Missing Fridges, No Food Court, and Too Little A/C: Roughing it at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
By Dave Shute
My younger son and I just checked out of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.
We had a great visit, but the food court is down until December for rehab, the mini-fridge in our room—like those in thousands of other Walt Disney World rooms—is off until it’s replaced, and the heat and humidity were such a mess that the AC in our room could only make the temperature adequate, not comfortable.
So it was kinda like being dropped into the Mojave Desert portion of the Pacific Crest Trail with just some twine, a mirror, a broken hacksaw blade, and empty water bottles for succor…but it was still a blast, and because of that, it was kinda like every other Disney World trip I’ve ever been on.
THE CLOSURE FOR REHAB OF THE FOOD COURT AT ALL-STAR SPORTS
First, there’s dedicated bus service to the food courts at nearby sister resorts All-Star Music and All-Star Movies (for most people in the Homerun hotel section of Sports, and many in other southern rooms, walking to Music is faster).
I checked the crowding in Music’s food court multiple times over the last few days, and except for one breakfast zoo didn’t find it that much more mobbed than I would normally expect it to be with no such closure…and the Movies food court—the best of the food courts at the All-Stars anyway—doesn’t seem much affected at all.
Second, there’s a couple of grab and go points at All-Star Sports.
- One is by the Surfboard Bay pool, between the main and baby pools. It has a selection of muffins, hot dogs and such from carts.
- The second is the bar, which now still works as a bar, but has some additional food options.
- Third is the main replacement. Disney has stripped out the video arcade in the main building, and replaced it with a large grab and go section. Here you’ll find all kinds of room-temperature and cold options. Lots of pastries, some great pre-made sandwiches, all the different drinks you could want, cold cereal boxes, etc. The merit of this space compared to the other two is that it has a much larger selection, and is indoors.
This is a pain, but the alternatives do a pretty good job of helping deal with it.
MISSING FRIDGES AT ALL-STAR SPORTS
As has been widely reported, Disney is slowly replacing tens of thousands of mini-fridges which have some risk of fire.
The deluxes are largely done, I hear mixed things about the moderates (see for example this, which reports 40%+ are in service at Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter) and so far as I can tell there’s not yet a ton of traction at the values—except for the family suites, unaffected by this replacement.
If you need a fridge for medication or allergies, and are in a moderate or value, call your resort and request one. I also hear that people are having some success on site getting either a fridge or a refund for other less urgent reasons by calling and being firm.
Sometimes we have our mini-fridges stuffed full of breakfast and lunch fixins. Sometimes it’s just beer. This trip, we managed just fine without the fridge, by drinking the beer before it got warm.
But there are other alternatives, all framed around the presence of the ice machines and some handy extra-strength trash bags and zip lock bags you bring from home:
- Use your un-plugged mini-fridge (if it is still in the room) as an insulated box, cooling it with ice.
- Use an emptied suitcase, trash bags and ice to make a cooler
- At home, buy a soft-sided cooler, pack it in one of your bigger bags, use it and ice as your cooler, and then use it as an extra bag to pack your souvenirs into for the trip home
(The role of the trash bags and ziplock bags is to separate your food and the room carpet from the ice-melt water, especially for the first two alternatives.)
This is a pain in the butt, but not a disaster.
AIR CONDITIONING CHALLENGES AT ALL-STAR SPORTS
So in our room with no fridge, at a hotel with no food court, we also had trouble keeping our room cool enough.
Despite setting the AC as low as it would go, both my son and I were a little uncomfortable with the warmth of our room at All-Star Sports—not very, but just not quite cool enough to comfortably drift off to sleep.
Now, it’s August in Florida, and this weekend has been as hot and humid as any I’ve ever experienced at Walt Disney World. Highs have been in the upper 90s, and the humidity, sadly, seems to be giving it that old mathematically impossible 110%…and I know you can’t size heating and cooling to be perfect every conceivable day…
But this room comfort issue is where the approach to our missing fridge—drink the beer before it gets warm—came in especially handy.
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