By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







Review: Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort



By Dave Shute

The Value Resorts   Art of Animation    Pop Century    Movies    Sports    Music

OVERVIEW: DISNEY’S ALL-STAR MOVIES RESORT FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS

Review ~ Disney's All-Star Movies resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Among my 140 stays (so far!) in Walt Disney World resort hotels, I’ve stayed at Disney’s All-Star Movies four times, most recently in May 2015.

Review Disney's All-Star Movies Resort from yourfirstvisit.netThis last stays confirms that for those who can’t afford a deluxe resort, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort is the third best place to stay among the value resorts (the best value resort choice is Disney’s Art of Animation Resort).

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. (See this for more on the value resorts at Walt Disney World.)

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

I’ve stayed at all five of Disney’s Value Resorts twenty-seven times. These visits confirm the order in which the value resorts are recommended:

These last three All-Star Resorts are very close. Of these three,

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

All-Star Movies Floor Plan from yourfirstvisit.net

You likely will never stay in a hotel with smaller 2-bed rooms.

I could not imagine staying in one of these rooms if I had to add a crib as well (the room sleeps four in two full-size beds, plus one more, younger than three, in a crib; a crib fits best between the dresser and closet area.)

However, if your family will fit, the values have 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.)

(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 MOVIES RESORT

Bed Side from Back Disney's All-Star Movies Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Resorts 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 Movies Resort is the third best value resort for first time family visitors, after Art of Animation  and Pop Century.

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.

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

Fantasia Disney's All-Star Movies Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (6)

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 Movies is the third-most kid-appealing. Art of Animation has the most kid appeal.

All-Star Movie’s theme is…movies.

Its ten three-story buildings (all with elevators) are grouped into five areas, each area themed after a movie (two buildings each): Fantasia, the Mighty Ducks, the Love Bug, Toy Story, and 101 Dalmatians.

Pongo 101 Dalmations Disney's All-Star Movies Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

You’ll find scattered around the resort three story high statues of Pongo and Perdita, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, a pool shaped like a hockey rink, and more!

The kid appeal of All-Star Movies is based on its theme: because it is about movies, it presents more richly Disney’s visual world.

That said, of all the movies ever released by Disney at the time it was built, the resort taps into only a few with widespread, multi-generational kid appeal.

In a bit of bad synergy, the movies showcased were released, or had theatrical or made-for-television sequels released, between 1996 and 1999–when All-Star Movies opened.  As a result, the only reliably kid-pleasing themed areas are the Toy Story (buildings 9 and 10) and 101 Dalmatians (buildings 1 and 4) areas.

Your kids may differ–and be particularly charmed by Fantasia, the Mighty Ducks, or The Love Bug.  But most aren’t. Disney does much better at Art of Animation, which showcases Cars, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and the Little Mermaid.

Convenience. Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort is the fourth most convenient of the Value resorts.

During some less busy periods, 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 Movies is that you have a shorter trip to the parks, but a longer trip back, than Sports.

For me, a shorter trip out is more valuable than a shorter trip back.  On the other hand, shared buses may fill up before they even get to Movies, or, more likely, have standing room only.

This is why I rank Movies after Sports in convenience.

Best places to stay at All Star Movies. This site suggests that first time visitors stay in standard rooms, not 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 Movies Resort is divided into five areas.

Map Disney's All-Star Movies Resort

Click the map to see the general layout.

Of these, a third floor room in buildings 1 or 4, in the 101 Dalmatians area, or 9 or 10 in the Toy Story area, is the best place to stay.

Movies 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.

Fantasia Pool Disney's All-Star Movies Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

At All-Star Movies, buildings 2 and 3 (Mighty Ducks) and 5 and 8 (Fantasia) frame pools, and should be avoided

This leaves buildings 1 and 4 in the 101 Dalmatians area, 9 and 10 in the Toy Story Area, and 6 and 7 in the Love Bug area. Of these, buildings 1, 4, 9 and 10 are closer to the dining area, bus stops, and main pool, and have themes more broadly appealing, and are hence recommended.

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

Online Check-In All-Star Movies Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The room request form (click it to enlarge it) does not let you ask for building by number, just theme and floor.

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 movies noted an attractive theme.

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.

A PHOTO TOUR OF A STANDARD ROOM AT DISNEY’S ALL-STAR MOVIES RESORT

This review continues here.

TOPICS IN THIS REVIEW OF DISNEY’S ALL-STAR MOVIES RESORT

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4 comments

1 Jennifer - A Destinations In Florida Agent { 10.02.13 at 9:09 am }

Thank you for your reviews. This helps me with my guests who can’t decide between resorts.

2 Dave { 10.03.13 at 7:41 am }

Thanks, Jennifer!

3 Mario { 02.25.14 at 3:18 pm }

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the reviews, my client is deciding between places to stay and this helps alot.

Mario Westerfield,

4 Dave { 02.25.14 at 6:23 pm }

You bet, Mario–I’m glad they help!

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