Value Resort Rankings at Disney World
Which Walt Disney World Value Resorts are best & worst? This list ranks Art of Animation, Pop Century, and All Star Movies, Music & Sports. Our #1 hotel might surprise you, but we’ll cover why it’s our top pick–plus pros & cons, photos, transportation, and other info about each! (Updated May 3, 2023.)
If you’re unfamiliar with Walt Disney World resort pricing or how far your money will go, start by consulting How Much Does Walt Disney World Cost in 2023? That should help you narrow down your search to a tier or two of different on-site or off-site hotels. Walt Disney World can be unexpectedly expensive, so be sure you calculate all costs before booking.
For those who have a bigger budget or want to splurge (as always, we’re big fans of split stays!), you might also consult our Moderate Resort Rankings and Deluxe Resort Rankings. If you really want to be inundated with info, check out our Rankings of ALL Walt Disney World Hotels from Worst to Best. (Spoiler: #1 is a Value Resort!)
If you’re trying to do Walt Disney World on a tighter budget, the good news is that the Value Resorts can be great hotels. They’re excellent options for people who won’t be in their rooms much, families with small children who enjoy animated characters, guests doing Disney on a dime, or even those who are frugal and don’t think the higher-tier hotels offer sufficient bang for buck. (As much as we enjoy the Deluxes, they’re tough to justify without great discounts!)
To be sure, the Value Resorts are more expensive than off-site accommodations, but the added perks like park transportation and Early Theme Park Entry can tip the scale in their favor from a money-saving perspective. In Are Walt Disney World’s Cheapest Hotels Actually Good? (second spoiler: yes, they are!), we make the case for choosing Value Resorts over off-site accommodations or more expensive on-site ones. Frankly, we love the Value Resorts and think they’re tough to beat from a cost-benefit perspective. (Truly living up to their name!)
Let’s begin the breakdown of Value Resorts by discussing the single biggest differentiator among them, which is transportation. Previously, this simply focused on bus transportation, which tends to be better at Pop Century and Art of Animation. This is the case because the three All Star Resorts sometimes (but seldom) share buses.
Now the much bigger reason is the Skyliner gondola transportation. This offers aerial transportation from a shared station between Pop Century and Art of Animation to Caribbean Beach, where guests transfer for either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Total Skyliner transit time from Art of Animation or Pop Century is under 10 minutes to DHS or under 15 minutes to Epcot. This is a considerable improvement over buses.
We’ve used the Skyliner countless times, including from Pop Century to rope drop both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. In our view, this transportation system is an absolute game-changer. Instead of relying on inconsistent and unpredictable buses–which can be frustrating if you’re in a hurry–you can take the smooth Skyliner for efficient transportation to two of Walt Disney World’s most popular parks, plus a whole bunch of hotels.
With that said, the Skyliner hasn’t been free of problems. It goes down regularly between the months of June and September due to storms, and bus transportation often is not efficiently deployed as a backup. Due to this, and the nature of the transportation, those with fears or heights or other concerns may not wish to use it.
For those guests, it’s less of a perk and more of a drawback for both Pop Century and Art of Animation. The Skyliner is built into the cost of both hotels, and is a huge advantage that justifies the premium pricing…but only for those who will use it. If you will not use it, you’re paying extra for no reason. (Moreover, Pop Century and Art of Animation have scaled back their bus frequency to Epcot and DHS, doubling disadvantaging those who don’t use the Skyliner.)
Now, let’s cover some commonalities of the Value Resorts. All of Walt Disney World’s Value Resorts are large and spread out, and don’t have internal transportation. We don’t consider it that long of a walk, but if you are trying to herd a slew of kids, you might disagree. At every Value Resort except Art of Animation, preferred rooms are available that are located closer to the lobby, but they have an additional cost.
Standard rooms are all fairly similar, too. It cannot be stressed enough that the Value Resorts are very basic accommodations in terms of the rooms. These rooms are small and along the lines of what you’d find at a nicer Best Western or Motel 6.
Disney fans may gasp at that comparison, but we feel it’s true–at least to an extent. The big way Disney’s Value Resorts deviate from other budget accommodations is that they include Disney decor, which alone is probably enough for the average Disney fan or guest to consider them a great deal superior to those other brands of hotels. The point is, at their core, these are not high-end hotel rooms.
