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  1. #1

    Value Resorts

    Hi I am beginning to plan our Disney trip. I want to find out all that I can about the value resorts.
    I will be checking around here.
    Will be chatting with you.
    Best to you all..

  2. #2
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    Re: Value Resorts

    There are 5 values clumped together into two "complexes".

    One is the All Star Complex. It's located on the south side of the property near Blizzard Beach. The closest theme park to it is Animal Kingdom.

    You can see it on a map here.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Di...064f066a02ec89

    This complex hosts three hotels, each with similar amenities, but with a different theme.

    They are:

    1) All Star Sports
    2) All Star Music
    3) All Star Movies

    I've walked all three over the years, and they are garishly decorated, but that's intentional and it is done well. They are Disney resorts, and as a result, are reasonably well maintained. I can't fault their theme.

    Each resort has "sub-themed" sections. They are (north to south):

    1) All Star Sports
    - Hoops Hotel - garden themed after a basketball court
    - Surf's Up! - This is the closest section to the main hall (Stadium Hall), and hosts the main pool. This is also where the Preferred Rooms are.
    - Center Court - garden themed after a tennis court
    - Touchdown! No Pool, but a large garden made to look like a football (American) field. It is also close to the main hall (Stadium Hall), being just to the south.
    - Homerun Hotel - Southernmost part of the resort. 1 small family pool. Furthest from the main hall (Stadium Hall).

    2) All Star Music
    This resort layout is a bit different as the following 3 sections all have equal access to a central family pool, rather than it being off to one section like the other two resorts. Note, this is not the main pool, that's in a different section. Also, all of the three following sections are equally far from the main hall (Melody Hall). So...moving on...
    Rock Inn - Themed Gardens and access to the family pool
    Country Fair - Themed Gardens and access to the family pool.
    Broadway Hotel - Themed Gardens and access to the family pool.

    In the middle is
    Jazz Inn - Themed Gardens. This is where the Standard Family Suites are.

    The last section is
    Calypso - This hosts the main pool (Guitar Pool) and is closest to the main hall (Melody Hall). This is where the Preferred Rooms (including the Preferred Family Suites) are.

    3) All Star Movies
    - Mighty Ducks - 1 small family pool, furthest from the main hall (Cinema Hall).
    - 101 Dalmatians - Themed gardens
    - Love Bug - Herbie themed gardens
    - Fantasia - Hosts the main pool, closest to Cinema Hall. These are where the Preferred Rooms are.
    - Toy Story - Themed gardens

    The All Stars resorts all have their own dedicated:

    - Pools (one large family pool with a kiddie section, one smaller "quiet" pool)
    - Poolside bar
    - Food court/gift shop complex (you can also have your on park purchases shipped from the park to here for later pickup)
    - Laundry facilities and ship out dry cleaning services
    - Front Desk / ATM / Currency services (including purchasing Disney Dollars)
    - Childcare services (extra charge, and not a facility, rather it's in room)
    - Smoking areas
    - Outgoing mail services (postage required in advance)
    - Bus transportation to and from the other parts of the Disney Resorts
    - Taxi Services (they park out front of the Lobby throughout the day)
    - Transportation to and from MCO (Orlando Airport) through Disney's Magical Express

    All Star Music has a playground as well.

    The All Star Resorts are known for hosting large tour groups. Normally bands or sports teams, so lots of high schoolers. Though, this depends a lot of time of year and other factors. You can't really predict it, so I'd not worry about it all that much.

    They are generally the cheapest of all the on property resorts.

    Buildings are 3 stories tall and have exterior walkways (your door faces the outside world), exterior stairwells and central elevators.

    Most of the rooms are very small at 260 sq feet, and sleep 4. 2 double beds or single king bed rooms are available.

    All rooms have:
    - Dressers with 3 drawers and 4 shelves
    - Small table with 2 chairs
    - Nightstand with telephone and alarm clock
    - Full Length mirror
    - Free Wifi Internet
    - TV (and you can connect things, like an iPad, to it through an HDMI cable)
    - Mini-fridge
    - Ironing board and iron
    - Hair Dryer (one of those wall mounted ones)
    - Room specific HVAC
    - In-room safe
    - Free shampoo/soap

    Note, with the following exception, the All Star rooms do NOT have a microwave or coffee maker.

