I’ve stayed at all five of the Disney Value Resorts at least once, and one of them MANY times. I think they offer a fantastic (and affordable) vacation experience for most people, but they certainly aren’t for everyone!
In this post, I’ll share what you should expect at the Value Resorts in Walt Disney World and what you won’t find there.
If you are interested in how I rank the Disney Value Resorts and my pick for families and first-timers, check out this post on the Best and Worst of the Disney Value Resorts!
What To Expect: Rooms at Disney Value Resorts
Disney resorts are divided into three main categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. The resorts in the “Value” category at Walt Disney World are:
- All-Star Music Resort
- All-Star Movies Resort
- All-Star Sports Resort
- Pop Century Resort
- Art of Animation Resort
All of the Value resorts offer basic but comfortable standard hotel rooms with two double beds (a few accessible rooms have one king bed). Above is what most value rooms look like presently.
A major room refurbishment recently took place at Pop Century and all rooms now have a queen bed and a queen pull-down Murphy bed. Check out a photo tour of the new rooms here!
The All-Stars are next in line for similar room renovations in 2019. You can check out the new rooms at All Star Movies here.
All standard rooms are around 260 square feet and have a mini-fridge, table with two chairs, and drawers for storage. You’ll also find cute Disney touches such as hidden Mickeys in the carpeting and bedding.
There’s a curtain you can pull to separate the bathroom area from the rest of the room, which comes in handy when you need to have the light on in the bathroom area while the kiddos are still sleeping.
There is a small room with the toilet and bathtub/shower and the one sink is outside of that room.
A feature of the remodeled rooms is bath products in a dispenser on the wall. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but I actually love not having to worry about running out. I also like the waste that is saved from all of those thousands of tiny plastic bottles.
All-Star Music and Art of Animation also offer “Family Suites” that have a bedroom separate from the main living area and kitchenette. The bedroom has a queen bed and there is a full-size pullout bed in the living room.
The suites at Art of Animation also have a second bathroom and full-size Murphy bed (you can check out my detailed review of the suites here).
While the rooms at Disney Value Resort aren’t fancy, they are designed to be functional and fun.
What to Expect: Disney Value Resort Cost
The cost of staying at a Value Resort varies depending on when you travel. In general, expect rates in the $100 – $150 range per night.
The most affordable times of year to visit are when kids are in school, such as the fall, January and February, and after Spring Break.
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I calculated that you will save around $90 per night (as opposed to renting a car) by taking advantage of Disney’s complimentary transportation. Magic Bands cost $14 per person out-of-pocket, so a family of four will save another $50 there.
While I’m on transportation, I need to mention that most of the time buses from the Value Resorts will take you directly to/from the theme parks.
At the Moderate resorts (and some Deluxe resorts) you have to ride the bus around the resort itself while it stops up to six times to pick up guests.
This adds significant travel time to and from the parks and is one reason why I’ve leaned towards the Value resorts over the Moderates on many occasions!
What to Expect: Amenities at Disney Value Resorts
First, you should expect excellent customer service at any Disney World Resort hotel, include the Value Resorts.
You won’t get treated like a second-class visitor because you are staying at the lowest-cost resorts, and you’ll be treated like a VIP by all of the Cast Members.
The Value resorts all have fun, kid-friendly theming. In fact, they are widely considered some of the most “kid-friendly” resorts on Disney property!
Disney characters abound and everything is bright and colorful, so these resorts have a ton of kid appeal.
The Value resorts all have pools that tie into the theme of the resort, such as the Fantasia pool at All-Star Movies and the Finding Nemo themed “Big Blue Pool” at Art of Animation.
You’ll now find towels available at the pools, which is a recent and VERY welcome change! There are multiple pools at each resort and a pool bar at the main “feature” pool.
There are daily poolside activities led by Disney cast members and nice playgrounds at each resort.
Every night there is a Disney movie shown poolside on a giant inflatable screen, which can be a fun way to spend an evening away from the parks.
You’ll find quick service food courts at each resort and large gift shops, of course. I think the landscaping and general maintenance of the properties are excellent, far above what you’d expect from a chain property at the same price point.
But the biggest pull for me of the Value resorts is that you get ALL of the perks of staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, including:
- Free transportation to/from Orlando International Airport and around Walt Disney World
- Free Magic Bands for everyone in your party (read all about them in this post)
- The ability to book FastPasses 60 days before you arrive (as opposed to 30 days before if you stay off-property)
- Access to Extra Magic Hours
- The ability to add a Disney Dining Plan to your stay (get my tips and tricks for using the Dining Plan here)
These are just the main perks of staying at a Disney World resort hotel and you’ll get them with even a one-night reservation.
The perks are what keep me staying on Disney property, and I love getting them without a costly price tag at the Value Resorts!
