View Full Version : All Star & Pop Experience
04-28-2011, 08:06 AM
SO next year we are planning on an early November trip. We usually stay off property, but we've done WL & BWI. This time we are considering the All Stars or Pop. Can all you value veterans tell me the great stuff about the values, we may consider mods also, but I read alot of negative about the values, and I know there are some great positives too they just don't get much press here.
04-28-2011, 08:57 AM
We stay in All Star Movies - They are small, no frig in room unless you pay extra(or have a med. need)
We loved it - Great place for getting some neat pictures around the buildings (Woody, Buzz, Dogs, etc)
If you just want a place to sleep & shower then they are great if you plan to hang around then pass. How much time are you going to spend in the room?? for us as little as possible so it is perfect
04-28-2011, 09:25 AM
We really like the All Stars! Our rooms at Sports and Music have been spotless. The grounds at Music are a little more lush and they have lots of games by the pool and movies by the pool at night. The theme at Movies is great, but our room was in need of repair...However...the rooms at Movies are being refurbed right now. The buses have been fine. They do share between the three...but very often we would end up w/ our own bus. The order of the bus line is Sports, Music, Movies. Again, though, you may often get your own bus...just depends on the season and how full the resorts are.
We spend most of our time at the parks, but do enjoy taking a midday break at the resort. We've enjoyed our stays!
04-28-2011, 09:33 AM
POP veteran here....and we love it. :thumbsup2
There is so much to love about POP and what negatives I have read here on the boards, have not dealt with. The only exception may be the crowded food court during meal times. But I have only experienced the best times at POP.
It is a colorful resort. Full of nostalgia, you get lost in being a kid again. We love to stay in the 70's section (as we stay preferred) because that is the decade we grew up in (that and the 80's).
Each decade is decorated to suit the "pop culture" of that time period, so it really does take you back. The music is what gets me...anytime walking out of the room in the 70's I can hear some disco, or that mellow rock...awesome!
The food court is great, plenty of variety. Have heard it has the most variety of any resort. Don't know that as a fact though.
Some perks of the food court are: you can have the cashier stamp your receipt and return within 90mins of eating for a ice cream sundae from that station. They are huge and great!!
You can get chili cheese fries as a snack credit. They have tie dye cheesecake. I could go on and on.
I also love their gift shop. Now this in my opinion is best on property. I visit all shops and none have beaten POP yet. ;)
There are games like twister out in the courtyard, hulahoops in the front and the pools are great. 3 of them in all.
To me it is "disney". As I never got to go to WDW as a child, so when I stay at POP it takes me back to being a kid. Viola, I get to mix being a kid and being at disney. LOVE it!!
you have a great option. The new Art of Animation value resort is opening in May 2012. It will be near POP Century. How can you beat brand new? There will be family suites there, too. I think we are going to stay here next year.
The best thing I can say about the values is the price. If you get a deal like free dining then it can't be beat for value. You get the same perks like extra magic hours. You still get two beds or one king in a room. You still get a bathroom, too. If you get free dining QS then you can upgrade for $12/day for the regular basic dining which includes one table service meal. I like staying in the preferred section which is about $15/day. It's much closer to the food court, lobby and bus transportation. Refrigerators are $10/day extra; unless, you have a medical reason and then it's free.
My first tens years I went deluxe or moderate. For the last 15 years it's been value all the way. I've never looked back. For one, with the money saved we can stay longer, get to do another trip sooner, and dine better with the money saved. We don't use the hotel except to sleep and wash up.
You can always visit another resort. Often time we will dine at a deluxe resort and catch the ambiance that way.
If the values weren't liked that much Disney surely wouldn't be opening another one.
04-28-2011, 09:50 AM
Love, love, love the values. We'll be taking our 15th trip in 4 weeks:cool1: 12th time at Values, 11th time at All Stars. We stayed at POP December 2009. It's really nice but the parking lot was too far for schlepping stuff back and forth (though for a future trip I could request a different building. Other than that it was great.
We will be staying in All Star Movies this time. I'm sorry but sometimes I feel people paint the values as being these run down Motels where the dregs of civilization stay. It's Disney. They are very nice. We love them. Everyone talks about how noisy and crowded etc. We can always find the quiet places . We stayed at CBR once, too big for me and I didn't find the food court any less crowded at peak times (we usually avoid peak meal time).
Ooo and unlike the mods (unless it's changed) the Values have hand dipped ice cream at the food court. (I like a nice sundae at the end of busy park day):goodvibes
Yes, the rooms are small. I'm on vacation, it has air conditioning and TV. It's a small space to keep clean, love it.
So go for it, try them all!!!
