Disney's All Star Sports Resort: The Original Valueby Maureen Austin, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 1/13/2009
Back in the early nineties, Disney was finding increasing success in keeping guests on property by expanding resort options. However, Mickey and crew had yet to really attract more budget conscious travelers and saw those folks seeking accommodations elsewhere off Disney property. The answer? Disney's own brand of value, economical lodging. In 1994, All Star Sports opened its doors, offering guests looking for big points on value while at the same time, staying in the "magic."
All Disney resorts built prior to Sports had an array of amenities including dining, pools and recreation as well as theming that was uniquely Disney. All Star Sports fits that mold just as well, and throughout the sprawling 1900-plus room resort there is no shortage of food, fun and first rate Disney theming.
Nestled in the Animal Kingdom resort area, All Star Sports boasts larger than life sports icons and specific sports themes within the resort. At the heart of the resort is Stadium Hall. You'll begin your sports adventure here when you check in for your stay. Also located in Stadium Hall is Sport Goofy Gifts and Sundries- to pick up merchandise, snacks and those things you forgot to bring. While the resort does not offer a full service restaurant, everyone is sure to find something to appease the appetite at the End Zone Food Court. You'll find offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as the food court is open from early mornings to late nights. Pizza can also be ordered from room service should you wish to order in. Transportation via motor coach to all Disney parks and other areas originates at the bus stop located outside Stadium Hall. Bus service can be slower or faster, depending on the time of year or even the time of day. Make sure you allow a sufficient amount of time to get to your destination- especially if you are trying to reach another resort from All Star Sports.
Rooms at All Star Sports are organized into two categories. A Preferred room booking provides you close access to main areas - rooms are located in the Surfs Up! section, near Stadium Hall and the main pool. The rooms are identical to "standard" rooms in other buildings. This does tend to be a noisier part of the resort due to, among other things, its proximity to the main pool area. Guests looking for action on the quieter side might do better in other sections.
Standard rooms will be found in all other sections of the resort, with views overlooking courtyards, other buildings or parking lots. Football fans will find themselves at home in the Touchdown section, with huge footballs and goalposts in the courtyard. Home Run Hotel will have the baseball fans right at "home" and tennis enthusiasts will "love" the Center Court section. Basketball fans aren't left out either by way of the Hoops Hotel section. All of these areas have amazing icons bigger than the sport (well, almost!) itself!
Room size is about 260 square feet, which is the smallest room plan of all Disney resorts. Rooms feature 2 doubles or a king bed. Disabled guests can be accommodated in the king beds as most of these rooms have facilities such as roll in showers. Storage space is limited, to maximize floor space. Bring along over the door shoe organizers or organizers that can be placed on hangers. Other features of the room include clock radio, TV, small dresser and a small table and chairs. A fridge is available for a nominal fee.
Ready for a swim? Not to disappoint, look no further than Surfboard, located near Surfs Up! or try out the Grand Slam pool near Home Run Hotel. Pool hours vary by season and towels are usually not provided, so remember to bring some from your room.
2008 rates range from $82 up to $151, excluding tax. Be sure to inquire about any possible discounts or special package offers for the time of your stay.
About the Author: Maureen Austin is co-owner of Ears to You Travel and a proud Florida native. Born in South Florida and having lived all over the state, she enjoys writing about the Sunshine State's many attractions and natural beauty.
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We stayed at AllStar Sports in May of 07. Part of my begging to DH to let us go to WDW was that we'd stay at the sports themed resort! The resort was nice, but a bit run down. I know it is the oldest of the AllStars and it shows. Some of the decor and icons were faded. The rope lights outlining the icons at night- not all of them worked and some were falling off. Little things like that. Also, for some odd reason, our room had bedspreads with musical instruments and musicians on them...... I know they had just finished some refurbs on ASMusic when we were there, so apparently they were re-using the older spreads at the sports resort. Not a huge deal, but when you go to a sports themed resort, you expect to be immersed in sports.
I'd stay at aother AlllStars before staying here again, unless they do some major refurbing.
I cheated on this. I asked my hubby for the number portion of the review.
When I go to Disney, I go for the parks so I really didn't take much (if any) notice of the hotel. The rooms were clean and comfortable and I slept well at night. The pool was huge and enjoyable and when I went to the laundry room, there were machines available. The hotel had everything I needed and wanted. Planning for our trip this year, we didn't want to stay anywhere else.
Lenny on the otherhand said the outside of the hotel needed some "sprucing up" when we went in 2006. I didn't notice. Having an Autistic daughter and Lenny using a scooter, everywhere we went was fully accesible to both of them, so that's why it got a 10 from him. Yes, everything was laid out, but we were in a preferred building, which did make it easy. We did like the theming even though we aren't into sports. It had all the amenities we wanted, we didn't miss anything it might not have had. And yes, the fridges normally cost, but that's where our magic came in. For whatever reason, the CM gave it to us for the week for free.
Not only are we going to stay there again, we would recommend it to anyone who goes to the world like we do. We go for the parks and the hotel is just someplace to shower and sleep, not a place we spend a lot of time.
