Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Value Resorts

It’s always exciting when you’re planning the details for your upcoming trip, and when you’re deciding where to stay, narrowing down the choices is half the fun!

disney entry way

Disney World resorts are divided into different categories: Value Resort Hotels, Moderate Resort Hotels, Deluxe Resort Hotels, Deluxe Villas, and Campgrounds. In this part of our Trip Planning Series, we’re going to dish out some details on the different resorts, starting with the Value Resorts, and what it is like staying there with a special diet.

There are five Value Resort Hotels at Walt Disney World: All-Star MoviesAll-Star MusicAll-Star Sports, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. They’re large, loaded with bright colors, have motel-style exteriors, and basic amenities. True to their name, they’re among the cheapest of the resorts (the whole “value” thing), but have fun themes, making them a good match for families. They are large and hold a lot of people–so often the bus wait is longer–but this can be the case for other large resorts, as well. All offer complimentary wi-fi Internet; most have mini-fridges. 

For those travelling with a Special Diet, and you’re thinking of booking a Value Resort, you may want to let them know beforehand if you need a mini-fridge for any of your needs. Some medications need to be refrigerated, or if there are specific Special Diet food/drink items you take with you, those may need a fridge as well. The folks at Walt Disney World are very accommodating, especially if you explain that you need a fridge for your medical condition.

More info about the resorts themselves, including fact sheets, are available straight from the Walt Disney World planning site, but we’re here to give you our own experience! Here’s our low down on things to remember if you’re booking a Value Resort when you’re planning your trip. Because the All-Star resorts are so similar, we’ve grouped them together.

The All-Starswdw-all-star sports resort

What we love:

  • The unique themes! The resorts are organized by three themes: Music, Movies, and Sports. There’s sure to be something to suit everyone’s tastes.
  • All Stars Sports recently refurbished their food court, and it’s a home run! You’ll love the special diets offerings and customizable dishes available here too.

What we could pass on:

  • In the off-season, all three of the All-Star resorts share a single bus line (unless it gets really busy), which makes for very long wait times. Though patience is often needed at Disney, you might risk being late for reservations, especially if you’re heading to another resort, as opposed to a park.

Pop Century

What we love:

wdw-pop century resort

  • The large food court offers plenty of options for those with food allergies, and because it so many families stay here, the chefs are very in tune (get it?!) with making special meals for Special Diets.
  • There is a jogging trail/paved path that connects Pop Century to Art of Animation, which makes for a nice mid-morning walk (it’s 1.38miles), a trek to check out another resort, and more food court options (especially if you are finding that you’re not loving the Special Diet options at your food court).
  • Along the path, there is a timeline of facts when notable popular culture happenings occurred throughout the years. Fun facts… with some that make you feel very old.

What we could pass on:

  • Though this resort is huge, it is still crowded: there are an awful lot of people in one space! If you’re a nonsmoker, you may find that it can get a little overwhelming since many of the smokers don’t flock far from their rooms.

Art of Animation

What we love:wdw-art of animation resort

  • The theme! It’s absolutely a marvel to look at: you’ll find yourself right in some of Disney’s and Disney Pixar’s best films.
  • The food court at Art of Animation not only offers many options compared to every other Disney food court (not just value), but loads of options for those with food allergies or a special diet. There’s a wide variety of global cuisine, lots of To Go options (with special diets included), and many “assemble your own” (IE pasta, salad) choices, so they have plenty of fresh things available to accommodate your needs. 
  • A pool bar. That’s right.
  • The Pop Century/Art of Animation pathway we noted above.

What we could pass on:

  • Though we love the resort, it’s most made up of suites, which end up costing more than the average value resort. However, it does make it perfect for larger groups, because you don’t have to purchase two rooms.

Have you stayed at these resorts? If so, what did you love or not-love-so-much about them?

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13 thoughts on “Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Value Resorts

  1. Pingback: Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: an overview | Food Allergy & Celiac Convention
  2. All Disney resorts are decorated beyond what you could imagine (if you’ve not been, that is). The value resorts have bigger than life icons and are fun to walk around to all the resort areas and see the different themes. We’ve stayed at All-Star Sports, not that we like sports, it was part of a great offer. I, however, would recommend a moderate resort, it doesn’t seem possible, but when there are special offers, many times you can stay at a moderate resort for a few dollars more. Now . . . moderates . . . Coronado Springs is by far our favorite (stayed here and Caribbean Beach so far). Plus, it would be convenient for the convention!

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