View Full Version : First time at Disney, value resort help
03-04-2007, 05:00 PM
Hi all. This is my first post on this board. I am getting married in Orlando in May 2008. (not through disney) We will have around 15-20 adults and 5-10 children ages 18 months to 10 years old. We are trying to keep costs down but want to stay on Disney property so I think we are going for a value resort. We are going to be booked as a Grand Gathering. My question is what value resort would you suggest for a large group. We will not have rental cars and will be using Disney transportation for everything except the wedding which is taking place at the Hyatt Grand Cypress near Downtown Disney. Since this is my wedding, I am trying to keep my stress limited but with my kids I know that will be hard. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!
03-04-2007, 05:20 PM
It has its own bus to the parks. (doesn't share with any other resorts) and the service is pretty good.
plus I happen to love it!!!
03-04-2007, 05:21 PM
We had a fabulous stay at Pop. The transportation was great and we really enjoyed the theming of the resort.
03-04-2007, 05:54 PM
:welcome: to the DIS!
And congrats on your upcoming wedding.
Here is a list of differences between the two resorts.
Pop is newer.
Pop was built in 2003.
All Star Movies was built in 1999.
All Star Sports and Music were built in 1994.
All Star Music is undergoing a refurbishment of all of the rooms and is slated to be completed by June 2007.
The Calypso and Jazz buildings (1,2,9, and 10) are slated to be completed by January 1st 2007.
All Star Sports is slated to be refurbished between June and November of 2007.
Pop has a lake. The All Stars do not have a lake.
When staying at the All Stars you use any of the All Stars pools.
The 3 All Stars are within easy walking distance of each other.
The gift shops are separate from the food court at the All Stars.
The gift shop and food court are combined at Pop.
Pop has 2,880 guest rooms. 4 floors in each building.
Each of the All Stars has 1,960 rooms. 3 floors in each building.
Both Pop and the All Star rooms are 260 square feet.
The beds at the All Stars are movable.
the beds at Pop at bolted to the floor.
The far bed at an All Star is closer to wall. And the near bed is not as close to the doorway as it is at Pop
The far bed at Pop is pulled away from the wall more. The near bed is closer to door.
For most people that would not make a difference but since I need an EVC
the bed being so near the door at Pop makes it more difficult for me to back my EVC in. :moped:
Some Photos of All Star Movies from allearsnet.com:
Did you know if you count all of the Dalmatians (the icons plus the puppies on the buildings) you will come up with 101 Dalmatians?
Now how cool is that?
That is one of my favorite WDW trivia facts. I love the way Disney pays attention to details!
When staying at the All Stars you can use any of the All Star pools. That means 3 main pools , 3 quiet pools and 3 kiddie pools to chose from.
The All Star Movie Fantasia pool has Mickey.
The Calypso pool at ASMU has Donald Duck.
And the Surfs up pool at All Star Sports has giant surf boards.
Here are a few pool photos.
All Star Sports pool.
All Star Music Donald pool.
All Star Movies Mickey Pool.
Here are some photos of Pop from allearsnet.com:
Have fun wherever you choose to stay
03-04-2007, 06:09 PM
Miss Minnie gave you some great information. If I were in your situation and I was dead-set on values for budgetary reasons, I would go with Pop Century myself.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!! Hope you have a most wonderful time in Disney!!
03-04-2007, 06:32 PM
I've been to All Star Sports and POP and would choose POP. We were just there in September and it was great. The only downside is that if you hit the food court around 8 - 9 in the morning it is very crowded...just work it so you don't hit at those times.
03-04-2007, 06:52 PM
One thing to keep in mind is All Star Music also has the Family Suites that will sleep up to 6 persons plus 1 child under the age of 3.
If there are large families in your group you may wish to consider All Star Music. Also all of the rooms at Music are being refurbished.
Half of the buildings are already done and the rest of the rooms are slated to be finished by June 2007.
The new rooms have a privacy curtain by the closet and vanity area.
(Moderate resorts also have a privacy curtain but All Star Music is the first value resort to get them.)
There are photos of the newly reburbished rooms on this website
Look at the new photos taken of the Jazz Inn room.
