All Star Sports

by josh on January 6, 2013

Address:

1701 West Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Phone:  407-939-5000, Fax: 407-939-7333, General Reservations: 1-407-WDISNEY (1-407-934-7639)

Resort Class:

All-Star Sports is a Value, the least expensive Disney resort type.  There are only two room categories – Standard ($85 – $176/night) and Preferred ($101 – $192/night).  Preferred rooms cost $16/night more than Standard rooms and are found in Surfs Up buildings 1 and 6.  There is a $10/person charge for a third and fourth person over the age of 17 on the reservation.

A map to view or 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 Music is in walking distance if you cross the parking lot near the Center Court section.  You can then continue to All-Star Movies.

Size:

All-Star Sports has 10 three-story buildings, each with 192 rooms, for a total of 1,920.  96 of these feature king beds and of those 96, 48 are handicap accessible.  All buildings have an elevator and should be within a ten minute walk of the main building and bus stop, with Center Court and Hoops the furthest away.

Room Amenities and Quality: All rooms are 260 square feet, the same standard size as the other Value resorts.  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 as well.  Each room has a nightstand, two chairs, armoire, 32” LCD HDTV, wall mirror, clock radio, small safe, one sink, one mirror, and bathroom area with toilet and combined bathtub and shower.  Shampoo, conditioner, and bar soap are also provided.  Rooms are now equipped with a small refrigerator as well.  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.

WiFi Internet is available on-room at no extra charge.

Theme and Layout:





Sports is similar to both All-Star- Movies and Music in that it features gigantic figurines, bright colors, and the same basic ten building layout.  Football (Touchdown), Tennis (Center Court), Baseball (Homerun Hotel), Basketball (Hoops), and Surfing (Surf’s Up) are the five themes and there are two buildings themed for each sport.

The theme is perfect for children (or adults) who love sports and will appreciate the 51 foot tall tennis racquets, 45 foot tall megaphone, and 60 foot long whistle.  Disney characters Goofy and Donald also make appearances.

Pool:

Unfortunately, the feature pool was closed for refurbishment during my last visit.  The 242,000+ gallon pool is now back open and has a kiddie pool attached.

As previously mentioned, the resort’s feature pool is closed for refurbishment.

Like the other Value resorts, it’s basically just a big pool.  Games are organized by the lifeguards throughout the day and movies are played in the evening, usually between 7pm and 9pm.  The schedule should be included in your packet when you check in to the resort.  Hair Wraps are available from 4pm – 10pm at a cost of $2 per inch plus the cost of beads.

Team Spirits is the dual purpose pool/quick service bar.

Ordering a drink is convenient from inside the quick service or outside near the pool.

The usual menu.

A smaller 119,000 gallon quiet pool is situated between the two Homerun Hotel buildings.

Coin operated laundry machines and bathrooms are available for use near each pool.

No Value resorts have water slides or hot tubs and this is no exception.  Additional towels are also not available at the pool, so guests must bring them from their room and request more from housekeeping.  The Goofy “quiet pool” between the Homerun buildings is usually much less busy than the main pool, so consider checking it out for a more relaxing swim, especially during peak times.  Guests from any All-Star resort can use the pool facilities of any other All-Star resort as well.

Transportation:

Often, especially during off-peak times to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, the three All-Star resorts will share buses.  This is not as much of an issue for All-Star Sports because it is the first stop both leaving and returning from the Parks.  Thus, transit times will be shorter returning from the Parks and you’re more likely to find a seat on the trip to the Parks.  Bus service is generally considered to be above average at Sports because of this and transportation times to the Parks are relatively short as well.

The times below are calculated after the bus leaves its final stop for the Park.

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

Best Rooms:

The quietest rooms with the least foot traffic are found in the Center Court and Hoops Hotel sections.  But these rooms are also three to five minutes further away from the main building than Preferred rooms in the Surfs Up section.  Rooms in the Homerun Hotel are closest to the quiet pool.  For a quieter experience here, request a room facing away from the pool on the third floor.  My favorite rooms are located in Center Court building 4 because they look toward All-Star Music and are further from the parking lot than most other rooms away from the pools.  Most people considering Sports will want to forgo the $16/night for a Preferred room because they’re the noisiest rooms on property.  If that isn’t a concern, these rooms are closest to the feature pool and main building.  In the picture of the Surfs Up section above, most anyone walking from Hoops Hotel or Center Court would pass by these rooms on their way to the pool or main building.

