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When considering a stay at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, there are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
As a value resort, All-Star Sports has different features and amenities than you might be used to at other Disney resorts. It’s important to consider all these aspects when you’re booking, and again during your stay. We want you to get the most out of your Disney vacation after all!
Between looking at the factors to determine if this is the right resort for you, it’s location on property, and then making the most of your stay, we’ve got all the tips you’ll need to turn your All-Star Sports Resort vacation into a home run.
Disney’s All-Star Resort Tips
Tips for Planning Your All-Star Sports Stay
Consider Your Party
This is always one of my top tips, but it is even truer when it comes to All-Star Sports resort. All-Star Sports is a great, inexpensive choice if you’re trying to stay on Disney property on a budget. However, remember that there is one only kind of room, and it houses four guests. As a standard hotel-style room, if you think you’ll want more space or need separate sleeping and living areas, you might want to consider another option. All-Star Music and Art of Animation both have the family suites that open up your room a bit, and give you privacy or a space for the kids.
Four Means Four
Pay close attention to these tips! Rooms at All-Star Sports can hold four people. That’s it. They don’t offer rollaway beds or cots here, and you can’t book the room for more than four. The only exception to this would be children three and under, for which you can bring a pack n’ play or ask for a crib. Again, at some of the deluxe resorts, extra beds are an option, but not here.
Park Hop till You Drop!
On the other hand, if you’re planning to spend all your time in the parks, All-Star Sports is an excellent option! Another of my favorite tips is to avoid spending money unnecessarily, especially when it comes to your room. All-Star Sports is on the least expensive end of Disney resorts, and still gives you all the benefits of being an official resort guest. If you just need a place to lay your head, this is a have your cake and eat it too situation for sure!
What are Your Park Priorities?
All-Star Resort is closest to Blizzard Beach and Animal Kingdom, which is ideal if those are your top park choices. However, if you want to spend most of your time at the Magic Kingdom for instance, you might want to consider a different resort. Even though the parks are all within a ten miles of one another, with traffic and the roadways that travel time can easily turn into an hour. This is even truer with Disney transportation – for all its convenience, it isn’t always the fastest way to get from point A to point B. Look at the map to be sure the All-Star Sports is worth the distance.
With one source of Disney transportation (the busses), and only one stop at Stadium Hall, All-Star Sports is a great resort choice for those with their own vehicle. There’s plenty of parking at All-Star Sports, much it close to buildings that aren’t necessarily preferred. Having your own car also can outweigh the distance from other areas on property, as you don’t need to wait for a bus or travel at bus speeds.
Do I Need Preferred?
Speaking of preferred, remember this is all about placement in the resort. Most of the preferred rooms are in the Surf’s Up! section, giving you immediate access to Stadium Hall. Not only does that mean you’re close to the dining and transportation, but you are right by the Surfboard Bay pool area.
With all that in mind, you need to think about if it’s worth the extra money to get that proximity. If you depend on Disney transportation or dining, then I would say it definitely is worth the cost. Also, if you have kiddos that love the pool (or you love the pool!), it’s worth it to be closer to the larger pool area. However, if those are your priorities, save the money and spend it elsewhere.
Plan Your Week
Particularly with the location of All-Star Sports, pay attention to these tips! You’ll want to know what days you will be doing which activities before your trip to minimize your travel and maximize your fun. With the current park pass system, knowing which days will be park days (and which park you’ll be in) is important. As more people are comfortable traveling, we’re going to see more of these days maxing out, so get that park pass early!
Planning ahead can also help you plan in terms of transportation, since your options are limited. Also, try not to plan too many park days in a row. A day off in between will do you a world of good!
Plan a Game Day
Especially if you follow the tips about planning your week and taking a day off, All-Star Sports is the perfect place to plan a day to play outside. Yes, you’re in Disney, but if you have energetic kids they may just want some time to run around. With large field spaces throughout the resort, you can play your own game of flag football or four on four soccer. Drivers have an advantage here, as you can put the equipment you need in your car.
What About Disney Vacation Club?
For Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members, there aren’t any DVC specific accommodations at All-Star Sports.
However, DVC members can use their points to stay at any Disney World resort, including All-Star Sports. If you are looking stay here, you can absolutely use your points (or rent them) for your stay. It is important to note that the conversion doesn’t always come out in favor of DVC members, so if you want to use points you might be better off at a resort with DVC accommodations.
