The Value Resorts at Walt Disney World
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: DISNEY’S VALUE RESORTS
I’ve stayed at Disney’s Value Resorts more than a dozen times, and all five over the last couple of years.
These stays confirm the order in which the value resorts are recommended.
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is number one among the values.
- After Art of Animation, the rank is, in order, Pop Century, All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports, and All-Star Music.
You can have a wonderful visit at any Walt Disney World resort hotel.
However, this site recommends that first time visitors to Walt Disney World who can afford it should stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a deluxe resort, and that those who can’t should stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a value resort.
THE VALUE RESORTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
There are currently 5 value resorts at Walt Disney World:
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, opened in April 1994
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, opened in November 1994
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, opened in January 1999
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort, opened in December 2003
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, opened in May 2012
The value resorts are the most recent resort class to have opened at Walt Disney World.
They were preceded by the deluxe class, open at Disney World’s own opening, the moderate class, which first opened in 1986, and the Disney Vacation Club resort class, first opened in 1991. See this for what you get by Disney World price class.
In the case of its launch of both the moderates and the values, Disney was concerned not only to successfully compete with off-site hotels (not hard, and devastatingly successful) but also to not lose revenue from guests trading down from the next higher resort price class.
Hence it tried to make pretty sharp lines between resort classes.
The sharp lines at the values–their most distinctively different features–are their larger than life statues of toys, Disney characters, and such, and their just barely life-sized rooms.
The rooms at the value resorts have 260 square feet.
While this may not seem like much less than the moderates space of 314 square feet, almost all of the difference is in the living space.
The living space of the values is about 80% as big as that of the moderates. Most of this missing space comes from the part of the room you are in when you aren’t in bed!
These rooms are fine for first time family visitors who can’t afford a deluxe, as they won’t be spending much time in them other than sleeping.
I can’t recommend them for returning visitors–who are more likely to spend more time goofing off in or near their rooms–unless they have stayed in a value before and hence know exactly what they are in for, or their kids are really little, or their party size is only 3 people.
For more on comparative room sizes, see this.
They sleep six in two connected spaces the size of two standard rooms, and are quite comfortable.
Kid Appeal. Several of the deluxe resorts–notably, the Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Polynesian Resort–have spectacular kid appeal. None of the moderates do.
This appeal comes from the approach to theming they all share: bright and vibrant exteriors, framing much larger than life objects of interest to kids.
These objects reinforce that these resorts were designed for the sake of kids…and not necessarily for adults!
MORE ON WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD
- For where to stay, see this
- For what you get in each resort price category, see this