Design, in general terms, is pretty consistent among the Value Resorts. All are very plain buildings that are dressed up with oversized icons that relate to the hotel name. They’re decorated, not themed. While the Moderate and Deluxe Resorts attempt to transport you to another time and place, the Value Resorts look more cartoonish. Their style is very divisive, with some Disney fans finding them garish clutter tacked onto low-rate motel buildings and other fans finding them to be fun and whimsical ways to experience a Disney hotel on the cheap.
If you are in the former camp, you probably already know Value Resorts are not for you, and there’s little point to this list of rankings for you. Regardless of how you feel about the Value Resorts, the fact is that they have plenty of fans. Many people, especially small children, prefer this larger-than-life style to the more elaborate and nuanced design of the higher-tier hotels.
We’ve stayed at each of the Value Resorts on numerous occasions, most recently in Spring 2023 with a stay at All Star Sports. In fact, we’ve stayed at every single Value Resort in the last calendar year, including 3 separate stays at All Star Sports. While their style isn’t our favorite, we can understand why they appeal to kids. We find the criticism to be a bit over the top and cynical. Different strokes for different folks, and all that.
The All Star Resorts have more in common, too. They also use shared buses to get to the parks during slower seasons (or times of day), which can be a big issue and time drain. While kids who are fans of sports, movies, or music may disagree, we feel that the decor is pretty much the same across the three resorts.
Movies and Music seem very similar to one another (most Disney movies are musicals, so this makes sense), with Sports differing more. The All Star Resorts are also older than Pop Century or Art of Animation, and in many places, the age difference really shows.
With that said, let’s take a look at the rankings!
5. All Star Movies
All of the Value Resorts have received very similar reimagined rooms, with the All Stars getting completely identical designs. Above is a photo of the new room from the opposite perspective as the new room (below that) at All Star Music. We’ve stayed in these new rooms several times, and find them to be huge upgrades. They’re not perfect–you can read about the pros & cons in our Photos & Video: Newly Reimagined Rooms at the All Star Resorts post.
These new rooms are definitely a step in the right direction, but All Star Movies could still use some more help. The Mighty Ducks are still heavily showcased, despite no longer being relevant. Photos in the lobby are faded, as is hotel signage. It also doesn’t help that All Star Movies was the first to receive the new rooms ~4 years ago, whereas Sports and Music have received their updates mostly in the last couple of years. That means the same style is fresher at Sports and Movies.
4. All Star Sports
All Star Sports has now received the new room upgrades that are huge improvements in terms of utility and aesthetics. If you’re booking a room at All Star Sports going forward, you’ll receive a new room. Of our three stays here in the last year, all of them have been in new rooms, and these have had noticeably less wear and tear than their counterparts at All Star Movies. That makes a big difference, and is pretty much the reason why Sports ranks higher than Movies.
It’s not just the rooms. As a whole, Sports looks like it has received more TLC than the other All Stars, with freshly-repainted icons and well-maintained grounds. In years past, it was common to see faded and dirty details; that’s not the case now. Beyond that, the food court was never overly-crowded and the recreation options were surprisingly good.
However, All Star Sports still ranks below Music because it’s frequently the home base for groups attending ESPN Wide World of Sports events. If you consult the ESPN Wide World of Sports Calendar and you’re completely sure there are no groups, you might decide to opt for it. We stayed at All Star Sports during a recent youth event and had a room in the “Touchdown” section right above the football field where kids often play, but had zero issues with excessive or late night noise. That has not been our experience in the past, so we generally recommend avoiding All Star Sports during these ESPN events.
The other big upside to Sports is that when the All Star Resorts are sharing buses, it’s the first stop the buses make. During busy hours, the bus will often fill up completely at All Star Sports, skipping All Star Music and Movies completely. For this reason, the bus service at All Star Sports is the best of the three. (During our recent stays, we’ve found this is most commonly an issue at the end of the night when the parks are busiest; transportation ops will pack everyone heading to the All Stars on the same bus, and have another ready to go when one is full.)
3. All Star Music
All Star Music has now been totally updated with the new rooms, pictured above. Again, these are a significant upgrade from the old rooms, as they have numerous functional and space-saving improvements. All of that is incredibly useful given the small size of Value Resort rooms.
Other upsides to All Star Music are that it’s less expensive than Pop Century and Art of Animation, it has a refurbished food court, it’s rarely (if ever) overrun with pre-teen athletic groups, the decor is good and not too dated (by All Star standards), and it’s the middle bus stop. Another point in the favor of All Star Music is that it’s the only one of the trio to offer family suites, which are far cheaper than their counterparts at Art of Animation (but not as good as those Lion King, Cars, or Finding Nemo family suites).
