The value resorts at Walt Disney World are a popular choice for Disney guests looking to take advantage of on-property perks while saving serious cash. Traditionally, the three least expensive have been Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, collectively known as the All-Stars. Find out whether these resorts are right for your vacation, and what the pros and cons are of the All-Stars.
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Disney All-Star Resorts Basics
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort are three value resorts located near the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They are quite a distance from Magic Kingdom, but pretty conveniently located to Blizzard Beach if a water park visit is in your travel plans.
The resorts feature larger than life theming. Think giant basketballs at Sports, enormous Dalmatians at Movies, or a two-story guitar at Music. Subtle they are not. But that can also make for a really engaging experience for younger kids. The setup is motel-style, with multiple buildings with rooms opening onto outdoor breezeways.
The cost is often not much more than many inexpensive off-property hotels. Standard rooms at Disney’s All-Star Resorts can sometimes be found for under $100 a night during less busy times of year. You’re probably more likely to find them regularly around $110-130. Because they are on-property hotels, they come with all the usual Disney on-site perks like 60 day Fastpass+ booking windows, Magical Express Airport transportation, and Extra Magic Hours access.
As with all value resorts, the pools at All-Stars are large but basic. There are no water slides or special features like guests can expect at moderate or deluxe resorts. Dining is entirely quick service, usually in the form of a large food court.
Transportation to the Disney parks is via the Disney shuttle buses. Sometimes the All-Stars will share a bus, so it is occasionally possible that a bus fills at one resort before it picks up at the next one. If you choose to drive or rent a car and park, Disney charges $13 per day to park at the All-Star Resorts.
4 Tips for All-Star Resorts
The low cost of the All-Stars is a major pro, especially for Disney guests who simply need a clean place to lay their head at night because they spend all their time in the parks. With that less expensive price tag, however, can sometimes come quite a few cons. While it’s never possible to avoid these entirely, here are our 4 best tips for All-Stars that will help you get the most value out of your stay and dodge a few of the pitfalls.
1. Watch for Hordes of Traveling Teens
Because of the resorts’ proximity to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (and their low cost), All-Star Resorts are often the resorts of choice for large groups that come to Disney World for sports competitions – cheerleaders, dancers, Pop Warner football teams, etc. These groups aren’t always perfectly behaved, and sometimes are the source of noise complaints for regular Disney guests. Groups often can descend on the food courts all at one time, creating impossible traffic jams and long lines when all you want to do is grab a quick bite before getting to the parks.
If you want to minimize your chances of being inconvenienced by the large groups, check the ESPN Wide World of Sports events calendar for the bigger events before you book. You can further hedge your bets a bit by dodging All-Star Sports, which is naturally the most popular of the three with sports teams (All-Star Music is for whatever reason probably the least popular of the three).
Finally, consider booking a higher cost room category if you do find yourself at an All-Stars during a time when the kids are in town. Chances are you’ll find yourself in a closer building away from the large groups that tend to book the cheapest standard rooms Disney makes available.
2. Know What Beds You are Booking
Up until quite recently, staying at an All-Star Resort often had a significant downside for families. While Disney moderate and deluxe resorts offer two queen beds in many rooms, value resorts only offered two doubles. I don’t know about you, but many couples find a double a tight squeeze. And forget about your two kids sharing a double bed. It’s a recipe for sibling disaster, at least in my family.
Most All-Star standard rooms still offer two doubles, so be aware of that as the default going in. But the bed situation is very much evolving, so stay tuned. All-Star Movies is currently undergoing a renovation (which is apparently 80% complete as of the time this episode went live). This renovation will turn the rooms into the same model as the renovated rooms at Pop Century, with a queen bed and an additional Murphy queen bed. These renovated rooms aren’t yet showing on the Movies website, but you can put in a special request for them. We don’t yet know whether renovations at Sports or Music will follow, but be sure to check if you are reading this at a later date.
3. Consider the Suites
Bigger families aren’t necessarily out of luck at All-Star resorts, even the ones that still offer the standard two double layout. All-Star Music at least offers family suites that have a kitchen and sleep up to 6 people. These are highly popular room types that often go fast, so book early if you have your heart set on one of them.
Of course, always also price out the cost of two adjoining rooms when you are considering a suite. Sometimes, two standard rooms will actually cost less than a single suite.
4. Book All-Stars Now, Ask Questions Later
Disney hotel availability is very much a moving target, with room availability and pricing changing often. It’s often a smart bet to book an All-Stars room when you can’t quite find the deal or the room you want but know you are going to take a Disney vacation. That way, you’ll have a placeholder reservation for cheap but can continue to monitor other deals as they become available. This strategy is one reason that Leslie has held many a reservation at all of the All-Stars the past few years but only stayed in one of them once!
Trying to do your Walt Disney World vacation on a budget? Price-conscious Disney guests often choose to stay in one of Disney’s All-Star Resorts to save money while still being able to take advantage of all the Disney on-property perks. In this episode, Leslie and Joe take a look at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort. Find out the pros and cons of these value resorts, with tips for avoiding some of the potential pitfalls of choosing a less expensive Disney resort hotel.
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You can also e-mail us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com. Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.
1:26 – Overview of Disney’s All-Stars Resorts
3:50 – All-Stars Locations
6:41 – Rooms
11:51 – Amenities
14:36 – The horde
16:57- Disney Dos and Don’tsConnect with Disney Deciphered!
2 thoughts on “Episode 40 – Disney’s All-Star Resorts – Tips & Impressions”
Your Disney “don’t” this time mentioned not buying rooms and tickets together from Disney. I would love an episode with more tips on how to plan my own Disney trip. I have used a travel agent previously, but I would like a bit more control of my trip this next time, so I am thinking of planning it myself, but don’t feel fully capable of this yet. I would love to hear more tips/hacks for booking a trip myself.
Hi Lori, thanks for listening! We’re actually recording an episode on “planning timeline” next week. We’ll try to include some of those details in the episode as we go through our individual planning processes. Something like that?