In-Depth Info for Everyone!
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Location: In the Animal Kingdom area. Address: 1801 W. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL. Phone: (407) 939-6000 Fax: (407) 939-7222. Resort Type: Value. Location: Animal Kingdom area. Parking fee: $15 per night. Check-in: 3 PM. Check-out: 11 AM. Resort Type: Value.
Disney’s All-Star Music Overview
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(Click on photos to see larger images)
Located between the All-star Movie Resort and the All-Star Sports Resort, All-Star Music offers 1,920 rooms, themed around music (of course). The three All-Star resorts are side by side in the Animal Kingdom area of Disney World, and 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.
As with all of the Disney value resorts, All-Star music offers the lower level of Disney resort rates. This allows many people to stay right on Disney property who never thought they could. So if you’re looking for an affordable place to stay, you don’t mind forgoing luxury, and you want a clean place that oozes with flamboyant Disney drama and fun, you may want to consider this resort, or one of the other value resorts.
If you’re looking for more luxury and/or more space, you may want to consider renting a Disney Vacation Club Villa. There are HUGE discounts available through DVC rentals. You can get a Disney Deluxe Resort Villa at somewhere around half price, give or take. Check out my article called How to Save $$$ (Safely) on Disney Vacation Club Rentals.
Disney’s All-Star Music, 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, except for the Family Suites, 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 Family Suites allow 6 people plus an infant 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.
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: Looking for more room? It may actually be less expensive to get two adjoining rooms in a value resort than to stay in a single deluxe resort room. Another option for obtaining more space is the two bedroom Family Suites offered at the All-Star Music Resort and the Art of Animation Resort.
Theme at Disney’s All-Star Music
The themes in this resort are presented in a much larger-than-life cartoon motif. The most dramatic element of the exterior décor is the impressive, giant statues representing the various music themes. They’re actually so massive that you may have a jaw-dropping moment when you first see them.
Each section of rooms reflects a particular style of music. They include:
- Rock ‘n’ Roll
The public areas are themed with characters, icons and toys related to music. Check out the video below to see all of the areas. (CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR LARGER IMAGES)
You’ll see musical notes everywhere.
The country section has 3 story cowboy boots, and instruments including a banjo and violin. Jazz has a huge drum set and trumpet, Saxophones and clarinets, and silhouettes of musicians lining the roof line.
Advantages and disadvantages of All-Star Music:
In addition to the Disney magic you can expect in every single Disney World resort, here’s what’s really good about this resort:
- If you’re a big music fan, you’ll love the theme. Add in the larger than life jaw-dropping icons, something fantastical to see everywhere you look, and varied music playing around the resort, this place is a feast for the eyes and the ears.
- Low prices compared to the moderate and deluxe Disney resorts. As a value resort, the price is right.
- Family Suites are found here.
- 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.
- 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.
Let’s face it. It’s not perfect, but it’s Disney. Many people would rather stay at a Disney value resort than a much more deluxe resort somewhere else. There’s that intangible “magic” that everyone talks about at the Disney resorts. It’s real and you can’t experience it anywhere else. If a value resort fits within your budget, and the theme of this resort appeals to you, this may be a good fit for you.
Take a tour of the resort and resort rooms with this video:
All-Star Music Resort’s Main Building
Melody Hall houses the check-in area and lobby concierge facilities; Intermission Food Court; Maestro Mickey’s retail store; and Note’able Games arcade. This is a hotel frequented by large groups of people (often teens) who tend to stick together creating a crowd wherever they go, so Melody Hall can feel crowded at times. Even without these groups, there’s often a hectic and busy feel to Melody Hall.
Melody Hall: All-Star Music Resort’s Check-in Location
Melody Hall is where check-in takes place. There’s a children’s waiting area with Disney movies playing within viewing distance of the check-in counters. 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 Music Resort
The buildings are three-stories high and very spread out. The building structures themselves are simple in comparison to the moderate and deluxe resorts. They’re reminiscent of some of the chain motels with a kind of boxy feel, but with many more building wings than you’ll see in a typical chain. While the hotel buildings themselves lack character, the outdoors are nicely landscaped and the decorations are amazing and really fun.
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 elevators in each building 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 resort theme is subtly displayed in the room decorations. There are musical instrument borders and musical notes on the curtains. Only standard room views are available here, and they consist of a view of a parking lot, the central courtyard or the landscaped areas in between buildings.
Room Location Tips for the All-Star Music Resort
Tip: Looking for a room close to the action? The two calypso buildings are considered preferred locations because of their proximity to Melody Hall, 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 one of the Calypso buildings in a section closest to Melody Hall.
- A second choice would be some of the rooms in the Jazz Inn, but it’s significantly farther from Melody Hall than the Calypso buildings.
Tip: If you’re looking for quiet and walking is not an issue, the farther buildings may be a good choice. Both Country Fair buildings, Rock Inn #4 and Broadway Hotel #7 are the farthest away with approximately a 10 minute walk to Melody Hall. Available views have you facing a parking lot, courtyard or pool. There are a small number of rooms that face a wooded area, which would be a good choice if you’re looking for quiet. 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.
All of the All-Star Music 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.
Types of rooms at the All-Star Music Resort:
There are two types of accommodations here. They are Standard rooms and the newer Family Suites.
Standard rooms are 260 square feet, and allow for a maximum of 4 people plus a child under the age of three in a crib. Rooms have two double beds and there are a limited number of accessible rooms with one king bed.
There’s one nightstand in the rooms with double beds, and two in the king bed rooms with one on each side of the bed. The accessible rooms are all connecting rooms as well.
King bed room
In addition to the items mentioned above, rooms have a table and two chairs, a flat screen color television.
