By Disney Bride Diva
A spur of the moment Walt Disney World trip is always exciting! This was my second solo trip and I wanted to head down for Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival. Being on a tight budget, I knew my only on-property option was to stay at one of Disney’s value resorts.
I have stayed at both Pop Century and Art of Animation value resorts in the past, and been pleased with my stay. This trip, I wanted to take advantage of the Stay, Play and Dine discount that was being offered by Disney for my dates. This promotion however, did not have availability, (or was not offered) for Pop Century or Art of Animation when I booked on-line.
I was now faced with choosing one of the three All-Star Resorts. I’ll be honest, these resorts never held much appeal for me. They are some of the oldest resorts, small basic room layouts and they attract many school groups and sports teams. Over the years I’ve read mixed reviews about the All-Star Resorts. I even reached out to other Diva writers to ask if they had stayed at any of the All-Star Resorts and if they would recommend them. Turns out, many of our writers have stayed at All-Star Sports and All-Star Movies frequently and have been pleased with their stays.
I booked a preferred room at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. All three resorts are laid out the same. They are all side by side near Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They each contain ten, three story buildings with exterior walkways spread out across each property. At All-Star Music, the buildings are themed according to various music genres: Calypso, Jazz, Broadway, Rock and Country. The preferred buildings,(Calypso and Jazz) are closest to the main building and bus stops . Each building has large outdoor musical decor. I was surprised to see the jazz player lit-up on my building when I returned back to the resort late at night!
The standard and preferred rooms contain two double beds and have views of the parking lot, pool or courtyard areas. There are also family suites available that sleep up to six with one queen bed, one twin-size sleeper chair, one double-size sleeper sofa and one twin-size sleeper ottoman. These rooms have the same views as the standard and preferred rooms. My room was located in the Jazz Inn, Building 9 on the top floor. I had a great forested view that housed a children’s play area. My room contained a small table, two chairs, dresser, TV, telephone, alarm clock radio, luggage rack, hair dryer, skinny wall safe and a small refrigerator. The room was very clean and tidy for my arrival. I noticed the refrigerator was not working, so I called the front desk for assistance. Within fifteen minutes two members of the housekeeping staff were at the door to fix the problem. I was very impressed. The only downside to me regarding the room was the colour scheme. Even with the curtains open on a sunny day with all interior lights on, the room is dark (as seen in these pictures).
One change I noticed from my last stay at a value resort, was how Disney is now providing their complementary toiletries. Instead of the small bottles of shampoo / conditioner, many of the rooms in the value resorts have gone to a dispenser unit on the wall of the shower. I can confirm that my room did, in fact, have a dispenser for shampoo, conditioner and body wash. For me, this is not a big deal. I usually bring my own shampoo and conditioner and I’ve never been one to bring complementary toiletries back home with me.
If you are looking for a great place to eat on property, the Intermission Food Court is open daily from 6:30am until Midnight. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks. They accept the Disney Dining Plan (Quick Service credits) and have the refillable mug stations. I only ate here twice during my stay, but I was impressed with each meal. The pizza and salad was a standout for me. There is a large seating area and multiple doors to enter and exit through which is great at busy times of the day. This resort also offers an in-room pizza delivery service.
If you are wanting a cocktail, then Singing Spirits Pool Bar is the place for you. This bar was always busy when I walked past.
Speaking of pools, All-Star Music has two of them. The main pool is the guitar shaped Calypso Pool. The pool was always busy and offered many games and activities for children. This is also where the nightly movies are shown. The Piano pool has a more leisurely vibe to it, but was still very busy during my stay. I didn’t have time to try out the pools this trip as I was trying to cram all the Flower and Garden festivities into every second of my short visit!
Out front of the main building are the bus stops for the different parks and Disney Springs. During my stay I found the busses were running on-time and they were plentiful. It was nice to see that the bus schedule t.v. monitors were now available to the value resorts. Disney states that busses run approximately every twenty minutes and I never even had to wait that long. Most of the time there were designated busses for each of the All-Star Resorts. However, I did find that during slower times of the day like mid-afternoon, one bus would come for all three resorts. In which case, the bus dropped off in the following order: All Star Sports, All Star Music then All-Star Movies. I never choose a resort based on reviews from guests about busses. The busses at any resort can be hit or miss at times, (especially with all the road construction going on currently).
The All-Star Resorts draw many sports teams and school groups with their price tag being the cheapest on property. While I was there, there were at least two different school groups. One group were celebrating their high school graduation, and the other group were members of their high school band. The students were all very friendly while in public areas. I can’t comment on how they were inside their rooms, as none of them were staying in my building. As far as those school and sport teams go; sometimes they were on my bus, but most of the time, (especially early mornings) they had their own designated bus so it never interfered with the bus lines.
The only two issues I encountered during my stay were:
- In the food court one morning when all 80 or so students were grabbing breakfast. That is a lot of people coming down at the same time and lines went right past the cashiers and down the lobby.
- When I was at the airline check-in desk the morning of my departure, the school band was checking out at the same time and the lines were loooooong. My plan that morning was to check-in just over an hour early, and then grab my last Mickey waffle from the food court while I waited on the Magical Express bus. No way was that happening. I was nearly forty-five minutes in line waiting to check-in (this was the longest I waited in line for anything including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train LOL!). This would not deter me from staying here again, but I would leave more time in the morning to check-in at the airline desk in case a large group were leaving at the same time.
I am so glad I gave this resort a try! I enjoyed the musical touches both in my room and around the resort property. A special shout out to the wonderful Cast Members in Maestro Mickey’s gift shop who kept their eyes peeled for a certain pin I was on the hunt for.
I would not hesitate to book here again in the future or to recommend it to friends and family. The Cast Members were always pleasant, the resort was very clean and my bed was comfy…what else do you need?!
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