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Old 03-04-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
Blessedwithboys
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I love AOA- but my budget screams try pop! Opinions?

Hi all!
Last September my husband, 2 Ds's (5 &2) and my mother and father stayed at AOA in a cars suite. It was our first Disney vacation and we fell madly in love with Disney and AOA! Everything was just easy, no long walks or waits, easy access to the pool it was a breeze and we can't stay away. Dh and I have decided to take our boys again this September. My parents will not be going with us this time so justifying the cost of a suite is silly even though I am honestly considering it because I love AOA so much. The only other value we were considering was Pop. It will save about 800.00 over our 5 nights. But I am so unsure about Pop, does it have splash pad/ toddler water play areas? How run down in appearance? My other thought was to try the LM rooms at AOA but they are normally never included in discounts an I imagine we will probably see some type of Fall discount whether it be free dining or stay and play? So what are your opinions should I save my 800.00 and try Pop or go with what I know and love!
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
disneynut11
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We love POP!
This summer we are swapping Pop to stay at AOA in the Little Mermaid section.
Pop does have a splash area.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessedwithboys View Post
Hi all!
Last September my husband, 2 Ds's (5 &2) and my mother and father stayed at AOA in a cars suite. It was our first Disney vacation and we fell madly in love with Disney and AOA! Everything was just easy, no long walks or waits, easy access to the pool it was a breeze and we can't stay away. Dh and I have decided to take our boys again this September. My parents will not be going with us this time so justifying the cost of a suite is silly even though I am honestly considering it because I love AOA so much. The only other value we were considering was Pop. It will save about 800.00 over our 5 nights. But I am so unsure about Pop, does it have splash pad/ toddler water play areas? How run down in appearance? My other thought was to try the LM rooms at AOA but they are normally never included in discounts an I imagine we will probably see some type of Fall discount whether it be free dining or stay and play? So what are your opinions should I save my 800.00 and try Pop or go with what I know and love!
I think, especially after coming from the suite as your first experience, I would stick with AoA if possible. I have 3 kids (two of them boys) and it is going to feel so small and cramped in that room with two kids that age.

I don't think Pop has a run down appearance, and I prefer their food court, but they don't have a splash pad.

I also stayed at an AoA cars suite last September and loved it. I don't think it will be quite as nice as far as transportation, etc, now that the Little Mermaid section is open...because that makes it busier but I would still pick AoA over Pop if budget allowed.

ETA: they do have a toddler pool with a soft surface near the main pool, but as far as the water coming up from the ground, I don't believe they have that anymore. That used to be the Goofy Pop Jets.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:30 AM   #4
coruth4
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I am in a similar situation - we are booked at the Cars suite for January - but don't really need a suite. We can easily fit into s standard room at Pop. I am struggling to justify the cost of Art of Animation. We have never stayed there and my son is looking forward to staying in the Cars building.
I am playing a wait & see game - wait to see how expenses are & if there are any discounts released to help absorb the added expense!
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
Megsie1000
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POP is really nice and since you are going from a value to a value the amenities will be very similar. If you all squeezed into a suite together last time, you know one room will be tight quarters. Still - $800 is a LOT to save. And you won't know unless you try it.

The other option you could consider is upgrading to somewhere like the Beach Club and trying that.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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I would stick to AOA...personally...I think if you got to POP and could see your beloved AOA across the water you would want to shoot yourself in the foot...lol
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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Having stayed at Pop and AoA LM I can say that we preferred AoA. The price difference between the two is minimal, about $5/day and the room is slightly larger. The walk from the LM rooms to the food court isn't bad and there is a pool right by the room that is great for little ones. It's not deep and has life jackets for the not so strong swimmers. The themeing of AoA is what really sets it apart though. Each area makes you really feel like you are in the movie. Even the LM section has plants that look like they are from the movie. The attention to detail on it is wonderful.

