All-Star Movies

by josh on January 6, 2013

Address:

1801 W. Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Phone: 407-939-6000, Fax: 407-939-7111, General Reservations: 1-407-WDISNEY (1-407-934-7639)

Resort Class:

All-Star Movies is a Value, the least expensive Disney resort type.  There are only two room categories – Standard ($85 – $176/night) and Preferred ($101 – $192/night).  Pricing is identical to the other All-Stars, $5 less per night than Pop Century, and $10 less per night than a Standard room at Art of Animation.

Rooms in the Fantasia, Toy Story, and 101 Dalmatians buildings are all considered to have a “preferred” location and cost $16 more per night due to their close proximity to the main building, dining, and feature pool.  A third or fourth person on the reservation over the age of 17 costs an additional $10/night.

A map to view and print is available here.

Location:

All-Star Sports is officially an Animal Kingdom area resort and is closest to the Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, but relatively far from the Magic Kingdom.  There is also a McDonald’s restaurant on Disney property that’s about a half mile away.  The All-Stars are also about 5 minutes away from a number of off-Disney areas with cheaper dining and shopping, which you should keep in mind if you decide to rent a car.

All-Star Movies is at the end of the All-Star Resort complex.  The picture above is the corner of the Mighty Ducks section taken from the edge of All-Star Music.  If you’re staying in the Mighty Ducks section, you’re actually closer to the food court and bus stop at All-Star Music.  Since both resorts offer basically the same food and transportation options, you may want to head in that direction if you’re staying in the Ducks.

Size:

Like the other All-Stars, Movies has 10 three-story buildings, each with 192 rooms, for a total of 1,920.  All buildings have two elevators in the middle of the building.  Buildings in the Love Bug section are the furthest from the bus stop and main building.  The furthest rooms are an eight to ten minute walk to the main building and feature pool.

Room Amenities and Quality:

Standard and Preferred rooms are 260 square feet, the same standard size as the other Value resorts.  Amenities are also identical – the only differences are some details in the furnishings and art.  There are either two double beds or one king size bed in each room, depending on reservation.  King bed rooms can be requested, but they generally go to guests with disabilities first because they have bathrooms that can accommodate wheelchairs.  King bed rooms do not have a tub.


The decor is otherwise pretty ho-hum.

Each room has a nightstand, two chairs, armoire, 32” HDTV, wall mirror, clock radio, and small safe.


Rooms have one sink, one mirror, and a separate bathroom area with toilet and combined bathtub and shower.

Shampoo/conditioner and bar soap are also provided.


Rooms are also equipped with a small refrigerator.

Items that may not be included, but can be requested for free, include iron, ironing board, extra pillows, towels, and blankets.

Each room can sleep up to four people, but cots are only available in King Bed rooms due to the fire code.  Although a twin air mattress won’t fit in between the beds (which can’t be moved), you can fit one on the long side of the room by moving some of the furniture around.

WiFi Internet is available in all guest rooms at no extra charge.

Theme and Layout:






All-Star Movies resort may have the most popular theme of any Disney resort, especially in the eyes of most children.  The resort features gigantic action-figure-like statues of popular Disney characters including a Buzz Lightyear that towers nearly 50 feet in the air, a 30 foot tall Woody, and 27 foot tall bucket of Toy Story Army Men, along with numerous others.  Although the All-Star resorts are the least expensive at Disney World, nothing about their theme or layout appears “cheap.”

Pool:

All Star Movies’ main pool is 231,000+ gallons and nearest to the Fantasia building.

A smaller kiddie pool is nearby.

And there’s also a small  “interactive water feature” for kids off to the left.

Duck Pond Pool, a smaller 105,000 gallon pool, is located between the two Mighty Ducks buildings.

While music blasts all day, it’s usually quieter than the feature pool with fewer people around.

Silver Screen Spirits is the bar serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks near the feature pool:





Like the other resort bars, it also features a full bar.  Draft beer is usually Bud Light, Yuengling, and Sam Adams Seasonal.

Hair wraps, at a price of $2/inch plus the cost of beads, are available at the feature pool in the afternoon.  A movie is played nightly, usually between 7pm and 9pm.  Pool games and other activities are also scheduled at the main pool throughout the day.  A schedule is included in your check-in packet and you can visit the resort concierge for another copy.

Finally, coin-operated laundry machines and bathrooms are located near both pools.

Transportation: There is only one bus stop at the All-Star Movies and it is located in front of the main building.  One nice thing about the All-Star resorts is that the bus to each Park has its own queue (line).  This makes lining up more orderly and boarding buses more fair, especially when it’s crowded. Transportation speed and success depend mostly on whether or not all three of the All-Star resorts are sharing buses.  During off-peak times, Movies will share buses with All-Star Sports and Music.  Since All-Star Movies is the last stop, buses may be mostly full by the time they reach Movies.  Coming home, this also means that Movie guests will be dropped off last which can add an additional 5 minutes or more to transit times.

