Hello! Morgan here from Neverland Navigation Co., your personal guides to Walt Disney World and beyond!
Staying in a Walt Disney World hotel is a must do if you are coming for a full WDW vacation in my opinion. It is the BEST way to stay in the “Disney bubble” for your entire trip. We love Disney Hotels so much that we stay in one as often as possible even though we live relatively close. We used to be “Silver” passholders, which meant that we were blocked out during the entire summer. We would inevitably break down and get a night or two at a Disney hotel at some point during the summer just to get our Disney fix when we weren’t allowed in the parks. All of the Disney hotels are amazing in their own ways and you could really spend a whole day or two just soaking up all the hotel has to offer without even going into a park. All the hotels have Hidden Mickeys to find, restaurants, an arcade, shopping, pools to swim in, they even show Disney movies on projectors in fun locations. All of that without leaving the grounds of your hotel! What may surprise you is that Disney has some hotels that are as affordable as budget hotels that are off property. Which makes staying in the Disney bubble a no brainer to us.The least expensive option is The All Stars Hotels.
Watch our video below to see our full video review including room tours and a hotel tour!
So which is the WORST WDW hotel you ask? All Star SPORTS. Because of the room experiences alone, we strongly advise to NOT stay at All Star Sports. For now. All Star Sports was the worst hotel I have stayed at in a LONG TIME. At some point it will get a recommendation from us (after a refurbishment) but today is not that day. The rooms at All Star Music and Movies, on the the other hand, have been refurbished and are a nice, comfortable, and affordable place to stay on property. We unfortunately cannot say the same about All Star Sports. I have NUMEROUS complaints about this hotel and if it were the only Disney hotel option available to me I would start looking off property. Which is sad, because I am truly a Disney addict. However, it has been scheduled for refurbishment and once that happens it will be back in our good graces. Sadly it has been on the list for refurbishment for years, but it has yet to happen. We actually saw that some rooms in the football section were closed off for refurbishment, but we have no idea how long those signs have been up. See below for a 5 second video showing how TERRIBLE the beds at All Star Sports are. Volume up if you want to hear the cringe worthy sound the bed made when I sat on it. Yikes!
The rooms at All Star Sports (Pictured above and below) are in desperate need of an update. I can’t say enough bad things about those beds. I don’t sleep well in hotels to begin with, but no one in my family got a good night of sleep on these beds, even the hard sleepers. They were old, uncomfortable, hard and ultra squeaky. They were also double/full sized which in our opinion is too small for two people, especially after a long, hot Disney day. (It doesn't mean you don't love and appreciate your spouse if you don't want to cuddle after sweating for 16 hours!) There was one side table in between the two double sized beds so the person on the outside of either bed doesn’t get a table to set their phone or a drink on. The toilets were ridiculously loud and didn’t flush properly. It was just a lot of bad.
The GREAT NEWS is that the updated rooms (pictured below) at All Star Movies and All Star Music are WONDERFUL! They have a queen sized bed and a queen sized Murphy bed which is such an amazing update. Bravo to whoever thought to add Murphy beds to the rooms. It makes the room look much more spacious and open when you first walk in, and if you only need one bed then it gives you lots of extra room. We were MUCH more comfortable on queen sized beds than full/doubles. If you need the second bed it easily pulls down and the Murphy bed is quite comfortable. The floors are laminate and the bathrooms are much nicer than they were previously. Hard floors just seem cleaner to me. Who knows what nastiness gets into those old hotel carpet fibers and stays there forever. Yuck. My only complaint about these hotels is the noise level can be a little high. You might want to bring ear plugs, especially if you are a light sleeper like me. The walls are a little thin and whether it's families getting up at 5am to get breakfast before rope drop or party people coming back to their room at 2am, it seems like there is often someone walking by your door and in their excitement people just don’t think to be quiet because others could be sleeping. You also hear when a surrounding room flushes their toilet pretty loudly in your room. Like I have mentioned, I am a light sleeper, so this is really an issue I have with most hotels and you can take that advise without a grain of salt if you typically don’t need earplugs at other hotels. For me, ear plugs are a standard part of my packing list.
The wonderful part about ALL of the All Stars hotels is the hotel grounds, especially the giant iconic statues that distinguish each building. Each hotel has 5 sections, and each section is themed. Sports has Baseball, Football (American Football), Tennis, Basketball, and Surfing sections. Music has Broadway, Jazz, Country Fair, Rock N Roll and Calypso sections. All Star Movies has 101 Dalmations, Fantasia, The Mighty Ducks, Herbie The Love Bug, and Toy Story. If you haven’t seen the larger-than-life statues that “decorate” these hotels, it is hard to explain the magnitude of their presence. Below is a picture to give you an idea of what I am talking about.
Each of The All Star hotels have 1 main pool that is themed and has some sort of fountain and lots and lots of seating, a smaller themed pool, an arcade, a laundry center, a gift shop, and a food court with overpriced, not-amazing food (more on the food in the next paragraph.) The pools have music and activities for kids and are often the location of choice for projected Disney movies to be shown. If you are staying at one of the All Star resorts you can walk around the others to explore. Which we think is a fun thing to do (especially with a Hidden Mickey book) if you have a resort day.
The All Star food courts (one pictured above) have a fun theme but they don't get high marks from us for a flavor. Although I love a scoop of Edy’s ice cream or a Mickey cupcake at the end of a Disney day (and those are both available in the All Stars' food courts), I wouldn't otherwise recommend the food court. The food may be convenient but that’s about it, so I would suggest eating elsewhere unless it's a snack or dessert. (We do lots of restaurant reviews, so check out our YouTube videos or other blogs for inspiration!) On a brighter note, they offer a cute refillable souvenir soda cup for $19.99 that can be refilled the entire length of your stay. I do find these to be a good value, especially if your stay is longer than a couple of days. They are not refillable in the parks though, only at the hotel food court. I do recommend them. For $20 you get a fun souviner and all the soda/coffee/tea/hot chocolate that you can drink while at the hotel.
At each hotel you have the option of a “Standard Room” or a more expensive “Preferred Room”. The difference is location. Preferred rooms are closer to the main pool, as well as the main building that houses the food court, arcade, gift shop, check in, and the area where the buses to the parks pick up and drop off. This is a definite perk if you didn’t drive and you are taking the bus everyday. The buses are another great perk of staying at a WDW hotel. Buses run before the parks open until after the parks close to take you to whichever park you wish to go to (or Disney Springs.) They can be crowded at times, but all in all they are a good and free way to get around Disney World. Back to the preferred rooms, the inside of the preferred rooms” and the “standard rooms” are identical. On the downside the “preferred rooms” can also be louder because they are right by the main pool and there is more foot traffic with people going to the main building. Since we drive in, we opt to save our money and stay in a standard room. Now you have all the info so you can make an informed decision.
I think I covered pretty much everything there is to know about the All Star Hotels and I hope I have helped you make an informed decision when booking your next Disney hotel! If you have any questions leave me a comment on our YouTube page! (Just hit the video at the top of this blog to be transferred to our YouTube page) Jake and I LOVE helping people have the most magical Disney experience possible and we would be happy to answer questions or help you however we can.
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