    All Star Music, however, has Family Suites that are 520 sq feet and have extra amenities. They have a "kitchenette" area with a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee maker, as well as a separate bedroom with a queen bed, a pull out sleeper sofa (double size), one pull out sleeper ottoman (twin size) and one pull out sleeper chair (twin size). They also boast 2 bathrooms and 2 televisions.

    There are 2 types of room views. "Preferred" and "Standard". Preferred simply means you will be in the buildings that are closest to the Food Court / Front Desk. I don't think it's worth the added expense myself.

    The Food Courts at the All Stars are ok. They offer pretty standard fare, but do have a variety of options. Sodas / coffee / tea are available through a centralized beverage bar. The beverage bars use RapidFill (and RFID loss prevention system), so you'll need to have either purchased a Disney Resort Mug with an appropriate number of days of unlimited drinks, or purchased a cup from the food court (there are limits on how many refills you can get with that).

    The Food Courts open at 6a and close at midnight. Pizza Delivery to your room is available (but it's not very good in my opinion).

    Bus Transportation to and from the theme parks and DTD, while free, is shared among all the All Star Resorts. This means that bus transportation, while possible, can be sometimes frustrating. It is a common complaint (among many) you'll hear from people about this resort complex.

    So, there's All Stars. My recommendation, skip them. They are fine for teens or two young adults, but even then not the best due to the bus related issues. So, unless you really want the savings (which can be nominal compared to Pop, which I'll get into in a second), I wouldn't go there.

    I'm going to go get some fresh soda now, and then when I get back, I'll type up the other Value Complex details (AoA and Pop).

    AFTER THE BREAK

    Ok. The other Value Complex sits around Hourglass Lake. It's located on the south of the property, just to the east of Hollywood Studios. Likewise, Hollywood Studios is the closest theme park.

    You can see it here.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Di...064f066a02ec89

    These two resorts are:

    1) Pop Century
    2) Art of Animation

    I've stayed at Pop the year AoA opened. Pop was nice, but AoA is amazing. The Cars section theme in particular is fantastic. Also, it is pleasant to stroll around Hourglass Lake. They have plaques with trivia littered around the lake, so it's a great early morning or evening path. The path goes all the way around the lake, and is about 1.3 miles all the way around (if you are a runner or exercise walker).

    Each resort has "sub-themed" sections. They are (north to south):

    Pop
    - 50's - 1 family pool (Bowling Pin), gardens. Along with 80's, this section is the furthest from the main hall (Classic Hall).
    - 60's - This hosts the large main pool, and is closest to the main hall (Classic Hall). This is where the Preferred Rooms are. Gardens and lake view.
    - 70's - Gardens, lake view
    - 80's - 1 family pool (Computer Pool), gardens. Along with 50's, this section is the furthest from the main hall (Classic Hall).

    AoA
    - Little Mermaid - 1 family pool, gardens, lake view. Furthest from the main hall (Animation Hall). This is the only place non-Family Suite rooms are available at AoA.
    - Lion King - All Family Suites. Themed Garden / Playground.
    - Finding Nemo - All Family Suites. Hosts the main pool (Big Blue Pool) and is closest to the main hall (Animation Hall). This is where the Preferred Suites are.
    - Cars - All Family Suites. 1 family pool (Cozy Cone) and themed gardens including Cars Characters you can take pictures with.

    The two resorts are connected through a central bridge that crosses Hourglass Lake, and hiking between them is easy to do.

    These resorts boast more amenities than the All Stars, and both resorts all have their own dedicated:

    - Pools (ok, there are differences between AoA and Pop here that I'll get into after this list, but they each have one more quieter family pool section than the All Star resorts have).
    - Poolside bar
    - Food court/gift shop complex (you can also have your on park purchases shipped from the park to here for later pickup)
    - Laundry facilities and ship out dry cleaning services
    - Front Desk / ATM / Currency services (including purchasing Disney Dollars)
    - Childcare services (extra charge, and not a facility, rather it's in room)
    - Smoking areas
    - Outgoing mail services (postage required in advance)
    - Bus transportation to and from the other parts of the Disney Resorts
    - Taxi Services (they park out front of the Lobby throughout the day)
    - Transportation to and from MCO (Orlando Airport) through Disney's Magical Express

    AoA has a playground in the Lion King section.