Pack a Pool Bag
Especially if I’m driving to the resort, I like to pack a separate bag with all my pool gear. That includes swimsuit, sunscreen, and extra clothes. This is so that, if the room isn’t ready when we arrive, I can head to the bathroom, change into my swim gear, and enjoy the pool while I wait.
If you have kids, you will be doubly glad you took advantage of these tips! The pools are key features at All-Star Sports, and they are going to want to get in right away. If you’re prepared with all their swim gear in its own bag, then you’ll be off swimming in no time.
Pack a Cover-up
Along the same lines, you should plan to bring some sort of swim cover up or “over clothes” to wear back from the pool. After using the resort towels, the expectation is that you will return them before exiting the pool area. Unless you bring your own towel, that means you won’t have one to wrap around yourself for the walk back to your room. That’s where having a cover up, or even just a dedicated pool t-shirt and shorts, can be nice. All-Star Sports is a large resort, with only two pools. If you have to trek a bit to get to a pool, it is nice to have some clothes to cover yourself during the walk.
Similarly, make sure you have swim shoes or flip-flops. I know, I know, it’s Florida, you’ll probably bring them. However, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen people just walk barefoot from their room to the pool…and regret that decision. With the size of All-Star Sports, you’ll want shoes for the pool. This is one of those tips you’ll be glad for in the moment!
Get the App!
The My Disney Experience app (or MDE, as more people are calling it) has become a crucial component to any Walt Disney World vacation. From purchasing tickets and making dining reservations to obtaining a coveted Rise of the Resistance boarding pass, you can’t really do Disney effectively without out.
This app is important at your resort as well, as you can use it for as a map to navigate the resort. I know I’ve already said, but All-Star Sports is huge. Having a map right in your pocket that you can access at any time will save you time, versus trying to find one of the few posted throughout the resort. All-Star Sports is also connected via walkway to the other All-Star resorts, so having a map can help you navigate all three spaces.
Plan Rainy Day Fun
Guys, it’s Florida. It’s going to rain. Thunder, even. So with that in mind, make sure you have some rainy day activities in your back pocket. The pools don’t always close for rain, so if you and your kids are fine with that, you might have the area to yourselves. However, they will close for thunder, so it’s good to plan ahead.
Over in Stadium Hall, you can find Game Point Arcade, where you can play games with your family. Sometimes there are even other indoor events for kids over in this building, so check with the front desk. If you drove, I also recommend bringing cards or board games you can play in your room while you wait for the weather to clear.
Since the rooms at All-Star Sports have mini-fridges, one of my top tips is to bring your own snacks. This will save you time, money, and headaches. Have items you can eat for breakfast so you can get out the door sooner. Bring small things to nibble at the pool. Make sure you have granola bars or something semi-substantial for the parks. You can even bring your own cereal or oatmeal and get a small milk from End Zone Food Court, which is something my family always did. Prepping with these snacks means you’ll be less tempted to buy Disney food for every meal, which takes its toll on your belly and your wallet.
Tips for a Slam Dunk All-Star Sports Stay
Know Where You’re Going
Since there are three different All-Star Resorts, it’s a good idea to know exactly where you’re headed. Luckily, the All-Star property has one main entrance, with individual entrances for each – Music, Movies, and Sports. With that in mind, make sure you just pay attention as to where you’ll enter.
While you will eventually want to go over to Stadium Hall, there’s no need to stop there when you first check in. Particularly if you’re staying in a building across the resort from Stadium Hall, park your car and save yourself the steps. For those getting dropped off by bus or rideshare, you still don’t need to go into the main building if you’re checked in through your app.
Tips to Organize Your All-Star Sports Room
Ordinary, one of my main tips is to unpack your room. However, at a resort like All-Star Sports, unpacking can be difficult without the level of storage space of other locations. With that in mind, you’re going to want to organize your belongings. Put items in the fridge if needed, determine where the toiletries go, give your suitcase a home, hang up your jackets or ponchos – you get the drift.
You might be tempted to rip open that suitcase and head right to the pool, but organizing now will save you time (and a headache) later.
If you’re like me, you look to share with others what your room looks like at the resort. If you want to do a room tour or get a picture of the space, get it as soon as you walk in. Especially if you’re travelling with kids or teens, this room will never look so nice again – take advantage of that for your glamor shot!
Explore the Resort
Not only is All-Star Sports a massive resort, but also boasts some of the most fun decorations on property. While the theming and décor is a bit more “cartoony,” that’s part of the charm. With that in mind, take some time to check out all the different areas throughout All-Star Sports. Each area is themed to the max, with larger than life sports equipment and fields. You’ll love taking pictures throughout the area!
