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Looking to do Disney on a budget? There’s a good chance Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort will pop up in your search of Walt Disney World resort hotels. There are many fans of this heavily themed value resort and there are also people who call it Disney’s version of Motel 6. We break it down for you and review what you need to know about Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort before your Florida vacation.
Disney All-Star Movie Resort Location
Disney’s All-Star Resorts are located at the southwestern end of Walt Disney World resorts expansive property. They are closest to Blizzard Beach waterpark and are considered to be in Disney’s Animal Kingdom resort area. I say All-Star Resorts because there are three: All-Star Sports resort, Disney’s All-Star Music resort and Disney’s All-Star Movies resort. Of the three All-Star resorts, All-Star Movies is the last stop on the line (literally and figuratively).
Disney All-Star Movie Resort Price
I’m going to break it down for you. I stayed here because it was cheap. I’m frugal, but in a bizarre way. After dropping my money on a Disney annual pass and Very Merriest tickets I wanted a cheap guest room that was on-property to sleep in. Realistically we weren’t going to be in the room much and less money on a hotel room meant more money for Holiday Kitchens at EPCOT and other snacks.
Rack room rates (the room cost with no discounts applied) for a standard room start at roughly $123 USD/night and can soar close to $300 a night during busy holiday periods. Weekends are priced higher. During our stay in early December 2021, we paid $173 for our first night, $149 for our second night and $148 for our third night. You also need to account for three taxes that will be added to your room: the Florida State Accommodations Tax, the Osceola County Tourist Development Tax and the Osceola County Accommodation Tax. The All-Star resorts are the only Disney resort hotels in Osceola County where the total tax rate is 13.5%. All of the other hotels are in Orange County with a tax rate of 12.5%.
Remember the rack rate is the cost with no discounts. During slower times, room prices can drop lower with specials in the low $100 range and sometimes even hit double digits. Annual passholder, Florida resident and military discounts can also be applied if applicable.
Self-parking at All-Star value resorts costs $15/night.
Resort Layout at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
This resort is themed out the wazoo. Personally, my family loves the super-themed Disney hotels and it’s one reason why I love Disney value resorts (other than price). Disney’s All-Star Movies focuses on Disney films that we know and love – specifically five. The Disney movies featured at this resort are Fantasia, Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, The Mighty Duck and The Love Bug (Herbie). You could wander around taking selfies and pictures for awhile here – we found cute photo setups everywhere we looked.
You’ll check-in at the front desk in Cinema Hall which is the main hub for the whole resort. It also contains Donald’s Double Feature gift shop, quick service dining at The World Premiere Food Court and Reel Fun Arcade.
Exiting out the rear of Cinema Hall, you’ll find the Fantasia Pool and Kiddie Pool featuring Sorcerer Mickey. The Silver Screen Spirits poolside bar is also located directly off the back end of Cinema Hall.
Where are the preferred rooms at All-Star Movies?
There are ten buildings of guest rooms at All-Star Movies, 2 for each movie theme. The Toy Story buildings are closest to Cinema Hall, just off to the left of it. Preferred rooms at All-Star Movies are located in the Fantasia, Toy Story and 101 Dalmatians buildings. Standard rooms are located in The Mighty Ducks and The Love Bug buildings.
We stayed in a standard room in Building 3 The Mighty Ducks. We walked maybe 3-5 more minutes than the Dalmatian rooms. In my personal opinion paying for a preferred room is not worth it at All-Star Movies. We had the Duck pond pool right there and our area of the resort was quiet and peaceful. Disney chat boards have frequently received comments from guests who have booked preferred rooms at All-Star Movies regarding noise levels in those rooms. Some preferred rooms overlook the Fantasia pool and some are close to the loading docks for Cinema Hall and the food court.
Guest Rooms at All-Star Movies
There’s no super polite way to say the rooms are tiny. I mean I could play with words and tell you they’re cute, they’re petite, they’re compact, but, at 260 square feet, they’re tiny. My family really loves each other. On this trip it was myself, my 11 year old and my 9 year old. We were in the room in the evenings and for a few brief times during the day. It was a tight squeeze. If my husband had also been along? It would have pushed us all over the edge.
Guest rooms come with either one king bed or 2 queen beds (one is a Murphy bed/table). King bed rooms are wheelchair-accessible and have roll-in showers rather than bathtubs. If you will need a bathtub for kiddos be sure to book a queen/queen room.
The beds were comfortable and outlets were abundant. Noise levels in general were more noticeable here than other Disney resort hotels (or even off-property hotels) that we’ve stayed at. The walls are thin. Our neighbors weren’t noisy but you can hear the dropping of Murphy beds, toilets flushing and even the hum of people talking. If you are a light sleeper, book somewhere else.
