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Old 09-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
minerva78
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Pop Century or Wyndham Bonnet Creek?

We're planning our first family Disney trip for next June, with my DH and 2 girls who will be 5 and 6. I think I have narrowed down my resort choices to Pop Century in a preferred room onsite for 6 nights or Wyndham Bonnet Creek in a 2 bedroom offsite in for 7 nights. But I'm having a really hard time deciding whether or not to stay onsite or offsite. I think my girls would enjoy being immersed in Disney, so onsite would be great, but the accommodations in a tiny room can't compare to the accommodations at WBC, with 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, several pools, mini golf, hot tubs, just to name a few. But I don't know if I want to be onsite for a first trip, while our girls are still young, and do an offsite later in a few years. When I added up all of the estimated expenses for both, taking into account driving and parking if offsite, the prices were just about the same. I could also do POFQ for $228 more than Pop.

We will have a car, so we wouldn't need transportation, though it would be nice to not drive. I do not need EMH, because I plan to avoid parks with EMH. Are the rooms onsite at Pop going to be unbearable because of their size? I don't know if we're going to stay in the parks all day, though I could see it possible that we may leave early in the afternoon and go back in the early evening, I just don't know, I'll have to play it by ear to see how my family reacts.

Given all of this, do you think Pop or Wyndham Bonnet Creek would be a better choice for my family?
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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Well I can only speak on account of my experience at Pop last year. We too are a family of four, ages 5 & 3 at the time.

While the room IS smaller, it is still comfortable enough for the necessary things. The reality is that the amount of time you'll be spending in the room is minimal. Even though you won't be at the parks every day, you will be doing other things rather than sitting in your room watching TV. And even if you do, you will be fine. We each slept with one of the girls and were pleased when they brought us bed rails at our request to ensure their safety.

Our goal was to immerse them in everything Disney and this did it. The attention and courtesy that was extended to us was outstanding, in addition to the comfort and convenience of their park buses. The resort itself is very nice, with each section showcasing characters from that era. They also have movies under the stars right by the food court, where you can sit by the lawn and enjoy dinner while you're at it.

They have a small fridge that you can use for small items...we made sure to bring along a box of cereal for a nightly snack and bough a half gallon of milk at the food court.

So it boils down to the full Disney experience versus comfort. We chose full Disney experience and extra money in our pockets for Bibbidi Boutique and gifts!

Hope you have a wonderful time!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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If it is your first trip, then I would go with POP. I think for a first trip it just offers more. You could also consider the All-Star resorts, as their icons are more "Disney" like ASMo.

Either way, I hope you have a really awesome trip!
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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We did two trips onsite (Pop and POFQ) and one at WBC. I wholeheartedly recommend Bonnet Creek. The only reason I'd stay at a value or mod again is for an amazing discount like free dining.

Bonnet Creek has water slides, two lazy rivers, all the pools, mini golf, an poolside restaurant, and it feels very "immersed in Disney" with the same Disney must do channel on the tv, and literally right across the street from Downtown Disney. It was much less travel time for us to drive back to WBC in the afternoons for a rest than it was to hop on a bus and bus back to Pop.

We found the driving to be less stressful than the cattle call of busses at park closing, and having the privacy made it really peaceful and comfortable.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:33 AM   #5
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There are rumors that starting in October, only people staying at Disney resorts will get to use Fastpasses. To me, that alone would be reason to stay at a Disney resort!
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by robinbutterfly View Post
There are rumors that starting in October, only people staying at Disney resorts will get to use Fastpasses. To me, that alone would be reason to stay at a Disney resort!
That Chip and Co. rumor is complete crap.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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The Fastpass thing brings up something I did think of earlier, and that was whether or not Disney resort guests would get some advantage with the FPs with this new FP+ system (which I admit I know very little about, because everything I've read has just confused me). Would Disney resort guests be allowed more FPs? I am a pretty obsessive planner, so getting more FPs by staying at a Disney resort is very intriguing to me.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheElectricMayhem View Post
Bonnet Creek has water slides, two lazy rivers, all the pools, mini golf, an poolside restaurant, and it feels very "immersed in Disney" with the same Disney must do channel on the tv, and literally right across the street from Downtown Disney.
Bonnet Creek is beside the Caribbean Beach Resort, not across from Downtown Disney.