Make a Scavenger Hunt
Along similar lines, doing a photo scavenger hunt is a great non-park activity, especially when traveling with teens. You’ll have all kinds of one of a kind photos, and it encourages family fun in the process. You won’t believe the bonding that can happen during a family photo hunt. This is one of the best tips to learn the layout of All-Star Sports as well, which is ideal for an extended stay.
Check out Stadium Hall
I know I told you to skip it when you first arrive, but don’t skip Stadium Hall altogether. This is the location of End Zone Food Court, the only dining spot in the resort, as well as the arcade and resort shop. Swing in, check out the resort-specific merchandise, and see what else is going on at the resort that day.
End Zone Food Court
Even though it’s the only food spot at the resort, don’t count out End Zone Food Court! There are plenty of delicious options, with signature meals rotating in the evening for dinner. As quick service goes, you’ll be glad you have End Zone. Don’t forget to grab your refill mug while you’re there!
Take a look at some of the unique offerings at End Zone in this video:
Speaking of the Mug…
Like I mentioned, End Zone Food Court where you can pick up your refill mug. If you are unfamiliar with the Disney refill mugs, they originally came about as part of the Disney Dining Plan. Disney resort guests can purchase a refillable mug for all self-service beverages at their resort. You can buy the mug for $19.99 (sometimes more for specialty mugs). A regular soda at Disney World is $3.99, and if you drink two sodas a day for a five-day vacation, that comes out to $40! With the mug, you can save lot of money on nonalcoholic drinks (soda, juice, coffee, etc.) by refilling instead of buying a new drink.
The free refills are only good for the length of your stay, but as the mugs change in design from time to time, they make great souvenirs. I particularly like to fill mine with coffee on the way to the park, and then rise it out and use it for water later. The refills don’t work in the parks, but if you bring a soda bottle or another beverage you can use the mug then.
Grab and Go
End Zone Food Court also has great grab and go items, whether it’s a piece of fruit or a transportable meal. If you have somewhere to be, this can be a great way to eat quickly without getting bogged down in the crowds. You also can take some of these items back to the room to keep in your mini-fridge, and then have your sandwich (or whatever) out by the pool later than afternoon.
Main point – work smarter, not harder!
Skip the line and order your counter service meals on your app! Using Mobile Order is one of my favorite tips, whether you’re at All-Star Sports or elsewhere on property. No matter if you’re in the parks or just picking up something from End Zone, Mobile Order is an ideal way to get your food without having to wait. You also can find more customizations on the app, which helps you to get the food just the way you want it. Particularly if you’re really grabbing and going, Mobile Order is a must.
Get the Cookie Dough
One last thing about End Zone Food Court – you’ve got to try the edible cookie dough. A unique treat, this soft and sweet cookie dough leaves out the raw egg and other ingredients that can make raw cookie dough unsafe. You get all the yum without any of the risk.
While we’re on the subject of food, be aware of how much you’re eating in one sitting. There is a temptation to each waaaaay too much food when you’re in Disney. I get it, there’s amazing food everywhere! When the dining plans return, the need to eat to maximize your investment is even worse.
However, you’re going to regret it if you overdo it. Trust, me, I know from experience! Find simple ways to reduce your meals, like choosing a lighter option instead of a table service. For the snacks, bring your own, or choose something like an apple or granola bar instead of that massive Mickey rice crispy treat. You’ll enjoy your time so much more if you don’t gorge yourself!
Sun’s Out, Surf’s Up!
In the Surf’s Up! section of the resort is the Surfboard Bay Pool, the main theme pool for All-Star Sports. You definitely want to make time to check it out, as this is the larger of the two pool areas. You are more likely to get a seat, and the expanded nature of the pool lends itself to kiddos looking to play in the water. This is also where you’ll find the kiddie pool and other play areas for littles, making it fun for any age.
Check out a full resort tour here, with views of the pools:
Speaking of the pools, it is important to remember proper pool etiquette. We know it’s your vacation, but it’s everyone else’s vacation too. Be courteous of others, especially in public areas like the pool. You might be in a group of ten, but if all those kids in your group are going to spend all their time in the pool, they probably don’t need lounge chairs. Keep their towels at the end of your lounger, instead on its own, taking a chair someone else could use.
Also, spot saving isn’t permitted at Disney pools. Please, don’t send down your early riser to take over two tables and six lounge chairs at 7:00am if you’re not planning to go to the pool until 10:00. Not only is it not allowed, it’s not fair to the other guests. Use what you need, making space for the other people staying on property.
