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  1. #1

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    Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    As our trip approaches, i find myself looking for 'real answers' not canned Disney answers for some questions. My travel agent seems to think that if Disney wrote it, it is law...but THEY want to sell me stuff- so I come to YOU for some feedback.

    Here's the base info-

    Big family reunion.
    16 people- 8 adults- 8 kids- 3 mine.
    All staying at Pop Century.

    Here's what I would like to know-

    Kids noise level - Is there going to be any issue with kids- well- being kids? Of COURSE MINE are perfect angels (3 boys) but in the mix with their cousins...who knows?

    Transportation-my unofficial guide book says basically everything is 20-25 minutes from POP on the bus lines. How often do they run, and are there direct routes to, for example, Dowtown Disney? Any that go "off property"?, Any that run to other hotels (we have a couple dinner reservations at other properties)?

    Pools and food court- In the course of 8 days we are sure to visit these areas more than once- how are they? Are there other amenities at this location that I should know about?

    I am the (forced) leader of he pack for this adventure in inlaw relations...I mean on this trip- so I am trying to mentally prepare myself.

    Thanks- You guys (and gals) are THE BEST!

    Marc

  2. #2

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    As our trip approaches, i find myself looking for 'real answers' not canned Disney answers for some questions. My travel agent seems to think that if Disney wrote it, it is law...but THEY want to sell me stuff- so I come to YOU for some feedback.
    I suggest ditching your travel agent and doing a WDW Magical Grand Gatherings Package deal directly from Disney. Usually you will find it is much cheaper.
    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Here's the base info-

    Big family reunion.
    16 people- 8 adults- 8 kids- 3 mine.
    All staying at Pop Century.
    Ohh, you're gonna have fun. Make sure you do the Grand Gatherings Package, they'll give you adjoining rooms usually. What time of year are you going, and how many nights are you staying? It makes all the diff.
    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Here's what I would like to know-

    Kids noise level - Is there going to be any issue with kids- well- being kids? Of COURSE MINE are perfect angels (3 boys) but in the mix with their cousins...who knows?
    No, the hotel is rather loud all year round.
    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Transportation-my unofficial guide book says basically everything is 20-25 minutes from POP on the bus lines. How often do they run, and are there direct routes to, for example, Dowtown Disney? Any that go "off property"?, Any that run to other hotels (we have a couple dinner reservations at other properties)?
    The busses run direct to Downtown Disney and the theme parks and water parks only. If you want a bus to another hotel, you'll need to take a bus to the Disney-MGM Studios and transfer from there to a hotel bus. If you want to leave Disney to go "off property," good luck. LYNX does have a bus service that runs to the Transportation and Ticket Center, but I would highly advise against it. If you want to go off property, call Mears for a shuttle for that group size to wherever you want to go.
    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Pools and food court- In the course of 8 days we are sure to visit these areas more than once- how are they? Are there other amenities at this location that I should know about?
    They are standard free form pools with certain objects spraying water into the main pool. The food court is half gift shop, half food court, and the arcade is right next to it. It is the largest and probably the best food court at any Disney Resort, but remember, it's just a Food Court. I would highly advise you to buy the refillable mugs during your vacation if you're spending more than 4 nights. You'll be glad you did as long as you plan on coming back to the resort before midnight each night, or even if you plan to return to the resort mid-day.
    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    I am the (forced) leader of he pack for this adventure in inlaw relations...I mean on this trip- so I am trying to mentally prepare myself.

    Thanks- You guys (and gals) are THE BEST!

    Marc
    No, thank you!

  3. #3

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Okay, I'm going to start this by saying that I have never stayed anywhere else onsite, only at Pop Century one time last year. So, I only have that 4 days for experience and nothing else to compare it to, but your questions I can answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Kids noise level - Is there going to be any issue with kids- well- being kids? Of COURSE MINE are perfect angels (3 boys) but in the mix with their cousins...who knows?
    This place is pretty big and open outside. There is plenty to run around and do for kids. That said, kids were loud as were adults, but we never heard anyone around us in the rooms or out on the balcony making noise. I do remember kids running all over but it never seemed excessive and nobody seemed bothered or concerned by it. The main pool area was always crowded up until midnight but with 100 or so kids and other people, it never seemed to get out of hand. I don't think you'll have a problem with this, no matter how rowdy they get - perfect angels or not, LOL!!

