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  1. #1

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    2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Hi all!

    My other half and I are planning on heading to WDW for my birthday in mid-August. I've only been a handful of times, but I'm a Disneyland veteran and well-read on most Disney aspects...but I do have a couple questions that I would greatly appreciate your input on!

    1) Pop Century vs. Port Orleans
    I've never stayed on property and would like to give it a try. If finances weren't an option, I'd be looking at AK Lodge or the Wilderness Lodge....but reality says that's not an option. So, instead I'm looking at Port Orleans versus Pop Century. For me, I'm the type that spends almost all my time inside the parks--I get in early and stay till close....I'm not one to go back and hang at a hotel during the day. That said, we are two adults without children and I know from experience that the hustle and bustle and strollers and crowds do tend to get to us by the end of the day (no disrespect intended towards kids or families--its just the reality that we are not accustomed to it and it wears us out quickly). So, I'm looking at Pop Century and thinking, "wow--I can stay here for a lot less than at Port Orleans" while my other half is saying, "but won't it be louder and more chaotic at Pop Century?" So I ask those of you--is Port Orleans more serene and sedate--and most importantly, more quiet once you are in your room and ready to sleep? If so, it's worth the cost, but if it's about the same....I'd go for the cheaper Pop Century. In both cases we have to take buses as transportation...but perhaps there are other differences I haven't thought of?


    2) Universal First, Disney after?
    I've never been to Universal, and I'd really like to go this year...the devil is in the details! Does Universal have transportation from the airport? Does Universal have transportation to Disney?

    I understand that Disney doesn't have transportation to Universal--but I'm not sure about the reverse! We're thinking of first going to Universal for two days and just staying there, and then heading over to Disney for the rest of our stay. So, *if* Universal has airport to Universal and Universal to Disney transports--that would work great!

    A similar thought is wondering whether Disney has a rental car drop off....if so we could rent a car to get to Universal and then on to Disney--but we wouldn't need it the rest of our days at WDW.


    Thanks so much for any and all responses. Your help is much appreciated! I think it will be a great birthday!

    Brer Dan

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Howdy BrerDan,

    First off, Port Orleans is head and shoulders better than Pop Century and usually much more expensive as well. Double check the pricing. But if you are offered a great deal for Port Orleans, take it. Pop Century is a budget resort. Lots of kids, really poor food options, and very far from the parks if you are taking the Disney Resort transportation.

    If you are thinking about doing both Universal and Disney, you might want to rent a car. There may be shuttles available, but your schedule will be much more flexible if you have a car. We only get a car when we are staying off site or visiting non-Disney parks.

    Universal is wonderful and I think you'll be impressed by Islands of Adventure. You might also consider Sea World. A really nice park and very close to Universal. You might think about staying at a Universal or Sea World area hotel for a night or two and then transfer to Disney World. Might save you some $$$.
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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Hi! Thanks much for the response!

    Let's see here.....yes! Port Orleans is a good 35 to 40% more during the timeframe I'm looking at--so it's a significant amount to think about it. I didn't mention food options--but that's a good point. I really don't see me eating at the resort hotel no matter where I'm staying since I plan on being inside a park opening to close--so while a big difference for many--it's not a factor for me. The chaos and noise would be though! As would be transportation. Does it take longer? I figured it wouldn't be all that different since both uses buses.

    With Universal and Disney--all good points and I appreciate the input. I don't plan on going back and forth though--just go to one, and then the other--so I'm not sure how flexible I need to be. Hmmmm.

    Thanks again!

    Dan


    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    Howdy BrerDan,

    First off, Port Orleans is head and shoulders better than Pop Century and usually much more expensive as well. Double check the pricing. But if you are offered a great deal for Port Orleans, take it. Pop Century is a budget resort. Lots of kids, really poor food options, and very far from the parks if you are taking the Disney Resort transportation.

    If you are thinking about doing both Universal and Disney, you might want to rent a car. There may be shuttles available, but your schedule will be much more flexible if you have a car. We only get a car when we are staying off site or visiting non-Disney parks.