The Calypso and Jazz buildings have been refurished. They are refurbishing the other buidings right now and the refurbishments are slated to ne finished by June 2007.
The newly refurbished rooms at All Star Music have central air.
No more noisy wall units!
The rooms at All Star Music are very quiet.
The refurbished rooms at All Star Music have the Privacy curtains.
They have wall mounted hairdryers and the curtain for the tub is bowed out giving more room in the shower.
The beds are new and are quite comfortable.
Above photo from Allearsnet
Here is my review of the Family Suites:
Dh and I stayed at new Family Suites at All Star Music September 21,2006.
We stayed in 0416 which is on the ground floor. Room 0418 which was next door was not a Suites so the Suites are not all grouped together.
The living area was the best. There was a small table with 2 blue modern looking chairs by the window area.
The chairs had a small amount of cushioning and curved backs and seemed more conformable (to me) than the old straight back chairs they had in the old All Star Music rooms. The table top was wood grain and there were silhouettes of Mickey all abound the edge in a darker wood color.
The living room area is very roomy when the furniture is the closed position.
When you first enter the room you get a feeling that you can take time to relax and spread out in these rooms. The cramped feeling is not there. there is a sofa, chair and ottoman which fold out into beds. There are two small end tables and soft foot stool for the sofa.
The TV was a 27 inch flat screen and the cabinet had three drawers under the TV area. There were two shelves next to the TV and a cabinet door which opened to reveal 2 more shelves.
I opened up the chair bed and it was very comfortable to lay down on. The back of the chair actually rests on the floor supporting the chair bed when it is folded out into the bed. It was pretty amazing the way they designed the pull out furniture!
The frame of the bed is metal so when I went to get of the chair bed I did feel the metal bars at the edge of the bed.
I tried to get the ottoman into the master bedroom area but I am sorry to say the ottoman is just too wide and will not fit through the door jam.
The sink and closet areas in the suites also have privacy curtains.
The sink areas have 2 shelf cubbies under them for storage and a Kleenex tissue area under them. There are wall mounted hair dryers with the built in amber night lights on the walls by the sinks.
Each dressing area has a privacy curtain, closet area, iron, ironing board and wall safe. The wall safes are the standard size which will hold a wallet a cell phone a small DVD player, a personal CD player, or a few CDs but it is not large enough for a lap top or anything that is more than a couple of inches wide.
Remember the Suites have 2 bathrooms, 2 dressing areas with privacy curtains, 2 safes, 2 hairdryers, 2 closets, 2 TVs, 2 separate sleeping, areas and 2 TVs.
Here is the layout of the Suite:
The kitchenette has a lot storage area also.
There was an ice bucket with 6 plastic cups on the countor and a coffeepot with 6 of the throw away foam hot cups.
There were 6 paper plates, 6 paper bowls, Paper towels and a silverware tray on an upper shelf.
The silverware container had 6 sets of plastic ware and a can opener in it.
The kitchenette has a nice size microwave, and the fridge is the larger under the counter dorm fridge. The fridge has small freezer on the top which was big enough to freeze my 3 small ice pacs for my meds. The area for the freezer is not very high. You might be able to put a couple of small water bottles in it to freeze them but a larger water bottle would not be able to fit in the freezer area.
The Master room was nice size and it was nice to have a desk area with a mirror over it so it also sure as a make up area if one chose to it as such.
The TV cabinet had 3 nice size storage drawers. The easy chair next to the bed was nice addition. I enjoyed being able to sit there instead of using a table chair or bed to sit.
The queen size bed was conformable. The AC at newly refurbished has been updated to Cental air style instead of the old under the window style. It worked fine while we were there. Our room was very quiet.
The Master area had enough room for a twin size aero bed if you placed the bed with one end by the window and had it running between the desk and the foot of bed. (You would need to move the desk chair out of the way. )The aero bed would block the access of the Queen size bed from the far side, however. The bed was a Queen.
There were only a few things in our Suite that were different from those pictured on the DIS resorts homepage.
1) The headboard was smaller than the one pictured here taken from the DIS resorts homepage.