Finally, none of the All Star Resorts is better than the others by a wide margin. If your kids are most interested in sports, movies, or music…stay in the “topic” that appeals to them, especially if decor is a big deal. The only time we might caution against that is when a large group event is happening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, in which case you should probably avoid All Star Sports–or at least request a room away from the football field.
2. Art of Animation
For the sake of this comparison, we’re only looking at the common areas and standard rooms in Art of Animation, all of which are in the Little Mermaid section of the hotel. The family suites are incredibly nice and worthy of consideration for families who want more space, but they arguably don’t even belong in the Value Resort category. Their nightly rate is considerably higher, making them more comparable to the Fort Wilderness Cabins and other unique room categories.
When it comes to rooms, the Little Mermaid rooms fall short of the newly-redesigned rooms at Pop Century and All Star Movies. The Little Mermaid rooms have received a light refresh recently, but nothing on par with Pop Century. You can read all of our quibbles with these in our Little Mermaid Room Review. Suffice to say, these are minimally decorated, a long walk from the lobby, and way overpriced.
However, the common areas make Art of Animation winners among families and elevate it further. This is especially true of the Cars wing, which is the best area at any of the Value Resorts. The Nemo, Lion King, and Little Mermaid grounds have fun decor and some interesting design touches, but they don’t have the depth of the Cars wing, which feels like a low-budget Radiator Springs.
Art of Animation also scores points for the Finding Nemo pool, which is the best pool at any Value Resort, and one of the better pools at Walt Disney World (if you don’t mind the noise). For a quieter option, the Cars pool is also exceptional, and has a Cozy Cone Motel vibe to it.
Landscape of Flavors, the food court at Art of Animation, is one of the better counter service restaurants on property, which is another strong selling point. However, it’s literally as easy to dine at Landscape of Flavors if you’re staying at Pop Century as it is if you’re staying in the Little Mermaid rooms.
That’s ultimately what weighs Art of Animation down to the #2 spot for us. You’re paying a significant premium for inferior rooms (unless your kids are diehard Little Mermaid fans), and for being just as far from Art of Animation’s main amenities as you would be if staying in some rooms at Pop Century. Why not just pay less, have a better room, and walk over to Art of Animation Resort to enjoy it?
1. Pop Century
In the course of discussing the other Value Resorts, we’ve more or less touched upon the biggest upsides of Disney’s Pop Century Resort, which has been the long-time top pick for Value Resorts among Walt Disney World fans. To reiterate: new rooms, Skyliner transportation, lower price points, and convenience to Art of Animation via Generation Gap Bridge all make Pop Century a winner and our #1 pick.
Pop Century’s biggest downside is that the cartoony, oversized icon style simply works better in the context of Disney animation. This style appeals primarily to kids, and Disney characters will resonate with them more than pop culture references.
Personally, I think in terms of overall ‘value’ (not simply what’s cheapest), Pop Century excels. It is worth the slight premium for superior dedicated bus service, better dining options, and far superior rooms. If you’re a couple without kids simply looking for the cheapest way to stay on-property at Walt Disney World, Pop Century should be your top pick.
So there’s our take. Whether a Value Resort is right for you in the first place is something you should also consider. If money is no object and you don’t have kids, you’re likely better off in a Moderate or Deluxe Resort. If money is an issue or you think your kids will prefer the Values, give them serious thought.
If you’re still undecided after reading this or overwhelmed by the complexity of planning a Walt Disney World vacation, you might want to consult an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (Disney’s term for a travel agent). They receive commission from Disney, so most authorized planners will not charge you for booking the vacation package and planning services. The fee-free Authorized Disney Vacation Planner that we recommend is Be Our Guest Vacations. Their services don’t cost extra, they’ll help choose the right resort for you, book your vacation, help you with dining reservations and itineraries, and apply the best discounts to your reservation.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Is it worth it to you to stay at a Value Resort, or would you rather just splurge and stay at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort? Which Value Resort is your favorite? Do you agree or disagree with our WDW Value Resort rankings? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Pop is one of our overall favorite resorts! We have stayed at Poly, Contemporary, Beach, Caribbean, Boardwalk and Port Orleans. Skyliner is our favorite Disney transportation so I just naturally prefer those resorts. I think the perfect spot is in between the 60s and 70s buildings. We love the quiet bowling pin pool but also enjoy not being too far from the food court for my coffee fix .
