There are five Disney value resorts at Walt Disney World – All Star Sports, All Star Movies, All Star Music, Pop Century, and the Art of Animation. Here are the top five reasons to choose one!
1. The Food Courts
With up to 3,000 rooms per resort, the “Values” have a lot of mouths to feed – so their food courts are the largest on property. And since the value resorts don’t offer table service restaurants, their quick service food court stations go the extra mile in providing variety in their many choices.
At Pop Century’s Everything Pop food court, choose the Benedict Burger (one of many burger options) with a fried egg and hollandaise sauce followed by a slice of their famous Tie-Dyed cheesecake or an Everything Pop Sundae (six flavors of ice cream topped with brownie, Pop Tarts, banana slices, M&Ms, gummy worms, marshmallows, chocolate fudge, caramel sauce, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and, of course, a Maraschino Cherry!).
Landscape of Flavors food court at Art of Animation resort offers unusual choices such as roasted turkey with garlic mashed potatoes and dressing made with Belgium waffles or Tandoor oven kielbasa with cabbage, peppers, and pierogies topped with stone ground mustard sauce. Landscape of Flavors also has many healthy choices such as lentil crusted fish with Basmati rice and Naan bread. Even the kids’ choices are healthier, so you may find yourself walking across Generation Gap Bridge to the Pop Century food court to find something to satisfy any picky eaters who refuse to try new things!
The three All Star food courts, End Zone Food Court (Sports), World Premiere Food Court (Movies), and Intermission Food Court (Music) share virtually the same menus. You’ll find stick-to-your-ribs options like chicken pot pie or beef pot roast. You can create your own hot dog. The kids will find their beloved macaroni and cheese or pizza. Detailed menus for all the food courts (and other Disney World dining locations) can be perused on Disneyworld.com.
The food courts are conveniently open from 6 AM to midnight to accommodate both early morning rope-drop devotees and stamina-powered park-closers!
2. The Pools
While deluxe resorts have only one feature pool each, the value resorts have many more. Pop Century, for example, has three: the central Hippy Dippy Pool (with a water play area), the Bowling Pin Pool, and the Computer Pool. The Art of Animation boasts the very largest resort pool at Walt Disney World. Their “Big Blue Pool” was inspired by the movie FINDING NEMO with artwork featuring everyone’s favorite fishy characters. The Big Blue Pool also has an interactive water play area for little guests as well as state-of-the-art underwater speakers—a first for Disney resorts. Adults can kick back with a restorative libation from the Drop Off Pool Bar – famous for its Captain’s Mai Tai (Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum with Bols Amaretto and Tropical Juices topped with a float of Meyer’s Original Dark Rum). As if all this weren’t enough, Art of Animation has two additional pools – the Cozy Cone Pool which will make you feel transported right into the movie CARS and Flippin’ Fins Pool featuring characters from THE LITTLE MERMAID. At All Star Movies, the Fantasia Pool delights guests with its signature Sorcerer Mickey fountain. The Surfboard Bay Pool at All Star Sports is surrounded by 40-foot-tall surfboards while their Grand Slam Pool features pitcher Goofy lobbing a stream of water at unsuspecting swimmers. All Star Music’s Calypso Pool showcases a fountain of the Three Caballeros – Donald Duck, José Carioca, and Panchito. On another note, the Piano Pool is shaped like a grand piano complete with giant keyboard.
3. Family Atmosphere
The value resorts feel as though they were built for kids of all ages (including the young at heart), so you may feel more relaxed and better able to kick back in such a family friendly environment. The larger-than-life outdoor decor at Disney value resorts will wow both kids and adults alike. The kids will talk for months about how they climbed a staircase inside a giant bowling pin to reach their room or had their photo taken with a five-story high Baloo (with Mogli) from THE JUNGLE BOOK (at Pop Century). Young sports enthusiasts will enjoy posing with a football helmet big enough to fit on the Statue of Liberty (All Star Sports). At All Star Movies, they can visit all their favorite friends from TOY STORY which are again taller than the buildings. Theming at Art of Animation is most elaborate with the rooms (most of which sleep up to six guests over age three) surrounding guests with decor motifs of LION KING, CARS, or LITTLE MERMAID.
Family Suites at the All Star Music resort also allow larger families (up to six) to stay in one room. Located in the Calypso and Jazz buildings, the suites offer one queen bed, a twin-size sleeper chair, a double-size sleeper sofa, and a twin-size sleeper ottoman. The suites provide two full baths, two televisions, and a kitchenette with sink, microwave, and refrigerator.
4. Disney Bus Transportation
The Values do it best. For example, Pop Century and Art of Animation each have their own dedicated bus routes that they don’t share with any other resorts (or with each other). In comparison, the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Wilderness Lodge all share one bus loop. There is also just one central bus stop at the main buildings of the value resorts, which can feel like a significant advantage if you’ve ever stayed at Saratoga Springs, for instance – where it can feel as though it takes longer to circle all the bus stops within the resort than it does to drive to the parks.
5. The Cost
This one is so obvious, it practically goes without saying. You don’t have to give up the big Disney resort perks, either — you’ll still qualify for free airport transportation on Disney’s Magical Express from MCO and still have access to Extra Magic Hours to give you early entrance or late hours at the parks. Depending on discounts, the price for a value might represent as much as a $100 per night savings over a moderate resort. If you were hoping to splurge for a couple of special character meals or to extend your stay for another week, staying at a Disney value resort might make it possible for those dreams to come true.
Why do you stay at a Disney Value Resort?