We stayed here last December. We went down as a Christmas time surprise. I was looking for tons of fun on a small budget. We found it here! We stayed in the Homerun Hotel, which had just finished its remodel. Great job Disney! The food in the food court was delicious and my son loved both the surf's up pool and the baseball pool. The bus transportation was pretty good. The longest wait we had was the day we were trying to get to Blizzard Beach for mini-golf. (It was low 50's this day so the buses were not really focused on the waterpark )
My son's favorite place at the resort was the football field. We ended up buying 2 mini footballs and had to keep 1 with us so every time we went through the football field we could toss the pigskin around.
We would definately stay here again. Next time I think we will try for the Touchdown Hotel.
We just returned from our stay here(March 08). It was a pleasant surprise. Our room was newly refurbished, beautiful, and very clean. We were upgraded to a preferred room, and our location was convenient and a short walk to everything.
The food court was tasty, the gift shop had a great selection. The staff everywhere was top-notch, friendly, and really went out of their way to make our stay magical. Bus service was excellent, we never encountered much of a wait. We rarely stopped at the other All Star Resorts as I was expecting.
There was some pool noise (our room overlooked the pool), but not enough to keep us awake. We really were overwhelmed by the groups staying at the resort sometimes. Most of the kids were great, but there were so many of them!
All and all, a great value, and a great place to stay.
We stayed at the All Star Sports Resort 8/30 through 9/10/08. We paid for a preferred room and we were in the Surf's Up Building, #1 in room #1201. We were probably 20 steps from the pool deck and 50 to stadium hall. Stadium Hall was undergoing a minor reurbishment (new flooring) so there were a few construction partitions up but they were not an inconvenience at all. In fact, they were doing balloon animals every morning, a coloring contest each day for the kids, and handing out stickers to all the kids, too because of the construction. The food court was great - lots to choose from and delicious for quick service food. We wait once for 20 minutes for a bus but most times it was 10 minutes or less. Only one time did we share a bus with the Movies and Music Resorts. The CMs were all wonderful as was Mousekeeping. We came back each day to either towel animals, the kids stuff being arranged in cute ways, or baskets made from towels for our toiletries. The rooms were all recently refurbished which was nice, too! This resort is a great value for anyone wishing for a nice, clean room, fun themes, large/clean pool, a second quiet pool area, and a fun family resort for a great price!
We were 4 Adults staying Nov. 29th-Dec. 4th. We had 2 rooms in the Homerun Hotel at the very back of the resort. This was a very nice and quiet location. We thought the walk to Stadium Hall was pleasant. Our rooms were spotlessly clean, nicely updated, and we had many towel animals throughout our stay. We never waited more than 20 minutes for a bus. Most waits were much shorter. Food a this resort was good but not exceptional. It was too cold for us to use the pool, but the few hardy souls who were there were enjoying it. We tested the water and it was nice and warm, but we did not want to brave the walk back to our rooms. Every cast member was friendly and helpful. For the price you pay at this resort, you get a great value. In today's economy, this is a great place to stay while still having plenty of magic.
DH, DD & I stayed here for our first ever trip to WDW. Our first ever trip to Florida for that matter.
I did not love this resort and neither did DH. We said that if we ever went back to WDW we would stay at least Moderate. Unfortunately, it turned us off to all Value Resorts.
We were kindly upgraded to a pool view room and the staff was great! A major mistake in travel time on my part had us at the most magical place on earth without a room for one night. Don't ask - call it the excitement of our trip. In any case I went to guest services at MK and called the hotel. They said that we could get a room for the night at AS Sports but that we would have to change rooms the next night. No problem, it was MY fault after all. As it turned out they upgraded our room for our stay and we did not need to change rooms. We also came back one evening to a cute towel toothbrush holder. Not an animal exactly but I thought it was cute.
The food court was okay, not anything special. It was noisy, really noisy. We had our 2 y/o daughter and she wanted to use the pool. Well the 'toddler' pool was empty. No one told us that we could use another toddler pool. I took her to the larger pool next to the toddler pool but needed to hold her the whole time as she couldn't swim etc. I was hoping to let her use the toddler pool and just sit by her.
Anyway, it was a hike from the elevator to our room with DD and stuff we were carrying. The buses seem to stop at every resort and we always crowded.
A note on the rating: I used Magic to convey my happiness with the overall helpful, kind staff.
We love sports
great theme and great pool sizes.
I can't wait to stay in ASports This Friday and all of us will enjoy it! I think this will be my second favorite!
We stayed here our last trip, our second time in this resort & I could tell it had been spruced up recently. Everything was cleaner, fresher & the nicks & dings were reparied. For the price I think it is a great choice, especially for kids who are into sports. We got a room in the tennis area (the only sport my daughter plays) by chance & it was not only fun (we played mock tennis every day) but it was also a much quieter area than the football section we had stayed in before. After our first stay I would have said the resort was "ok" but now I would recommend it to anyone who wants an affordable, fun place to stay.
