Best Disney World Value Hotels- All Value Walt Disney World Resort Hotels Ranked!
Walt Disney World value hotels are considered the most affordable hotels out of the three categories which includes value, moderate, and deluxe. In this guide I will rank all these hotels including the best Disney World value hotels so you can decide which is the best for your vacation.
Just because Walt Disney World calls these resorts value options or because they are the most affordable compared to the other resort hotels doesn’t mean these hotels aren’t nice! They are still considerably nicer than some other hotel options you could find off-property although some guests prefer looking off-property for their Walt Disney World hotel selections.
Keep reading to see which resort hotel is top of the list for the best Disney World value hotels along with my breakdown on which value resort has the best transportation, dining, amenities, and rooms.
What Amenities Do Value Resorts Have?
All guests staying at the Walt Disney World resort hotels have access to Early Theme Park Entry which allows resort guests an extra 30 minutes in the theme park before other guests arrive. Early Theme Park Entry is available to all resort guests every single day at every theme park including guests staying at the value hotels.
Another resort perk for guests is early access to Lightning Lane reservations and purchases using Genie+. Walt Disney World resort guests all have access to making their individual Lighting Lane purchases and reserving their first Genie+ reservation at 7AM each day. This gives resort guests a big advantage over off-site guests.
As for specific best Disney World value resort amenities, value resorts will have the least in comparison to the moderate and deluxe hotel categories. Value hotels do not have hot tubs, water slides or table service (sit down) restaurants. All of the Walt Disney World value resorts are motel style with access to the hotel rooms facing outside. The rooms are in separate buildings with a main building housing the check-in desk, quick service dining, resort gift shop, arcade, etc.
However, the best Disney World value hotels have a lot to offer despite the options they lack in comparison to their more expensive counterparts. In fact, the feature pool (also known as the hotel main pool) at Art of Animation is the largest pool on the entire Walt Disney World property. Kids will love these themed pools as often the icons decorating the resort will be incorporated into the pools with statues of Mickey Mouse or Finding Nemo characters spraying water into the pool area. Adults might groan at the lack of a hot tub (my personal biggest ‘con’ with value resorts!) but it’s also nice to have such large pool areas that you rarely find yourself fighting to find a pool chair which can be an issue at some of the deluxe resorts.
How Much do Value Resorts Cost?
The Walt Disney World value hotel resorts are the most affordable out of the three categories. The average cost of a value resort starts around $180 per night and can go up to $270 per night, depending on the seasonal Walt Disney World hotel discounts (click to see all current discounts) you take advantage of. Read our analysis of the best Disney World discounts here.
However, the price per night goes up when you look at the Art of Animation family suites which are sometimes compared to the moderate level range for Walt Disney World resorts. Average price for these family suites go for around $547 per night for one of those suites before any seasonal discounts.
Keep in mind that Walt Disney World usually offers a seasonal discount year round that can at times save you up to 25% off your stay depending on which resort and room type you select.
The cheapest value resort at Walt Disney World is All-Star Sports which is consistently the lowest priced option per night even when compared to the other two All-Star resorts. The most expensive value option is easily Art of Animation for both the family suites and their standard rooms which is the most expensive even when compared to Pop Century. Art of Animation’s standard rooms are also frequently excluded from seasonal discounts making their family suites the best value for your money even if they are more pricey than a standard room.
For guests looking for the most affordable value price for family suites, that winner will go to All-Star Music which is the only other value resort to offer family suites. However these are much smaller and lower quality than those at Art of Animation.
Walt Disney World Value Resort Transportation
Walt Disney World’s value resorts are somewhat limited in terms of transportation options which results in many guests thinking the transportation availability isn’t the best. This isn’t true! Transportation has greatly improved at Walt Disney World the past few years especially as they increased hiring for bus drivers. While your options may be limited to solely bus and Skyliner transportation depending on your resort, you can still see how efficiently you can get from point A to B depending on your route.
The three All-Star resorts offer bus transportation that is shared between these three resorts which are all located right near each other. Typically, the buses arrive first to All-Star Sports, then All-Star Music, and lastly to All-Star Movies when picking guests up to head to the theme parks. Because of this order, there have been some complaints for guests staying at All-Star Movies that they might not fit on the bus after it does the first two stops in the morning and they need to wait for another one. Luckily, in my experience with Walt Disney World bus transportation it tends to be extremely efficient lately at peak times of the day which include that morning rope drop rush and the end of the day. It’s likely that a new bus will pull up immediately to get guests if the first bus fills up. But regardless, sharing a bus line with multiple resorts can be a hassle as it makes for more frequent stops as you’re heading to your destination.
