If you are looking to save some money on a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, staying at one of the Disney Value Resorts may be a great option. But which one is the best? Don’t worry, our rankings of the best Value Resorts will help you decide!
In this post, we are going to share our list of the best Value Resorts at Disney World, and rank them from best to worst. After all, there are 5 Value Resorts to choose from, and they all offer something different for the guests staying there.
Some of them are better for big families, others have better transportation options, better pools, better guest rooms, are closer to the parks, or have a more relaxed atmosphere. They definitely make it easier to “do Disney on a budget.”
While there are plenty of reasons to stay at a Value Resort, it is not for everyone. You may be better off staying at a different class resort, so we’ll cover the benefits of the value resorts, but also the negatives of staying there and help you decide which is better for your family.
And no matter where you decide to stay, we have some great money-saving secrets that you can take advantage of when you book it.
Over the 40 years that we’ve been going to Walt Disney World, we’ve had the opportunity to stay in all the value resorts, multiple times, so we feel confident we can help you pick the right one for your family.
Disney keeps making changes to the Value Resorts, in fact, many of them have had refurbishments in the past couple of years, improving the room quality among other things. This current ranking is for 2023 and 2024, but as more updates happen, or when Disney builds new Value Resorts, we’ll update our list accordingly.
Keep in mind, our list is very subjective, and it’s based on our experiences staying at these resorts. You may have had different experiences, as well as different tastes, needs, and preferences, and your best Value Resorts list may look totally different from ours, so let us know in the comments below which are your favorites and why.
And if you haven’t had the chance to read them yet, here are some of our best posts on Disney World Resorts:
- Best Disney World Resort Hotels Ranked
- Complete List of Disney World Hotels
- Best Disney Moderate Resort Hotels
- Best Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels
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Table of Contents
Disney World Value Resorts Overview
For those desiring to stay within the ‘Disney Bubble’, there is no cheaper way to do so than staying at one of Disney World’s Value Resorts. Value Resorts give families the option to have a fun place to stay with a small percentage of the cost of staying at one of the moderate or even deluxe resorts.
While being the lowest barrier of entry for customers that want to stay in Disney or maybe have never stayed in a Disney World Resort before, the value resorts offer a fun and whimsical way to experience the Disney World Magic.
Each of these resorts is themed with bright and colorful Disney-themed buildings, perfect for small children. They are perfect for budget-conscious families or just families that plan on spending the majority of their days in the Disney theme parks and don’t need anything fancy.
How Many Value Resorts Does Disney World Have?
There are five value resorts at Walt Disney World in total:
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Sometimes the three separate All-Star Resorts are just referred to as the All-Star Resorts, even though they are three separate themed hotels. This is likely due to the fact that they share a large property. But remember they are separate and have completely different themes.
The value resorts are the most affordable resorts on Disney Property. As you’ll notice there is a significant variance in the cost per night of the minimum or maximum price for each resort.
The variances in price per night are based solely on the time of year you visit. As you can likely guess, Disney Resort prices are more expensive on weekends, holiday times, and essentially whenever kids are off from school.
Here are the prices you can expect to pay for a standard room at each per night in 2023 (Price includes tax):
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort: $128 – $289
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort: $128 – $289
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort: $128 – $289
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort: $174 – $367
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: $201 – $392
Here are the prices you can expect to pay for a standard room at each per night in 2024 (Price includes tax):
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort: $133 – $305
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort: $133 – $305
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort: $133 – $305
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort: $183 – $392
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: $209 – $413
Keep in mind that Art of Animation and All-Star Music also have Family Suites that can fit up to 6 people in a room. These rooms are more costly and can range from $459 and $839 a night at Art of Animation. (In 2024 these rates are between $478 and $963)
And between $323 and $658 per night at All-Star Music Resort. (In 2024 these rates are between $336 and $696)
That is why we always recommend going to Disney World at the cheapest times of the year to save the most money possible.
The rooms found at value resorts are basic and comfortable. All of them have recently had renovations so they are updated and more modern in style.
Standard rooms at all the value resorts generally have bright colors but little in the way of additional space or amenities. Standard room size at Pop Century and the three All-Star Resorts are 260 square feet. The standard rooms at Art of Animation are 277 square feet.
Disney Value Resorts Standard Rooms Size:
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort – 260 sq ft
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – 260 sq ft
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort – 260 sq ft
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort – 260 sq ft
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – 277 sq ft
Standard rooms hold up to four people generally. But if you have a baby that is under the age of 3, they can stay in a crib as the 5th.
