Best Disney Value Resorts 2018-02-16T19:06:12+00:00

Best Disney Value Resorts

Disney Value Resorts are the least expensive lodging option of all Disney World. It may come as no surprise that Value Resorts are quite popular with Disney World vacationers; they provide in-park lodging, some of the best perks of other Disney Resorts, and – of course – great value for budget-conscious families. While there are really no “bad” Disney hotels, Value Resorts lack some of the amenities and bells and whistles that Moderate and Deluxe Disney Resorts have. They do, however, make up for this shortfall with lots of character and fun themes. With that said, let’s start by reviewing the pros and cons of staying at a Value Resort, then we rank them with our top 5 best Disney Value Resorts list.

What are Disney Value Resorts?

There are 5 Disney Value Resorts in total: All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. The latter – Art of Animation – is consider a “Value Plus” resort because it is general priced higher and has slightly better amenities (as well we see later). If you include The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, there are actually six Value Resorts. But since this lodging option is so much different than your average resort (ie, tents and RVs), we will not be comparing The Campsites on this page.

Here are some of the key features of Disney Value Resorts:

Affordability

Disney Value resorts are the most affordable, budget-friendly lodging on Disney World property. Moderate Resorts are next, followed by Deluxe as the most expensive option.

Location

While Value Resorts are some of the furthest Walt Disney resorts from the parks, they are still inside the park. This proximity is a clear advantage over any off-site resort.

Privileges

Like Moderate and Deluxe guests, Disney Value resorts guests receive plenty of perks because they are staying at a on-site, Disney-owned resort. These privileges include free transportation to and from the airport, Disney Dining plan eligibility, free MagicBands, Extra Magic Hours, free parking, FastPass+ reservations at 60 days, Advanced Dining reservations at 180 + 10 days out, resort room charging privileges, and resort package delivery. There are plenty of amazing off-site resorts, but these on-site Disney resort perks are a huge plus.

Transportation 

The good news is the guests at Value resorts can easily access all of the Disney World theme parks via free Disney transportation. The downside is that the only transportation option available to Value resort guests is bus service (ie, no direct monorail or boat access). However, buses operate through the day and transport guests directly to and from every Disney World theme park. Bus stops are conveniently located in the front of each resort. Pop Century and Art of Animation each have their own dedicated bus service to and from the theme parks, while All-Star Sports, All-Star-Music, and All-Star Movies share one bus line to and from the parks. (picking up and dropping off passengers at each All-Star resort along the way).

Themes

As far as Disney World resorts go, Value Resorts are the most “Disney-ish,” kid-friendly resorts in the park. Each resort has its own overall theme, with each building/wing of a resort themed around a Disney movie, musical style, sport, decade, or some other specific element. For example, All-Star Sports has a “surfing” wing, All-Star Movies has a “Toy Story” wing, and Art of Animation has a section of family suites themed after “Finding Nemo.” These themed areas and elements are lots of fun – for kids and adults alike!

Room Decor

While the exterior of each building exudes a lot of character with fun themes and icons of Disney personalities, the interiors have minimal decor. For the most part, the rooms are basic and no-frills.  Standard rooms typically feature bright colors but little in the way of design, closet space, and have just a basic shelf and towel rod in the bathrooms. All rooms have cable tv and free wifi. With the exception of Art of Animation (which has interior hallway access to each room), the rooms of Value resorts are accessed from the exterior. As such, these rooms a slightly reminiscent of your average Motel 6, albeit with a lot more magic.

Room Size

Standard room size at Pop Century and the 3 All-Star resorts are 260 square feet, while Art of Animation is 277 square feet. This compares with roughly 314 square feet at moderate resorts. Maximum occupancy is 4 people (plus one baby under age 3 in a crib).

In addition to standard rooms,  All Star music also offers family suites (520 sq ft), as does Art of Animation (565 sq ft). Family suites can sleep up to 6 people (plus one baby under age 3 in a crib).

Bed Size

Standard rooms at the Disney Value Resorts have either 2 double beds or 1 king bed. In the Family Suites of All-Star Music and Art of Animation, the master bedroom has 1 queen bed with several combination sofa beds in the family area.

