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Thread: Help me choose a value resort

  1. #1

    Help me choose a value resort

    My family of 5 has been to Disney World three times in the past five years. I didn't think we'd be going back anytime soon because my son starts high school next year, and he can't stand the summer heat & humidity, so our options would be extremely limited. My DD11 however, is not bothered by the heat and of all my kids, she loves Disney the most. So I'm toying with the idea of doing a Mommy/Daughter trip, just the two of us, this summer to celebrate my 45th birthday.

    As a family, we have always stayed off-site, so I have absolutely no experience with Disney properties or transportation. But if just the two of us go, staying on-site makes WAY more sense. So I need help deciding...

    We are looking at going August 26-30 (Monday-Friday). I am considering only the value resorts, because I can't justify spending more, since I will likely have to figure out a way to do similar Mommy/Child trips with my other two kids at some point. Also, with just the two of us, space is not an issue, and my daughter is really easy to please.

    We are not big or adventurous eaters, so the food court at the resort is not much of a factor. Pools don't matter much either - we will be happy as long as can get wet and cool off (if the rain doesn't take care of that...)

    We would plan to spend most of our time at the parks (even though I have been to Disney in August, so I know what to expect as far as the heat and storms). We may take afternoon breaks, but maybe not. Either way, ease of access to transportation and minimizing time on buses would probably be the biggest factors that would sway us toward one resort over another. Otherwise, a clean room is about all we ask for.

    Current pricing for the week we are looking at is as follows: AoA Little Mermaid Room - $125/night, POP - $105/night, All Stars - $90/night.

    SOOO, where would you stay, and why?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    In your case (and we were similar) I would pick Pop Century, mostly for the better transportation which you said was important to you. (Pop doesn't have a shared bus like the All Stars, and is in a slightly better (more central) location.)
    Micah

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  3. #3
    Senior Member lovett1979's Avatar
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    I would second the Pop Century recommendation. It's slightly nicer/cleaner than the All-Stars (totally worth $15 dollars). Transportation is easy, though its bus stops are often the farthest from the park entrances, so that does mean a little extra walking. The rooms are all recently renovated and have queen beds (1 is a murphy bed so you get extra space when you keep it up).
    Feb 2019-Festival of the Arts (POFQ); Nov 2018-40th Birthday Trip (Pop); Aug 2018-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil), Nov 2017-Wine & Dine 5K (Pop), Aug 2017-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil); May 2017-Tinkerbell 10K (Disneyland); Novr 2016-Wine & Dine 10K (POFQ); Aug 2016-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil); Nov 2015-1st Solo Trip (All-Star Movies); Aug 2015-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil); Aug 2014-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil)

  4. #4
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    I'd also say Pop - the newly renovated rooms are really great, and while they are rolling those out at the All-Stars now, there's really no reason to gamble on whether you'd get one or not. I think the transportation at Pop is better, too. AoA is much nicer (IMO), but those Little Mermaid rooms are so far away that they're really inconvenient.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    Another vote for Pop. We’ve stayed there a few times and really enjoyed it.
    Brandi

  6. #6
    Senior Member hizouse's Avatar
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    Agree on Pop--especially since there's a chance the Skyliner will be open. You can still get a dose of Little Mermaid theming by walking over to AoA, but those LM rooms are pretty far removed from everything.

  7. #7
    unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversary dvd but waiting outside best buy just the same jillyb's Avatar
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    Another vote for Pop. Stayed there 3 times already and have a 4th stay in August (10-17). I also have a solo trip coming up in May and am staying at All Stars Movies for the first time.
    Jill & Hannah

    June 2008 @ Pop Century
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    August 2016 Trip Report http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showth...ip-08-10-08-20[/B]

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lovett1979 View Post
    I would second the Pop Century recommendation. It's slightly nicer/cleaner than the All-Stars (totally worth $15 dollars). Transportation is easy, though its bus stops are often the farthest from the park entrances, so that does mean a little extra walking. The rooms are all recently renovated and have queen beds (1 is a murphy bed so you get extra space when you keep it up).
    I've read that, but how much extra walking is it actually? I'm used to trekking back out to the parking lot at the end of the day, so I doubt that would bother me. I've also read AoA buses are usually much closer to the park entrances, and may be a viable alternative if the line is not too long - has anyone tried that? I realize it would mean more walking on the other end, but may be more relaxed?