Family Suites that are found at Art of Animation and All-Star Music can fit up to 6 people. One additional if there’s a child under 3 that can sleep in a crib.
Pool Areas – All of Disney World’s Resorts, including the 5 value resorts, have fun and relaxing pool areas for the entire family to enjoy some downtime. The value resorts have sprawling pool areas that have fun themes for the entire family.
The Disney Cast Members have fun activities planned around the pool areas each day which can be great fun for the whole family.
Arcade – Each of the value resorts has a fun arcade area featuring a number of newer games in addition to classic games. This is a great way for the kids to unwind after a long day in the parks.
Movies Under the Stars – A fun way to enjoy your evenings at the resort is to spend time watching a Disney movie outside under the stars! Ask what movies are playing each night and grab some snacks for the movie.
Jogging Trail – Each of the value resorts is equipped with a jogging trail that enables you to take in some beautiful scenery while getting a little exercise!
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Reasons to Stay at a Value Resort
Why should I stay at a value resort? Well, there are many reasons why it can be both smart and advantageous to stay at a Disney Value Resort. In this section, we will touch on the 7 main reasons why staying at a value resort can be a fun and worthwhile experience for the entire family.
Disney Resort Perks
If you’re not aware, guests staying at a Disney World Resort have several perks that guests staying outside of Disney don’t get. And staying at a value resort still allows you to take advantage of all of those perks! What are they?
- Early Theme Park Entry – Guests staying within a Disney resort can enter the parks 30 minutes before other guests every day with Early Theme Park Entry. Those 30 minutes can be crucial to getting on 1 or 2 rides before the rush of other people
- Access to the 7:00 am Booking Window for Lightning Lane – Being able to buy Individual Lightning Lanes at 7:00 am each morning as opposed to waiting until park opening allows you to get a huge leg up on those not staying on site
- Ability to Book Dining Reservations 60 days in Advance – Those without a Disney Resort Reservation can only reserve ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) 30 days prior. With a Disney Resort Reservation, you can begin booking your ADRs 60 days prior to the start of your trip!
- Free Parking at the Theme Parks – If you bring your vehicle or rent a car when you come, Disney Resort guests can park for free at any of the Disney theme parks. Our Disney World Parking Guide explains how it works in detail.
You’ll Save Money
Our family has chosen to stay at a value resort on several occasions due to the fact that we preferred to spend our money elsewhere on that particular trip. After all, saving money on a Disney World vacation is always our top priority. Maybe the same is true of your family.
Perhaps you want all the benefits of staying on-site at a Disney Resort, but you know you won’t be spending any significant time at the actual resort. You may not need the fancy rooms or expensive restaurants in your hotel, so why spend the money on them?
If this is the case, then spending all the extra money for a moderate or deluxe resort just isn’t worth it!
Maybe your family on this particular trip would rather save those hundreds of dollars per night and spend it elsewhere than stay at a higher-priced resort! Use the price difference that you would have spent on a moderate or deluxe resort and spend it on:
- Signature Dining – One of our favorite things to do each family vacation is do one or two signature restaurants, even if you’ll have to go to one of the Deluxe Resorts or the parks to find one. Although expensive, they are totally worth it!
- Take a Tour – If you’ve never taken a backstage tour, such as Keys to the Kingdom or the Wild Africa Trek (both of which we love), then do one of these tours! They are so much fun and unforgettable for the entire family.
- Shopping – You can’t go wrong with giving your family a little additional spending money for the trip. Our family spends enough money at The World of Disney store to easily make up for the savings!
- Additional Experiences – There are too many things to name but a few of our favorites are the new Cirque de Soleil show ‘Drawn to Life’, miniature golfing at Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland, or Savi’s Workshop to get a custom lightsaber built!
READ MORE: Cheapest Ways to Visit Disney World
If you’ve ever come to Disney World before you likely remember the poor experience of waiting for Disney Transportation, namely the Disney buses. And while they have improved some, they still can be time-consuming, especially if staying at a value resort.
While the transportation options at value resorts aren’t as extensive as the deluxe resorts, they have gotten considerably better! Especially with the addition of the Disney Skyliner!
With the addition of the Skyliner, guests staying at both Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts can now quickly and easily get around the Disney World property. The Skyliner takes guests both to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios in addition to several other Disney Resorts. The Skyliner makes staying at these resorts a little more enticing now!