04-28-2011, 10:07 AM
Through the years, we have stayed at All Star Sports('96), All Star Music('97), Port Orleans Riverside('02), Pop Century('08), and most recently All Star Sports('11) again.
The only items I will note are:
1. There are fewer food selection choices at the Value Resorts food courts when eating lunch or dinner there. Breakfast is relatively the same at any of the Value or Moderate resorts. Breakfast has been crowded at every resort between 7:30am and 8:30am. Timing is everything.
2. Bus lines for any of the parks are a roll of the dice. We have gone to the lines and a small number of people were in each. We have gone to the lines and they were 1 to 3 busloads deep. It depends on the season/day/time/park. This was at both the Value and Moderate resort category. Again timing is everything.
We have never had a bad experience at any Disney resort.
- Port Orleans Riverside is the only Moderate we have stayed at and we really enjoyed it. We will go back when pricing/trip timing make it within our budget. Because we are not in the room much we go for price and value.
Every experience is different and is what you make of it.
We love all the resorts because we get to park the car, use Disney transportation, and immerse ourselves in all the magic. For me, parking the car and letting someone else drive for a few days is magic.
Have fun and enjoy yourself!
04-28-2011, 10:08 AM
We have stayed at the ASMu and Pop in the value category. Liked both but found Pop to be a little better for the theming, food court and on the plus side, they have a pool bar (we're not big drinkers but we do like an occassional drink by the pool). It's been a while since we stayed at ASMu but at that time that resort shared buses with the All Star Movies and Sports - which we didn't like although not sure they still do that. Pop Century had their own buses last time we stayed there which was also some time ago (maybe 6 yrs ago). The rooms are smaller but we are a family of 4 and we found it to be just fine considering the amount of time we spent in the room (which wasn't much since we were always on the go). We stayed in a preferred location (which i highly recommend) and ended up in the 60's building right near the hippy dippy pool and very close walking distance to the main building. Food court at Pop had a great variety (I've also heard one of the best of all resorts - altough not sure if that's true). If you're not planning to spend much time in the room, save yourself some $$ and stay at a Value...if you want to spend more time at the resort, I would consider upgrading to a Moderate but honestly we didn't find the rooms at the Moderates to be much bigger and there is nothing wrong with the Value resorts!
04-28-2011, 10:44 AM
I loved my stay at Pop last September! Most of the extras that you get at moderates are not a big deal for me and I really liked the total immersion in Disney that you got at the value (larger than life icons and themeing). Some people may find it too in your face but I don't really go to Disney for subtle...lol! I thought the bus service at Pop was better than what I remember from POR and CSR and very efficient. The food court was great and it was never crowded when I went there. It was pleasant to walk around the lake at night. I think that if the theme appeals to you then you should go for it. We stayed at Pop so that we could spring for Deluxe Dining and it was a perfect vacation for us.
I prefer the bus stop situation at the Values. One central stop and lines formed with chains makes boarding stressfree.
Have a wonderful stay.
04-28-2011, 11:39 AM
We enjoyed our stay at POP a few years ago, and had a lot of fun in the pools, enjoyed the food court, and loved the store there.
This past trip I stayed at Sports and loved it. :goodvibes I like the pool there, and had some great food at their food court as well. I also liked how close Music and Movies were, I walked to Music one night through the parking lot. It took me all of 12 minutes to get to the main building at Music from the main building at Sports. :)
The mods are larger and have a pool slide and a hot tub. Personally, after this last trip, I wouldn't pay the price for a mod, and would stick with either the deluxe resorts or the values. ;)
04-28-2011, 12:53 PM
The Pop is my favorite for the price. My last on site stay was at the Wilderness Lodge. It was a special trip for DD graduation from College. It was nice being able to get back to the room with a minimum of travel time. And it was nice not to have to leave the building in the rain but---the POP works best for our winter trip because we never go back to the room to cool off ( it really is not that hot) and the storm season is over.
The POP is a great place for kids. The resort is fun. I have never stayed at a moderate. And I would have felt a little out of place with screaming running kids in the lobby of the Wilderness.
I am staying at the POP this October. I am a little worried about construction on the other side of hourglass lake, but that should be finished by time you go. Also when the resort was originally planned and the Art of Animation was to be an extension of the POP I think they were planning on shared buses. I can only hope they do not share buses with the new resort because one of the best reasons to stay at the POP is the bus service.
04-28-2011, 12:58 PM
I have to second what others have said about Pop. This will be our third stay there. Though my husband and I have a plan to try out as many resorts as we can, the children adore Pop and so we agreed to one last time. :lmao: It's a very easy atmosphere and we don't miss the luxury because we're never in our room! The money we save on the resort gets spent on other Diney experience and, at this point, I wouldn't have it any other way! :goodvibes
04-28-2011, 01:25 PM
Stayed in All Star twice. It is great if you have older children going with you. The atmosphere is super and the food court,pools and bus stops are convienently located. Great Value!