love the all star resorts kids or no kids,went deluxe on our last visit ( wilderness lodge) nice but this year I’m going back to all stars ,deluxe to me doesn’t seem worth the extra money, when we just sleep get up go bk sleep repeat
I have stayed at Deluxe, Moderate & most of the value resorts, except Art of Animation. Pop Century will ALWAYS be my favorite! I had planned to stay at AOA but heard too many people say the Little Mermaid rooms are far away & a long walk to the sky liner, so I ended up going back to Pop. It has great rooms & they are situated in a way that generally makes it convenient to get to the sky liner, buses, gift shop/restaurant etc. We have a trip booked for October & of course we are staying at Pop again! I would put the Movies Resort as my #2 though. The grandkids love that resort!
Keep bringing all of the helpful articles! You amaze me at how much you know about everything!
Tom, this is spot on. I recently stayed at the All Stars for the first time in five years and was blown away by how nice they are for the cost. I’ll either rent DVC points, snag a Swan/Dolphin deal, or stay at a value from now on. If you’re an AP, you can often get a great deal at the All Stars, and have free parking at both the resort and the parks. It’s a short drive or Uber from the All Stars over to Coronado or the Crescent Lake area if you have a dining reservation as well. Plus, in the age of readily available grocery delivery or with a rental car, it’s easy to stash some breakfast items and snacks in your room and not have to head to the food court, if you aren’t up for that. I’m team value resorts!
Indeed, the weekday prices of the All Stars can’t be beat at normal hotels without going one star or staying a long way off property, even at non-Disney hotels on property. (Be aware that weekends are another story.)
I’d move Movies ahead of Music; based on Disney advertising, I’d bet The Kids Today are more familiar with the 101 Dalmatians franchise and probably Fantasia’s Sorcerer Mickey than most of the music themes. Still, outside groups staying at Sports, it mostly comes down to opinion and availability of rooms; sometimes one or another All Star will sell out of cheaper rooms before the others, especially with the return of discounts.
I 100% understand this is an article about WDW value resorts. However, since one of the considerations is value for cost, for people who are really trying to save, be on property, get the exact same early entry benefits, and who may be campers, WDW campsites are a real bargain. We just paid $62.10 to park our pop up camper w great AC at a WDW campsite for a night. Also, again 100% understanding this is a WDW value resort article & not a good neighbor hotel article, the Drury Hotel, while not a WDW on property hotel, but while very close to WDW & brand new, has free park shuttle, no resort fee, free b’fast, free wi-fi, free evening snacks that could sub as dinner, & free theme parks early entry for $126.49 plus tax 9/21-22 for me & husband.
I do not agree with the ranking exactly. I personally believe that Art of Animation is too high for a value resort. However, nothing beats the theme for kids.
Here would be my list for people that just sleep in the room and stay in the park, or the least costly Disney properties normally.
#1- I only rank this one due to the movies theme.
All Star Movies
#2- All Star Music- again just preference of themes.
#3- All Star Sports- The first three choices can be interchanged based on theme preference.
#4 Pop Century- It tends to have a little more cost if you are just looking for a place to sleep or keeping down on cost.
#5 Art of Animation- very cute
However, I cannot bring myself to spend all that extra for a value room.
If the budget wasn’t as important, my list is different.
#1- Art of Animation- you just can’t beat the theme, and it has a skylines.
#2 Pop Century- Although the theme is not my favorite, the transportation options make this resort much more appealing for me. I personally think it is worth the little extra for a normal group. If booking multiple rooms, the difference can add up. However, this would be the best budget option while receiving a little extra. As a side note, this hotel’s staff was friendlier than any other hotel, value or moderate, that I have stayed at.
#3- All Star Movies- just due to the theme
#4- All Star Music- just due to theme
#5- All Star Sports- just due to theme
To me, the All Star resorts can be interchanged, because they are similar in style.
It’s ok to be wrong 😉
I’m not a fan of the pull down bed and really can’t stand the theming at Pop. I also feel like All Star Movies has some great theming and would rank it higher than Sports. Because of the skyliner, I still would rank Pop high, but never over AoA.
I don’t agree (obviously), but it’s hard to argue with those rankings given your preferences. I’m not a fan of the Little Mermaid room layout (or premium pricing…or location), so Pop Century gets the edge for me between the two. I’ll walk over to AoA to get my fix of the superior theme! 😉
There’s nothing wrong with the rankings, except that kids will rank All-Star Movies much higher. With the exception of Mighty Ducks, a kid at ASM is thrust into the midst of movies they are in the process of growing up with resulting in quite a bit of magic for the tykes. That “extra” factor is unmeasurable, but for kids it is truly Disney magic.
