View Full Version : How busy was POP during Free Dining Last Year???
06-09-2008, 07:03 PM
So I'm waffling (see post below)......
Give it to me straight. How crazy was POP last year during free dining? Are we going to have problems with the buses?
I'm thinking about moving up to CSR, but if things were pretty smooth last year, we'll stick it out.
06-09-2008, 07:14 PM
I can probably help. We spent 1 night at CSR during free dining (we weren't on the plan for the 1 night though) and then 5 days at POP. I think we arrived on 9/12 and came home on 9/17. When we switched over to POP at about 9:00 a.m. I requested a room in the 70's section. They already had a room available, but since it was on the top floor I opted to wait for a 1st floor room. It wasn't any busier than normal (I've been 1 time to POP in January) and wasn't bothered at all by the crowds (Really didn't see any).
Of course busses can be hit or miss. ONe day we needed the MK bus and sure enough the line was huge, but the other bus lines were very short.
I wouldn't hestiate to stay there if it's available. Disney only allots so many rooms as "free dining" at each resort so if there's availability I'm almost postive you won't encounter huge crowds
Eeyore's My Favorite
06-09-2008, 08:11 PM
We were at POP last September at the end of free dining & it was horrible. POP was packed to the rafters & as you know it's a huge resort. You had to be a table vulture to find a table to eat at (no matter when we went) and pray that if your food was hot when you got it, that it was still hot when you found a table to sit at to eat. Because of the amount of people that POP holds you might wait 2 or 3 busses in the morning to go to any of the parks - that was not fun in the heat either. The amount of unsupervised kids running all over the resort at all hours of the night was unbelievable - I just couldn't believe that their parents would let them run all over the halls hollering, etc after 10pm at night. We had rude neighbors too lazy to use their key cards so they flipped their lock out & proceeded to slam their door on it for over an hour after 11pm. I could go on & on but needless to say we're not staying at POP ever again. The trip was just way too unmagical. The resort is too huge for us, so we've switched to ASMu which turned out to be perfect for us. :duck:
06-09-2008, 08:44 PM
We went for 10 days around Labor Day. To be honest we were up for EMH and came back after fireworks so I can't say much about the pool or the resort but the few times we ate there it was busy. The buses in the mornings weren't too bad but at night after fireworks....:scared1: It must have been packed, we were in the furthest 50s building on the backside and 3rd floor, it was quite a hike to the buses. This year we're springing for POFQ, we do enough walking at the parks. We really like POP but only if it wasn't so busy.
06-09-2008, 08:54 PM
We stayed at Pop last year and left the day that free dining started. We hadn't had any major problems with crowds or tons of people in the food court the entire length of our stay. After we loaded up to head home that morning we went to the food court for breakfast, same time we'd been going all week--HUGE mistake! :worried: It was a MADHOUSE. We'd never contemplated going to Disney during the free dining promotion but just the 20 minutes that we were in the food court that AM let us know reeeeeaaalllll quick we never wanted to. Some people love it, but the madness of all the people who appeared overnight would in no way be worth it to me.
06-09-2008, 10:04 PM
thanks for all the info. i was curious about this too.
06-09-2008, 10:40 PM
We were at POP for Free DDP 2 years ago. We arrived 8/11...2 days before free dining started.
We had a rough start but that was due to the "shoe bomber guy" who had gotten on a flight and was discovered in flight trying to detonate his shoe bomb...remember that? We were not sure if we were gong to go becasue all of the last minute changes of liquids etc, but all was fine, actually the BEST and smoothest airport security experience ever.
OK Back to the topic...so we arrive at POP, maybe 8 people ahead of us...went quickly, off to a great start of a split stay 3 nights Pop, 7 Poly.
