So you’ve decided you are going to vacation at Walt Disney World, and now you have to decide where to stay. My research and experience shows that staying on WDW property is the best choice (Why stay on property? Click here for some reasons).
Once you’ve made the decision to stay on property, it’s time to pick a Resort! And when it comes to picking which Walt Disney World Resort you are going to stay at, the choices are endless, and can certainly be confusing!
Here are some things to consider about WDW’s Value Resorts, and some information about each Resort hotel in this category:
Price – The Value Resorts are the most affordable accommodations on WDW property (in case you couldn’t tell by the name “Value”), with current prices ranging from $85-180 per night for regular rooms, and $200-425 per night for family suites. The price will be different depending on what time of year you choose to go (peak times being summer, and holidays – especially spring break/Easter and Christmas/New Year’s)
Location – The location of the Value Resorts is not ideal for those who favor the Magic Kingdom (like myself!), but the All Star Resorts are fairly close to Animal Kingdom, while Pop Century and Art of Animation are not too far from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No matter what Park you choose to visit, your only choice of transportation from all Value Resorts will be bus – which can eat up some valuable Park time, so that is something to consider when choosing your Resort – that if you want immediate proximity to Parks or an alternate mode of transportation other than bus, then the Value Resorts might not be for you
Dining Options – All of the Value Resorts have similar setups – a food court arrangement with several different counters offering different types of food. Some items you will find here are burgers, sandwiches, salads, chicken nuggets, pastas, and lots of pre packaged snacks, sandwiches, and desserts. Breakfast usually includes omelets, pancakes/waffles/French toast, fruit, and assorted meats and potatoes. You can also purchase wine and beer here – small and large bottles of wine are available, and while the selection isn’t huge, there is a decent assortment. The food courts are also now starting to cater to those with special dietary needs – on my last trip there I saw no sugar added sorbet, as well as some gluten free packaged snacks, and fresh fruit is always available
Rooms – a regular room includes 2 double beds and sleeps up to 4, and a king bed can be requested (but is not guaranteed). There are two types of rooms – “standard” and “preferred” – the rooms in the “preferred” category will get you closer to the pool/food court/bus stop area, and “standard” would be the rest of the rooms (which could end up being pretty far away from the common areas, so it might be worth paying the extra $15 or so per night to have a preferred room – especially if you have little ones/strollers etc). In addition to the regular rooms, both the All Star Music and Art of Animation Resorts offer family suites – which sleep up to 6 and feature a kitchenette and two full bathrooms
So now that you know a little more about the Value Resorts, let’s dig a little deeper to figure out which one would best suit you:
All Star Music Resort – The themes here are Calypso, Jazz, Rock, Country, and Broadway, and each building represents it’s theme with giant instruments as well as piped in music. The pools are guitar and piano themed, and the Resort is perfect for music lovers of all ages! The resort offers the regular guest rooms as well as family suites that can sleep up to 6
All Star Sports Resort – Baseball, Football, Tennis, Basketball, and Surfing are the themes of the various buildings at this resort, complete with giant sports memorabilia. The pools are themed after surfing and baseball, and kids can play touch football in between the football buildings
All Star Movies Resort – This is my personal favorite of the All Star Resorts, and its themed buildings feature the stars of Toy Story, 101 Dalmations, Fantasia, and The Mighty Ducks. It’s pools are hockey themed and Fantasia themed, and the bar is located near the Fantasia pool. Movie memorabilia lines the walls of the check in area, as well as the food court **Something I wanted to mention about the All Star Resorts – sometimes the three resorts share one bus from a Park/Downtown Disney – which can get CROWDED. Last time I was at Disney I didn’t see this as much, so I am hoping this is something they are phasing out as all three Resorts are so popular that they really need their own buses!
Pop Century Resort – The theme here is 20th century pop culture, and the ways that people lived, and how they communicated. The buildings are decade themed, with silhouettes that illustrate the dance craze of that decade adorning each building. Giant toys, including a huge foosball court and Mr and Mrs Potato head dolls decorate the grounds, and the pools here are bowling pin, hippy, and 1980’s computer themed. I especially enjoy the collections of assorted memorabilia from the various decades in the check in/lobby area. The food court here has a few unique items too, like their “Mom’s Night Out TV Dinners” featuring classics like fried chicken and meatloaf served on foil metal trays, and tie dyed cheesecake
Art Of Animation Resort – This is Disney’s newest Resort, with areas themed after the popular Disney movies Cars, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King. The Little Mermaid section offers standard rooms, while the other three sections are all family suites that sleep up to 6. The pool here is unique – it is Finding Nemo themed, and it’s the largest pool on WDW property. As if that weren’t enough, it even has sound piped in that you can hear underwater! The food court here is also unique – featuring gelato, smoothies, and Mongolian barbeque (my mouth is watering just thinking about it!)
So there you have it, WDW’s Value Resorts – in a nutshell!
Not sure any of these are right for you? Maybe you’re thinking you want something a little more romantic, or you need a bigger room, or you want a Resort that’s closer to the Parks? Well stay tuned right here on Chip and Co, where next week I will be talking about some of WDW’s other Resort options!
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