View Full Version : pop century night before cruise?

10-19-2007, 05:24 PM
I am a total Disney World novice and so I know absolutely nothing about Disney resorts or downtown Disney or really anything that's in Kissimmee.

We're flying down the day before our cruise in January and we'll be landing at about 1 pm. THat leaves us all day to be in orlando. I had made reservations at a hotel close to the airport that offers a free shuttle. And we're getting a van service to take us to the port the next day.

I somehow found out that the Magical express is free and then my wheels started spinning and I thought it would be good to stay at one of the cheaper Disney resorts. My issue is that my curmudgeonly anti-Disney spouse (no flames please!!!;) ) thinks we'll spend a ton of money and there will be no place good to eat (what?!?!?!) How can I convince him? Will we be tempted to spend an arm and a leg? I really really really want to go to the scrapbook store at Downtown Disney -- that's my main motivation (plus friends of the kids will be there that night on the eve or our cruise.)

So that's my question: why should we stay at Pop Century instead of a hotel near the airport?? The hotel costs seem to be about equivalent, but we'd be spending a little more for the limo/van (which is considerably less with our group of 8 than the Disney bus to the port is.) Thanks for helping me convince my curmudgeon spouse (he is aware that a Disney cruise will have disney characters and will be totally Disney, so he's ready for that and has promised not to be a pain in the butt -- thank goodness he's otherwise quite lovable:) . Thanks!!!!

10-19-2007, 06:16 PM
I have stayed at the POP Century on one of my Disney World trips..and then again last year for one night before our "Wonder"Ful cruise...and I am booked there again for this Nov...again the night before our cruise. I would say my main motivation for the precruise stay was the fact I was meeting a friend who was flying in for the cruise...and we learned of the magical express to the resort. I was driving down from SC..and could get to the POP in the early evening...and being a Disney Fan .....I thought it would be great to stay on the Disney property...get in the mood...let my kids and the other kids going with us get to know each other...swim...get pizza by the pool...It worked out great for us!! And we're about an hour from port. It was so great...I decided to do it again this year! :banana: The hotel is nice...great theme...good price...I say do it!

mom x4,grandma x4
10-19-2007, 06:36 PM
well tell your hubby that the food court at Pop century has great food at reasonable prices and there is plenty to choose from. The pool is great for relaxing.
There is a bus to take you from the hotel to downtown disney and of course it is free. At downtown Disney there are many places to eat, but the main restaurants there are spendy.
There is a Earl of Sandwich there that is reasonble for what you get.
There is also a McDonalds there too but it is slightly higher priced than a McDonlads off property.
All the expensive restaurants have menus with prices outside for you to see but may of them you need a reservation.

While your shopping at the AWESOME scrapbooking store where I have spent my lifes savings:rolleyes1 there is a 24 plex theater there with 24 movies playing pretty reasonable too. Lots of gift shops too. Very close to the theater is a shop filled with music and movie memorabilla. it has a lot of hand signed items and photos. It is a fascinating place to browse, of course we are not talking to buy , just look. he may like that.
If he likes video games and stuff like that and doesnt mind spending $30 he can spend hours and hours in a 5 story disney quest building. all kinds of video games to play.

If you have a sweet tooth there is Gheradeli (SP) ice cream place there and candy shop. they often hand out free samples of the candy!!!

Or he can stay in the room and watch TV and relax you will be safe going on the bus to the shopping area.

I say leave him at the movies so you can shop!! He will have a good time and so will you!! Now I want to go over there and get more scrapbooking stuff, maybe next weekend, I am only an hour away:goodvibes

Good luck,

mom x4,grandma x4
You will love the scrapbooking stuff. I love it all, dont miss it!!
The ship will have some that is cruise related too so save some money for it too.

10-19-2007, 06:42 PM
While Pop Century only offers a food court there are plenty of great restaurants at other WDW hotels and at Downtown Disney. I'm not sure what your tastes are but you'll have the option of eating anywhere from the Rainforest Cafe (at Downtown Disney and outside Animal Kingdom) to a New England-style clambake (Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club Resort) to Wolfgang Puck's (Downtown Disney Westside) or an African-themed buffet (Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge) and LOTS more.