Park crowd levels were great, dining was great, busses were great, pool was great....then on 8/13...the first day of free dining package...OMG!:scared1:
The flood gates opened! We came back from MGM which we had noticed was FAR more crowded than usual...and the line for check in at POP was huge! I had never seen that many people in line for a resort ever. It looked like the line for Peter Pan. CM's were working theimselves like crazy, but it was more than they should have ever had to deal with.( I think a lot of folks were tired and cranky due to the sudden luggage restictions, remember, we flew out the very next day when a lot of folks cancelled, but by this time people knew how to pack and were going ahead with plans, but securuty was a delay for many.) We pretty much knew we were doomed from then on. Pop was jammed everywhere, since the values are the best bang for the buck during free dining, they of course were jammed. I knew people who had booked rooms to get the didning and never actually stayed in the rooms...seriously...anyway, we checked out on the 14th and checked into the Poly ( we were celebrating our 20th Anniversary and decided free dining was the ONLY way we'd get a deluxe accomdations/deluxe eating trip, something we had never had the budget for)
The Ploy was crowded, but not as much as Pop, Captain Cooks was being refurbished but other than that, no real difference felt by us in crowds...until theparks! Yowza...they were crowded...the monoral was jammed...getting from point A to a ADR was not an easy task, and then, the worst was while waiting for our ADR's ( yes, we had to wait longer than usual) the amount of peolple who would walk up to try and make a ressie, hot , tored, hungry, w/kids...to be turned way becasue the TS places were booked solid. That in turn caused the CS places to be jammed. We found working our schedule around where we were to eat was not our style, but we knew we HAD to because if we cancelled our ADR's we would be like the folks being turned away! Not to be doom and gloom, and we were there in mid August when many families could still go and not worry about school, so I am SURE that was a big part of it, but I don't think we will take part in free DDP again for a while. We had 10 glorious nights and we did 1/2 of what we usually do. We still had an awesome time, got to try amazing TS places we would NEVER have been going to if not for free DDP....(we tend to cut the food budget more than the resort budget)kids thought the snack credits were the best, as we had a ton left over and we let them go nuts at Main Street Candy store the day we left..got to bring home some great stuff! It was more food than we'd normally eat, we gave away quite a few appetizer and desserts to tables around us. We felt so bad for the servers as they were really hoofing it.
So, my story is not what you wanted to hear, but since you asked...however, if faced with free DDP or no trip at all...I would do it again, just be prepared that you may possibly use more time for eating than you thought, but I think September/October woudl no way be as bad as August was. We even asked a CM on the monorail one day, was this out of the ordinary, and she said, yes, that normally the week we were there was "dead" and that the dining was really filing the place up which was good for business, but bad for the CM's. We had the chance to talk with her since the monorail was backked up and stuck on the track. We luckily had our ADR info with us and called Chef's D' France to tell them we were stuck...they said no problem, that we would not lose our ressie. That was nice and and that was our BEST meal of the trip, they were so overworked, but truly made the dining great!
Enjoy your trip, and enjoy the food,it is delicous!
06-09-2008, 10:49 PM
We were at Pop for 11 nights last Sept. for free dining and we didn't think it was too crowded.
06-10-2008, 12:25 AM
I was at pop last year during our first free dining, and I thought it was very crowded. I really do like the theme but it was so noisy and it took a long time to get food and the lines were long for buses half the time. My family liked pop but I wanted to upgrade and so we are going to POFQ for the first time. I hope the upgrade will be worth it. I have read that the values are more crowded and with the moderates it could be full but it doesn't seem crowded. I will find out this sept.
06-10-2008, 05:57 AM
I think it may depend on when during free dining you go. If you go in Aug, you may find it to be more crowded....simply because the kids haven't all gone back to school yet. Then, late in the free dining period you may find larger crowds because it's been awhile since school started and parents feel it's okay for the kids to miss a day or two at this point.
At least that's my logic. Here's hoping it's true. I head down on Sept 4 and home on Sept 7...the weekend after Labor Day. But, I love POP and I know there will be more people there than usual, so I will plan accordingly.
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