The Skyliner factor is also an “X” factor, as it can be HUGE or nonexistent, depending on how you use it. For us, it means not merely quick and easy theme park access, but it means quick and easy access to all the dining and entertainment options along the route: Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Resort, Riviera, Hollywood Studios, Boardwalk, Swan, Dolphin, Reserve, Yacht & Beach Club, other Crescent Lake options, and Epcot. This is true for any of the Skyliner resorts, but it means that for a value resort budget, you can expand your dining options to easily include multiple deluxe resorts.
“There’s nothing wrong with the rankings, except that kids will rank All-Star Movies much higher.”
Really? I feel like the only movie there on most kids’ radar is Toy Story.
Sports has the classic Disney characters in sporty scenarios, and Music has Little Mermaid and some other random characters here and there. I don’t necessarily think those are better…I just don’t think they’re materially worse.
I’m honestly surprised Disney hasn’t refreshed the movies at all three, as I don’t think they have nearly as much “kid appeal” as Art of Animation, which is off the charts.
Totally agree about the Skyliner. Having access to table service and character dining without getting on a bus or going to a park is huge.
We just stayed at All Sports the room was completely remodeled.
We are now at the Pop Century absolute no difference from All Sports in the room.
Both pool areas seemed about the same.
The sky ride was nice but only if going to Epcot or Hollywood studios.
Pop Century cost $50 more per night, NOT worth the difference in our opinion.
We’ve been big WDW fans for over 30 years and are quite knowledgeable regarding what’s available there.
Your review of the Value Resorts was spot on and I commend you!
As a Florida resident and passholder I will continue to visit WDW, despite their woke philosophy,
So glad I saw this! What’s a bad thing for you is actually a good thing for us. The military-discounted rooms are far and few between this year and AS Sports is one Disney keeps pushing. We’re doing a split stay and I’ve been back and forth on this resort until I saw your blog post. Knowing AS Sports hasn’t refurbished to the new-style of the AS Music and AS Movies makes us look at it in a whole new light now. The murphy beds are too hard for me to pull down for the kiddo. When we stayed at AS Movies in 2018, they told us someone would come to the room and pull it down for us, but they didn’t. We got it down & planned to just leave it down during our stay, but mousekeeping put it back up every time they cleaned the room. We avoid the rooms with murphy beds in them now. So I’m in the minority here, but I’m glad AS Sports hasn’t done a refurb!
There’s not much Mousekeeping to be had, so I don’t think anyone will put the bed up. You also could put a note on the bed asking to leave it down. No one touched ours at All Star Music.
I agree, when I seen the photo I was like.. ok. this is where I will stay. I find the Murphy beds harder than the regular bed.
We have stayed at Pop Century twice and absolutely love it. The skyliner is awesome. We were there during the busiest week in February and even with lines the skyliner moved quickly! We didn’t wait longer than a few minutes. My kids love the theming and the pools. The only thing that would keep me from returning to Pop is the food. The food court is really limited, especially for vegetarians.
Stayed at Movies in September 2021 due to 25% off room rates booked 3 weeks prior to arrival thinking how bad could it be. We have always stayed at a moderate for the last 20 years. Never again at values. Our favorites, (Riverside & previously CBR – before the Riveria and Skyliner changed the whole vibe of CBR) are our go to resorts Movies was horrible. From the food and lack of extra activities except for pool games that was an overload of kids there is nothing to do. There wasn’t even a decent outdoor spot to enjoy a drink. However we did have good luck with the buses back and forth to the parks. So if you are used to moderates stay away from values. Can’t wait … arriving at Riverside in 34 days!
I have stayed at the value resort’s and love them coming from England we love the door straight out into the sun ,we stayed at fort wilderness it was nice to sit on balcony but not my favourite (sorry Tom) next holiday booked for music
We stayed at Pop in early February, our room was in the 60’s building which afforded us a short jaunt to the Skyliner. My husband got in line for the Skyliner by 7 each morning; by 7:20 the line was snaking around on the Pop side almost to the 50’s building. While the Skyliner is operating (moving) at that time , they don’t let guests board until 7:30 on the dot. The line moved quickly and we were at DHS for RoTR early entry before 8:00. Knocked out both RoTR and Millenuim Falcon before early entry “officially” began at 8:30.