    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Transportation-my unofficial guide book says basically everything is 20-25 minutes from POP on the bus lines. How often do they run, and are there direct routes to, for example, Dowtown Disney? Any that go "off property"?, Any that run to other hotels (we have a couple dinner reservations at other properties)?
    20 - 25 minutes seems just about right. I may be remembering incorrectly but I think the longest bus ride for us was going to Magic Kingdom. One time we waited almost 20 minutes for a bus to come to the resort but every other time, it was under 20 minutes. They did get crowded going back to the resort after park closing but even being say, 5 rows back, we never waited for more than 2 buses to come and go. Since Pop doesn't share, it seems to flow quite regularly.

    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Pools and food court- In the course of 8 days we are sure to visit these areas more than once- how are they? Are there other amenities at this location that I should know about?
    The pools are excellent, seriously. We went twice every single day and visited each pool at least once. I'm not sure what time of year you are going but we found that the flower pool was cooler water, so good for middle of the day. The bowling pin pool was warmer, though not exactly warm. The computer pool was the warmest, so it was good for those 11pm swims that we did after the parks closed. All 3 are huge and there is a bar by the flower shaped one, plus a kiddie pool and there is a little splash area on the walkway from the main building to the 70's direction near the flower pool. Other things of note are that there is a Twister game that you can play and a few others, out around the resort amongst all the huge icons.

    The food court, we LOVED. It's going to be some sticker shock for that first meal but DEFINITELY get the refillable mugs. There were 5 of us and we got 4 of them and carried 2 at all time in the stroller to the parks, then we'd fill it up on the way back to the room. They don't hold a ton, but we probably filled them at least 10 times a day, and that saved us so much money. The food, there is a good selection and it's very reasonably priced. With the exception of the meal where we got the mugs, we never paid over $20 total for the 5 of us. Although, that's with getting the girls a kids meal. Those are around $2.79 for breakfast and it was enough food that I shared with my youngest each day. The food court has the counter service plus some single items like fruits, milk, etc that you just grab and pay for. And when certain songs come on, the CM's gather and dance like The Twist, my girls LOVED that.

    Other things of note: there is an arcade, make sure to take a look around the lobby at all of the art displayed - talk about a memory trip! In the dining area (which I forgot to mention is HUGE, tons of places to sit, we never even had to look hard for a seat away from people) they have those old video games that you might remember from restaurants that had the table with two chairs on each side and you looked down at the screen. If you played two player, you would be watching upside down as your opponent played their turn. My older girls hadn't seen these and liked them. Also, the main entrance you might use of course goes right through the gift shop. But, things we hadn't thought of, they carry there... like first aid items and swim diapers and some over the counter medicines like Tylenol. They are, of course, more expensive but not outrageous as you might expect.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    I am the (forced) leader of he pack for this adventure in inlaw relations...I mean on this trip- so I am trying to mentally prepare myself.
    I'd make sure they all know what this resort is like. I've heard tons of people say it's gawdy and tacky. The biggest negative is that the rooms are absolutely TINY. I don't kid you when I say that when your door swings open, it comes within two inches of the nearest bed. We had 5 of us in there, plus a pack-n-play set up, without having one problem but if you have someone who needs their own space, they may get quite antsy. We completely loved this place and my whole family wants to stay there again for our next trip, except that we have the dilemma of now being 5 (my youngest wasn't even 2 so we could swing it last time) people and we'd have to either lie or get 2 rooms. I'd never lie about it but getting two rooms means either my hubby and I sleep in separate rooms, or we trust the girls in their own room with a door to the outside? Not so sure, LOL!

    Anyway, make sure everyone going knows what to expect and give this awesome place a chance. Make sure you take time to just wander around and check everything out around the place, too. Enjoy!!

    "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth."
    Mark Twain





  4. #4

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Quote Originally Posted by markbee
    Kids noise level - Is there going to be any issue with kids- well- being kids?
    Nope, plenty of areas...and dont worry I didn't find it too loud at night, so others kids dont seem to (or didn't) misbehave at night.

