There are so many Disney World hotels, it can seem like a nearly impossible task to decide which one is best for you. But don’t worry — we can help!
We’ve shared tours of basically all the Disney World hotels, which you can see here! Plus, we’ve got posts detailing things you should always do when checking in to your hotel, things you can only do at certain hotels, and problems at certain hotels. But today we’re taking a look at something very specific — Disney’s cheapest hotels and which are the BEST (and the WORST!).
Disney’s cheapest hotels are what they call “Value Resorts.” These are the ones that will generally come in at the lowest end of your budget — helping you save money. But they each come with their own pros and cons. Let’s go through and see where you might want to stay and what spots you might want to AVOID.
1 — Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (BEST)
At the top of our list is Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. This is probably not a big surprise for many as the hotel is loved by many fans and can be incredibly popular.
The majority of the hotel is made up of family suites, but there are “standard” rooms in the Little Mermaid section.
So what makes this hotel the BEST value resort? Well, it has a lot of things going for it. First are those family suites. These sleep up to 6 adults with a queen bed, double-size sleeper sofa, and double-size table bed. Being able to fit that many people in one shared space can be a big pro if you’re traveling with a larger group and want everyone to be together.
They aren’t the biggest rooms in the world though, so just be aware of that. You might want to weigh the value of booking one of these versus booking a few separate rooms that have adjoining doors.
On top of the family suites, Art of Animation has access to the Disney Skyliner. This gives you access to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as well as the other hotels connected on the Skyliner) via a newer and more exciting transportation method than standard buses.
And, let’s be real, you could make a whole day of just riding the Skyliner and checking out the other hotels!
The theming here is also some of the best for big Disney movie fans. There are areas themed to Cars, Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King and they are ELABORATE. We’re talking about larger-than-life statues, bright colors, and awesome backdrops that could make for some great family photos. Little ones (and big Disney fans) will have a great time looking at all of these!
The resort also has walking access (via a bridge) to Disney’s Pop Century Resort (another value hotel), giving you the ability to check out that hotel’s food court, gift shop, and decor. So you sort of get double the fun there.
Just because it’s the best hotel on our list doesn’t necessarily mean it’s perfect though.
For starters, the rooms at Art of Animation (particularly the family suites, but also including the Little Mermaid rooms) can actually be much more expensive than you’d expect — making you somewhat question its categorization as a “value” resort.
For example, we previously searched for Disney World hotel rooms for a summer trip from June 8th to June 12th for 2 adults. The rooms had starting prices as follows:
- Disney’s All-Star Music and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resorts= $159.80 per night (with a spring and early summer discount)
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort = $177.23 per night
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort = $194.64 per night
- Disney’s Art of Animation = $232.48 per night
What’s worse is that the $232 price was the starting cost for a standard Little Mermaid room. The family suites were even MORE expensive — starting around $472.18 per night with a discount (when we looked).
In this example, it would have actually been cheaper to get a room at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — Riverside (a moderate resort) than a standard room at Art of Animation. And it would have been cheaper to book a room at several other moderate (and even deluxe!!!) hotels than a family suite at Art of Animation.
There are a lot of perks to the family suites, including the number of people they can sleep in one room, but their cost is something that you really need to take into consideration.
Also, it’s important to note that Art of Animation (like all of the value resorts) only offers a food court and pool bar in terms of eats. There is no table service restaurant here. Plus, you might find the resort to be quite crowded since families may flock to the location for its strong Disney theming.
So while Art of Animation makes the top of our list and it might be a great fit for you, you will want to consider its pros and cons carefully!
2 — Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Next up we have Disney’s Pop Century Resort. This is a value resort that is SO popular and has such solid perks for the cost that it could practically be tied with Art of Animation for the top spot.
The family suites and heavy Disney movie theming cause Art of Animation to inch ahead (Pop Century doesn’t have any family suites) but the cheaper pricing and other factors could put Pop Century in first place for you.
Let’s talk about the good stuff first. While Pop Century’s rooms may be more expensive than Disney’s All-Star Resorts (which make up spots 3, 4, and 5 on our list), they are typically CHEAPER than many other Disney World hotels (including Art of Animation). So if you’re looking to save some cash, this can be a good option.
Plus, like Art of Animation, Pop Century has access to the Skyliner (it’s actually a shared station between Art of Animation and Pop Century). That provides guests here with a more unique and fun method of transportation aside from Disney buses.
The theming at Pop Century is also fun. It’s not centrally focused on Disney movies but instead offers a retro vibe that parents will probably LOVE chatting to their kiddos about as they reminisce about the good old times.
