What To Expect at Disney Value Resorts (And What NOT To Expect)

on July 24, 2017

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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’s Value Resorts

Disney World Value Resorts offer incredible bang for the buck, but they aren't for everyone! Here's what to expect at Disney's Value Resorts in terms of rooms, amenities, transportation, cost and more.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

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

 

Disney World Value Resorts offer incredible bang for the buck, but they aren't for everyone! Here's what to expect at Disney's Value Resorts in terms of rooms, amenities, transportation, cost and more.

Disney’s All-Star Sports 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). Here’s what most value rooms look like presently.

 

Newly refurbished rooms at Pop Century

A major room refurbishment is currently taking place at Pop Century and most 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, with All-Star Movies getting started in spring 2018.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

Art of Animation Family Suite Murphy Bed

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: Cost

The cost of staying at a Value Resort varies depending on when you travel. In general, expect rates in the $90 – $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.

My #1 source for the best rates on Disney Value Resorts is Orbitz. You can use an Orbitz promo code to save an additional 15% on Disney Value Resorts on top of any Disney-released discounts. 

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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’s Value Resorts

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

Pop Century Resort

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.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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 is 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:

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 Value Resorts

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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.

What to expect at Disney World Value Resorts, and what NOT to expect! Insider info on rooms, amenities, transportation and more.

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 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 send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page!

What to expect at the Disney Value Resorts! Rooms, pools, amenities, food, transportation and more at the Disney World value resorts. Tips and tricks for doing Disney world on a budget. #disneyworld #traveltips

Want to learn how to do Disney on a budget? Check out my Disney-only site, The Budget Mouse here!

11 Comments

  • Ep 23: Ten Reasons To Love The Disney World Value Resorts - The Budget Mouse

    […] What To Expect at the Disney Value Resorts […]

    October 17, 2018 at 5:05 pm Reply
  • The Best Disney Value Resorts Ranked • WDW Vacation Tips

    […] You may be wondering what you are losing out on by spending less on your hotel. Value resort pools do not have a waterslide. The layout of each resort is also very spread out which means that you probably have a bit of a walk to get to the bus stop location unless you luck out with your room location or pay for a preferred location. Note, the bus only picks up and drops off at one spot in the value resorts. The buildings are also built motel style so there are no interior hallways to get to your room everything is outside. The standard bed size in these rooms is actually a full versus the queen size you will get at the pricier resorts. For more on what to expect at a value resort at Disney read this. […]

    May 20, 2018 at 8:51 pm Reply
  • Budget-Friendly Rooms That Sleep Five at Disney World! – The Budget Mouse

    […] Another affordable strategy for staying at Disney World with a family of five is to book connecting rooms at a Disney Value Resort. I have done this myself at Pop Century when my dad joined my family for a trip one year and it was fantastic! I love the Value resorts for how kid-friendly and “Disney” they are – check out my post on what the expect at the Value resorts here. […]

    April 20, 2018 at 8:57 am Reply
  • PegP

    When we stayed at the Art of Animation a few years back, one of the poolside activities was making a tie-dyed T-shirt for a small fee. The cast member did the first “tie” on it to show the children how it’s done. Then the kids got to tie the rest of the T however they wanted it, and dip it in whichever dyes they wanted. Then the cast member wrapped it in a ton of plastic wrap to keep it from dripping. We were told to keep it wrapped for 24 hours, then rinse it out in a sink. We left it a little more than 24 hours because of flying home. Turned out to be such a nice surprise when we got home! When we unwrapped the shirt and took out of the rubber bands it had been tied with, we discovered that the original tie done by the cast member made a Mickey head design right in the middle of the shirt. It was so cool! And it’s still one of her favorite shirts (even though she doesn’t fit in it anymore).

    We’ve never gotten that at the moderates we’ve stayed at. Also, not all moderates have table restaurants. Coronado Springs has two because it’s a convention hotel, but we didn’t dine in either when we stayed there last year. Too many better options at the parks and Disney Springs. You won’t miss having a table restaurant at the resort at all.

    Another plus of the Value resorts is, if you don’t mind resort hopping, you can stay at a Value over the weekend when prices are higher, then switch to a Deluxe during the week when rates are lower. It’s a nice help to the budget when you want to try a Deluxe but can’t afford it for the entire stay. Disney will move your luggage from the one resort to the 2nd one for you, so you can still spend the day in the parks. We’re doing that this year with Saratoga Springs and All Star Music.

    April 8, 2018 at 2:42 pm Reply
    • Leah

      We’ve never done the Mickey tie-dye but now I really want to! Awesome advice about a split stay at a Value and DVC resort… our usual combo is Pop Century -> Animal Kingdom Lodge!

      April 8, 2018 at 4:38 pm Reply
  • Heather

    This is so helpful! I had no idea the value resorts still came with so many perks.

    January 29, 2018 at 6:53 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I agree, Heather, they really are great for the price!

      January 29, 2018 at 8:06 pm Reply
  • Megan

    Hi Leah-

    We just completed our first trip to the Art of Animation through a Disney Agent. I could have used my points from my credit card for Disney Coronado but the hotline Disney agent said that we couldn’t get the meal plan if we book from third party. So is this true with Orbitz too? How do you order the wristbands if your go through 3rd party?

    So we decided to take the more expensive route and paid for lodging instead if points so we could learn the ins and outs for next time. Now we did 3 different character meals with the meal plan, I am not sure we would do it again. What’s your thoughts on the meal plan?

    January 21, 2018 at 7:36 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Megan! First, you are correct that you can’t add a dining plan if you book through a third party such as Orbitz. You can only book room-only reservations with Orbitz. You can add a dining plan if you rent DVC points which is a huge perk. Here’s more info on renting points: https://www.thefrugalsouth.com/rent-dvc-points-save-70-disney-deluxe-resorts/

      If you book with Orbitz or rent points you will be given a Disney confirmation number which allows you to link the reservation to your My Disney Experience account. Then you are able to customize your Magic Bands.

      As for the dining plan, it really depends on how you like to eat. If you like lots of character meals or buffets, it can be wise to get a dining plan. If not, you may be better off paying out my pocket. Here’s a post on deciding if the dining plan is right for you: https://www.thefrugalsouth.com/disney-dining-plan-vs-paying-pocket-disney-world/

      Hope that helps!

      January 21, 2018 at 3:15 pm Reply
  • Michele

    Hi! Just wanted to say thank you for the orbitz deal info I had booked a music resort all stars because the Caribbean resort had sold out of the 180$ rooms well with your advise I just checked and find that price on orbitz plus the 15% off code of inspire got the room for only 12$ more than the value resort talk about a steal!!!! We will be staying the night before our Disney Cruise thanks so much again for the great adive 🙂

    January 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm Reply
    • Leah

      That is wonderful news, Michele! So glad Orbitz worked out for you. Have a wonderful stay at Walt Disney World and a great time on your cruise!

      January 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm Reply

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