    Universal is wonderful and I think you'll be impressed by Islands of Adventure. You might also consider Sea World. A really nice park and very close to Universal. You might think about staying at a Universal or Sea World area hotel for a night or two and then transfer to Disney World. Might save you some $$$.

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Pop Century has its own buses - so transport is about equal as the other resorts that are down in the EPCOT area. The one exception to this is the All-Stars, which are actually one big mega hotel split into 3 different sections - so they all share the same buses which leads to crowding/waiting issues.

    Based on your description of your travel style, I would say don't fear Pop Century. It's not noise in the rooms you have to deal with, it's noise in the food court/lobby area. The food court is very much like a mall food court - wide open, loud, and often crowded. Last time I stayed there, I compared it to like staying at the mall - because we had to walk through the main building each time to get to our building.. and the main building is where all the commotion/noise is.

    The rooms in the Pop Century are very basic - think Motel 6. Two beds, TV, sink, and a small bathroom with tub and toliet. There isn't really anything to see or do at the Hotel - it's basically just a hotel.

    PO on the other hand is nicer to stroll around.. more to do at the hotel, etc. The rooms are slightly nicer, and should have a mini-fridge (important to keep those water bottles cool). But if you aren't interested in the grounds of the place, and just need a place to crash for the night... you can skip all this and save your money.

    As long as your expectations are set correctly, Pop Century is fine. Just don't expect a resort. It's just like any Motel 6 or Holiday Select Express (but with smaller beds).

    Regarding transport - the parks don't offer stuff. Universal and it's hotels do not offer free airport transportation to my knowledge (nor do I see it listed on their site as a perk).

    Universal is certainly worth a visit - you just gotta pay to do it. They don't offer good promos for short visits and you have to pay hearty to get over there. Renting a car even for a day or two could be cheaper. I've not done the homework to hop over to UO myself lately. I wanted to on the last trip, but could not justify the cost on such a short trip. At $90 or $100 per person... it was just too expensive for a single day or two out of our already short (5 day) trip.
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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    I've stayed at both Pop Century and Port Orleans (both Riverside and French Quarter) and I liked them all. I've stayed at Pop 4 times and haven't had any problems with noise. And the rooms at Pop are better than a Motel 6. Sure they're basic, but they're clean and if you pretty just need a bed to sleep in after a long day at the parks, then Pop is probably your best bet. If you're a pop culture junkie, you'd love the theming too. If you want a bit more "quiet" atmosphere and can swing the cashola, then give Port Orleans a try. The Alligator Bayou section of PO Riverside is pretty neat. I love the rustic look of the rooms. Be warned it's slightly creepy at night (ever seen "Deliverance"?).

    Pop Century rooms (this is one of the times I got a king room):




    Port Orleans Riverside (Alligator Bayou section):




    Port Orleans French Quarter:

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Pop Century has its own buses - so transport is about equal as the other resorts that are down in the EPCOT area. The one exception to this is the All-Stars, which are actually one big mega hotel split into 3 different sections - so they all share the same buses which leads to crowding/waiting issues.

    Based on your description of your travel style, I would say don't fear Pop Century. It's not noise in the rooms you have to deal with, it's noise in the food court/lobby area. The food court is very much like a mall food court - wide open, loud, and often crowded. Last time I stayed there, I compared it to like staying at the mall - because we had to walk through the main building each time to get to our building.. and the main building is where all the commotion/noise is.

    The rooms in the Pop Century are very basic - think Motel 6. Two beds, TV, sink, and a small bathroom with tub and toliet. There isn't really anything to see or do at the Hotel - it's basically just a hotel.

    PO on the other hand is nicer to stroll around.. more to do at the hotel, etc. The rooms are slightly nicer, and should have a mini-fridge (important to keep those water bottles cool). But if you aren't interested in the grounds of the place, and just need a place to crash for the night... you can skip all this and save your money.

