Location: In the Animal Kingdom area. Address: 1701 W. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL. Phone: (407) 939-5000 Fax: (407) 939-7333. Resort Type: Value. Location: Animal Kingdom area.
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(CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR LARGER IMAGES)
All-Star Sports is located on one end of the three All-star Resorts that are side by side (the All-Star Movies Resort, and the All-Star Music are the other two). Located in the Animal Kingdom area of Disney World, If you’re able to walk some distances, you can access all three of these resorts on foot. Guests of any one of these value resorts can use the amenities at the others, so you get to enjoy all the pools, dining options and themes. There are photo opportunities everywhere, and those who enjoy picture taking are likely to enjoy the resort hopping.
All-Star Sports has the more affordable value level resort rates. Some people traveling to Disney assume they won’t be able to afford to stay on property, but these rates open up that option for many. So if don’t mind giving up luxury, and you want a clean place that oozes with flamboyant Disney drama and fun, think about All-Star Sports, or one of the other value resorts.
You can find the current Disney rates here on the Disney World site.
If you prefer more luxury or bigger accommodations, think about renting a Disney Vacation Club Villa. DVC re-rentals give you the possibility of Massive discounts – approximately half price, give or take. Check out my article called How to Save $$$ (Safely) on Disney Vacation Club Rentals.
Disney’s All-Star Movies, like all of the value resorts, is not only appealing to kids. Many adults love the fun atmosphere too. But even if the parents were wishing for something a bit more comfortable, kids tend to love the value resorts. Who could blame them? The theming is really delightful, and many people feel that the positives far outweigh the negatives. (See our advantages and disadvantages list below.)
If you’re looking for any sort of luxury, or if you prefer a quiet, peaceful getaway, these resorts are probably not for you. We would recommend that you choose from the Moderate or Deluxe resorts.
Number of guests per room (handicapped info included)
For all of the value resorts, the maximum number of guests allowed in the standard rooms is 4 people including children, plus an infant (a child below 3 years old) with a portable crib. The standard rooms will be tight if you have four adults or even two adults and two teens. Even families with two adults and two kids may find it challenging.
In All-Star Movies, the disabled access rooms that have only a king bed should reasonably fit only two adults. A crib may not fit comfortably in these rooms. This is because they may have enlarged bathrooms for wheelchair access and the extra space is taken out of the bedroom.
Tip: Do you need additional room? It can be cheaper to get two adjoining rooms in a value resort than to stay in a single deluxe resort room. Another option is a two bedroom Family Suite. These are found in two value resorts: All-Star Music Resort and Art of Animation. They allow 6 people plus an infant with a portable crib.
Theme at Disney’s All-Star Sports
All-Star Sports offers 1,920 rooms themed around sports (of course) with characters, icons and toys all around the public areas. This resort is heaven for sports lovers. Within the resort there are five different areas, each with their own theme. They include:
Touchdown! features the biggest, most giant footballs and helmets you can imagine, and the grounds are designed to look like a football field with goal posts. There’s also a megaphone made for a giant.
Take a tour of the entire All-Star Sports resort with this video, including a room.
Pluses and Minuses for All-Star Sports Resort
In addition to the very special Disney magic you’ll find in every single Disney World resort, here’s what’s really good about this resort:
- If you’re a sports fan, you’ll love the theme. You’ll really enjoy the larger than life jaw-dropping icons, something incredible to see everywhere you look, and that this place is a feast for the eyes.
- Low prices. Affordable for many!
- Its highly themed pools add another element of fun to your vacation.
- You can use the pools and amenities at the other All-Star value resorts.
- The food court is convenient and less expensive than a full-service restaurant.
- You get all the benefits of being in a Disney resort, such as Extra Magic Hours, room package delivery, transportation, etc.
Disadvantages at this resort:
- The rooms are REALLY small.
- If you’re trying to get an ECV or wheelchair in there, it’s extremely tight. See details below.
- Smaller beds (double beds instead of queen)
- There’s no zero entry pool here.
- You share buses with the other All-Star resorts (usually).
- Towels at the pools – You must bring your own from your room.
- No hot tubs in the pool areas in this resort.
- Value resort level luggage service is not as convenient as in the moderate and deluxe resorts.
- It can be noisy here at times.
- Some of the rooms are far from the main areas.