2) The tile on the kitchen floor and bathroom floor was tan and navy blue instead of the tan and white in the pictured room.
3) Ironing boards and iron were in each closet area.
Mousekeeping was great.
Mousekeeping left plenty of towels and we were pleasantly surprised by a pair of love bird towel animals when we returned to our room on evening midway through our stay!
The Calypso pool was never crowded even though the Fantasia pool at Movies was closed during the time we stayed Music.
We never waited more than 5-10 minutes for bus and only shared buses on the way back from some of the parks. Music always had its own bus back from MK.
Any questions? Just ask and I will try to answer them.
03-04-2007, 08:04 PM
I would go with the POP....
03-04-2007, 08:05 PM
The problem I have with the suites is you really don't save any money. It is acutally more expensive than getting 2 connecting rooms and sleeps less people.
03-04-2007, 09:04 PM
The problem I have with the suites is you really don't save any money. It is acutally more expensive than getting 2 connecting rooms and sleeps less people.
You are correct.
But I feel the Family Suites are a real value and this is why:
The Family Suites cost $11 more a night than 2 standard rooms at a value.
If you rent a fridge at a value it costs $10 a night.
You get a Queen size bed at a family suite! (None of the other values or Moderates have a Queen size bed.
If you book a preferred location at a value it would $20 extra a night for 2 rooms with a preferred location. (close to food court, bus stop and main pool.)
So for $11 more than 2 rooms at a value you get a Queen size bed, a fridge (plus a microwave, a coffee pot, paper plates, plastic ware, lots of storage area in the kitchenette) and a preferred location.
Plus you have added benifit of being assured the larger family can stay together and not have to split up.
**NOTE:Disney may say they guarantee connecting rooms but in reality
As a mother of 4 (All grown now. My oldest is in her 30's and my youngest is 22) I often wished Disney had more options for larger families.
When the children were younger and we would go to Disney they did not have DVC or the family suites. In fact Disney did not have a Moderate until CBR opened in the late 1980's so if we wanted to stay onsite we either rented 2 rooms at a deluxe or stayed in the cabins.
I wrote to Disney many times over the years asking for more options for families so when I heard they were building the New Family Suites at All Star Music it just made me so happy!
In the late 80's I booked 2 connecting rooms at CBR for my family.
When we checked in there were no connecting rooms left but we were able to get rooms next to each other on the second floor.
Our two oldest were teens so I put them in one room and the 2 little ones who were 5 and 7 stayed with us. It worked for us because our older children were able to stay in a room without us but if they were younger DH and I would have had to split up.
Disney may say they guarantee connecting rooms but in reality Disney does not guarantee connecting rooms.
If there are 2 adults Disney can split the adults and children into two rooms that are not connecting. They try hard not to do this but it can and does happen sometimes. If however it is one adult with 5 children Disney should try harder to find connecting rooms since some of the children cannot be left in a room without an adult. But if you look at the threads posted below you will see that sometimes even Disney mixes up.
It does happen. Far too often IMHO.
From this thread;
Just wanted to re-iterate what others have said:
We requesting connecting rooms at CBR in January--not really a busy time & we were early for check-in. They did not have us in connecting rooms. They said they could accommodate us, but it would be smoking rooms--which was our #1 request non-smoking.
We were side-by-side, so we just went outside to go next door, so it wasn't a huge deal for us. But if you definitely want to be together--I would go with a suite. You could also look into renting DVC points for a villa.
Here are a couple more threads about guests not getting connecting rooms:
From this thread:
One of the threads that Linda posted a link to was my experience last March. I had many conversations with the higher-ups at Guest Services and was told that even if it says "guaranteed" it is not truly "guaranteed." It just has higher priority over the "requests." Because on a given day, there might only be 25 connecting room sets opening up, but 27 "guaranteed connecting rooms for families" ressies checking in. 2 of those families are not going to get their "guarantee."
