This Is the Worst Hotel at Disney World
Even The Happiest Place On Earth has a few flaws.
Disney is the happiest place on earth. Or at least it's supposed to be. But it's hard to stay happy when the hotel you paid good money for isn't actually a hotel at all. It's a motel—and, even worse, the room you rented is the size of a shoebox and filled with vertiginous 1990s decor. For the uninitiated, I'm talking about All-Star Sports, the most-hated property in all of Disney World.
There are more than 25 hotels on the property of Disney World, from the Grand Floridian to the Art of Animation Resort. Some are out of this world (like the brand new Riviera Resort), some are affordable (such as Pop Century), and a few are, well, truly terrible. But when you take into consideration convenience, amenities, location, and room quality, the most-hated hotel on property is by far All-Star Sports.
Located in the Animal Kingdom resort area, with rooms going for an average price of $160 (a travesty, given alternatives at that price point), All-Star Sports opened in May 1994 and looks as though it hasn't been altered since. Its 1,920 rooms are housed across 10 buildings, each themed after different sports. The grounds are covered in larger-than-life sports icons, including a building adored with giant basketballs all over the railings and a football field with massive helmets on the sidelines.
One of the biggest downfalls at All-Star Sports is the lack of dining options. The End Zone Food Court is the only restaurant at the resort, and it offers zero variety, with a menu made mostly of American staples like cheeseburgers, pizza, and chicken tenders. All-Star Sports is also the only value resort without coffee makers in the rooms, which means heading down to the food court for morning coffee and paying for it, unlike guests who stay in other resorts.
If travel time from the resort to the parks is important, All-Star Sports is lacking in that department too. Not only does it share a bus with two other All-Star resorts, making the ride a crowded one, but it's also one of the farthest resorts from the theme parks. Though it's closest to Animal Kingdom, it's five miles from Epcot and Magic Kingdom, which can turn into a long trip between waiting for the bus and traffic en route.
Because of all these downsides, Disney World fan blogs have warned against All-Star Sports. In fact, Theme Park Tourist named All-Star Sports the worst value resort in 2018, and TripAdvisor reviewers cite issues like noise and a lack of cleanliness during their stays.
"We were at Disney for a sports event. The rooms were TINY. My family of four were spilling out of all sides," one disappointed TripAdvisor reviewer wrote in 2019. "They come with two full size beds, a table for two, and a bathroom so small you can't shut the door. My wife and I could not sleep in the same bed. We each had to sleep with a child just to fit on the bed. Food was bad and overpriced. No coffee or microwave in the room. Think Motel 6 for $250 per night. Do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else."
Other reviewers called the rooms "really dated looking," and noted that there are "better options for the same price" in the area.
As a frequent Disney World visitor, my hotel picks change depending on the length of my stay and the people I'm traveling with. I often opt for one of the value resorts (usually Pop Century) for the perfect intersection of the benefits of staying on property and the less suffocating price tag. But I've been avoiding All-Star Sports like the plague—it's just not worth it when there are better alternatives available, and I'd even choose to stay off Disney property rather than pay more than $100 per night to be at All-Star Sports.
Since the other All-Star resorts have been refurbished, this one could too in the future, yet it's extremely unlikely. According to the Disney Parks Mom Panel, there is no set date for those renovations to begin. Families who don't plan on spending much time in their rooms and don't need conveniences like a coffee maker or the extra space might find themselves right at home at this resort, especially if they're major sports fans in general. But for most guests, there are much better experiences—in a large range of budgets—to be had elsewhere.
And for more on everyone's favorite theme park, don't miss these 20 Secrets Disney Employees Don't Want You to Know.