We've booked a return trip for this fall and if the discounts come out and a big discount like dining is available for Pop and not AoA LM then we would be seriously tempted to switch.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
disnut8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessedwithboys View Post
Hi all!
Last September my husband, 2 Ds's (5 &2) and my mother and father stayed at AOA in a cars suite. It was our first Disney vacation and we fell madly in love with Disney and AOA! Everything was just easy, no long walks or waits, easy access to the pool it was a breeze and we can't stay away. Dh and I have decided to take our boys again this September. My parents will not be going with us this time so justifying the cost of a suite is silly even though I am honestly considering it because I love AOA so much. The only other value we were considering was Pop. It will save about 800.00 over our 5 nights. But I am so unsure about Pop, does it have splash pad/ toddler water play areas? How run down in appearance? My other thought was to try the LM rooms at AOA but they are normally never included in discounts an I imagine we will probably see some type of Fall discount whether it be free dining or stay and play? So what are your opinions should I save my 800.00 and try Pop or go with what I know and love!
You've only been to Disney World once and while you love Art of Animation, you really have no idea what else is out there. I had a similar situation way back in 1996 when the only experience I had was then Dixie Landings. I went back and forth and back and forth until a friend said "why not try something new because that's the only way you can make a comparison?" I did and went to Caribbean Beach. Next time was Coronado Springs. Since then, I've done deluxes and values and while I have favorites, I know why I have favorites. I'm not sitting there thinking "hum, is this the best option for me?" Because I know and I'm not guessing.

You have two sons - would you tell them to try something new or just go with what they know?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:01 AM   #9
cruisingkat
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I have stayed in LM at AoA and POP. Of the two, I prefer POP. The LM rooms appeared to be cramped and crowded compared to POP (and there were only the two of us).- several reasons: At AoA LM, the table in the room was much smaller than the one at POP, the Drawers/TV stand had much less surface space to store your gear (munchies, camera, etc), and there wasn't a ledge above the sink so all toiletries had to be stored on the sink counter making it quite cluttered. Plus the distance from the food court/buses was quite a distance away especially if you end up in the Ariel building. Granted the themeing was cute at LM, but if we were staying any longer than 3 nights, I would have asked to switch to POP as I didn't feel that the value was there for the greater price.
POP underwent a refurbishment a few years ago (new rugs, bedspreads, etc).

Last edited by cruisingkat; 03-06-2013 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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I've been to neither so can't tell you anything there. But if your budget is screaming POP it might be better to listen.

800 is quite a bit of money and having to say no to any other extra's like ice-creams, souvenirs, other little extra's......

Do take a close look at pictures and other info you can find here on POP. I do believe I've seen a special thread on that resort here.

Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:00 AM   #11
bennifer
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I think it all really depends on what you think is important. Would you rather have that money for souvenirs, or anything else, or would you rather have the memories of the boys at the AoA? They won't remember it, so this is actually going to be for you and DH to decide, not the boys. They will be happy anywhere, and if you stay at the POP, you can easily walk over to AoA and check things out again. I have been torn, too, for this years trip, and finally decided that the AoA was going to be worth it for me. My ODS isn't coming, so it will be all about the 4 yr old, who happens to be a Cars fanatic. I'm choosing memories, but that may be because I'm feeling nostalgic remembering ODS at ASMo when he was 5 (huge Toy Story fan), and the fact that he'll be off at college when we go. Good luck deciding!!!
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:27 AM   #12
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Don't know if anyone mentioned this, but if you stay at Pop (which we LOVE, by the way) you can walk over to AOA any time your heart desires.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:34 AM   #13
penjen
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I would do LM as a first choice since you say you love AOA. But If you did stay at pop we had a preferred room at the very end of the 60' section of pop last year and we would walk over to AOA all the time. You can't use the pool at AOA but we ate there often too. I do admit I really liked AOA. But like POP equally as well with the right placed room.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:40 AM   #14
MyTwoPrincesses
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I totally understand! I had a budget battle myself between booking 2 rooms at Pop or the ASMU family suite v. AOA. The difference is several hundred dollars between the two options - I think it's about $450 between 2 rooms at Pop and AoA and maybe $350 between ASMU family sweets and AoA. Anyway, I did end up going with AoA because the family suites are newer, I like the layout better, and for my first value experience, I decided to go with AoA. The pool looks a lot nicer too. If you want AoA and it will just be the 4 of you, you could get the LM rooms, though I don't know if that will suit you because you have boys. Or, you could go for another resort altogether - e.g., a single room at a moderate (maybe the Pirate Rooms at CBR) which would be priced in between Pop and the family suites at AoA.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #15
rosiebean
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Have you thought about a moderate? A standard room would cost less than the cost of a suite at AoA, and even the pirate rooms at CBR would cost a few hundred less than a cars suite. With a mod, you could get a larger room, queen beds, upgraded amenities...and at CBR a beach to play on...pricer than Pop, but not as much as the cars suite.
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