I’m a massive Disney fan. Trips to Disney involve a lot of planning and are extremely exciting. I’ve been to Disney World in Florida many times as well as visiting Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California. When on vacation and you are planning on visiting Walt Disney World, nothing beats staying in one of the many Disney resorts. There are many to choose from, all with a unique theme and a budget to suit everyone. Back in 2014 I took a 2 week vacation to Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
I stayed at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort which is one of three All Star Resorts, the other two being Music and Movies. The All Star Resorts are part of Disney’s Value resorts, these being the cheapest priced of the Disney resorts.
As you guessed from the name you can probably figure that the theme of this resort is sport. As soon as you step into the lobby you will find sports all around you. The resort is quite big with a total of 1920 rooms. It’s also located in the Animal Kingdom resort area of Disney and is only a few minutes away from Blizzard Beach and Animal Kingdom.
A bonus of staying in a Disney resort is the complimentary coach service from Orlando International Airport to your hotel. It’s called Disney’s Magical Express and it picks you up straight from the airport to your hotel. It’s really stress free and easy too, after a long flight who wants to be fussing over how to get to where you are staying. The Magical Express is only available from Orlando International and not Orlando Sanford. If you are flying into Sanford you will have to make your own way to Disney.
Once off the coach we were ready to check in to our home for 2 weeks. The check in area of the All Stars is very colorful, fun themed and is appropriately called Stadium Hall. There are also plenty of desks too to deal with large amounts of people. As this is a sports themed resort, it’s divided into 5 different sections, with each section having a sports theme of it’s own – Touchdown (Football), Center Court (Tennis), Surfs Up (Surfing), Hoops Hotel (Basketball) and Home Run Hotel (Baseball). We paid a bit extra to stay in a preferred room in Surfs Up which is a lot nearer to the hall and main pool. Located in Stadium Hall is the reception, Sport Goofy Gift Shop and End Zone Food Court.
As soon as we were checked in were were all set to go to our room.
The rooms in these resorts are the smallest in Disney. I’ve stayed in Deluxe and Moderate resorts before and you can definitely notice the difference. It wasn’t a problem and I found there was plenty of space available. The room was able to sleep 4 and came complete with TV, free Wi-Fi, safe and en suite bath and shower. Along with plenty of storage space. Plus of course air conditioning which was definitely essential in the July heat. The rooms inside have sport themed decor and my personal favorite was the shower curtain which had all the Disney characters like Donald, Daisy and Goofy all in sports gear.
The rooms are basic, but contain everything you need. Who spends all day in their room when there are lots of fun things to do and explore.
The All Star Resorts are very fun to look around and each area had a unique theming to it. Center Court, the tennis themed area was just across from our rooms and on the tennis courts were statues of Donald Duck and his three nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. They seemed to have wound Donald up by playing baseball on the tennis courts!!
It gets very hot in Florida and a great way to cool down in to spend a few hours in the pool. This resort had one big pool right by our building, although it did tend to get very busy. There was a smaller quieter pool a short walk away at Home Run Hotel. It was very easy to get a sun bed at this pool, even in the afternoon. What I really liked about this pool too was the Goofy water feature in the middle. There was a figure of Goofy dressed in his baseball outfit by a water cannon. If you went right to the middle of the pool you could definitely get sprayed with the water. Perfect in the heat.
Food And Drink
We definitely had to eat and so will you. All tastes are catered for in the resort with the End Zone Food Court. Located in the main building is a huge food court with a wide selection of food and drink. It’s open most of the day and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. There are separate sections for pizza, pasta, sandwiches, burgers and more. You can either eat in, outside or take the food back to your room. It’s really up to you.
There was plenty of choice and I never got bored of it. We were on the Disney Dining plan too which gave two meals and one snack a day, plus dessert and a refillable drinks mug. Once you are on the dining plan you don’t have to pay for food and the only things that aren’t included are tips and alcoholic drinks.
The resort also offers in room pizza delivery which is a great idea if you feel like a pizza.
Some of the food I enjoyed at the resort.
If you aren’t driving around Disney, the only other way to get back and forth from the resort is the complimentary bus transport that is available. Outside of Stadium Hall are a number of bus stops that will take you to different parks such as Magic Kingdom, water parks and Disney Springs. The buses are pretty good and seemed to be frequent.
Another bonus to staying at Sports over the other two All Stars is the Sports is the first stop on many bus routes meaning you can get on the bus and get a seat. The bus does start to fill up and by the time it got to the last stop – Movies, the bus was already full.
All 3 resorts are within walking distance of each other and when we couldn’t get on a bus for Sports due to crowds or we had missed it, we just jumped on a bus to Music or Movies and walked from there. It only took about 10 minutes walking at the most and the evenings were pleasant enough to do it.
Even though this is a value resort, the quality is still fab and the rooms were clean and very comfortable. Price wise a Disney value resort isn’t that much dearer than staying at a hotel on International Drive, probably about 200 or 300 difference. If you add up the cost and fuss of parking or getting transport to Disney every day, you won’t really save by staying on International Drive. Besides shuttle buses to and from those hotels to Disney are awful. The buses can get overcrowded and don’t usually turn up. A few years ago we were waiting around 2 hours for a bus back to our hotel. For those on a budget and want to stay on site, Disney All Stars are definitely the way to go.