Magical Monday – Accommodations (Value Resorts)

It’s Magical Monday again! I’ve talked a lot over the last few months about Walt Disney World’s parks, where to eat, what to do, etc. I even went on a complete tangent and talked about Disney Cruise Line for a week. I’ve taken the long way around to get to something that is really at the crux of your vacation – accommodations.

Disney resorts are unlike any other. Each one has a theme, and everything, I mean everything, at each resort revolves around its theme. There are fun surprises around every corner, and Disney’s tiered system ensures that there will be a room to fit every family’s budget. This week, I’ll share with you what I know about value resorts. In the coming weeks, I’ll move up the chain and discuss moderate resorts, deluxe resorts, and villas.

Your stay at ANY Disney resort includes complimentary airport transportation and luggage service, complimentary resort transportation and parking, extended park hours (also known as Extra Magic Hours), complimentary WiFi anywhere on Disney property, unique room offerings (story rooms, family suites, and many ADA rooms), Magic Bands, and the ability to add a Disney dining plan to your package.

The most economical of Disney’s resorts are called Value Resorts. There are five of these resorts with over 10,000 rooms between them to accommodate Disney travelers. The rooms at these resorts will have double beds and smaller square footage, as they are geared for the most park-focused guests. If you don’t intend to spend much time in your room, a value resort will be perfect for you. These resorts offer basic amenities – pools, playgrounds, arcades, a gift shop, a quick-service restaurant, and bus transportation to all the parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney. Since you’ll be playing at the park all day, you won’t need much else! An added bonus is how close you are to the parks, so you won’t be wasting time driving back and forth, parking, and hiking in from the far corner of the parking lot (or riding the tram).

I toured Art of Animation for the first time on my trip. This is Disney’s newest value resort, and it has a fresh, vibrant feel. I love the character development wall as you enter the lobby. The drawings begin in black and white and gradually become more detailed and add color as you move further into the hotel. There is even an artist stationed near check-in to teach your kids (or you!) how to draw Disney characters. At Art of Animation, your room will be in one of four themed areas – Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, or The Little Mermaid. Most of the rooms here are family suites. The only standard rooms you will find here are in the Little Mermaid area.

Standard rooms feature two double beds and can sleep four, plus an infant (age 2 and under) in a pack and play crib. Family suites can accommodate up to six guests, plus an infant, in a queen bed, sofa bed, and Murphy bed. Suites also have two bathrooms and a kitchenette with a microwave and mini-fridge. These rooms have three distinct sleeping areas, so you don’t feel like sardines in a can.

Art of Animation’s main pool, the Big Blue Pool, draws its inspiration from Finding Nemo. It is a centrally located, zero-entry pool with underwater speakers and a fun splash zone for smaller children. This is a keyed-access pool to keep it exclusive to Art of Animation guests. There are also three other pools at this resort. My personal favorite is the pool in the Cars area. There are adorable Cozy Cone cabanas that are free to use!

At Art of Animation, you can also find a playground, an arcade, a pool-side lounge (by the Big Blue Pool), a business center, and Movies Under the Stars each evening by Pride Rock in The Lion King area.

Other Disney Value Resorts include – All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, and Pop Century. These will all be comparable in price and amenities.

Have you ever stayed at one of Disney’s Value Resorts? Which is your family’s favorite?

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