We’ll stop by Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, which is currently finishing up a years-long room refurbishment. All rooms at the resort are currently refurbished or in the process of being refurbished, so if you book a Movies room moving forward, this is what you’ll see.
While the aesthetics are a little different, what we see here is virtually identical to the makeover that Pop Century completed a couple of years ago. Above is the refurbished All-Stars room.
And above is Pop Century. You can find a lot more pictures of the Pop room here.
At the conclusion of that review, I had this to say:
Like with the Coronado Springs refurbishment, new Pop rooms are an upgrade in virtually every meaningful way. At 260 square feet, they are still small, of course, but the space “feels” much more spacious now with the pull-down bed and additional storage options. The lighting and flooring are major improvements and I don’t think anybody will scoff at larger, more comfortable beds. The television is upgraded. The sliding door to the vanity area is better than the curtain. The bathroom looks elegant. Nothing about it screams cheap.
On the other hand, I feel like it is missing something that would otherwise tie the room together. A rug, perhaps. But after a day full of screaming at Magic Kingdom, returning to a room that’s a lot closer to an oasis than a cartoon is probably welcome. These are easily the nicest and best-appointed Value rooms on property. ‘
Of course, that last sentence is no longer true with the refurbishment at Movies. Over the next few years, the other two All-Star resorts should see the same upgrades. Once that’s complete, the Value resort rooms, with the exception of the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, will all offer the same layout and amenities.
This is what the All-Star Movies rooms used to look like. Yellow, dingy, and bacteria are all words that seem to come to mind. None of those are particularly positive. Previously, All-Star rooms came with two double beds. Now you’ve got one stationary queen and one pull-down queen. The new television is much larger with significantly better quality picture. The set of drawers are easier to open and close and actually hold more stuff, despite being narrower. There’s now a sliding door separating the vanity area/bathroom from the rest of the room, which reduces noise and light. The rooms are also much brighter.
There is more color in the previous room – the bedspreads have stars on them, which might be theming. What I do like is the thin strip of wallpaper going around the room, making it “feel” a little more Disney. We’ve also got a painting from the 101 Dalmatians and the likeness of Disney characters engraved above the coat rack. The walls are also painted a variety of different colors, instead of the white that’s now taken over.
Here’s a too-wide look at how the refurbished rooms are laid out. You’ll also notice the lightly-colored laminate flooring, which “feels” a lot cleaner than 10-year old carpet. I always request the top floor, so I’m not sure if noise is more of a problem with the louder laminate. When we stayed at Coronado shortly after similar flooring was added, we did hear a lot of noise coming from the room above. It’s hard to say how much quieter it would be if a herd of elephants was running on carpet instead.
Immediately to your left is where you’ll find the refrigerator, coffee maker, ice bucket, and potentially some space to store some cups and such.
If you can believe it, the old rooms didn’t have a coffee maker in them. What you’ll now find in every refurbished room is a basic Cuisinart machine, but they use the provided Joffrey’s Coffee and Twining’s Tea Pods, which brew up pretty nicely. The refrigerator is smaller than the old ones, and it holds considerably less stuff, given the fact that there’s no shelving attached to the door. People seem to prefer the transparent glass. At least that way, you’ll be disappointed that you’re out of Budweisers from across the room, instead of needing to get up and check.
The biggest change is the arrival of this large, queen size pull-down Murphy bed.
This is the only table in the room, so after you pull the bed down, you’ll be without that space. There isn’t really any other desk space in the room.
If you only need one bed then you’re in business. You’ll enjoy a room that “feels” much larger.
Pulled down, the bed takes up a considerable amount of space.
Because the Murphy bed housing is longer than the headboard, it also juts out a bit further. If you’re as clumsy as I am, it will probably take five or six very painful hits to the shin before you adjust your route six inches to the right or left.
The bed is surprisingly easy to push up and pull down. You can probably do it with one hand, despite the contraption looking like it’s big and heavy.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of space underneath the stationary bed for storage. Previously, the beds were perched atop a sort of box, so there was no storage underneath.
I found the pull-down bed to be surprisingly comfortable. It’s the same queen-size mattress as the other bed, which also provided a sound night’s sleep.
While I appreciated the extra space when the bed was folded up, the art above the headboard is beyond precious.
Even when the Murphy bed wasn’t in use, I still usually kept it down to enjoy Huey, Dewey, and Louie dreaming about sports, movies, and music. Their dreams are probably not a coincidence, since they’re the themes of the three All-Star resorts. It wouldn’t surprise me if the rooms All-Star Music and Sports look virtually identical with the exact same art.
The fabric on the chairs is interchangeable with baseballs, film reels, and vinyl records. These chairs would “work” at any of the three resorts. That may or may not be disappointing. All-Star Movies has 1,920 rooms, which means nearly four thousand chairs are in use at any given time. You’d think that would be enough to fill a unique fabric order. On the other hand, I’m sure it’s easier for Disney to deal with exactly one fabric pattern across almost 6,000 rooms.
You couldn’t get much more generic than these curtains hanging in front of the single window. This could easily be themed in some way to Disney classic movies. On the other hand, people are unlikely to try to steal something so ugly. That may come into play too.
A certain sterility is a big criticism of the rooms. From this direction, it’s not so bad with the Mickey art above the bed.
