A friend just booked an 8-night stay at All Star Music and is worried because it wasn't her first choice but was all that was left under the free dining offer. Anyone care to share experiences, good or bad, that I can share with her to help her plan? She has two kids, 8 and 5, and the older child is on the autism spectrum.
IMHO, all Disney resorts are magical. Often people wonder if the least-pricey WDW resort option will be less than wonderful; I am quick to reassure anyone worrying that is not the case.
I've stayed at all three All-Star resorts, and they're all great. Yes, they're a bit more sparse on amenities than the Deluxe resorts, perhaps ... and yes, they might be a bit more crowded, but they're still VERY MUCH Disney, and the magic is still very much there.
Most folks are so "glowing" with excitement to be there, that staying in the least expensive hotel does nothing to tint their vacation experience in a negative manner.
It's Disney World! That's all I gotta say.
Are they getting a suite? I am fine with the values, have stayed at both Music and Sports. Fun theming, kids love it. If it's a regular room, go for it! BUT the pull out beds in the suite are so horrible that I would caution anyone against it. With a child on the spectrum, he or she might be very sensitive to an uncomfortable mattress, though there is one regular bed that is fine.
Also, recommend that they ask for a building close to the buses. I think we were in Calypso, but she can check the map to double check that.
I agree with @rogue that all the Disney resorts are magical, and the values in some ways have the best theming from a kid's point of view.
For the autism spectrum, my concerns with the All Stars would be food and noise. I believe the food court at Music will be closed almost all fall, and if timing of food is important to keep an even keel that could be a bigger factor for this family than others. Also, some kids on the spectrum are very sensitive to noise, and the any of the All Stars could have issues there. Think loud food court. Depending on the individual, that could be an issue or not.
If she is nervous about this reservation, have her double-check that FD is really the best deal for her family. Depending on her family it may truly be the best deal, or a RO may be a better option and open up some other choices of hotels.
Stayed there in January 2012. It was just fine. I do hope that they booked a preferred room. The walk from the back gets old. I'm pretty sure that the food court is being referbished now. Not sure when your friends are booked for.
Granted it was four years ago, but my family had a FANTASTIC stay at ASMu on our last trip. We were very near to the pool, but didn't hear it, and we were near to transportation and the main building too. It was clean and the family suite was the spacious. We felt pampered and cared about (as well as for) throughout our stay. Would definitely go back!!
Our first trip was at Music. We had a preferred room in Calypso. I was worried because the pool was very loud, but our room was on the back of the building away from the pool and was very peaceful. Make sue she knows about the food court being closed. They'll have cold sandwiches available though if that works.
We stayed there a few years ago we enjoyed it. Along with the noise outside the rooms some of the toilets can be quite loud when they flush.
Thanks for all the info. She's very worried about the food court being closed, with good reason. Does anyone know if they'll be able to walk over to the other All Star resorts to use those food courts or would it be too far?
@MrsIncredible I think I've heard that buses will run to the nearby All-Star resorts kind of as a shuttle to their food courts. I'm not sure about walking distance. I'm assuming there will be a beverage dispenser available so people can fill their resort mugs but I'm not 100% sure on that. Hopefully someone else can chime in with more info.
Here's a blurb I found: All-Star Music: ◦Intermission Food Court will undergo refurbishment from August 1 through December 20, 2014 that will include an updated seated area and new meal stations with many create-your-own-meal options. During the refurbishment a temporary grab 'n' go location will be setup in the Note'able Games Arcade area. Offerings will include salads, sandwiches and desserts, as well as a Refillable mug station. The Singing Spirits bar will also provide food options and a refillable mug station. Guests can also call for in-room pizza delivery from 3:00 p.m. through 1:00 a.m. each day. Transportation to Disney's All Star Sports Resort and Disney's All-Star Movies Resort will also be provided to guests who would like to dine at their Food Courts
Taken from: http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/wdwparks/rehab-close.shtml
Hope that helps alleviate the worries!
Although there was tons of internet complaining about it beforehand when Sports went down it was really a non issue on the ground. The shuttle was quick and efficient and if you planned appropriate and were going to eat before/after park visit just get off the bus at the resort with food court then shuttle back. Its not that far of a walk depending on what section they are in. they should request accordingly.
As far as ASMu itself its a fine resort, if that's all that's left for FD I'd scoop it up and think of it as the GF. It's not a bad resort at all and IMO none of the values are that much better than the rest they are all very similar.
This is all good news. I have a trip planned for the All Stars Music in Oct, stayed at POR and POFQ before. Trying to save money this trip. How long is the walk to ALL STars Sports, anyone know? Is it worth it to walk to the Sports for the bus as it is the first stop in the route??
ntermission Food Court Closed August 1 to December 20, 2014
The Intermission Food Court at All-Star Music will be closed for refurbishment between August 1 and December 20, 2014. Snacks and grab-and-go items will be available at other locations around the lobby, including the arcade, and pizza delivery will still be available. Disney will also provide bus service to other All-Star food courts. If you’re walking, the closest available food court is All-Star Sports.
I think you should ask them if they will really use the dining plan the way free dining works because a room discount is almost always better. But some people like to think their food is paid for in advance so I get that too. For my family it isn’t good because we don’t order desert at each meal and 2 of us don’t drink soda or coffee so the mugs are a waste.
i will be at AS Music on friday for the night if they have specific questions.
Detail on the temporary food area
At Music now, the shuttles run constantly between the three resorts with pick up/ down offs at main entrances. You could easily walk to either, maybe 10 minutes.
The further away from the food court, the quieter. There is a second pool that is also quieter.
We stayed there in 2001 on the first trip with DS. We were far from the foot court but it was pretty quiet there. It was over memorial day weekend and there were several school bands there.
I had a bad experience at Sports - but it was the other guests vice the resort itself. It was a VERY last-minute 2-night booking, and I was on a floor with about 30 rooms of a college frat or sports team (never found out which). Constant (loud, drunken) traffic outside the room until after 2, “sounds I didn’t need to hear” coming through the walls, etc. I got up the next AM before the cleaning folks came through, and the condition of the walkway was disgusting. SHOULD have complained, but didn’t want to take the time away from EMH. The group checked out that day, so the second night was much better. But I have to say that the whole experience rather put me off staying value for many years. Finally last May I booked a room at PoP for 6 nights, and completely fell in love with it. Looking back, the AS resort itself was probably just as nice, and I probably would have enjoyed it more had I not had that first night bacchanal to deal with.