With twenty-two Disney resort hotels to choose from when visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, you have quite a decision regarding accommodation. Disney hotels place you right in the heart of the magic. When you stay in Lake Buena Vista, you are guaranteed the Disney experience in every aspect of your Disney vacation.
If you are considering staying in a Disney Value resort, you have five hotels to choose from. The Disney Value resorts are:
- All-Star Music Resort
- Art of Animation Resort
- All-Star Movies Resort
- Pop Century
- All-Star Sports Resort
But what if you’ve narrowed your choice of Disney hotel to two; Disney’s All-Star Music Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? How do you possibly choose between the two? Let’s look at each resort in more detail. We aim to identify the best of the two Walt Disney World hotels when considering theming, location, transportation, quest rooms, quick-service restaurants, and pool areas.
The theming of Disney Value Resorts is fun. You can expect larger-than-life Disney characters and bright colors throughout. While their theming may not be as immersive as Disney Moderate and Deluxe resorts, their design perfectly represents the Disney hotel’s inspiration.
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort celebrates a variety of music genres. The Disney hotel is split into five sections; each is themed to suit the genre of music it represents. The five sections are Calypso, Jazz, Rock, Country, and Broadway. As you explore the Disney hotel, expect to see giant instruments, pretty courtyards, and paths inspired by streets. The designs of the guest rooms are standard across the resort, showcasing Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Minnie Mouse inside.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the newest Value resort. As its name suggests, the Disney hotel is inspired by animation. The Walt Disney World Resort hotel is split into four sections. Each one pays homage to beloved Disney movies – The Little Mermaid (1989), The Lion King (1994), Finding Nemo (2003), and Cars (2006). As you move through each section, you are surrounded by Disney characters, colors, and music that links to the movie. The theming continues into the guest rooms within each building too.
While both Disney resort hotels are themed well, the addition of Disney characters to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort pushes it ahead of Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. Whether you are a resort guest or visiting from another Disney hotel, it’s so much fun to explore Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is a short drive from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. You can expect to arrive at the Disney Park in less than 10 minutes from the Disney hotel. It is also a short drive from Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park. Guests can actually walk to the water park if they’re hoping to get their steps in! The location of Disney’s All-Star Music Resort means that it is less than 15 minutes away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Meanwhile, Magic Kingdom Park and Disney Springs are within 20 minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
On the other hand, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is in close proximity to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT theme parks. Generally, the Disney hotel has a central location in Lake Buena Vista. Therefore, Magic Kingdom Park, Disney Springs, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are less than 15 minutes away.
While Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is ideally located for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is close to two Disney theme parks. Its central location in Lake Buena Vista also makes Disney’s Art of Animation Resort the preferred of the two Disney Value resort hotels.
When staying at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, you can access one Disney transportation mode. You can use the Disney Buses to travel between the Disney hotel, the Disney theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Due to you only having one mode of transport when staying at the Disney Value resort, you may wish to use your own car or hire a car during your Disney vacation. Complimentary parking at the Disney hotels and theme parks makes using a car in Lake Buena Vista easy.
Meanwhile, staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort offers access to an additional mode of Disney transport. The Disney buses service the Disney hotel, making it easy for you to get to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom Park, Disney Springs, and the Disney water parks. However, you can rely on something other than the Disney buses to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. When staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you can access the Disney Skyliner. Transferring at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will allow you to travel to one of the two Disney parks.
Due to having access to two modes of Disney transport, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is our preferred hotel to stay at compared to Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. We love to take a ride on the Disney Skyliner any time of day.
There are two types of guest rooms to choose from when staying at both Disney’s All-Star Music Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Your choice will depend on the size of your travel party. Standard guest rooms are ideal for smaller parties, while family suites are better suited to larger travel parties.
Standard guest rooms in both Disney hotels offer space for up to 4 adults. Generally, rooms have two queen beds. One bed will be a standard Queen, while the other will be a Murphy bed that you can pull down in the evening but can be folded away in the day to provide you with space to sit and dine. Rooms with a king bed are also available. Standard rooms offer a view of the courtyard, pool, or parking area.
In Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, the standard guest rooms are located in The Little Mermaid section. Unfortunately, it is the section at the far end of the Disney hotel. As such, staying in a standard guest room means a long walk to Animation Hall, the bus stop, and Landscape of Flavors restaurant. Meanwhile, the standard guest rooms are located throughout Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. Preferred rooms are available for an extra cost. You will stay in the Calypso or Jazz sections if you wish to stay in a preferred room in the Disney hotel. Doing so will mean you are closer to Melody Hall, the bus stop, and Intermission Food Court.
