After a recent stay at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, I figured I’d fill you all in on how my stay was. If you’re not aware, All-Star Sports is a value resort and is a part of a larger “chain” of value resorts. The others being All-Star Movies and All-Star Music Resorts. Prices are generally the lowest for these resorts, and many discounts often apply the most to All-Star Sports since it doesn’t usually fill up as quickly as the other value hotels on property.
With such a strong “masculine” theme to the resort, many families don’t find the theming suitable for their entire group. As you might guess, each section of the resort is broken down into a specific sport such as football, baseball, basketball, tennis, and surfing. The “Surf’s Up” section is preferred and will cost you a bit more because of the close proximity to the main pool and Stadium Hall, the main building with the check-in/concierge desk, food court, and gift shop.
Having stayed at All-Star Sports previously, I knew to request a building that would suit my needs since the layout is very large and very confusing. Honestly, I’ve gotten confused walking around there before but never had a problem at Pop Century for some reason. I put in my request for the Touchdown! section so I’d be close to the busses and lobby. While I thought the proximity was nice, there were other issues with that section that I’ll touch on later.
Check-in was a breeze. No line and no chaos. I found the front desk staff to be knowledgeable and helpful. The lobby’s decor is bright and colorful, which is to be expected with a value resort. It’s definitely welcoming and family friendly. However, I personally have a distaste for Stadium Hall. I find it to be outdated and very 90′s. Along a main walkway in Stadium Hall hang large photos of famous athletes who were once popular. Not many current big time sports stars are displayed, and virtually every photo is faded, which I can only assume is from the direct sunlight that shines on that wall. I think Stadium Hall dates the rest of the otherwise up-to-date resort.
My traveling partner (my mother) and I found our room over in the football section of the resort quite easily. I was pleased initially to find that we were facing the giant football field. This was something I’d later regret being so stoked about. The room itself was spotless and tasteful. All of the rooms at the All-Star Resorts are 260 square feet. I found that for 2 people it was just fine, but having 4 would feel like a tight squeeze. The room itself was wonderful, and we were pleased with everything. I actually like the decor at the All-Star Resorts more than Pop Century’s. However, my big issue with the room wasn’t discovered until later that first night.
As I said, my room was facing the giant football field. I think I should also mention that during my stay I saw MANY school sports teams and other youth groups also staying at All-Star Sports. I didn’t have a problem with this at all until nighttime. Every single night of my stay I could very easily hear groups of kids playing outside of my room. It was so loud that the air conditioner did not drown out much of the sound, and at one point I could hear definite foul language. Disney does have a large white sign that is set up in the middle of the field explaining that after 10:00 p.m. a quiet time is observed. This was never enforced by resort security at all. One night I came back very late, around 12:30 a.m. and saw a large number of kids still out there playing loudly. If Disney is going to flaunt a “quiet time” then it needs to be enforcing it. If you’re thinking of requesting a section and would like to make sure you’re given a quiet rest at night, ask to be on the opposite side of the building so you’re not facing a large play area.
On this particular stay at All- Star Sports, I made sure to check out the pool on a nice sunny day. The main Surf’s Up pool is very large and can accomodate a lot of people. Even though the lounge chairs were quite occupied, the pool seemed more than large enough to allow everyone some space. Typical of the value resorts, there is no water slide for kids to enjoy, but there are many poolside games put on by staff to keep kids entertained.
I took a big leap of faith and also checked out the End Zone Food Court found inside of Stadium Hall. I hadn’t heard good things, so I was a bit cautious. While seating was ample, the ordering area is very small, and when busy can become congested. However, I went in at about 5:30 p.m. for a quick dinner and was the only soul ordering food. The selection seemed a little limited, and I settled on a the special of the day, Seafood Gumbo. First off, the staff was awesome! They were really friendly and I could tell they were being genuine when they asked how my visit has been. The shrimp was cooked fresh for my entree, which impressed me. However, the rice and the gumbo stew portion had been sitting around for a while and didn’t taste as fresh. Overall, it absolutely was not worth the $10 I spent. My mom got a standard cheeseburger with french fries and was less than impressed. She’s very easy to please, and even she felt like she wasted her money. Oh, well! We can say we gave it a shot!
Another place of interest inside of Stadium Hall is the gift shop. It’s smaller than most gift shops found in other resorts. You’ll find your standard souvenirs, as well as anything (toiletries and such) you might have forgotten to pack. Some of the items that you can purchase are sports related. Even athletic attire is available for anyone interested.
I used Disney’s bus system on this trip, and overall I had no issues with having to wait an extended amount of time for a bus to get to any park. I did find that the bus stop area was pretty small, and when a large group walked up, they found it hard to find a place to stand in line. The return trips from parks back to the resort were a bit of a pain at times. There didn’t seem to be enough busses to service the large crowds, which is a typical problem with many Disney resorts. One night in particular at Magic Kingdom ended up being a nightmare beyond belief. A large group of high school kids had surrounded us in line. They thought it was perfectly acceptable to go from the back of the line to the very front of the line to be with their friends. As you can imagine, after watching two busses get filled up without you, line cutting is a sure fire way to tick some folks off. I’m sure this problem is more frequently found at value resorts where school groups are staying. Security should definitely be increased at the parks to deal with this very annoying, very unfair issue.
I’d probably stay at All-Star Sports again. Only, I’d make sure to be placed in a quiet room. I would also eat before I came back to the resort so I could stay far far away from that food court. While I don’t think that the resort is for everyone, I would suggest it to folks trying to save some money on their lodging expenses as long as they are willing to deal with a few of the less than wonderful features of the resort.
Have any of YOU stayed at All-Star Sports Resort? Share your experience with us in the comment section!