For Art of Animation and Pop Century, these two resorts have their own dedicated bus service which drastically increases the efficiency of bus transportation for these options. There will be no additional stops and buses will pick up and head straight to the parks and vice versa. These two resorts also have the option of Skyliner transportation which is a game changer in terms of convenience. In comparison, only one of the moderate level resorts has access to the Skyliner which is an incredibly quick method of transportation to both Disney’s EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Even in the morning when the lines can be long, they move easily and quickly, getting guests to these theme parks sooner than the bus transportation at times. The only downside with the Skyliner option is the potential for weather related closures as the Skyliner will close during rain storms leaving guests with bus transportation as the sole option. This happens more often in the afternoons when those Florida rain storms tend to move in.
Out of all the best Disney World value resorts, Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century both come in at the top when it comes to transportation convenience at Walt Disney World due to their own exclusive bus line and Skyliner option.
Best Disney World Value Hotel Atmosphere
You can expect larger than life theming at all the best Disney World value hotels. The theming style at these resorts can be pretty hit or miss with guests. Some guests find these large icon statues at the resorts to be tacky while others find them fun especially for families with kids looking for that ‘Wow!’ impact when arriving at the resort.
You can definitely make the argument that many of the value hotels feel the most “Disney” in comparison to some of the moderate and deluxe hotels which model more of an aesthetic atmosphere in some cases rather than one catered to theme park themes. It all comes down to your personal taste and what atmosphere you want from your Walt Disney World resort. Even if the loud theming at the value resorts isn’t your preference, the refurbished rooms at All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, and Pop Century all offer a modern aesthetic that’s not quite as busy as some of the other rooms like you might see in the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation. But for guests that want big themes, the busier, the louder, the better… then you will absolutely adore the rooms at Art of Animation that are themed down to every small movie detail.
You will see a large presence of families at the value resorts due to their more cost effective nature and these big Disney themes. Depending on your group, this can be a pro or con. During our stay at Pop Century, my son was ecstatic to be at a pool filled with so many other kids his age that he easily found kids to swim with which is a bonus for him as an only child. Guests traveling without kids may prefer a moderate or deluxe hotel with better dining options and more options for quiet pools to relax away from the larger groups of families. Another consideration is the value resorts are often the category of choice for traveling youth or athletic groups but usually these groups tend to stick with All-Star Sports if they’re an athletic team.
Another bonus for value resorts when it comes to atmosphere is you will never run into the issue of passerby guests visiting the resort to enjoy dining (since you can only find quick service dining here!) or holiday decorations. For the deluxe resorts, the lobbies can become extremely crowded around the holidays as many guests come to see decorations or enjoy on-site dining. I remember thinking how inconvenient that would be as a hotel guest during our visit to the Grand Floridian lobby during Christmas as it was so packed with people there wasn’t one spot to sit down. Sometimes having less to see can be a perk if you want to avoid crowds in your resort… especially after a long day at the parks.
Now let’s get down to it, keep reading for my ranking of best Disney World value resorts from least favorite to best!
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5. Disney’s All-Star Sports
Disney’s All Star Sports hotel is themed around the world of competitive sports like baseball, basketball, football, surfing, and tennis. The resort is decorated with larger than life football helmets, tennis rackets, Disney characters playing sports, and more. This hotel is a great choice for families that are big sports fans.
The main pool for All Star Sports is the Grand Slam Pool which is shaped like a large baseball diamond and features a Goofy fountain that squirts water into the pool.
The most positive aspect of this resort is that its always the cheapest out of all the best Disney World value resorts. In fact, this easily the cheapest hotel option at Walt Disney World. So if you’re not picky on your hotel and are just looking for a place to sleep, All Star Sports is a great choice for the best budget option.
The biggest downside of this resort, and why I easily rank it as last on this list, is its rooms are easily some of the most outdated out of the value resorts. This resort is in dire need of a room refurbishment. All the value resorts have been refurbished over the past couple years but All-Star Sports is still on the refurb to do list. Once these rooms receive their refurbishment their value will notably increase. But in the meantime, these older rooms bring this resort to the bottom of my list.