Other options outside of the free bus transportation to the parks for guests staying at value resorts include paying the surcharge to use a Minnie Van. (Disney’s Private Driving Service)
Or pay for an Uber if you don’t feel like waiting for a Disney bus. We do this often and it is incredibly cheap and pain-free.
One of the things I always enjoy at value resorts is that they are relaxed and comfortable. Some of the deluxe resorts can feel a little stuffy at times, especially if you just want to feel relaxed and not be dressed to the 9s on every occasion.
The value resorts feel homier, family-friendly, and just carefree! You’ll find families of all ages acting like kids while embracing the relaxed and fun Disney-theming.
Space for Big Families
One of the most attractive aspects of the value resorts is their Family Suites, which enable up to 5 or 6 guests to stay. (Plus one child that sleeps in a crib under the age of 3)
Staying in a Family Suite can make things a lot easier for larger families that want to share a room, making it more manageable and more affordable as opposed to needing two rooms.
The two resorts that offer these Family Suites are Art of Animation and All-Star Music. All-Star Music is considerably cheaper out of the two. Read our Guide to Disney World Suites to figure out which one is right for you.
Kids Will Love It
Unlike the more expensive moderate and deluxe resorts, value resorts just scream fun and your kids will love all the Disney touches! Whether it’s the colorful decor, large characters scattered throughout the grounds, arcades, or pools, kids just feel at home at the value resorts.
They want to explore and find all of the scattered icons and all of the different themed buildings! I find that kids immediately feel relaxed at the value resorts, and in many cases, they find them more fun than the more expensive other options.
Best Way to Save Big $$$ on Disney Resorts
All 5 of the value resorts have options for Quick Service meals. These involve large cafeteria-style rooms in which there is a multitude of different food options for each meal from breakfast to dinner.
You can’t beat the number of options that the cafeterias in the value resorts offer, especially for fussier eaters (think burgers, pizza, fried chicken, sandwiches, and salads). While most of them don’t make our list of Disney World’s best quick service restaurants, they are solid options.
They also offer in-room pizza delivery to guests that want to order room service to their room without having to walk all the way to the lobby area.
Best Disney World Value Resorts Ranked
When we first set out to put all the Value Resorts in order, it sounded a lot easier than it actually was in the end. There are only 5 of them at Walt Disney World, and when we compare them, they are all very close.
Of course, it didn’t help considering that 3 of them are All-Star Resorts, which are almost identical except for a few minor details and theming.
Nevertheless, we wanted to compare the features, pros, and cons of each resort so you can make the best choice for your family. We’ve stayed at all of them multiple times in the last couple of years which helped us to make a fair list we could rank from best to worst.
Our Ranking Factors
Some of the things we looked at to help us form our ranking included:
- Value – How much bang for your buck are you getting?
- Theming – Disney resorts are known for their unique atmosphere.
- Convenience – How close are they to the theme parks, Disney Springs, or other interesting places?
- Rooms – Are the rooms comfortable? How big are they and how many people do they fit?
- Dining Options – Restaurants at that particular hotel.
- Amenities – Pools and other activities the resort provides.
- Transportation – What transportation options are available from here?
We looked at other factors like has there been a refurbishment recently? Are there any new additions or improvements to the amenities on property, the rooms, or dining available?
Also, considering these are Value Resorts, price was perhaps the biggest determining factor in our rankings. One of the resorts on our list we like more than the others, but we couldn’t put it in the #1 spot because it just costs too much compared to our actual #1 choice.
For what they are, I wouldn’t say any of the Value Resorts are “bad”, but for sure there are some we definitely prefer over others, but we will be returning to them all at some point in the next couple of years.
Remember, this is our list and it’s highly subjective, so it may be completely different than which Value Resorts you prefer or would prefer. Read through our reasons for ranking them where we did and compare them to your taste, budget, and the theming you like best.
5. Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- 2023 Cost: $128 – $289 per night (Includes tax)
- 2024 Cost: $133 – $305 per night (Includes tax)
- Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area
- Theme: A tribute to competitive sports
- Rooms: Standard Rooms Only
- Family Suites: No
Separating the three All-Star Resorts is like splitting hairs. It is all a matter of personal preference and what one person might prefer might be the exact opposite of what someone else would prefer. I personally have All-Star Sports ranked the lowest.
The reason why I have All-Star Sports as the lowest is due to the fact that it is generally the resort that gets the most traffic for large groups.
Sports teams, cheerleading groups, and every other kind of large group often book up All-Star Sports rooms quickly. This completely changes the vibe of the hotel and is the reason why we have it ranked 5th on our list.