Pools, Arcades, and Play Areas

Pools are always one of the most fun aspects of staying at a resort, especially for kids. While none of the Disney Value resorts have water slides, each have their own themed-pools (open to guests staying at the resort). The All-Star resorts each have two heated pools apiece, while Pop Century and Art of Animation each have 3. Kiddie pools are located in close proximity to the larger pools.

Pools at Value resorts tend to be a little smaller than the pools at Moderate and Deluxe resorts. However, there is one notable exception: Art of Animation’s Big Blue Pool is the largest pool at Disney World.

All Value resorts have their own arcade room, jogging trail, and playground for kids.

Food

If you are familiar with how the Disney Dining Plans works, you know there are two distinct categories of dining credits: Quick Service and Table Service.  Each of the 5 Disney Value resorts have their own food court. These meals count as Quick Service meals. 

None of the Disney Value resorts offer Table Service meals.  That isn’t to say you should bypass a Disney Dining Plan which offers Table Service credits. However, you will just have to go elsewhere in the park to take advantage of these more elaborate (and expensive) sit-down Table Service meals.

Reasons to Choose a Disney Value Resort

Let’s review the top 4 reasons why people choose to stay at Disney Value Resorts, and the top 4 reasons to choose a Disney Moderate or Deluxe instead. 

Pros:

✅ PriceDisney Value Resorts are least expensive lodging option at Disney World. Staying at Value resorts help vacationers stay within their budgets.

✅ Inside the Park: Moderate and Deluxe resorts admittedly have more “bells and whistles.” However, if most of your day will be spent at theme parks and eating outside of the resort, the place you lay your head at night may not be that important. A Value resort allows you to save money on lodging yet still be able to wake up inside Disney World. Plus, you will receive the same in-park perks afforded to Moderate and Deluxe Resort guests (free airport transportation, Extra Magic Hours, etc).

✅ Themes: There is something very “Disney-ish” to Value resorts which you don’t always get at Disney’s Moderate and Deluxe resorts. The buildings, grounds, and pool areas are chock full of fun Disney creative themes and character icons. Each wing of these resorts pays homage to a famous Disney movie or other unique theme.

✅ Kid Friendly: Kids love the themes, decor, and character statues. They also love the arcades, playgrounds and kiddie pools found at each Disney Value Resort.

Cons:

❌ Limited Transportation: Disney Value resorts are located further away from the theme parks. Bus transportation (free) is your only way to the theme parks.

❌ Smaller Rooms: Standard rooms are about 260 sq ft compared to 314 sq ft at Moderate resorts. Beds are smaller and there are fewer room amenities. Family suites offer much more room, but they are also considerably more expensive.

❌ More Noise: Some people find Disney Value resorts to be more noisy than other resorts. This may be due to the external room entrances (as opposed to internal hallway entrances), being kid-friendly (more kids usually means more noise), and the fact that most wings face the pool area.

❌ No Table Service Dining: The Quick Service food courts are great for a quick and satisfying meal. However, there are no Table Service dining options available at Disney Value resorts. Speak with your Disney travel planner to make your Table Service Advanced Dining Reservations elsewhere in the park.

List: Top 5 Best Disney Value Resorts

disney's all star music resort

Resort: All-Star Music

Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area

Opened: Nov. 22, 1994

Theme: Music

Areas: Calypso, Jazz Inn, Rock Inn, Country Fair, Broadway Hotel

Rooms: 1604

Suites: 260 Family Suites

5.  All-Star Music

Attention music lovers! All-Star Music is a Disney Value Resort themed around some of the most popular music genres: rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, country, Broadway show tunes, and calypso.  Guests will marvel at the massive, music-inspired icons surrounding the buildings and the lighthearted musical elements inside each wing. The most notable features of All-Star Music  include the guitar-shaped pool and the expansive, music-themed Intermission Food Court.