    Transportation-my unofficial guide book says basically everything is 20-25 minutes from POP on the bus lines. How often do they run, and are there direct routes to, for example, Dowtown Disney? Any that go "off property"?, Any that run to other hotels (we have a couple dinner reservations at other properties)?
    Bill answered most of this but I must say the Pop's bus service sucks. Every night leaving the Magic Kingdom the Pop would have no busses while each resort would have 2 or 3 and then the Pop would finally get 3 busses at once...which would of course trap each other in. Be preparred to wait leaving the parks. Other than that is the usual Disney bus.

    Pools and food court- In the course of 8 days we are sure to visit these areas more than once- how are they? Are there other amenities at this location that I should know about?
    I'm not really a pool fan anymore, but I found the main pool to be fine.
    The food court is interesting. The whole shop food court mix I found very odd (and where the *&% are the ceilings?!?!) but the food is very edible, and it seems to try to do varied dinner plates (beyond burgers and chicken) more than the other values.

  5. #5

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    Make sure you do the Grand Gatherings Package, they'll give you adjoining rooms usually. What time of year are you going, and how many nights are you staying? It makes all the diff.
    Thanks Bill-

    We are going for 8 days (7 nights) and we do have a Grand Gathering arrangement. February 14-21.

    Exciting stuff- I AM the big kid in this adventure...

    M

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    If you are leaving the MK at closing time, don't hurry. People rush out after the fireworks, but there is really no point.

    You can spend time waiting in the bus line or you can look through some shops, get a snack, or sit down and watch people.

    I don't like to stand on the bus if there is any alternative, so I often just sit down on the bench behind the cue area and wait for things to clear out some.

  7. #7

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Also, keep in mind that you don't need to be out by a certain time to catch a Disney bus. The bus will wait for you!

  8. #8

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    I stayed at the Pop Century Resort this past summer for 6 nights.
    I'm not fond of hotels and I really really hate sleeping anywhere other than my bed, but on vacation, theres no choice. Therefore, my opinions may be a bit skewed.

    Keep in mind that this is a BUDGET hotel - and although it still costs a decent amount - compared to the hotels - you definately get what you pay for. As All Aglow said, the rooms are very very small and theres really not much room in there for lots of people. I went with two friends and we didn't haven any complaints about room size --but if youre squeezing more than 4 people in there then it's going to be frustrating. There's seriously not much room at all.

    The beds were decent. Nothing spectacular, not comfortable but not uncomfortable either. It's easy to sleep find on them after a long day of walking around the World Showcase a couple times...

    The rooms come with a small table and two chairs. I can't think of any reason to really use this table... it's not big enough for really more than one person and I used it to track my spending while I was there and go over reciepts... haha


    As for themeing, the Resort is decently themed. I mean, theres nothing particularly "magical" about large obnoxious letters spelling out hip phrases like "groovy" or "radical" in cheap fonts and I thought climing the stairs inside a Rubick's cube was cool, but after the second or third time in Florida heat and sweat, it lost it's appeal. The Main lobby is nicely decorated... the cases containing photos and memorabilia from their respective decades were a nice touch but in all, nothing spectacular.

    The food court isn't that great. If you're vegetarian or vegan watch out - you really have slim choices here ... my vegan friend basically lived off of soy milk and bagels from the food court the whole time. Not that you can expect many vegan options anywhere though - it's just not east being vegan and it's her choice so I didnt necessarily feel too terrible bad for her haha.
    The food choices, IMHO, lost their appeal after the second night. Disney doesnt really offer anything that's particularly good on the quick anyway food-wise. So since this is a quick buffet-line service don't expect anything satisfying on the level of a sit-down restaurant here. Chili dogs, and chicken strips, and hamburgers are probably the safest things to go with here as the pasta dishes were horrid imitations and the "chow mein" just had bad news written all over it.
    The food court also offers a whole miniature store there with fresh fruits, cereals, bagels, breads, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, desserts, juices, water, milk, soy milk, and more. But since the rooms dont come with kitchenettes don't expect anything you can whip up in a microwave or on a little stove.

    The gift shop is plentiful, but of course you can find a wider variety of souvineers and pins elsewhere... but if you need a quick gift for someone back home before you head off to the air port then you should be able to find something in a jiff. The gift shop also comes with a small corner stocked with diapers, adult diapers, feminine products, band aids and other first aid-type stuff, over-the-counter cold, flu, and pain mediciation, and other hygene products I believe like deodorant and toothpaste.

