March 13, 2015

Disney's All-Star Sports Resort Review

I was incredibly skeptical about this resort after a quick visit of a family friend who stayed here several years ago, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed my stay here!

First off, the theme of the surroundings: it's all shiny and new-looking despite the age of the resort. While it is technically more like a "motel", it's much more attractive on the outside and you do get a lot of services and amenities. There are two pools with lifeguards who actively walk around the perimeters (props to them from a lifeguard herself!), a lobby area with the EndZone cafe/arcade/gift shop, laundry services, elevators (no need to drag your luggage up stairs!).

Although I was here with over 350 other high school seniors, we all did a pretty good job at respecting Disney's 10pm "quiet time" curfew; I didn't notice any loud noises at night or in the morning aside from the birds ;)
(donuts from Downtown Disney!)
As for the food, the EndZone cafe gets very crowded in the mornings, so if you want to grab breakfast, expect to wait in line and don't expect to find a table indoors quickly. There are several tables outside though! (so go enjoy the Florida sunshine!) A lot of people mentioned that they wanted to try the quintessential "Mickey pancake/waffle", so keep your eye open for that. I picked up dinner using my meal ticket at 9:30 pm and there was still quite a lot of people there. The service was quick and the workers were friendly; the veggie burger that I got was the exact same one that was served at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom, and the pizzas that my friends got looked like the same ones from Pizzafari at Animal Kingdom. I was able to swap out my fries for pre-packaged fruit salad, but to be honest, the fruit had this odd aftertaste (probably from preservatives), so go for a banana instead. There's a condiment bar next to the soda machines, so I grabbed the tomatoes and pickles to eat with my veggie burger --- the lettuce did not look fresh. 

On my first day, I asked a worker if I could fill up my water canteen with water from the soda machine. She responded with a "oh yeah, of course!" and whispered to me that I could totally fill it up with soda instead ;). I stuck with the water for the rest of the trip, but I was super grateful for this privilege, considering how expensive water can be at the parks.  

each room comes with two beds, a phone, an alarm clock, a table with two chairs, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, refrigerator, a few hooks to hang bags/jackets, and a TV with several channels (no Nickelodeon though!). 

They only provide you with soap bars to wash your hands and your body in addition to body gel; I'm not sure if you'd have to request for shampoo/conditioner, but I just used the ones I brought from home.

The beds, in my opinion, were actually very comfortable! They weren't too hard nor were they too soft. I slept very well ;) I slept with an eye mask and ear plugs every night since two of my roommates were night owls lol, but the sleep was restful!

Some of my favorite memories from Disney include sitting on my bed, talking to my roommates at night and just sharing our random stories from the day or just ranting xD. waking up and mumbling in our groggy morning voices, watching 19 Kids and Counting and Steamboat Willie cartoons are on that list too!

Although the bathroom area is tight, it's all you really need! there's no need for anything too big, considering that you're spending the majority of the day at the parks anyways. The room met our needs and was very clean, which I, being a neatfreak, really appreciated.

Transportation is another key advantage to staying at a Disney resort: there are shuttles taking you to every park and to Downtown Disney. From the parks, you can also take other shuttles to other resorts! It's much more convenient to use Disney's transportation because Disney can be a little confusing to navigate through, and who wants to drive after a long, tiring day at the parks?

A downside to transportation is the wait time. The shuttles arrive every 15 minutes, which may not seem like a lot, but these minutes add up. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to drive to the parks, depending on which resort you stay at and which park you go to, so it can actually take 30 minutes to get somewhere. The Downtown Disney bus goes to other resorts as well, so the wait is even longer since the bus is typically filled once it stops by the All-Star Sports Resort. The night I went to Downtown Disney, I waited for 30 minutes for a bus and then it took 30 minutes to get there with the Saturday night traffic. The wait is the same for coming back to the resort, so plan ahead!
Also, since the buses come every 15 minutes, they really try to pack the buses as much as possible (up to the yellow line by the front of the bus). Most of the time, I had to stand on the bus. It's like a fun little surfing ride, but when your feet hurt really badly after a full day of walking, hanging onto the railings isn't the most attractive thing.

On the other hand, something that's great about Disney is the free wifi EVERYWHERE. The wifi at the park can be slow, but I've had moments when it worked really well. The wifi is much more reliable at the resorts, but it's still a great plus either way!

loved walking through this turf every night to get to my room!
i saw kids throwing footballs, sword-fighting with Star Wars light sabers... ;)

roomie jokes :)    #jinger #samosadonuts 

So the verdict? I'd definitely come back here if I came here with a group of friends for spring break or something; I'd consider coming here with my family, but this resort does lack the glamour of other Disney resorts (Grand Polynesian...ugh. so beautiful) and other non-Disney resorts (even places like Marriot!). It is a more economical choice, especially because Disney tickets are costly, so it's something to consider when planning your own Disney trip. If you're not spending a lot of time at the hotel, why not come here? If you want to go to other places in Orlando, it might be easier to go to another place. But all in all, my stay was great. Thanks Disney :)

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xoxo, han

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