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Had To Be There Blog

Vacations By Kelly

Value Resort Hotels of Walt Disney World

If you want to be immersed in the magic of the "Disney bubble," a Value Resort is going to be your best bet. While you may find yourself compromising on some of the amenities found out the other resort tiers, Value Resorts tend to make up for it in their larger than life theming, which we'll get into shortly.


Value Resorts: The Basics

The buildings of the Value Resorts are typically set up “motel” style, meaning, your room opens to an exterior corridor rather than an interior hallway and the main method of transportation for Value Resort guests is bus. Value Resorts tend to be situated at a greater distance from the theme parks, so you can expect to spend up to 30 minutes on the bus from your hotel to the furthest park. Each Value Resort has a main pool, a kiddie pool or sprayground, and at least one quiet pool. You’ll find a pool bar at the main pool of each of these resorts as well as a Quick Service dining option. The QS restaurant is typically designed food court style and while the entrees available tend to be a little generic, anything you have will be delicious and fuel you up for your day in the parks! While each Value Resort hotel offers different views/room types, the average room is roughly 260 square feet. We'll review exceptions to the rules as we go, so let's get into it!


Value Resort Hotels

  • • All-Star Movies
  • • All-Star Music
  • • All-Star Sports
  • • Pop Century
  • • Art of Animation

All-Star Movies

Back in my day (read that in your best "old lady" voice please), the All-Stars were the only Value Resort options on property. And All-Star Movies in particular was THE spot to be! Themed with actual larger-than-life characters from some of your favorite Disney movies - Fantasia, Toy Story, 101 Dalmations, Mighty Ducks, and The Love Bug - your family will love exploring the grounds at AS-Movies!


AS-Movies Rooms

The "preferred" rooms at AS-Movies can be found in the Fantasia, Toy Story and 101 Dalmations sections of the resort. These rooms have a slightly higher nightly rate, but are also a bit closer to the main lobby and food court. VBK tip: If you don't mind the extra walk and are looking for a quieter experience, ask for a room in the Love Bug section! Regardless of where you are placed, each room has either 1 king sized bed, or 2 queens.


AS-Movies Transportation

AS-Movies has its own bus stop and occasionally shares buses with other All-Star Resorts. Buses run roughly every 20 minutes and you can expect to spend up to 30 minutes en route to your furthest destination (in this case, Magic Kingdom and Epcot).


AS-Movies Dining

The Quick Service dining option at AS-Movies can be found at the World Premiere Food Court. Reminiscent of a food court in the glory days of mall culture (read: the 90s), you can find something for everyone at World Premiere - from pizza and pasta to burgers and more! When available, you can order pizza delivery directly to your room. While not technically "dining," the Silver Screen Spirits Bar can be found as you exit the food court and head towards the pool.


AS-Movies Recreation

The jogging trail at AS-Movies is one mile long, if you're looking to stay active on your vacation. Not your speed? At check-in you'll be given a list of resort activities, including Movies Under the Stars! Free screenings of your favorite Disney films take place after dark at The Reel Spot (just outside of the food court). For the kids - and kids at heart - you'll want to pop in to play around at the Reel Fun Arcade in the Cinema Hall building. For the little ones, a playground is situated between the Fantasia and Toy Story sections of the resort. But the main attraction (see what I did there?) is obviously the Fantasia Pool with its Sorcerer Mickey fountain. If the main pool gets too crowded our rowdy, pop over to the quiet Duck Pond Pool, designed to resemble the hockey rink from the Mighty Ducks flicks.


All-Star Music

The next All-Star resort is MUSIC themed. There are large-sized, music-inspired icons outside of each building, which make for great photos - like giant guitars and maracas!


AS-Music Rooms

The "preferred" rooms at AS-Music can be found in the Jazz or Calypso buildings of the resort. These rooms have a slightly higher nightly rate, but are also a bit closer to the main lobby and food court. Traveling with a larger family? AS-Music also offers Family Suites, which claim to sleep 6 guests. Family suites are furnished with a queen bed in the bedroom, a double sized sleeper sofa, a twin sized chair bed, and a twin sized ottoman bed.


AS-Music Transportation

AS-Music has its own bus stop and occasionally shares buses with other All-Star Resorts. Buses run roughly every 20 minutes and you can expect to spend up to 30 minutes en route to your furthest destination (in this case, Magic Kingdom and Epcot).


AS-Music Dining

The Quick Service dining option at AS-Music can be found at the Intermission Food Court. Reminiscent of a food court in the glory days of mall culture (read: the 90s), you can find something for everyone at the Intermission Food Court - from pizza and pasta to burgers and more! When available, you can order pizza delivery directly to your room. While not technically "dining," the Singing Spirits Bar can be found as you exit the food court and head towards the pool.


AS-Music Recreation

A mile-long jogging trail connects all three All Star resorts, if you're looking to stay active on your vacation. Looking for something more relaxing? Lounge or take a dip in one of the two resort pools. The main pool, the Calypso Pool, features a sculpture of the Three Caballeros that shoots streams of water over delighted swimmers. Another smaller pool, appropriately called the Piano Pool, is designed to look like a piano and is considered to be a quiet pool for a more relaxing experience.


All-Star Sports

The next All-Star resort is - you guessed it - SPORTS themed. You'll find huge sports icons, like football helmets, tennis rackets, and even baseball bats, towering over the buildings.


AS-Sports Rooms

The "preferred" rooms at AS-Sports can be found in the Surf's Up! or Touchdown! buildings of the resort. These rooms have a slightly higher nightly rate, but are also a bit closer to the main lobby and food court. Each room has either 1 king sized bed, or 2 queens and can sleep 4 guests.


