by Disney Magic Diva
Like many other people, one of our Disney Bucket List items is to stay at every resort. While we often are “forced” into a particular choice due to who’s accompanying us on the trip, the reason for the trip, or, more fundamentally, finances, we always at least explore the option of choosing a resort we haven’t stayed at on a previous trip.
Recently my husband and I found incredibly cheap airfare, and were able to take an impromptu weekend trip to Walt Disney World Resort. Since it was just the two of us, and a short 2-night visit, we decided it was the perfect time to revisit the All Star Resorts.
We had stayed at All Star Music twice, about 10 years ago, when we were chaperones accompanying our children’s high school choir trips. It was quite the experience! While it was perfect for a school group, it wasn’t somewhere we were anxious to try again. A basic room, and a great value, but small and a little loud (although that may have been due to traveling with 70+ teenagers!). Since those trips, we’ve always chosen Pop Century or Art of Animation for value resorts. But this trip we wanted to see what the All Star Resorts were like after 10 years, so we booked a room at All Star Sports. And we were pleasantly surprised!
I had done some research before we left, and used online check-in to request an upper floor and close to transportation. (One of our memories of All Star Music was how far it was from our room to the bus stop.) I also used touringplans.com room finder to see what they recommended for a room that would be quiet, then called the resort a few days before our arrival to ask that our building choice be noted in their records.
Diva Tip: While you should NEVER assume that Disney will be able to honor a room request, they are very happy to take your information and do their best to spread some pixie dust on your vacation by assigning you a specific building or room. Just call the resort directly about 4-5 days before your arrival, and politely ask that your request be noted.
Despite having signed up for room text alerts, we never received our room assignment via text. I was pretty surprised at this, because in the past we’ve always received our assignment before we arrived on property. Our flight didn’t land until 5:30 pm, so it was especially peculiar that our text never arrived. Thankfully, the line at the front desk wasn’t too long when we arrived at the resort (around 7:00 pm), so we were able to get our room assignment (EXACTLY the building I had requested!) and make it to our dinner reservation in plenty of time.
Our room was in the Hoops Hotel section, second floor of building 2, and faced the courtyard area. It was only about a 3 minute walk to the lobby, food court, and bus stop; and the only sounds we heard from other guests were showers, toilets flushing, and the occasional foot traffic. Overall, we were very pleased with the noise level – or more accurately – LACK of noise level.
The rooms are small, but very adequate for 2 adults. They have double beds, which is really one of the hardest things for our family to adjust to and the reason we have a hard time with value resorts. My husband is too tall to really “fit” on a double bed, and so he’s never very comfortable. But we found the mattresses to be firm and for 2 nights it wasn’t that big of an issue. If you have a small family with young children, this resort would be a great choice. But if your children are older, or if you have a lot of luggage, strollers, or portable cribs; you may find the quarters a little tight. There isn’t much floor space in a value resort room (260 square feet compared to 314 in a moderate resort room and 350+ in a deluxe), so keep that in mind when deciding if this is the room for you.
The bathroom area has one sink and a small vanity, but there is a shelf next to the vanity for more storage. Like all value resorts, there is a curtain to close off this area from the rest of the room, so someone can be using the sink area while others are sleeping.
The décor in our room was very cute and colorful. The walls were painted different colors, and had a sports themed Mickey wallpaper border around the top. While the carpet looked a little worn, the rest of the room was in good condition. The room has a small refrigerator, but no coffeemaker or microwave. And while most resorts have had the clock radios removed, we were surprised to find one still in our room. We appreciated having a coat rack, and loved the details of the table.
The All Star resorts are all known for their oversized outdoor décor, and All Star Sports is no different. The Hoops Hotel area had a series of giant basketballs to give the illusion they were bouncing along the outside of the buildings. The Touchdown area naturally had giant footballs, Surf’s Up (by the pool) had enormous surf boards, Center Court is themed after tennis, and Homerun Hotel is obviously oriented toward baseball. All of which would delight any athlete!
We were on the go our entire stay, so didn’t have a chance to try the pool, arcade, or even food court. They all looked clean and up to date, and we did see many people enjoying these amenities. We had no trouble with the buses, never waiting very long for one to appear nor being forced to wait for a second bus because one was overcrowded. We really were happy to see the monitor screens for the bus schedules. Other resorts we’ve stayed at lately have not had those, and it was a welcome convenience. Likewise, our buses were always dedicated to our resort: we did not share with the other All Star Resorts. At certain times of the year, this may be different, but on our November trip we were happy to find our bus only serviced our resort.
Overall, we were very happy to revisit the All Star resorts. It is definitely a good choice for a family on a budget, and we were pleasantly surprised by our experience. If you’re ready to book your family’s trip to Walt Disney World Resort, be sure to get in touch with Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for a FREE quote! She can help you decide which resort will make your vacation magical!