    As long as your expectations are set correctly, Pop Century is fine. Just don't expect a resort. It's just like any Motel 6 or Holiday Select Express (but with smaller beds).
    I would agree with this. I've stayed at both, and the rooms themselves I never had any issues with noise, but the main Food court area has a lot of noise. If you're only planning on sleeping and showering in the room, Pop is a fine choice, but if you do want to beauty of a hotel to explore, I would opt for Port Orleans.
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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    I will be staying at Pop Century on my next trip, which is just a little less than 5 weeks away. I am there for 6 nights, and then we move over to a non Disney hotel for 3 nights. I have purchased 10 day tickets, without the parkhopping feature. I have also purchased Sea World tickets and Universal tickets. The Universal tickets are good for unlimited visits to Universal and IOA for a week's time. The universal tickets were just under a hundred dollars, per person.

    We will be using a rental car, which gives us the flexibility of hopping between the Disney Parks, and the non Disney Parks.

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    You all are awesome! Thanks for all the great info and especially posting photos to help out--I really, really appreciate it. It seems like for what I need Pop Century will work--but it just might be more "pleasant" to stay at Port Orleans. I still don't know which I'll do, but this helps a lot!

    Thanks, everyone!


    Brer Dan

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Port Orleans is the best option if $$$ allows it.
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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    All of the following applies from my trips at -Riverside- No real comment available for French Quarter even though its location is the same

    Port Orleans was a nice hotel, but I found the bus situation horrible. It seems that Port Orleans has long since taken over as the moderate hotel of choice from Caribbean beach from a decade ago for people who don't want to feel like they're staying in a value resort so pick it cuz it looks nice and is usually the lowest and most readily available of the moderates. Because of its location you'd think it has fast access to everything, but because of highway layouts many of the routes it has to take prolong your bus rides and the busses are extreeeeemely crowded. Pop Century, for whatever reason(perhaps people spreading out to the other all star resorts), manages to keep its bus lines down so you don't have to wait multiple busses to get on and somehow someway the busses manage to come frequently enough when picking you up at the parks that you don't feel like you're waiting forever and a half. And for what it's worth, a hotel with only 1 bus stop vs. the several port orleans uses on most of its busses can be extremely annoying when you want to get home.

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Quote Originally Posted by BrerDan View Post
    Hi all!

    1) Pop Century vs. Port Orleans
    I've never stayed on property and would like to give it a try. If finances weren't an option, I'd be looking at AK Lodge or the Wilderness Lodge....but reality says that's not an option. So, instead I'm looking at Port Orleans versus Pop Century. For me, I'm the type that spends almost all my time inside the parks--I get in early and stay till close....I'm not one to go back and hang at a hotel during the day. That said, we are two adults without children and I know from experience that the hustle and bustle and strollers and crowds do tend to get to us by the end of the day (no disrespect intended towards kids or families--its just the reality that we are not accustomed to it and it wears us out quickly). So, I'm looking at Pop Century and thinking, "wow--I can stay here for a lot less than at Port Orleans" while my other half is saying, "but won't it be louder and more chaotic at Pop Century?" So I ask those of you--is Port Orleans more serene and sedate--and most importantly, more quiet once you are in your room and ready to sleep? If so, it's worth the cost, but if it's about the same....I'd go for the cheaper Pop Century. In both cases we have to take buses as transportation...but perhaps there are other differences I haven't thought of?


    2) Universal First, Disney after?

    Thanks so much for any and all responses. Your help is much appreciated! I think it will be a great birthday!

    Brer Dan
    Having had the misfortune of having to spend a night in the Pop Century because our hotel of choice wasn't available until the next night... I can only say that I would have rather slept off-site than at the Pop Century. The rooms were small and cramped. The noise level was horrible, we just wanted to rest up from our evening flight in but how do you do that when you hear yelling and screaming kids outside your room all night (and we weren't near the food court it was just traffic running by our room). The service was horrible, our alarm clock wasn't working so I called room the front desk to get a replacement, they pounded on the door and exchanged it at 2:00am (we had called at 9:00pm). So quite frankly I would say stay somewhere else if you want peace and quiet because a place like the pop century will be more likely to be used by a school/church/football team or whatever that is sending kids on a trip. And kids that out number adults watching them will have only one result and it isn't peace and quiet.

    Quite frankly from what you describe as your goal of being in a park from start to finish, I don't think you should waste your time on a Disney hotel at all. You can find hotels near the parks that will provide you peace and quiet, and a good many have buses that will take you to either Disney or Universal. Though with the amount of money you would save over a Disney hotel you could also add in a rental car and still spend less than if you stayed at a Disney moderate.