minerva78,
Most people here will recommend Pop Century; if you posted to the Orlando Attractions, you'd probably find more fans of Bonnet Creek. If you regularly vacation in hotel rooms for multiple days, then it may not be such a big deal staying at Pop. The rooms at Pop are often compared (in terms of size) to a Motel 6, if that helps any. We're fine with hotel rooms for a day or two; once past that point, we are a lot happier with a condo, and hubby and I want a king sized bed, and all the pixie dust in the world isn't going to change that.

Other people happily cram four adults in a Pop Century room for ten days.

You should also consider other comforts and how your family feels about them. My kids get tired of resort food after a while and crave something familiar, while I don't like eating breakfast in a restaurant every day. Even if we don't actually cook any meals, it's great to have a table and chairs and a place for the kids to sit down and have their morning cereal. But some people don't mind sitting in a motel room and having breakfast there. Some people are annoyed having to be quiet after "lights out" for the kids; others just happily bed down when the kids do. And so on.

Only you know what'll work best for you. Hope you have a great time, whatever you pick.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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Thanks. I posted about this on the other board too, and got a mix of answers here and there, so now I'm even more confused, lol. I did decide though that I actually didn't like the idea of our girls having a bedroom separate from us, that I would worry they would get up to some mischief, and I'd rather have them sleeping in the same room as us. I also think I'd like a hotel with housekeeping more than a condo type place.

So now I'm deciding between staying at the Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista or at Pop. I like the free breakfast and dinner items at Homewood Suites, I like the separate bedroom and full kitchen. I like that it is still close to Disney. But I also like the idea of the dining plan and having transportation to and from the parks if we want to use it. Based on my calculations, we'd actually be spending more on food OOP than with the dining plan and with a AAA discount the package at Pop is a little cheaper. We've never been on a family vacation before, so I don't know how we'd be in one room together. I guess part of me thinks that we'd be so tired after a day in the parks, I might not want to stay up later anyhow. Since I'm the only night owl in our family, I suppose I could always hang around outside somewhere if I were awake and everyone else were asleep. That's what I would do when DH and I were on a cruise and he went to bed before me.

With the AAA benefits, I think I am leaning towards Pop. I also got quotes for POFQ, but I kinda like the theming of Pop more for my kids, and I don't know if POFQ is worth $215 more. There is always something to decide! Lol
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:27 PM   #10
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Once you sleep on the rock hard crappy awful value beds at POP you will definitely think POFQ is worth at least $200 more. Probably $500 more if you value sleep.

I have never slept in such hard beds as what they have in the Disney values.

If you like REALLY REALLY firm beds it might not bother you.

There is an off site hotel where you have a sep bedroom and full kitchen and free breakfast. Quality Suites Lake Buena Vista. You can get a one bedroom suite that sleeps 6 for about $70 a night if you book online and pre-pay.

We have stayed there several times and it is clean, in a good area and they have daily housekeeping. You can get a one bedroom with 2 queens in the bedroom and a sleeper sofa or get the one with a king in the bedroom and a sleeper sofa. The King room sleeps 4 but the 2 Queens room sleeps 6.

I think your children would have liked Bonnet Creek more. They just have so many activities for the kids every day.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
minerva78
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Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
Once you sleep on the rock hard crappy awful value beds at POP you will definitely think POFQ is worth at least $200 more. Probably $500 more if you value sleep.

I have never slept in such hard beds as what they have in the Disney values.

If you like REALLY REALLY firm beds it might not bother you.

There is an off site hotel where you have a sep bedroom and full kitchen and free breakfast. Quality Suites Lake Buena Vista. You can get a one bedroom suite that sleeps 6 for about $70 a night if you book online and pre-pay.

