Continuing the comparison of each resort class, today’s in depth look is at value resorts. These resorts are comparable in size to moderate resorts (some a bit smaller). Disney’s newest value resort, Art of Animation, makes it difficult to equally compare all of the resorts in this category, but here goes nothing! All value resorts have 2 double beds (Art of Animation suites have a queen size bed), exterior entry (outside of Art of Animation), bus only tranportation to and from the parks, only one dining option in each park, and one main pool with at least 2 quiet pools. Once again I’ll start with my opinion of “the best of”…
Best Pool: Art of Animation’s main pool has a built in sound system to make the experience even more magical. Pop Century’s Hippy Dippy pool also have fun activities and a bright and fun theme.
Best Grounds: This depends on what your family’s preference is. All resorts follow a similar T-shaped building layout. Pop Century is the only resort that allows you to choose your view (standard, pool view, preferred room). Check out the theme of each resort and decide what works for your family!
Best Location on Disney property: Tie: Pop Century & Art of Animation. These are located in the “Wide World of Sports” area and are close to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The All Star resorts are located in the Animal Kingdom area which makes for a long bus ride to Magic Kingdom!
Best Bus system: Pop Century & Art of Animation. Each resort have their own bus system (the All Stars have shared bus service between the three of them). I can speak personally for Pop Century that it was extremely efficient and we rarely waited for more than a few minutes.
Best Dining options: Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation has some great quick service options. Many people like the dessert options at Pop Century as well.
Best rooms for kids: Depends on what your kids like! I think most value resorts are more geared toward kids than adults. You can choose your theme: Disney movies, Disney favorite animated films, Music, Sports, or Pop Culture of the 50s-90s.
Best rooms for adults: All resorts except for Art of Animation offer rooms with king beds (sleeps up to 2). At Pop Century you will end up with less tour groups, family reunions, and and sport groups which make for a somewhat quieter experience. Lakeview rooms (which can be requested after you book at no additional cost) make for a very peaceful experience.
The good, the bad, and the ugly. There’s a lot of similarities in this category. The three All Star Resorts are very similar in size and location. Their distance away from 3 of the 4 parks and the shared bus service deters some people from these resorts. Additionally, these resorts often host tour groups, cheer competitions, a soccer tournament in 2014, and family reunions since they are large and they are the lest expensive resorts on Disney property. The good about this trio? They are the least expensive on Disney property and are typically plentiful when discounts become available. All Star Music has a family suite that will sleep up to 6.
A very small upgrade ($10-ish per night) to Pop Century affords you benefits like solo bus service, a better location on Disney property, and some typically quieter accommodations. I felt that the walk around this resort seemed more relaxing and faster than my stays at the All Star resorts. Pop Century also allows you to choose a pool view room if you so choose. This is not something you can choose at any other resort!
Art of Animation is great for larger families. Their theme is fun for anyone who loves Disney and seem more like a moderate or deluxe resort experience than a value. If you are looking to share space with 2 families, you are better off booking 2 rooms at one of the value resorts as the cost is generally less. The downside of this resort are the Little Mermaid rooms. These rooms are fairly far away from everything and have never been included into a Disney discount/special offer since their opening.
If you’re looking for a place to lay your head at night and only having one transportation option, a value may be a great option for you. These locations also have families with kids, so if you’re looking for a romantic, adults only vacation, this may not be the best type of resort for you. Remember these are just my opinions, and if you have your heart set on a specific resort, GO!
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