  9. #9
    that's a shame
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    Another Pop vote.
    If you weren't a Seinfeld fan, you won't get the reference.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyChris2016 View Post
    I've read that, but how much extra walking is it actually? I'm used to trekking back out to the parking lot at the end of the day, so I doubt that would bother me. I've also read AoA buses are usually much closer to the park entrances, and may be a viable alternative if the line is not too long - has anyone tried that? I realize it would mean more walking on the other end, but may be more relaxed?
    Compared to the amount of walking you do all day around the parks, it isn't that big of a deal... at least not until that one time that the bus is pulling away as you walk up. :) Honestly though, I wouldn't factor that part in much personally... but its worth not having to share like the All Stars.

    As far as taking a bus to AoA while staying at Pop... we have done that, but it was with the purpose of eating dinner at their food court before heading back over to Pop. We have done the reverse for breakfast over at AoA before heading to the parks too.

    One more (possible/upcoming) benefit to Pop and AoA is the Skyliner. I think this will be a game-changer personally. I have heard rumors from a summer opening all the way to a late fall opening... so who knows if it will help you in August. But, in the long run it adds one more benefit to these resorts over the All Stars.
    Micah

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    Apr '87 offsite; Feb '91 offsite; Feb '04 offsite; Feb '10 Pop; Jan '12 ASSp; Jan '13 Pop; Jan '14 VGF/AKV; Mar '14 POR; Aug '14 SSR (Report); Jan '15 VGF/AKV/OKW (Report); Jan '16 BLT/BCV (Report); Aug '16 AKV; Jan '17 PVB/BWV (Report); Jan '18 Pop/BRV; Aug '18 AKV; Jan '19 PVB/BCV; Jan '20 DRR/AKV

  11. #11
    Senior Member BSS's Avatar
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    We stayed at Pop in October 2018 and have stayed at All Star Music four times in the past (2008, 2011, 2016, 2017). I agree that the new rooms at Pop are fantastic, especially for two! We enjoyed the food court as well. I am going to have to differ with others on the transportation issue. Our stay at Pop in October was the worst Disney bus service we have ever experienced and every one of our 4 stays at ASMu was far better as far as bus service - far shorter waits both at the resort and at the parks with slightly closer stops, which wouldn't be a big deal, but on top of the much longer waits it was just one more minus for us. My son and I agreed that the transportation really impacted our thoughts on our stay at Pop and we are unlikely to stay there again as a result. I realize this is a minority opinion and we really did enjoy the other aspects of the stay (rooms are much, much better than ASMu!), but the buses were a killer for us.
    Jen

  12. #12
    Well, after all my research, DD11 decides she doesn't want to go. We've always done Disney as a family and she doesn't feel right about going without her sister & brother. I love her for being so sweet, but... sniff... now I don't get to go.

    Any adult-friendly resort recommendations in case I can convince my husband to come with me instead?

  13. #13
    Senior Member lovett1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyChris2016 View Post
    Any adult-friendly resort recommendations in case I can convince my husband to come with me instead?
    Lol!