Rubrics cubes, giant Play-Doh cups, and more fill this hotel. And you will find plenty of Disney touches like a giant Mickey phone or huge Baloo and Mowgli, so there are Disney elements to look for.
Plus, it also connects to Art of Animation, again giving you access to that other hotel’s food court and gift shop. So, you could opt to stay at the cheaper Pop Century room but still walk over to Art of Animation so your little ones can marvel at the huge Disney characters that decorate that hotel.
But there are some considerations you’ll want to keep in mind before booking a room here. First, it is generally a little more expensive than the All-Star Resorts so if you’re looking at things purely from a financial perspective then this might not be the best spot.
As a value resort, it also only offers the food court and pool bar in terms of dining. If you’re looking for more options, a moderate hotel will be what you’ll need.
And, not unlike the other value hotels, it can be busier, more prone to large groups, etc. because of its price. Still, if you want a balance of cheaper cost, access to the Skyliner, and fun theming, this might be the resort for you.
3 — Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
In third place and right in the middle of our rankings, we have the first of the All-Star Resorts — Disney’s All-Star Music Resort.
The hotel has a lot of things going for it that are similar to its fellow All-Star hotels like a cheaper price (making it good for larger groups) and over-the-top theming. But there are some things that set this one apart from the others.
For starters, the music theme can be a bit more appealing to families than the sports theme at All-Star Sports Resort (though it might not be quite as popular as the movie theme at All-Star Movies).
As you walk around, you’ll be able to take in the sights of giant guitars, a huge jukebox, and some Disney influences (like Donald Duck with the Three Caballeros by the pool).
What really makes it unique though are its family suites. That’s right, Art of Animation is NOT the only value resort with family suites in Disney World. These family suites are quite underrated and often go unnoticed by many, but don’t make that same mistake!
These suites are typically SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than the ones at Art of Animation (rating from $300-$580 per night compared to $430 to $830 per night at Art of Animation). These sleep up to 6 adults (same as Art of Animation) with slightly different bed sizes — 1 queen bed, and 2 queen-sized pull-down beds.
If you’re looking to fit 6 people in one space, these could be a much better value for you (financially) than Art of Animation.
But it’s not all good news. Because of their cheaper price, the All-Star Resorts, in general, can often be home to big groups, which can make things noisy and busier.
Plus, all of the All-Star Resorts only have access to the Disney World buses for free transportation (no Skyliner here!), and they only have a food court and pool bar for food options.
But, if you want a cheaper family suite or room in general and still want that over-the-top theming (and like music) this might be a good fit.
4 — Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
Next up on our list is Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. This has many of the same pros and cons as the other All-Star Resorts with some exceptions.
In terms of benefits, it does offer cheaper rooms than most of the other hotels, which can save you some serious cash. That can make it good for groups and big families.
The theming is also fun here and probably what makes it inch just above All-Star Sports. In fact, the theming here is probably a better fit for families coming to Disney than All-Star Music but the family suites at All-Star Music are what put it ahead.
Since the theme here is movies, you’ll find larger-than-life figures of all kinds of fun characters. That could become an awesome activity for the whole group — seeing how many unique figures you can find and snap photos with around the Resort.
In terms of the negatives, it’s again similar to the other All-Star Resorts — more likely to host big groups due to its cheap price (making it potentially noisier and busier than other hotels), only bus access for transportation, and limited food options (food court and pool bar basically).
There are also no family suites here — just standard rooms. That might be totally fine for you though, so it’s something to consider!
5 — Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort (WORST)
And finally, we reach the hotel that we consider to be the WORST of the value hotels — Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.
In terms of the pros, similar to the other All-Star Resorts, this spot is cheaper than Disney’s other hotels, making it great for those looking to save some cash.
Plus, it has more of that GIANT theming, this time with a sports theme. So if you have any sports fanatics in the group, this might actually be something they’ll LOVE. Plus, you will find fun Disney touches throughout.
In terms of negatives, the theme may not be all that popular with those who don’t enjoy sports all that much. Plus, because of its cheaper price, it can be a popular pick for big groups — and that can mean more noise and crowds.
It also only has access to Disney buses for transportation and really only has the food court and pool bar for dining options. It’s also important to point out that this hotel does NOT offer any family suites.
But if all you care about is price and you like over-the-top theming, All-Star Sports could be a fine pick! It really just depends.
What do you think? How would YOU rank the Disney World Value Resorts? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Ultimately, every person is different and what will best suit your needs might not be the same when compared to others. Those needs may even change with each trip or traveling party. The important thing to keep in mind is the pros and cons of each resort so you can make the best decision for your trip!
For more hotel help, check out Quincy’s ranking of EVERY Disney World hotel below and stay tuned for more news!
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