I am so excited to announce the addition of some new writers for The Affordable Mouse! Going forward, our Friday post each week will be written by one of 3 very talented…and very Disney-loving ladies. This week, please welcome our final new writer, Debbie. Debbie, welcome to The Affordable Mouse family!
To me, one of the hidden treasures to save money at Walt Disney World is All-Stars Music Resort. After staying at all three All-Stars Resort hotels several times, I find the All-Stars Music to be similar to staying at some of the moderate hotels but at a fraction of the cost. Yes, I know, the rooms are smaller than the moderates, but how long are you really in your room anyway! There is only 54 square feet difference between the All-Stars and the moderate hotels.
The All-Stars Resorts consist of 3 different themed hotels located in the Animal Kingdom Area. All-Star Sports is the first you come to as you enter off West Buena Vista Drive. With 1920 rooms this resort has plenty of room for cheerleaders, soccer players, and many other sport groups that flock to this sports-themed hotel. All-Star Movies is the last hotel on West Buena Vista Drive and attracts more families with small children. This hotel also has 1920 rooms and spreads out with Disney movie icons through-out the grounds, including a Dalmatian puppy watching a “blank” TV – the perfect photo spot. Between Sports and Movies you find the smallest of the three, All-Stars Music with 1602 rooms. The All-Star Music is my favorite home away from home with its musical instrument icons and smaller resort size. Music seems to attract more couples then families because of the theme. The three All-Star Resorts now offer family suites that include a separate bedroom, two bathrooms, kitchenette and enough sleeping room for 6 guests. While it is a little cramped for 6 adults, unless you are real friendly, for a family with younger children, this option fits the bill perfectly.
At one time the All-Star Resorts were the only value hotels on Walt Disney World property. WDW saw the need for more value hotels several years back and has now built Pop Century with Disney’s Art of Animation scheduled to open in 2012. I’m sure Pop Century is a wonderful place to stay, but All-Star Music offers a quaint atmosphere – similar to French Quarter, but is much less expensive.
All-Star Music Resort is divided into 10 different buildings, with Calypso building #1 and #10 being closer to the Intermission Food Court, bus stops and Calypso themed main pool. The rooms in these buildings are considered an upgrade, which could be a better idea for those who have trouble walking or have smaller kids, but I prefer the privacy and seclusion of the Rock Inn or the Broadway buildings toward the back. The Country Fair buildings are in the very back and actually sit right behind the Piano Pool, guest laundry and restrooms. Music sits between Sports and Movies, so both the other All-Star hotels are within an easy walk, if you just need a change of scenery.
Being toward the back of the grounds gives us a chance to chill out at the Piano Pool without the crowds the main Calypso Pool attracts. It is relaxing sitting on the “keys” in the “piano” and dipping those burning tootsies in cool water after a long day in the parks. There are plenty of tables, chairs and lounge chairs to go around. I find it a lot less hectic to sit by the less crowded pool having a beverage and doing laundry at my speed. Not that I do laundry on every trip, but it is nice to have everything clean when you get home.
I stayed in Broadway #8 one year and was located on the 2nd floor. Looking out the window to see Beauty and the Beast Billboard gave the feeling of being in New York City overlooking Broadway! What a way to wake up.
I can hear people saying – those rooms are way too small, or the All-Stars have way too many people around, but weighing the pros against the few cons, especially taking into account cost makes Music our resort of choice.
Staying on the parking lot side of the Rock Inn #4 was very peaceful – the room did face out to the cars, but the palm trees and greenery around defuses the view to transport you to a tropical paradise. This helps to block out any unwanted noise from the traffic. Having the parking lots so close lets you drive to the Transportation Center instead of walking to the front bus stops, if you prefer. The shaded walkways meander through lush greenery taking you on a leisurely walk to the parking lot. We find the front bus stops easy to use, but it is nice to have an option.
There is so much to see and listen to on the way back to your room it is easy to get lost in the atmosphere – Take time to enjoy the Music!
Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.