    Service at the hotel wasn't very impressive when I went and the conceirge didnt seem fully staffed with no more than 3 or 4 people at the counter each time and that was divided between the check-in line and the information line. There had to be at least 10-15 counter spots for employees.

    When we checked in we used the Disney's Magical Express service and when we reached our rooms we had the wrong bags and we called and reported the problem. We went to Disney-MGM after that and when we got back our proper bags were in place and in fine condition.

    Even though this place isnt spectacular - you really can't complain. You're paying for the cheap stuff and thats what you get. Not only that, if you're on vacation to WDW you're surely going to spend the majority of your time at the parks or Downtown Disney or the pools. Therefore, the rooms shouldnt be a big issue anyway - the way we saw it was that we were only sleeping there and we could care less how small on underwhelming the room was.

    Oh- and as for noise - we never had a problem with that. You can;'t hear much of anything inside your room.
    And about buses- they only take you to on-property locations: parks and downtown Disney... They do not take you to other hotels though...

    I would stay at the Pop Century again if I didn't have the money for a nicer hotel - which I probably wouldnt if I went back anytime soon with my poor college student status.

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Everyone has answered your questions to the best of my knowledge. So I thought I would share some Pop Century photos with you so you know what your going to be seeing. Have a great time, I don't envy your job as leader though, that's a lot of people to organize in that place. LOL

    Have a great time!!


    Pop Century
    Hippy Dippy Pool (Flower Pool)
    Hippy Dippy Pool 2
    Big Wheel

    I didn't take as many as I wanted on the last trip of the resort but as some were stating we didn't spend that much time there either. I do agree that the food court was great until the 2nd or 3rd day. The menu never changes so you get burnt out on your choices really quickly. With groups as big as yours you may want to check into The Disney Dining Card, it saves you 20% off your meals at most locations throughout the world. For us that meant about 100 bucks extra for souveniers.

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    "And about buses- they only take you to on-property locations: parks and downtown Disney... They do not take you to other hotels though..."

    Unless they've changed it in the last few months, you can catch a bus to any of the hotels from Downtown Disney. You were probably planning on going there anyway. For instance if you had a dinner reservation at a different hotel, you hit a park in the morning, go back to your room in the afternoon for a break, catch a bus to DD and do some shopping, catch a bus from there and have dinner and then finish up the evening by getting a bus back to DD or a park.

    Edited to add-

    You can get to Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge by shuttle boat from the Contemporary Resort. It's a nice way to get a free boat ride on the lake. The monorail at the Magic Kingdom will take you there(CR) as well as the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian.
    Last edited by xzoocrew; 12-11-2005 at 12:11 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Quote Originally Posted by xzoocrew
    "And about buses- they only take you to on-property locations: parks and downtown Disney... They do not take you to other hotels though..."

    Unless they've changed it in the last few months, you can catch a bus to any of the hotels from Downtown Disney. You were probably planning on going there anyway. For instance if you had a dinner reservation at a different hotel, you hit a park in the morning, go back to your room in the afternoon for a break, catch a bus to DD and do some shopping, catch a bus from there and have dinner and then finish up the evening by getting a bus back to DD or a park.

    Edited to add-

    You can get to Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge by shuttle boat from the Contemporary Resort. It's a nice way to get a free boat ride on the lake. The monorail at the Magic Kingdom will take you there(CR) as well as the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian.
    You're correct, but the busses from Pop Century only take you to theme parks and DTD.

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  12. #12

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Buses from any of the resorts will take you only to the Theme Parks or Downtown Disney. If you wish to go to another resort you must transfer at the Theme Park or Downtown Disney to that resorts bus.

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Quote Originally Posted by SummerInFL
    I love how on the Big Wheel they scaled up the "maximum weight of rider" to match the scaled up bike!!!

  14. #14

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    I thought the dining area was kind of small for the capacity of the hotel. We were there in May 2004, so it definitely wasn't at capacity, and we had no problems with seating. It's a big resort, and while we didn't have any problems with noise, I can definitely say that noise WILL be a problem at some point, especially if the resort is full. Unless you're "off the beaten path", like we were in the 50's "C" building, you're going to have some noise.

    Pop is a very well-themed resort - lots to do and see. You're going to enjoy your time there.

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    Re: Who has gone POP...century, that is?

    Hmm, markbee must be on the vacation right now. Let us know how it all turned out when you get back!

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