One more disney question Re. resorts.

Sorry to keep clogging up the forum, but I promise this will be my last for awhile.

My question is, I'm definately staying on site, and I'm looking at a budget resort (Pop Century) but was wondering if it would be worth it to stretch to a mid level one to get better park access? Or is that not really an issue, I keep hearing that there is a long wait to catch a bus to and from the Pop Century but I am not sure if this is someone moaning and groaning about an isolated incident, or if this realy is an issue staying at one of the budget resorts.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Personally, I'm not very fond of Pop Century. Others will give you different opinions. I'm a fan of the moderate resorts, specifically Coronado Springs, because of the more relaxed nature, and slightly more "catered-to" experience without the price tag of the deluxe resorts.

Pop Century is often the furthest bus stop from the park gate, which can get tiring after being in the parks all day. I have stayed in a couple of the all-stars as well. I definitely prefer Pop Century over them.

There is a certain "Disney" feel to the value resorts, that I do love. Something about walking over star carpet and funky marble floors, with cartoons everywhere that just makes you feel like a kid again.

Jeff's avatar

I've stayed at Pop Century four times, and only had a really long wait to return once (from Animal Kingdom). It depends on what your habits are and whether or not you're park hopping. I don't find it to be a big deal, but you bet I'd like to stay in a monorail property. Or next to Epcot.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

We're probably only staying wed to sun with us hitting the park with the early opening in the AM, chilling at the resort/eating/ whatever from 2-4or so, and hitting the park with the late closing in the PM as a basic outline. We'll definately grab the park hopper passes.

Park access does not matter between moderate and value tier resorts. It's bus service all the way at either level. Opinions very greatly about the bus service. I've stayed at All Star Sports (Value) and Port Orleans (Moderate) and found the bus service provided to be about the same at either one. In fact, Pop Century may be favored a bit owing to the fact the bigger resort means more busses for that resort.

The one nice thing about Port Orleans and some of the other moerate resorts is they have multiple stops around the resoort to get you closer to your room.

The only variance really is that the monorail resorts (Poly, Contemporary, and Grand Floridian) have direct monorail access to Magic Kingdom, and with one transfer to Epcot. Some of the reports (Beach Club, Yacht Club, etc, have boat access to Epcot or Studios Park.

For me the big step up for the Moderate resorts is that it feels more like a resort - that means a hotel bar, table service restaurant, nicer pools, resort like activities that I may never use (biking, kayaking, and the like) but I appreciate having there because it makes it seem more like a resort and less like just a hotel. That an unwinding at night by taking the boat from Port Orleans down to Pleasure Island. Just the boat ride down was a relaxing way to end the day.

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
My Blog ->

Jeff's avatar

Pop Century has a bar, FYI. It's just outside the cafeteria by the pool.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

eightdotthree's avatar

I really loved Port Orleans. The lagoon pool is really nice, they have a pool side bar and a boat that will take you to Downtown Disney. When we took the bus we would just get off at the main stop and walk back to our room from there.

For my wife and I the extra money is worth it. We also stay on the Universal resort and always stay on property when we visit Cedar Point if that gives you any indication of what sort of experience we look for.

Last edited by eightdotthree,

When we went to Disney, we stayed in Pop Century. When we opened the curtains in our room, our view was partially blocked by a huge wrench. Would you consider that a plus or a minus?

Bill, if you're only going to be there a few days, you probably won't be spending that much time around the hotel other than to sleep. If you have time to use the amenities you'd be paying for with moderate accommodations, then do that. If not, you might be better off being more frugal with lodging and spending more money elsewhere.

Kick The Sky's avatar

Granted, it was a few years ago, but it seemed to me that Pop Century always had more/better bus service than even the moderate resorts. Every time I waited for a bus for Caribbean Beach there would be three or four Pop Century buses before the Caribbean Beach bus would show up. The year before that I stayed at the All Star Music and there were never buses for them. I often waited over forty five minutes for a bus. It was enough for me to swear off of the All Star resorts for good.

Certain victory.

sws's avatar

We stayed at Port Orleans - Riverside - the one time we went to WDW in 2005. We liked it. Alot depends on how you want to spend your time. If you plan on being at the parks from opening to closing and just use the hotel to sleep, then save a few bucks and go the economical route. If you want to spend more time at the resort, then you might want to upgrade.

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I tried to pick up a bus at one of the Epcot hotels (because we walked there to check them out), and waited forever to get a bus to AK. There's little doubt that Pop Century is the longest distance, but the enormous volume of people staying there demand a high frequency of buses.

