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Old 09-03-2013, 01:43 PM   #1
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SOG or Pop with 8year old?

It would just be mom, dad and 8year old boy. We've stayed WL and POR but need a more budget friendly option this time around. We loved the grounds at POR and WL and having the food court. Transportation was fine for us at both and we enjoy using the pools too. Pros and Cons of SOG and/or Pop for those who have experience with both?
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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We have stayed at both over the past few years and they both have their pros and cons. Theme wise--Pop is much better for the 8 yo. Pops food court is very good and bus transportation isn't too bad. SOG's rooms are much larger and you have the convenience of walking to the Poly to hop on the monorail for MK and Epcot. You can also purchase your park tickets right at SOG. However, if you use your military room discount, Pop actually costs less than SOG--so I would probably choose Pop--unless the extra space is very important. Enjoy.

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Old 09-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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I can't speak to POP, but I have been to SOG three times.

One of the big pros of SOG is location, location, location! You can easily walk to the Poly and hop on the monorail to MK, or take the few extra steps to TTC and hop onto EPCOT - we did both with 4 yo DD, so it really is a quick stroll. Also, the grounds are pretty and if you have a room overlooking the golf courses, it's just so serene and really feels like an escape. Also, the mini exchange in SOG offers some great prices on sodas and the like.

SOG has their own busses to the parks and the rooms are HUGE with their own balcony. The BIGGEST complaint I have about SOG is the food. All three times we've stayed there (and this spans over 8 years) I was 'eh' about the food. That said, if you plan on eating in the park or at other resorts, it's super easy. Also, there is a $5 fee/day to park your vehicle at SOG, and if you want to drive to the theme parks, that's another $15 a day. Since we drive down to WDW, we make sure to factor that extra $20 a day into our budget to see how it works out financially. Twice, the discounted rooms at SOG more than made up for it, but this last trip we were able to get into POR for only $8 more a night!

One thing we liked to do on our last SOG trip was hop the monorail out of MK and get off at Poly and watch Wishes from the beach there. It's a great view, our DD loved being able to wander around the beach, and we avoided the exodus from MK.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by firstwdw View Post
It would just be mom, dad and 8year old boy. We've stayed WL and POR but need a more budget friendly option this time around. We loved the grounds at POR and WL and having the food court. Transportation was fine for us at both and we enjoy using the pools too. Pros and Cons of SOG and/or Pop for those who have experience with both?
If my only two choices were POP and SOG, I'd take SOG in a heartbeat. But, it's a bit hard to compare because you're really talking about two different categories of rooms, with SOG offering a lot of amenities that POP doesn't offer (like fridges, irons, pull out couches, completely separate bath and changing areas - with a door) and offering a completely different experience.

But, here's my go at a pro and con list of SOG vs POP. (note, I have never stayed at pop, just visited, investigated, walked around.) I have stayed at CBR, CSR, CR and SOG on many occasions.

Pros of SOG:
It's a very large room. Larger than any other the others you've mentioned. You might not need that with only one child, though. SOG rooms are about 480sq ft. The biggest of any on property single room. POP, 260 sq feet.

Rack rate, depending on rank and season SOG will probably be cheaper. SOG rates never change based on season, Disney's do. SOG rooms often have discounts each month. Last year I got 30% off my room rate, in prime summer season bringing it way below what I would have spent for a room at POP.

Much quieter, much more relaxing atmosphere at SOG. It's a plus for me when I need to decompress from the chaos that is Disney.

SOG is going to be less crowded than POR or WL so you might enjoy that, POP is most certain to me way more crowded.

Pool is almost never crowded.

Buses are rarely crowded. No long lines of queued up guests to get on the bus. Buses also run precisely on time.

Location is great. With a younger child it's nice to be so close to MK.

AAFES on site and pretty well supplied, so everything is cheap, including beer/wine.

It's extremely clean. Far cleaner than I've ever seen a disney hotel.

If you're visiting off season, you may pay less at POP with a mil rate.

The food situation at SOG is not ideal. It's getting better but there is no quick access food court.

No dining plan, if that's your thing.

No transportation.

No free parking in the parks.

Not as 'themed' as regular disney properties (that's both a pro and con for me).

For me it usually comes down to room size and price. My kids don't care really about theme as they're older, and as long as the water is wet, they're happy with any pool.

I generally need a larger room that can sleep 5. So usually most resort rooms are just priced way above what we'd spend at SOG. Last year, my room at SOG was around $84 a night, tax free. I couldn't touch that at a Deluxe or a mod that slept 5. On my next trip I won't need that space, so I've been pricing them out. The moderates off season, with the mil rate, are coming in at just about $20 per night more. Over 5 days, that $100 would be spent on a rental car or car service if we stayed at SOG. So it's sort of break even when all is said and done.

it's a hard call. But I do love SOG especially for the quietness. I do find that Disney can just be so overwhelming and I like going back to the hotel and finding it quiet. There are always plenty of kids around, don't get me wrong, but it's just quiet. All the time. So that's why I would always pick it over one of the values. It's get more difficult for me at the mod level.

Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
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Having stayed at both, and with an 8 year old, I would take POP, no questions asked.

SoG just didn't do it for me...the lobby and grounds are beautiful, but I just found the rooms to be standard military blah, the restaurants to be pretty bad, and I didn't like that I couldn't charge to my room, use DME, or have package delivery.

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Old 09-03-2013, 08:16 PM   #6
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I have an 8 year old too. Pop, definitely Pop.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:03 PM   #7
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Pop Vs SOG

Most of the important differences have been captured above. My vote is Pop hands down. This is true because I would definitely recommend doing the Disney Dining Plan.
Military will get a 30% discount at a value resort/// 35% at a moderate resort /// and a 40% at a deluxe resort.

Do the math for a room at both places.

I have stayed at SOG numerous times and it was by chance that I even thought to check out another Disney property. It was when SOG was booked up and we got to stay at a Disney resort. I cannot remember but I think we had reservations at SOG but they were booked solid.

Anyway here is what does it for Pop for me:
You get complimentary transportation to and from the airport. That is huge for me.

You may be closer to the action at SOG, but the Disney busses run more often.

For me -- I would give the service at SOG 4 stars. Anything Disney at WDW gets 5 stars for service.

Another thing, until 2015, in favor of Pop is the magic bands. They are coming to SOG but they will not be ready until 2015. You can still purchase your bands and use the fast pass system that way but the bands run something like $12 a piece. They come with your room purchase at Disney.

If you can swing it financially, I would highly recommend the Disney Dining Plan. It can fit into an economical trip. You get the free drink mug with the DDP.

Finally, it may be just me, but the service at certain parts of SOG has been degraded to me. We last stayed during Christmas week of 2012, and we had some bad experiences. One was when a bus did not show up and we had to wait for over an hour.

The best thing about SOG is the shoppette and the ticket center. You can use both of those if you stay at POP.

Just my two cents -- 2015 and after -- it will be a much closer decision.
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