One of the best Disney resorts for families on a budget, Disney’s All Star Movies Resort offers affordable accommodations, amazing theming and all of the perks of staying on Disney property. Today, I’m sharing what you need to know before booking your Disney vacation.
Walt Disney World’s All Star Movies Resort Review
Disney’s All-Star Movies resort is arguably the most Disney resort available. The larger-than-life theming of the resort is a kids’ dream, with giant character statues, bright colors and fun photo opps.
The cheapest Disney-owned resorts, the All-Star resorts offer fewer amenities, entertainment, dining options, and smaller room sizes than their moderate or deluxe resorts, but you get all of the perks of staying on property (Disney Magic Express, Disney transportation, access to cast members, ability to book dining plans, extra magic hours, etc) for half of the cost of staying at a moderate Disney hotel, like Caribbean Beach or Port Orleans.
Personally, I would recommend staying at an All-Star resort if you plan to spend the majority of your Disney vacation actually at the parks or Disney Springs. The moderate or deluxe resorts are awesome for those who want to spend half of their time enjoying the resort, but I think you miss out on many of the perks of staying at them if you’re at the parks every day.
There are enough entertainment options at the All-Star resorts to fill a couple hours a day, or keep you busy on arrival and departure days plus one extra non-park day. Beyond that, you’ll want to either visit other resorts or head to Disney Springs to seek out more options.
The pools are pretty plain, but you can pool-hop among the other All-Star resorts, giving you access to six pools, and there are daily activities for kids including scavenger hunts, trivia contests, and crafts, plus nightly movies.
If you’re looking for a resort that has a better mix of comfort and amenities, I would recommend staying at:
- Disney’s Port Orleans – slightly more expensive, more elegant theming, more food options, and more for kids to do;
- a Disney Springs-area hotel like Wyndham Gardens Lake Buena Vista – very affordable, on-site character dining, and a 2 minute walk away from the food and entertainment of Disney Springs;
- or the (non-Disney owned) Swan and Dolphin hotel – slightly more expensive, on-site character dining, great pool, and 2 minute walk from Disney’s Boardwalk and 5 minute walk from Epcot
When staying at Disney’s All Star Movies Resort, you have two room options:
- Standard Room
- Preferred Room
The difference between the two is that the Preferred Rooms are a shorter walking distance to the resort’s amenities, like the Cinema Hall, Dining options, stores and bus stops. None of the rooms are in the same building as the resort lobby, food court or souvenir shop. Value resort rooms are the smallest at 260 sq ft, compared to 314 at the moderate hotels.
Like most Disney rooms, you can only have 4 people plus a crib in the rooms – but the low cost of the value resorts also makes it feasible for bigger families to get two adjoining rooms for more space.
There are also disabled-access rooms that follow Florida’s Accessibility Access codes available in every building, and two elevators in each of the 30 3-story motel-style buildings.
We went with a Standard Room in the “Love Bug” building, mostly for the extra $15 savings which we could put towards little splurges. I didn’t feel like our building was much further from amenities than the other buildings – they are all a bit of a trek. Being a bit further from the pools and main building does have the added perk of this building being the quietest on resort property.
As long as there are no lightning warnings, a cast member will help you to your room with your bags if that is a concern. If you are arriving via Express or hotel transfer, you may have to wait a bit for your luggage to be dispatched.
Aside from the Family Suites at Pop Century, all of Disney’s value resorts lack the in-room theming that the moderate and deluxe resorts are known for, however the resort itself has larger-than-life theming the minute you leave your room (literally).
The All Star Resorts have all been recently renovated to include space-saving “Murphy beds” and now all have in-room coffee makers and dorm-style mini fridges. The resort only has a few microwaves available on a first-come first-serve basis and in the food court.
I highly recommend booking your All Star Movies stay and Disney tickets through Undercover Tourist rather than directly through Disney. They are fully accredited by Disney and you will save way more money booking through them than booking directly withe Disney. The tickets also have a 90-day flexible return window, and you can book any rental cars or other entertainment in the Orlando area through them as well.
Dining at Disney’s All Star Movies Resort
All Star Movies has three dining options available to guests:
- World Premiere Food Court with 5 walk-up quick service counters offering breakfast, lunch and dinner options
- Silver Screens Spirits Pool Bar beside the Fantasia pool allows you to sit at the bar with your drink or take it to go. Wine, beer, mixed drinks and frozen cocktails.
- Late Night Pizza Delivery is available after 5pm
The World Premiere Food Court offers waffles, omelets, pancakes, croissant breakfast sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, cereal and a variety of pastries for breakfast.