Personally, with a one night stay I would get to the hotel via Magical Express, take a dip in the pool (the pools at Pop are great and themed to the decades of the buildings they are near) and then have dinner and spend the evening at Downtown Disney. The kids will love Once Upon a Toy and the World of Disney. You can visit the scrapbook store. Meal options include House of Blues, Bongos (Cuban, partially owned by Gloria Estefan), Wolfgang Puck, Raglan Road (Irish pub), Rainforest Cafe, and Earl of Sandwich (great sandwiches!). The next morning you can have breakfast at Pop and take a swim if you have time before your van picks you up.

Have a great time...whatever you decide to do!

Pixie Dust for Me!
10-20-2007, 01:01 AM
We're doing this prior to our Thanksgiving cruise...and I found the room for $52 (plus tax) per night on either expedia or travelocity...which was far cheaper than anything by the Port...and it's DISNEY!

So, I say go for it! Have fun!

10-20-2007, 08:23 AM
I originally made a reservation for a hotel near the port, but have been considering changing over to a WDW property. Y'all have helped me make my decision - I'm going to try to book POP instead!:goodvibes

10-20-2007, 09:47 AM
If you have any concerns that DH may not like POP due to the theme or size of the resort, check out rates at Port Orleans French Quarter (a Disney moderate resort). The resort is small and more relaxing and just a boat ride to Downtown Disney. I really enjoyed my one night, pre-cruise stay there! :thumbsup2

3for Me
10-20-2007, 01:10 PM
Not quite the same situation as you, but we were going to stay near the port the night before as well. There is even a Hilton in Cocoa Beach that we could have gotten for free!

We have been longing to stay at the Poly for years, but were too afraid to try it for a whole week. We (well, I ;) ) thought this would be a great opportunity to try it for just one night. I just thought that by doing this, it would get us all in the right frame of mind for the cruise. IMO it just adds to the excitement and enjoyment of the vacation, and for me, makes it seem like it starts a little earlier. Staying at the port was just biding time until the cruise started, whereas staying at a WDW resort means the fun has begun!

I think it will get all of you in the Disney mood, it will be great for the kids, especially if they have friends staying there, and hubby will be able to do his own thing.

I think he will enjoy DTD as there are lots of restaurant choices, from inexpensive to pricier. It is lovely just to walk around and window shop, let the kids run around, etc...

You can certainly stay at POP and "do your thing" without spending a ton of money.

10-20-2007, 01:35 PM
I did Pop last year the night before my cruise. It was a great decision. I didn't have the anxiety of not making it to FL in time for the cruise and I actually felt like my vacation had begun (as opposed to waiting in a hotel for the next day so the fun could begin). I ate a late lunch at the food court, walked around taking pictures at Pop and then took a bus over to Downtown Disney to soak in more Disney atmosphere. After that I met family (they'd been down for a few days) for dinner at O'Hana's then back to Pop for some sleep. It was a great beginning to my cruise vacation!

10-20-2007, 06:22 PM
We decided to stay at the Port (radisson) and visit cocoa beach and kennedy space center before the cruise.

10-20-2007, 09:50 PM
:thumbsup2 OK, you guys convinced me to stay there and I've provided DH with great reasons. He goes along with what I want, but I do need to provide rationale for my vacation decisions. We've never had a bad vacation, or even a bad day on vacation, so I think he pretty much trusts all the plans I make. I'm really really excited about staying there!! In talking to my DH tonight about our night at a Disney resort, he did say, "One day I can see us taking the kids to Disney World." I almost fell off my chair -- this from my anti-Mickey curmudgeon spouse??? I guess there is hope after all :cool1:

So here's my question: we're taking a limo/van service to Port Canaveral from Pop Century. I see from a map of the resort that it looks like there are two main offices (one by the buildings of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and one by the 00s - 40s.) Is there one central place where our limo could pick us up?