    If you can increase your budget a little, I absolutely love Port Orleans French Quarter. While there will still be plenty of kids around, it definitely has a more grownup vibe than the value resorts.
    Feb 2019-Festival of the Arts (POFQ); Nov 2018-40th Birthday Trip (Pop); Aug 2018-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil), Nov 2017-Wine & Dine 5K (Pop), Aug 2017-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil); May 2017-Tinkerbell 10K (Disneyland); Novr 2016-Wine & Dine 10K (POFQ); Aug 2016-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil); Nov 2015-1st Solo Trip (All-Star Movies); Aug 2015-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil); Aug 2014-"Family" Trip (Parc Soleil)

  14. #14
    Senior Member BSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyChris2016 View Post
    Well, after all my research, DD11 decides she doesn't want to go. We've always done Disney as a family and she doesn't feel right about going without her sister & brother. I love her for being so sweet, but... sniff... now I don't get to go.
    Aww, sweet girl! I assume you tried assuring her they would have other opportunities to do things alone with you? I've been doing 1:1 trips to WDW with my oldest for the past few years while he's been in college and my high schoolers haven't been interested. I've taken the other two, individually, on adventures to places they enjoy. I think the only one jealous is DH, but he gets 1:1 trips, too.

    If it's just you and DH, I'd try to see if you can swing a moderate. I've never stayed at POFQ, but I know a lot of people who love it for adults only trips.

    Regardless, it's your birthday and you should get to go!
    Jen

  15. #15
    he's right
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyChris2016 View Post
    Any adult-friendly resort recommendations in case I can convince my husband to come with me instead?
    I would go with the Swan/Dolphin. These are both convention hotels, so they are a little more "serious" than the typical Disney property, but they are both right in the Epcot Resort Area. If you want to go a little more upscale and are willing to trade location for it, the Waldorf=Astoria or the Four Seasons would be on the list. All offer EMH access and 60 day FP+.

    If you really, really want to be in a Disney resort: Old Key West. The island-time vibe is awesome for a romantic getaway.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ronnie2hotty's Avatar
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    For me, and also for either kind of trip you take, I always vote cheapest option. I've stayed at all the value resorts multiple times. All have their pros. All have their cons. To me, none stands out better than the others.

    Now, if cost weren't an option and everything costed the same, I would probably vote for Pop as well. I just like the theming the best.
    Who doesn't like a brat with dirty hair?

  17. #17
    Thanks for the recommendations! If I were to go with just DH, I would kind of like to still try staying on Disney property, partially because we've never had the chance and I want to see if it lives up to the hype. With the family, we are dedicated off-site people - our last trip we rented a townhouse at Windsor Hills for about $120 a night - 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, laundry, kitchen, our own pool, being able to park in your own driveway and walk right up to your front door... I loved everything about it! But with just two of us, we don't need any of that, and my husband would pay anything I ask for a vacation without the kids. Honestly, he doesn't love Disney as much as I do, and the "Disney Bubble" doesn't interest him at all, but he would stay anywhere I choose. We would probably not spring for a Deluxe, but Port Orleans sounds nice, and certainly within our means. I'll give that a closer look. Thanks!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyChris2016 View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations! If I were to go with just DH, I would kind of like to still try staying on Disney property, partially because we've never had the chance and I want to see if it lives up to the hype. With the family, we are dedicated off-site people - our last trip we rented a townhouse at Windsor Hills for about $120 a night - 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, laundry, kitchen, our own pool, being able to park in your own driveway and walk right up to your front door... I loved everything about it! But with just two of us, we don't need any of that, and my husband would pay anything I ask for a vacation without the kids. Honestly, he doesn't love Disney as much as I do, and the "Disney Bubble" doesn't interest him at all, but he would stay anywhere I choose. We would probably not spring for a Deluxe, but Port Orleans sounds nice, and certainly within our means. I'll give that a closer look. Thanks!
    In light of your hubby's pref for non-WDW bubble, Port Orleans is good compromise. It has some kidsh themes in some places but otherwise more adult. Between DME and the park transport, the added cost (compared to your offsite spot) is de minimis.
    Oct 2017 POLY (first time with Family)
    Aug 2018 Pop/YC (split stay)
    Aug 2019 YC

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