I agree with RGB as well, about the fact that you probably wouldn't spend a ton of time in the hotel beyond sleeping anyway. Believe me, I'm a hotel snob who loves to stay in good hotels and have people kiss my ass and wait on me. I'll gladly pay for that. But at Disney, it just doesn't seem necessary. And the service is pretty solid anyway.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

The only reason to upgrade to a moderate is if you want the nicer atmosphere---they are a little calmer, and a little more richly detailed, nicely landscaped, etc. Oh, and the pools all have pool slides at the moderates, but not the values. If you're on a budget, Pop's going to be awesome. The Moderates are nice, and for a longer stay with more downtime, might be worth it. For a short whirlwind tour? Maybe not.

When I stay on property, it's in one of the DVC resorts. Those are really, really nice. But, even then, the park access isn't necessarily all that much better. For example, Old Key West is still buses everywhere except the boat to Downtown Disney. Our stay last month was at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge; it has the boat to Magic Kingdom (which is way cool), but a bus everywhere else. I'm staying at the Boardwalk Villas next February, and while you can walk to Epcot and Studios, you have to bus to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom---and as Jeff mentions, those buses can take FOREVER to show up because the properties are smaller, *and* they sometimes share buses between *all* of the Epcot resorts (Boardwalk, Yacht, Beach, Swan, Dolphin) during slower times.

I am in the planning stage for a trip to WDW this spring and I am leaning towards Coronado because of the upgraded rooms (two queen size beds rather than 2 fulls).

--George H

I forgot about the pool bars at the values. I guess I was referring to the fact Port Orlenas in particular has a piano bar. I don't know if he's still there, but in 2005 the River Roost bar had this crazy piano player who was big on audience participation and had the place in a party atmosphere all night long. I'm not one to sit in a bar just for the sake of drinking, but when you add live entertainment to the mix...

But back the original question at hand, if you are doing a whirlwind tour, forget the moderates and stick with Pop Century. Unless you plan on spending time at the resort and the activities of the resort interest you, it's not that big a deal.

Unless things have changed, you can hop to another resort and enjoy its restaurants, lounges, and most recreational activities with the exception of swimming pools. This means if you are at Pop Century, and say renting a kayak at Port Orleans is something that interests you, I believe you are welcome to come on over and do that. Of course since there is no direct Pop Century to Port Orlenans transit, meaning you have to transfer through one of the parks, the TTC or Downtown Disney, that can be problematic. The other wrinkle in disney bussing is that if you want to unwind from the day at the parks by going to Downtown Disney, you have to transit through one of the resorts. That move was institured to discourage people taking advantage of the free parking at Downtown Disney and just riding the bus to the park of their choice.

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
My Blog ->

Raven-Phile's avatar

redman822 said:
I am in the planning stage for a trip to WDW this spring and I am leaning towards Coronado because of the upgraded rooms (two queen size beds rather than 2 fulls).

George, I'm the biggest fan of Coronado you'll ever meet. I'm telling you, it's absolutely beautiful, and totally worth it. The 2-queen rooms are amazing, and the atmosphere is incredible. Be sure you request a room in the Cabana section. You won't regret that.

I've stayed at pretty much all of the Disney resorts at one time or another, and I think the best bang for your buck is Port Orleans Riverside. The resort really helps you feel like you're in the Disney bubble, and is only 50 bucks more than the values. The value resorts are perfectly serviceable, but feel more like a typical Holiday Inn than a Disney resort.

Coronado, to me, feels too much like a business hotel. Lots of conventions come here, so there are more business travelers than vacationers and it really changes the vibe of the place.


Unless Coronado has gotten quite the update since I stayed there last in 2002 the decor really rubs me the wrong way. I agree that it feels like a business hotel, but I think it feels like a business hotel with outdated decor that is too spread out for its own good.

Give me a room at French Quarter over Coronado any day. French Quarter is small, has good amenities (bar!), is quiet, and even has the boat to Downtown Disney. It's also close enough to EPCOT that you can see the high fireworks from IllumiNations from your room if you're in the right building.

Riverside is too big for me. The bayou section feels like it's overgrown and the plantation houses are too far from the main building. I don't want to have a 10 minute walk to go top off my refillable mug or to grab a snack before the food court closes. Oh, and the five bus stops? No thanks.

Last edited by robotfactory,
Raven-Phile's avatar

It's hardly outdated. They remodeled the rooms last year - see here: (my pictures)

This is the pool that was outside our room:

This is the beach that was a 50 foot walk from our room, with hammocks that stretched the whole thing:

Unless Coronado has gotten quite the update since I stayed there last in 2002

It has. The rooms are easly the nicest in the Moderate category---in part because all those nasty business travelers more or less required it to continue booking conventions there.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Interestingly, I think I'd rather be in the hotel populated by business travelers than tourist types.

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