Walt Disney World Photo Tour
Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
Friday, February 25, 2005
by Sue Holland, staff writer
Photo by Sue Holland.
When Disney decided to enter the value resort
market to compete with the many off-site motels in the area, its first
offering was the All-Star Sports Resort. It was immediately popular with
visitors, and was followed by the opening of All-Star Music and All-Star
Movies in subsequent years.
Guest room in Surf's Up section of All-Star Sports. Photo by Sue Holland.
Located at the edge of the property closest to Animal Kingdom, these
resorts are rather out of the way. However, Disney buses transport guests
to all of the parks at the same frequency as the other resorts, and it
is also easy to get around using your own car or a rental.
Storage space is limited to these cubes and the closet bar. Photo by Sue
As the name implies, the overall theme here is sports. The resort consists
of 10 separate buildings, each containing approximately 200 guest rooms.
With 2,000 rooms total, it is important to realize there will be a lot
of other people in this relatively small area. A 2,000-room value resort
will be in a smaller area than a 2,000 room moderate resort, which can
make it feel more crowded (because it is!). As an example, the moderate
resorts of this size each have four to six bus stops scattered around
the resort, while All-Star Sports has a single bus stop at the main building.
Home Run Hotel has a baseball theme, and is home to the resort's second
swimming pool and guest laundry. Photo by Sue Holland.
Rooms at all of the value resorts (the three All-Stars plus the Pop Century
Resort) are the same size, and are the smallest rooms in the Disney resorts.
At 260 square feet, there is not a lot of room to spread out, particularly
if you are a family of four.
Hoops Hotel has a basketball theme. Photo by Sue Holland.
Each room contains two double beds, a set of cubes that function as a
dresser and TV stand, small table with two chairs, and a nightstand. Each
room is identical except for the wallpaper border, which is themed to
the particular sport of that building. Coffee makers or refrigerators
are not provided, but all rooms have a 19-inch television sets. Small
dorm-style refrigerators are available for an additional $10 per night,
however. The bathroom is very small, with enough room for a bathtub and
toilet the sink is located outside of the bathroom.
Touchdown! has a football theme. Photo by Sue Holland.
For a couple who plan to spend limited time in the room, or a family
with very small children, the value resorts can be a good way to lower
the cost of lodging. If the resort is a significant part of your vacation,
though, or you are traveling with a couple of teens, the rooms and resort
may be somewhat of a disappointment. Some families with older children
book two connecting rooms, which is a very nice option. Not only do the
parents have some much-deserved privacy, the family has two bathrooms
at their disposal!
Surf's Up has a surfing theme, is home to the larger of the resort's two
swimming pools, and costs an extra $10 per night, due to being the closest
buildings to the buses, dining and shopping. Photo by Sue Holland.
There are five distinctly themed sections of the resort, each containing
two buildings that are identical except for the décor. The sections
are pictured below.
Center Court has a tennis theme, and is generally the quietest area. Photo
by Sue Holland.
All buildings are three stories tall and have a pair of elevators located
in the very center. Stairwells are available at the center and at the
end of each wing. A giant icon of some sort covers each outside stairwell,
and you can find another oversized sports item at the center of the building
(such as the giant football helmet in Touchdown!). The noisiest rooms
are generally those facing the pools in Home Run Hotel or Surf's Up, and
those in Touchdown! facing the football field.
The front desk. Photo by Sue Holland.
Unfortunately, checking in to All-Star Sports (or any value resort) can be a miserable experience. At times the line is very long, which is a very unpleasant way to begin a vacation. At other times the line may be short or nonexistent, but it is best to expect that most likely you will be standing in line waiting to check in.
Fairly large arcade is located around the corner from the lobby. Photo
by Sue Holland.
The official check-in time is 4 p.m., which means the room may not be
ready until then. In my experience it is almost always ready sooner than
that, and during slower seasons sometimes the room is ready well before
lunch. The cast members do their best to get you into a room if you ask,
but that might mean staying in a different section than what you originally
requested. There is a section of the lobby set up for children to watch
Disney movies while the parents are in line, and that area is visible
from the queue. An ATM and restrooms are also located in the lobby.
Merchandise shop is located next to the lobby. Photo by Sue Holland.
The hallway separating the arcade and front desk from the food court
and shop is filled with photographs of several sports stars, representing
each of the five sports. One end of this hallway takes guests to the bus
stops, while the other end is at the Surf's Up swimming pool.
End Zone Food Court. Photo by Sue Holland.
Dining options at All-Star Sports are somewhat limited. There is no full-service
restaurant, but the food court does offer a variety of choices at reasonable
prices. There is an outside bar near the Surf's Up pool, as well. The
seating area in the food court has an area where animated Disney movies
are shown, which can be a plus or a minus depending on your specific party.
Seating area and beverage station. Photo by Sue Holland.
Refillable mugs are sold here, and can be used at the soda fountain and
coffee/tea/cocoa stations for the duration of your current stay. The food
court can be rather noisy (and therefore unpleasant) at times, but there
are a handful of tables outside which can be very nice. A limited supply
of grocery items is available from the food court and the shop, and a
microwave is available for guest use inside the food court.
Team Spirits pool bar, located across from the Surf's Up pool. Photo by
Swimming is the only recreational activity available at All-Star Sports,
and there are two large swimming pools to choose from. Guests are also
free to use the swimming pools at All-Star Music or All-Star Movies, as
well. There are no water slides or hot tubs found here, but even Disney's
most basic pools are much nicer than most of the pools found at off-site
motels and hotels. The swimming pools are normally open from 8 a.m. until
midnight, with lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. One rather
inconvenient situation is Disney's decision to not provide towels at the
pool. Guests must bring towels from their room, then request housekeeping
to bring replacements.
The larger of the two pools, located in Surf's Up. Photo by Sue Holland.
Overall, All-Star Sports is worth consideration if the budget for lodging
needs to be as low as possible, or when a second room for the children
is desired. The rooms may be small and there may not be many amenities,
but the resort is clean and, thanks to the décor, has a definite
Disney feel not found at off-site locations.
Whimsical fountain in the swimming pool at Home Run Hotel. Photo by Sue
Having a car will make it easy to visit other resorts for more dining
choices, and asking for a room not facing the pool or football field will
ensure a quieter stay. At times, the three All-Star resorts share a bus,
and when that happens Sports is always the first stop. During peak times
the buses are not shared, as there are more than enough guests at each
resort to fill most buses. I have spent several nights at the value resorts
(including All-Star Sports), and many more at the more expensive resorts,
and will gladly return to All-Star Sports when it meets my needs for a
Thoughts, 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.