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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Our Stay At Disney's Pop Century Resort

It took 13 trips for us to try out a "Value Resort" at Walt Disney World.  Resorts on property at Walt Disney World are divided into categories based on price, amenities, size, and location--Deluxe, Moderate, and Value.  We've stayed at "moderate" resorts for all of our other trips to Walt Disney World, but on our most recent trip, to celebrate my BIG Birthday, we wanted to give a Walt Disney World value resort a try.  Why?  Well, I knew we were going to purchase Annual Passes, so I didn't want to wipe out the budget with a resort, our stay was a short one comparatively speaking--5 nights, and we wanted to give a different resort a try.

What we liked:
  • We enjoyed the theming.  When we did our online check-in we requested the 80's themed buildings but we were assigned to the 90's.  That was okay as there is only one 90's themed building according to the resort map and it was in close proximity to the 80's buildings so we got to see them rather than stay in them.  
  • We had a ground floor room, even though we had requested a top floor room.  It really didn't matter as our room was ready upon our arrival.  I got a text message as soon as I turned on my phone when we landed in Orlando with the info--building number and room number.  It was slick!
  • The proximity of the food court/shopping to the bus stops.  We had breakfast a couple of times at the resort before venturing to the parks and we really liked how close the organized bus stops were to the food court and shop.  This worked well at the end of the day too if needed to pick up a package at the resort shop.  This also meant bathrooms were nearby in case we needed to make a pit stop after getting off a bus and walking to our room or prior to getting on a bus to the parks or Disney Springs.
  • Refrigerator in the room.  We hadn't expected this so it was great to be able to chill juice boxes, water bottles, and soda.
What we didn't like:
  • Double beds.  We need bigger beds.
  • No ceiling fan.  We missed the white noise at night.
  • No motorized cart to come get us and our luggage when checking out.  It's funny that when I called about our next Disney vacation and the Cast Member on the phone asked us where we wanted to stay I said Coronado Springs.  I explained that we had just returned from a stay at Pop Century and I missed the queen size beds, the ceiling fans, and the modified golf cart that would tote us and our luggage at check-out.  He laughed and said that we were seasoned guests as most do not even recognize the presence or absence of those amenities.  We DID have someone from luggage services come to the room with a large two-wheeler that stacked up our luggage and we walked with him to Resort Airline Check-in, so there is assistance available.  We just called the night before we checked out.
  • Limited products.  We had shampoo and bar soap.  That was it.  No lotion, no conditioner, no body wash.  Good thing I had brought some of those with us.
  • No clock.  I don't think this is just Pop Century but is a grander experiment across all resorts to not have a clock in the resort room and install one only upon guest request.  We did request a clock and had one installed promptly.  Why would Disney do this?  To save electricity.  Clocks are plugged in all the time.  Now multiply that usage across thousands of resort rooms--it would add up.  If a guest doesn't miss a clock enough to call and get one, then why have it there in the first place?  With many people using their cell phones for time and alarms, a clock in a resort room becomes less of a necessity.  Not for us, Walt Disney World.  We will always ask for a clock!
Would we stay here again?
Yes, we would.  Pop Century offered us value and that is what we wanted.  We had great access to bus service--minus a glitch on one day--and there were parts of the resort we didn't try such as the pools.  If staying during a peak or holiday period for a few nights, we would definitely stay here again.

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