We were in line for busses to MK and AK by 7 too, so we snagged seats on first busses to the parks and rope dropped Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Flight of Passage.
Bussing back to Pop, however, took forever as we stayed until close… we saw 2 or 3 busses come and go for Art of Animation before one even came for the Pop guests. In retrospect, wished we had just jumped in line for an AoA bus and then just walked back over to Pop. That would have saved us time despite walking more at the end of the night – by that time we were DONE with standing in line. 😉
I will never pay extra for Skyliner use again. I was absolutely not impressed with it (and I wanted to love it!)
Last time we stayed at Art of Animation we waited 30 minutes to get on the Skyliner and ride it to the transfer point. When we got there, we waited another hour to get on the transfer Skyliner. After 90 minutes of waiting, we got to the platform and they shut down the Epcot Skyliner- which meant we could either follow the mass exodus and get a bus, or take the liner to HS and walk the 20-30 minute walk to Epcot from there. In the end, it took us 2 full hours to get from AoA to Epcot. Other times it was back in the 90 minute wait times (when it was working properly).
We would have gotten there in 30 mins-most likely less- if we had just taken the bus. The liner is fantastic to get from the parks back to the hotel, but from the hotel to the parks isn’t worth it at all.
Honestly, my husband and I are grateful for the three value resorts and, though prices at them have really gone up, it is still worth the immersive experience. We need to be frugal, so I think they are fantastic choices for on-site hotels, in our happy and humble opinions. We just love being there, always need two rooms for six kids and us, and love the Disney atmosphere, though we are “parks all day” people. The only bad experience we’ve ever had was when the cheerleader squads came and completely took over every space…line jumping at the food courts to a “place holder” 20+ at a time and leaving no room to sit. Otherwise, just glad to be in the world. Can’t wait to go in May! Staying at All Star Movies.
I’m not sure how prices will be affected from COVID-19, but last I saw this spring, prices at Pop Century had gone up significantly. I assume that’s due to the Skyliner.
One thing I appreciate about moderates over value is that moderates generally have more actual themeing, as opposed to just Disney decorations. The value resorts tend to have “louder” decor (brighter, and in your face). However, that said, that’s what many families WANT when they go to a Disney hotel. It’s easy to get your kids excited if you tell them something like, “Hey, we’re staying in a Lion King room!”
For that reason, All-Star Movies actually moves ahead of the other All-Stars, and even Pop Century in my book. I get that the Mighty Ducks is no longer relevant. I don’t think Love Bug is, either. However, we have always paid to stay at Toy Story. It’s fun walking through the door to Andy’s room and seeing the enormous Buzz, Woody, and Bo Peep statues! My kids love Toy Story, so that’s a huge perk. They also love Mickey, and so the Fantasia pool is fun for them, too. Another perk to remember from All-Star Movies is stuff like the secret menu and also the crazy shakes (which I think you can only get at All-Star Movies at Beach Club). Also, it’s a short walk over to Music if you prefer the options there.
We have never stayed at Art of Animation, but I assume my kids would be thrilled for the movie character rooms there, too. It sounds like they also have better food than Pop. We have not eaten at Pop, but we’ve heard they have the most disappointing food on property. It sounds like you might disagree with that though.
I don’t think Pop just is as exciting for families with children, though. I don’t even know if my kids would recognize a juke box or cassette decor. I don’t think they’d get excited about bowling pins. The Skyliner probably keeps Pop near the top in terms of value resorts, but the Skyliner seems to be its only redeeming feature, especially if its price jumps to match that of Art of Animation. I haven’t stayed at the Little Mermaid rooms at AoA but I imagine they will get more love as the prices of Pop increase.
AoA Mermaid rooms are adorable- but once you walk the marathon to get to them, you’re too pooped to notice them! My family all agreed we’d never stay there again unless we needed the extra beds of a suite.
My wife and I along with our daughter at different ages have stayed at All Star Music 3 times over the years. We find it to be excellent . The only downfall is the long walk from basic rooms to the front. Otherwise the rooms have been great the pools are the best of any of he All Stars . Have always found the food at the food court acceptable . They even have room service fur pizza witch was nice on the first day. For the amount of time actually spent in the room we feel it’s great.
I actually stayed with my husband in value resorts BEFORE we had kids because we would barely be in the room. Now that we have small kids we like to stay in some moderate or deluxe because we aren’t at the parks as late and therefore spend more time at the actual hotel. When the girls are older and we are closing down the parks then we will just do Value. And THEN when we retire and it’s just the two of us again, back to deluxe!