    The Main Pool (Big Blue pool) at AoA is one of the best (and largest) pools of all of the Disney Resorts, imho, so it deserves it's own mention. It is a zero entry graded pool (so you can walk into it, or small kids can splash in the shallow section). It has it's own dedicated kids water play area with a slide and splashing fountains. And, if you submerge yourself under water, you can hear music and characters from Finding Nemo (yeap, they pipe the sound underwater...how neat!).

    There are 2 other pools at AoA, both well themed, but really just quiet family pools. They are Little Mermaid and Cozy Cone (Cars).

    Pop has a main pool (Hippy Dippy) that is large and fun. They play games here throughout the day such as trivia, etc. Movies are also shown here on certain nights on a big projection screen.

    Pop has two smaller pools, again well themed, in the 90's section (computer pool) and the 50's section (bowling pool)

    Pop gets great reviews from families on a budget, and still remains a popular value level resort. AoA is better, but comes with a catch. All the rooms are Family Suites with the exception of the Little Mermaid Section (far north end of the resort).

    As a result, Pop is more expensive, generally, than the All Stars, and AoA is more expensive than Pop.

    Buildings at Pop and the AoA Little Mermaid Section are 4 stories tall and have exterior walkways (your door faces the outside world), exterior stairwells and central elevators.

    In Contrast, all the other AoA sections (aside from Little Mermaid) are 4 stories tall and have interior walkways, no "balconies" and central stairways and elevators.

    The Pop rooms are 260 sq feet. The AoA Little Mermaid rooms are 277 sq feet. Both sleep 4 adults.

    All rooms have:
    - Dressers with 3 drawers and 4 shelves
    - Small table with 2 chairs
    - Nightstand with telephone and alarm clock
    - Full Length mirror
    - Free Wifi Internet
    - TV (and you can connect things, like an iPad, to it through an HDMI cable)
    - Mini-fridge
    - Ironing board and iron
    - Hair Dryer (one of those wall mounted ones)
    - Room specific HVAC
    - In-room safe
    - Free shampoo/soap

    Note, Pop and AoA Little Mermaid rooms do NOT have a microwave or coffee maker.

    AoA boasts the majority of it's rooms as Family Suites. These are generally more expensive than even a moderate room at disney (around $300 a night, iirc), but well worth it for a larger family.

    They are 565 sq feet and sleep 6 adults. They offer a master bedroom with a queen sized bed, a living room, two full bathrooms, and a "kitchenette" with a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee maker. They also have a sleeper sofa and a living room table that converts into a full size bed. There are 2 tvs.

    There are 2 types of room views. "Preferred" and "Standard". Preferred simply means you will be in the buildings that are closest to the Food Court / Front Desk. I don't think it's worth the added expense myself.

    The Food Courts at Pop and AoA are vastly different. Pop is general fare, similar to All Stars, but do have a variety of options. Sodas / coffee / tea are available through a centralized beverage bar. Like the All Stars, the beverage bars use RapidFill.

    AoA, on the other hand, has completely different offerings from any of the other food courts on property. Amazing gourmet burgers, made to order, indian food, unique sandwiches, italian. It's delish! Another unique feature of this food court is that it offers real silverware, not plastic. Drinks, however, are handled the same way as all the other value resorts, with a centralized station with RapidFill.

    The Food Courts open at 6a and close at midnight. Pizza Delivery to your room is available (but it's not very good in my opinion).

    Bus Transportation to and from the theme parks and DTD is free, and UNLIKE the All Star resorts, is unique to each resort. So, AoA has its own busses, and Pop has its own busses. This is a massive plus

    First, it alleviates a lot of the shared congestion that you'll find at the All Star resorts, but it also means, since the two resorts are an easy walk from each other over the bridge, that you can take either resort busses to and from the hotel. At the theme parks, the bus stops for AoA and Pop tend to be next to each other, so a great tactic is just to hop on whichever bus shows up first!

    Likewise, it means you can walk over to AoA from Pop (or vise versa) and grab breakfast or a snack from their food court and then hop on their bus to go about your day.

    So, there you have it. I'd highly recommend Pop or AoA. If you are a smaller family (or young couple), I'd say save a bit of money and go with Pop.

