Review: Disney’s All-Star Music Resort



By Dave Shute

DISNEY’S ALL-STAR MUSIC RESORT

Main Pool at Disney's All-Star Music Resort

Note: the food court at Music will be closed for rehab from 8/1 to 12/20/2014.

I’ve stayed at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort five times among my 20+ stays at Disney World’s value resorts (so far), most recently in June 2014.

These stays confirm that All-Star Music, although it’s my own personal favorite among the value resorts, is the lowest-ranked value resort for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.

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.

(It also suggests that first time visitors should avoid the moderate resorts, while noting that these resorts are wonderful for visits after the first. See this for why.)

Compared to other Walt Disney World owned and operated resorts, the value resorts are distinguished by having the lowest prices and smallest standard rooms.

All-Star Music Floor Plan from yourfirstvisit.netYou likely will never stay in a hotel with smaller 2-bed rooms.

Like the other standard rooms at the value resorts, standard rooms in All-Star Music sleep four in two full-size beds, plus one more, younger than three, in a crib; the crib fits best between the dresser and the closet wall.

However, if your family will fit, Disney’s All-Star Music resort, like the other value resorts, has much more kid appeal than the moderate resorts, the next higher price class (about twice as expensive, but with much bigger rooms and nicer landscaping).

Family Suite Floor Plan Disney's All-Star Music Resort from yourfirstvisit.net
Moreover, All-Star Music is one of two value resorts (Art of Animation is the other) that also offers family suites–spaces twice as big as standard rooms, that sleep 6.

For a detailed review of the All-Star Music family suites, and a comparison to other large family options including at Art of Animation, see The Family Suites at All-Star Music.

(See this for much more on resort distinctions by price class–value, moderate, deluxe, etc.)

Compared to staying off-site, the value resorts are distinguished by their higher kid appeal, convenience, and access to certain key perks that off-site hotels can’t provide.

DISNEY’S ALL-STAR MUSIC RESORT

Bed Side Disney's All-Star Music ResortResorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their kid appeal, and then on their convenience.

On this basis, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is the fifth best value resort for first time family visitors.

Kid Appeal. Several of the deluxe resorts–notably, the Wilderness LodgeAnimal Kingdom Lodge, and Polynesian Resort–have spectacular kid appeal. None of the moderates do.

All of the value resorts–Disney’s Art of Animation resort, Disney’s All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, and All-Star Movies, and its Pop Century resort–have terrific kid appeal.

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!

Of these, Disney’s All-Star Music is the least kid-appealing. (Art of Animation has the most kid appeal.)

Jazz at Disney's All-Star Music ResortAll-Star Music’s theme is…music.

Its ten three-story buildings (all with elevators) are grouped into five areas, each area themed after a musical genre (two buildings each): rock, jazz, calypso, Broadway, and country.

This musical theme is less about Disney than the movies theme at All-Star Movies, and less broadly interesting to kids than the sports theme at All-Star Sports.

(I do have to note that All-Star Music overall has the simplest layout among the values. Moreover, the area between the two pools, flanked by the Jazz buildings, is the loveliest space in the values. The photo at right hints at this, but does not do it justice.)

Convenience. Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is the least convenient of the Value resorts.

During all but the busiest seasons of the year, the three All-Star Resorts share buses, except for the Magic Kingdom, to which each has its own bus.

Shared buses stop first at Sports, second at Music, and last at Movies.

What this means for Music is that other than to the Magic Kingdom, all your buses in both directions have at least one more stop besides Music itself.

For shared buses, at Sports, you are the first stop back; at Movies, the last stop out.  At Music, neither.  This is why I rank it least convenient.

Best places to stay at All Star Music. This site suggests that first time visitors stay in standard rooms, and not specially seek preferred rooms (because they won’t be spending much time in their rooms, or going to the main resort food area often).

The single exception is visitors to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, who should always pay for savanna views.

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is divided into five areas.

Click the map to see the general layout.

Of these, a third floor room in buildings 2 or 9, the Jazz Inn, away from the pools, is the best place to stay.

Music has the same problem the other values do: it can be packed with teenagers who are at Walt Disney World as part of a tournament or other sports event.

As a result, the resort can be very loud and boisterous. Buildings around the pools are particularly so.

At All-Star Music, buildings 1 and 10 (the Calypso area) frame the main pool, and should be avoided.  These are also the “preferred” buildings.

Because of the layout of All-Star Music, no other buildings frame a pool, but many rooms are close to pools.

Of all these buildings, the Jazz Inn Buildings 2 and 9 are no worse than any others, but are the closest other than Calypso to the main dining, shopping and bus stop area.  They also have the loveliest landscaping, and are hence recommended.

Ask for the third floor because it is also the top floor, which makes it quieter.

Room Request Form for Disney's All-Star Music ResortUnfortunately, Disney’s current request form for All-Star Music won’t let you ask directly for any of this.

But you can request “near transportation,” which the Jazz Inn best fits.

BEST FOR:

Families than cannot afford a deluxe resort, or who are otherwise on a tight budget, who can fit into its small rooms, and find the Music noted an attractive theme.  Larger families looking for value prices.

WORST FOR:

Families who are tall or otherwise won’t fit into full-size beds, or who have more than two adult-sized people, or who will be using a crib.

This review continues here. 

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5 comments

1 Becky { 07.04.13 at 4:07 pm }

When you say “You likely will never stay in a hotel with smaller 2-bed rooms,” does that include rooms in Europe?

2 Dave { 07.06.13 at 8:42 am }

Hey Becky! The weasel-word “likely” covers not just hotel rooms outside of the US, but also some ancient city-center hotels in the US, rehabbed but stuck with walls from another era of design–I’m thinking of, for example, the William Penn in Pittsburgh…

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3 Cheryll Labar { 09.23.13 at 4:41 pm }

When we travel we use http://rentmydisneyvacationhome.com . They had just got through reading your article and I?m on my way to Disney is well. Can life get any better I also really enjoyed reading your article. Keep up the good work and see on the roller coaster.

4 Jennifer M { 11.27.13 at 10:46 am }

Hey Dave, just a quick one, is there a hair dryer at this hotel in the family suites? And is there a coffee maker in the family suites?

5 Dave { 11.27.13 at 10:58 am }

Yes to both, Jennifer–in the family suites, both baths have hair dryers, and there’s a coffee maker in the mini-kitchen.

There’s pix of both in the review of the ASM Family Suites that begins here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/09/05/review-the-family-suites-disneys-all-star-music-resort/

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