Review: The Family Suites at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
By Dave Shute
THERE ARE FAMILY SUITES AT ALL-STAR MUSIC TOO!
With all the deserved hoopla around the newer Family Suites at Art of Animation, Disney World’s original family suites at All-Star Music are still worth considering by any family thinking about suites at Art of Animation.
In general, Art of Animation will be a better choice for most, but there are some specific features of the Family Suites at All-Star Music that will make them a better choice for some.
REVIEW: THE FAMILY SUITES AT ALL-STAR MUSIC
- Larger families looking for value pricing who can’t fit in a standard 4 person value resort room
- Smaller families who could fit in a 4-person room, but are looking for a suite and its extra living space, yet are unwilling to pay for more expensive alternatives
This review focuses on the first type, but towards the end I’ll compare All-Star Music Family Suites to alternatives for the second type of family as well. It’s based on my latest (June 2014) visit to the Music suites, but there are also some images from my 2012 visit.
LOWER-PRICED OPTIONS FOR FAMILIES OF 5 OR 6 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Families of 5 or 6 looking for lower prices in a Disney World resort have several options:
- Two value resort standard rooms, ~260 square feet each for a total of ~520 sf, for $220-$264 per night,* sleeping up to 8 in 4 full beds
- For 5-person families, a ~314 square foot 5 person room in Port Orleans Riverside’s Alligator Bayou section, sleeping four in two queens and another small person in a fold-down bed at $203/night
- A 6 person ~ 504 square foot Cabin at Fort Wilderness, sleeping in one room two in a full-ish bed and two more in bunk beds, and two more in a full-ish murphy bed in another space, at $367 a night
- A 6-person ~565 square foot Family Suite at Art of Animation, sleeping 2 in a queen in one room, and two on a fold-out full couch and two on a fold out near-full dining table in another room, at $317/night
- A 6-person ~520 square foot Family Suite at All-Star Music, sleeping 2 in a queen in one room, and in another space sleeping two on a full fold out couch, and two more in each of two smaller beds, at $253/night
Each option has pros and cons. I’ll address two value resort rooms first, then after that take the pros and cons of the other options topically (all photographs are from All-Star Music Family Suites):
Two value resort rooms: The biggest potential issue with two value resort rooms is that while Disney will try to make them adjacent or connected, there’s no guarantee, so your family members may be widely scattered. In total, you’ll get as much space as any option except Art of Animation.
You also get two baths, 4 separate beds, and beds on average more comfortable than any other option (since none of them are fold-out or fold-down). No kitchen materials except for two mini-fridges; no “living room”; lower price than any option except Alligator Bayou at Port Orleans Riverside.
Overall space: Art of Animation Family Suites provide the most overall space, with All-Star Music Family Suites a close second. Port Orleans Riverside provides the least space, and is really in a fundamentally different category.
Living room: All-Star Music Family Suites provide the largest living room with the best seating for large families. Art of Animation and Cabins at Fort Wilderness living rooms are OK. Port Orleans does not have a living room.
Kitchen: The Cabins provide a full kitchen. Both Family Suites have a mini-kitchen with counter space, storage, a mini -fridge, microwave, and coffee pot.
The mini-kitchen at All-Star Music has much more counter and storage space than that at Art of Animation. Riverside has no kitchen, but does have a mini-fridge and coffee pot.
Dining space: The Cabins and Art of Animation each have dining tables, and both are too small to fit 6 people. All-Star Music has a small 30″ round table that seats even fewer. Riverside also has a small table that seats two.
Baths: Riverside and the cabins have one, the two Family Suites have two.
Number of beds: Riverside and Art of Animation have three sleeping spots; the Cabins and All-Star Music have four.
Quality of beds: Each of these options has at least one fold-out or fold-down bed. Such beds do not have box springs, and can have thin cushions supported by uncomfortable metal rods. The worst is the ottoman bed shown above (not yet unfolded!) in All-Star Music, and the best overall package is at Riverside, since 4 of its 5 sleeping spots are on standard queens.
The master at Art of Animation has its own private bath and private closet, while the second bath and second closet at All-Star Music are shared with the rest of the family.
On the other hand, the master at All-Star Music has a desk and an easy chair, lacking at Art of Animation.
If the kids will be running in and out of your bathroom anyway, then prefer All-Star Music–they don’t have to go through your room to do so, and you get the desk and easy chair not in Art of Animation.
Kid Appeal: Art of Animation, hands down, then All-Star Music as a distant second. The Cabins come in last.
Convenience: Art of Animation has a slight advantage over All-Star Music. The Cabins are last.
Price: Port Orleans is least expensive, but only holds 5. Of the 6 person options, the Cabins are the most expensive, and All-Star Music Family Suites the least.
However, first time family visitors who may never return should not spend their time cooking, and the signature difference of the Cabins is the kitchen. So the only real comparison for first-timers is the Family Suites at Art of Animation vs. those at All-Star Music.
THE FAMILY SUITES AT ALL-STAR MUSIC FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS
This review continues here.