Resort Review: All-Star SportsPosted by Affording the Mouse
OK, I’m going to be honest here: I’m a bit of a Value Resort snob. It’s not that I think the Value Resorts are not adequate hotels–they are! But we tend to visit WDW in during the Value season, and we have never made a resort reservation without some sort of discount (pin code, advertised discount, Cast Member discount, etc.). So, in most cases, we can get a Moderate Resort at a rate that many people pay for a Value. Why wouldn’t we enjoy the extra space and amenities the Moderates have to offer?
That said, even among the Value Resorts, the All-Star Sports Resort is my least favorite. It could be because I’m not a sports fan…but I don’t think that’s it. (My husband is a huge sports fan, and he wasn’t impressed either.) The amenities are pretty much the same at all the Value Resorts–small spaces with basic amenities. The differences lie in the areas of theming, pools, Mousekeeping, and transportation options. Most of them are a matter of opinion, while others–such as bus service–have notable differences. Here is a run-down of why I would not recommend the All-Star Sports Resort:
- Noise. These walls must be paper-thin, because we heard guests returning from the Parks (or wherever else) well into the night. I’m not sure I ever got fully to sleep on our first night. Fortunately, on subsequent evenings, my tiredness took over and I was able to sleep through the ruckus.
- Mousekeeping. Other than the traditional Mickey outline in towels upon arrival, we didn’t see a single towel creation for our entire trip. (We might be spoiled in this regard. On our trip to Port Orleans French Quarter, one eager Mousekeeper gave us dozens of these little critters and even made a display in our window, using our daughters’ princess costumes–amazing!) There were visible stains on our carpet (something sticky–maybe a gummy candy?), and we didn’t get the traditional note from Mousekeeping with the name of our Mousekeeper. One night, I had to remove a live (well, he had been alive…RIP, little guy!) lizard from our room.
- Lack of Disney theming. Sure, there was a “Mighty Ducks” section, but most of the theming at Sports is focused on actual sports–not on Disney-related sports. I guess you could say the same for some sections of the All-Star Music or All-Star Movies, but in both those cases, the Disney theming seems to tie in seamlessly. At the All-Star Sports, it felt like the Disney themes were awkwardly sprinkled throughout the sports accouterments.
- General wear and tear. This resort is a favorite among sports teams (duh!) and other youth groups, because of the affordability of Value Resorts. (And Disney seems to want to put its groups in this resort and save the Movies and Music for families.) Dare I make the correlation? Teenagers aren’t especially known for taking good care of things. This resort sees a lot of traffic…and it shows.
- Transportation. We tend to drive to the Parks more often than not. But on Tuesday morning, while my oldest daughter and I were attending a Youth Education Series program in Animal Kingdom, my husband and youngest daughter decided to head to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours. Since they would be meeting us later at AK, we drove our car and they took a bus to the MK. My husband called me after we were already entering AK, fuming, as he waited for a bus that seemed as if it would never come. Several buses for other Parks had come and gone, but he waited over 30 minutes for a MK bus. Since Sports shares buses with Music and Movies–at least in the off-season–transportation is erratic at best at this resort.
- Faulty wake-up calls. As it turns out, this might have been a problem for all the Disney Resorts, because we encountered it (gasp!) at the Grand Floridian as well. The wake-up call would only play for about 10 seconds, and then would cut off suddenly. Kind of a bummer, when you’re hoping to start your day with a little message from your Disney pals.
I can’t really comment on the pools or food, as we had not time to enjoy either at the All-Star Sports. We spent any free time away from the Parks eating and shopping off-site. Check-in here was fine, especially since I had completed on-line check-in before our arrival. The few Cast Members we encountered on our stay were friendly enough and helpful, but we didn’t interact with any to a great extent. If I had to categorize our experience, I would say it was adequate. But is adequate what you’re looking for when you visit Walt Disney World? I think not!
Anyone out there care to offer their own opinion of the All-Star Sports Resort? Sound off in the comments section.