As back to school looms and summer draws to a close, I can’t but look back on all of our adventures over the past couple months. It’s been a busy and exciting summer to say the least, but one of my favorite memories is our trip to Disney World with Everett in July. It’s so rare that we get to spend time with just Everett, so I really wanted to make the most of it and a trip to Disney seemed like the perfect way to spend our last few days as a family of 3 before the girls got home from Camp Grandma. It was a somewhat last minute and spontaneous trip, so we didn’t have a huge budget set aside. We wanted it to be magical and affordable, which can be a tough balance to strike at Disney World.
After quickly checking the Disney reservation system, it appeared that Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort was available at a steal of a deal. I talked it over with my husband and hesitantly decided to book. You see, I’ve been to several Disney hotels over the years – Coronado Springs, Boardwalk Inn, Swan, and Dolphin, just to name a few – but I’ve never been to a Disney value resort. I had no idea what to expect. Reviews online ranged anywhere from “the best hotel ever” to “I’ll never stay there again”, which made it even more difficult to gauge. After hitting the confirm button on the reservation screen I really wasn’t sure if I’d made the best choice or the worst, but figured we were going to give it a try.
Upon arrival at the resort, we were ushered through the security gate and told to look for the big gold star to check in. I don’t think we could have missed it.
Check in was a breeze and we were quickly on our way to the Touchdown area of the hotel. The All-Star Sports takes sports to an extreme, with baseball, tennis, surfing, and basketball themed buildings. Honestly, this was one of the reasons we picked this particular value resort. Everett is a sports enthusiast and we thought he’d really enjoy it. We were right.
The sports themed decorated rooms at the All-Star Sports Resort are around 260 square feet, which was plenty for the 3 of us. It felt slightly smaller than our rooms at the Coronado Springs and the Boardwalk in years past, but not by much, plus there were a ton of really helpful features that I haven’t seen in other hotels like the hooks outside of the bathroom and curtain separating the bathroom from the bedroom (I’m pretty sure our room at the Coronado Springs had something like this, but our room at the Boardwalk did not). We were able to fit all of our luggage, snacks, stroller, etc in the room with no issues, and had plenty of room to hang things up. The perks of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort don’t end at super clean rooms. Guests rooms also include hairdryers, a mini fridge (a major perk during the summer months because it allows you to hit the parks with cold beverages in tow), complimentary spa-quality toiletries, bed rails upon request, tons of Disney tv, and much more. When you decide to leave your room, guests staying at the hotel are able to use complimentary shuttles to the park or get free parking at the parks if they choose to drive their own car. You also get extra magic hours at the parks, which we made good use of.
But even if you aren’t going to the parks, this resort has plenty to see and do. Bats the size of buildings, Donald and Daisy statues playing tennis, a pool in the infield – check, check, check!
The Surf’s Up Pool is pretty inviting as well, but was a bit farther of a walk from our room. Honestly, after spending a long day at the parks we should have gone to the pool, but never made it. I’m definitely putting that on our “to-do” list for next time.
Due to the fact that it was a quick trip, we didn’t eat at the All-Star Sports (we went out to eat at Disney Springs the night before and then at at the parks the next day), but it’s worth noting that there’s no sit down full service restaurant. Instead, there’s food court in the main building, along with an arcade, gift shop, and lots and lots and lots of sports memorabilia. When I popped by to pick up something in the gift shop, walked through the food court and was impressed at how much seating there was. The food court is huge space and the food looked pretty good. I’ll put this on my list for next time as well.
A completely unexpected perk of the All-Star Sports Resort was the fireworks. These took us completely by surprise and we had the best view of the Epcot fireworks (at least I think that’s where they were coming from) just steps from our room. It really was spectacular.
But the best part of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort was the staff. The really went out of their way to make our stay special – from the concierge who went out of there way to make reservations and double check our Fast Passes to gift shop attendant who played ball with Everett to the housekeeper who brought rails at nearly 10pm. I could go on and on. This may be a value hotel but the service is top notch, and every bit the same as the moderate and luxury Disney hotels that I’ve visited.
Overall, I’d definitely stay at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort again. It was a fun, affordable themed stay with all the perks of a Disney Resort. If you’re on the fence, don’t hesitate to stay at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort!