Dis­ney’s All-star Re­sorts

MOVIES, MU­SIC AND SPORTS

WDW Magazine - - Contents - BY KARYN LOCKE

Don’t get me wrong; I dig the swank­i­ness that Walt Dis­ney World’s Lux­ury Re­sorts pro­vide. But, given the op­tion of vis­it­ing once a year with a Lux­ury Re­sort stay, or twice with a Value Re­sort visit? I’ll choose Value ev­ery time. Hap­pily, I’ve got a teen daugh­ter who LOVES the All-star Re­sorts and is al­ways more than will­ing to stay at them. While there’s plenty of rea­sons to love all of the Value Re­sorts, here’s why I’ll plead the bud­get-friendly, All-stars’ cases ev­ery time.

ALL-STARS: AN OVER­VIEW

The All-star Re­sorts are com­prised of three separate Re­sorts with in­di­vid­ual them­ing: All-star Mu­sic, All-star Movies, and All-star Sports. Lo­cated in the An­i­mal King­dom Re­sort area, they’re tech­ni­cally con­sid­ered a two-star re­sort if you were to book them through a third party site.

Built in the mid-1990s, each Re­sort is bro­ken up into build­ing ar­eas that are named af­ter the decor sur­round­ing them. There’s one main pool at each with at least one ad­di­tional, smaller pool. While many of the larger (and more ex­pen­sive!) Re­sorts have mul­ti­ple bus stops for guests, there’s a sin­gle bus stop at each of the three. Many times there’s also a sin­gle bus run­ning for all three Re­sorts, so you’ll have to make a pit stop at each if yours is the last to pick up/drop off, but I’ve never found it a prob­lem. If you con­sider the fact that Caribbean Beach has seven bus stops and takes roughly 20 min­utes to tra­verse the en­tire Re­sort, I’ll take three, close to­gether stops.

So, let’s chat about the larger-than-life Dis­ney icons in all three. Each Re­sort room build­ing

has gi­ant stat­ues of Dis­ney char­ac­ters, movie relics, or sports pieces, de­pend­ing on which Re­sort you’re stay­ing. It’s a hoot to walk out­side of your room and find a three-story tall Woody from Toy Story or a gi­gan­tic Beauty and the Beast bill­board. It’s these pieces that are not only photo-wor­thy; they’re what make each Re­sort so fun for fam­i­lies.

THE DIS­NEY BUB­BLE

I’ve writ­ten this be­fore and have no prob­lem writ­ing it again: I LOVE the All-star Re­sorts for their larger than life, whim­si­cal Dis­ney themes. When you step foot on any of the three, you know you’re on WDW prop­erty. With most of the Deluxe Re­sorts, my opin­ion is that you could pick them up and place them any­where in the South­ern U.S. and they would work. They don’t have the bla­tant Dis­ney touches that both the Value and All-stars pro­vide. It’s this feel­ing of be­ing in­side what I like to call the “Dis­ney Bub­ble” that keeps the smiles on my and my fam­ily’s faces.

POOL FUN

The All-stars were cre­ated with fam­i­lies in mind, so the pool fun is only part of the whimsy

each Re­sort pro­vides. The main pool ar­eas are where you’ll find hourly ac­tiv­i­ties (we love sit­ting in the wa­ter for trivia time!) and there’re also plenty of other gam­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing ta­ble ten­nis.

Each night, a gi­ant screen blows up for Movies Un­der the Stars. The Dis­ney movie ro­ta­tion varies, but there’re al­ways plenty of clas­sics, as well as newer films, to watch once the sun goes down. Pulling up a lounge chair is a snap or, if you’re like many fam­i­lies, they stay and play in the pool.

AC­COM­MO­DA­TIONS

The ac­com­mo­da­tions are right up my fam­ily’s al­ley. Again, you’ll see Dis­ney touches in the bed cov­er­ings, wall art, and even the shower cur­tain. The rooms clock in at 260 square feet, which may not sound like a ton of room, but WDW makes the most of it. Whether you’ve scored a king room or one with two dou­ble beds, you’ll find a ta­ble with chairs, a flat screen tele­vi­sion, mini-fridge, mir­ror, and a separate dress­ing area in the bath­room. If you have a

larger fam­ily, con­sider a suite in All-star Mu­sic that gives more room (520 square feet) and sleeps up to six.

Din­ing

All-star Re­sorts of­fer one main din­ing area. Yes, each is cafe­te­ria-style and, yes, each is filled with fam­i­lies dur­ing all times of day, but we’ve never had a prob­lem with the food or find­ing a seat. The din­ing ar­eas of­fer Quick Ser­vice meal op­tions, as well as snacks and drinks. You can also pur­chase a re­fill­able mug good for the length of your stay (or get one in­cluded in a paid Dis­ney Din­ing Plan) that gives you plenty of soft drinks, cof­fee, and tea re­fills.

Shop­ping

Right off the lobby area at each All-star is a fun gift shop filled with all-things Dis­ney. It’s here where you’ll be able to pur­chase gifts, trad­ing pins, cloth­ing, shoes, flip flops, for­got­ten items—you name it. If you’re stay­ing on prop­erty and don’t want to carry around pur­chases you’ve made in the parks, the Cast Mem­bers can send your pur­chases back to your Re­sort and you’ll pick them up at the gift shops as well.

In a nut­shell… The All-stars are the per­fect Re­sort for fam­i­lies on a bud­get, fam­i­lies that love that Dis­ney Bub­ble ex­pe­ri­ence, and fam­i­lies who sim­ply love all things Dis­ney. They’re my fam­ily’s top pick when vis­it­ing WDW and they pro­vide loads of fun. Have I swayed your opin­ion yet?

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