Pools & Recreation at Disney's Value Resorts
provides more than just the ordinary pool
Friday, June 11, 2004
By Sue Holland , staff writer
Photo by Sue Holland.
When Disney created the four resorts in their value
class, in exchange for a significantly lower room rate there were significantly
fewer amenities. Meant to compete with the many motels located near Walt Disney
World, these resorts were built without marinas, water slides, beaches and other
However, Disney did include lots of theming, and
some popular swimming pools. The three All-Star Resorts (Sports, Music and Movies)
were built first, and are considered sister resorts. A guest staying at any one
of them is permitted to use the pools at all three resorts. Since they are located
right next to each other, it is very easy to walk or drive from one to another.
Pop Century is the newest value resort and is located a few miles away from the
All-Stars complex. It currently is half completed, and when the second half opens
(no date set) the guests at either resort should be able to use the pools at amenities
in both places.
Swimming is the No. 1 recreational activity at the value
resorts. The pools tend to be open from 7:00 a.m. until midnight, with lifeguards
on duty at all pools from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Towels need to be brought from
your room here, unlike at the other resorts where pool towels are available in
big bins right at the pool. At the value resorts guests need to call housekeeping
to request replacement towels, which seems like a waste of time. Life vests are
available for small children, and can be obtained from the nearest pool bar or
Surfboard Bay pool at All-Star Sports. Photo by Sue Holland.
Sports Resort has five sections, each themed to a different sport (surfing, tennis,
baseball, football and tennis). The main pool is located in the Surf's Up section,
just beyond the main building containing the front desk, food court, and merchandise
shop. This is the larger of the two pools at this resort, and a small kiddie pool
is located in the same area.
Grand Slam Pool at All-Star Sports. Photo by Sue Holland.
The second pool
at Sports is located in the baseball section. Shaped like a baseball diamond,
there is even an island in the center that serves as the pitcher's mound. On it
is a statue of Goofy is loading baseballs into a pitching machine. Both pools
have a wide deck area with plenty of chairs available to accommodate the almost-2,000
Each All-Star Resort also has its own arcade, which can be popular
with the children. The arcades are located in the main building, across from the
food court area and around the corner from the front desk. The arcades are large,
and have doors to keep the noise from disturbing people nearby.
All-Star Music's Calypso Pool. Photo by Sue Holland.
At Disney's All-Star
Music Resort there are also two swimming pools, with the main one themed to the
musical style of calypso but in the shape of a guitar. The five sections of the
resort are calypso, jazz, rock, country and Broadway. A kiddie pool is located
near the Calypso pool, and a small playground is similarly not too far from the
main pool at each All-Star Resort. The playground is not visible from the pool,
however. The pool bar and food court are a short stroll away.
All-Star Music's Piano Pool. Photo by Sue Holland.
Toward the back of the
resort between rock, country and Broadway is the second pool, which is shaped
like a piano. This one is significantly smaller than the main pool, but can be
a good choice when looking for a more peaceful experience. During late afternoon
there is some shade at this pool, which can be hard to find at many other pools.
Fantasia Pool at All-Star Movies. Photo by Sue Holland.
Movies Resort also has five distinctly themed sections, honoring five popular
Disney movies. They are 101 Dalmatians, Mighty Ducks, Fantasia,
The Love Bug and Toy Story. The Fantasia pool is considered
the main pool, and as such is the larger of the two. The oversized brooms carrying
buckets of water are an especially whimsical touch, and the two buildings on either
side of the pool represent the original and newer versions of the movie Fantasia.
Duck Pond Pool at All-Star Movies. Photo by Sue Holland.
The second pool
at All-Star Movies is found in the Mighty Ducks section. This one seems
more heavily themed than the pools at either Sports or Music, and is one of the
pools I most enjoy. There are a couple of oversized goalie nets, complete with
statues of the goalies. The pool is a decent size and rarely feels crowded, and
is not far from any of the sections of the resort.
In addition to swimming
at the All-Star Resorts, there is always the option of walking around to see the
various icons in each section. Joggers will enjoy the sidewalk that begins by
All-Star Movies and continuescrossing the road near McDonald'sdown
past Blizzard Beach to Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. A round trip from Movies
is approximately five miles. Rollerblading and skateboarding are not permitted
inside the resorts, but should be possible on this sidewalk. There is also a large
football field located at All-Star Sports between the two football buildings.
Quite often guests can be found tossing a football back and forth here, or playing
a friendly game.
Hippy Dippy Pool at Pop Century. Photo by Sue Holland.
Disney's Pop Century
Resort is home to three pools shared by nearly 5,000 guest rooms. The main pool
is located in the 1960s section and is themed to the Hippie era. Called the Hippy
Dippy Pool, this one is in the shape of a large flower, with lots of flower-power
décor. Petals Pool Bar is nearby, and located closer to the pool than the
bars at the All-Star Resorts.
Bowling Pool at Pop Century. Photo by Sue Holland.
The 1950s section is
home to a pool shaped like a bowling pin. Sets of real bowling balls are mounted
near the end, and large bowling pin icons cover the stairwells of the three buildings
in this section. A guest laundry is located next to this and all of the other
pools at the value resorts. Music played here is from the 1950s, and it usually
is not overly crowded.
Computer Pool at Pop Century. Photo by Sue Holland.
Between the 1980s and
1990s sections is the Computer Pool. This pool is essentially just a squarethe
pool represents the computer monitor. Along the pool deck is a large cushioned
keyboard that does not have much purpose other than to let you know the square
pool is a computer! The deck area is quite large, and if a quiet pool without
a crowd is what you want, this is probably the best bet at Pop Century.
Century is also a good resort for simply walking round looking at the various
icons and whimsical décor. There area few locations where a Twister game
has been set up, allowing guests who so choose to stop and play a quick game.
There is an area that young children love, where water squirts up from the ground
just like in Epcot or the Marketplace in Downtown Disney. Between the two buildings
in the 1970s section is a giant foosball game. It is strictly décor, some
children enjoy running through the middle of the game."
find a very nice paved path along the lake, and can request a map from the front
desk to find the starting and ending points of the 1.38-mile jogging trail. Once
the second Pop Century resort opens, joggers will be able to run completely around
the lake. Disney's service vehicles also use this path, so rollerblading and skateboarding
are not permitted. Video game fans can play to their heart's content in the Fast
While the value resorts may not have all the amenities found
at the other resorts, the quality of what they do have surpasses their off-site
competition. Guests at the value resorts are welcome to use the recreational offerings
(excluding pools) at any of the other more expensive resorts. Whichever resort
you choose, some of the favorite trip memories may be the hour or two spent at
the pool or wandering around the resort.
questions, or comments? Contact Sue here.
Sue has been hooked on Walt Disney World since
her first visit in 1972 with her parents and younger brother. She kept returning
more frequently until she moved to Florida in 1986.
After joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) in
1997, she now visits almost monthly. She also spends time at
the DVC's non-WDW locations, and is experienced with the Disney cruise ships.
She takes many of these trips on her own, but
she's also toured WDW with large groups of people, including families, the elderly,
and people with disabilities.
She works as the Administrative Services Division Head
for a large residential facility administered by the Florida Department of Children
and Families. She currently resides in Southwest Florida with her teenage son.
Sue is one of our most prolific trip report writers.
Read her trip report archive here.
You can contact Sue here.
Get the latest info about the resort at Park
Update: Walt Disney World.