I know I have said this before, and I’m sure you’ve heard it from many people in the past, but I’m going to stress this: DISNEY WORLD IS EXPENSIVE! There’s just no way around it. Even with discounts that are offered periodically, you will still end up spending a considerable chunk of cash for a Disney vacation. One way to save a little bit on your stay is to look into booking a Disney Value Resort, but you may be wondering what is the best Disney Value resort? Well, we are here to help answer that question for you.
Before going further, let’s review Disney Resorts as a whole:
- There are over 25 varieties of hotels on Disney property
- Disney categorizes their hotels into 4 groups – Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Disney Vacation Club. DVC and Deluxe tend to get lumped together, as most Deluxe Resorts have DVC villas attached to them.
- Most of the hotels are categorized into the groups based on room price per night. Lower price point rooms are in Value Resorts, while higher priced rooms are found in Deluxe Resorts
The Best Disney Value Resorts Review
Disney has 5 Value Resorts on their property. The hotels in this category fall into a lower price point and tend to offer less amenities, like fewer dining and transportation options. They are also farther away from any theme park than the Moderate or Deluxe Resorts. All of the buildings that house the guest rooms have exterior hallways and a lot of stairs (maybe one elevator close by). The pools tend to be very large and more than one in each resort. Read on to find out how they should be ranked, from worst to best, in my opinion.
3. The All-Star Resorts
The All-Star Resorts is a 3-hotel conglomeration that are located very close together and are very similar in design and structure but with unique thumbing to each one. So we have all 3 All-Star Resorts grouped together as #3 on our list. You will find All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, and All-Star Movies in close proximity. All 3 resorts are themed according to their name with larger than life structures that reflect that theme. They also boast at least 2 substantially sized swimming pools (although no slides or diving boards are at these pools) and a food court as the only sit down dining option. You’ll also find an arcade, a gift shop, and jogging trails that link the 3 resorts together. It’s also worth noting that while each individual resort has its own bus stop, the buses to the parks and Disney Springs are shared by all 3. Below you will find our ranking of the All-Star Resorts themselves from worst to best.
“Sports” is designed with large sports equipment and playing fields. For example, you will see giant football helmets in one section, and the grounds look like you are standing on a football field. Other sections are soccer, basketball, baseball, surfing, and tennis. School sports teams, cheerleading squads, and dance teams usually pick All-Star Sports as their first choice, seeing as some of those sports are the reason they are even at Disney World to begin with, and the hotel is close to ESPN Wide World of Sports.
“Music” is designed with different genres of music, including rock, country, jazz, broadway, and calypso. My favorite section would have to be jazz, with its huge drum set and purple hues. The hotel rooms are just like “Sports” and “Movies” with one exception: you can find family suites here for those traveling with larger parties. These suites are basically two regular rooms with the separating wall to create one large room that can sleep up to 6. The regular rooms only sleep up to 4. There are only a few of these suites and they are very popular.
“Movies” has always been the most popular of the three All-Star Resorts. It makes sense given that if you are coming to Disney World, chances are you have seen a few Disney movies before (and you may not be into sports or music that much). The design reflects the characters and stories of a select few Disney movies, like Toy Story, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians, and The Mighty Ducks.
2. Pop Century
For my second favorite Value resort, I chose Pop Century. Honestly, it is not much different from the All-Star Resort in many ways. The structures that theme each section are huge, often bigger than the buildings themselves, the pools are similar in size and creativity, and there is a only a food court, no table service restaurants. But, it is better than All-Stars for me. One, I love the 1950s-1990s theming. For the 80s section, there’s a giant computer! Two, it doesn’t share bus transportation with any other resorts. And three, it is VERY close to my number one pick for best Value resort.
1. Art of Animation
Making this my number one was a no-brainer. Art of Animation is actually two resorts in one, essentially. A portion of A of A was sprung up from the remnants of the abandoned “classic years” section of Pop Century. The buildings and lobby were constructed but never completed in the early 2000s. So it was decided to take those guest room buildings and transform them into the “Little Mermaid” portion of Art of Animation. This is the area with only regular rooms and exterior hallways, just like Pop Century but with A of A theming. The rest of the resort buildings were constructed with interior hallways to have family suites, similar to those at All-Star Music.
These suites are themed to Finding Nemo, Lion King, and Cars. As for rest of the resort, there are still large structures placed throughout but they are much smaller and interactive. There are 3 big swimming pools, one of which is the largest on property and has underwater speakers! And the food court? It’s actually very yummy! I know of guests staying at Pop Century walking over to Landscape of Flavors food court at A of A to have a meal instead of at their own resort. Now that says something!
There you have it! The best Disney Value Resort according to me! To conclude, I just want to say that I think it is lovely that Disney has resort options in high, medium, and low price points to cater to all guests. And in the case of Value resorts, when traveling to Disney World on a tight budget, but still wanting to stay in a hotel on property, they are a great option.
Stay At A Deluxe Resort For Less Than You May Think
Something you may want to consider before booking your stay at Disney World is that you can actually stay at a Disney Deluxe resort for up to 50% off. Sound crazy? Well, it’s true. You can do this by renting points from Disney Vacation Club members and it’s something that we have done ourselves many times and it has allowed us to stay at some of the best resorts that Disney has to offer for a fraction of the typical price.
There are a few ways you can rent point from DVC members but the easiest and safest way is to go through David’s Vacation Club Rentals. They have been in business for over 15 years and have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee so you essentially have nothing to lose. We have used them ourselves and each time the process has been easy and seamless. If you’re at all interested in just how much money you could save staying at resorts like The Polynesian, Animal Kingdom Lodge and others then head on over and chat with their friendly customer support staff!
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If you are an adult looking to travel to Disney World without kids then you may be interested in our article on The Best Disney Resorts For Adults & Couples!
By Jamie Lee
Jamie is a lifelong Disney fanatic that has been going to Disney parks since she was a child. She is the head writer here at Capture The Magic & co-host of the Capture The Magic Podcast. When she isn't planning her next Disney vacation, she can be found helping people plan their own Disney vacations and enjoying quality time with her family.