The All-Star Sports Resort can be a great place for families that have kids that love and enjoy all things sports! Parents and kids alike will have so much fun exploring the different fun sports-themed icons and pool areas.
The two dining options at the All-Star Sports Resort are the End Zone Food Court and the Grandstand Spirits Pool Bar.
The End Zone Food Court is a simple sports-themed food court that features a large variety of common food items. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We always recommend making a mobile order at high traffic times due to the large number of people that can occupy this space during peak times.
The Grandstand Spirits Pool is a typical outdoor pool area for adults that want a simple drink to enjoy outside and around the pool area. They also have a limited menu for those that are interested in a few snack options.
As a sports fan, I enjoy having the opportunity to explore the 5 different themed sports-themed resort buildings! Here you will find:
- Touchdown – A football-themed building featuring large helmets and football.
- Center Court – A tennis-themed area where you’ll find giant rackets and tennis balls
- Homerun Hotel – A baseball-themed area featuring giant bats, balls, and scoreboards
- Surfs Up – With giant surfboards and lifeguard stands, paying tribute to beach sports
- Hoops Hotel – A basketball-themed building featuring megaphones and hoops
4. Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- 2023 Cost: $128 – $289 per night (Includes tax)
- 2024 Cost: $133 – $305 per night (Includes tax)
- Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area
- Theme: A salute to legends of Disney films
- Rooms: Standard Rooms Only
- Family Suites: No
Of all three of the All-Star Resorts, the All-Star Movies Resort has our favorite theming. It feels the most Disney out of all of them. The theming of classic Disney movies can make anyone feel great!
The main problem with All-Star Movies is that it has the worst transportation options out of the three. It’s the last stop on the All-Star bus route, meaning that you only get boarded onto the bus AFTER guests at All-Star Sports and Music passengers are already on. That’s why for me it’s ranked 4th on our list.
The All-Star Movies Resort can be a great place for families that have kids that love and enjoy all things Disney and Pixar Movies! Families no matter the age will have so much fun exploring the different fun movies-themed areas around the grounds.
The two dining options at the All-Star Movies Resort are the World Premiere Food Court and the Silver Screen Spirits Pool Bar.
The World Premiere Food Court is a simple movie-themed food court that features the typical food court fare. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Again, make use of the mobile ordering service at high traffic times due to the large number of people that can occupy this space during peak times. You will save a ton of time.
The Silver Screen Spirits Pool is a typical outdoor pool area for adults that want a simple drink to enjoy outside and around the pool area. They also have a limited menu for those that are interested in a few snack options.
I always enjoy the fun-themed pools at the All-Star Movies! Enjoy Sorcerer Mickey spraying water at the larger Fantasia-Themed Pools or jump in the Duck Pond Pool, which is a large hockey rink-styled pool that is based on The Mighty Ducks.
3. Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- 2023 Cost: $128 – $289 per night. (Includes tax); Family suites are between $323 – $658 per night. (Includes tax)
- 2024 Cost: $133 – $305 per night (Includes tax); Family suites are between $336 – $696 per night. (Includes tax)
- Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area
- Theme: An homage to the world’s most popular music genres
- Rooms: Both Standard Rooms and Family Suites
- Family Suites: Yes
All-Star Music is our favorite of the three All-Star Resorts. Why? While we prefer the theming of All-Star Movies, what separates this resort from the other 2 All-Stars is that All-Star Music has the cheapest family suites on Disney World Property!
You get an extra room and a kitchenette in the family suites, making them fit up to 6 people! They are perfect for larger families and are more affordable than the family suites at the Art of Animation Resort. For this reason, All-Star Music is one of the best resorts in Disney World for larger families.
The All-Star Music Resort can be a great place for families that have kids that love and enjoy all things music! There are so many fun areas to explore with fun music-inspired icons all over the grounds.
This resort is especially appealing to large families that have up to 6 people as well because they are one of two resorts that have the ‘Family Suites’ that fit up to 6 people.
The two dining options at the All-Star Music Resort are the Intermission Food Court and the Singing Spirits Pool Bar. We always recommend making a mobile order at high traffic times due to the large number of people that can occupy this space during peak times.
The Intermissions Food Court is a simple music-themed food court that features a large variety of common food items. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Singing Spirits Pool is a typical outdoor pool area for adults that want a cocktail to enjoy outside around the pool area. They also have a few food items if you are interested in a few snack options.
One of our favorite things here is the giant Guitar-Shaped pool! We love it primarily because it’s home to a fountain of the Three Caballeros that spray water at nearby swimmers! It’s especially fun when it gets your other family members!
2. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- 2023 Cost: $201 – $392 per night in a standard room (Includes tax); Family suites are between $459 – $912 per night. (Includes tax)
- 2024 Cost: $209 – $413 per night (Includes tax); Family suites are between $478 – $963 per night. (Includes tax)
- Location: EPCOT Resort Area
- Theme: An homage to Disney art, exploring both Disney and Pixar movies
- Rooms: Both Standard and Family Suites
- Family Suites: Yes
The Art of Animation resort is the newest of all the value resorts, even though it’s been around since 2012. It is found on the same property as Pop Century and shares the Disney Skyliner Station with Pop Century.
This resort is beautifully and colorfully themed and decorated with buildings themed to Lion King, Finding Nemo, Cars, and Little Mermaid.
I love Art of Animation’s theming, food court, pool area, and access to the Skyliner. But the reason why it is number 2 and not number 1 is it’s the most expensive of all the value resorts.
There are many times throughout the year that Art of Animation family suites can run $600-$700 per night! That’s not great value at all, even for 6 people and you can find much better deals even on property.
Fans of Disney Animation will love the Art of Animation! This resort and Pop Century are the only value resorts that are on Disney’s Skyliner, so it’s incredibly convenient.
Art of Animation, as well as All-Star Music, are the only value resorts that have Family Suites allowing for up to six people in a room. This makes the Art of Animation a great value for larger families, although the rooms are slightly more expensive than All-Star Music.
The two dining options at the Art of Animation Resort are Landscape of Flavors and the Drop Off Pool Bar, both having great options for food and drinks.
Landscape of Flavors is one of our favorite food courts in all of Disney! They have five themed areas with huge varieties of different foods. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Drop Off Pool Bar is a typical outdoor pool area for adults that want to grab a drink on the go around the pool area. They also have a few snack options as well.
Just like at the other resorts, avoid the busier times of the day if possible for shorter wait times in line. If you have to visit during peak meal times, use a mobile order and save yourself some time.
Many are surprised to know that at the Art of Animation Resort, you can find the largest pool on Disney World Property! Yes, that’s right, The Big Blue Pool at the Art of Animation is a zero-entry pool that is actually the largest pool on Disney World property!
It features scenes and characters from Finding Nemo and even plays music underwater. Listen carefully, you might even hear Nemo and Dory talking to each other.
1. Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- 2023 Cost: $174 – $367 per night (Includes tax)
- 2024 Cost: $183 – $392 per night (Includes tax)
- Location: EPCOT Resort Area
- Theme: A nod to the unforgettable fads of the 1950s through the 1990s
- Rooms: Standard Rooms Only
- Family Suites: No
Pop Century is now our favorite value resort. Why? We love the theming with nods to many of the famous fads from the different decades starting in the 1950s. It’s so much fun with families of all generations as you embrace the popular and unforgettable fashions and toys of the 20th century.
Not only is the theming fun but the proximity to the Disney Skyliner, along with the Art of Animation Resort, makes it even more accessible and convenient for families.
Unlike the All-Star Resorts, Pop Century has dedicated park buses for guests staying at their resort. They’ve also recently renovated all their rooms, including changing the full-sized beds to queen beds. They’re the only value resort with two queen-sized beds now found in standard rooms.
And the thing that sets it over the top for us is the value! It is more affordable than Art of Animation and only slightly more expensive than the three All-Star Resorts. You can’t go wrong with Pop Century!
Pop Century is a great family resort for budget-conscious travelers that love the theming of popular fads in previous generations! In our view, it is a small step up from the All-Star Resorts with the biggest benefit being that it’s more centrally located and it has the Skyliner now!
It’s a good balance between being cheaper than Art of Animation and having the same convenience that the Art of Animation provides.
The two dining options at the Pop Century Resort are the Everything POP Food Court and the Petals Pool Bar.
The Everything Pop Food Court is a simple themed food court that features a large variety of common food items that are found at the other food courts. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We always recommend making a mobile order at high traffic times due to the large number of people that can occupy this space during peak times.
The Petals Pool Bar is an outdoor pool area for adults that want a cocktail or a beer to enjoy outside and around the pool area. They also have a few food items if you are interested in a few snack options to bring by the pool.
Don’t miss the Hippy Dippy Pool! This large pool in the center of Pop Century is a fun 1960s-inspired pool that features flower-shaped water jets. Kids will also love the kiddie pool area which contains a pop-jet water fountain.
