Ask a Disney Question: What’s the Best Value Resort?
Nancy W. writes: What is the best value resort to stay at while visiting Disney World? Are some better than others or offer more features?
Nancy: Thanks for your question. I love staying at the values. It gets you on site for a reasonable price and gives you most of the perks that someone staying at a deluxe enjoys without the high price, but the rooms, at around 260 square feet, are small and the decor is a bit loud. Still, if you want a clean, happy place to rest your head at night, the values are the place to do it. Despite the fact that Pop is closer to Epcot and Hollywood Studios and the All-Stars is closer to Animal Kingdom, there isn’t a huge difference in travel times to and from the parks when going in your own vehicle. All of the resorts have similar amenities, food courts, self-parking, and multiple kid-friendly pools. Having said that, I do have my favorite and it’s Pop Century.
I’m a big fan of Pop for one huge reason: Unlike the other values, it tends not to get large school groups. It’s not that I don’t love children; I have three of my own. But I don’t relish being woken up at 2:00 a.m. because a group of rambunctious cheerleaders decided to they need to practice. Lately, this type of behavior has been a big issue for the All-Stars, generating plenty of complaints on Disney message boards. Of the three All-Star Resorts, All-Star Sports tends to get the most school groups.
Pop has two other strong points as well. One, it doesn’t share a bus with any other resorts. At the All-Star Resorts, your bus will stop at all three resorts before it makes the journey to the park, making for crowded buses. Another strength is Pop’s food court, which routinely ranks the highest of the values in guest satisfaction.
One advantage of the All-Stars has to do with check-in. While the All-Stars have nearly 6000 rooms, check-in is divided by the three resorts. Pop has less than 3000 rooms, but all of them check-in in the same lobby. There are lots of desks and it’s remarkably well-organized, but it can get hectic if you’re visiting during an especially busy time.
Beyond these points, I think it becomes a matter of what your needs are and your personal tastes. All-Star Music has family suites which are great for larger families or groups, so if you need more room, it may be your best choice. Younger kids aren’t going to get many of the pop culture references at Pop, so the may be lost on them, although it’s still cheerful and bright, two big pluses for kids. Kids seem to enjoy All-Star Movies because they can see icons of some their favorite characters, but I figure they’re seeing enough characters in the parks. Not seeing a gigantic Mr. Potato Head outside their resort room window isn’t going to ruin Junior’s trip, so choose the resort that fits you best.