Every time I think about going back to the Walt Disney World Resort, I’m always trying to think of a practical and money efficient way to take in as much of the magic as possible.
Sometimes, I wonder if staying offsite would be beneficial, but then again, traveling back and forth from the parks would add up in expenses. While staying in Orlando, there needs to be a way to save money while also getting the full Disney package.
From experience, the value resorts are the best Disney World hotels for adults, and families alike, who want a simple Disney experience with its benefits at a cheaper price. In this article, I will be discussing one of my favorite value hotels: Disney’s All-Star Movies in the Animal Kingdom Resort Area.
Unique Decor and Atmosphere
In all of the All-Star value hotels, including Disney’s All-Star Movies, Sports, and Music, there is a similar theme that surrounds the resort. When you walk into the large and open spaced lobby of all three hotels, stars decorate the walls as guests get checked-in by cast members, receiving their MagicBands in order to access their rooms.
Around the corner, one can hear chattering in the food court where guests can purchase entrées for any meal of the day. Just outside the food court is the large swimming pool where guests of all ages can enjoy themselves. However, what makes All-Star Movies different form the rest is it’s unique decor.
In Disney’s All-Star Sports, you may see nondescript footballs and surfboards throughout the hotel’s campus, and at Disney’s All-Star Music, there are guitars and other musical instruments presented in the same fashion. With Disney’s All-Star Movies, we are greeted by characters we know and love from our favorite Disney movies.
Since I am a film buff, I get excited about seeing these grand statues guide me to my hotel room. The hotel has five different sections to it’s decor:
- Toy Story
- 101 Dalmatians
- The Mighty Ducks
- The Love Bug
As you walk around in sections such as Toy Story, you will find yourself in Andy’s room with Woody, Buzz, and all of their friends spread about as they would be in the movie. Those who remember the early 90s might get a kick out of the Mighty Ducks mask, menacingly looking over the guest as they swim in the pool below. There is a celebration of movies that are fan favorites at this resort, and not just of those that are typically sprinkled around Walt Disney World, like The Little Mermaid, or The Lion King (although, I do love those movies as well!).
When it comes to the rooms at ‘Movies, there is a simple theme to them. This is perfect for when I come to Disney World, because for me, simplicity is key. I don’t usually spend a lot of time in the hotels, but when I do, it is to lay my head down at the end of a fun-filled, exhausting day in the parks.
The rooms at ‘Movies have all the essentials you would need if you are just looking for a place to hang your Mickey ears at the end of a long day. The rooms come equipped with free WiFi, a flat-panel TV, two comfortable double beds, or one king sized bed, a mini fridge for all the snacks you wish to carry in the parks, and other hotel articles furnished in the room.
Even the decor in the room is simple. You can see artwork of all sections of the hotel lined up on the walls. Like I said, the guest rooms are not always great to spend a lot of time in, particularly due to their size. A typical room is 260 square feet, which can be a squeeze if four people are sharing one space. This might not be ideal for families larger than four, but I’d say it is ideal for couples, or friends, who want to share a room and spend the majority of their time in the parks.
A problem I have with some room accommodations is their distance from the main building, Cinema Hall. Unlike some of the other luxury hotels, the value resorts have wide open spaces between buildings. If it is raining outside, there’s not a lot of cover when it comes to walking from your room to the front lobby or dining hall.
The Walt Disney World Resort was placed in Orlando, FL, which is notorious for their heavy and sudden downpours, and I’d prefer not to get my shoes wet on my way to getting a quick bite to eat. If you choose to stay here, remember that unless you get super lucky, it will rain. Be prepared to have your umbrella or rain jacket handy when walking in between buildings.
If you are coming back form the parks and are looking for some downtime, ‘Movies has some great recreational activities for you to enjoy. As I have mentioned before, the pools, open from 9 AM to 9 PM, or in peak seasons, 8 AM to 12 AM, are a great way to cool off during those hot Orlando days.
I especially love the decor that surrounds the pools as well. Being a huge Sorcerer Mickey fan, I enjoy hanging around the Fantasia Pool as Mickey Mouse uses the Sorcerer’s hat to magically shoot water onto the swimming guests. There is also the Duck Pond pool in The Might Ducks section that is designed to look like a hockey rink.
There, you can see Goofy trying to block a puck from entering his goal. At night, there is also the Movies Under the Stars event where guests can sit poolside and enjoy a complimentary Disney movie. Other recreational activities include a jogging trail that goes around Disney’s All-Star Resort, and the Reel Fun Arcade in Cinema Hall.
If you enjoy video games, then this will be a wonderful time for you. The arcade is also a good way to roll if it’s a rainy day outside. I do wish they did have more options if and when it does rain. Now that Disney is in it’s growing pains and their aren’t options like Disney Quest anymore to play inside, there needs to be another entertainment backup plan for the rain.
