All-Star Music Resort Review -- Review Of Disney's All-Star Music Resort
Cheap Hotels In Disney World
I honestly didn't think that there were any cheap hotels in Disney World. Whenever I watched travel specials on Disney, they always showed the luxurious Grand Floridian or gorgeous Wilderness Lodge.
However, when I was invited to join a group of friends on a Disney vacation, they insisted on staying in the park itself rather than in Orlando. That's when I did some research and was pleasantly surprised to come across Disney's All-Star Music Resort, which was listed online under Disney's value resorts.
At first glance, the All-Star Music Resort (and its sister hotels, the All-Star Movie Resort and All-Star Sports Resort) didn't impress me. I mean, let's be honest, these hotels are FUGLY. Each is painted in many bright colors and then adored with huge objects (such as guitars or sports figures) in order to portray the "theme." Obviously, it's meant to attract families and look kid-friendly, but ... ugh. Still, at $82 per night, the price was right, and the agent who booked me over the phone was friendly and helpful. Plus, the All-Star hotels have free transportation to all of the Disney parks, which made it an inexpensive AND convenient option. Not bad for a budget hotel in Disney.
My friends and I ended up staying at the All-Star Music for almost a week and I have to say, I was extremely satisfied with my visit. Impressed even. Who would've thought that such a hideous place would end up being so warm and inviting -- I guess it's true what they say about not judging a book by its cover!
That said, I'd highly recommend Disney's All-Star Resorts for anyone who's looking to save money at Disney, but still wants to have an easy and fun vacation.
Tour Of Disney's Value Resort, The All-Star Music Hotel
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First Impressions Of Disney's All-Star Music Resort
As I've said, I wasn't very impressed by the asthetics of the hotel when I first saw pictures of it, but by the time I arrived, I didn't really care where I was going to sleep. Because my plane had been delayed due to thunderstorms, I didn't arrive at the hotel until 4 a.m! Still, when I entered the (bright, bright, BRIGHT) orange lobby, the clerk (a.k.a. "castmember") greeted me with a bright smile and eagerly welcomed me. Though it was a ridiculous time of day for either of us to be up, she took the time to chat with me and show me a map so that I could find my way to my room. Since the place was empty, she even got out from behind the desk and walked me through the front hallway so that she could point the right direction through the courtyard.
That there even was a courtyard surprised me. I'd wrongly assumed that the three All-Star Resorts each consisted of one building and that they all shared a pool area. It turns out, though, that each resort itself has several buildings and a huge outdoor area with tree-lined avenues and multiple pools. The outsides of the All-Star Music's buildings were also colorfully decorated, but the large courtyard was elegant and well-maintained. Since I'm a musician (which I why I chose music over sports or movies), I loved the guitar-shaped pool. It was a little creepy walking by myself at that hour, but the area was well lit and there were actually a few people using the pools. No one acted as if they felt unsafe.
Standard Room At Disney's All-Star Music Resort
Disney's All-Star Music Resort Standard Room
Given how colorful the buildings were, I expected my room to be the same, but it had a surprisingly subdued design. The room was painted in soothing blues, greens and earth tones and the "musical" touches were very subtle. There were some "hidden Mickeys" in the carpet and some graphics of instruments in the wallpaper, but the theme didn't jump out at you as it did at the entrance.
Overall, the room was very nice -- fairly spacious with two comfortable double beds and a decent-sized bathroom, which was spotless. At that point, all I wanted was a shower and was happy to discover that it had great water pressure. After, I FINALLY went to bed and fell asleep pretty quickly.
Family Suite At Orlando Disney's All-Star Music Resort
Dining At The All-Star Music Resort
The next morning, my friends and I discovered that we'd been given adjoining rooms (they'd requested that I be put near them) in the Rock 'N' Roll building. Though the All-Star Resorts do have family suites for larger groups, we had a nice set-up where there was a door between the rooms. This way, we could open it and hang out together as everyone got ready.
I also really liked that there was a cafeteria right in the hotel. They had typical breakfast foods -- bagels, cereals, fruit, coffee, eggs -- and the prices were a touch steep. However, the food was fresh and well-prepared. They also had a deal where if you purchased a Disney tumbler (for about $12) you got unlimited free beverages. We all went for this deal and always filled up our tumblers with juice before heading to the parks. This was well worth it since we were there for five days -- we definitely saved a lot of money on drinks.
Useful Disney Links
- Disney World - The Largest Unofficial On-Line Guide to Disney World, Walt Disney World
Disney World Information - The ultimate planning resource for Disney World, Disney Cruise Line and Disney World Vacations includes park hours, reviews, theme park descriptions and strategies.
- Walt Disney World Resort
Welcome to Walt Disney World. Come and enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. Plan your family vacation and create memories for a lifetime.
- Unofficial Walt Disney World Vacation Information Guide
A complete Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, vacation planning Guide.
Getting To And From The All-Star Resorts To The Disney Parks
We were lucky in that the All-Star Resorts had free shuttle busses that took you to every Disney park. They were extremely convenient, too -- very frequent and they ran until late at night, so you didn't have to rush home before the fireworks display. It usually only took about 10 minutes to get to a particular park -- and it pulled right up to the entrances! No traipsing across a mile-long parking lot searching for your car in section "Goofy 2."
As with all of the "castmembers" we came across, the bus drivers were friendly and approachable (a nice change for us New Yorkers!). They chatted with us and gave us some tips on things to see and do at each place.
The only complaint I have about the busses is that sometimes the lines got out of control and people would end up shoving and pushing to get onto the bus before it filled up. But the busses were so frequent, we never had to wait.
Guitar Pool Dance Party
Movie Night By The Guitar Pool
Fun At The All-Star
Though there was no shortage of things to do at Disney's parks, the All-Star Music Resort made sure that its guests were entertained, as well. This way, if parents wanted to relax for a while by the pool, they could count on their kids still having something to do.
Each evening, a different Disney movie was shown on a large screen that hung over the large guitar pool. One night that we were there, they were showing Cars and another, The Lion King. What was cool about the screen, though, was that you could watch the movie on either side! This way, you could view it while you were in the pool or while you were relaxing on the deck.
Meantime, the Disney castmembers hosted little "dance parties" right by the pool, where they'd teach the crowd (mainly the kids) some easy steps and get them moving. We didn't participate (we felt stupid since we weren't there with kids), but it was cute to watch the children getting into it. They were having a great time and their parents looked relieved to be getting a rest, if only for a few minutes!
Overall, we were really pleased with Disney's All-Star Music Resort. Though it's a budget hotel, Disney's staff still treats you like royalty. And though it's perfect for families, we never felt as if we didn't belong. In fact, we found that with so many kids around, it was pretty quiet!
I also loved being on the Disney "campus." Last time I went with friends (about 15 years ago), we stayed at an Orlando hotel that wasn't a part of Disney. They did have a shuttle, but it only went back and forth a few times a day. By staying at a Disney hotel, we practically had unlimited access to the parks, which were almost right in our backyard. After walking around all day in the hot sun, it was nice to be able to hop on a bus and be "home" in only a few minutes.
When I return to Disney -- especially if I'm with another large group -- I will definitely suggest that we stay at the All-Star. It exceeded my expectations and helped make my vacation an enjoyable one.