On-Site Dining Options:

End Zone Food Court for lunch:

The End Zone Food Court, located in Stadium Hall, is the only on-site dining option other than in-room pizza delivery.

The setup is identical to the other All-Stars, with several stations offering different types of items.  Here’s an idea of what you can expect to be available:













Dinner adds specials such as roast turkey, pork, and steak.  See the All-Star Movies review for breakfast and dinner options.







Beverages and takeaway items like sandwiches, fruit, and vegetables are also available.

The seating section sits about 550 people.


Fountain beverages for your refillable mug.

Shopping:

Sport Goofy is the resort’s single store.

It’s full of the usual generic Disney World merchandise.

And a small section of sports and ESPN merchandise, all of which (and more) is available at Team Mickey at Downtown Disney, among other places around property.

Additional food and drink options are available, in addition to toiletries that might have been forgotten at home:











Check-in and Lobby:

If arriving by Magical Express, you’ll be dropped off right in front of Stadium Hall.  Here, you’ll find an expansive lobby with check-in and concierge desks.

To the right is a small area for kids to watch Disney cartoons while the parents ask questions.

Dad can enjoy the single television tuned to ESPN.

Looking down the single walkway in the lobby, the arcade and store are to the right, the pool is directly ahead, and the food court is off to the left.

Game Point Arcade:

The arcade:






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.  Those on a budget who want to take advantage of Magical Express, Disney Transportation, and Extra Magic Hours.

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 at the resort.

Summary of Key Points: Sports is nearly identical to the other Value resorts in the amenities and furnishing offered.  Although the theme is not as overtly “Disney” as Movies, many guests may still favor it.  Sports does have the best transportation of the All-Star resorts because it is picked up and dropped off first, regardless of whether buses are shared between the three resorts.  Overall, Sports is not as popular as Movies or Music, due to the fact that Movies has its theme going for it and Music has suites and fewer rooms.  This may mean that Sports is the only Value available during peak times or promotions.  Don’t be too fearful though, as there are really few differences between the All-Stars and it does have transportation going for it.

The rooms in the All-Stars are small and best for those who don’t plan to do much at the resort other than bathe, sleep, and swim.  The resort may be noisy depending on your neighbors and whether or not there are any large organized groups staying at the resort during your stay.  The resort is particularly congested during sport tournaments like Pop Warner and the various cheerleading competitions.  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 you plan your vacation.  Also, request to be in a building further away from the pool areas and noise should be less of a factor as it is less likely screaming children will be constantly running past your door.

Overall, the Value resorts are perfect for guests who want to take advantage of Disney transportation and Extra Magic Hours and plan to spend most of their time at the Parks.  Sports is no exception.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sylvie May 9, 2013 at 6:45 am

Wants to congratulate you for this fact sheet on the All-Star Sports,
I am a travel agent with over 25 years experience and i’ve rarely seen
such a complete, clear and details review of an hotel.

Job well done!

Reply

Sandy January 16, 2014 at 7:09 am

Great review! This is the best review I have come across, by far. Thank you for providing such great and thorough info.

Reply

Anonymous February 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Thank you so much. This has helped A LOT in planning

Reply

Nicole February 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Staying here for a couple of nights in April as part of a surprise trip for our boys. Thanks for the review and not scaring me! lol We stayed at the Fort Wilderness Cabins last time so we know they won’t be as excited without bunk-beds, I think they will enjoy the Sports theming (especially my younger one). Now I just have to figure out what area we should request. We didn’t pay for a preferred room, but we want to be fairly close to the pool. Decisions!

Reply

Isobel September 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm

great insight. Really enjoyed looking over this blog. Keep up the good work
and to everyone keep on learning!

Reply

Cindy November 30, 2014 at 9:13 pm

We actually prefer all star sports because our kids are young adults, and we do not have any small children. Usually older kids stay here, like college sports teams, high school teams, etc. There aren’t as many little kids, which makes us feel more comfortable.

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