Recently, we filled you in on the BIG problem with Disney World’s Moderate Resorts (“big” being the keyword in that situation!). Today, we’re talking about all things Value Resorts!
As their name implies, Value Resorts can definitely bring a lot of value to your Disney World vacation. But if you go in with the wrong expectations, you will quickly discover some of the MAJOR problems with these hotels.
Disney World’s Value Resorts provide tons of, well, VALUE for those looking to save money while still staying on Disney World property. If those on-property perks are important to your family but you want to stretch your vacation dollars as much as possible, you really cannot beat the Value Resorts.
These hotels (Disney’s All-Star Sports, Movies, and Music Resorts, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Pop Century Resort) are going to be your “budget” accommodations, essentially providing you with a place to rest your weary head at the end of a long day in the parks and not a whole lot else. Not as glitzy or glamorous as the Grand Floridian, that’s for sure, but these Value Resort options have their own charm. These work out perfectly for many guests, but we wanted to make you aware of some potential issues you could run into!
They Accommodate a LOT of Guests
While Disney World’s Moderate Resorts accommodate a lot of guests spread out over a sprawling property, the Value Resorts accommodate a lot of guests…but close together in far fewer buildings. The Value Resorts will certainly feel more crowded than many of the other hotels on Disney World property simply because there are a TON of rooms over a smaller footprint.
To give you an idea, the five Value Resorts combined have over 9,000 rooms — that’s a lot of people! Art of Animation is the smallest but still has nearly 1,000 rooms (and those family suites can accommodate up to 6 guests!).
While these resorts offer a great value in terms of price, you’ll have a LOT of neighbors in close proximity to you. Disney World vacations are pricey, so lots of guests will opt for the hotel that gives them the best bang for their buck.
Because these rooms are at a lower price point, the Value Resorts are often where you’ll find larger travel groups, like the cheerleader teams that compete at ESPN Wide World of Sports. These are extremely hard-working kids, but their daily schedule may not line up exactly with your vacation schedule (they get up pretty early to head off to compete!).
Most of the Guest Rooms Are SMALL
A disadvantage of the Value Resort is that the rooms are the smallest of all of the Disney resort options. Simply put, the rooms at the Value Resorts are teeny-tiny. This may not be a huge issue if you tend to pack light or you’re only traveling with one or two other people, but families may quickly run out of elbow room once you unpack.
Another “side effect” is that the Value Resort buildings pack A LOT of those tiny rooms into one building. This means you’re closer to your neighbors than at other resorts, and you have more neighbors, as well! Both of these factors can mean rooms in the Value Resorts aren’t as quiet as some of the moderate and deluxe resorts, where guests are more spread out. For this reason, we recommend being prepared with a white noise machine or app on your phone to help muffle out those environmental noises of your neighbors.
Ironically, if you’re looking for MORE space, you may be able to find that at the Value Resorts! Disney’s All-Star Music Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort offer Family Suite accommodations, which sleep up to six guests as opposed to a standard room which only sleeps four. But along with the extra space of these suites, you can expect to fork out some extra bucks. So, keep that in mind when weighing the pros and cons of choosing a room.
There Are Limited Dining Options
While every Disney World hotel offers dining options for their guests, you won’t necessarily find the same type of dining options at each resort. The Value Resorts are limited to only one Counter Service dining location across the entire resort. You may be able to also include the hotel’s pool bar if you’re looking for something to munch or sip on while lounging by the pool.
On top of the dining options being limited, you will also find that the food available is limited to your standard “food court” menu. You can count on Mickey Waffles for breakfast, Chicken Nuggets for Lunch, and Pizza for dinner. You may find a few exceptions (one of our favorites being the Roxy Counter at All-Star Movies), and there’s certainly nothing wrong with Chicken Nuggets (we love ’em!), just don’t go into lunch expecting anything life-changing. All of the Value Resorts have their own food court, and many of the options are the same across the board, though you may find some unique items here and there.
- All-Star Movies: World Premiere Food Court
- All-Star Sports: End Zone Food Court
- All-Star Music: Intermission Food Court
- Pop Century: Everything Pop Food Court
- Art of Animation: Landscape of Flavor Food Court
With so many guests staying at these hotels, you may experience some pretty crowded dining halls when it comes time to eat. Dining at your hotel can often be a convenient way to grab some food before you hit up the parks, but when it comes to the Value Resorts, you might be better off snacking in your hotel room and finding better (and perhaps quieter) meal options elsewhere. And don’t pass up the pool bars, these spots usually offer some fun non-alcoholic smoothies or shakes and unique cocktails for a bit of additional vacation sippin’ fun!
There Are Limited and More Crowded Transportation Options
Disney World offers a number of complimentary transportation options to all of their on-property hotel guests, including those staying at the Value Resorts! This is an awesome perk that can save you a ton of money (no need to rent a car or rely on rideshare services), but again, when you consider the sheer volume of guests staying at the Value Resorts, you can potentially run into some issues.
Typically, each Value Resort only has one (yep, ONE) bus stop. Remember earlier when we said the Value Resorts all have around 1,000 rooms or MORE? Imagine all of those guests wanting to head to the park at the same time. The line for the bus can get pretty long pretty fast, especially around park open and close times. And unfortunately for guests staying at the All Star Resorts, the bus is going to be your ONLY complimentary transportation option. Plus, depending on how busy the resorts are, your bus loop may include the OTHER All Star Resorts as well!
Both Pop Century and Art of Animation have the benefit of a Disney Skyliner station, providing guests with quick and easy access to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The tradeoff, however, is that you may find even MORE limited bus service thanks to the Skyliner. If you aren’t interested in this gondola system as a means of transportation, you may have an even harder time dealing with the buses.
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The word of the day is definitely “limited.” The Value Resorts offer your basic hotel amenities, with pools, playground areas, some dining, etc.
Plenty of Disney World guests don’t need those added amenities like gyms, spas, or other recreation options, because you’re spending so much time in the theme parks! In those situations, it probably doesn’t make any sense to dish out extra dollars to stay at a Deluxe Resort if you don’t plan on using their higher-end amenities.
If you’re looking to spend more time at your hotel, you may find that the Value Resorts don’t offer much more than a place to sleep at night. Just keep in mind, however, that if you do plan on taking a day off from the theme parks, you may miss some of the added amenities and perks that come with staying at a Deluxe or even a Moderate Resort.
There are certainly some major pros when staying at a Value Resort, the big one being that you’re saving a ton of cash. That can wind up in your family being able to stay at Disney World even LONGER (and who doesn’t love that?). Just keep in mind that you ARE trading certain amenities and, well, luxuries by choosing to stay at a Value Resort. As long as you go in with your expectations where they should be, you may find that your family actually prefers to stay at a Value Resort! If you go in with your expectations too high, however, you may wind up being extremely disappointed.