Pool Day? Pack a Charger.
If you’re going to spend the day at the pool, you’ll want to throw a charger (preferably of the portable variety) in your pool bag. Particularly if you’re not on the pool side of your block of rooms, or over in a space where there isn’t a pool, you might have to walk a bit for your swim. If you don’t want to hike back to your room and then be without your phone why it charges, you’ll take advantage of these time-saving tips during your stay at All-Star Sports.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Since the pools don’t have tons of natural shade or umbrellas, you’re going to want to lather up in sunblock. Florida sun is no joke, and you don’t want to start your trip with a sunburn. Trust us, it will make the rest of the week miserable.
Don’t Worry about a Towel!
Disney resorts provide pool towels to their guests, so you don’t need to worry about packing your own. You can of course, but as someone who often flies, I appreciate the fact that I don’t need to pack these bulky items. Even if you do bring your own, grab a resort towel anyway. That way, yours is nice and dry when you want to bundle up for the journey back to your room.
You also can borrow life vests at the Disney pools, so you can save room in the suitcase and leave the puddle jumper at home. Again, if you’re more comfortable with your own, that’s fine. Just remember that big floaties, like those gigantic inflatable islands or animals, are not allowed.
As is the case at most value resorts, All-Star Sports doesn’t have balconies on their rooms. Instead, the doors to your room are off an external hallway. That means the railing right in front of your room isn’t yours, it is essentially part of the community walkway/hallway space. With that in mind, don’t hang items on the railing.
You aren’t supposed to do this at Disney resorts anyway, but it is especially true in this case. You are much more likely to have your items lost, or, unfortunately, stolen. For wet things, use the retractable shower line to hang them up in your shower. If you’re worried they won’t dry quickly, turn on the fan in the bathroom to circulate the air.
No matter where you’re headed, give yourself time to get there. At a large resort like All-Star Sports, this is one of the tips that helps your vacation to go smoothly. You’re going to the pool? Account for travel time. You need to walk across the resort to catch the bus? Head out half an hour before you think you need to leave. Trying to get to a dining reservation? Leave at least forty-five minutes before your time.
Travelling with kids? Double that.
Along the same lines, a good general tip is to be early for all reservations or high-priority events. Don’t plan to show up for your dining experience right at your reservation time. Firstly, Disney asks that you show up at least fifteen minutes early. Second, you don’t know what factors could interfere with you getting there on time. Even if you have your own transportation, Disney World has high-traffic times just like all other roadways. Give yourself at least forty-five minutes to get wherever you’re going, and plan to be at least half an hour early to your reservation.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
No, ironically All-Star Sports does not have a fitness center. However, there’s still plenty of ways to stay active at the resort! From the paths for running, jogging, or just walking, to swimming in the pool, you’ll find plenty of ways to stay in your routine.
If you drive yourself, you can always bring some small weights or exercise ball to use in your room.
Ask About Discounts
DVC members, annual pass holders, and Disney Visa card members all have varying discounts throughout Walt Disney World. End Zone is part of Tables in Wonderland, and you likely will get other discounts at the shop. If you’re not sure what discounts are available, look it up ahead of time, or just ask! As someone with the Disney Visa, I always ask when we’re shopping or dining. The worst thing that happens is the Cast Member tells you no!
Check out the All-Stars
All-Star Sports is right next to its sister resorts – Music and Movies. With the same larger than life theming, these are great places to explore with your kids. They will love seeing their favorite characters and taking in the fun decorations in the resort areas. There’s a walking path that connects all three resorts, making for an ideal evening walk.
Bus Stop is out Front
If you are taking the bus, it’s important to know there’s only one Disney transportation bus stop at All-Star Sports. Located right out in front of Stadium Hall, you can catch all the busses to the parks and Disney Springs. The only downside is if you’re staying on the opposite side of the resort, you’ll need to make time to walk to the bus stop.
While I know not everyone is comfortable with this option, I have had pretty good luck with ride shares at Disney World. Lyft is our go-to, although Uber does operate on property as well. Yes, this option isn’t free, but it can be much quicker and more direct than waiting on Disney transportation.
There are two main times I suggest it – inter-resort travel and rope-drop entrances. Again, there aren’t many good options to get you from one resort to another, so ride share helps with that problem. As for rope drop, or arriving as soon as the park opens, ride share helps you to beat the Disney busses. Busses won’t run before a certain time in the morning, so if you use the ride share you can get there before the rest of the resort crowd. This does mean getting up early, but it’s worth it to be some of the first people in the parks!
