Disney’s All-star Resorts
MOVIES, MUSIC AND SPORTS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?