Our Home Away from Home for Walt Disney World Marathon Week

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For the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend trip, Brooke and I stayed at the All Star Sports Resort. The All Star Sports Resort is one of the “value” resorts at Walt Disney World. Therefore, it’s on the cheaper end of options for accommodations. The All Star Sports Resort is one of three All Star Resorts. In addition to our resort, there is the All Star Movies and All Star Music Resorts. In addition to the All Star Resorts, there is also the Pop Century Resort and the new Art of Animation Resort in the “value” resorts category. Originally, when Brooke and I discussed going out for the Walt Disney World Marathon, we wanted to stay at the Art of Animation Resort because they had a Little Mermaid wing and Brooke is a huge Ariel fan. Unfortunately, the Little Mermaid wing does not offer a cast member discount. The Little Mermaid wing is also the only wing that is NOT suites. So, since we don’t have children, it didn’t make sense for us to book in one of the other wings (that did have a cast member discount). Second choice was the All Star Movies. So, after signing up for the Walt Disney World Marathon, I called and put a deposit down to have a room at that resort. Since they didn’t have 2014 prices at the time, I needed to call back in the summer to get my reservation switched to a cast member reservation price. When I called, I was told that they didn’t have rooms at the All Star Movies and moved us to the All Star Sports instead. It was crazy how we ended up at this resort. However, everything worked out pretty well. The only negative in our experience at the All Star Sports?

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We were in a handicapped accessible room. The downside? No tub. So, that meant no possibility for an ice bath after the marathon. Also, Brooke’s feet were hurting on the first night or two of the trip and she didn’t have a tub to soak her feet in. We did get to soak in the pool…

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However, it wasn’t really the same. Anyways, on with the review…

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When we arrived, we found the usual Disney touches in our room.

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I really liked the border that wrapped around the room with all of the different sports wings represented.

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I totally intended all week-long to get a better picture of Goofy on the surf board, but never did. So, this was from our first night.

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I did like the shower curtain which went well with the border on the walls of the room. Overall, the room was perfectly acceptable. You do get what you pay for. Brooke and I stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside and the Caribbean Beach Resort on our honeymoon. Those rooms were a little bigger than the ones at the All Star Sports. However, we did pay more for those rooms as well.

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Brooke and I stayed in the Surf’s Up wing. So, the sport for our wing was surfing. Everything was beach themed.

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The Surf’s Up wing is also one of two wings that has a pool.

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One of the nice things about this wing is that it’s right behind where you check in, where the food court is located, and where the gift shop is.

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It was great to be a few minutes from where the busses would whisk us off to theme parks, Downtown Disney and to the Expo/Races.

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If you’re facing the pool in the wing Brooke and I stayed at, to the left was the Football wing. The theming of the various sports wings was super fun.

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And on the other side…

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As I mentioned yesterday, I loved the miniature football field down the middle!

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Of course, the midfield logo is pretty cool as well!

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Also, as you can see, the hotel rooms sort of make for a stadium.

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I also like the huge football!

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If you venture a little further to the same direction, you’ll come to the Baseball wing.

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Just like the Football wing, the Baseball wing is put together to make a baseball stadium feel. Do you see the bleachers? The walkway serves as the warning track of the baseball diamond. They have a score board and both a visitors…

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And a home team dugout. Although, these are clearly not to scale of an actual baseball stadium. I also liked the lights over the bleachers.

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The grass serves as the outfield and the pool chairs are in the infield of the baseball field.

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Goofy is in the middle of the field on the pitcher’s mound. Since there were kids and families using the pool, we tried to keep the guests out of the pictures. Thus, it was hard to get a good picture of the pool. There was a backstop behind home plate. Yes, that corner of the pool was shaped as a home plate. It was seriously cool. If Brooke and I stay there again, we’ve talked of requesting the Baseball wing.

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A little further out, is the Tennis wing. Just like the Football wing, there is a miniature field going down the middle.

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As we took our walk around this part of the All Star Sports, Brooke noted how great this resort would be for families because there is so much room for kids to run around.

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As I noted yesterday, these guys clearly are in the wrong field.

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The last wing is the Basketball wing. Unlike the Football and Tennis wings, the miniature court isn’t really that life-like. As you can see in this picture, there is grass on the court part. Also, there are hedges at midcourt.

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As you can see, this wing isn’t meant to resemble a stadium, or arena to be more precise. I did like the raining basketballs, though.

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The Basketball wing is the one that is located the furthest from the building that houses everything. So, it was a much quieter area.

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When you arrive, this is what the check in area looks like. Lots and lots of stars. I liked the drawings of the Disney characters in sports gear behind the front desk. On the opposite side of the check in counter is the concierge desk. They were very helpful in assisting Brooke and I with getting to Universal Studios Florida and with holding our bags on our final day before heading off to the airport. I liked that Disney had a cast member or two roaming in between the front desk and the concierge desk with tablets to see if they could assist you. After all, if you can avoid standing in a line, it’s a good thing. Right?

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Every Disney hotel lobby I’ve ever been in has a television with movies playing for the kids to watch while the adults check in or take care of arrangements with the concierge. The All Star Sports is no exception.