    One further note...and this applies to ALL the resorts. You can not "pool hop". Meaning, if you are staying at All Star Music, you can't go swimming at All Star Sports. Or, if you are staying at Pop, you cannot go swimming at AoA (in fact, at AoA you have to have a room key to get into the Big Blue Pool, they have a gate around it). While you probably wouldn't get "caught" if you did it (aside from AoA), it's verboten. Also, at ALL the Value Resorts, towels are not provided at the pools. You'll need to bring your own, or bring the ones from your room.

    Dunno if this was too much information, or what you were looking for, but if you have any further questions, feel free to ask them! Most of the people here have stayed (or at least walked) the Values, and are always glad to help out.

    Hope this helps, and enjoy your trip!
    Last edited by englanddg; 05-09-2015 at 09:20 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  3. #3
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    Fantastic post, englanddg!!! Thanks for the detailed info.

    We've stayed at All-Star, Pop, and AoA (not the suites). AoA is definitely the best of the three, and it has a good food court. We've stayed at the Pop and crossed the bridge to AoA. One time we caught IllumiNations from the bridge.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

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  4. #4
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    Something I forgot, and it is minor.

    Soda Vending and ice machines are available on every level of the buildings (near the elevators) at all the values, and snack vending is in the laundry facilities.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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    And, Pop recently (last year) got all its rooms refurbished. They look very nice from pictures Ive seen.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  6. #6

    Re: Value Resorts

    Not to much information at all englanddg very very informative thank you very much!!
    I will be breaking down all of the areas of the resorts individually over time - food courts, transportation, location of buildings & rooms ect. & I will use your post as a reference. I guess I will start with the food courts. & using your comment as well Curious Alice, & of anyone else who has recently stayed at any of the values, it sounds maybe worth the walk to eat at AoA rather than eat at the all stars. How long does it take to walk. Guess that depends on what building of the resort staying at. & also how much trouble is it to eat other than on the resorts. I guess it is a bit of trouble once back at resort to then leave again to eat. Best to eat at the resort food court or bring something back with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
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    Re: Value Resorts

    We've done Pop, Music and Movies and enjoyed all three. We did Music a second time, only to get the same photo that we took with our kids 15 years earlier
    I'M NOT CRANKY, I JUST LOOK THAT WAY

  8. #8
    We stayed at Movies and it was nice. We were close to Music so we would go there to eat. Food courts weren't bad. We also went the first week of December when crowds weren't bad so buses were ok. We are staying at Pop this December.

  9. #9
    I love all the value resorts. They feel so fun and "Disney". I am staying in Movies this fall. It just has such a great magical feeling!! The larger than life decor just makes me love those value resorts.
    Magical Honeymoon!! Oct 2015

  10. #10
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    Re: Value Resorts

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinO View Post
    Not to much information at all englanddg very very informative thank you very much!!
    I will be breaking down all of the areas of the resorts individually over time - food courts, transportation, location of buildings & rooms ect. & I will use your post as a reference. I guess I will start with the food courts. & using your comment as well Curious Alice, & of anyone else who has recently stayed at any of the values, it sounds maybe worth the walk to eat at AoA rather than eat at the all stars. How long does it take to walk. Guess that depends on what building of the resort staying at. & also how much trouble is it to eat other than on the resorts. I guess it is a bit of trouble once back at resort to then leave again to eat. Best to eat at the resort food court or bring something back with.
    If you stay at Pop, the food court there offers pretty much the same items as the All Star food courts do.

    There is nothing special about the All Stars aside from their theme. Everything else is pretty much the worst Disney has to offer (which, still, isn't bad, so don't read that wrong).

    The walk to AoA is less than 10 mins, and can easily be done with a tray and food (I did it on my 2012 trip more than once...walked to AoA, got food, and took it back to my room).
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  11. #11
    Avoid the all-stars they all share the same busses and the lines are long. At night when leaving the parks mostly after the fireworks the line can be an hour long. Art of animation and Pop century have their own buses and the line is much shorter longest we ever waited was 25 min.

  12. #12
    So, are the all stars close enough to walk to AoA or Pop? Just worried about the bus situation.....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnyfrgsn View Post
    So, are the all stars close enough to walk to AoA or Pop? Just worried about the bus situation.....
    No the all stars are far from pop and aoa. You can walk from pop to aoa and you can walk the stars because they are together.
    Frying pans! Who knew, right!?

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