Once you have decided what time of year you want to visit Disney your next decision is where to stay. This can be slightly intimidating, because Disney has over 25 different resorts to choose from.
The resorts are separated into four different categories, as well as a campground. The four different categories are Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas. Disney has some descriptions and pictures on their website for each resort. YouTube has lots of walkthrough videos of resorts and room tours.. Here is a rundown of the first category to look at.
The resorts in this category all have really fun, over-sized, themes. These hotels keep the theme of the resort in front of you at all times. Some people don’t care for the in-your-face decor, but if you are traveling with kids, they will love it. Also, if you are doing Disney on a budget the values are a perfect choice, because they don’t cost as much as the other categories but you are still on Disney property. The five Value Resorts are: All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Art of Animation, and Pop Century.
Value Resorts usually have three pools, with one of the pools being the big main pool. The pools keep to the theme of the resort as well. For example, Pop Century has the Computer Pool in the 80’s and 90’s section, the Bowling Pool in the 50’s section, and the Hippy Dippy Pool in the 60’s and 70’s section (the main pool).
None of the pools have water slides, but the main pools have fun decorations that spray water in the pool. The main pool also has a pool bar with seating where you can enjoy a drink.
For some, the water slide is a must and if that is the case for you it is important to decide how much time you will be spending at the pool. If you plan on being in the pool a lot, then you might be disappointed without a water slide. If you like fun themes throughout, then you shouldn’t be disappointed. The pools at the Values are definitely themed in a very fun way.
Other Recreational Options
In addition to the pool, there are other recreational activities available at the Values. They offer a playground for the kids to use. There is a jogging track for those that don’t want to miss their morning run. For the enjoyment of both children and adults, there is an arcade in each of the value resorts. Also, they usually have afternoon pool parties with music and dancing. Movies under the stars usually happens by the pool too. You should receive a sheet when you check-in that will list all of the activities available.
There are no table service restaurants at the Values. Each of them will have a pretty large food court that is open early until late in the evening. There are different food stations and each will offer a variety of food options. There is also a section that offers drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), salads, sandwiches, desserts, and pastries.
It can get crowded and noisy in the food courts, depending on when you go. I would definitely stay away from the food court when the parks close down. Usually there is a dash to the food court from people who have left the parks at closing, so it can get a little maddening in there.
The food courts carry the theme of each resort and it is really fun to look around while you eat. The resorts also offer pizza delivery to your room.
Each of the Values will have a good size gift shop to find lots of fun Disney merchandise. The gift shops are in the main building. At Pop Century you can get to the store from the lobby and also from the food court.
The rooms at the Values are smaller than the Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. However, if you are only using the room as somewhere to sleep it won’t bother you. Some of the Values offer family suites, so you can have more space at a value, but it will cost you more. The standard studio rooms offer 2 double beds, a table with 2 chairs, a television, dresser, and a closet area. The vanity and sink are separate from the shower/tub combo and toilet.
UPDATE: *Pop Century’s rooms are getting refurbed and it looks like instead of two beds there will be one queen size bed and a full size murphy bed. When the murphy bed us folded up and not in use there is a table on the other side. There are two chairs that go with the table too.
You can make certain requests on your reservation to stay in a certain area of the resort. The Value Resorts are big and spread out. If you want to be close to the pool or lobby you can make that request. Certain requests may require a bump in category. For instance, if you want to be close to the main pool, you should reserve a preferred room. This will give you a room that is closer to the main pool, but will also cost more. You can request to be close to the lobby which will also put you close to the food court.
A side note about the rooms at the Values, the room doors open to the outdoors. Since the windows can be seen by other guests, people decorate them with souvenirs. We did that and had a lot of fun participating.
Transportation services at the Values are the buses. There is a queue for people to line up in and wait for the buses. The two Values I have stayed in did not have covering over the queues. So if it is hot or raining, you are exposed to the elements. Something to be aware of, especially if it is sunny and you burn easily (like me).
I have experienced Pop Century (three times) and All-Star Music (once). Between the two I much preferred Pop Century. I liked the theme of Pop Century better. Plus, t I have always encountered great cast members at Pop Century. Another bonus for Pop is that you can walk over the bridge to AOA and check out the really cool themes of each section at that resort. We did that on our last stay at Pop and it was fun to see AOA. If you are on a budget or you like big themed hotels then the Value category is for you!
Part 2: Moderate Resorts will be up tomorrow!
Thanks for reading!