Another reason I rank All-Star Sports as last on my list for best Disney World value hotels as this is a popular resort for youth sports teams and groups to stay at which can make for some noisy neighbors and interactions at the hotel. And it makes sense why this resort is a top choice for cheer meets and sports teams- the theme and price can’t be beat for those purposes! And that’s not to say that youth athletic teams should be avoided but you will notice an increase of overall crowds and potential noise at your resort if you’re staying at the same time as a team sport group.
One thing that All-Star Sports has going for it is that most often (this is not guaranteed) this will be the first resort the bus stops at when picking up guests to head to the parks. All three All-Star resorts share a bus line and small advantages like this matter as you will be the first hotel to get on the bus avoiding the risk of the bus filling up and having to wait for a second. This can also be a con though when returning as your resort will always be the last stop which can get tedious if you’re anxious to get back to your hotel room.
4. Disney’s All-Star Music
Disney’s All-Star Music is a bit of a step up in theming from All-Star Sports as the theme of music just naturally fits in more with Disney films. The hotel celebrates some of the most popular music genres like country, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, calypso, and Broadway-style show tunes. Like the theming of the All-Star resorts, you will find large sized musical icons around the resort.
The main pool at All-Star Music is shaped like a guitar and features a fountain of Three Caballeros—Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito—which sprays water into the pool. And of course, a kiddie pool is also available. A secondary pool, called the Piano Pool, is shaped like a piano and features a pool deck of black and white keys.
The biggest advantage this resort has over the other All-Star resorts is this is the only one that offers family suites which can fit groups up to six. These suites include one queen bed and two queen-size pull down beds.
While the theming of the All-Star Music is detailed, in that same larger than life style all the value resorts have, the music theme feels decidedly less Disney focused than some of the other choices. If you are going to pick a value resort based on theme alone then this would easily push All-Star Music down the list. Other than theme, there’s not much difference with this resort when compared with All-Star Movies aside from the option of family suites. So one could say those two resorts balance each other out a bit when ranking against each other. It comes down to what a guest is prioritizing: affordable family suites or a theme that leans more heavily into Disney films?
In terms of bus transportation, All-Star Music is the second stop on the All-Star bus line giving it a bit of advantage over All-Star Movies. This also means when you return to your resort, your hotel will only be the second stop along the way for these three resorts.
3. Disney’s All-Star Movies
Disney’s All-Star Movies ranks my favorite out of the three all star resorts based on theming alone! Since all three value resorts are so similar, with the exception of All-Star Sports with its older rooms, these three hotels don’t have large differences aside from theme. Disney’s All-Star Movies feels the most distinctive Disney out of all the themes since the resort pays homage strictly to Disney films.
Some of the Disney films featured at these resorts include 101 Dalmatians, Toy Story, The Mighty Ducks, and Fantasia. While the emphasis on Disney films give this resort that distinct Disney feel, you also have a resort that is themed after the Disney films of the older generations that some kids of today’s world may not have as close connections with. But all kids will recognize Mickey Mouse and the Toy Story characters!
The pool is themed after Fantasia with Sorcerer Mickey featured predominantly in this main pool. The second pool is themed after The Mighty Ducks with a hockey rink theme and featuring icons from the film. For kids that haven’t seen The Mighty Ducks (blasphemy!) this theme of the second pool could fall flat a bit.
Like Disney’s All-Star Music, the refurbished rooms at Disney’s All-Star Movies have greatly improved the value of this resort by freshening up the previously outdated rooms and offering a better guest experience. This hotel is the most popular out of the three value resorts simply due to the movie theming and you will see this resort sell out faster than the others when promotions are offered.
The biggest drawback when it comes to transportation for All-Star Movies is that it’s the last stop on the bus line when picking up guests to head up the theme parks. If the buses fill up at the first two resorts, then you will have to wait for the next bus to arrive to board which can be a disadvantage if you end up waiting a long time for transportation. However, Disney bus transportation is actually quite efficient especially at the beginning and end of the day and it’s likely a new bus will pull up shortly if there’s not enough space on the first.
