The Ultimate Guide to Disney Value Resorts

Looking to do Disney on a budget? If so, Disney value resorts could be for you. They provide many of the Disney perks that come with staying on property, without all the cost. After all, if your family is primarily looking for a bed to sleep, a place to hold your luggage, and some fun themes, then you should stay at a Disney value resort. While the five Disney value resorts do lack the bells and whistles of the moderate and deluxe resorts, there are definite positives to staying at a Disney value hotel. In this review, I will rank the best Disney value resorts and discuss the pros and cons of each hotel. I will also review the key features of the Disney value resorts and compare them to what the moderate and deluxe resorts offer.

disney value resorts aoa
Disney Value Resorts – Art of Animation

What Features do Disney Value Resorts Provide?

While they are definitely the cheapest on property Disney option, the Disney World value resorts offer guests a slice of the Disney magic. The five Disney value hotels all range in theme but provide visitors a way to spend a little less on their hotel room, yet they all include the following features:


The Disney World value resorts are the most affordable option at Walt Disney World. While there are often online discounts and specials available during different times of the year, the prices don’t get any lower than the Disney value hotels.

Disney Perks

Guests staying at any of the five Disney value resorts receive complimentary:

  • Transportation to the parks
  • Extra Magic Hours (30 minutes for all resort guests and evening hours on select night for Deluxe resort guests)
  • Package delivery from Disney stores to the gift shop of your hotel
  • Dining plan purchase option (not currently offered)
  • Advanced dining reservation options 60 days prior to your arrival date
magic bands


TThe Disney World value resorts all have lively theming that kids and adults will enjoy. The best Disney value resort theming would go to the Art of Animation and the Disney All-Star Movies because they are both filled with classic larger than life Disney characters. Disney value hotels are definitely more kid-centered due to these giant statues. They feature extra-large characters and displays that are great for photos and bring out the kid in all of us.

What are the Missing Features of the Disney World Value Resorts?

Nothing is perfect; not even Disney! While the Disney value hotels have plenty to offer, they are also lacking in a few things. Here is a list of some of the missing elements of a Disney value resort.

Smaller Room Size and Beds

The standard rooms at the Disney value resorts are very small – 260 square feet. To compare, the Disney Moderate Resort rooms are 314 feet. The Art of Animation rooms are the largest of all the Disney value resorts at 277 feet. The rooms have been recently renovated at Music and Movies (Sports has some completed). They include 1 king bed or 1 queen bed and a queen table bed (this means it is a Murphy wall bed that comes down). We have 2 kids and it was tight with the 4 of us, but we knew that the room was just for sleeping, so we didn’t mind.

Table Service Dining

While all 5 Disney value resorts have quick service dining options, none of them have a sit-down table service meals.

No Waterslides

All 5 Disney value hotels have pools, yet none of them have a waterslide. This is a distinct feature at the moderate hotels and deluxe hotels.


The Disney value hotels are among the farthest from a Disney park, yet none are more than 10 minutes away (barring traffic).

Limited Transportation

While bus transportation is offered to all Disney resorts, the All-Stars only offer bus transportation. Art of Animation and Pop Century hotels are also a stop on the Disney Skyliner gondola system.

Disney bus transportation for Disney World Value Resorts

Bus Transportation is the main option at the Disney World Value Resorts

Best Disney Value Resorts Ranked

Now that you have read the features that the Disney Value Resorts have and the ones that they lack, here is a list of the 5 Disney value hotels and my reviews and ranking of each:

Art of Animation Review

Opened in 2012, the Art of Animation is the newest and best Disney value resort, in my opinion. The theming at this hotel is spectacular! It is broken up into 4 sections: Finding Nemo, Cars, Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. Each area’s decor makes you feel as though you are walking through the movie set. It is very well done. It really should be considered a “value plus” resort because it has family suites in addition to the standard hotel rooms, which are much more expensive. Little Mermaid is the only section with standard hotel rooms, while the other three sections offer family suites.

Their quick service dining – Landscape of Flavors is our family’s “go to” quick service meal because of the variety, quality, and price. Even if we stay somewhere else, we usually make sure to have one dinner there and walk through each section to enjoy the theming. The Art of Animation also has three pool areas; however, The Big Blue Pool at Finding Nemo plays underwater music, has a zero entry, and is considered the main pool of the resort.

In terms of Disney transportation, the Art of Animation has a large covered bus stop, which the other Disney value resorts do not have. It is also a stop in the Disney Skyliner gondolas. Currently, Art of Animation has some refurbishments going on (Little Mermaid rooms). The Lion King and Nemo rooms have recently been refinished.

