I’ve just recently returned from a Disney World trip and have now stayed at all of the Value Resorts, so I’ve got my ranking of those for you today.
I also have lots of news to discuss and a quick tip of the day.
These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.
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Value Resort overview
All Value Resorts have bright, colorful theming, are large (where available, I recommend Preferred Rooms to make your room closer to the main building and bus stop), have food courts and pizza delivery as food options (but no Table Service restaurants), use buses for transportation, and have themed pools (but no water slides).
All 3 All-Star Resorts are located next to each other, often share buses, and sometimes host big school groups for things like cheerleading competitions.
Art of Animation and Pop Century are located next to each other (you can use a bridge to walk between them), and have their own buses (they don’t share with other resorts).
My Value Resort rankings
I don’t dislike any of the Value Resorts, but there are some pros/cons of each that make some better choices than others.
#5 – All-Star Movies
With its location at the end of the All-Star Resorts, All-Star Movies is last to be picked up and dropped off when sharing buses so I’ve put it last for that reason. However, I like the theming here a lot, including the food court which I find charming.
#4 – All-Star Sports
Though it’s located first in the row of All-Star Resorts (and therefore first to be picked up and dropped off when sharing buses), it’s also the most likely to host big school groups. Sometimes other All-Star Resorts have groups as well, but All-Star Sports has more than the others.
#3 – All-Star Music
I like that All-Star Music has suites in addition to standard rooms, and this resort is located in the middle of the other 2 All-Stars which means it’s not last when sharing buses.
#2 – Art of Animation
The best theming and having direct buses make this one of my favorite Disney World resorts of all, but since most rooms are suites, the price point is much higher. The only standard rooms on property – the rooms located in the Little Mermaid section – are located really far away from the main building/bus stop, and are never part of promotions.
#1 – Pop Century
With the lowest (or nearly the lowest) prices for Disney World resort rooms, dedicated buses that don’t share w/other resorts, and the ability to walk over to Art of Animation for things like the food court or to rent surrey bikes, Pop Century is my vote for best bang for your buck.
- Purple MagicBands are now available as a color option to guests staying in Disney World resorts.
- Rivers of Light is coming to Animal Kingdom starting on April 22.
- Frozen Ever After should be opening at Epcot on May 27.
- Disney Dining Plan costs have gone up $2-3 per person per day.
- Joy and Sadness are coming to Epcot in April.
Quick tip of the day
When using online check-in for your Disney World resort, opt in to text messages to be notified when your resort room is ready. As long as you have your MagicBands, you’ll be able to go to your room without stopping by the front desk.
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Sunday 27th of January 2019
Hi Shannon, I was wondering why Copper Creek is not listed on your Resort lists.
Sunday 27th of January 2019
Hi, Lori - A couple of things to tell you. 1.) This podcast episode came out in March 2016. Copper Creek opened in 2017. 2.) On my resort checklist, I lump the villas in with the main resort they're attached to since they share all amenities. I've stayed at both Wilderness Lodge and Cooper Creek (both of my rooms were in the same building, just on different floors), but just count it as 1 checkmark on my list.
You can find info on our Cooper Creek info page - https://wdwprepschool.com/disney-world-resorts/onsite/villas/copper-creek-villas-cabins/
Wednesday 4th of January 2017
I know this was posted a while back, but I now see notes about Pop Century undergoing refurbishment in the next year on their website. Do you have any info on that? Do you think you'd still recommend it, given the ongoing construction? Thanks!
Tuesday 15th of November 2016
Hi, my husband and I will be staying at PC in May. I am handicapped and would like to have our room closer to the bus stop. Do I have to pay the Premium Room rate to do so or can I request a room closer? Someone said the 700 and 800 buildings are the closest. Do they have the cheaper rooms also, and do the value resorts have elevators to the higher floors?
Monday 15th of August 2016
OK Shannon, we took a leap of faith. We booked a 7 night stay at Pop Century because of your ranking and we choose April 1-7 because of your calendar. I have never done a vacation based off one person, but what the heck, it's Disney World, what could go wrong...... Thank you for all the information you have provided us, it was a great help in making this decision. We have been to WDW one other time and it started off bad, but then it got better. We stayed at Coronado Springs and booked an accessible room and when we got to our room, it was a queen bed and I couldn't get my chair into the room. It took over 2 hours to get us into a room with 2 beds and that room was a non accessible room.
Thursday 21st of April 2016
You mentioned that because the Little Mermaid rooms at AOA usually don't apply for the sales or promotions because they book up quickly. Do you know if this applies to the Free Dining Promotion? We're trying to plan a trip in November in hopes of getting the free dining plan, and we were planning on getting 2 Little Mermaid rooms. Thanks!