Renovations at All-Star Movies Resort
Originally opened to the public in 1999, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort has just finished guest room renovations in 2021. If you’ve ever stayed at Pop Century, the renovations should look very familiar. Double beds were replaced with a queen bed and a queen-sized Murphy bed/table combo. Laminate flooring replaced carpet (yay!) and a HUGE victory for caffeinated guests is that the rooms now have coffeemakers. In addition, the bathroom area is now separated from the bedroom area by a sliding door which is super handy when you’re traveling with kids of various ages.
Important Things to Know About Amenities at All-Star Movies
Disney hotels come with a fairly standard set of amenities dependent on the hotel level. To learn more about the different levels of Disney resorts from value up to deluxe villa check out our full article. Your room will have the following amenities at All-Star Movies:
- Complimentary bus transportation (more on this later)
- Free wi-fi
- ATM on site in lobby
- Self-service laundry on site (1 near each outdoor pool). These space age laundry rooms are equipped with smart washers and dryers. Cost per load is $3 payable by credit or debit card. You can actually see how many washers/dryers are available and even how much time is left on yours in real time. My mind was blown.
- Laundry Service and Dry Cleaning
- Ironing Board and Iron
- Hair Dryer
- Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash are located in shower in dispensers.
- Fridge. Be aware that the fridge is more of a half fridge. It is very shallow and not high powered. We ordered some snacks and breakfast items on Amazon Fresh to the resort. I’m glad I didn’t get a lot because we had trouble even fitting the few items I got.
Value resorts do not have room service, microwaves, pools with slides or childcare.
All-Star Movies Bus Transportation
If you reached this article specifically for bus information you probably Googled something like “Do All-Star Movies busses suck?” or “How long do the busses really take at Disney’s All-Star Movies resort?”. My answer? The bus service was either spot on or horrible. There was no in between. At All-Star Movies your only transportation option to the theme parks is busses. Those busses service all three All-Star resorts and if you’re a guest at All-Star Movies, you’re the last stop. We utilized the My Disney Experience app during our stay to track bus times. There is also a large board on the front of Cinema Hall outside the gift shop where the bus stop is. It displays arrival times for the next bus to each park and Disney Springs.
My takeaways from our 4 days of riding the busses at All-Star Movies were that if it wasn’t there within 5 minutes of you getting in line it would be at least 40 minutes of waiting. We had fantastic luck at some times and ended up taking more Ubers than I would have liked to. In the end I’m getting older and more willing to spend money to not wait in line (clearly Disney realized this and introduced Genie+ just for me). We had better luck with morning busses. We rope dropped each park we went to and made it in time to all of them utilizing the complimentary bus transportation. Where the issues came into play were late afternoon and evening both coming to and leaving from the resort.
My Disney Experience and Bus Times at All-Star Movies
Our biggest source of frustration was busses would “disappear” from the app. For example we’d get in the bus line at 4pm. The board and the app would say a bus was coming at 4:10. That time came and went. The app would suddenly say Temporarily Unavailable and boom minutes later the next bus was coming at 4:40pm. The inaccuracy was maddening. Do we wait for the 4:40pm bus or will that one go POOF and disappear too? Does it make more sense to pay $12 for an Uber to make sure we’ll get the 2 hours of rest before we head out again?
When in doubt we took an Uber and each time I’m glad we did because the bus waits got longer and longer. One day we found a line of roughly 75 people waiting and noped right out of there. With Ubers currently blocking passengers from the front seat, this presents a real challenge to families of more than 3 or those with kids in car seats. They have no choice but to wait.
Overall, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom had the most reliable bus service during our stay. Magic Kingdom was spotty and EPCOT was a hot mess.
TravelingMom Warning: If you use a wheelchair or scooter and require a bus with a lift, please know that we had multiple motorcoaches that were not standard Disney transportation busses during our trip. The motorcoaches cannot accommodate wheelchairs. As someone who has navigated the world of canes and wheelchairs with a disabled family member, it broke my heart to see people have to wait even longer for accessible transportation.
Disney’s Magical Express and Getting to All-Star Movies
Unfortunately Disney’s Magical Express, the complimentary service from Orlando’s MCO Airport is ending in 2021. For visits in 2022 and beyond, guests now need to book and pay for their own transportation from the airport. We’ve compiled a list of ways to get from MCO to Disney hotels in this article. Personally, the elimination of complimentary Magical Express bussing would weigh heavily on my decision to book an All-Star Resort. With free airport transfers, All-Stars pricing was a screaming good deal especially for families on a budget. Although staying on-property at Disney offers some perks like early entry and earlier access to Individual Lightening Lane booking, there are some really good off-property hotels in the same price range and lower than the All-Stars.
