Ok, I need some resort advice!

So we are currently planning our second trip to WDW for the week after Thanksgiving 2020. It will be myself, DD 9, my sister and BIL, and their DD2 staying. For our last “once in a lifetime” trip we really splurged as far as accommodations. We stayed in WL and had a view of Cinderella castle and the MK fireworks at night. So we’re spoiled. BUT this next trip, for many reasons including income changes, a rebuilt transmission, etc., has to be a sort of budget trip. Plus I know airfare will most likely be more pricey flying in that Saturday.

Currently we are discussing options so we can book as soon as it opens up. We know we want to stay onsite, and so immediately AOA and POP come to the front for reasons such as theming, one bus stop etc. with two kids. I like POP better because the rooms are refurbished with queen beds, while the little mermaid rooms at AOA are smaller, have smaller beds, and are so very far away from everything. But my sister likes AOA better. But I’m the one doing the planning so… POP is looking likely.

BUT, then there’s POFQ. A bucket list resort of mine. And an awesome pool and kids splash area. (But will the weather even be warm enough late Nov. for swimming for us NE Ohioans? I know it can be a toss up) And even though it’s more expensive, it looks like they have been including it in the discounts recently (I know in the past they weren’t). I’ve also looked at CS because it seems to be the cheapest of the moderates, and still has the nicer pool with a waterslide. But the bus situation is more complicated there and the theming just doesn’t impress me.

I’m just pretty stuck right now. And since I am the one who always does all the planning I like to have my plan laid out well ahead of time. So what would you do? Do I go for FQ and hope for a discount I can apply later on? Or would you be ok with POP? Or are there any other resorts you would recommend even?

Thanks for taking the time to read!!

POFQ has a water slide. Value resorts do not have a water slide.
POP and AOA food courts are awesome for picky eaters. POFQ is more adventurous.
POFQ rooms are roomier. I don’t know the exact sizes, but they are a little bigger.

At the end of the day, my decision always falls to how much resort time do I expect vs Park time. If the scales are tipped toward park time, stay at POP where it is cheaper. If the scales tip toward resort time, then choose POFQ - you won’t be disappointed. If you will have a balance of park vs resort, then look very closely at the amenities offered.

You can’t beat POFQ resort size too BTW. But I wouldn’t expect POFQ to be included all discount packages - for example, it is always excluded from Free Dining.

Whether or not the weather will be warm enough is impossible to predict. It could be 60 or 90+ degrees. We were just there Nov 2018 and it was 85+ every day with lots of pool time.

I adore POFQ but it is the priciest of the moderates. If you’re on a budget I’d probably stick to Pop.

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Not for UK customers, but then we very rarely get room discounts at any resorts.

I would also expect Pop and AoA to have substantial price increases post-gondola/SWGE though!

That’s a very good point! I have no interest in the gondolas and tend to forget about them.

We will most likely spend more time in the park, and that tends to be my thought process too. Why spend more when it’s really just mostly a place to sleep? We normally do take one resort day in the middle of the vacation though.

However, I did just see that the main pool at POP is scheduled for refurb “winter 2020”. Does that mean after the actual start of winter, like in late December? Because my daughter is a fish and loves the pool. The two smaller pools at POP are a bit bland to me.

If I book before the gondolas open/rate increases, that would lock me into the lower rate correct?

Your rate should be fixed at the time you book. It’s not variable pricing fortunately.

As for the pools, we never failed to swim going in December. There may be times where getting out of the water is rough, but in the pool it’s always very nice even if it is only 50s temperature wise. We’re from NE OH as well so I presume our cold tolerance would be similar. The pools not being crowded can be nice as well…

We really enjoyed POFQ (I think it’s actually the only resort we have stayed at multiple times) and my family compares it favorably to some Deluxes we have stayed at. I guess it really depends on what the bottom line cost adder is and how it affects the budget. Should be a good trip staying at either, but POFQ is very nice and would be worth a little more for us to stay there…

I have compared a couple example bookings for this year around the same time and it would come out to around $400 (per family) more total to stay at POFQ. That’s before any discounts.

It’s not a huge number, but it’s not an amount that makes it an easy choice either.

With a 2 year old, I’d lean toward POFQ for the splash park. Book EARLY. POFQ can book up fast - 10 months in advance I’m told. I booked 12 months in advance with no issue. The resort is so small that I wouldn’t pay extra for a special room location.

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I would look at staying off-site. You get more space and more amenities for your money. I also don’t like being stuck in a small hotel room for a long time with 2 kids. I like my space and prefer condo style vilas that have kitchens, 2 bedrooms and a washer and dryer. We eat out for lunch and dinner every day, but like to eat breakfast at our hotel, so the kitchen comes in handy for that.

I’ve cut and pasted info on the place we stayed at last year from another post below. Something like this would probably be a good option if you are willing to rent a car and stay off-site. The place we stayed at was only a 5 to 15 minute drive to the parks.

I love POFQ. We stayed in early November 2016; it was pretty warm our whole trip. There were plenty of people in the pool at all times of day. We chose POFQ because its highly rated among the moderates, its smaller which means quieter, and it was easy to navigate. My dad was in an ecv, and it was easy for him to get around the resort. We never had a problem with the buses either; the most we waited was like 15 minutes, but we always left early for rope drop (we actually got to Epcot 45 minutes early on our first day and were literally the first in line). The restaurant was under refurbishment while we were there, but the reduced quick service was still good. My sister and I will be staying there in December of this year.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you have access to Riverside too; their restaurant and pool.


Are you trying to put all these people in 1 room? That would be far beyond my comfort level at Pop century.

Yes, with the 2 year old in a pack n play. We won’t be spending much time in the room though. Literally almost nothing but sleeping.

Adding 2 cents ~ We’ve stayed at several WDW resorts of all levels in the past, and POFQ is our favorite. The pool is great, the rooms are bigger than most, the food in the dining hall is varied and good (imo), and even on a peak week (Presidents Day) it never felt too crowded, and was very quiet relative to other resorts. Transportation was a breeze and our easiest experience so far ~ lines were not long and buses are a quick walk from anywhere in this smallish resort. (FYI, we were in Building 3 and it was a great location ~ near pool, dining area, lobby, buses ~ but also very quiet.)

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I have stayed at both Pop Century and POR. Port Orleans theming was more sophisticated. It was prettier. I don’t have kids. Didn’t go to the pool at either resort.

I am really surprised by this, but I liked POP better. Getting around was easier. MUCH better food court.

Having stayed at Pop, honestly - I think you would end up miserable with all of you in one room. For one or two nights maybe?? but you will be right on top of each other. Although I have no idea about your relationship with your BiL, I love my BiLs but would not be comfortable staying in those close quarters with one of them for that long. I have also stayed at POFQ and loved it (was not a fan of Pop) – but again, the room is still really small for your party size and a BiL. If you can swing it, I would suggest AoA so you have two full bathrooms and some privacy. No water slide but nicely themed pool.

Off sites can look compelling, but I did it once and REALLY missed the on-property “Disney Magic” feeling. Plus, I hesitate to give up the 60 day FPP window and EMH access.

You’ve probably already figured this out, since the original post was a while ago! But I have a hard time picturing where a pack & play would fit in a room at Pop with four people and their luggage. They are pretty tight with the murphy bed down (which obviously you’d need to do). The rooms are nice, but snug.