Choices, choices and more choices of resorts at Walt Disney World. Hmmmm…..what about the value resorts? Is it good to stay there for our next vacation to the Happiest Place On Earth?
Walt Disney World is home to five value resorts:
- All-Star Movies
- All-Star Music
- Art of Animation
- All-Star Sports
- Pop Century
No matter where you stay in Walt Disney World, you know it will be clean, but there are differences to each level of the hotel resorts. Of course! Because if there was no difference, there would be no need for different levels and all hotel resorts would be, relatively, the same price.
Every location has a special quality that makes them more or less expensive. This includes differences within each level. It all boils down to amenities, location, supply and demand. Walt Disney World is a place for everyone to experience. Here are the pros and cons for anyone who is contemplating and trying to figure out if the value resorts are good for their next trip to Walt Disney World.
Note: If you are current or past military/government worker, click here to learn about Shades of Green. Their rooms are the size of Disney’s moderate resort rooms with, possibly, Disney’s value resort room prices.
Value resorts are the most budget-friendly out of all the Walt Disney World resorts. Art of Animation is considered a “value plus” resort and rates vary higher than the other value resorts.
All of the rooms have **two double beds that sleep up to 4 adults; The Art of Animation and All-Star Music also have Family Suites that sleep up to six adults.
**Note: As Disney refurbishes the value hotel resorts, the rooms now have 1 king bed OR 1 queen bed and 1 queen-size pull down bed.
Each of the value resorts have their own quick service food court.
The Value resorts are home to some of the best swimming pools on the entire Walt Disney World property.
Rooms: The majority of the rooms at the value resorts are quite small at about 260 square feet. When a special discount is released for all resorts, value resort rooms receive the smallest discount.
Resort Amenities: Value resorts do not have table service restaurants, concierge, spa/fitness or room service.
The value resorts are well known for “not so good” bus transportation via the Disney Parks buses. It can be a hit or miss at certain times and require extreme patience most of the time. The All-Star resorts have some of the “VERY not so good” bus service on property. All All-Star resorts normally share one bus. So, the lines tend to be incredibly long. ESPECIALLY, at the end of the day.
Pop Century and Art of Animation have their own dedicated bus route. You are able to use the Disney Skyliner from Pop Century to go to Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Disney has cut down the number of bus routes from both of those resorts that go to both of those theme parks to one time per hour in an effort to encourage use of the Skyliner. Either way, the bus lines can be really long regardless of what park you are going to and from.
Solution: Pack your patience and plan for extra travel time. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Some guests have had no issues at all. I am assuming it is due to the time of day and the time of year they are using the transportation.
I was in the very long Magic Kingdom bus line at Pop Century. When a bus was approaching, the cast member said “we have a double bus, but it is the only bus we have going to the Magic Kingdom so we need to fit as many people in as possible.” While the double bus was great to have available, I found it to be incredibly dangerous for those who were stuck in the accordion that connects both buses. This trip, I was one of the unlucky ones stuck on the moving plate with the accordion.
Thankfully, I was by myself, but a mother holding a stroller and trying to keep her child safe along with trying to keep herself safe while standing on this moving plate, was not a good situation. I offered to help her with my one free hand. My other hand was holding on for dear life. See pictures below. Avoid at all costs if you have children, are elderly, have a disability, are pregnant, etc. If you see anyone standing there who is one of those I just mentioned and you do not fall under one of those categories, please offer to take their place. It’s a dangerous situation.
The resorts are spread out quite a bit. If you are not in a preferred room or if you do not request a room close to the main building or a close room is not available at the time of check-in, you might be looking at a long walk to the food court and bus stop.
When the free dining plan is offered to guests buying a minimal amount of nights and days of theme park tickets, Quick Service Dining is the only option available to value resort guests, but you can pay the difference to upgrade to the next level to include one Table Service per day per person. Note: this is now the same for moderate hotel resorts, as well. Only Deluxe hotel resort guests are offered Disney Dining Plan for no additional cost.
It is also important to point out that there are other differences that could make a difference for you and your vacation party that are available at a deluxe resort. There is the common saying, “you get what you pay for”. The value resorts are less expensive for many more reasons, but these were just the most obvious highlights.
When you stay in a deluxe, you can see and feel the differences like the comfort of the beds, the quality of the sheets and towels, not having to go out into the heat or rain for food at most deluxe resorts and the bus ramps are covered. The pools are calmer and tend to be much cleaner. There are other activities available as well. To see other differences between value resorts and moderate resorts, click here. For differences between moderate resorts and deluxe resorts, click here.
To see a walk-through from the 60’s building at Pop Century to transportation and to the Magic Kingdom, click here to see the video on YouTube.
So, stop and think what is most important to you and your vacation party. Are you planning on using the refillable mugs a lot, which can only be refilled at resort quick service restaurants? Do you plan on spending more time at the resort more than just sleeping? Do you like having room service or a table service restaurant available to you where you stay? Some differences are convenient, but that convenience can mean a lot to many.
If any of the cons are no big deal to you or is something you can work around, a value hotel resort is great! If some of the cons mean more to you than expected, take a look at the moderate or deluxe hotel resorts. I have seen some moderate hotel resorts minimally more money per night over a value hotel resort depending on the location. Either way, you know you will be staying in a magical Disney hotel resort at the Happiest Place On Earth!