Each room has a vanity area with a single sink and an open closet with a shelf, a separate bathroom with a bathtub/shower.
Family Suites are the one thing that makes this resort unique among the value resorts. They were added to the Jazz and Calypso buildings in 2006. They consist of 2 standard rooms combined into one suite. With 520-square feet of space, they sleep six, and they’re the least expensive suites on Disney property. There are two bedrooms (one acts as a sitting room during the day), two full baths and a kitchenette with a microwave, small under the counter refrigerator, sink and coffeemaker. The suites also include an iron and ironing board, and upgraded amenities like two 27″ flat screen TVs.
Something that may not be appealing to everyone is the beds. The master bedroom has a queen bed, which is fine. Then there’s a sofa which has a pullout double bed, and a convertible chair with ottoman that becomes two single beds. Personally I’ve never found a pull out or convertible bed of any kind to be that comfortable. We find that many people consider them to be reasonably comfortable for convertibles. Those with back issues will want to avoid these beds. Regardless, a suite may still be appealing if you need the extra room, kitchenette, and some privacy in the separate bedroom.
One TV is in the master bedroom and the other is in the sitting room. The room with the queen bed has an armoire that the TV sits on, a small desk and chair with a mirror, a stuffed fabric chair and night tables. The other room has a couch and chair, a small table with two chairs, along with the kitchenette. There’s some cabinet storage space in the kitchenette.
Both bathrooms have a full vanity and sink with separate bathrooms. Handicapped-accessible rooms also are available. As we mentioned, Family Suites allow a maximum of 6 people plus a child under the age of three in a crib. However with the size of the beds we feel it would only be comfortable for 6 if there were at least two small children. Otherwise it would be more practical for 5 people and a baby.
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.
Staying with wheelchairs and ECVs in All-Star Music
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.
Smoking is banned in all Disney-owned hotel rooms. Even patios and balconies are non-smoking areas. Of course it’s always possible that another guest could smoke in a room anyway, but Disney reserves the right to charge a penalty since they’ll need to specially clean the room. This usually discourages people from smoking inside their rooms. There are pre-designated outdoors 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.
If you’re staying on Disney property but in a non-Disney run hotel, check with the hotel for their smoking policies.
Restaurant & Dining options in the All-Star Music Resort
This resort does not have a full service restaurant, but it does have have a good-sized food court serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The Intermission Food Court is located in Melody Hall. Room service is pizza delivery to guestrooms from 4 pm through midnight. Singing Spirits is a pool bar located by the Guitar Pool. There are drinks and a limited selection of food and snack items. The resort is also a very short drive to a McDonalds restaurant.
There’s only one store is called Maestro Mickey’s in Melody Hall which carries all of the standard items such as Disney goods, snack foods, drinks, toiletries, and over-the-counter medications such as aspirin.
There is 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 lifeguards at the two larger pools every day, and pool hours change depending on the season and weather.
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 are two larger sized heated pools and one kiddie pool. The larger pools have an approximate depth of 3 to 5 feet. The Guitar Pool is the main pool for this resort, and not surprisingly it’s in the shape of a guitar. It’s located between the Calypso buildings.
There’s a fountain situated on an island in the middle of the pool that has the characters from Walt Disney’s “The Three Cabelleros”, including Donald Duck. It’s very colorful and cheerful. The kiddie pool is in the Guitar Pool area.
The other pool is located between the Rock Inn, Country Fair and Broadway areas and it’s called the Piano Pool. It’s much smaller than the Guitar pool and it’s designed to look like a piano. It even has a keyboard on one of the decks. It tends to be less crowded than the Guitar pool.
There’s not much shade at any of these pools, though there are a small number of umbrellas. Each pool has a locker room with bathrooms, showers and lockers. The Calypso pool has afternoon games and activities for the kids led by cast members, which usually translates to a lot of very loud noise. If you’re looking for quiet and relaxation, although there’s no guarantee, consider the Guitar Pool. There are movies by the pool in the evenings.
Transportation at the All-Star Music Resort
Buses are the only form of transportation available at this resort. The bus depot is right outside of Melody Hall. The buses go to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney. The buses usually 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 so.
All-Star Music is between the other two All-Star resorts. This means that unless the bus is dedicated to All-Star Music (this does happen sometimes), your bus will have come from another resort first, and will go on to another resort after. Since it may stop before getting to you, the bus may be completely or nearly full once it gets to you. You may have to wait for other buses, or there may be standing room only. Upon your return to the resort, you may stop at another All-Star resort before arriving at the All-Star Movies resort.
With only one bus stop located in front of Melody 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. Sometimes buses are so full before they get to your resort that they don’t stop. We’ve heard of people having to go into the resort to get a cast member to call in a bus. 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 metal benches with backs in the waiting area, but if the area is crowded most people will have to stand.
Entertainment at the All-Star Music Resort
There’s a full arcade called Note’able Games in Melody Hall across from the food court which is accessible. There’s also a small kids’ playground located between Calypso and Jazz Inn.
There’s a Coin Laundromat at each pool location. While the dryers are front-loading and accessible, the washing machines are top-loading.
Noise and crowds at the All-Star Music 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 Music 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.
Additional Tips about All-Star Movies Resort From Readers
- Vic Sologaistoa – “Look for a grounds keeper named Joe…better known as Harmonica Joe. Nice guy and he’ll play you a song!!”
- Ed Buskirk III – “Not a tip, but a bit of trivia. Below the check in desk is a staff with a key signature and notes. If you read music, it is “When You Wish Upon A Star ” a bit of extra magic for my fellow musicians.”
Do you have more tips or thoughts on this topic?
Please feel free to post them in a comment below. We’d love your input.
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