2. Disney’s Art of Animation
Disney’s Art of Animation resort is the newest value resort and is often ranked alongside moderate hotels despite its value category due to the large, themed family suites it offers. The theming of Art of Animation is all focused on animation but with a much more recent edge than we see over at Disney’s All-Star Movies.
The hotel rooms are split into four theme categories: The Little Mermaid, Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King. This hotel offers mainly large family suites and the only standard rooms offered are in The Little Mermaid category. This is one of the drawbacks when it comes to theming for standard rooms. The Little Mermaid building is also the furthest away from the main building and transportation which is often brought up as a significant drawback for those standard rooms.
But it’s the Art of Animation family suites that really shine at this resort. The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo family suites include a separate bedroom with one queen sized bed, a convertible double size table bed, a sleeper sofa plus a living room, two bathrooms and kitchenette. These suites are perfect for families looking for more space and ways to be more budget conscious by taking advantage of the kitchenette to make meals as opposed to eating in the parks. The Disney Cars theme is easily the most popular out of these three suite themes and you will often see a small but measurably difference in price due to this.
Disney’s Art of Animation also offers one of the best food courts amongst all the value resorts with the greatest variety and selection of options. Disney’s Art of Animation has the largest pool out of all the Walt Disney World resorts (not just the value ones!) which offers plenty of space to account for the number of family suites at this resort. Disney’s Art of Animation shares a Skyliner station with the Pop Century resort which is another reason why it ranks high on my list of best Disney World value resorts. In comparison, all the Disney All-Star resorts only offer bus transportation.
Art of Animation’s biggest flaw is the limited theming for standard rooms by only offering a The Little Mermaid theme which may not appeal to all families. Plus the standard rooms being located so far from the transportation and dining options are a common compliant for these rooms. Standard rooms are also frequently excluded from hotel promotions which can be frustrating for guests that want to take advantage of those discounts. However, if you are opting for a family suite you can get the best value for your price at this resort due to the size of the rooms along with the amenities offered at Art of Animation.
1. Disney’s Pop Century
Disney’s Pop Century resort comes in at my number one spot for all the best Disney World value hotels. There are a few reasons I rank this hotel so highly from price, size, theming, and transportation. Disney’s Pop Century is themed from pop culture trends and icons from the 1950s through the 1990s. The resort is covered in larger than life icons of yo-yos, Play-Doh, Rubik’s Cubes, among other iconic images including a tribute to the Jungle Book.
The rooms at Disney’s Pop Century have also been refurbished in the same style as Disney’s All-Star Music and All-Star Movies with the queen sized bed and pull down queen sized table bed. The feature pool at Pop Century is called the Hippy Dippy Pool and is in the shape of a flower. This value resort is small in size which is actually a great perk because there’s no real pressure to opt for a preferred room since you will easily be within walking distance to transportation, the feature pool, and dining options.
This resort shares the Skyliner station with Disney’s Art of Animation plus that hotel is easily walkable if you want to take advantage of their quick-service food options as well. Both Art of Animation and Pop Century have their own dedicated bus transportation which easily puts both these resorts at the top of list in transportation alone when compared to the All-Star resorts.
This resort is a fan favorite amongst Walt Disney World fans and for this reason it’s often included in the lowest tier of discounts when it comes to Walt Disney World hotel promotions. However, standard rooms at Pop Century still come out cheaper than the standard Little Mermaid rooms offered at the Art of Animation resort which are priced at a higher rate and are often completely excluded from hotel discounts.
So what makes Disney’s Pop Century worthy of the number one spot of best Disney World value hotels? The Skyliner option for transportation is a big win in this category as one of only two of the value resorts to offer the Skyliner. This gives guests the option of bus or Skyliner making the transportation at Walt Disney World much more convenient.
But what sets it apart from the Art of Animation is the availability of standard sized rooms and the smaller size of the resort itself. After walking a long day at Walt Disney World, the walk back to your hotel room at the end of the day can become a burden especially if you’re traveling with kids. At the Pop Century resort you’re usually within close walking distance regardless of where your room is. And if you want to opt for even more convenience, a preferred room at this resort will literally get you a spot right next to the pool or main building. For all these reasons, plus the cute nostalgic theming offered at Pop Century, this is my top pick for best Disney World value resorts. You can read more about why I love this resort in my Disney Pop Century Resort hotel review. In fact, I would rather stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort than any of the moderate options due to the convenience of size and transportation alone!
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