Less crowded bus vs less crowded food court (and other Value pro/cons)

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by toonaspie, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. toonaspie

    toonaspie Just a poser

    May 30, 2010
    It seems all the standard Value resorts have their pros and cons making much harder to decide since each resort seems to have a pro/con tradeoff.

    Well here is a list of what I've been reading through reviews or are pretty obvious as to the pros/cons that I know of regarding the regular Value resorts (which will be the range I must stick with due to price). Now I know the All Star resorts are a bit cheaper but suppose we take price out of the equation as I figure this out.

    AoA (TLM) - I originally was going to go with this resort since it's less than a year old and is pretty clean with a great atmosphere. But it has one pretty major flaw...the TLM area is the farthest from the main building which will mean the greatest amt of walking. This is a con especially since the trip I am planning will be bus-dependent.

    All Stars - Don't know about the cleanliness of the three resorts. I remember the food court being pretty crowded when I stayed at ASMo in 2007. Biggest con will be shared buses with three resorts.

    Pop Century - I've been hearing that this resort suffers from some cleanliness issues (and some 2012 reviews confirm this). However I hear this bus system is pretty good due to not having to share. The tradeoff however is that many reviews say the food court is incredibly crowded at peak mealtimes and we'll probably be doing breakfast alot in the food court.

    I'm willing to pay the little extra for a preferred room on any property if it will keep us near the buses. But I worry about waiting around alot for buses and dealing with the food court in the morning. As you can see none of the three choices guarantee all the pros. So I ask you which would you think is the best tradeoff for a party that must rely on the Disney buses for a 6 day vacation?
  2. msjprincess

    msjprincess DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2010
    I've stayed at ASmu, ASMo and Pop. All three food courts were pretty crowded at peak mealtimes.
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  4. dawnhaze

    dawnhaze DIS Veteran

    Apr 6, 2012
    In 2012, I stayed at 2 of the All-Stars - Sports and Music - and didn't find them to be lacking in cleanliness. The shared buses also weren't an all the time thing - when it was busy, there were dedicated buses, in my experience. The food courts were crowded at peak meal times, but manageable the rest of the time.
  5. bear_mom

    bear_mom DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2007
    I've only stayed at Pop, my thoughts on your post:

    If you read the threads about all resorts you will read about cleanliness issues, all the way from Pop to the Grand Floridian. We have had great experiences there.

    We are rope drop people and have had breakfast at Pop on occasion and it hasn't been too busy. We typically eat in our room though (cost and time savings). I can't speak to eating breakfast at peak times.....

    Buses at Pop have been pretty good (5-10 minute waits), although we typically have one time per trip with a long (30 minute) wait for a bus, especially leaving after a firework show, but when the buses do show up there will usually be 2 or 3 at a time. Buses can crowded though, even though they don't share with any other resort.

    We have stayed at Pop several times and are chosing to stay there again on our next trip and rely soley on the buses while we are there.

  6. gem21

    gem21 DIS Veteran

    Jun 19, 2010
    Regarding the buses, when we stayed at ASSp (Jan 11), we shared a bus with the other 2 All-Stars I maybe three times the whole week. Going to the parks we never shared a bus (even on our arrival day, around 2:30, with only 5 people on the bus.), maybe 1-2 going home but since ASSp was the first stop I can't be sure. The only time I remember for sure was going to DTD around 9:30-10:00am. We never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus. Once we waited 15 but we literally had just missed a bus!

    I do remember at the end of the day Pop always have crazy lines heading back to the resorts, always seemed twice as long as any other resorts.

    We never really had an issue with the food courts being busy, but we only ever had early breakfast (did RD at all parks) or a later supper (9-10pm). We always ate lunch at the parks. Also for breakfast we never really ate in the food court though (we would bring the food back to our room, we were in the Touchdown section). They were always very clean though and the food amazing for a food court!

    Honestly every value resorts has its pros/cons. Go with what appeals most to you, and go into it knowing the food courts may be busy, you may have to wait a bit for a bus...

    Good Luck with your choice! :)
  7. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    I could not have said this better myself.:thumbsup2
  8. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

    May 2, 2002
    I have stayed at AllStar Music once, at Pop about five times and recently at AoA in LMR. I had no issues at any of them. I stayed in the Jazz bldg at Music. Very short walk to food court and buses. Had no issues with the buses. But, there are bldgs that are very distant from the food court/bus areas.
    At Pop, I've had a preferred room which was pretty close to the food court and bus stops, but had a ton of foot traffic going by our ground floor room!!!
    Also had rooms in the furthest bldg at Pop. Took about the same amount of time to get to the food court/buses as from the LMR at AoA. About 5 mins, tops.
    I have had no issues with upkeep at Pop. Everything there was just fine.

    At AoA, in the LMR section...very nicely themed. And I actually liked the walk back to the main bldg....going through the Lion King section was wonderful. The theming at this resort is incredible.

    All the value resort food courts have issues at popular dining times. I always avoid the food courts, at any resort, an hour prior to park opening. It is hugely crowded from about 90 mins before park opening to about 30 mins after park opening. I always liked to get to the food court around 7am and bring my food back to my room...much more relaxing that way.

    And as far as bus proximity goes? You could pay for a preferred room at an AllStar resort or at Pop. But most of the time, the standard rooms are usually only about an addtl 2 mins of walking. Just not that big a deal for me.
  9. hpfan100

    hpfan100 Extendable Ears Anyone?

    Jun 13, 2010
    I've stayed at POP and ASmovies. Both are similar room quality and cleanliness. Service was good at both...actually excellent at movies. When I stayed at Movies they were redoing the rooms so the rooms there should be pretty nice and tidy still. Buses were about the same at both. Crowded after closing of parks and fine the rest of the day. All stars had own buses when I was there.