Is Disney’s All-Star Movies resort Worth It?
This isn’t the sunniest hotel review that I’ve ever written. I was thrilled to be back at Disney. My last visit before December 2021 was about a week before Disney shut down in March of 2020. I had a lot of pent up Disney feelings to get out and I’m the first to admit that my expectations were high. I’d had almost 2 years to build up my triumphant return in my head. In the long run All-Star Movies would not be at the top of my recommendation list for a few reasons but there are specific instances where I would stay again. Let’s run through the pros and cons.
Disney’s All-Star Movies Pros
On the plus side for All-Star Movies? We’ve got price. It’s one of the cheapest options for families on a budget who want to stay on property. The pools are cute, the food court is perfectly adequate and the theming screams Disney. You know where you are the second you walk in – you’re at Disney World! I do love the fold down Murphy beds. The kids got a kick out of them and it was needed in the tight space. The renovations are on par with Pop Century and the rooms were clean and perfect if you weren’t spending too much time in the room.
Disney’s All-Star Movies Cons
The big ones here are room size and bus transportation. Wait times were long, you’re the last stop on the line and inaccurate times in app and on the board only added to the frustration. The rooms are truly tiny. With three of us and none of my kids being tiny and highly energetic, we were cramped. Add in another adult and an active toddler and we would have spent our vacation tripping over each other and fighting. According to the website, this room could have slept 4 people and an additional child under 3. DO NOT believe this. You may be able to “fit”, but it won’t work. The only way a pack and play would fit in here would be against the adjoining door. Even then, it’s going to impede a large portion of the path to the bathroom.
Thin walls. You will hear your neighbors, people on the exterior walkways and toilets flushing. You will continuously shush your children.
Smoking was abundant at this resort compared to others. I usually don’t notice smoking at Disney. It may have been just the timing of our visit but there was a lot of smoking on property and a lot of it occurred outside of designated areas. One of the designated areas that was utilized was very popular in the morning hours and was along the path to the bus route for us. I’ve got a kiddo who is very sensitive to smoke and we found another way to walk but still ran into a lot of smoking.
Fridge size. If your visit is 5 days plus and you’re looking to save money by ordering groceries or bringing some of your own food (you can save a ton!) this fridge just isn’t going to cut it. We could hardly fit a few iced coffees, yogurts and baby carrots in it. I’m a big proponent of eating breakfast before we head out to cut down on crankiness and it was a tight fit for our 3 mornings of breakfasts.
Would I Book All-Star Movies Again?
Yes but… only under certain circumstances. With the loss of Magical Express, I’d book again if I could get a low room rate and a reasonably priced rental car. It’s $15/night to park at Disney’s All-Star Movies resort but then you’ll park free at the theme parks. I’d consider staying if I could get myself to the parks and not rely on the bus transportation.
I would also stay if visiting with a friend. If we were just at Disney to eat all the things and drink and weren’t hauling around kids, I think I could deal with the bus lines (or Uber) if the price was right. For instance I saw $113/night rates in January. The next cheapest available hotel was $104 more. For $100/night in savings I’ll deal with it.
If I was traveling with one or two kids I’d consider it, but not with my entire family. It’s not worth the squeeze and jostling each other just to get to the bathroom. I’d look into All-Star Music’s family suites if we wanted to stay in a Value resort.
Overall, All-Star Movies is solidly a $200 and under value at this time for me. If it goes over $200, it just isn’t worth it. There are significantly better options off property at that room rate. I reserve the right to change my mind if and when Disney dining plans come back though.
Disney’s All-Star Movies Travel Times and Distances
All-Star Movies is located at 1901 West Buena Vista Drive in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The resort is located roughly 24 miles from the Orlando Airport. Travel time is 36 minutes without the use of tolls or 28 minutes with tolls.
Travel time to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is roughly 5 minutes and about 2.5 miles.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the closest theme park to All-Star Movies at 5 minutes and 2 miles.
Disney Springs is about 13 minutes and 5 miles away.
To reach EPCOT, you’ll spend about 10 minutes in the car for 5 miles.
Magic Kingdom doesn’t have its own parking lot. You’ll need to drive to the Ticketing and Transportation Center parking lot. It’s about 12 minutes and 5.8 miles away. You’ll park and then need to take a monorail or boat to complete your journey adding roughly another 10 minutes.