Sooo normally we stay at deluxe resorts (with the exception of AOA because son picked) but now 10 year old son wants to do POP this year. Stayed at Poly last year so really trying to get my mind around it. My concern is that we are people that avail of our resort. For example we normally hit parks at rope drop and then head back to resort around 1-2ish to swim and hang out for the day. I know people have said POP is great for a place to crash after a day at the parks but is it a good resort to hang out at? I am really torn as staying there would save us about 3000 dollars for a 10 night stay over staying at a deluxe.
Historically, in general I stay at 4 and 5 star hotels. This is typically when I take short city or country breaks.
I stayed fully on property at WDW for the first time this Christmas — and I chose Pop. Had money not been a consideration I might have gone with YC, where I stayed for a single night last summer.
I have a minimum standard that I’m willing to accept, and Pop meets this — principally because I think the refurbished rooms are excellent. They’re not all that different from the ones at YC — they don’t have lovely balconies and they’re smaller, but they’re a similar style. And I like them.
But the resort as a whole is not a million miles away from a motel, frankly. I would normally not consider staying somewhere like Pop. (But, as I say, for me the rooms are their saving grace.)
The difficulty is that the deluxe hotels are insanely expensive — and I’m speaking as someone who can be quite reckless with money and budgeting. But I do have a line, and the WDW deluxe hotels cross it. (As an irrelevant aside, Apple has just crossed that line. When iPads and iPhones crossed over the £1,000 mark, I realised that what I had was perfectly adequate and my upgrade obsession was killed stone dead. I’ll replace things when they die, not when they become “so last year”.)
My solution is to stay at Pop but — if I want an escape — to hang out at a deluxe hotel. The only drawback in this is that I won’t get pool access. I don’t think I’m really a pool person, to be honest — I didn’t use Stormalong Bay at YC when I had the chance. But if I were I don’t think the pools at Pop would entice me. I want hot-tubs and waterslides, and even lazy rivers.
You sound like me and I wouldn’t find Pop an attractive place to retreat to during the day. If I did, I’d simply go to my room, sit on the bed and watch the big screen tv. There are no nice lounges to chill out in, or stylish bars or cafés.
But, you do have to think about the massive difference in cost. In my previous trips I have spent a lot on upcharge items — dessert parties, After Hours, MNSSHP, MVMCP and so on — so some of the money “saved” by not staying at a deluxe can be channeled in those directions.
For me the unknown in all this are the moderates. They haven’t actually seemed very appealing to me because the rooms seem to need updating in most of them.
I have unfortunately (thanks to Disney) become a hotel snob. We usually stay at Beach Club or Boardwalk, but have ventured out to AKL or Contemporary, and thanks to last year’s MVT Labor Day deal, we even tried the Grand Floridian (not a fan). I honestly can’t remember the last time we stayed non-Deluxe.
Fast forward to this year. We just bought a bigger and more expensive house. The MVT Labor Day deal isn’t that great, but the yearn to get to Disney is just as strong and the AP pull makes it even stronger. So I have done the unthinkable…I booked Pop for May and Coronado Springs Tower for Labor Day. And given that DVC is already booked up for December, I’ll likely need to find something in this range for this time as well.
I was heartened by Profmatt’s experience at Pop so we will see how it goes. I showed the pictures of the new rooms to DS10 and he was excited. I think it will be something different and a new adventure, but that remains to be seen. I can let you know May 7th how things went!
After a few nights at Pop I did a tour of the deluxe hotels to see the Christmas decorations. I was struck by just how plush and lovely they are. But, as I say, anyone can, for example, hang out in that lovely lounge at Boardwalk at the top of the stairs on the left.