Just stayed here on my last trip and liked it. I did like the fact that it was the first stop on the bus loop. The room was fine (a little mix up with the room the first night, but got fixed the next day). Where I was only in the room to sleep (for the most part), it was the perfect sized room. I was close to both the main pool and one of the quiet pools, which was handy. Buses were fine (a few were a little slow) going to the parks, but very slow at times leaving the parks. I know the resort has no control over transportation, but at one point at the Magic Kingdom it got really out of hand. I actually spoke with a transportation manager, as well as wrote a letter to the head of this department in regards to this. The resort is themed very cute and can see why it's in such high demand during sporting & cheerleading events. Food was good and check-in was a breeze. Would stay here again.
We'll never stay here again
I stayed at All-Star Sports in August 2010 at the start of the Value season. It was my first time to WDW since 1979 when I stayed at the Contemporary. When I first checked out the All-Stars I thought it looked awfully cheesy, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived.
I took the Magical Express from the airport and had no problems. The check in was pretty quick and efficient. The lobby was big, bright and inviting. I had one minor hiccup but nothing major. Even though I got in before 1pm, the room was ready and waiting for me. I had used online check in before flying to Florida.
The complex was clean and bright and cheery. (And Hot! It was mid-August) The oversized sports items didn't do anything for me, but as a kid I would have loved it. I stayed in the Football building (facing away from the field) and it was nice.
The room was certainly small, but it was just me. Very clean. I had a refrigerator added for $10 a day I think. Nice Mickey towel on the bed. Small but nice touch. Furniture was basic but serviceable. No complaints about the bed. I did discover that there are no drain plugs for the sinks which spoiled my plan to wash my clothes in the sink. I would take a rubber jar opener/disc next time to keep the water in the sink to clean clothes. I never went to use the laundry facilities in the complex. My room was right at the garbage collection facility so every am I was awakened by the trash pickup. Not a big deal as I can get back to sleep quickly.
The food court was decent but nothing exciting. The folks there were all pretty good but one night before closing they had the "C" team at best. They ran out of fries but the woman giving them out never asked for more until she would run out, etc. The place was either empty or completely swamped. As a solo traveler, I didn't have anyone to save a table so sometimes I just took a chance or had to take the food back to the room.
Transportation was the only downside of this stay. The All-Star Sports is the first stop for the buses and it saved me on many days. I never had to wait for a second bus when leaving for the parks. Unfortunately, this was the only time I felt like I was in steerage class. The buses were packed and once the driver even had people get off to rearrange the bus. In August temps, we actually had one bad trip where the A/C didn't seem to work and I thought that there was going to be violence. They needed more buses, but we all get there and back in one piece.
If it had a table service restaurant I would recommend it more highly for solo travelers. I lost a few Dining Plan Deluxe meals by missing breakfast, but it was no big deal.
I would recommend it for someone wanting a decent place to stay but not looking for pampering.
This is the only Value resort we had yet to stay in (except the new Art of Animation). Sports was the least interesting of the All Star themes to us. However, we ended up liking it a lot. We had a room in Surf's Up Building 6 and it was very convenient to the main building, pool, and even the parking lot. Our room was in very good shape, was cleaned in the morning each day, and was quite comfortable. We also had great luck with the bus system, never having to stand, never crowded, and we nearly always had a bus waiting or it came within minutes of getting to the waiting area. The food court area is almost exactly like those at Music and Movies, so no surprises there. We got good food and fairly fast service.
Our stay was August 3-6, 2012.
When my son graduated HS this year, we headed to the world for his graduation present - a trip to wDW. we hadn't been since 2007, so we were really looking forward to it. Travelling with me was DH, DS (18) & DD 15. we arrived June 5 and left June 13th.
I picked this resort because we are HUGE sports fans & even requested the tennis section given that my son will be going to college on a tennis scholarship. We were put in the basketball section.
The theming as we remembered was awesome! We paid rack rate for the room but received a pin for free QS dining. We brought a air matress & the kids took turns sleeping on it. All and all the room was fine but we really don't spend a lot of time there.
For the most part, bus transportation was acceptable. However, at times, especially the latter it was on our trips, often we would get stuck waiting for a bus to come & take us to the parks. Another reason we picked this resort because I knew it was first on the pickup before the other 2 all stars.
The reason I rated the Magic lower because not once during our stay did any of the CMs at this resort going out of their way for anything magical. It was magical enough being at WDW, but I've been spoiled by past trips - where there was always a ready smile, or quick tip of the hat, a towel animal in our room... even the lady at check-in was just going through the steps.... I know my kids are OLDER but still my 18 year old son picked WDW for his trip...and you can't even wish him happy graduation - and it was noted on our room reservation. just thought it was all so un-Disney.
We stayed in the sports resort May 24-May 31, 2013. Absolutely will never, never ever stay there again. Kids screaming until at least 2:00a.m. I finally passes out. No sleep does not make for a magical vacation.
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Updated 1/13/2009 - Article #19
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