Best Value Resort for Large Families (5 People or More)
It’s a toss-up for our favorite value resort for large families. Both All-Star Music and Art of Animation have family suites that will fit 6 people comfortably in a room. The best value is All-Star Music since it’s a significant amount cheaper, but the Art of Animation is slightly nicer and newer.
If budget is less of a concern, then we’d go with the Art of Animation suites since the theming is much better, and so is the resort in general. However, if you are trying to save a bit more money, the suites at the All-Star Music Resort are the way to go.
If you need a room for 5+ people, make sure to read our Guide to Disney World Suites for Large Families where we break down all the pros and cons of each choice on property.
Value Resorts vs. Moderate Resorts
Staying at moderate resorts is a slight step up from staying at value resorts in everything including the rooms, pools, and dining. Just be aware that with the addition of added amenities and comfort, comes additional cost.
Those staying at moderate resorts will typically run from $250 to $400 per night, depending on the time of year and room type.
With the additional cost comes these added amenities:
- Larger rooms with two queen beds – Other than Pop Century, none of the other value resorts have queen beds. Moderate resorts have slightly more square feet and they all come with two queen beds.
- Nicer pool areas – Unlike the value resorts, the moderate resorts have pools with slides. They also have nicer and more fun-themed pool areas.
- Can accommodate 5 people – Some of the moderate resorts have standard rooms that will fit up to 5 people with a trundle/daybed option. That means you don’t need a suite for 5 people.
- Table service restaurants – The value resorts ONLY have quick-service cafeteria-style options for food. However, the moderate resorts all have sit-down table service restaurants found within them, plus the standard counter service options.
These are just a few of the differences between moderate and value resorts. Other than those mentioned, moderate resorts are just a little more upscale and more subtle in their theming.
Unless we are on a really tight budget for a specific trip, we prefer the moderate resorts over the value ones. The only exception is if we only need a room for a quick trip (2-3 nights max), then we go to the value resorts.
However, only YOU can decide if the add-on costs of moderate resorts are truly worth it for YOUR family.
Reasons to Avoid Value Resorts
And while value resorts can be the most affordable way to stay on Disney World property, there are certain things that guests staying at value resorts for the first time should be aware of.
Here are some of the reasons you might consider avoiding value resorts:
- Distance from the parks and limited transposition options
- Lack of tranquility throughout the resorts
- No luxury
- Want more dining options
- Smaller rooms
- Exterior hallways
- No pool slides
Let’s get into each of these…
Distance from the Parks/Transportation
For the most part, the value resorts are further away from the theme parks than the moderate and deluxe resorts.
For example, the three All-Star Resorts are near Disney’s Animal Kingdom, putting them the furthest out from the rest of Disney’s property. Your only option for getting to Disney Springs and all four Disney Parks is taking the Disney buses.
On the other hand, Pop Century and Art of Animation are located nearby EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. They are a simple Skyliner ride away from both Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. This puts them in a more favorable location if you plan on spending a lot of time in those two parks.
Lack of Tranquility
Since value resorts tend to be the most popular option for large families in addition to large groups of people, they can be VERY noisy. Common areas such as the lobby, pool, and food court areas can be extremely crowded during peak times.
The idea of you getting peace and quiet can be very far-fetched at the value resorts so if you are staying there, you better get used to noise, and a lot of it!
If luxury is what you’re looking for, Disney’s Value Resorts provide very little, if any of that. They are simpler, feature significantly fewer amenities, and are more focused on a family-friendly atmosphere.
If you’re expecting the red carpet laid out for you upon your arrival you’ll be sadly mistaken. If that’s the case, the Moderate Resorts are a good choice, or even better, the Disney Deluxe Resorts.
Want More Dining Options
If you want more dining options than burgers and pizza, value resorts are certainly NOT the place to stay. Value resorts don’t have any sit-down table-service restaurants. Instead, they only have the simple cafeteria-style quick-service restaurants.
That’s fine if you only have small children and are going to be spending the majority of your time in the parks (including dinners), but if you like to relax for a couple of hours with a nice meal, you won’t find that at the Value Resorts.
When comparing only standard rooms at the value resorts to standard rooms at the moderate resorts, there is a significant difference in square footage. Moderate resorts have 314 square feet of room compared to the usual 260 square feet found at most value resorts.
Also, other than Pop Century, the value resorts have full beds as opposed to queen beds. On the other hand, the moderate resorts all have queen beds which give you more space to stretch out.
If you take away some of the fun Disney theming from all the different resort buildings at the value resorts, you’ll notice that the buildings resemble simple box-style motel buildings. These buildings are reminiscent of popular chain motels you find throughout this country.