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The next thing you will notice after checking in is the Sport Goofy Gifts and Sundries shop. This is the gift shop for the All Star Sports. The theming in this shop is very well done. I wish I’d taken more pictures to give you an idea of the theming. On the first night, it was strange to be in the store. Why? There were a lot of items for sale that were exactly like items sold at Disneyland. The only difference being it said Walt Disney World on them.

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To the right of Sport Goofy, you’ll see these pictures of various athletes. If you turn to the left, you’ll head out to where the busses are that take you all over the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Since I was at Walt Disney World for a marathon, it was kind of cool to see these pictures every day.

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At the end of the hallway is the End Zone Food Court.

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On the entry wall, they have this display to give you an idea of what is served and where. The display is not static and will rotate. So, to see everything, you need to stand around a little bit. Or, you could just go to the different stations. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this idea. After all, sometimes, the images would change before I finished reading. Oh well, it usually was two displays rotating. So, you just had to wait for the other image to come back up.

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There are 5 different stations set up for service. They also have a refrigerated section that had various drinks, pre-made salads, and deserts that needed to be kept cold. On our first night, Brooke and I were impressed with the wide variety of choices. I will also say that when you’re there to run a race, the choices aren’t as much as they might at first seem. On our first night, this is what we had.

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Not bad for a value resort. Like all of the Disney resorts, we also bought the refillable mug. Last time we were at Walt Disney World, there was just a $15 fee for the mug. This time around, there were different options. You could choose to have a mug for different lengths of time. We chose the full length of stay option for $17. Also, a bummer for me is that I got no Cast Member discount on the mug. I did get my discount on the food.

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Inside the dining area was pretty fun in its sports theming. There were two television screens that played ESPN nonstop. On the other end was an area that looked like it was set up for showing kid movies or cartoons.

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In between the booths were painted glass. As a runner, this was my favorite and seemed the best for what I was there for. Of course, unlike Mickey Mouse, I wasn’t running hurdles.

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It was nice to see that they included other sports.

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I think Mickey is going the wrong way here.

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As you can see, the atmosphere in the End Zone Food Court was very fun and family friendly. There wasn’t anything very fancy about the place. When you’re at a value resort, you shouldn’t expect that. Plus, the value hotels are more geared towards families. If Brooke and I took children to Walt Disney World, we would probably choose a resort like this one.

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One of the activities that Brooke and I really wanted to do while staying here that we didn’t get to experience was watching a movie by the pool. Almost every night, at around 8pm, they showed a movie out by the pool in the Surf’s Up wing. Since we were not around or too tired, we never got to experience watching one of the movies they showed out by the pool under the stars. Also, we never did find time to go for a swim in the pool. Part of that was the temps while we were in Florida were not the best for swimming on most days. I think the temps were ony warm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. All of those days were just too full of activity.

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Would I stay at the All Star Sports Resort again? Absolutely. It is what we paid for and more. Would I recommend this resort for people coming in for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend? Absolutely. I loved the location in relation to the marathon events.

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  • They were super close to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. So, the bus trip to the Expo doesn’t take very long. Also, the All Star Sports is the first All Star Resort the bus stops and picks up at for the races and expo.
  • Unlike some of the other resorts Brooke and I saw while on our trip, this one didn’t have very much out on display about the marathon events. However, the loading area for the busses that were set apart for the marathon events was clearly marked and separate from where the other resort busses loaded and unloaded. I really liked this.
  • The End Zone Food Court was open early for the races! So, if you needed anything to take with you for breakfast, they were open. I also LOVED that they had individual peanut butter packs! I bought a bagel the day before the marathon and stored it in a zip lock bag I brought from home. We got the peanut butter packs and I was set for my pre-marathon breakfast. However, if you needed other breakfast items, they were open!
  • When using the Disney resort busses to get to theme parks during the various races, it will take a little longer. Also, if you’re going to EPCOT (either to be at the theme park or to be there for a finish) it will take a little longer to get there than normal. Plus, you will be taken to the Ticket and Transport Center (vs. the normal EPCOT loading/unloading bus area). That means, you’ll have to take a monorail to get to EPCOT. However, my wife had no problems making it to see me finish the marathon.

The bottom line is that I was happy, overall, with this resort as a choice for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. Brooke and I decided beforehand to stay at a value resort so we could use money on other things that were part of our trip…like the spa day. When you’re making travel arrangement, everyone has to decide how they are going to budget their trip. We chose to save on the accommodations and splurge on other parts of the trip. The All Star Sports Resort is a FUN resort to stay at with lots of fun things to look at while you’re there. When we stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside on our honeymoon, it was amazing in a completely different way. If you want to save on the hotel cost of your trip to splurge on other areas, I think that you would be perfectly fine staying at the All Star Sports Resort.

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Posted in Walt Disney World Marathon
2 comments on “Our Home Away from Home for Walt Disney World Marathon Week
  1. […] a lazy afternoon hanging out at our resort. The pictures I got in the daytime in my review of the All Stars Resort were taken during this afternoon. After wandering around the resort and taking some pictures, we […]

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5K - 32:46 - 2012 Pasadena 5K

10K - 1:15:42 - 2013 Pasadena 10K

Half Marathon - 2:43:25 - 2013 Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

Full Marathon - 6:21:46 - 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon
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