Overall, my Art of Animation review is that although this resort is the best Disney value resort, its’ steep price tag is tough to swallow. Family suites start at close to $375 a night, and the standard rooms start at about $160 a night. To me, this really isn’t a value. It does make up for it in many ways, but I find the room rates too high to justify the value category. Honestly, although we love the restaurant, theming, pools, and covered bus areas with little wait time, I would opt to stay at a moderate resort for the same price.

Best Disney Value Resort – Art of Animation

Best Disney Value Resort – Art of Animation


  • Fantastic theming and decor
  • The largest pool of the Disney hotels
  • Splash pad and slide for kids
  • Playground, arcade, and jogging trail
  • The best quick service dining
  • Has its own covered bus transportation
  • Family suites that sleep up to 6 guests
  • Disney Skyliner stop


  • Most expensive of the Disney value resorts
  • Rarely any discounted rooms

Pop Century Review

Of all the Disney value resorts, the Pop Century gives you the most “bang for your buck”. Opened in 2003, the theme here is American pop culture from the 50’s to the 90’s. The hotel’s decor is fun and whimsical. From giant play-doh to rotary phones and jukebox radios, Pop Century delivers decades of fads infused with Disney characters.

Room rates start at $130 a night and discounts are often available online. The hotel is enormous, with over 2,000 rooms. Because of this, it can be pretty crowded and noisy. The hotel also has three pools with some cute water features. Another bonus is that the Pop Century has a Disney Skyliner stop and it has its own Disney bus transportation to the parks; while the All-Star resorts share buses. In addition, this property was recently refurbished, so it has newer rooms.

Best Value Resort at Disney World – Pop Century

Best Value Resort at Disney World – Pop Century


  • Best overall “bang for your buck”
  • Its own bus transportation
  • Above average quick service dining
  • Three pool areas
  • Disney Skyliner stop
  • Playground, arcade, and jogging trail


  • Huge
  • Crowded/Noisy

All-Star Movies Review

The All-Star Movies has a classic Disney theme and is the newest of the Disney value hotels (opened in 1999). Sections include Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, The Mighty Ducks, and Herbie: The Love Bug. This is usually a kid favorite hotel due to the larger than life characters. The Fantasia themed pool is the main attraction with a Sorcerer Mickey water feature.

To me, it is the best Disney value resort of the All-Star category of hotels as the theme is movie nostalgia. Rates are near $120 a night during the value season, but discounts can be found often. All rooms have been refurbished within the last 2 years. The huge drawback for me is that this hotel not only shares the bus stops with the other 2 All-Star properties, but it is the last stop. This means that the buses will be very crowded every morning, and you are the last stop when you are exhausted from a day at the parks. Some people have told me that on busier times (summer), each All-Star has its’ own bus system, but I am not 100% sure.


  • Toy Story theme is a crowd favorite
  • Great value
  • Kiddie splash area
  • Two pool areas
  • Playground, arcade, and jogging trail


  • Shares buses with the other two All-Star resorts
  • It is the last stop on the bus route
  • Crowded/loud

All-Star Sports Review

This was the first Disney value hotel opened in 1994. If you have a sports fan in your group, they will love the larger than life sports themes including football, baseball, basketball, tennis, and surfing. The decor is solely centered around sports; there are some Disney characters playing sports, but that’s about it. Rooms are also receiving a refurbishment here (most are done). They currently still have double beds and there have been many complaints since it reopened in 2022.

Rates are near $140 a night, but discounts are very easy to find online. This is usually the place that all of the sports teams stay at when it is time for competitions and events, so be wary of lots of kids! A nice perk is that it is the first stop on the Disney All-Star buses which means that you are the first on and the first off.

all star sports best disney value resorts

Disney Value Hotel – All Star Sports


  • The first stop of the All-Star Disney buses
  • Great value
  • Perfect for sports lovers
  • Two pools
  • A huge football field to run around and play
  • Playground, arcade, and jogging trail


  • Shares buses with the other two All-Star hotels
  • Sports theme is not very “Disney”
  • Crowded/loud

All-Star Music Review

The All-Star Music was opened just after the Sports, and is considered tied in terms of the lowest price Disney value resort. To me, it is my least favorite Disney value hotel because the theme doesn’t scream Disney. My favorite part about this hotel is the Three Caballeros Calypso pool that is guitar shaped. The giant instruments and music inspired icons of rock ‘n’ roll, country, jazz, Broadway, and calypso are nice, but I don’t love them. The layout is also strange and if you happen to stay in the last section, there is a lot of walking to get to the main building. Rooms here are also being refurbished like the other All-Star hotels.