*All-Star Music’s floor plans and standard rooms are similar to other All-Star resorts. However, All-Star Music also has 260 family suites, whereas the All-Star-Movie and Sports only offer standard size rooms.  The suites at All-Star Music can sleep up to 6 (and one baby in a crib), have 2 bathrooms, a master bedroom with queen bed, living room area, and are priced higher than standard rooms.

Bottom Line: We have ranked All-Star Music number 5 for several reasons. As far as positives go, All-Star Music is the lowest priced Disney Value Resort (tied with All-Star Movies and All-Star Sports – they are usually all priced the same). The music theme is great and the buildings really light up and dazzle at night. However, this resort doesn’t have same “Disney feel” that most other Value resorts have. Another disadvantage is that some areas within the resort require lots of walking to get to the main area of the resort (food court/bus).  In other words, the layout of the property isn’t the best. And lastly, transportation can be an issue because all 3 All-Star resorts share a common bus to the theme parks. All-Star Music is the 2nd resort to on the bus line, which means the All-Star Sports guests are already on the bus when you get picked up (crowded).

all-star movies resort at disney world

Resort: All-Star Movies

Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area

Opened: January 15, 1999

Theme: Disney Movies

Areas: 101 Dalmatians, Toy Story, Fantasia, The Mighty Ducks, Herbie: The Love Bug

Rooms: 1920

Suites: None

4.  All-Star Movies

Disney movie buffs will feel at home in All-Star Movies. The resort’s larger-than-life Disney characters (from Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, The Mighty Ducks, and Herbie: The Love Bug) adorn the exteriors and interiors of their respective wing. In fact, some of the character reach 40 feet tall, creating the perfect photo opportunity for your family to cherish as a Disney souvenir. The most notable features of the resort include the World Premier Food Court (with 5 movie “marquees” serving a variety of tasty foods throughout the day), the Fantasia-themed pool where Sorcerer Mickey sprays water on guests, and the nightly, outdoor screening of the Disney “Movies Under the Stars.”

*All rooms at All-Star Movies are standard size.

Bottom Line: As far as All-Star resorts go, Movies has the best theming (in our opinion). You get a distant “Disney” feel as you walk the grounds, and – if you love classic Disney films – there is a special magic in the air. We really love the movie-lobby design of the food court. Like other All-Star resort, Movies is certainly a great value.  Plus, all rooms are much more accessible to the front of the main building than those of All-Star Music. The main disadvantage of All-Star Movies is the transportation. Since it is the last stop on the All-Star bus route, buses are often already crowded with All-Star Sports and Music passengers before you get on. If it wasn’t for this glaring blemish, All-Star Movies would be ranked higher on our list.

art of animation resort

Resort: Art of Animation

Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports area

Opened: May 31, 2012

Theme: Disney characters

Areas: The Little Mermaid, Car, Finding Nemo, The Lion King

Rooms: 984 standard rooms

Suites: 1120 family suites

disney's art of animation pool

3.  Art of Animation

Opening in 2012, Art of Animation is the newest resort at Disney World, and considered a “Value Plus” resort because it offers guests a little more in the way of luxury than other the other 4 Value resorts. The Art of Animation also has the largest pool at Disney World – The Big Blue Pool. And like All-Star Music, this resort offers spacious family suites to accommodate up to 6 guests (the Nemo, Cars, and the Lion King sections of the resort).  The standard rooms are decorated with plenty of Little Mermaid, sea-inspired decor from the classic Disney movie and each room is accessed via an interior hallway. There are numerous Disney icons throughout the property to keep any selfie-buff happy. And if you enjoy a good meal, Art of Animation’s The Landscape of Flavor offers an amazing selection of counter-service food throughout the day. Hands down, Art of Animation’s food court is the best among the Value resorts. 

*Art of Animation has 984 standard rooms and 1120 family suites.

Bottom Line: We really love everything about this resort. The food court is fabulous, the pool is amazing, and the theming is spot on. Art of Animation has its own dedicated bus services directly to and from each resorts (so no bus sharing like the All-Star resorts). The only real disadvantage is price. Because this is a “Value Plus” resort – and because many of the rooms are family suites – the room rates tend to be more comparable with a Disney Moderate resort than other Value resorts. If it weren’t for this price consideration, Art of Animation would be ranked 1st on our list.