Thanks so much for all the encouragement and ideas! Now I better save up my money for that scrapbook store!!:banana:

10-20-2007, 10:57 PM
So here's my question: we're taking a limo/van service to Port Canaveral from Pop Century. I see from a map of the resort that it looks like there are two main offices (one by the buildings of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and one by the 00s - 40s.) Is there one central place where our limo could pick us up?

The 00s-40s section is not completed yet. They will pick you up just outside of the main building of the 50s-90s. We have stayed at this resort twice and loved it both times. Have a great time.

10-21-2007, 06:44 AM
I'm done with POP. (NO Flames Please). I vowed to my husband never again.

We've stayed at POP the past four years before our Sept. cruises. Yes, the price is good and basically you're only sleeping there, we spend all of our time in the parks. BUT....

The lines at the food court in the morning and the hunt for a table is crazy. The lines at the buses are awful. Usually it's a two bus wait to the MK. On the way home one night from MK we waited nearly 2 hours. My biggest complaint is the crowds.

Every year, we get up, check out and grab a taxi to the Dolphin for our DCL shuttle. This year when we walked out front of POP there were hundreds of familys sweating it out waiting for the ME. We couldn't even get a cab to the Dolphin. Some families were so angry and tired of waiting over an hour in the heat, they hired a cab to drive them back to MCO amd skipped ME.

Lucikly I found a nice CM who took us by van to the Dolphin for a sizeable tip.

We're moving to CBR this year. I know it's WDW's largest resort, but I hope they will hand the crowds better. When we were waiting in park bus lines we started watching other resort buses. CBR seems to send plenty, especially when it's closing time.

mom x4,grandma x4
10-21-2007, 07:05 AM
all of the hotels have their own bus zones, parking for guests and visitors and a taxi zone which is close to the main entrance to the check in area.
I'm sure your limo will pull up to the taxi zone or pull up to the drop off area where you pull up to the front door to drop off luggage for porters to help you with. It wont be aproblem.

mom x4,grandma x4

American Scrapper
10-21-2007, 08:18 AM
We stayed at Pop Century prior to two of our cruises and loved it. The rooms are small though. Make sure you pack a bag with your items for the next morning, toiletries and your swimsuits for the cruise. It will make it much easier if you don't have to unpack many bags. Request a preferred room and you will be closer to the entrance, plus make sure you call for a baggage pick up early enough (at least an hour before) - we called the night before as we were leaving pretty early. We like to get to the port early so we have time to walk around the terminal and enjoy before the crowds, so we have never experienced long lines of people out front. I also recommend heading to DTD for dinner. They are a little bit pricy, but you will eat for free the rest of the week and you will be saving $$ by taking the ME to Disney vs. a limo/shuttle.

Enjoy, and have fun!!

10-21-2007, 09:45 AM
Oh, and remember it will take a few hours for you luggage to show up at POP via ME, so pack your carry-on accordingly. Of course, you can always collect your own luggage at MCO and bring it to the ME bus with you, if this is an issue. The driver will load you luggage under the bus and in this case a tip would be appropriate when he drops you off.

10-22-2007, 01:32 AM
We are staying at POP for two nights before our first Disney Cruise. We also wanted to start our Disney experience before we got on the ship and I can't WAIT to go to the huge Disney Store in DTD!!

Quick question for the experienced travelers, we are arranging private transportation (van for the 7 of us) to the port. I was thinking a 10 am pick-up would get us to the port early enough-does that sound reasonable??


10-22-2007, 12:02 PM
Just back from staying at ASmo before our cruise and I loved it. The best part was Magical Express. I have used ME on the return trip to MCO before but not on the way down. We have allot of luggage and it just showed up in our room, instead of lugging it around the airport etc.

Then I rented a car from Budget, they picked me up and I drove to the port.

Make Hubby carry all your luggage and he might change his mind.