A family vacation to Walt Disney World doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you can save money and enjoy all the perks that Disney has to offer by staying at one of the Value Resorts. (Disney hotels are sorted into tiers with Deluxe Resorts being the most costly, followed by the Moderate Resorts, and finally by the Value Resorts. These designations give you an idea of price, available amenities, and proximity to theme parks.) No need to worry that you won’t get that same level of Disney customer service or that you’ll miss out on a magical experience. Here’s all you need to know about the Disney Value Resorts:
The Value Resorts you can choose from are the All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, and the Pop Century resorts. Each of these resorts offers whimsical theming, complete with towering characters from the Disney movies we know and love, fun room décor, and playful pools. (Think tons of fab photo ops!) These brightly colored resorts are great for kids and kids-at-heart. Each resort has more than one pool, a jogging trail, and a playground. (The pools don’t have slides, but some have fountains and all of them offer a variety of poolside entertainment throughout the week.) Each has its own food court, pool bar, arcade, and gift shop as well.
Expect just the basics at a low price point. Most people who are staying at a Value resort are doing so for the price. (A quick search shows rooms in October of 2018 available for as low as $125 a night.) They don’t want to pay a small fortune for a room they will hardly spend any time in during their Disney vacations. Value Resorts are great for this reason. They are clean, comfortable and fun, with free WiFi and a mini-fridge in each room. The rooms open up to the exterior of the building, meaning you shouldn’t plan to sip your morning coffee on a private balcony. Instead, you’ll be overlooking a courtyard or pool and it’s possible that pool will be filled with noisy guests. (Honestly, I have never had any issues with noise at any Disney pool.)
The Art of Animation is considered a “Value Plus” Resort. This property consists of mostly family suites that have two bathrooms, a kitchenette, a separate bedroom, and a sleeper sofa plus a Murphy bed. (The suites sleep 6 adults.) They’re highly themed with the choices being Cars, Lion King, or Finding Nemo. The Art of Animation has interior corridors and a better food court than the other Value Resorts, according to some guests. The Landscape of Flavors food court there does offer a wide variety of international and healthy options. This resort also has its own bus system, meaning the buses don’t stop at other resorts along the way. All other aspects of the Art of Animation are the same as the other Value Resorts, but you will pay more to stay there.
You’ll have access to all of the benefits that come with staying on Disney property. These include free parking at all of the Disney World parks; free Disney transportation via bus; the ability to charge food and retail items back to your room using your magic bands; package delivery so you don’t have to haul your purchases around the theme park all day; free use of Disney’s Magical Express (airport transportation); the ability to make advance dining reservations up to 180 days prior to your stay and FastPass+ selections up to 60 days prior; and finally, you’ll still get to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours.