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Old 08-03-2013, 08:02 AM   #1
mommymanda
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Best Value resort?

Planning ahead here, I am hoping to book by October for our trip August 2014.

We know we'll be staying Value. I've been reading and researching on here awhile now and I'm thinking we'll be looking at POP or AOA. I know we can save a little more $$ with the other values, but I like the idea of our own bus line with the resort, not sharing.

So if I'm planning to book October 2013, meaning I'm paying rack rate, but hoping a discount arrives before the actual trip in August what is my better option?

Right now its showing a $500 difference between the two (AOA being higher) and I noticed this year there were not many discounts applied to AOA. So I'm leaning towards POP, but would love other peoples opinions.

Should we look into one of the All Star's? Any tips would be appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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A few things to know....
If you are looking at a room(not a suite) at AoA they are VERY far from the main building/bus stop. It is the one resort that the distances on the map are rather accurate. The buildings are very spaced out.

Both POP and AoA are large resorts with a lot of rooms which equals a whole lot of people. The food court and buses will be very busy.

The All Star resorts rarely share buses(generally only at slow times of day) and they are much smaller. Each All Star has it's own bus/ food court.


Do not shy away from the All Stars....they are fantastic.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #3
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I've never stayed at the values, but my husband has, as a chaperone. He says they're great!

Here's the lowdown from www.mousesavers.com :
"Best Value Choices

Pop Century is my Best Value choice in the regular Value category. It has several advantages compared with the All-Star resorts. It is newer, so there has been less wear-and-tear on everything. The decor of the public areas at Pop Century is a bit more up-to-date and the room decor is less glaring. Pop Century has fountain play areas for kids. (All Star Movies also has a fountain play area – as far as I know, the other Value resorts don’t.) Pop Century also has its own separate bus service (buses don’t stop at another resort on the way to/from the parks).

Although the basic room rate is identical at all the regular Value resorts, the hotel tax rate at the All-Stars is 13%, while the hotel tax rate at Pop Century is 12.5%.

There is really no difference at all between the three All-Star Resorts as far as accommodations. Just pick whichever one offers the theme that appeals most to you. If you will be using the Disney bus transportation, be aware that in the off-season, the three All-Star resorts share a single bus line, which departs from and arrives at the resorts in this order: Sports, Music, Movies. For that reason, if you’re staying at Sports during a slower time of year, you’re more likely to get a seat on the way to the theme parks, and your resort will be the first drop-off when returning from the parks. However, during busy times, buses are sent directly to the individual All-Star Resorts, or Sports and Music will share a bus and Movies will have its own bus.

Please note: All-Star Sports’ End Zone Food Court will be closed for refurbishment from 8/3/13 – 12/20/13. During that time there will be no hot or made-to-order food available at the resort. There will be “grab and go” (cold, premade) food items available at the resort at the Game Point Arcade, which will not function as an arcade during the refurbishment. For hot food and/or access to arcades, All-Star Sports will offer buses to All-Star Music and All-Star Movies. There will be one bus running all day and 2 buses during meal periods.

If you don’t mind paying a little bit more, consider Art of Animation, a new “Value Plus” resort with a few extra amenities "
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:27 AM   #4
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Just wanted to add...

POP is the only resort that we have had to wait for a second or third bus. Never has this happened to us at the All Stars.

Remember that the All Stars are approx. 2000 rooms while POP is approx. 3000 rooms. That's a lot of extra people.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:42 AM   #5
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The All Stars are very similar to each other except w/ different theming. I like them all!

Pop has a better food court (love the grilled flatbreads) and a lovely walk around the lake--but it also has 1,000 more rooms. I find the chaos and noise at the food court overwhelming at times and I dislike "having" to walk through the gift shop to get to the food court.

I've stayed at each value multiple times (except AoA where once was enough). ASMusic is my favorite for theming and it seems a bit more quiet than the others.

Bus service at WDW can be ANYTHING at ANY TIME for ANY resort. I think the bus sharing at All Stars is WAY overstated. I stay at the AS at least 2-3 times per year and I would guess that we share buses 25% of the time or less. Even when we do, I see no difference in that and a moderate with multiple stops within the resort.

The pools are all basically the same--one main pool and 1-2 smaller "quiet" pools. None have slides or deep ends.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:48 AM   #6
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We have enjoyed all of our stays at the values. We haven't had a "value" stay since 2009 as we have become addicted to deluxes in the past few years, HOWEVER, I am staying at POP next month for a quick 5 night trip for Food & Wine and MNSSHP and I couldn't be more excited for my return there!!!

Of course, it really seems like a good idea since we won't be in the room much. I am leaving DH and kids at home (this is a girls trip with my BFF) so space won't be an issue.

Normally our family trips are 10 nights and we spend a good amount of time at the resort, thus our choosing deluxes. But for my trip next month, POP will be perfect!!!!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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If you don't need a suite, go to PoP. But I have 3 kids, so it was pretty much my only choice.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:26 AM   #8
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We love POP. Never have a complaint about it there!
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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Definitely check out the All-Stars. The bus sharing is only a big deal when people are discussing it on the internet.

I liked AoA but you probably aren't going to get discounts there unless you're looking at a suite, the LM rooms are just in too much demand and will probably stay that way for a little while longer at least. (The walk to the rooms is nowhere near as big a deal as people act like, but that won't get you the discount you appear to be looking for.)

All the values are great, pick your favorite theme and go with it.

If you do go for the All-Stars, keep in mind that Sports and Music usually get better discounts than Movies.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommymanda View Post
Planning ahead here, I am hoping to book by October for our trip August 2014.

We know we'll be staying Value. I've been reading and researching on here awhile now and I'm thinking we'll be looking at POP or AOA. I know we can save a little more $$ with the other values, but I like the idea of our own bus line with the resort, not sharing.

So if I'm planning to book October 2013, meaning I'm paying rack rate, but hoping a discount arrives before the actual trip in August what is my better option?

Right now its showing a $500 difference between the two (AOA being higher) and I noticed this year there were not many discounts applied to AOA. So I'm leaning towards POP, but would love other peoples opinions.

Should we look into one of the All Star's? Any tips would be appreciated.
We found Music to be the most run down & showing its age. Did it ruin our vacation NO.. had just as much fun there as all the other Dis resorts!
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #11
JennyDrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacation_junkie View Post
We found Music to be the most run down & showing its age. Did it ruin our vacation NO.. had just as much fun there as all the other Dis resorts!
I stay at Music at least once a year. I was there is April and did not notice anything being run down, etc....as always, YMMV......
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyDrake View Post
I stay at Music at least once a year. I was there is April and did not notice anything being run down, etc....as always, YMMV......
I'm not knocking the resort..

Having stayed at all 3
My opinion is simply...

Compared to Sports & Movies...the room / section we stayed in at Music showed its age far more then the room/section we stayed in at both Sports & Movies.

That is all.
They asked.. I gave my opinion based on previous experience.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #13
mommymanda
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Thanks for the information, keep the tips coming if there are others. I am not against staying at the All Star resorts. We have only been once before and that was at POP. We know based on budget it will need to be a Value resort. Honestly I'm not overly picky as if it is the same as our last trip we will not be spending much time at the hotel anyhow. As long as rooms are comfy I'm good. I checked pricing for the All Stars, not a huge difference in pricing compared to the POP ($60less total). I did enjoy the walk around the boardwalk at POP last time, but I don't even know if that would still be there lol.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:18 PM   #14
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We stayed at All Star Music for our first trip and it was fine. This was an August trip and we definitely shared buses with the other All Star resorts. My other thing is if I were to stay again, I would pay for a preferred room. We were in the last building farthest away from everything...food court, buses, etc. it is a long walk after being at the parks all day.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #15
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Never stayed at Pop or Aoa, but I have really enjoyed my stays at Movies and Sports . Never had any problems with the buses. Our last stay was in February at Sports and the room had recently been renovated - was super nice.
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