Rates are about the same as the All-Star Sports starting at about $130 a night, yet it has one major perk – family suites. The family suites are much cheaper than the Art of Animation and start at about $275 a night. Although I have never stayed in a family suite here, I think that the price is too much for this hotel. Also, it is the second stop on the Disney All-Star bus route, and it is usually pretty full once it arrives.

disney value resorts all star music


  • Great value
  • Perfect for music lovers
  • Has family suites that sleep up to 6 people
  • Two pools
  • Playground, arcade, and jogging trail


  • Shares buses with the other two All-Star hotels
  • Music theme is not very “Disney”
  • Crowded/loud

As a Disney travel agent, I can help book your room, tickets, and help you plan your trip – all at no cost to you! I would really appreciate your support. Email me – [email protected] to get started.

On-Site or Off-Site

I believe that staying on-site at Disney World gives you more for your money. Besides the obvious Disney perks and free transportation, you never have to leave the magical world of Disney if you stay on property. I enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by the Disney magic 24 hours a day, but I know that not everyone shares my sentiments. If you still aren’t sure if the Disney Value Resorts are right for your family, then consider the Disney Moderate Resorts instead.

If you are looking for a Deluxe say, but don’t want to pay deluxe prices, consider renting Disney Vacation Club points from vacation owners. I have done this several times and the process is very smooth and our stay was MUCH CHEAPER than the $500 or $600 a night the rooms normally go for. Also, a Deluxe resort has many amenities that are free for guests and provide many things to do in Disney World besides the parks.

While I have stayed off-site on occasion, I know many families prefer staying outside of Disney due to budget, family size, or because they also want a middle point when visiting other Orlando attractions. Renting a house on Airbnb could be another option for larger families or big groups. Consider renting an Orlando Airbnb, and if you are a first time user, click here to get $40 off your first booking. You could also use rewards credit cards to get free hotel stays at major hotel chains. Here is a list of 15 of the best family resorts in Orlando that are not in Disney World.

If you are visiting Disney for the first time, then you’ll need to know what to pack for Disney World and about these Disney Fastpass Secrets.  I share my strategies for which fast pass to reserve and the reasons why at all four parks: Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. If you’re looking for something to do besides the parks, consider going to Disney Springs.

Kids at disney

Disney Restaurant Recommendations

Disney dining options continue to improve. Here are some of my recommendations when visiting Disney World:

Like this post? Pin for later.

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission from any sale of a product linked to this post. DQ Family Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. Your price does not change when you click on these links, but it does provide me with a small commission.

Buy Xalatan
Buy Celebrex
Anaprox Online
Arava Online

Looking for help in planning and booking your Disney trip?

As a certified Disney travel agent, I can help you navigate the planning of your trip. I can book resort stays, dining, Fastpass attractions, and help you decide on your itinerary. I can also look for discounts and help you book your Disney Cruise with onboard credit.

Liked this post?

Consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I share recent posts, family travel tips, and much more.


Click Here

18 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Disney Value Resorts”

  1. All these resorts look fantastic! We’ve never stayed at a disney hotel and these all look like great options!

  2. Great breakdown of the value resorts! Keeping this close by for a future trip – always have the value resorts as our backup plan if we cant get in with DVC Request 😉

  3. Great tips! So many options out there! We are Disneyland people, but I hope to make it to Disney World one day. 🙂

  4. I’ve only stayed at the All Star Sports in the groups and completely agree on all your pros/cons. Thanks for all the info on the other resorts – I’ll use this the next time I visit.

  5. Living in Orlando, we rarely stay at the parks other than when I used to camp at Fort Wilderness as a kid. I know a lot of my friends who run Disney races like to stay at the hotels you mentioned here. Pop Century and the All Star hotels seem to be their go to for staying close since they have to be at the start line so early.


    This post needs updating…parking is no longer complimentary (anywhere), and Disney no longer accepts packages. Also the comment about location is wrong, the value resorts are close to 3 parks; generally speaking with the parks spread out as they are ALL resorts are relatively equally distant from all parks (and Disney Springs)

    1. Parking is complimentary if you are staying at a Disney hotel and yes they do accept packages. There is a new $6 fee if you want to ship it to your room, but you can buy something at the Disney parks and ship it to the gift shop of your hotel for free.

  7. This is by far the best recap of the Disney Value Resorts that I have found online. I love the simplicity of laying out the pros and cons, as well as ranking them in order of appeal. I wish I would have came across this article before choosing to stay off-site.

  8. This is such a thorough post! When I came to Disney World as a kid the value resorts were always my favorite because the themeing was always so much fun, and now my kids love them too! Pop Century is still one of my favorite resorts!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top