04-28-2011, 02:14 PM
I love the Pop, GREAT for kids, its got a great food court and I like that it has its own bus. This is sad but the only thing I remember about the All Star was that the bus makes so many stops! I don't remember anything else about that resort which leads me to believe it was just not memorable for anything specific.
04-28-2011, 02:16 PM
Have never stayed at any of the values. However, we have visited them, and I think the food court and gift shop at POP are great. We've gone a few times just to grab something to eat. I have friends who have stayed there multiple times and always have a great time.
04-28-2011, 02:32 PM
Another Value lover here. I've stayed at them all, and I prefer Pop, and ASMu.
Clean, friendly, lively, and fun is a great description. And they are aptly named, Value is what you get.
If you are looking for pros/cons on each Value resort, I have a few:
Transportation: Pop has a slight advantage getting to parks, because of no other pick-ups. ASMu has a big advantage getting back from parks, because you can easily take any of the All-Star buses and make the very short walk from ASMo or ASSp to ASMu.
Food: I think Pop has a little better selection, but I offer no proof.
Pools: ASMu always had night-time movies/games by the pool when we stayed, which made for a very fun "off" night for the kids. If the other resorts don't do this, well they should.
Resort Grounds: Pop has a very pretty walk along the water, and over the "bridge to nowhere". The All-Stars are equally beautiful, but feel closer together.
04-28-2011, 04:26 PM
I am no veteran, I've only been once. But we just fell in love with Pop. We stayed in the 70s, a standard room facing the lake, on the 3rd floor. It was quiet. The room was spotless and honestly our family of four never really felt crowded in it. Of course, we live in a dinky little house so we are used to being in close quarters I guess.
The resort was bright, clean, and so much fun. We liked the food court enough that we found ourselves leaving the parks to eat at Pop. Our last morning we walked all around the resort, taking pictures. We all decided that on our next trip, we would probably go ahead and stay at Pop again because it was just such a great place.
04-28-2011, 04:54 PM
I am staying at the POP this October. I am a little worried about construction on the other side of hourglass lake, but that should be finished by time you go.
I was just at Pop in early April, and I had a room that all but faced Art of Animation (Room 3336 in the Tramp building of 50s section). While I could see cranes and workers walking around with the big orange vests, I could not hear anything.
I'm another Pop-lover, and likely converted Mod-lover to Value-lover. I still want to try out some different resorts, but wouldn't hesitate to book Value at all! :thumbsup2
04-28-2011, 09:40 PM
I want to say that we were in Building 6, facing the lake and the new resort. We could hear them working if we were outside (walking to Classic Hall or the pool) but once inside our room we heard nothing.
04-28-2011, 10:12 PM
Pop rooms are all newly rennovated and really nice. The pools are great. The bus situation for Pop is the best IMO! have fun!
04-29-2011, 07:54 AM
Thanks everyone, It's nice to hear the good of things. I think sometimes people hold Disney to a standard that's much to high to attain, and they tend to be more vocal than people who liked it.
04-30-2011, 07:18 AM
Does anyone have bus stop pics from these resorts?
04-30-2011, 07:44 AM
Does anyone have bus stop pics from these resorts?
Go to waltdisneyworld.com and click on Places to Stay - Value Resort Hotels and look at the pics for Movies and Sports on that page...it's the front of the building/ bus stop. :thumbsup2
04-30-2011, 07:52 AM
I've stayed at both Sports and Music, and have enjoyed them both.:goodvibes
I like the fact that each All Star is smaller than the Pop, by quite a bit. That means fewer people in the food court, on the busses, and by the pool. The hot italian sandwich form the food court is a must for me during my stay. Yum!
I found too that we had our own bus way more often than we shared with the other All Stars. And even when we did share it wasn't a big deal. The resorts are right next door to each other, so stopping at the other resorts adds hardly any time at all to your ride. Plus at night if the line is long for one resort you can hop on any of the sister resort busses and just walk back to your room from that bus stop. My niece and her dad did that one night, and said it was a 5 minute walk from the Sports to the Music.
Another thing I really loved about the Music was the fact that they show movies at night by the pool. And they are the only Value resort to do that. It was a great way to end the day, swimming and watching a Disney movie.