What You Won’t Find at Disney Value Resorts
Now that you know what you’ll get at Value resorts, here’s what will you NOT find there.
1) While there are several fun pools at each resort, you won’t find water slides or hot tubs at the Value resorts. You also will not find zero-entry pools or water play areas, with the exception of Art of Animation which has both.
2) You will not find any table service restaurants at the Value resorts. Other Disney resorts (particularly the deluxe resorts) offer some incredible table service dining options, but you’ll just find food courts at the Disney Value resorts. I think the food is excellent at the Value resorts, but you will have to navigate a sometimes crowded food court to get it.
3) You won’t find queen-sized beds in the standard hotel rooms at Value resorts, though it appears this will change over the course of the next few years as they get remodeled. Until all of the rooms get queen beds (which will likely take until 2019 or beyond), you’ll find two double beds.
4) One of the perks of staying at the Deluxe resorts is the ability to get to a theme park without having to ride a bus. For example, at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort you can walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and you can take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot when you stay at the Polynesian. You will have to take a bus to get anywhere on Disney property when you stay at a Value resort.
5) And last, you also won’t find extensive resort activities at Disney Value Resorts like you would at the Deluxe Resorts. For example, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers daily cookie decorating, restaurant tours, cultural immersion experiences with cast members from Africa, and more. Poolside entertainment and nightly movies are all you’ll get at the Value resorts.
I hope this post helped you know what to expect from a stay at a Disney Value resort. They are among my favorites of all Disney World resorts because of their fun atmosphere and valuable perks at an affordable price.
If you want help deciding which resort might be the best fit for your family, I highly suggest getting a free quote from an expert Disney travel agent at Destinations in Florida. They can help you plan every aspect of your Disney vacation at no charge to you!
If you have any questions about staying at a Value resort, please leave a comment below or join the discussion in the free private Facebook group for my Disney-only site, The Budget Mouse!
Friday 21st of May 2021
So I haven't been to Disney in so long I have no idea what the rules are. We are flying into Orlando and will spend one night before driving out of town to our family get together (not in Orlando). I will have my two year old granddaughter who loves Mickey so much she has him on her diapers and says "hi" to him at each diaper change ;0 There are 6 of us so I was thinking of adjoining rooms. I thought it would be fun to get a room at a Disney resort and was looking at the All Star Movies, but maybe Pop Culture would be better (I'm not sure if they are open or available.)
My question is do we have to have tickets to the Disney parks in order to stay at the value resorts? I just want to stay somewhere really fun for the kids before kicking off our vacation...but we wouldn't have the time to go to a park.
Saturday 22nd of May 2021
Hi Lynn! You definitely do NOT need tickets to stay at a Disney World resort. I stay there all of the time without going to the parks! I think adjoining rooms at either All Star Movies or Pop Century would be fantastic. Both are open now. I suggest filling out this form so my travel agent for the site can help you book (there is NO cost to you to book through her and she can help you find the best spot): https://thebudgetmouse.com/get-a-free-disney-world-vacation-quote/
Tuesday 7th of May 2019
Can you do the actives at the other resorts if your not staying there?
Saturday 11th of May 2019
It depends. You certainly can roast marshmallows at another resort if you are visiting, for example. You can't use the pool at another resort (unless you are staying at an All-Stars resort - then you can use any pool at any of the All-Stars resorts). Hope that helps!
Tuesday 26th of February 2019
Hi there! I just wanted to say thank you for your all your info on the value resorts. I’ve been looking at them and trying to decide which would be the best for our family (this is our first time to Disney) and now i’ll Better be able to make my decision. Also, your info on the Disney bus system really helped. I’ve been reading some pretty negative things about it from the value resorts but you’ve kind of out my mind at ease knowing they go directly to the theme parks. Thanks for the the information!
Thursday 28th of February 2019
I'm so glad you found something helpful, Amanda! I think the bus service at the Value resorts is great - definitely better than the Moderate resorts (and even some Deluxe resorts, in my opinion). You might want to join my Facebook group so you can ask any other questions and get lots of help: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1980836358847266/
How to Find Disney World Hotel Deals on Hotwire & Priceline - The Budget Mouse
Friday 18th of January 2019
[…] mystery hotel in Bonnet Creek with an airport shuttle, so we know this is a Disney Value Resort (learn what to expect at the Disney Value Resorts in this post). The most common Value resort to show up on Hotwire is All Star Sports since it is usually the […]
Friday 4th of January 2019
We stayed at pop Century last year and the room had a pull down double Murphy bed. Please note that when you pull down the bed you lose your table and the chairs are then just cumbersome and always in the way. The updated mining fridge is HALF of a mini fridge, not even deep enough to lay a bottle of water. And housekeeping was terrible. The updated rooms have loud laminate flooring and the floors are filthy.