We are back! I have so much fun stuff to blog about, I wasn’t even sure how to start. Sandy set me back, but we are up and running. Our trip was phenomenal: perfect weather, great company, great dining experiences and we got into the New Fantasyland! (more on that to come shortly).
I had read many negative reviews and some just “okay” reviews of the All Star Sports Resort. I am going to admit, I was a little nervous. It is been a good 8 years since I have stayed in a value resort. I have such high expectations of what a Disney resort should be that I was afraid this would tarnish it. I am happy to report, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Check-in & Check-out
We arrived (after driving through the night) at about 10:30am on Saturday morning. Our check-in went flawlessly. We requested our rooms be contacted, and they were. The cast member that was helping us was “earning her ears”, however she was very knowledgeable and her manager was within arm’s reach to help with any questions she had. One of our rooms was even ready immediately, even thought check-in time is 3pm. By the time we had finished unloading tons of luggage, the other room was ready as well. This was great, because after driving all night we were so happy to be able to swim and relax before heading off to the park.
During check-in we opted for the easy check-out. This requires a credit card to be applied to your key to the world card (KTWC). We received a message on our room phone telling us our charges would be put through the next day and that we would receive a receipt via e-mail. This was very easy and saved us from having to hassle with check-out on our last day in the parks.
We were located in the Touchdown buildings. As I had read, this is great building due to its proximity to the pools, main building and the bus stops. The boys utilized the football field multiple times to toss a ball around. In the negative reviews I had read that it can get very noisy at night because of people on the field late. Our rooms were located on the back side of the building, away from the field. We had no issues with this type of noise.
My favorite part of the room was that it includes a mini-refrigerator. This allowed us to keep drinks & milk in the room. The room was always cleanly. The cleaning staff did a great job restocking and keeping everything neat. They left both my daughter and us great towel creation almost every day. This also meant that we had plenty of towels to go around.
I had only two minor issues regarding the rooms. The first is the size of the bathroom: it was actually a little difficult getting in and out. It was very small! The other issue was that sound carried very easily through the walls. I don’t think we had neighbors to the one side, but even above us we could hear feet and toilets flushing. These issues would not keep me from staying here. This is a VALUE resort, and our cost of the trip reflected this. The experience was still very uniquely Disney, the themeing was good, the pool was nice and it did not leave anything lacking.
Even though we drove down, there were multiple times that we used the bus system. Again, I had heard a bunch of negative things about the bus system at the All Star Resorts. I had also heard that staying at the Sports resort is helpful in getting transportation. Most of our experiences were good ones. Typically, the bus came within about 10 minutes of us standing in line. However, on one day we did end up waiting over 20 minutes and then 2 buses came at once. Some of the time we filled up and went straight to the parks. Other’s we filled, and then went on to Movies and Music in order to collect more people. I could not find a pattern to this, and if I was at Movies and Music I may have had a very different experience. Twice we left people standing at these hotels because the buses were already full.
We ate at the quick service dining option three times during this trip. Once for breakfast and twice for dinner, I was shocked to see the variety. Everything from burgers, salads, and fried shrimp to lasagna, there was an option for everyone. We did not have one bad meal here. In fact these meals were better than most of our other quick service meals. I love that the food is made fresh and not sitting in heating trays. But this comes with a wait, especially during busy meal times. If you are in a hurry and just want to grab something, be sure to look for a short line, or use your snack credit. We waited 15 minutes for dinner one night. However, the quality of food and diverse options made up for the slightly longer waits.
After reading the many reviews and then experiencing this resort on my own, I think this resort needs to be kept in perspective. This is a VALUE resort. The price of our trip was VERY, VERY low. We went to Wilderness Lodge one night for dinner, and this resort is amazing. However, the price would more than double what we paid. If you are looking for the Disney experience on a budget then the value resort is for you. Just be sure to keep in perspective the amount you paid per night when looking at the pros and cons.