Natalie H. (NDM#268) (56 Posts)

Natalie grew up in Nashville, TN. Married with one son, she lives on a farm. As if this weren't enough to keep her on her toes, Natalie also works around the clock due to being self-employed . Natalie often travels to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, giving her a vast knowledge of the Disney Resorts which she shares in her posts on The Disney Driven Life. She loves the research on the resorts and appreciates input for these articles as well. In recent trips, Natalie has begun making a habit of meeting people while in the parks. This habit inspired her personal website, Meet the Magic, http://meetthemagic.com. This site helps her connect to others as well as hold space for Disney fans to post information about their Disney related sites. Her goal with this venture is to help people to "Meet the Magic" of their choice.


Calling all families!  The All Stars Resorts offers a little something for everyone!  The resorts are nestled in the “All Stars Complex” in the Animal Kingdom Resort area.  The complex includes a hotel with a sports theme, All Stars Sports, a movie theme, All Stars Movies and a music theme, All Stars Music.  Each of these resorts includes 1,920 rooms.  While the rooms are only 260 square feet in size, the smallest on Disney property, they also offer a smaller price tag.  This allows many families that otherwise could not stay on Disney property to now be a Disney guest!

Each of these resorts is heavily themed and includes a variety of areas themed towards that subject.  The Sports resort includes 10 buildings with two buildings of each of the following:  Surf’s Up, Hoops Hotel, Center Court, Touchdown! and Homerun Hotel.  The icons for these buildings include extra large surfboards, basketballs, rackets and so on.  In the Movies resort, the 10 buildings include two Mighty Ducks, 101 Dalmatians, Love Bug, Fantasia and Toy Story buildings, each.  The icons match the building names and include your favorite characters such as Herbie, Buzz and Woody.  Finally, the Music resort has 10 buildings also including two buildings entitled Rock Inn, Calypso, Jazz Inn, Country Fair and Broadway Hotel.  These building areas include large icons that quickly remind the guest of their area, i.e. the Broadway Hotel buildings are adorned with large “Beauty and the Beast” signs that are reminiscent of those found in New York City’s Broadway streets.

Like all of the value resorts, the Walt Disney World Transportation Bus is available from the front of the resort and outside of the check-in building, with no internal bus available.  The buses take guests to all theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney.  The buses typically run every 20 minutes, depending on the demand, and begin running 1 ½ to 2 hours before park opening or from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. to Downtown Disney.  The buses are often shared with the other complex resorts, also seeming to depend on the bus demand and time of day for catching said bus.

In addition to the themes in the buildings, all of the resorts also have two heavily themed pools.  Of the two pools, one is situated close to the check-in building while the other is closer to the rear of the resort.  The pool close to the check-in building offers a variety of activities during the day such as balloon tosses, games and nighttime movies.  A list of these pool activities can be found by asking the front desk for a recreation calendar.  Guests often do not consider these activities when booking their vacation, but can easily spend hours of their trip joining in on the fun!

Each resort offers a food court which is open from 6 a.m. until midnight and is also located in the check-in building.  The food offerings include breakfast items such as waffles and omelets while lunch and dinner include salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizza.  The courts also include a small array of market items such as bread, cereal, fruits and juices.  Kid’s meals are available and include macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, etc.  A complete listing of all of the specific items available can be found at http://allears.net/din/dining.htm.  In case you have leftovers, refrigerators can be rented for $10 per day or are free if needed for medical purposes.

The guest rooms include all of the basics, two double beds or one king size bed, a table and two chairs, telephone, shower/tub, toilet, hair dryer, coat hangers, clothes line above tub, single sink and mirror.  A pack-n-play can be requested at no additional charge.  Each of these guest rooms is themed in relation to the resort area, i.e. 101 Dalmatian build rooms are decorated with spotted wallpaper in the bathroom, etc.   These resorts do not allow over four guests per room unless the fifth guest is a child under age 3 who sleeps in a pack-n-play.

The resorts also share some additional features.  First, all three of these resorts offer a playground for children ages 2 – 12, much as discussed in my previous article, “Disney’s Pop Century: A Hidden Extra!” at https://thedisneydrivenlife.com/archives/4507.  When needed, the resort offers guest laundry facilities.  The cost to wash is $2 per load and $2 for 30 minutes of dry time.  The check-in building includes a store for purchasing all of those Disney keepsakes, an ATM so you have enough money at the store and a Disney Vacation Club Information Center in case you want to instead purchase a piece of the magic!

While most guests appreciate the heavily themed buildings and pool, one of the larger features at these resorts is the savings.  The undiscounted rate for a standard room in 2010 has been $82 – $174 depending on the day of the week and season of the visit.  Preferred rooms are also available for around $15 per night.  These room are located closer to the check-in building.  Discounts are often given to annual passholders, Florida residents, AAA members, Military and Veterans.  In addition to these types of discounts, Disney often mails discount codes at random.  Searching websites such as http://www.mousesavers.com/disneyresorts.html#discountmenu can really payoff in savings towards your vacation!  Remember that there is no additional charge for children under 17 when they are staying in the room with an adult.  If the room includes more than two adults, the guest is charged an extra $10 per night per adult.

The most important thing to consider when booking these resorts is the resort theme that would best entertain you and your fellow travelers. Remember that the theme you choose will be exaggerated!  Please tune in next week to learn about the guest suites offered only at the All Star Music Resort.  These rooms accommodate more people with a value rate… stay tuned!

Please remember, if you ever have any questions, comments or suggestions, please leave them here or find me, @nrhenley, at Please remember, if you ever have any questions, comments or suggestions, please leave them here or find me, @nrhenley, at twitter.com.  Your comments and questions are greatly appreciated!

Contributed by: Natalie H. Natalie is the Disney Driven Life’s resident resort expert.

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