Another negative is that Value Resorts’ rooms are accessible by exterior hallways and corridors versus interior hallways. That can be a BIG problem during one of Central Florida’s all-too-common thunderstorms as you are coming back from the parks, and you will get drenched on your way back to the room.
It also is a big hassle if you are stuck in Disney World during a hurricane. In that case, you may be confined to your room for a day or more without being able to go out into the common areas of the resort (a problem you won’t have at one of the deluxe resorts for example).
The only exception is the family suites found at Art of Animation, which can be located inside a building.
No Water Slides
The value resorts do not have water slides in any of their pool areas. This may be a big problem for older kids who are looking for a bit more excitement on a pool day (like me).
The good news is that many of them still feature fun water play areas for kids, they just aren’t nearly as exciting and we can’t put them very high on our list of the Best Pools in Walt Disney World.
Are Disney Value Resorts Worth the Money?
You may be torn between staying on-site at one of the Disney resorts or at a cheaper off-site hotel or vacation home. In our view, staying at Disney Value Resorts is typically worth the money, even if it generally is slightly more expensive compared to hotels with similar amenities off-site.
If Disney theming, being on-site, and getting the “Disney Feels” is at all important to you, we generally recommend staying at a value resort as the majority of the time you’ll have a much more pleasant vacation experience.
While it’s true that you can possibly save money staying off-site by staying at a nearby hotel, we prefer the overall experience of paying slightly more money to stay on-site at a Disney Value Resort.
Again, our article on the Benefits of Staying at a Disney World Resort can give you more info to help you make your decision.
How to Save Money at Value Resorts
If spending on the lesser end of the spectrum is important to you and you choose a value resort over one of the higher-priced options, you can still save even more!
Here are some of our favorite ways to save money:
- Book Sooner! – Typically Disney allows you to book a trip at least a year prior, in most cases longer. If you use an authorized Disney ticket agent, such as Show You The World Travel, they’ll not only help you book your vacation they’ll also find you additional savings if the rooms get any cheaper in the time leading up to your trip.
- Go at Off-Peak Times – Avoid going during popular times, such as holidays and school vacation times. You’ll save significant amounts of money by doing so! Our Disney World Crowd Calendar is a good place to do some research on the least crowded times of the year.
- Use Rewards Credit Cards – By taking advantage of cash-back credit cards or cards that offer travel credits, you can save even more money by booking vacations.
- Use those Discounts – Throughout the year, Disney offers different discounts on room-only or vacation packages. Sometimes these can save you as much as 20-30% or more, so when you see a good one, jump on it.
- Discount Disney Gift Cards – You also may be able to save a bunch of money by getting Discount Disney Gift Cards and spending them on your hotel room or meals.
You can find even more tips in our Guide to Saving Money at Disney World.
Off-Site Value Resort Alternatives
While we almost always recommend staying on-site at Disney-owned resorts, there are a few resorts we’ve had good experiences with that are technically “not Disney” but have some awesome perks and can save you a few dollars. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Swan and Dolphin – Although they are on-site, they are technically not owned by Disney. They are actually nicer in quality than the Disney-value resorts and they are better situated. They are right on the Disney Boardwalk. Many times you can find these hotels during off-peak times in the $200 a-night range. They are owned by Marriott and can be booked directly through Marriott.
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Within walking distance of Disney Springs, this Hilton hotel is a great value for those looking for an alternative option to Disney-owned value resorts.
- B Resort & Spa – A modern and chic boutique hotel also found in the Disney Springs area, this trendy hotel is upscale and convenient. It doesn’t feel like Disney, but it’s reasonably priced and super convenient.
- Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando – This is our pick for larger families! This hotel is also found in the Disney Springs area. It’s a little further of a walk but it’s still convenient and can fit up to 6 people in a room! The prices are usually very reasonable.
And if you decide to stay off-site, check out our list of the Best Hotels Near Disney World to find the best option for your family.
Top 3 Places to Stay in Orlando
Ultimate Luxury: Four Seasons Resort Orlando – Five Star Dining and Best Luxury Hotel in Orlando. On-site with many of the same perks as Disney Resort guests.
My Favorite: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress – Best Pool and Amenities, Close location
Budget Hotel Near Disney: Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Great Value and upscale feel at a low price
Which Value Resort Has the Best Pool?
While most of them have fun themes with fun little nods to the theming of the hotel, our personal favorite is the Big Blue Pool found at Art of Animation. It’s the largest pool in all of Disney and its Finding Nemo theming is super adorable!