Yup, it’s not ideal, but it’s Disney. Personally I’d rather be in a Disney value resort than a much more high-end resort off-property. There’s that intangible “magic” that you hear about at the Disney resorts. It’s a real thing, and you won’t find it elsewhere. If a value resort fits within your budget, and the theme of this resort appeals to you, this may be a good choice for you.
All-Star Sports Resort’s Main Building
Stadium Hall houses the check-in area and lobby concierge facilities; End Zone food court; Sport Goofy Gifts & Sundries; and Game Point Arcade. In Stadium Hall you’ll see a lot of bright colors, caged lighting like you would see in a basketball gym, miniature red lockers and red, white and blue star-shaped chairs.
This is a hotel frequented by large groups of people (often teens) who tend to stick together creating a crowd wherever they go. Even without these groups, there’s often a hectic and busy feel to Stadium Hall.
Check-in at Disney’s All-Star Sports
Stadium Hall is where check-in takes place. There’s a children’s waiting area in site of the check-in area, with Disney movies playing. This resort does not have low counters at the check-in area for guests who are in wheelchairs and ECVs.
Buildings & Rooms in the All-Star Sports Resort
The buildings are three-stories high and very spread out. All rooms at these resorts have outside sidewalks with outdoor room entry. The buildings are multi-level, so there are wrap-around balcony-style walkways on the upper floors. There are two elevators in each building located next to each other in the center of the building, and there are outdoor staircases. There are ice, soda and snack machines located near the elevators.
The rooms are 260 square feet in size. Room decorations are sports themed according to the sport represented in section the room is found in. There are variations in the wall paper, pictures, light fixtures, bedspreads, shower curtains and more.
Most of the rooms have two double beds with one night table, a flat screen TV, and a table with two chairs. The night tables are higher than the beds, and we’ve heard of people hitting their heads as they slept.
Handicapped rooms: There are a limited number of accessible rooms with one king bed. Most of these rooms do not have a bathtub, but an accessible shower. The accessible rooms are actually all connecting rooms as well.
All of the All-Star Sports Rooms Have:
All rooms have air conditioning, hairdryers, radio alarm clocks, and an iron and ironing board, complimentary wi-fi Internet, a mini-refrigerator, cable TV including the Disney Channel and ESPN, telephone with voice mail and data port.
There are in-room safes in all of the rooms, but they’re quite small. They’re great for things like for keys, money and papers. We’ve been able to squeeze two iPads in the safe, but laptop computers won’t fit.
Except for the suites in the Art of Animation resort, these rooms do not have coffee makers.
Here’s a tour of an All-Star Sports Room:
Available Upon Request (Including handicapped options)
Rooms accessible to guests with disabilities; hearing-impaired TDD telephones, bed shaker accessory, visual smoke alarms, wake up alarms and door knocks; bed boards and bed rails; refrigerators (extra charge, but included in the suites and free if you need it for medical purposes); Sharp containers for used syringes; connecting rooms (not guaranteed) unless you have children staying alone in the separate room (be sure to confirm this when you make your reservation). Guests can also request cribs, and a Pack ‘n Play at no extra charge.
All Value resorts have: ATM machines, daily maid service.
Room Location Tips for the All-Star Sports Resort
Tip: Looking for a room close to the action? The Surf’s Up! buildings are considered preferred locations because of their proximity to Stadium Hall and the main pool, and you’ll be charged an additional fee. You must request this at the time you make your reservation. Here are some proximity tips.
- To be closest to the main building, food court and main pool, request a room in Surf’s Up! (buildings 1 and 6).
- Next best might be Touchdown! (buildings 7 and 10), and since it’s not considered preferred, there’s no extra fee. Request a section closest to Stadium Hall. If you want to stay close to the main areas, but you prefer quiet, request to be placed in those buildings, but as far away from the pool areas as possible. This may mean you’ll have to walk a bit more.
Tip: If you’re looking for quiet, and walking is not an issue, the farther buildings may be a good choice. Keep in mind that you’ll have a long walk to the main common areas and bus stop. For a closer location that may be relatively quiet, you may wish to request the back sections of either the Hoops Hotel or Center Court buildings.
Available views have you facing a parking lot, woods, courtyard, or pool. You may want to stay away from a Pool view, which can be very noisy and crowded until late at night. Remember that there’s no guarantee of quiet with almost any hotel room, and this is even truer of the value resorts.
Staying with wheelchairs and ECVs in All-Star Sports
If you’ve ordered an ECV or wheelchair from a non-Disney company that is on Disney’s Featured Provider list, they’ll leave it with the luggage area. When you arrive at the resort, you can approach the Luggage Assistance area and request your chair. They should bring it right to you. You’ll have it for check-in so you won’t have to stand as you wait in the line. You’ll leave your chair with a cast member in the luggage area when you depart.