We have stayed there several times and it is clean, in a good area and they have daily housekeeping. You can get a one bedroom with 2 queens in the bedroom and a sleeper sofa or get the one with a king in the bedroom and a sleeper sofa. The King room sleeps 4 but the 2 Queens room sleeps 6.

I think your children would have liked Bonnet Creek more. They just have so many activities for the kids every day.
Well there you go, adding some doubt into my mind again. . Doing Bonnet Creek would give us one extra day (7 nights instead of 6 nights) and I suppose I don't have to do as many expensive meals as I would do on the dining plan. And maybe I could trust my girls not to do anything crazy, as long as I make sure we don't bring any crayons! We would also have one day I would just use as a resort day, and that might be nice. Ugh.

This would be a lot easier if my husband could just give an honest opinion about what he wants and what he thinks the girls would like more. I'll see if I can force him to help me decide between WBC, Homewood Suites, Pop, and POFQ. We'll see how that goes! Thanks for the info about the beds at POFQ compared to Pop. I was thinking maybe it would be worth it to stay at POFQ if we stay onsite, that maybe the Disney theming of Pop wouldn't be necessary if we're already getting Disney all over the place in the parks. I think I would like POFQ more, I think my girls would like Pop more, but we're the ones paying for the trip, so we'll see, lol.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #12
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We have done both and I prefer Pop over Bonnet Creek. I tried so hard to like Bonnet Creek, there are so many advantages, but I just prefer being on site! This was myself, DH, DS9 and DD7 at the time. Now I would prefer a mod for the extra space, but I would be happy with Pop.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #13
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Well I finally got DH to help me make a decision. I explained all of the pros and cons of each of our options in details and showed him pictures. He said he didn't like Bonnet Creek because there was no housekeeping service, so he preferred Homewood Suites for offsite. He said he didn't care about the bigger room and bed or the theming of POFQ, he preferred Pop. And his reason for picking Pop? Because I showed him a picture of the giant big wheel and he said he had one just like that as a child. Every time I would ask him why he preferred Pop he kept saying it was because of the big wheel, good grief! But he did say that he loved the theming, he just wasn't into the theme of POFQ. He said since we sleep on a double bed at home, that shouldn't be a big deal. And he didn't care whether or not a resort had a ton of activities, like at Bonnet Creek, because he said we'd be spending so much time in the parks, we likely wouldn't be doing much at the resort anyway. He really wanted to do onsite and liked Pop Century the most, so there you go. . Unless I get a better quote from some of the online TA's I've requested quotes from, it looks like I may be booking a package through AAA when the TA is back in the office on Friday - yeah!
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:04 PM   #14
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We loved our stay at Pop last year but just be aware there are no water slides and not much else to do at the resort itself if you are planning to have some resort downtime. It is a great resort for the money if you plan on spending nearly all of your time in the parks (this is just my opinion). We did not plan on much downtime but ended up needing it to get away from the summer heat and crowds now and then and so ended up spending time in the arcade.. it was almost too hot to swim in August.. (NO shade at Pop).

We are staying at Port Orleans Riverside to get more resort/pool amenities (also queen beds!!) and are paying over $700 extra for that over POP this time.. I'm not trying to be tacky about the amount being spent, just to say how important I found that to be on our last trip! For $200ish to me it would SO be worth the upgrade to POFQ. We considered POFQ but found the pool slide to be a little small for my DS9.

Can't offer advice on Bonnet Creek or elsewhere offsite, sorry!
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:18 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info about the beds at POFQ compared to Pop. I was thinking maybe it would be worth it to stay at POFQ if we stay onsite, that maybe the Disney theming of Pop wouldn't be necessary if we're already getting Disney all over the place in the parks.
Sorry to add a wrinkle, but I'm pretty sure the beds are the same (Sealy Posturepedic) between Pop and POFQ. My worst sleep ever at a Disney resort was at POFQ - the beds were so hard, I took all the bedspreads and doubled them over to sleep on so that I'd have a 4-layer mattress pad. Anyhow - opinions vary - just wouldn't want you to think that you might not get a hard bed wherever you go - it's always a possibility.
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