Use Your Own Car
All of these All-Star Sports transportation tips are moot if you drove your own car! You already have to pay to park at the resorts, you might as well taken advantage of having your own vehicle. As you’re paying the daily parking fee at All-Star Sports, you do not have to pay the fee again at the parks! Since you’re staying at a value resort, this is a steal.
With all that in mind, I always suggest taking your own car. It is the fastest and most dependable way to get anywhere, especially at the end of a park day. You can always use the Disney transportation to take a quick jaunt back to your resort if you don’t want to lose your parking space…just remember where you left your car!
Get to the Parks Early
Another one of my general tips is to go the parks in the morning. Even if you have to leave for a child’s naptime, even if you’re planning on being there in the evening, go in the morning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard people in the parks complaining that they have only ridden three things their whole day…but they got to the park at 11:00am.
I understand, you’re on vacation. You want some extra sleep. But that’s where those days off come in. If it’s a park day, you have to get there as soon as possible. With All-Star Sports being far away from three out of the four parks, you’ll be glad you listened to these time saving tips.
If you ignore all of my other tips, listen to this one – Take. A. Break. Please.
When I was little, I can think of a minimal number of times that my parents had me in the park all day. That’s because they understood my limits, and my sister’s need for a nap. We always went back to the resort for a midday swim and a snooze, and then we would go back for evening fun. Sometimes, my parents would go without us, if my grandmother was along.
You know your kids – do they melt down when they are hungry, tired, or hot? Don’t put yourself in that position. Take a break. Even as an adult, I like to get out of the park when it’s extremely hot and crowded. A swim, or even a meal in a nearby resort (with the glories of AC), can do.
On your day off, you might be wondering how to entertain your family. Fear not! Right down the road is Winter Summerland Miniature Golf, right next to Blizzard Beach. You can even take a Disney bus to get there – just hop on the Blizzard Beach bus and then walk past the entrance to the mini-golf course. If you’re having trouble finding it, as Cast Member will gladly direct you.
This is easily my favorite mini-golf course at Disney. Two different courses show the antics of Santa’s elves – the first in the wintertime as they prepare for Christmas Day, the second camping at the beach while they enjoy a well-deserved vacation. Lots of fun, plenty of shade, and great for the whole family!
Send a Postcard
Many of the resorts, including All-Star Sports, will send postcards from the front desk. What is so special about this is the postmark will be from Walt Disney World, sometimes even from the resort. I even know people who send themselves post cards, like a mini-journal of their trip! This is a unique souvenir that you will love to have when you get home.
I recommend getting a postcard in Sport Goofy Gifts and Sundries. This shows the resort itself, which adds another personal touch.
Tips to Cross the Finish Line and Head Home from All-Star Sports
Pack the Night Before
It may be the last thing you feel like doing, particularly if you spent your last day at the park. However, you’ll be glad you did in the morning. Leave out your outfit for the next day and your essentials, but get everything else ready to go. Your departure will be much smoother, and you will be less stressed, with this one big item off your list.
Have Breakfast Before You Leave
You might think it’s better to get up and moving on your departure day, especially if you have a flight to catch. However, if you plan ahead, there will be enough time for you to have a meal before you head out, and we suggest that you do. Heading away from Walt Disney World on an empty stomach not only will make your departure harder, but will most likely make your whole party miserable (especially the kids). Since End Zone opens at 7:00am, you should be fine in terms of timing. However, if that isn’t early enough for you, consider getting some snacks the night before to hold you over until you get to the airport.
If you already have a credit card on file for your booking, you don’t need to stop at the Front Desk to check out. Make sure you leave your room by 11:00am, even if you’re not leaving property yet, and then you are free to go where you choose.
If you made any additional purchases during your stay, you can check the expenses on your My Disney Experience app. You’ll also receive an itemized statement from the resort via email, so you can check everything out there.
Check Out is at Eleven, but You Don’t Have to Leave!
Just because the checkout time is at 11:00am, that doesn’t make it your departure time. Feel free to stick your luggage in your car or ask for it to be held at the front desk. From there, you can enjoy the amenities of the resort for the rest of the day!
This is nice if you don’t have far to travel or you’re transitioning between phases of your vacation. No need to rush away if you don’t have to do so!
Rock your stay at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort like a pro with these awesome tips! You’re going to have an amazing time.
Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer
Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.