Disney's All-Star Sports resort

Resort: All-Star Sports

Location: Animal Kingdom Resort area

Opened: April 29, 1994

Theme: Sports

Areas: Touchdown!, Center Court, Home Run Hotel, Surfs Up!, Hoops Hotel

Rooms: 1920

Suites: none

2. All-Star Sports

All-Star Sports opened in 1994 and become the first Value Resort on Disney World property. The resort salutes the world of competitive sports with themes to match each wing –  baseball, basketball, football, tennis, and surfing. To this end, All-Star Sports boasts plenty of sporty decor on its grounds, including photo worthy icons of all your favorite Disney characters striking a sporty pose. Among its various features, All-Star Sports has a sprawling pool with an elaborate surfboard motif, the sports-themed End Zone Food Court, and nightly “Movies Under the Stars” by Surfboard Bay Pool. The All-Star Sports jogging trail, Game Point Arcade, and kids playground ensures that boredom will never set in.

All rooms are standard size (sleeps up to 4 people, plus a baby under 3).

Bottom Line: Let’s get the negatives out of the way. Ok, so we like the sports themes, but don’t love them. The resort has a Disney feel to it, but much less so than Movies, Art of Animation, and Pop Century. The best aspect of All-Star Sports is the bus transportation. While you do share the bus route with All-Star Music and All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports guests are the first resort to get picked up and the first resort to get dropped off on your return. If you are anything like me, you value a nice comfortable seat on the bus. This huge advantage – combined with being tied for the lowest cost per room at Disney World – offer a compelling value proposition. If we to pick a best resort at the lowest total cost, it would be All-Star Sports. So, again, if themes are less important than transportation comfort and lowest cost, then this is our recommendation.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Resort: Pop Century

Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Resort area

Opened: December 14, 2003

Theme: 20th-century American pop culture

Areas: 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s

Rooms: 2880

Suites: none

Best Disney Value Resort
disney value resorts

1. Pop Century

Pop Century immerses its guests in the unforgettable fads of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s.  Here you can reminisce about the fashions, toys, dances, and catch phrases that were all the rage in later half of the 20th century. The resort is full of amazing icons to behold – from the Lady and the Tramp themes of the 50’s, the The Jungle Book themes of the Play-Doh 60’s era, the Mickey Mouse rotary telephone decade of the 70’s, the Rubik’s Cube/Sony Walkman decade of the 80’s, to the cellular phone and computer age of the 90’s. Pop Century is filled with fun themes, outlandish decor, and fun photo opportunities.

Besides the decades of fun decor, Pop Century features a 1960’s themed pool – called the “Hippy Dippy Pool” – with flower-shaped water jets to cool you off on this sweltering Florida days. The Everything Pop Shopping and Dining area is groovy food court with 7 food stations to please the discriminating palate. Bring your yo-yo and immerse yourself in the fun of Pop Century!

*Pop Century only offers standard rooms.

Bottom Line: We choose Pop Century as our top pick because it strikes the right balance between fun, over-the-top theming and total value. Pop Century is only slightly more expensive than the All-Star resorts, but it benefits from having its own dedicated bus transportation to and from each theme park (less crowds to deal with).  The food court is also a step above the dining options of the All-Star resorts. Overall, we really couldn’t find much to complain about with Pop Century. The cost is low, the themes and icons are fantastic, the pools are fun, and transportation is easy and stress-free. If you can deal with a little bit of noise and a simple room layout, Pop Century offers you a magical resort at a low cost that will satisfy budget-conscious vacationers.

We hope our Best Disney Value Resorts page has helped you prioritize your lodging for your Disney World vacation. For more useful Disney World information, please review additional pages on MagicGuides, such as our  helpful Disney Dining Plan CalculatorDisney Transportation Map, and Disney Travel Planners articles.

If you need help planning and booking your magical Walt Disney World vacation, contact our friends at The Vacationeer. Their services are always helpful and totally free of charge! Thank you for reading our page, and we hope you have a magical Walt Disney World vacation!

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