Which Value Resort Has the Best Rooms?
We’d give the edge to Disney’s Pop Century Resort in having the best rooms for a Disney Value Resort. Even though Art of Animation rooms are slightly larger, Pop Century’s are a little better quality overall.
They’re the only value resort that has two queen beds as opposed to the full-size ones you find at Art of Animation. And rooms have all recently received renovations making them feel more up-to-date.
Which Value Resort Has the Best Transportation?
It’s a tie between Disney’s Art of Animation and Disney’s Pop Century resorts. They are located right next to each other and share a Disney Skyliner station. They both are located nearby EPCOT and Hollywood Studios and easy to access on the Skyliner (less than 10 minutes to Hollywood Studios and about 20 to EPCOT).
The All-Star resorts on the other hand can be a nightmare to navigate since they are only accessible by Disney bus transportation, and since they serve an incredible number of guests, they can be quite crowded, especially at peak times (park opening and park closing).
Best Value Resort for Adults?
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is hands down the best Value Resort for adults. For one thing, the theming is fun for adults that love the tributes to previous decades. This will bring you right back to your childhood and you’ll have a great time showing your kids and grandkids all the different popular trends of previous generations (Pac-Man anyone?).
Of course, it’s “not AS Disney” as some of the other value resorts, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for adults either.
Another huge plus is that it typically has fewer kids since it’s slightly more expensive than the All-Star resorts and it’s not as kid-themed. That means a little more quiet time which you need after long days in the parks.
Read our Guide to the Best Disney Resorts for Adults for a comparison of all the pros and cons.
Best Value Resort for Dining?
Our favorite Value Resort for dining is Disney’s Art of Animation. It features the Landscape of Flavors food court, which is probably our favorite food court in all of Disney.
It’s diversified with its different stations and has some really good quality food! Not only can you get burgers, pizza, etc, but you can get awesome and unique food items like chicken tandoori and shrimp and grits!
Value Resorts in general, don’t have amazing food options and none of them have a restaurant that makes our list of the Best Disney World Resort Restaurants. But if you want quick food, they all are pretty solid.
Best Value Resort for Location?
The best Value Resort based strictly on location is a tie between Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts once again. They are both located on the same property and both share the Disney Skyliner station.
That means it will take you the same amount of time for transportation to and from any of the 4 Disney World theme parks. In our opinion, you can’t beat either location!
Are the Disney Value Resorts Pet-Friendly?
Yes, but not all of them are! Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the only value resort on Disney property that is pet-friendly, so if you are bringing your furry friend with you, this is the place to go.
Two dogs of any size are welcome for an additional fee of approximately $50 per night, per room (as of this writing). There is a limit of two dogs per room.
There are designated pet-friendly floors found in the Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Little Mermaid buildings, so if you don’t have a pet you won’t have to worry about having one in the next room over.
Now that you have more than enough info to choose the right Value Resort for your family, it’s time to book one. You have essentially 2 choices for booking one of the Disney World Value Resort hotels:
- Book directly through Disney
- Book with an Authorized Disney Travel Planner
Booking through Disney – This is the most straightforward option and it’s more for people who have been to Disney World a million times and know exactly what they want, and they don’t need any additional help. You can book your stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel directly on the Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-4357.
Booking through Disney Travel Agent – This is the easiest way to book your hotel and our preferred method. A friendly Disney vacation planner will help you during every step of the vacation process, they will answer any questions about your needs, and help you decide which resort is best for your family.
They will also help you with dining reservations, booking special events, and more. The best part is that they are 100% FREE and it doesn’t cost you any more money to use them than it does to book directly through Disney. They may even be able to get you special discounts when new promotions come out even months after you already booked your stay.
We highly recommend using René Cittadino at Show You the World Travel for your Disney World reservations. They are the absolute BEST, and they are who I personally use when I need hotel reservations, and they are super helpful. Trust me, her amazing team will give you the best treatment around and help you have your most magical vacation ever!
That wraps up our ranking of the top Disney World Value Resorts. We hope that we gave you some good info so you can pick which one is right for your family to stay at on your next trip!
If you are going to Disney World soon, make sure to read our Disney World Planning Guide for all the tips and info you will need to cover everything! Also, check out our Disney World Crowd Calendar so you know when the best time to visit is!
I want to know what you think about our ranking of the best value resort hotels at Walt Disney World…
- What is your favorite Disney World Value Resort to stay at?
- Which do you think is #1?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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