Pop Century vs. off-site - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by UsualNoise, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. UsualNoise

    UsualNoise Earning My Ears

    Jan 7, 2013
    I'm planning a trip to DW at the end of February and I'm trying to keep to a reasonable budget this year (unlike Animal Kingdom Lodge last year ... although the savannah view was awesome!) so I've got a couple options on the table. If anyone has thoughts on what would be the best overall experience please chime in.

    Option #1: Stay off-site in Buena Vista Suites. I've already reserved a 7 night stay for a very nice price, but can cancel with no penalty. With this option I would buy theme park tickets separately and rent a car. Total cost for room, tickets, car, & parking: ~$2100 (+ food).

    Option #2: Stay on-site at Pop Century. Got a Magic Your Way quote with tickets included for ~$1900 (+ food).

    The other key factor for me is I want to easily (and efficiently) be able to travel between resorts and parks. I like making dining reservations at places that aren't necessarily the same places we're visiting that day and need to be able to get around without excessive delays. Thus, I'm leaning toward Option #1 since the rooms are much larger and I won't be at the mercy of Disney transportation. However, I've never stayed at Pop Century so I'm not sure if the 'experience' of being there (and Extra Magic Hours) would outweigh the downside of more limited transportation.

    The other possibility would be to add a rental car to option 2 which would make the total cost around $2200. I could do that, but I also don't want to miss out on a much better hotel room at Buena Vista Suites if Pop Century isn't that great. Thus, my current dilemma. :)

    Anyone that has been at one or both of these hotels and feels like providing some feedback would be appreciated!
  2. Marla1106

    Marla1106 Mouseketeer

    Mar 15, 2011
    I love Pop. I have stayed off site before and stayed at Pop. I LOVE staying on site. I like being able to catch a bus back to the resort. I love the ease of going back for an afternoon nap, and swim. When we stayed off site, we would never have done that.
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  4. kdaisy20

    kdaisy20 Earning My Ears

    Jan 6, 2008
    We have done it both ways..we just got back from our 2nd stay @ Pop over Christmas. It's so much better with younger kids-if they get fussy, you can easily go back to the room and go back into the park with the extra hrs that are available too and I highly recommend the dining program..I like knowing that everything is paid for before we arrive other than spending money and tips for the meals.

    The only changes that I found from previous visits @ Pop is that there is no ICEE machines anymore:(

  5. redrosesix

    redrosesix DIS Veteran

    Feb 29, 2008
    We're staying off-site for part of our trip this year and I'm not looking forward to it, even though it is much much cheaper and we'll be staying with my daughter's team. If we were doing more things outside of wdw it would be different, but I love the perks of staying on resort including the small things like being able to send packages back to the resort rather than carrying them around the parks. We also never drive when we can take a bus, especially to MK -- it saves us half an hour each way at the least.

    If you plan to do a lot of shopping, go to Universal or Seaworld or do other things outside of wdw then you'll probably be just as happy off-site. When we stay at our timeshare, those days are dedicated to non-Disney days, DTD and wdw water parks (transportation to them is much much better with your own vehicle so it doesn't matter where we're staying)

    If you are booking adr's at other wdw resorts or outside of wdw you'll probably want a car either way -- resort to resort transportation is not great and taxi fares can easily approach the cost of renting a car. We don't usually book a car for our whole Disney trip -- we pick up and drop off at CCC or Dolphin.

    We only use our rooms for sleeping in -- no tv, no hanging out. We spend most of our time at any resort poolside so the rooms are not as important to us. Pop is not our first choice in wdw but if I was doing an all-disney trip I'd definitely stay there rather than off-site, with a rental car.
  6. FancyNancy

    FancyNancy DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2012
    I would stay at POP vs off site any day! You get the awesome Disney CM's and Extra Magic Hours as well:goodvibes
  7. Mynamewastaken

    Mynamewastaken DIS Veteran

    Nov 17, 2011
    I do not like staying off site... too many perks to let go of. Extra hours plus I feel off site loses the magic...just my two cents. Part of the reason I love Disney is the hotel stay and the fun to be had!
  8. UsualNoise

    UsualNoise Earning My Ears

    Jan 7, 2013
    Man, you guys are making me lean back toward a resort stay! I'm going to get a quote on a couple of the other moderate-level resorts and then decide. The main con at this point is having to do a full-prepay for the Magic Your Way package. Staying off-site I wouldn't have to pay for the hotel until we check in and can get the tickets anytime in the next month and a half. Decisions...
  9. NJRRK

    NJRRK DIS Veteran

    Jun 12, 2007
    You can do that with Disney. Reserve room only (there might even be discounts available ask) pay the one night deposit, the remainder is due on check-in. Then get your tickets through an authorized reseller (I use the one that has a type of syrup in their name).
  10. kpm76

    kpm76 DIS Veteran<br><font color=purple>Charlie Brown is

    Jun 13, 2003
    I would stay anywhere onsite before I would ever consider off site. For us, we like to cross through the WDW "gates" and not look at the outside world until we have to head back to MCO.

    As for Pop, it's our favorite Value, though we have not stayed at AoA yet. The kids love it there. The food court is great and it's filled with Disney magic. Stay at Pop!
  11. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

    Mar 29, 2011
    Totally agree with this! :thumbsup2 Pop is our fave value, havent tried AoA yet thou. I would never consider staying off site. The only time we ever go off site is to visit "the dark side" (universal). Lol! Plus, i couldnt do without the Extra Magic Hours. Love those! I say go for Pop! :goodvibes

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