    If you are staying in the summer you might want to stay at POP or AOA to avoid the tour groups and such.

    Enjoy your stay!
  10. KELLY

    KELLY DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    The clean room thing isn't a issue at all I would take that out of the equation. We have stayed at pop and are headed back there again for our 5th stay. We have had the worst time as far as a clean room at POFQ 2 years in a row. But would I give it another chance yes.

    I think all the food courts can be really busy at peak times. I would just pick whatever resort appeals to you the most.
  11. Megsie1000

    Megsie1000 Mouseketeer

    Oct 10, 2010
    This has been my experience, too. All value food courts are crowded at peak times. We stayed at Pop in October. Paid for a preferred room and that was worth it. The buses were actually excellent. It was the best bus experience we have ever had and I have stayed at Deluxe resorts, too. But another person will tell you they had an awful time at Pop with the buses. I think a lot of that is just luck.

    We loved Pop and would go back in a heartbeat if it suited our needs for a particular trip.
  12. toonaspie

    toonaspie Just a poser

    May 30, 2010
    Thanks for the thoughts so far. I wish I could pick based on appeal but then I would not have started this thread. So keep the thoughts coming.

    As for as cleanliness goes, I know it's going to be a Catch-22 (same with the bus crowding) so I'm not gonna make this a huge concern. However I am still trying to determine how important the food court and distance to the main building should be. My friend loves Mickey Waffles so we'll probably be hitting the breakfast places that have them. I think it usually is more convenient to eat at the hotel before hitting the parks, that's why I have the food court issue. I may haveta consider eating breakfast at the parks though we had past issues with that before. I'll talk about that in the appropriate thread when I get the chance.
  13. Sinderelly

    Sinderelly Princess

    Jan 27, 2009
    The only cleanliness problem we've ever had has been at POFQ and it was very bad. We love POP and even preferred POP over BC concierge. I would just pick the resort where you like the theming better. Good luck with your choice :goodvibes
  14. CanadianGuy

    CanadianGuy <font color=green><br><br><font color=blue>Me and

    Apr 24, 2006
    I had a heckuva of a room cleanliness problem at CSR a few years ago.. I had to be switched immediately on seeing the room -- it hadn't been cleaned and was a mess.

    The room I got moved to -- I was there over night and someone above me left a tap on flooding my room and a huge chunk of the ceiling fell on the floor by the door while I was out at the parks..

    Moved again ..

    Stuff happens. It's how they respond to it. I bring a dirty room promptly back to the registration desk and take pictures on my phone if at all possible to save the running back and forth.
  15. toonaspie

    toonaspie Just a poser

    May 30, 2010
    Alright well I guess it's gonna come down between ASSports and Pop Century since I am strongly considering taking advantage of the MouseSavers discounts that is applicable for my planned dates. The discount wont cover the AoA Mermaid rooms and the distance from the buses doesn't make it worth it anyway.

    Again I must ask about the food courts in Pop Century vs AsSports. They both serve Mickey Waffles right? Which one would be less crowded?

    If you're wondering why I request Sports over the other AllStars, it's because I already stayed at the other two in the past and want a new experience but I guess in the end it doesn't matter. Whichever one I chose I will likely pay extra for a preferred room.
  16. twinboysmom

    twinboysmom DIS Veteran

    May 26, 2010
    I believe that both do serve Mickey waffles. Pops food court is a bit larger but it has more rooms. Both food courts will be crowded at peak times, and it's breakfast time that will be the worst. It doesn't matter which value you pick. Most folks have the same idea, eat at the food court before getting to the parks. We rarely go to the food courts for breakfast more than once or twice a stay because of the crowds. We have stayed at all the values except AoA and that has always been our experiences. I would pick whichever resort you can get a cheaper room and since crowds are a concern, go as early as you can in the morning (park opens at 9 be at the food court before 7).
  17. toonaspie

    toonaspie Just a poser

    May 30, 2010
    I just calculated an estimate as far as prices for my planned trip in May. It would consist of 7 nights and here's what I came up with.

    These are rounded up prices to the higher dollar.

    All Stars
    St - 813
    20% Dis - 650
    Pre - 974
    20% Dis - 779

    Pop Century
    St - 897
    20% Dis - 722
    Pre - 1051
    20% Dis - 841

    AoA LM would be $932 so yeah not worth it. As far as picking between AS vs PC the price differences aren't that extreme less I pick a standard room over a preferred. I'm still on the edge of decision here.

    I may have to improvise on food court breakfast perhaps consider doing breakfast in the parks on some days or maybe at another hotel.
  18. toonaspie

    toonaspie Just a poser

    May 30, 2010
    Based on the post above, I have made a decision...

    I believe the winner (at least in this point in the planning stage) shall be...

    POP Century (standard)

    I based my decision on the following...

    • Food court - I understand that all food courts will be crowded no matter what. However as an added bonus, the AoA food court is across the bridge and I think the bonus of another eatery nearby will be good not only for cases of crowds, but for variety. It will get tiring eating at the same place everyday.
    • Atmosphere - This will be great for just walking around which we might do on any given night we finish going to the parks early or decide to do a park later. We can explore two resorts in walking distance plus get nice water views. The Pop Century area will be new territory for me as I have already stayed in the All Stars area in the past as well.
    • Price - It will only be a $70-80 difference staying at Pop. I tend to blow that amt of money on occasion in a day so it's hard to care.
    • Walking - basically what I explained under "atmosphere". I feel it will make no difference how far we are from the main building as long walking is inevitable, but I am gonna aim for a request near the dining hall 1st floor if possible.
    • Buses - not really a factor anymore but having its own bus system is another plus

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