I agree that I don’t think POP will be an attractive place to retreat. I love Disney in my face in the parks but to be honest when I go back to the resort I like for it to be like I am on another vacation. Something more low key and relaxing. However, my son loves it all and the vacation is primarily for him. To be honest I wish I never even looked up the price of POP lol but now that I know it is hard to justify the price difference. Could I pay it yes but I could also use that money to go on an adult only vacation lol or maybe another Disney trip at Christmas time :-). Thanks for your thoughts
I know we love deluxe and we did Poly last year due to MVT labor day deal. I know the rooms are dated but it was magical to be swimming in the pool at night and watching the MK fireworks. My plan for this trip was too go back to WL but my son has POP on the brain lol. We are not going untill the end of August again so I definitely want to hear how you find the trip in May :-). I am envious of your multiple trips we only go to Disney once a year being from Canada with the cost of flights and crappy dollar exchange. Thanks for chiming in
I love POP when I travel solo (with friends but prefer my own room, terrible sleeper here), but it is just somewhere to sleep and hang in the room for a bit. It is not where I would take my family to relax. If you are used to deluxe, you will find POP more like a motel. How about a split stay? We usually stay in 3 resorts over our 11 night trips, Universal Deluxe for 3 nights, Disney moderate for 3 nights, and then 5 nights Disney Deluxe. With 10 nights you could do 3 nights POP followed by a week at a deluxe. You will still save money, and won’t be stuck at POP if you end up really disliking it. When I first decided to try a value, I only stayed for 3 nights and the rest were elsewhere. This way I wasn’t stuck. Turned out it was just fine, so my last trip I ended up with all 6 nights there. I think 3 people would feel crowded, the deluxe rooms are much bigger. POP is great if you can keep the table bed up the whole time, makes the room feel much bigger.
There’s a noticeable difference between a Deluxe, or even a Moderate and a Value resort. Plus,10 nights is a long stay. Our very first trip with kids we stayed at POFQ and our 2nd trip we stayed at one of the All Stars. My wife and I agreed that there was nothing wrong with All Stars but POFQ was nicer -better themed, not as chaotic prettier…It’s hard to describe but we definitely noticed a difference. We’ve since stayed at other Value, Moderate and Deluxe resorts and as long you’ve set your expectations appropriately all are ok. What if you did a split stay? We’ve done this a few times and it has worked out fine -just book POP for the first part of the trip and the higher resort 2nd. Save the best resort for last.
I’d suggest a split stay too, or a moderate if a split stay doesn’t appeal
If I understand your OP, you have stayed at AoA in the past. Staying at POP would be a similar experience; the theming is different and the rooms are singles vice family suites, but the general feel and amenities are very similar. On solo trips it’s one of my favorites for sleeping and showering (I typically leave my room by 7:00 AM and am rarely back before 10:00 PM). it’s conveniently located, has reliable bus service, and a food court for a cup of coffee in the AM or a soda and chips later in the day. It’s kind like staying in a Disneyfied La Quinta, but without a Denny’s in front of it for a quick TS meal. And no bar to wind down in at the end of a long touring day. For 5 or 6 nights (my usual trip length) it’s fine; I’m not sure I’d want to spend 10 days there however.
But I won’t stay there if I go with my wife, who likes to have more “relax at the resort” time. For these occasions, I rent DVC points from a friend and stay at a deluxe (I would never pay the "regular’ rates charged at the deluxes).
I’m not a “pool person” when traveling, but if I was there is little about the POP pools that would entice me to swim; they’re basically (uniquely shaped) cement holes in the ground surrounded by lounge chairs and packed with kids, with minimal landscaping. The pools at the deluxes are an order of magnitude nicer.
I know this all sounds very negative for a resort that I really like for the kind of trips I usually take, but I don’t think I would choose it for the kind of trip that you are taking - unless it’s the only option that you can afford and otherwise would not be able to go at all.
How many people in your group? As long as you have 2 adults you could get two rooms at Pop and request them to be connecting. We did this on our last trip. It made it so much more relaxing with the extra space. Also the rooms themselves are very nice. The transportation really can’t be beat.
Down sides are that the pools are not as nice as the deluxe or moderates and don’t have a slide. Also the food court get old fast. They do have a really awesome retro arcade though that any 10 yo would love. Also I was really worried we would not like the loud decor and grounds, but they were really fun and we ended up loving them.
It’s only the 3 of us so 1 room will work fine. I had my mind made up to go back with a deluxe or even try a moderate. However, I was able to convince DH with the savings that we could swing another trip in November lol. I have always wanted to do mickeys Christmas party and I am obsessed with Rudolph so am gonna do a day there because that meet and greet is a must do for me lol. My son is excited for POP and he loves arcades so that will be a bonus. I figure we can just go to a water park for lazy river and wave pool if the POP pool gets too boring. Thanks for your feedback
We just got back from our trip and stayed at POP. We loved it! We got up at six, got dressed and ate breakfast in the food court every morning. After breakfast, we got in line for EMH assigned park and made it for/before rope drop each day!