TouringPlans needs your help on Value Resorts: How do you decide?

Hi all!

We are going to be doing some new things for subscribers in the coming months including some complimentary eGuides. One of the first of these will be some information/decision guides for WDW resorts, starting with the Values (Pop Century, Art of Animation, the 3 All Star Resorts).

So here’s what I would like your help with: After you decide to stay in a Value Resort, what are your top 2 factors for picking an individual resort?

Is the small price difference a factor? Food court? Pool? Location? Bus service? It can be anything. We’re going to use this information to decide exactly where to focus our new guide. Thanks in advance!

We just booked our first value. The first thing we considered was the general consensus of reviews we’ve seen here on the forums and in the chat. Using that information it pretty well narrowed it down to Pop and AoA. These seem to get top reviews for room decor, property decor, bus availability, and food courts.

From there it came down to price as AoA generally runs a bit higher than Pop. Since the standard Little Mermaid rooms at AoA tend to be further away from the main building and transportation than the suites, which we didn’t need, we went with Pop. It’s easy to get a room that is close to the buses and food, and is only a short walk over to AoA if we want to see that.


ebooks? Does that include the latest version of the greatest ebook ever written?

As someone that relies on wdw transportation, buses and shared buses are a big issue with me. There is never enough difference in the cost to offset being on a crowded bus extra time.i will consider the difference in cost between Pop and AOA. I can get a discount at Pop. Beyond that, I am an adult traveling without children and Pop seems more older, single adult than AOA.


Staying at AoA first time next week. Decision was entirely based on needing 6 beds for 8 ppl. Didn’t want to pay for 3-4 individual rooms (and the en suites provide a privacy factor with 2 bathrooms!). Plus the theming looks great for a value. Will let you know how it goes!

When it comes to picking a value resort, transportation is most important for me. It’s why I always go with Pop. Everything else is really not that important. The All-Stars could have a brand new pool with an epic water slide and a food court serving tacos from my favorite Mexican place back home and I’d still go with Pop if their transportation situation hasn’t improved. It’s actually one of the reasons I prefer Pop to a Moderate resort. Only one bus stop to deal with.


POP or AoA if transportation is weighted highest.

If renting a car, I’d still choose POP based on the location of the resort and the food court (and proximity to AoA’s food court).

For suites, ASMu is the less expensive alternative than AoA, but again, for many it might be worth the extra cost to not share buses and be saddled with possibly longer transportation times.

That said, I know people who book 2 rooms at POP rather than the suites because then they’ll have more bathrooms.

I didn’t have a bad experience at ASMovies but the busing situation was terrible. Also, at the time, the rooms seemed run down. So we default to POP now when choosing a value.


I actually suggest the All-Stars to first timers with young children. I think the presence of all of the character statues and the big bright colorful decorations launch you into that Disney experience. That being said, I am staying at Pop on our next trip because I want the transportation. We are planning on doing a lot of touring and not a lot of time in the hotel area, so it just made sense. That and the boys wanted to see AoA, but with a family of 4 I couldn’t justify paying for the suites and as I mentioned I have two boys, so staying in a Little Mermaid room was not an option for them. First time at Pop, we usually like to stay Moderate.

I’ll admit it…it’s all about the food court. Aside from that, while the rooms are pretty much the same, there’s a bit more wow at Pop than when we stayed at any of the All-Stars. Not sure quite why, but it may be because of my age – lots of “remember when” nostalgia that creates a good feeling that I just don’t get from the All-Stars. Even just pulling up to the resort, Pop has more wow than pulling up to the All-Stars.

April will be our first trip to a value resort and we decided to stay in the AoA Little Mermaid rooms. Proximity to WDW transportation was not a high priority since we usually rent a car for the flexibility (we don’t have much patience for waiting for buses). I was not keen on staying in a motel-like resort. It just didn’t feel like it had Disney Magic. But due to school schedules this year, April was the only time we could go and value resorts were the only one’s in our price range. What set AoA apart from the rest of the value properties for us was the dining. AoA seemed to have more variety in their dining options than the other value resorts. We will post a more complete review after our trip.

I’ve stayed at POP and AS. POP will be my future choice if I stay value.

  1. Did not like AS at all. Crowded, noisy, more rude guests than I have ever experienced anywhere else on property, crowded busses - there was really nothing about the experience that I enjoyed.

  2. I travel either solo or with DW, so as well-themed as AoA is, I don’t need/want a suite, and the LM rooms are further from the main building than I care to deal with. If they had single rooms closer to the center of the resort, this may be my first choice due to the theming.

  3. POP is the balance between the other two. The theming is a lot of fun (I’ve lived through most of the decades portrayed), the bus service was relatively painless, and it never seemed crowded or noisy.

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The theme and “newness” of AoA drew us in a few years ago and we mostly have not strayed. With kids, the theme is top notch and in my eyes can’t be beat. We have stayed at pop and was not impressed, the room was dark and dingy, but we did actually enjoy the larger food court vs the busy crowded AoA one. I never think the LM rooms (which where we stay) are “too far” from the main area and actually love the rooms and the more quiet areas “in the back”. The only thing about AoA is we never get our fl resident discount… Guess we have to wait until it’s not so popular anymore :slight_smile:

Four of our first five trips were to Value resorts. At the time AoA was not an option and price difference was minimal so, for us, it came down to the theming.

As our son grew up, the over-the-top themes at All-Star Movies brought us back time and again. I have dozens of pictures is DS from ages 5 to 10 interacting with the Toy Story characters, the Dalmations, floating in the Sorceror Mickey pool…we loved it. We never found buses to be an issue and now that we have stayed at a mod (POR) and visited most of the Deluxes, the transportation issues are, in my opinion, exaggerated.

The themes at POP, our other choice, never tripped our trigger.

We have stayed at a number of value resorts and now would only pick POP. This is due to:

  1. Theming - we are interested in all things vintage and the theming at POP is very pleasing and we love seeing that when coming back to our room
  2. Food court - they have good choices and excellent pizza that if we spend a day at the resort we are good with also grabbing food there
  3. Swimming pool - we love the quiet options for the pool
  4. Transportation - the bus transportation is great and if we don’t want to wait for a POP bus we can easily grab and AOA bus back.

We only really use the room to sleep in so have no need for lots of space.

Our favorite resort is POP. We don’t choose the all star resorts because of the bus system. AoA is out for two reasons. First, the LM rooms are too far, and second because no discounts are usually offered. As FL residents and AP holders we travel to Disney often, so discounts on rooms are usually the biggest factor for us. We love POP and are very happy to stay there every time we go.

Purely on price. If prices are equal, then I opt for variety, looking to try new resorts. However, prices seldom seem to be equal, so I’ve still never spent the night at All-Star Movies or Art of Animation.

The only value we’ve stayed at is Pop Century. We would like to stay at Art of Animation. but the Little Mermaid rooms are more expensive and never discounted. It wouldn’t cost that much more to stay at a moderate with a discount. The price difference between Pop and the All Stars isn’t that much, wo we usually make our choice based on theming, the pool, and the food court.

We chose Pop based on Liner feedback and loved it! It’s our go to value resort (my kids prefer it over CBR. We are doing CSR and POR this year and they were disappointed that we weren’t staying at Pop.) The transportation is great! The pools are also awesome. There’s a fun vibe at Pop. We also really liked the food court and the ability to use AoA buses when we needed to. This also the only resort where MouseKeeping has consistently given my kids towel animals. Another reason they love it.

Price. If I’m choosing value over moderate, it is because we’re not planning to be at the resort very much.

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For this recent trip in January, we picked ASSports based mostly on price, followed by its being the first AS bus stop. That said, for us, it was a place to crash and sleep.

We booked there specifically for our bounce back because we loved it! Super nice staff, the baseball section was immaculate and the rooms were up to date and we were maybe 75 yards from the bus stop (even though it looks a lot further on the map). This time we are planning a day to lay at the pool and enjoy the actual resort.

And I realize we went a really down time. I expect things to be a little more everything - crowded, busy, noisy - in October!

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When our family of 5 couldn’t get by with one room at POR any more, we chose two rooms at Pop based on the newness of the resort (at the time), and we liked it so much we went back. The bus stops are well organized, the food court is great, and the theming was fun. We weren’t tempted to try anywhere else.

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