As I have mentioned, Jimmy & I began planning our next Disney trip before we had even finished our last one. We found Disney to be the perfect vacation spot for the two of us. It had been over 10 years since we had been, and our plan is to never go that long without Disney again.
Our last trip was a friend- & family-funded honeymoon that allowed us to splurge on an amazing hotel. We loved Animal Kingdom- it was beautiful and definitely a unique experience. We would gladly stay there again someday, should we be able to afford it.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
However, we learned from this last trip:
– We want to go to Disney as often as possible
– If you removed the lodging from our last trip, it was actually pretty affordable
– We don’t take advantage of resort amenities
– We find it annoying to leave the park to make it to dinner reservations some place else
– We want to spend as much time as possible in the parks
– We are very good about managing our energy levels, and do not feel the need to head back to the resort for a break/nap in the middle of the day
– We don’t sleep in. We like to be at the bus stops really early.
– We’d like to drive to the resort next time
– We want to stay on property (for theme, customer service, maximum use of magic bands, Disney transportation, etc…)
– We only want to visit Disney when the weather is cool and crowds are low (so January/February)\
Animal Kingdom Lodge
All of these factors lead us to staying at a Disney Value Resort. If we stayed at a value, we could afford to go next year. We benefit from the perks of a value more than we are harmed by the downsides. We also feel like some of the drawbacks might be mitigated by the low crowds and cool weather.
In addition to the low cost, All Star Resorts are also considered to have some of the most expansive and convenient self-parking. So, the All Star Value Resorts match well with both our budget, and our idea of driving.
All Star Resort. Photo by Disney.
The potential drawbacks include:
Noise- This is generally considered to be mostly during the day because of the pools. In addition, Animal Kingdom Lodge had a worse rating for noise, so- been there, done that. Not a problem.
Remote Location- Just like Animal Kingdom again! We have no problem utilizing the bus service. Additionally, our car can provide us substitute transportation on days when the parks will be a little more crowded.
Small Rooms- Well, it is just the two of us. We also have the option of choosing a king bed to help with floor space (instead of two double beds). Also, we don’t spend much time there. As long as we have enough room to put our stuff, we are good.
No Full-service Dining- As I mentioned above, we’d prefer to not spend a lot of time eating in the hotel. A simple foodcourt where we can get drinks and grab snacks is all we need.
All Star Food Court. Photo by Disney.
Large, confusing layout- Meh. We’re two intelligent, healthy adults who enjoy walking. We’ll be fine.
No Character Meals- Once again, not a problem.
Limited Recreation Options- We didn’t even go in the POOL at the Animal Kingdom. We get all our recreation from the parks.
Bus Transportation Only- Once again, this is where AKL and All Stars overlap. We’ve done that! Also, All Stars are thought to have fairly efficient bus routes. Our habit of getting to the buses early and the low crowds will help with this as well.
Yes, All Star has a lot of potential drawbacks, but we are thinking they may not matter all that much to us. At least we get to go to Disney soon!
So, we have chosen All Star Movies for our resort! All of the All Stars (Music, Movies, Sports) are roughly the same. Since Movies actually has Disney-specific themes (101 Dalmations, Fantasia), it’s our pick.
All Star Pool. Photo by Disney