By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Introduction to The Value Resorts at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

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.

(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.)


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, 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 have queens!

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.

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 the refurbed Pop Century rooms–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.

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
  3. All-Star Movies
  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

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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.

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