Whenever I travel by plane to get to the Disney resort, I always book my seat on Disney’s Magical Express bus. This takes you from the Orlando International Airport to your Walt Disney World hotel for free. I love this service because it cuts down the costs of traveling using an Uber or cab to get to and from the airport, which can be a pretty penny.
It also starts my Disney vacation right away as I step out of the airport so you don’t waste anytime with the magic. Make sure to check-in to the service before your vacation so that Disney will know when to pick you up after your flight.
Another complimentary tool of getting around is the Disney Bus Transportation system. This service will help you get to theme parks, Disney Springs, and the water parks from Disney’s All-Star Movies. If you want to get to another hotel, you can take the bus to Disney Springs, and from there, it’ll take you wherever you need to go. The bus service runs about every 20 minutes or so, and you won’t have to worry about paying the parking fee at the parks!
If you plan on doing some shopping in the parks, you might want to utilize the Merchandise Delivery and Pickup system. I’ve used this amenity at a different resort, but it still goes for ‘Movies as well. I was in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and I wanted to buy a painting that features Simba and Mufasa from The Lion King.
Later that day, I was having dinner at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and since I didn’t want to carry the painting throughout the park, a cast member offered to ship it to the hotel so that by the time I was done dinner, it would be available for me to pick up. If you ever have problems with your delivery, cast members always go above and beyond to make sure your purchase is secure in your hands.
World Premiere Food Court
When you stay at the All-Star Movies resort, you do not need to wonder where to eat at Disney World. Look no further than the World Premiere Food Court which is a short walking distance from your hotel room.
Unlike at other Deluxe or Moderate hotels, they don’t expect you to go to an expensive restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in order to eat a simple meal. They provide a dining area for your times before, in between, or after your visits to the parks. The menu in this quick service food court has some favorites that you would enjoy.
For breakfast you might want to try a Chicken Brioche Sandwich, or an Egg White Frittata with a side of tater tots. Of course, you can’t forget the Mickey-Shaped Waffles that they have every morning, now those are a favorite of mine! For lunch and dinner, you could try a some pizza or even a vegetable burger. Also, although there are a variety of foods in the dining area, I wish they had more vegetarian/healthy options besides fruit. On the menu there’s a lot of meat, pasta, and pizza, but their aren’t a lot of salads or vegetable options. Yes, although it is a vacation, it doesn’t hurt to keep up a healthy lifestyle while at Disney.
Now, these meals are a little pricy (from $10 – $22 each), which is a downside, but just remember that when you are figuring out your budget. You can also buy a dining plan that costs around $14.99 and under per adult. With the Quick-Service Dining Plan, you can have two Quick-Service Meals (comes with a non-alcoholic drink) and two snacks a day. If you want to spend a little extra money on a Disney Refillable Mug, you can enjoy soft drinks and hot beverages all throughout your stay at ‘Movies for a fixed price.
Is The Cost Worth It?
Like I’ve mentioned in the beginning, being efficient with money is very important to me so that I can have a worry free vacation. If you’re a broke college student, or recent graduate, the value resorts are the cheapest you will get when it comes to rooms at Walt Disney World.
Depending on the date ranges, standard rooms at ‘Movies range from $106 in Fall seasons to $205 in Peak or Holiday seasons. In preferred rooms, which are accommodations with a view of the pool, or rooms that are close to the lobby or food court, range from $120 to $221. Compared to other hotels, ‘Movies is one of the cheaper options at Disney World.
If you are young and hoping to go to Disney with some friends, split a room with them and the cost won’t be as daunting as it seems. Also, some people might compare ‘Movies to Disney’s Art of Animation hotel, but if you want to see your favorite Disney characters at a cheaper price, then come to ‘Movies. It’s still a Disney hotel, and you will still get the same loving care from the cast members who will assist you.
If you have young children who need to come back to the hotel for a nap after spending time in the parks, than you have to know how far All-Star Movies is from each park. It could be a hassle going back and forth. This hotel is very close to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, however, it is one of the farthest hotels from the Magic Kingdom (MK), so if you don’t mind that, then ‘Movies might still be a great choice for you if you want to save money.
If you think it’ll be a problem, you might want to splurge and book a stay at one of the resorts that surround MK. However, Disney’s All-Star Movies is worth it if you’re someone in my vain who wants to spend the majority of your time in the parks instead of at the resort. In conclusion, I’d give this hotel a rating of three stars. All-Star Movies may not be glamorous, but like I said, it’s still Disney, so you know you’ll be taken care of at this practical pit stop from your adventures in the parks.
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