The times below are calculated after the bus leaves the resort:

Hollywood Studios: about 10 minutes
Epcot: about 15 minutes
Animal Kingdom: about 10 minutes
Magic Kingdom: about 20 minutes

Best Rooms: While Preferred rooms are closer to the main building and feature pool, you’re also paying a premium for the additional foot traffic and noise that come along with that location.  Most Standard rooms are only an additional three to five minutes away from key amenities and don’t cost any more money.  My favorite rooms are in the Mighty Ducks section on the third floor facing away from the quiet pool.  This puts you just a one or two minute walk away from the pool and you’ll also just three or four minutes away from All-Star Music’s quick service, feature pool, and bus stop.  Being on the third floor cuts down on additional foot traffic outside the door.  If you prefer to dine at All-Star Movies, rooms in the Fantasia building facing away from the feature pool are quiet and should be available for Standard room pricing.  The Love Bug section, located further away and featuring a theme that is rarely requested, would be the quietest rooms at the resort.

On-Site Dining Options:

World Premier Food Court is the on-site dining option.

It’s a circular area with several stations offering a wide variety of food.    For dinner choices, please see All-Star Music, where the options are the same.  Here, I’ll focus on breakfast at the All-Stars:











Plenty of hot items are offered in addition to items that could be grabbed quickly for an on-the-go meal.

Seating should look similar to the other Value resorts with plenty of tables out in the open.

Disney posters adorn the walls.

A breakfast example – Mickey Waffle with Bacon ($5.99) with a side of Breakfast Potatoes ($2.49). I still feel a little bad about eating Mickey’s face, but the Mickey Waffles really are very good, freshly made while you wait a minute or two. That’s a healthy side of syrup. The bacon wasn’t anything to write home about – your typical extra crispy variety. The Kids Picks version comes with two smaller waffles in addition to a beverage that looked like a hefty enough portion. That may be a smarter way to go.

For $2.50, this was a pretty sad side of lukewarm potatoes. I wouldn’t order them again.

Overall, the food court offers a lot of above-average items that should satisfy.  And because there’s no table service restaurant on property, you receive a 20% discount with Tables in Wonderland with no tip added.

Best For: Those who do not plan to spend much time at the resort and are aware of the limited amenities offered.  Guests traveling with children who would enjoy the theme.

Worst For: Those used to staying at the Ritz Carlton or are otherwise expecting more than they receive.  People who plan to spend a lot of time relaxing at the resort.

Summary of Key Points: The best thing All-Star Movies has going for it is the fact that it is the most “Disney” of any resort in the world.  There is no denying the fact that a 50 foot tall Buzz Lightyear screams “Disney” in a way no amount of Polynesian or Victorian landscaping possibly could.  On the other hand, rooms are small with only two double beds and a single sink.

Like other Values, Movies does not have any hot tubs or water slides, but the pool areas are themed well and more popular than either of the other two All-Stars.  Transportation depends largely on whether bus service is shared.  All-Star Movies is picked up and dropped off last when buses are shared, which may lead to major inconveniences and uncomfortable bus rides.  Luckily, bus rides to the Parks are not particularly long.  Another potential problem may be large organized groups of children.  Pop Warner and cheerleading competitions bring thousands of youngsters to the Value resorts and may make the your stay incredibly busy and loud.  If you are considering a Value, it may be in your best interest to call the resort and ask if they are expecting any large groups during the time of your stay.

Overall, the Value resorts are perfect for guests on a budget who want to take advantage of Disney transportation and Extra Magic Hours and plan to spend most of their time at the Parks.  With youngsters, the Movies theme could be the perfect fit.

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

annie January 7, 2013 at 5:14 am

I stayed in the Toy Story section in October, 2012. We were in the parks most of the day, so the pricing was ideal for us. The food court and pools were adequate and we never waited longer than 10 minutes for a bus. I would absolutely recommend it.

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Reagan January 7, 2013 at 10:44 am

We just arrived home from WDW and stayed in the Toy Story area of All Star Movies resort. We have stayed in all of the categories of WDW resorts. We picked this one this time because one of my children really loves Toy Story. As it was a little cooler, we really didn’t plan to use the pool. The room was actually fine. We pretty much used it just to sleep and shower. If I were choosing a room just for myself, I might prefer a deluxe resort. We chose it just for the theming and were really pleased with it.

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Anjie January 9, 2013 at 7:59 am

We always stay at value resorts and All-Star Movies is the kids favorite. Our trip at the end of October 2012, we stayed in the Toy Story section in an outer room. The few times we were back at our room, it was so quiet and peaceful with very little foot traffic. Much better than our stay in Fantasia a couple of years ago. Also this trip, we never had to share a bus with the other All-Star resorts.

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