Nine Things to Do at Disney’s All-Star/Value Resorts
Disney executives invest plenty of time and money on every official resort. You’ll find plenty to do whenever you stay at any of them.
Even the least expensive properties at Walt Disney World provide tons of amenities and leisurely distractions.
Here are nine things to try during your next stay at one of Disney’s All-Star/Value Resorts.
Explore the Grounds at Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Critics ding the properties in the Value tier for lacking amenities, an argument I find ridiculous.
The last time I visited Disney, I stayed at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Still, my family hung out at All-Star hotels for fun.
One of my fondest memories involved a walk across the Pop Century campus, where I relished the various hotel buildings.
Imagineers have themed them by decade. You should explore each one to find lovely touches like the multi-story Sony Walkman in the 1980s section.
Hippy dippy energy infuses the 1960s area, straight down to the pool…the Hippy Dippy Pool.
Order from the Secret Menu at World Premiere Food Court
Disney insiders (and MickeyBlog readers) know a secret. You won’t find some of the tastiest treats at Walt Disney World on any menu.
Instead, you must know where to go and what to ask for. Several places offer secret menus chock-full of wonderful items.
Casual guests will never get these delicacies, but you can. And Disney’s All-Star Movies operates the best secret menu location at Walt Disney World.
You can watch the video above to understand how much of a presentation it is.
A cast member breaks out a metal case, and the secret menu is only visible via Viewfinder.
You’re cheating yourself if you don’t do this at some point.
Ride the Disney Skyliner
Yes, the Disney Skyliner has been in operation for a while now, but the excitement remains.
Each day, guests take to the skies for the first time as they experience the glory of Disney’s gondola transportation system.
When park planners plotted the stations for the Disney Skyliner, they had an epiphany.
Placing one near the All-Star resorts would solve a longstanding problem.
Waiting for a bus at the Value tier resorts can be problematic due to the sheer volume of guests staying at these wildly popular places.
So, Disney added a Skyliner station between Disney’s Art of Animation and Disney’s Pop Century. The results speak for themselves.
Guests maneuver around the Disney campus more comfortably than ever before…and the view is terrific, too!
The next time that you hang out at one of the Value resorts, you must take a spin on the Disney Skyliner. It’s the coolest ride in town.
Shoot Hoops at Disney’s All-Star Sports
The next two are kind of silly but also entirely appropriate for the hotel in question.
Disney’s All-Star Sports goes all-in on the idea of competition. Tributes to popular sports are visible from every corner of the hotel grounds.
Probably the best one involves a series of basketball hoops that Imagineers have built into the facing of multiple hotel buildings.
What resides smack dab in the middle of these hotel rooms? Yup, it’s an actual basketball court where you can shoot some hoops.
If you’re not much of a basketball player, you can also hit the arcade. That idea seems less thematic, though.
Take Pictures in the Lobby at Disney’s All-Star Sports
This one’s arguably the silliest amenity you should experience, but it’s also the most fun.
Disney built its All-Star Sports Resort to tie together seamlessly with the nearby ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Sports teams across all levels from Pee Wee League to college participate in events here. So, Disney added a special touch to the hotel lobby.
Guests can stand in front of faceless sports caricatures and take pictures.
It’s no different from an Old West photo at a dude ranch, only you can pretend you’re an athlete.
Oddly, actual athletes get a huge kick out of it, as do children.
Unwind at the Dropoff Pool Bar
Several of the Value tier resorts feature pool bars, and I have a theory regarding why.
These hotels cater more to families with young children. Ergo, the parents can kill two birds with one stone here.
The kids can splash and play in the pool, tiring themselves out. Meanwhile, mom and dad receive a hard-earned break from parenting.
You know what helps to relax a stressed-out parent? Alcohol.
Yeah, pool bars are lifesavers, and the one I like the best in the Value tier is at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Visit the Lobby at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
I love all Disney hotel lobbies and maintain a frequently updated list of my favorites.
Disney’s Art of Animation places high on my list due to the rare lithographs mounted on the walls.
Illustrators have cataloged the development process for many beloved Disney animated classics.
You can monitor the progression of the work in this hotel lobby, which seems insane to me.
For example, you look at rare images that display how much Cars and Finding Nemo evolved over time.
Some of these early pictures bear little resemblance to the films you love. In fact, a couple of them seem substantially darker than the finished product.
When you spend time in this lobby, you’ll learn more about the lore of Disney animation. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Visit the Lobby at Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Three of my suggestions revolve around Pop Century amenities, which tips you off about what my favorite Value tier resort is.
When I visit Pop Century, I make sure to wander the lobby and takes plenty of pictures.
Disney has populated the walls with pop culture memorabilia from the past half-century.
I’m…not young, but I still don’t recognize many of the items. So, I like to take pictures and then research them later.
You’ll enjoy this lobby even more when you bring some friends. You can compare notes about which items you remember from childhood vs. which ones you’ve never seen before.
Watch Movies Under the Stars at Disney’s All-Star Movies
Okay, several Disney resorts participate in the Movies under the Stars program.
The premise here’s pretty simple. Cast members wheel out a digital projection screen on the hotel grass.
Then, Disney plays one of its classic/current movies, as dozens of hotel guests sit in chairs or on blankets to watch. Some even have picnics.
I recommend that you experience Movies under the Stars at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort for the symmetry of it.