Looking in this direction, on the other hand, this could “literally” be a decently-appointed hotel room just about anywhere in the country. It doesn’t look much different than the Fairfield Inn room that I stayed at earlier this year across from Disneyland. But even that is a huge improvement over the previous look of the rooms. Some wallpaper or a unique lighting fixture would go a long way. I don’t think there’s any chance of the bed runners coming back, but the bedding could be themed to the All-Stars in some way, even if it’s just one print for all three resorts.
Across the three All-Star resorts, we’re talking about nearly 6,000 rooms. Obviously, the white sheets that Disney is using is the cheapest way to go, but getting a custom order made on the cheap can’t be that difficult or expensive for the largest media conglomerate in the world. If the bedding was $15 more for custom-printed art, then the cost would be about $90,000 across the three All-Star properties. Disney would make that back in just one night, and only 410 rooms would have to put their revenue for the night towards the bill. That’s the nightly take from 7% of the rooms. During peak season, at 100% occupancy, the All-Stars generate as much as 1.3 million dollars per night.
While Disney may have cheaped out on the chair fabric, the Samsung televisions are nice.
We’ve also got additional places to plug in our electronics with regular outlets and USB ports underneath.
There was no shortage of pillows in the room with eight on this bed.
With more in the closet.
Speaking of storage, here’s the three drawers in the dresser underneath the television.
On the opposite side, you’ll find shelving and the safe.
Overall, I think it’s hard to find fault in these Value Resort rooms and most guests should appreciate the upgrades and more livable spaces.
I don’t think that there’s a single thing that isn’t an improvement over the original rooms. Aesthetically, it would be nice to see a couple more Disney flourishes. But most people don’t need reminding that they’re at Walt Disney World and the room is a respite away from incredible hustle and bustle of the theme parks. There’s probably something to say for serenity. Before the refurbishment, I would guess most people opened the door to their All-Star room and said something to the effect of, “Well, it’s not that bad.” With the new rooms, I think the sentiment would lean towards, “This is actually pretty nice. Yeah, not bad at all.”
Moving on to the bathroom, the sliding door is a welcome addition, as is the makeup mirror.
We’ve still got the single sink.
Storage opportunities seem to have improved.
The area is nice and bright too, which is another positive change. There’s an ironing board hanging up.
An iron and hair dryer.
Just in case.
You might bring some liquid hand soap with you. A small bar is all you’ll see next to the sink.
The bathroom enjoys a similarly clean and functional look. We even enjoy some green paint. What a burst of color!
The water pressure in our room wasn’t great; I’m not sure if that’s standard or bad luck.
Disney moved away from those small bottles of Body Wash, Shampoo, and Conditioner some time ago, and replaced them in the shower with these larger bottles that are locked in place. I’m happy to report that I’ve never found them to be grungy and it doesn’t “feel” like pressing down on the top of the dispenser to get some Shampoo is any more gross than touching any of the other surfaces around the room. If anything, I actually found them to be far more convenient than the smaller bottles, where I was always trying to figure out which one was which and then spending some amount of time trying to get the small cap on and off before shaking too much out into my hand. Most people are probably bringing their own products anyway.
But it’s certainly another thing that you can complain about without actually experiencing. This is still the internet.
Outside, it’s still the same All-Star Resort with the outdoor walkways. I prefer a room on the opposite side of the pool towards the back of the resort. Quiet is always better. I’m in room 3945, which is in Mighty Ducks building three.
Back inside, you have some in-room food and beverage delivery options:
Add a three-dollar delivery charge and 18% tip. If you’re in the back of the resort, and it’s raining, then it may be worth having one delivered if the group is getting hungry.
The pizzas are actually pretty good, even when you pick them up from a bus stop, as we did a couple of years ago.
And Main Events:
The Dining Plan redemption cost, of two table service credits per meal, is pretty wacky. You’d have to trade two table service credits, each worth $50 or more, for a $10 Turkey Croissant at the All-Star Movies. You definitely want to pay out of pocket on this one, even with the 18% tip and $3 delivery fee. Just because you’re on the Dining Plan doesn’t mean you have to use it at every meal.
You’ll be greeted with one of these letters on the bed after you arrive:
It’s nice to feel like your voice will be heard should anything interesting happen during your stay.
Overall, the refurbishment is a positive one, bringing bigger, comfier beds, a bigger, better television, a much nicer bathroom, more space, more storage, and a “cleaner” overall look. I don’t think there are many among us who don’t wish Disney had spent a little more money on some creative touches to differentiate the rooms from any of a plethora of generic hotel rooms around town. But at some point, making the rooms “too nice,” might cannibalize its more expensive resorts.
With tax, the All-Star rooms start at $112 a night in 2020, which seems reasonable considering the amenities offered to on-site guests. The rate goes up to $266/night during the holidays for a Preferred room. On average, Pop is about $50/night more expensive than All-Star Movies, which is considerable. Art of Animation rooms are even more expensive. On Monday, January 6, 2020, you’d pay $112 at Movies, $154 at Pop, and $180 at Art of Animation. With my Annual Passholder discount, I’ve paid between $108 and $120 per night here in September.
If you’re planning on staying at one of the Values over the next couple of years, then I’d take a long look at Movies.