As with all of Disney, accessible rooms are not usually any larger than standard rooms. With the combination of small rooms and outdoor entry, wheelchair and ECV users may find these resorts challenging. While you should be able to ride your wheelchair inside your room to store it, it will be very tight and may require some maneuvering. This leaves little room for storing luggage. You can leave your chair outside of your room, but it may be exposed to sideways rain. To create as much room as possible, some people prefer to stack their luggage or unpack and store the luggage as out of the way as possible. If you need to stay in your chair I would suggest a resort with larger rooms such as the Polynesian, or a larger suite in one of the deluxe resorts. Even a room in one of the Moderate resorts would be easier.
There is no smoking in any of the Disney-owned hotel rooms, including patios and balconies. If a guest smokes in a room anyway, Disney maintains the right to charge a penalty because they’ll need to specially clean the room. There are pre-designated outdoor areas around the resort where smoking is permitted. The resort map that you’re given when you check in should have the areas marked, or ask a cast member when you check in.
Restaurant & Dining options in the All-Star Sports Resort
This resort does not have a full service restaurant. The End Zone food court is located in Stadium Hall. The food service area is not as heavily themed as some of the other value resorts including Pop Century and All-Star Movies.
It can get extremely crowded here, especially during peak seasons. Breakfast can be mobbed, while lunch is much more manageable with many guests off at the parks. To avoid crowds, you may wish to eat at off-times, and there’s some outside seating that may be a bit quieter. Though the quality may not be outstanding, most will find it adequate. You can even pick up some basic groceries.
Room service is pizza delivery to guestrooms from 5 pm through midnight.
All-Star Sports Resort Pools
The value resorts do not provide towels for guests at the pool. You’ll have to bring your own towels from your room. At the moderate and deluxe resorts, you’re provided with unlimited towels at the main pool. For most people this is a minor inconvenience; however carrying towels may be challenging for those with extra challenges such as back issues or weakness. If this is important to you, choose a moderate or deluxe resort, if possible. While at a value resort, if you need extra towels, you can request them from housekeeping.
There’s no zero entry pool at this resort. They do have transfer tiers which allow a person in a wheelchair to self-transfer to the top and to then slide down steps into the water. There are also wheelchair lifts. There is no hot tub here.
There are two larger sized pools and one kiddie pool. The larger pools have approximate depth of to 3 to 5 feet. The main pool is themed around the ocean and surfing. It’s called Surfboard Pool, and it’s located just outside Stadium Hall. The small kiddie pool is in the Surfboard Bay pool area.
The other pool is located between the Home Run Hotel and Touchdown! areas and it’s called the Grand Slam Pool. Shaped like a baseball diamond, it’s much smaller than the Surfboard Bay pool and it’s themed with baseball icons. There’s even a backstop behind home plate, stadium with a scoreboard, and the largest coke cup you’ve ever seen. It tends to be less crowded than the main pool. There’s not much shade at any of these pools. There are a few umbrellas for the lounge chairs at the Surfboard Bay pool. Each pool has a locker room with bathrooms, showers and lockers.
Transportation at the All-Star Sports Resort
The bus depot is outside of Stadium Hall. Buses are the only form of transportation available from this resort. They go to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney. The buses come more frequently than at some of the other resorts to handle the demand. We hear that 5-10 minutes is an average wait, but it can be as much as 45 minutes or more.
The buses here may stop at the other All-Star resorts, though at times there may be dedicated buses for this resort. Usually the buses will come to All-Star sports first, and then will go on to the two other All-Star resorts before heading on to their destinations. Once you’re on the bus, you’ll have to stop at the other two resorts for pick-ups before heading out to your destination. On the positive side, you’ll be the first stop coming home.
With only one bus stop located in front of the Stadium Hall area, the crowds can be large. The buses are often sardine packed, with many guests having to stand for the full ride. It’s especially crowded riding to a park opening or from a park closing. If you plan on using the Disney transportation and any of this sounds difficult or unappealing, you may need to consider a different resort or a rental car.
There’s a cover over the bus stop area, but not over the queue line areas. Even under the awning a hard or sideways rain will get guests wet. There are some benches in the waiting area, but if the area is crowded most people will have to stand.
