Pop versus AoA

cinderaimee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Just looking for any insight/real life experiences... I am planning to book a trip for my family of four this summer (2 adults, 2 kids ages 8 and 6). We've stayed at all different levels of resorts (CBR, Pop, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk), and have decided to save money on the room and are looking at Pop or a Little Mermaid Room at AoA.

I've stayed at Pop and really enjoyed the rooms there, but I honestly find the rest of the resort themeing just...weird. Not my taste. I have been in LOVE with AoA since they opened and would really love to stay there, but the practical side of me just can't pay more than double the price of a perfectly comfortable room across the lake for one of the family suite rooms. And if I was going to pay the family suite room prices, I would just stay at a Deluxe.

So I guess what I'm looking for is any experiences with a Little Mermaid room versus Pop. (for us, the biggest drawback of the LM room are the double beds) Also wondering if Little Mermaid reservations ever get upgraded to suites... 🙏
 
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SarahC97

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2016
The double beds are an issue with the LM rooms. And they haven't been updated in years -- so Pop just has nicer rooms. Upgrades happen, of course, but I don't think it's something you can depend on. They seem random. Book where you know you're going to be happy to stay -- I think Pop is your best bet.
 

scard192

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Just looking for any insight/real life experiences... I am planning to book a trip for my family of four this summer (2 adults, 2 kids ages 8 and 6). We've stayed at all different levels of resorts (CBR, Pop, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk), and have decided to save money on the room and are looking at Pop or a Little Mermaid Suite at AoA.

I've stayed at Pop and really enjoyed the rooms there, but I honestly find the rest of the resort themeing just...weird. Not my taste. I have been in LOVE with AoA since they opened and would really love to stay there, but the practical side of me just can't pay more than double the price of a perfectly comfortable room across the lake for one of the family suite rooms. And if I was going to pay the family suite room prices, I would just stay at a Deluxe.

So I guess what I'm looking for is any experiences with a Little Mermaid room versus Pop. (for us, the biggest drawback of the LM room are the double beds) Also wondering if Little Mermaid reservations ever get upgraded to suites... 🙏
the suites at AoA are not Little Mermaid themed, the suites are Nemo, Cars and Lion King.
If you are looking at the Little Mermaid rooms, they are almost always excluded from any discount.
 

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  • WDW_Michael

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2018
    the Little Mermaid rooms arethe furthest away from the buses/lobby/food court, and the rooms themselves havent been refurbished and aren't nearly as nice as Pop's rooms which were recently refurbished. I don't think its worth the extra cost.

    Have you considered All Star Movies? The rooms were recently refurbished and are now exactly like the Pop rooms, so if you liked the rooms at pop you'd like them at ASMovies as well. Also the Theming there is Disney Movies, so it's similar in theme to Art of Animation, with sections of the resort themed to Toy Story, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians and a few others. Also, ASMovies is one of the most affordable resorts...you can get a preferred room there right near the main lobby/busses for cheaper than a normal room at Pop.
     

    bluezy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2008
    the suites at AoA are not Little Mermaid themed, the suites are Nemo, Cars and Lion King.
    If you are looking at the Little Mermaid rooms, they are almost always excluded from any discount.
    Actually, the LM rooms seem to be included in more discounts than usual over the last few years. I'm guessing it's because so many other standard value resort rooms have been refurbished and the LM haven't been done yet. The LM rooms are included in the summer room/package discount this year. My son and his family got a discount when they stayed there last year (otherwise they would have stayed at Pop).
     

    StarSeven7

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2017
    the Little Mermaid rooms arethe furthest away from the buses/lobby/food court, and the rooms themselves havent been refurbished and aren't nearly as nice as Pop's rooms which were recently refurbished. I don't think its worth the extra cost.

    Have you considered All Star Movies? The rooms were recently refurbished and are now exactly like the Pop rooms, so if you liked the rooms at pop you'd like them at ASMovies as well. Also the Theming there is Disney Movies, so it's similar in theme to Art of Animation, with sections of the resort themed to Toy Story, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians and a few others. Also, ASMovies is one of the most affordable resorts...you can get a preferred room there right near the main lobby/busses for cheaper than a normal room at Pop.
    I second the vote for All Star Movies! We stayed at AoA a few years ago (my mom stayed with us as well so there were 5 of us in a Cars suite) and we loved it. We walked around Pop one night and I was underwhelmed by the resort design. I just didn't find it super appealing. When we went with my extended family last year, all the kids voted to stay at All Star Movies (my kids weren't crazy about the Pop design either) and we loved it! The theming was really cute and the newly refinished rooms were great!
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    DH and I stayed in a Little Mermaid room back in October. We requested and received a king bed, but if it came down to double beds vs queens, I would have to choose the resort with the queens.