Lunch and dinner options include steak and shrimp, salmon, BBQ pork ribs, chicken, cheeseburgers, pizza, salads, pasta and desserts. They also have an exclusive “secret menu” that you can request at the Roxy counter, including poutine, bacon mac and cheese dogs, and the famous cinnamon bun and candied bacon cheeseburger (served with coleslaw and fries). The process of ordering from the secret menu is super fun, involving a Secret Agent briefcase and a Viewmaster to view the menu options.
Meals typically range from $6-15. All of these food options can be purchased using the Disney Dining Plan, if you are using it, and can be ordered via their mobile ordering system on the MyDisneyExperience app to save time on line-ups.
When we checked in on our first night, the food court was already closed (I think it was around 10pm – though it’s supposed to be open until midnight) so we opted for the in-room pizza delivery. We ordered meatball subs, pizza and breadsticks, and everything was delicious. Pizzas were $15, two pizzas will cost you $40.50 after the 18% mandatory gratuity and $3 delivery fee.
Note that late-night pizza delivery can be suspended if there are lightning warnings, which occur often in the summer. Even if you’ve placed your order, if the weather changes, they won’t be delivering it until after they get the all-clear, so you may want to plan ahead and have some healthy snacks in the room to tide you over.
All-Star Movies is home to two pools: a Fantasia-themed pool with a Sorcerer Mickey spouting water, and a Mighty Ducks-themed “Duck Pond” pool which is the resort’s quiet pool (so splashing and loud games are discouraged). Again, a perk of the All-Star resorts is that you can pool hop at all three resorts (this is the only time you can pool hop to a different resort than what you are staying at).
None of the Value resort pools have water slides or hot tubs.
Beside both pools are self-serve laundry facilities which cost $7 for soap, washing and drying. I love this option for allowing us to travel lighter, and it’s super convenient for letting the kids have fun in the pool while you’re waiting. (I just have my daughter hop out when I have to switch over the laundry, etc.)
In the main building, you will find the food court, check-in counter, Movie theatre for nightly showings of Disney movies, an arcade (50cents to $2 a game) and Donald’s Double Feature Gift Shop which offers souvenirs, basic pharmacy items, and Disney-branded snacks. Like all Disney resorts, the lounge area always has Disney shows or movies playing to keep the kids happy while you deal with anything at the front desk or concierge.
There is a small playground and a 1 mile jogging trail. (No fitness center on the resort.)
Self-parking is $15/night at the time of this review. No valet parking is available.
Unique Experiences for the Kids at Disney’s All Star Movies Resort
All Disney resorts have a daily list of events and All-Star Movies is no exception!
Options include hula hoop contests, trivia contests, tie dying (at a cost), scavenger hunts, ring tosses, and crafts. There are also nightly movies (however, the theatre chairs are uncomfortable and I’d personally prefer to just watch a movie on the comfy beds in the room).
Proximity to Disney Parks and Disney Springs
None of Disney’s moderate or value resorts are close enough to the parks for guests to be able to walk. You will always need to use transportation, whether the free options provided by Disney, your own car, or a hired Uber/Lyft.
All-Star Movies is the last resort for pick-ups and drop-offs with Disney transportation, which can be frustrating if you’ve been waiting awhile and the bus is too full to accept all passengers. While the buses are supposed to arrive every 15 minutes, that’s never actually the case (at any Disney resort). If this is going to be frustrating for you, opting for alternative transportation may make your vacation easier.
In addition to the things previously mentioned (fewer entertainment options, less exciting pools and smaller rooms) there are a couple of things to consider when deciding if All-Star Movies resort is the right choice for your family’s vacation.
The dining options are lacking, which is fine if you’re planning on using a grocery service, delivery from local restaurants, or eating mostly at the parks, or if you have picky eaters who would be fine with the tamer options available at the food court. For us, we decided to travel to other Disney-owned resorts and Disney Springs to take advantage of the options available there.
The All-Star resorts can often be host to large groups due to the low cost of staying there, especially during events hosted by ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. You can check their calendar to try to prevent scheduling your stay to coincide with a large event, but that can be hit or miss. If you end up staying at the resort when it’s at high-capacity, the pool area can get rowdy and over-run and the motel-style lay-out of the hotel can mean lots of noise, even late into the evening. (This is by far the biggest complaint made about the resort in online review forums.)
Overall, I think if you’re planning to spend the majority of your vacation at the parks or Disney Springs, the low cost of staying at either an All-Star Resort or a Disney neighbour resort like Wyndham Garden (read our review here) outweigh the negatives, simply because you won’t have a lot of time to deal with the negatives – or, conversely, fully enjoy the perks of a more expensive moderate hotel.
Young kids especially will love the theming and will be too tired from their park days to really want to do more than splash in the pool or participate in the daily activities.
I hope this thorough review of Disney’s All Star Resort answered any questions you may have had about planning your family’s Disney vacation here. However, if I missed something – please let me know and I will do my best to answer!