Entertainment at the All-Star Sports Resort
There’s a full arcade called Game Point Arcade in Stadium Hall which is accessible. There’s a wide variety of play areas throughout this resort where children can blow off some steam. For example there’s the X’s and O’s on the football field in the Touchdown! area that kids can climb on. You’ll even find a little playground with the expected equipment such as a slide.
There’s a Coin Laundromat at each pool location with top loading washing machines and stacked side loading dryers.
Noise and crowds at the All-Star Sports Resort
Please note that the value resorts are highly favored by families with young children, and perhaps more importantly, teenage tour groups from around the world. This can include kids from sports teams, dance competitions and cheerleader groups, as well as those on school trips.
Have you ever been on a class trip? If so, then you know first-hand that kids can get really carried away. Although they’ll be chaperoned, guests frequently report that the teens are not “reigned in”. This means that the noise and activity level can often be significantly higher at the value resorts than at other type of resort. We often hear about groups of kids “taking over” some area of their value resort. For example, one guest commented:
“My 5 year old son and I were in the pool when it was invaded by a group of teenage boys. I had guys cannon balling and jumping over us, even though we were in the shallow end. They were throwing a football around very close to us. I felt it was not safe. At the very least it wasn’t fun any more. They were loud and rowdy, and we finally just gave up and left. The staff didn’t seem to want to do anything about it”
In addition to the parties these kids will often have, you may have dance teams or cheerleaders rehearsing outside the rooms at early or late hours. They can also get on the resort’s Disney buses all at once, which can pose challenges. Here are some tips for minimizing the noise factor while at a value resort:
- When you make your resort reservation you can request that you be put as far from any of these teen or school groups as possible. They will do there best but there’s no guarantee.
- Request a room that does not face the main pool, or even a quiet pool. Request a room facing the water at the Pop Century, or the woods at any of the resorts. Even the parking lot views tend to be less noisy. Again, there’s no guarantee.
- Request a top floor room. It will reduce foot traffic going by your door. Also groups sometimes tend to congregate around the first floor rooms in these resorts, so you may be able to avoid some the congregating groups by being on the top floor.
- Sound proofing between rooms is not particularly good in the value resorts. It may be worse in the connecting rooms. Bring a white noise machine or fan along if you know you’re sensitive to this. There are a variety of ear plugs you can get at any pharmacy.
- The toilets and showers are noisy, and you can hear the noise from rooms above or below in the bathroom. It can help to close the bathroom door when you go to bed.
Luggage Delivery at the All-Star Sports Resort
Overall, we’ve found that we receive a much lower level of service and assistance at check-in at the value resorts than at the moderate or deluxe level resorts. For example, although you can leave your luggage with Luggage Assistance at the front entrance (notice it’s not called bell service because it’s not considered the same type of service), it can take around an hour or more after check-in for your luggage to be delivered to your room. If you think you’ll need to access anything in your luggage once you get into your room, you may wish to pack a small bag that you keep with you. If you need your luggage quickly, you may wish to take it to your room yourself. You should be able to use one of their luggage carts, but they require that you have a credit card on file to do so.
On one of our visits to a value resort, there was a thunder storm that was going to last throughout the day. We were told that they don’t deliver luggage if there’s thunder and lightning regardless of how long it lasted. They said that the luggage would be delivered once the thunderstorm stopped, whenever that would be, or we could take our own luggage if we wanted it in our room that evening. We’ve been told that this is the policy at all of the Disney resorts with outdoor room entry. This was not our experience. We’ve checked in to a moderate resort with outside room access while there was a thunderstorm, and our luggage was delivered right away. We speculate that this is more of a value resort thing. Of course it’s not an issue at the resorts that have interior hallways as you’ll find in some of the deluxe resorts.
At check out, luggage services is also less convenient at the value level resorts. When checking out, expect to wait some time before they come to get your luggage. They require 24 hour’s notice. What may be even more challenging for guests with health issues is that they don’t guarantee availability of luggage service if you call the day you’re leaving. They request that you call the night before you’re leaving to make arrangements if you wish to be certain that you’ll have your luggage handled for you. If you’re not leaving right away, they can store your luggage for you.
After you check in, you’ll need to either drive your own car or walk to your room. There is no internal transportation service. Several of the moderate resorts will ride you in a golf-type cart along with your luggage, and the Caribbean Resort has its own internal bus system. The value resorts don’t offer this.
Do you have more tips or thoughts on this resort?
Please feel free to post them in a comment below. We’d love your input.
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