AS-Sports Transportation

AS-Sports has its own bus stop and occasionally shares buses with other All-Star Resorts. Buses run roughly every 20 minutes and you can expect to spend up to 30 minutes en route to your furthest destination (in this case, Magic Kingdom and Epcot).


AS-Sports Dining

The Quick Service dining option at AS-Sports can be found at the End Zone Food Court. Reminiscent of a food court in the glory days of mall culture (read: the 90s), you can find something for everyone at the End Zone - from pizza and pasta to burgers and more! When available, you can order pizza delivery directly to your room. While not technically "dining," the Grandstand Spirits Bar can be found as you exit the food court and head towards the pool.


AS-Sports Recreation

A mile-long jogging trail connects all three All Star resorts, if you're looking to stay active on your vacation. Looking for something more relaxing? Lounge or take a dip in one of the two resort pools. The main pool, the Surfboard Bay Pool, is designed to give a wavy look without being an actual wave pool. Another smaller pool, the Grandslam Pool, is designed to look like a baseball diamond and is considered to be a quiet pool for a more relaxing experience.


Pop Century

Disney's Pop Century Resort is my personal favorite of all the Value Resorts, if only for the theming and concept! Pop culture icons from various decades tower over visitors and buildings.

Pop Century Rooms

The "preferred" rooms at Pop Century can be found in the 50s, 60s, and 70s buildings of the resort. These rooms have a slightly higher nightly rate, but are also a bit closer to the main lobby and food court. Each room has either 1 king sized bed, or 2 queens - one of which folds into the wall, Murphy bed style, and transforms into a table when not in use. Pop rooms can sleep a maximum of 4 guests.


Pop Century Transportation

Pop Century has its own bus stop and does not have to share a bus with any other resorts. Buses run roughly every 20 minutes and you can expect to spend up to 30 minutes en route to your furthest destination (in this case, Magic Kingdom). Pop Century also has an alternate method of transportation. The Disney Skyliner has a station on the bridge between Pop Century and nearby Art of Animation. These aerial gondolas offer a uniquely scenic commute from the resort to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, with those trips taking about 20 and 12 minutes respectively from the main Skyliner hub.


Pop Century Dining

The Quick Service dining option at Pop Century can be found at Everything Pop, which is a combination mall-style food court and gift shop. I recommend giving the tie-dye cheesecake a chance! When available, you can order pizza delivery directly to your room. While not technically "dining," the Petals Pool Bar can be found as you exit the food court and head towards the pool.


Pop Century Recreation

A lap around Hourglass lake is 1.28 miles for any runners who are looking to stay active. Looking for something with a more relaxed pace? Lounge or take a dip in one of the three resort pools. The main pool, the Hippy Dippy Pool, is closest to the lobby and flowered shaped with groovy bright colors. The two quiet pools, the Bowling Pool and the Computer Pool, are located in the 50s and 90s sections respectively. At check-in you'll be given a list of resort activities, including Movies Under the Stars! Free screenings of your favorite Disney films take place after dark just between the food court and the Hippy Dippy Pool.


Art of Animation

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is the newest of the Value Resorts and isthe best option for larger families. The resort is themed as a love letter to the (you guessed it) ART of Disney ANIMATION.

Art of Animation Rooms

The standard rooms at AoA are Little Mermaid-themed and comparable to the rooms we've discussed at the other Value Resorts - 1 king size bed or 2 double beds which would sleep 4 guests. The theming for the Family Suites at AoA cannot be beat. Guests may find themselves immersed in scenes from Lion King, Cars, or Finding Nemo. Each suite has a master bedroom, a living room, two full bathrooms, and a kitchenette. Sleeping accommodations include a queen bed in the bedroom, a full-size sleeper sofa, and a living room table that transforms into a full-size bed. Suites comfortably sleep 6 guests.


Art of Animation Transportation

AoA has its own bus stop and does not have to share a bus with any other resorts. Buses run roughly every 20 minutes and you can expect to spend up to 30 minutes en route to your furthest destination (in this case, Magic Kingdom). AoA also has an alternate method of transportation. The Disney Skyliner has a station on the bridge between AoA and nearby Pop Century. These aerial gondolas offer a uniquely scenic commute from the resort to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, with those trips taking about 20 and 12 minutes respectively from the main Skyliner hub.


Art of Animation Dining

The Quick Service dining option at Art of Animation can be found at Landscape of Flavors, which is another mall-style food court. When available, you can order pizza delivery directly to your room. While not technically "dining," the The Drop Off is the pool bar and can be found as you exit the food court and head towards the pool.


Art of Animation Recreation

A lap around Hourglass lake is 1.28 miles for any runners who are looking to stay active. Looking for something with a more relaxed pace? Lounge or take a dip in one of the three resort pools. The main pool, the Big Blue, is largest pool of all the WDW Resort hotels and in addition to the Finding Nemo sculptures, it has a very special feature: underwater speakers! The two quiet pools, the Cozy Cone Pool and the Little Mermaid Pool, are Cars and (yep!) Little Mermaid-themed. At check-in you'll be given a list of resort activities, including Movies Under the Stars! Free screenings of your favorite Disney films take place after dark.


And there you have it - an overview of your Value Resort hotel options. If you're planning to spend as much time as you can in the parks and are looking for a way to save a few dollars - a Value Resort should be on your shortlist!


Kelly is an independent travel consultant and proud affiliate of Academy Travel and MickeyVacations.com, an award-winning agency with over 25 years of booking magical vacations! Academy Travel is a Platinum level agency with Universal Orlando and a Diamond level Disney EarMarked Agency, the highest travel industry designation bestowed by Disney Destinations. They are also a Travel Leaders Network-designated President's Circle agency, which the highest possible recognition from the largest association of Travel Suppliers and Travel Agencies in the world.