    I could see where the room could use a refurbishment, but it was very clean and nothing was in disrepair. It was very tolerable for our stay.

    Its true that the LM rooms are the furthest from Animation Hall and the bus stop, but they're not terribly far to the Skyliner which provides transportation to two of the four parks. I think they may even be closer than the furthest Cars suites. We were in building 7 of the LM rooms, and our room faced the courtyard on the water side, so you could always request that to be closest to the path to the Skyliner. The LM pool was right on the other side of our building.

    We're two able bodied adults and didn't find the walk to Animation Hall or bus stops to be that daunting. No different than a walk at one of the moderate resorts. I can't compare it to Pop as I've never stayed. We really enjoyed the food options and pools at AOA. It was our first value resort stay and we'll definitely return.
     
  • tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    We love the Pop. I'd save the money at the Pop versus the suites or double bed rooms at the AoA. We had a standard room with a very short walk to the busses.
     

    eeyoreandtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2014
    If you are not staying in a suite, I would 100% recommend the Pop, especially post refurb. The LM rooms at AoA are really a long walk from the bus stop. We stayed LM once when it first opened, like you we were in love with the theme and weren't particularly attached to the theme at the pop. The hike back to the room after park close was brutal. We said never again. Add the fact that the double beds are an issue and the pop wins for comfort.
     

    AllieBoo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2007
    I did a split stay at POP and AOA LM room this past May, and the LM rooms were really outdated. It was a very long walk to the buses and food court. The room at POP was much nicer.
     

    hes122

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2010
    The LM rooms are much further than those in Pop from the Main Building and transportation options.
     
  • Leigh L

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2019
    I second the vote for All Star Movies! We stayed at AoA a few years ago (my mom stayed with us as well so there were 5 of us in a Cars suite) and we loved it. We walked around Pop one night and I was underwhelmed by the resort design. I just didn't find it super appealing. When we went with my extended family last year, all the kids voted to stay at All Star Movies (my kids weren't crazy about the Pop design either) and we loved it! The theming was really cute and the newly refinished rooms were great!
    I third it for ASMo :)

    We stayed here 2 nights in December (first time here) and were very pleased with the refurb. There were 3 of us, 2 adults, 1 teen.
     

    cinderaimee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2016
    Thank you everyone for your responses. I guess I will stick with Pop.

    I appreciate all the suggestions for ASMo, it looks really cute too but I'm super excited to stay at a Skyliner resort :)
     

    goofyintoronto

    We the North! Lets go Raptors!
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2011
    I'd go with Pop, no question about it. Two queen beds, refurbished room...there's no contest really. I would not recommend LM for a family of four. The two double beds are just not practical at all. At pop, you can easily walk over the bridge and explore AoA, eat at the food court etc.
     

    scrappinginontario

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    We've stayed at Pop 25+ times, AoA once. While we LOVE the theming of AoA, I cannot justify the additional cost for double beds and a long walk to the LM rooms. We are a family of 2 so do not need a suite.

    Also, the AoA LM rooms are still excluded from Free Dining promotions and we go during FD 75% of the time.

    I hear your love for the AoA theming but it depends on how much you'll pay for that theming.

    For us it's Pop all the way, especially with the refurbished rooms. Love those!!
     

    KayaWildfire

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2016
    I'd go with Pop too. We just recently stayed in the LM rooms and the storage was a huge problem for us(two rooms with 8 people total), it was way worse than the unrefurbished all star rooms even. We didn't mind the walk and didn't find it any worse than some of the moderates we have stayed at and loved the Skyliner, but with the price tag as high as it is, Pop all the way.
     

    bluezy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2008
    We love AoA (have stayed in a suite 4 times so far) but I would never pay more for a LM room there rather than staying at Pop Century (which is our 2nd favorite Value resort right now). My advice is always to book a room at Pop Century but walk over to AoA one evening to have dinner and enjoy the atmosphere. Or even better, take the bus from one of the parks or Disney Springs back to AoA and wander through the resort as you walk back to Pop Century.

    Now, just to throw a monkey wrench in to all of this... I've read on 2 different FB groups today that renovations have started on the Little Mermaid rooms as of yesterday. The back side (lake facing) of Building 8 and I believe Building 7 have had the curtains removed from all of the windows and construction crews were walking around (possibly starting to remove furnishings in the rooms). So....I might be convinced to stay in a LM if the room was renovated and I could get building 7.
     

    ClapYourHands

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    Doesn't take long just to pop over from POP and enjoy the resort without having to stay in the outdated and overpriced rooms.
    For our Pop stay, we spent our arrival (non-park) evening walking around AoA, and enjoying the theming. The next morning we were up bright and early for EMH, but later we hopped a bus to AoA for a drawing class and lunch.

    If you stay at Pop, it's really easy to enjoy AoA while also getting a good night's sleep in queen sized beds.
     

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