By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

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Introduction to The Value Resorts at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

The Basics: Where to Stay

The Value Resorts   Art of Animation   Pop Century    Movies    Sports   Music


I’ve stayed at Disney’s Value Resorts more than 30 times since I opened this site.

These stays confirm the order in which the value resorts are recommended.
Introduction to the Disney World Value Resorts from

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.


There are currently 5 value resorts at Walt Disney World:

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, their absence of coffeemakers (except in refurbed rooms in Pop Century and All-Star Movies, and, soon, All-Star Music), and their just barely life-sized rooms.

All-Star Sports Floor Plan from

You may never stay in a two-bed hotel room smaller than the rooms in the value resorts.

Standard 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!

Disney's Pop Century Resort from

Some of this is from a narrower room, but most is from a shorter room.

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.

Most standard value resort rooms have two full beds. However, refurbed rooms at Pop Century and All-Star Movies have queens! All-Star Music has now begun this refurb, which I imagine will yield similar amenities in its refurbed rooms.

Refurbed room at All-Star Movies with the second queen folded up

For more on comparative room sizes, see this.

Family Suite Floor Plan Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

The family suites at All-Star Music and at Art of Animation are a different story.

They sleep six in two connected spaces the size of two standard rooms, and are quite comfortable. Art of Animation has more comfortable beds, while Music suites are more flexible.  Music suites are also much less expensive.

Living Area Cars Family Suite at Art of Animation

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

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.

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!


Prices vary over the course of the year, but Art of Animation rooms are always the most expensive, and the All-Stars the least expensive.

Room basics are about the same except for refurbed Pop Century and All-Star Movies rooms (and soon All-Star Music)–you are paying more at Pop Century and Art of Animation for a more central location, and at Art of Animation for deeper and more pervasive Disney theming. Bus service is a little better at Pop and Art of Animation, as they don’t share buses as the All-Stars at times do. The new Disney Skyliner has its only stop among the values at Art of Animation and Pop Century, making them even better choices.

Detailed reviews of each option can be found at the links; the hotels are listed in order of how strongly I recommend them.
Standard 4-person rooms:

  1. Art of Animation
  2. Pop Century (with queen beds)
  3. All-Star Movies (with queen beds)
  4. All-Star Sports
  5. All-Star Music

Six-person “Family Suites”

  1. The Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  2. The Family Suites at All-Star Music

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly, can book your Disney vacation into one of these value resorts–or any other Disney World option!  Contact her using the form below.

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1 peter Sharpe jr { 04.08.15 at 1:35 pm }

Looking to come down with grands. From Nj for vacation

2 Jaz { 02.02.16 at 12:15 am }

I’m trying to plan my 1st visit to Orlando Disney World and this website has been really helpful but I’m a hands on vs. Techie. How do I go about getting you book to help me plan.

I am on a budget but I dont’ want to be so chang and I want my our 1st experience to be GREAT which means, good food, comfiertable rooms, easy access to parks, in other words a good for my buck…

plz help,

3 Dave { 02.02.16 at 7:25 am }

Aloha, The book is here.

4 Melanie { 01.19.18 at 11:43 am }

My husband and I are coming to Disney World for the first time neither of us have traveled to Disneyworld or Disneyland before we are on a budget and we’re looking for the best hotel and how long are stay should be again we have no kids

5 Dave { 01.20.18 at 6:31 am }

Melanie, most of the advice on this site is for families with kids, but even so, start on the home page, scan down to “INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR FIRST DISNEY WORLD VISIT,” and see the topics there!

6 Ernelle Spriggs { 03.27.18 at 12:57 am }

My daughter is graduating from Kindergarten in May. I want to plan the best experience for her. The animation resort sounds nice. I am looking for a resort that also provides a shuttle to Disney world. What do you recommend ? Looking to plan a trip where we stay for three nights. Also do you recommend the hopper plus Disney tickets? So far I am loving the animation resort because she loves the little Mermaid.

7 Dave { 03.27.18 at 10:03 am }

Ernelle, all of the Disney Resorts (Art of Animation is one of them) have buses to the Disney World parks that leave about every 20 minutes.

8 Karen C Cole { 09.06.18 at 10:33 am }

Hi, I am planning my families first DW trip and my kids are 22 male, 20 female and 15 female. We dont need to stay in a kiddie resort unless it is more affordable. Affordability is the reason it took so long to book this trip, we also need 2 queen beds and a pull out sofa. I would welcome any advice on resorts.

9 Dave { 09.09.18 at 8:39 am }

Karen, it is hard to find affordable Disney-owned rooms for five. A couple of the “moderate” class resorts sleep five, but the fifth person spot is short–64 inches. How tall is your shortest guest?

10 Kelly B - Destinations in Florida { 09.07.18 at 11:32 am }

Hi Karen – I’m Kelly – Dave’s dedicated Travel Agent. The most economical option for your family and sleeping needs will be with a family suite at All-Star Music Resort (1 queen bed, 1 sleep sofa, and 1 sleeper chair – oh and 2 TWO!!! bathrooms). The moderate resorts do have standard rooms that sleep 5, but the 3rd bed is a fold down bed designed for children and small adults. Not sure if your son would fit comfortably on there. The other option would be 2 value resort rooms (though they won’t be guaranteed connecting). If you would like more help booking your Disney vacation, please feel free to contact me at 980-429-4499 or

11 Leah { 10.19.18 at 3:21 pm }


I have 3 questions:

1. Which value resort hotel has ground floor rooms that are good for handicap access, close to bus/shuttle transportation, and close to food court? We stayed at one of the All-Stars before, but our room was VERY far from the food court and the bus.

2. Do the Minnie Mouse vans drop off by the room, or just by the front of the resort?

3. Are there any playgrounds on property, and are they close by? We have someone who has autism and sensory processing disorder, and letting some steam off at the playground would be great. I have never seen them, but on the Disney website it says they’re there?

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

12 Dave { 10.20.18 at 8:37 am }

1. For standard rooms, all the value resorts except Art of Animation have such rooms. They are sold as “preferred” rooms, at a moderately higher price than less convenient rooms. Booking a preferred room will put you closer to the pool and main building, and, on average, closer to the bus stops. You have to request a ground floor room, but won’t be guaranteed one, as all buildings in value resorts have elevators. You can in addition request an accessible room, and/or notify Disney of mobility difficulties.
2. At the main doors of the resort.
3. Each value resort has a playground. Their location is noted on the resort maps which are in every one of my resort reviews.

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