema Hall is All Star Movies’ lobby. In it you will find the check-in counter, concierge, Reel Fun Arcade, Donald’s Double Feature shop, and World Premiere Food Court.
Fantasia, the main pool, is found between the Fantasia buildings and Cinema Hall. A large Sorcerer Mickey stands ready to work his magic at one end of the pool, where water sprays from his fingers. Between the Mighty Duck buildings, and not far from the 101 Dalmatians buildings, you will find the Duck Pond pool. This pool is hockey-themed with face-off circles painted on the bottom of the pool as well as on the deck, and with Goofy starring as the goalie. A kiddie pool is found beside the Fantasia pool. There are no slides or hot tubs at either of these pools.but there is the Silver Screen Spirits Bar.
The Fantasia, Toy Story and 101 Dalmations sections are considered “preferred” and are higher priced. Those who prefer a lower traffic, quieter area, should request the Love Bug buildings. Guests staying in the Mighty Ducks buildings may find it closer to catch the bus at the stop in front of the All Star Music Resort’s Melody Hall.
If you are considering a Value definitely consider Pop Century. It is typically a few dollars a night more than the all stars but they have their own transportation and there food court is a slight step up.
Pop Century is a near-clone of the All-Star Resorts—that is, four-story, motel-style buildings built around a central pool, food court, and registration area. Pop Century draws its icons from decades of the 20th century and their attendant popular culture: building-sized Big Wheels, hula hoops, and the like, punctuated by silhouettes of people doing the jitterbug and the twist. Building Areas are themed to decades 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
A Pop Century departure from the All-Star precedent has merchandise retailers thrown in with the fast-food concessions in a combination dining-and-shopping area called Everything Pop! The food court is divided into several stations, each offering a different specialty as well as grab-n-go sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Among the menu offerings are flatbreads, burgers, pasta dishes, nachos, chicken, fresh sandwiches that would would find at the other Values but it also includes some Classic Home Cooked Favorites including Pot Roast, Rotisserie Chicken, Beef Brisket. Make sure you try the Elvis Cupcake and Tie Dye Cheesecake! There is also a full service bar, Classic Concoctions located within the food court as well as Petals Pool Bar just off the main pool
Rooms are the same size as the All stars. Preferred rooms are in the 50s and 70s areas.
Pop Century has 3 pools. The largest, The Hippy Dippy Pool, sits directly behind the Classic Hall lobby and food court, between the two buildings dedicated to the 1960’s. The flower-shaped pool is painted in bright colors that match the surrounding buildings. Adjacent to the Hippy Dippy Pool is a water play area, where small children can play in gentle fountains of water bubbling up from the ground.
The three buildings of the 1950’s section contain the Bowling Pool. As its name suggests, this pool area is themed like a bowling alley, and features bowling ball racks and oversized shoe racks. The Bowling Pool is considered a “quiet pool,” meaning that loud play and splashing around are discouraged.
Pop Century’s third pool is The Computer Pool, found in the 1990’s section. The Computer Pool is shaped like a gigantic laptop PC and, like the Bowling Pool, is considered a quiet pool.
The newest of the Value resorts is the Art of Animation. Opened in 2012. It was originally designed to be part of Pop Century and represent the years 1900–1949, but recessions and a then-abundance of hotel capacity prevented Disney from ever completing construction. When the time came for a new Value resort, Disney switched the theme to its animated movies and made the majority of the rooms family suites.
There are also family suites at All Star Music These Suites were regular rooms they redesigned to be suites. The master is small and the bath is outside the bedroom. The extra bedding is a full sofabed, and two fold out twins via a chair and ottoman.
AoA Suites were designed to be suites and are situated with interior halls. The master is spacious with it’s own bathroom. The living and dining areas each have a full bed, one a sofa bed and one a murphy bed. There is another bathroom with the sink outside the shower area for multiple users. Dining table seats four. They have 45 more square feet than the All Star Music Suites.
Theming incorporates characters from four Disney films: Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.The Mermaid-themed rooms are the only non-suites. Like all the other values large, colorful icons stand in the middle of each group of buildings; here, though, they represent film characters and are fun immersive motives. An interesting departure from the other Value resorts is the outside paint schemes: Rather than using pastels, Disney has decorated the exteriors with giant murals stretching the length of each structure. The Cars buildings, for example, each display a four-story panoramic vista of the American desert, with the movie’s iconic characters in the middle, while the Lion King buildings capture a single verdant jungle scene.
Three of the four sets of themed buildings have pools; the Lion King complex has a playground instead. Like the other Value resorts, Art of Animation has a central building—here called Animation Hall—for check-in and bus transportation; it also holds the resort’s food court, Landscape of Flavors; which is considered one of the best resort food courts in any category.
It offers quick service eats served up food court-style in keeping with the dining set-up at the all Disney World Value Resorts. But with a Tandoori Station you get the best-of-both worlds approach to international flavors and American fare.
During breakfast hours their standard platters feature unique items such as tandoor potatoes, Portuguese sausage, and mini-naan bread; Veggie flatbread sandwich on naan with cauliflower, spinach, and paneer cheese. The burger shop serves up a Breakfast burger with chicken breakfast sausage, cheese, and scrambled eggs on a multi-grain bun, Steak-and-eggs breakfast burger — a steak burger topped with fried eggs, cheese, and bacon, plus more delicious items!
Lunch & Dinner: Make-your-own salad with choice of beef or chicken add-ins; Caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on focaccia, served with house-made potato chips; Buffalo-style turkey sandwich with arugula and a blue cheese-Buffalo sauce-mayo spread, served with house-made potato chips; Tandoori chicken or shrimp served with naan bread; Mongolian Beef with vegetables served with naan bread; Mahi Mahi served with naan bread; Portuguese sausage served with naan bread; Roasted acorn squash served with naan bread; Make-your-own pasta;; Burgers; Surf and turf burger with crab cake and fried popcorn shrimp; Pastrami cheeseburger topped with pepper jack cheese and a slice of fried green tomato; gourmet cupcakes, cookies, and gelato.
They also have Made-to-order fresh fruit smoothies; Lemonade and pomegranate limeade; Organic teas; Beer (including gluten-free beer); Wine (wine pairings with the entrees from the food shops will be suggested with half bottles of wine);
Make sure to try the delicious desserts Macaroon cupcakes, and mini whoopie pies!
The newness of the Art of Animation Resort, the immersion of the theming, and improvements in the food court can make this resort sometimes more expensive than Moderate Resorts. Before choosing a family suite think about the sleeping surfaces. The sofa bed and murphy bed are fine for children but you might want to think before sharing with multiple adults. Sometimes two rooms can be more economical. If you want to discuss the best option for your family email me firstname.lastname@example.org.