I know, I was shocked that we had to fight so hard to get put in rooms that had just been fumigated for lice (they were taken out of the inventory, but re-opened because we insisted we needed rooms.) I sort of assumed that if they didn't have the rooms for us, they'd find rooms elsewhere on Disney property. For that stay, we were sometimes 2 adults and sometimes only 1. Now we will book offsite if we need to do that again. If there are 2 of us adults, we book connecting and hope for the best. Otherwise, we'll split the kids.
My point is to make backup plans if you are depending on connecting rooms.
That is one of the main reasons if my family were young I would choose a Suite over 2 connecting rooms or I would be prepared that I may need to split the family up and sleep in a different room than DH.
From this thread just posted March 2007:
Thanks for all your fast replies, I won't leave you hanging any longer, I just needed to cool out a bit before writing my rant.....
We arrived on Feb 22 (thursday) early ---plane landed at 9 am-----we used the magical express bus, so they had our luggage, we stored whatever we needed to at baggage claim and went right to epcot for the day. With the new system of check-in, the gave me a card with a number to call after 3 pm to find out where our rooms would be . I didn't call, we came back at about 9 pm exhausted and went to the front desk, we had rooms 3214 and 3215----we always get two rooms due to our family size-----let me add this was never a problem before, we have stayed at pop the last three years........we get all the carry-on stuff and go to our room( which is in the 50's section facing the bowling pin pool) and I open one room door. That's when the nightmare started-----no connecting door inside :eek: :eek: :eek: so I call down to the front desk and tell them I requested connecting rooms and this was not them-------there was nothing they could do for me that night, but they did put someone on the case, and they would call back. So we proceed to dig through the luggage for jammies and get the kids washed and brushed for bed in one room, the phone rings------The front desk----they can not obviously find anything for tonight, but they offer to move me for tomorrow--to adjoining rooms in the 70's section......ok so I ask how this works........and this is where the story gets hairy..........we would need to check out by 11 am and not get back to the other room until after 3 pm
Doesn't sound too bad.....but I do have a fridge to re pack from the swap, and 9 luggage cases and various other bags, and we had the pirates and princess party on the 23, so I told the kids we could swim in am then come back to the room early and get dressed for the party(I had a Pan, Snow, and cindy to dress-up)so i explained all this to them that I would need a room to dress all the wet kids, and you can't have a room if you checked out-----and this was the only way they would change the room situation for me.......the guy I talked to on the phone even told me families travelling together are guaranteed to get adjoing rooms, he was going to go back and find out who made this mistake, but they really couldn't help me any further......
so.........after much crying on my part, I decided to keep the rooms we had and make the best of it.....the kids were really looking forward to the party, and I didn't want to ruin it for them................but this really killed my vacation. I have 5 kids , only the oldest two I trust with a room card, so we put the boys in one room , and we were (the girls ) in the other. I think I talked to my husband more on the phone this trip!!!!!!!and then the knocking began..........to tell each other what channel to watch, to get a drink from the fridge in the other room, what are you wearing today, can I borrow your comic book.....and they were just being excited kids and I can't blame them, but someone was running to the door to let someone in all the time........and then alot of time we were all cramped in one area....and I kept thinking I'm paying for two rooms here....:sad2: sooooo
Long-long story short----I think they could have let us use the rooms we were in and saved the other for the pm when we got pack-----I would have gladly gone thru the hassel of packing it back up, if they would transfer all of it over across the way , but it was really cut and dry from the two people I talked to over the phone, even though they admitted that they made the mistake......
We transferred to POFQ for the last three days of our trip, and yes, we had a connecting door inside, and yes it was pure bliss for me , and yes I called over there twice and talked to two seperate people who assured me that the rooms had a connecting door even before we left pop!!!!
I guess I was more angry that they didn't seem to care how put out I was going to be, anyone can make a mistake, but I always felt before that disney did everything in their power to even over-rectify bad situations.......it just left me with a bad feeling
thanks for listening
I am just trying to keep other families from the disappointment of expecting connecting and not getting them.
03-04-2007, 09:47 PM
Most people on the boards are going to say "Oh, Pop is wonderful! Go for Pop, absolutely! I love Pop!"
