Walt Disney World has a variety of hotels and resort choices for every budget and every guest. Disney value resorts are a great way to save money and stay on budget when you’re on vacation.
Staying on-property at value resort hotels isn’t the only way to stay. There are several Good Neighbor hotels that are budget-friendly and also on Disney property.
They include many, but not all of the perks of staying at a Disney owned resort. Most are comparable in price to some of Disney value resorts.
What You Can Expect from a Disney Value Resort
Value resorts at Disney World are Disney’s way of making the full Disney World experience more affordable. They include all the perks of the Disney owned hotels, like extra magic hours, but are much kinder to your wallet.
Standard rooms include either 2 double beds or one king bed. Single-family rooms with a king bed are designed for disabled travelers. They do not have a tub, only a wheelchair-accessible shower. The rooms are 260 sq. feet, compared to 314 sq. feet at most of the Moderate resorts.
Perks of staying on property in a Disney-owned hotel include bus or Skyliner (when applicable) transportation throughout Walt Disney World. Guests have charging privileges for purchases throughout most of the WDW Resort to your room. They also can take advantage of package delivery from the theme parks to the resort gift shop. And of course, a food court and themed pool areas.
Disney Hotel History
Disney World’s first hotels belong to the deluxe tier because the only official Disney hotels were high-end. About 20 years after opening they began building more moderate hotels. Now, including the Disney value resorts, there are three Disney Resort hotel choices for guests.
Value Resorts vs Deluxe and Moderate Resorts
Value resorts are dramatically different from the other hotels on property. Disney definitely has stripped the budget hotels down to the necessities, but that does make them a poor choice.
Value resorts tend to be located further away from the theme parks. This makes the bus ride on a tiring park day a bit longer. Until 2019, Disney’s extensive complimentary bus system was the only transportation option at value resorts.
Value Plus Rooms
The two of the value resorts, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation have what some guests consider better resort themes. The other three resorts are almost like three smaller hotels within one larger resort. Art of Animation is considered a value plus resort because it has some extra benefits of staying there.
Food & Entertainment
While value resorts don’t have table service restaurants. They do have food available at the food courts, some grab-and-go stations, and some food at pool bars.
The value resorts have the largest video game arcades of all three hotel types, making it a fun choice for families.
Like most of the moderate resort hotel rooms, value resorts have outdoor entry. Like the deluxe and moderate hotels, the Disney World value resorts have one large common pool and smaller quiet pools throughout the grounds.
Which Disney Value Resorts Have Been Renovated?
As of July 2020, the All Star value hotels are currently undergoing huge renovations. They are scheduled to get a huge upgrade from their previous designs. Refurbishment work was finished at the All Star Movies Resort. It’s unclear where progress stands at All Star Music or Sports because these resorts have not yet reopened.
With no solid reopening date, it’s hard to say what to expect. But the work is scheduled to begin in 2020/2021. I think most things are up in the air due to the park closing during the pandemic.
Do Disney Value Resorts Have Refrigerators?
All Disney owned hotels have refrigerators. Although Disney’s website says that all locations have iceboxes, they all state that if for some reason your room doesn’t have one, call housekeeping and they will place one for you.
Which Disney Value Resorts Have Suites?
Both the All Star Music and Art of Animation have family suites that can room up to six adults and one infant. They have a queen bed, a double bed fold out couch, and a double murphy bed.
The first of the All-Star value resorts is All Star Sports Resort. This hotel is characterized by over-sized props of sports gear and equipment. If you love sports, you will enjoy the enormous helmets, hockey sticks, and basketball hoops throughout the hotel. There is not much outside of the general sports vibe to associate with any specific teams or star players.
All-Star Music is practically a carbon copy of All-Star Sports with a theme change to music. The buildings are set up to celebrate different musical genres: Calypso, Jazz Inn, Rock Inn, Country Fair, and the Broadway Hotel.
The main difference between the All Star Music resort and the other All-Star resorts is that All Star Music has family suites which are a great option for larger families on a budget. They allow up to 6 guests and one infant.
All-Star Movies is located near to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. It’s the only All-Star resort that has a full-on Disney movie theme. Other resorts do their best to incorporate some Disney characters into the outdoor settings. All-Star Movies has themed areas within the resort based on films such as Toy Story, 101 Dalmations, Fantasia 2000, The Mighty Ducks, and Herbie: The Love Bug.
Besides the typical standard rooms, All-Star Movies also has Preferred Location rooms that are closest to Cinema Hall Lobby and World Premiere Food Court. Those rooms are located in buildings the 101 Dalmations buildings 1 & 4, Fantasia buildings 5 & 8, and Toy Story buildings 9 & 10.
Pop Century is a tribute to the second half of the 20th century. Each section of the resort represents a particular decade with pop icons of the era, ranging from the 50s to the 90s. While it is very similar to the All-Star resorts, there are more Disney touches in the interior art.
Pop Century also has a Skyliner station which leads to the EPCOT resort area.
The 1950s area features the rock-n-roll vibe of sock-hoppers, tunes from the 40-foot-tall jukebox, and fun times at the bowling alley with a bowling pin-shaped pool.
Bring on the 1960s which feature psychedelic tie-dyed colors, Disney’s the Jungle Book (1967). It also celebrates Play-Doh with a giant can of the modeling compound. A set of giant Duncan Imperial-model yo-yos are also on display in the 1960s building complex. And the star of the area is a cool Hippy Dippy pool where families can enjoy some chill time.
A colorful Big Wheel toy is the focus of the 1970s area. Don’t miss the classic Mickey Mouse rotary-dial telephone across the courtyard! Table soccer players stand ready to play, and eight-track tapes are featured as well.
In the 1980s area, a Rubik’s Cube towers more than 40 feet tall on each building. The section also celebrates the Sony Walkman and has a computer-shaped pool, complete with a keyboard that guests can lounge on.
The 1990s area focuses on personal technology with the cellular telephone (that’s a cell phone if you’re a youngster) and a giant laptop computer.
Each area has a different feel and style. Pick your favorite for your stay, make sure to wander around and check out the other sections! Bring your camera (aka cell phone) for all the fun photo opportunities!
Art of Animation
Similar to the All-Star Movies Resort, the Art of Animation resort features more relevant films from Disney Animation and Disney Pixar.
The Little Mermaid section is similar to Pop Century but has more elaborate themes in the rooms. The Little Mermaid rooms have two double beds standard. The decor is an exciting underwater grotto feel with Sebastian, Flounder, and of course, Scuttle.
The walls, bedding, window coverings, and artwork are all ocean colors and themed with a few fun surprises for your family to discover!
The other three complexes are all family suites and all have indoor room access. The themes for these complexes are The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. All around the resort you’ll find sets resembling scenes from these movies.
The family suites sleep up to 6 people and one infant. They have 2 separate bathrooms and a queen-sized bed in the master bedroom. There is also a pull-out couch that converts to a double-size sleeper sofa in the main living area. There’s also a bed that pulls down in the dining area that can sleep 1 or 2.
The Big Blue Pool at this resort is one of the best pools at Walt Disney World. It’s located in the Finding Nemo complex and features a pool bar. There are also two smaller pools located in the Cars and The Little Mermaid area.
Hopefully, we not only answered which one Disney value resorts is the best, but which is best for your family. No matter where you stay at Walt Disney World Resort, it’s sure to be magical. Enjoy the unique feel of the resorts and enjoy your stay!