    Now assuming you are going to stay at a Disney hotel. You can also do the following to save money and not waste time. Use Disney's magic express from the airport to your hotel.... If you want universal rent your car the last part of your trip and use it to go to Universal and then use it to take you to the airport and drop it off at the rental car place at the airport (make sure when you reserve your car that you select the pickup point from where you want to get it and then your drop off at the airport... most agencies wont charge a fee for picking up somewhere in orlando and then dropping off at the airport). The advantages of doing this would be.. 1) you don't have to use the magic express to get back to the airport which is a pain since it can require you to get to the airport as much as 3 hours before your flight time. 2) if you rent a car from a place away from the airport you aren't charged an airport access fee by the rental car place.

    Also if you are on a budget don't assume you have to rent a car from the rental car place at the magic kingdom... yes it is the easiest way if you are staying at a disney hotel, but it isn't usually the cheapest. You can often find a rental car satellite office in hotel near downtown disney that is much cheaper and then just take a 10 dollar cab ride from where you are to pick it up.

    In fact no matter where you stay, a rental car is much better than using the buses whether run by Disney or by and offsite hotel... buses are often crowded especially if you are planning on staying till close... a rental car will save you time. There is however a charge to park at the disney parking lots, so don't forget to factor that in.

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Quote Originally Posted by BrerDan View Post
    Hi! Thanks much for the response!

    Let's see here.....yes! Port Orleans is a good 35 to 40% more during the timeframe I'm looking at--so it's a significant amount to think about it. I didn't mention food options--but that's a good point. I really don't see me eating at the resort hotel no matter where I'm staying since I plan on being inside a park opening to close--so while a big difference for many--it's not a factor for me. The chaos and noise would be though! As would be transportation. Does it take longer? I figured it wouldn't be all that different since both uses buses.

    With Universal and Disney--all good points and I appreciate the input. I don't plan on going back and forth though--just go to one, and then the other--so I'm not sure how flexible I need to be. Hmmmm.

    Thanks again!

    Dan
    You may think you won't use the hotel food court, neither did we. But honestly, on our 3 trips to WDW we've used the food court a LOT. Whether it's to get coffee in the morning, a late-night snack or even a stop at a mid-day break. It may be more important than you think.

    As for the bus system, we don't like to use them even when staying on property. We TOTALLY prefer to have a car for the freedom to go to the store if we need to and also the other resorts.

    If your planning on seeing any of the other resort hotels and/or dining at any of them you will want a car.

    During our last trip, our first night we didn't have a car. Went to dinner at 'Ohana in the poly. Took a bus from Port Orleans to MK and then Monorail from MK to the Polynesian. Took almost 1 1/2 hours.

    A few days later, after we picked up our rental it took 10 minutes to get from our hotel to 'Ohana.

    Plus, like was said, if your going to go to Universal, a car is pretty much a must.

    Disney does have a rental car drop-off, it's in Shades of Green and is a Hertz rent-a-car. I think there is another one on property but can't remember right now.


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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    I've stayed at PO three times and really enjoyed the area, even if the last time included a hurricane! I've never stayed at Pop, so I can't compare. I did go to Universal once after a trip to WDW. We made arrangements with Mears shuttle. This was before Magical Express, so we took Mears to WDW from the airport, then Mears to Uni, and finally, Mears from Uni to the airport.
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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    I can't speak for PO, but I stayed at POP for 10 days and I really enjoyed it. I loved the theming and the Food Court, I thought it was pretty good for those quick breakfasts before heading to the parks. And loved being able to use a snack credit for a huge ice cream sundae at the end of the day!!

    It was also really nice that it did not share buses with any other resort. Never had a problem with transportation.

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    Re: 2 Travel Questions: Pop Century Versus Port Orleans in terms of noise and??

    Here's a little secret I'll share...

    Keep an eye on rates on hotels.com. Sometimes you'll luck out and find a deal cheaper than what WDW asks for their own rooms. I once got a room through them at Port Orleans for almost $60 cheaper per night than the WDW rate.

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