I am going to say, "If all those people love Pop, then it follows that Pop will be much more crowded." And in my experience, it is - I have stayed at Pop twice, Sports twice, and Music 4 times. Pop has always been more crowded, and that's during the less crowded off-seasons when I go to WDW.
Music is less popular, but I prefer Music because it's much more quiet and peaceful.
Because Music is less popular, it's less crowded - you will hava a much easier time getting most of your group's rooms in the same building than at Pop.
Music also has the Family Suites mentioned above, which might come in handy for your group as well.
03-05-2007, 12:37 AM
Yep.......another Pop lover here! I have stayed at both and I don't know.........Pop to me seems laid out better, the staffing is better, the quality of service is better. My dh is not all that particular and when we ended up at All Stars for one night.....he asked "Is this the same price as Pop Century?" When I said yes, he was shocked and told me he was happy that I booked at Pop again! Other than the obvious icons, there is a different feel between the resorts. Even the store at Pop, is larger and laid out better than those at the All Stars. Just my opinion.
03-05-2007, 12:59 AM
I would definately go with POP! I can't wait to go back in September!:thumbsup2
03-05-2007, 11:04 AM
How many guests are you allowed in a suite?
03-05-2007, 11:17 AM
How many guests are you allowed in a suite?
6 plus 1 child under the age 3.
1-6 adults may stay in a suite for the same set price.
There is an additional fee of $10 per night for a 3rd or 4th additional adult in a standard value room.
Here is some info on the Family Suites:
*** They are 520 square feet.
*** The Family suites are located in the Jazz and Calypso buildings at All Star Music.(these are the closet buildings to the food court and the bus stop.
*** They cost less than a standard room at AKL or WL.
***1-6 adults may stay in a suite for the same set price.
(There is an additional fee of $10 per night for a 3rd or 4th additional adult in a standard value room.)
*** They have a QUEEN size bed (the other values and even the mods do not have a queen bed.
***The fridge is included (if you booked 2 connecting value rooms you would need to pay $10 extra for a night for a fridge if you wanted one.
*** They come with a microwave and coffeepot (If you booked 2 connecting value rooms you would not even be be able to rent a microwave and coffeepot.
***They have 2 TV's (if you book POR or a Deluxe room which sleeps 5 you will have 1 TV)
***They have 2 bathrooms (if you book POR or a Deluxe room which sleeps 5 you will have 1 Bathroom.)
For more info and photos please see the FAQ thread and feel free to PM me with any questions.
Here is the FAQ thread:*Note you can also find it on the resort sticky
Here is some info about the Family Suites:
The Family Suites will be located in the Calypso and Jazz Inn Buildings. When complete:
Calypso Building 1 has 32 suites
Calypso Building 10 has 54 suites
Jazz Inn Building 2 has 52 suites
Jazz Inn Building 9 has 54 suites
The suites are located on all three floors, and are near each other, but none offer connecting suites. There is no price difference between the buildings.
Check here for the 2007 rates:
For comparison, the price of a Family Suite is $9-11 more then 2 Standard Rooms, or $13-15 less the 2 Preferred Rooms, depending on season.
The new family suites offer an affordable and convenient option for larger families with the amenities of a studio apartment.
Families can be together in the suite while enjoying separate sleeping areas with added privacy. Having two bathrooms will not only save time, but makes getting ready easier for the whole family. Plus, extra amenities like a microwave enable guests to prepare warm snacks and meals. With the extra room, guests can relax and recount the memories of the day before falling off to a goodnight’s sleep.
-Sleep up to 6 (plus one child under age 3 in a Pak-n-Play crib)
-Studio amenities and separate sleeping areas giving more privacy than a standard room.
-Queen bed, full-size pullout sofa, convertible ottoman & chair sleepers (4 separate sleepers)
-Private master bedroom and family room have 27” flat CRT TV and high speed internet access.
-Kitchenette with microwave, small refrigerator (4.3 cu. ft) and coffee pot
Here is the layout:
Here are some photos from the DIS resort website:
** NOTE there is a wall mounted hair dryer next to the bathroom sink.
Look at 8th and 10th phots down and you will see it.
For more info about the All Star Resorts Please visit the FAQ thread:
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