Family suites in the Disney Value resorts can sleep up to 6 adults. As well as the usual amenities in guest rooms, they have a kitchen, living area, and additional bathroom. Similar to the standard guest rooms, family suites in Disney’s All-Star Music Resort are located throughout the Disney hotel. Upgrade your stay by staying in a preferred room. However, family suites in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are located in three of the four sections of the hotel. Choose from The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars suites, and stay in the relevant section of the resort. Your hotel room will be themed to suit the section you choose.
While the theming of the guest rooms in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is attractive, the cost of the rooms put us off. Despite being a Disney Value resort, it is often more expensive than a Moderate resort, such as Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort or Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Therefore, the cost of Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is how the Disney hotel takes the winner in the area of guest rooms.
Disney Moderate and Deluxe resorts have a quick-service restaurant, and at least one full-service restaurant, but Disney Value resorts only have a quick-service restaurant. Disney’s All-Star Music Resort’s dining location is the Intermission Food Court. However, as a guest of the All-Stars Resorts, you are also within walking distance of two other quick-service restaurants. You can visit the End Zone Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort or the World Premier Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. Generally, each quick-service restaurant at Disney’s All-Stars Resorts offers the same menus, but dining somewhere new during your Disney vacation can be refreshing.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort’s quick-service restaurant is Landscape of Flavors. It’s a guest favorite for quick-service Walt Disney World Resort dining. However, you can easily access multiple other quick-service restaurants when you are a Disney’s Art of Animation Resort guest. Take a short stroll across Hourglass Lake to Disney’s Pop Century Resort and visit Everything POP Shopping & Dining.
Alternatively, use the Disney Skyliner to travel to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s Riviera Resort. Disney’s Riviera Resort is a Deluxe resort, while Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a Moderate resort. As they are of a higher classification than Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, not only will you find quick-service offerings, but there are also full-service restaurants to eat at. Will you choose Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort?
While both Disney resorts allow you to access multiple dining locations, Disney’s Art of Animation is the winner. Having easy access to three other Disney hotels gives you more choice when feeling peckish.
There is a total of 6 pool areas at Disney’s All-Stars Resort. While accessing the pool areas at your particular resort is easier, you are welcome to use all of them as an All-Stars guest during your Disney vacation. Each All-Star resort has a main pool area where the daily entertainment occurs. There is also a smaller pool area which is the place to go if you want to relax. Disney’s All-Star Music Resort’s pool areas are the Calypso Pool and the Piano Pool. Venturing to Disney’s All-Star Music Resort allows you to use the Fantasia Pool and the Duck Pond Pool. Meanwhile, Surfboard Bay and the Grand Slam Pool are at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.
Over at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, there are three pool areas for you to enjoy. The Big Blue Pool is the main pool area. It is also the largest hotel pool in the Walt Disney World Resort, holding 308,527 gallons of water. Your favorite characters surround the Big Blue Pool from Finding Nemo, making it a fun place to cool off. The smaller pools at the Disney hotel are found in The Little Mermaid and Cars sections. The Flippin’ Fins Pool is ideally located for guests staying in the resort’s standard rooms. If you plan to stay in a Cars family suite, the Cozy Cone Pool is right outside your block.
It’s difficult to call the best Disney resort by the pool area. Disney’s All-Star Music Resort takes the top spot if it is down to quantity. However, to access them all, you have to be willing to take a walk. In terms of theming, the pools at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are the winners. You’re guaranteed an immersive experience at whichever pool you choose to relax at.
So where should you stay when deciding between Disney’s All-Star Music Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? You are guaranteed a magical Disney vacation at whatever Resort hotel you choose. However, based on our verdicts here, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is our choice of Disney Value Resort. The Disney hotel has been the winner in most of the areas we have looked at.
Controversially, though, we generally choose Disney’s All-Star Music Resort when deciding where to stay. The biggest reason for doing so is cost. We prefer to save on accommodation and allow more room in our spending budget than put extra money towards the hotel room, mainly when we will spend most of our Disney vacation in the Disney parks. If we decide to stay in a family suite, we may change our mind. We can’t wait to stay in a Cars family suite at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!
Which Disney Value resort will you choose for your next Disney vacation – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort or Disney’s All-Star Music Resort?