04-30-2011, 10:03 AM
With 2,880 rooms, Pop was in the top 10 largest hotels in the US until they built another huge hotel in Vegas. However, we had no problem walking around it looking at the cool icons & soaking up the atmosphere. That said, I am glad we had a preferred room. We got off the bus, walked straight thru Classic Hall & out the back. Headed to the right for our stairs & went around the corner & to the end for our 2nd story room- a great location & never too far to go at the end of the night. As for construction noise, we heard a vehicle running & a truck backing up a couple of times at the pool and that was it. The lake & bridge were very romantic at night & we strolled around there a couple of nights. We stayed an extra night in the 90's section & it wasn't too far if you cut through the parking lot. We just "preferred" :) the other room location. I would pay for the preferred section again- we liked it that much. We heard only VERY minimal noise in both rooms & I know we had neighbors. At the Holiday Inn express on the way home, we heard lots more noise from the corridors & our neighbors than we did at Pop.
Before our trip, I read posts where people said if you just need a place to sleep & shower, the values are okay. I tried to not expect too much so I wouldn't be disappinted but I can't stand staying somewhere that I'm not comfortable with cleanliness, etc & I worried (I always worry). Everything was absolutely fine. The only difference between this & other hotels like Holiday Inn where we've stayed are the towels are thinner and the room is a tad smaller. It was a nice standard, comfortable, & clean hotel room & all 4 of us, DH, me, DD10, & DS9, spent time resting & relaxing while watching Stacy in our room.
I just saw another thread where someone said you should take an afternoon break-- if you're staying at a Moderate or Deluxe. Well, we walked through the Grand Floridian and it was dead silent except for the kids' activities director talking non-stop on a loud speaker at the pool. We could hear her from far away & that was pretty loud & annoying. Other than that, it just seemed desolate albeit peaceful. It would probably be pretty relaxing but I wouldn't classify it as fun. The QS food place was tiny & packed when we popped in to use the restroom. I know part of the price there is the proximity to MK, but we caught a bus from there to DTD and had to wait 40 minutes. The only other bus that came through was one to Hollywood Studios after 20 minutes of waiting. At Pop during our visit, these would have been ridiculous & unusual waits! Maybe not many people there take buses? Limos & town cars were everywhere & there weren't very many people waiting for the buses.
To sum all this up, I wouldn't pay $400 more (which is the price difference when I was pricing my vacation for 7 nights) for any Disney hotel over Pop. Even if I wanted to stay somewhere with a different theme, the money would not be worth it in my opinion.
04-30-2011, 10:13 AM
I've stayed at Pop and ASMu. Between the two, I would choose Pop. I like the theme at Pop better, and I think the food court is the best of the values (we've eaten at all of them because my kids love to go to food courts). We always rent a car so I can't comment on buses, except to say that the resort bus stops that I saw are not shaded in any way.
My favorite WDW resort so far is YC, but a couple of years ago when I talked DH into letting the kids and me go without him, I booked Pop to keep the cost down. We had spent one night there a couple of years before, but the 2009 trip was the first time we stayed there for a whole week. I really liked it and would stay there again (if it was just the kids and me). We were in the 50's section toward the back. It was a great, quiet location, close to the bowling pin pool but not facing it. It was a hike from the parking lot with our luggage, but that's not a big deal to me.
04-30-2011, 10:18 AM
Another fan of the value resorts. No complaints here. Our last stay was at POP Nov. 2010. Extremely nice & we were in one of the farthest buildings/rooms in the 90's. Our room was on a corner in the back facing landscape/trees. No issues for us. We walked across the parking lot to the bus stop. Very Pleasant experience with resort & all the CMs at POP:woohoo::lovestruc
04-30-2011, 10:52 PM
We stayed at ASMu last October and had a wonderful experience. Very clean, great staff and we LOVED the poolside games and movies.
We are staying at Sports in June.... part of me is wondering if I should switch back to Music....
Had no problems with Value resorts as we mainly shower and sleep in our rooms and that is it.
05-01-2011, 08:48 AM
My kids and I stayed at POP in '09 and had a wonderful time there. We were there in September and had no problems with the bus service, the crowds at the food court (just avoid the peak times), mousekeeping or anything.
One of the days that we were there, in fact, my youngest son became ill. We ended up coming back from the parks early and after putting him to bed, (he was almost 14 at the time) I trotted down to the gift shop to find some pretzels or crackers or something that I thought he could keep down- I was talking to one of the girls behind the counter about it and she made a few suggestions and I went back to the room. A few minutes later, there was a knock on our door and the same girl was standing there with a Halloween Mickey mug in her hand, filled with pretzels and a note saying how sorry they all were that he was sick and wishing him a speedy recovery! I was so touched at her thoughtfulness!
Anyway- that's my added magical moment from POP.
We're trying a moderate for the first time when we go back this September. Truthfully? I'm kind of wishing we were going back to POP...
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