On my first solo trip to WDW in June of 2017, I stayed at the All Star Music Resort to save a little dough. Since I was by myself, I wasn't going to be spending much time in the room, so an All Star Resort seemed like the best choice. If you're considering staying at ASM, I've given a comprehensive review here so you can see if this resort would be right for you!
Since my last stay at WDW had been at the Beach Club on our honeymoon (you can read my review of that resort here), it was a little bit difficult to form my judgment of All Star Music without too much bias. My immediate reaction up on walking in the room was of...well, disappointment. I had low expectations upon booking, but when you board the Magical Express all logical thinking just goes right out the window...
Anyways, once I reminded myself that I was paying 1/3 of what we paid for our honeymoon accommodations, I was able to properly assess the room. Although the decor at ASM isn't particularly striking, it isn't as gaudy as I anticipated, either. The wallpaper isn't my cup of tea, but otherwise it's pretty simple.
I was excited to see that I had been given a king bed, which is a handicap accessible room --I booked a preferred room but not one that was specifically designated as a king bed or accessible room. There are only three options when booking a room at ASM: Standard Room, Preferred Room, or Family Suite.
All three rooms could have views of a courtyard, parking lot, or pool. The preferred rooms are all in the Calypso building, which is closest to the lobby, and the family suite can sleep up to 6 and has two bathrooms and a sitting room.
The rooms have everything you would expect in a hotel room: nightstands, TV, mini fridge, sitting area. They're a reasonable size--definitely smaller than our Beach Club and Polynesian rooms, but I didn't notice a striking difference vs. French Quarter or Riverside, even though it's about 50 square feet smaller.
I wish the deluxe resorts would follow the bathroom setup the value and moderate resorts use; the shower and toilet in an enclosed room with a separate vanity area works much better for a family and prevents feeling too crowded when getting ready in the morning.
The bathroom itself is nothing particularly special, but it has everything you need. Because I had an accessible room, it was pretty darn spacious.
Overall, ASM is a noticeable downgrade from the deluxe resorts--the towels are thinner, the bed firmer, and the decor less impressive. No reasonable person would compare a value resort to a deluxe, though, and on its own, I found the rooms quite nice considering the cost.
For a family of four, the rooms might feel a tad small, but if you're not planning on spending a great deal of time in your room, I don't think that will matter much. If you have a bigger family, the family suite might be a good option, but they cost a minimum of $100+ more per night. If you think space might be an issue, though, it's something to consider. Otherwise, I think the rooms have everything you need for a good price.
When I checked in online, I requested a ground floor room in the Calypso building, which is closest to the lobby. The Calypso building is the only building where preferred rooms are located. If you do not book a preferred room, the Jazz Inn is the next closest to the lobby and would be a good request if you want to limit your walking.
I personally think a ground floor request is the wisest there is if you have baggage to lug around (which is...always?). The buildings do have elevators, but they are in the center of the buildings, so you'll add some walking searching for them.
This was the view outside my room:
I expected the landscape to be more low-key at a value resort, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. The close proximity to the parking lot was not particularly ideal, but I was so tired every night that the Dapper Dans could have been practicing in my room and I would have slept right through it, so the occasional car door closing was no big deal.
Exploring the different musically themed sections of the resort was a lot of fun. You'll find two pools (the guitar pool, near the Calypso building, which has a pool bar and a kiddie pool, and the piano pool, which is quieter) around the resort, as well as plenty of unique decor. The broadway section was my favorite just because the ambiance was so cool.
I anticipated it being a long and grueling walk from the back of the resort to the bus stop, but it really wasn't that bad, so don't let that scare you. Compared to Port Orleans Riverside, it was nothin'. The Country Fair area is said to be the quietest of the resort, so that may be the best building request if you're a light sleeper and don't mind the walk.
The main building houses the front desk, Maestro Mickey gift shop, arcade, and Intermission food court. The food court is large and has all the typical options: pizza, pasta, sandwiches, baked goods, etc.
The arcade was empty every time I passed by it, but it's well stocked.
The gift shop is open until 11:30 PM and has the usual--hats, sunglasses, a few grocery items, sunscreen and other toiletries, and a selection of souvenirs you've seen everywhere else on property, with the exception of a small selection of resort-specific magnets, keychains, pins, etc.
The resort's bus stop is also located right outside the main building. One of the biggest downsides of the value resorts is the bus stop; it's not covered, so if it's raining or, you know, hot, you've got no choice but to suffer Florida's wrath.
Overall, if you're looking to save money but still want to be on property (which we highly recommended), All Star Music is a good choice. If you have 4 or less people, a standard room should suit you just fine, and any of the buildings are a reasonable distance from the lobby, although Country Fair is the best choice for a quieter area. If you want to limit your walking, book a preferred room. If all you're looking for is a nice place to sleep, a pool to enjoy, and busses to get you to the parks, you'll be satisfied.
In my opinion, the main disadvantage to staying at a value resort is the lack of impressive theming. The different sections of the hotel are a lot of fun to look at, but they don't induce the kind of emotional response the moderate and deluxe resorts due for us. Other things to consider are that pools don't have hot tubs, the bus stop isn't covered, and the food court is the only food option at the resort. If none of these things bother you, then ASM should make for a magical stay!
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