Corey and I ended up taking an impromptu trip in early December 2014 and stayed at Pop Century for the second time. The first trip we stayed at “Pop” was in May 2014 and I think some situational circumstances beyond our control slanted my view of the resort. Our second trip completely and totally changed my mind about this resort. Read about why it’s now one of my favorites!
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First… Request a Higher Floor
In my first post I discussed how you needed to book a preferred room. I still stand behind that at Pop, but we got just as good of a location this trip in a non-preferred room on a higher floor. It was quieter to boot. I understand this doesn’t work for everyone, but for those of you that can; I recommend adding this request. Remember, all the buildings have elevators. That’s a great point about non-preferred rooms, too. Though they may be a little further away from the main building, they are usually in quieter locations. This room happened to be just on the other side of the building we stayed at in May 2014, so the walk wasn’t any longer to the main building than when we stayed preferred. It was also not right outside a smoking section. The 60s buildings are still a solid area request, but I would also add a higher floor to your room request.
Second… Request a King-size bedroom
This is more of a tip for couples and families with tinier children (I’m talking maybe one/two under 3), but the space in a king room is incredible. I know it’s no guarantee that you’ll get a king size room, but we made it our first room request and when we checked in, the cast member ask what we wanted more– to be in the 60s buildings or a king size bed. We opted for the king size bed (also because it was ready) and were so surprised at the space we had. There were two nightstands and a king size bed. Plenty of room to set up the pack-n-play too, if your family needs one. The two doubles in a regular room take up a lot more space somehow. It was perfect for us and I would highly recommend it for any couple willing to take the risk and a family of three or four with two very littles.
Third… Bring a cooler
The size of the cooler depends on the size of your family. Corey and I took a small, plastic-sided one for the two of us and put it where the door to the neighboring room is. Having the cooler afforded space in the mini fridge for travel size food stuff like small coffee creamers, milk, some lunch meats/cheeses, berries (because I can’t live without my berries), and some cream cheese. There was also still plenty of room for a coke or two and then there were extras in the cooler. It worked so much better than stuffing the fridge full of drinks and not having room for food. Breakfast food and snack stuff in the room saves so much money. (secret:: we brought our own coffee pot this time. y0u aren’t supposed to bring small appliances, but it worked so well.)
Fourth… Take a walk to Art of Animation
I’ve heard that the AofA food court is more busy than Pop’s, but that wasn’t true when I walked over there. While you can’t use their pool, you can eat at their food court, shop in their (much larger) gift shop, and take tons of fun pictures with the statues at their buildings. There are many Lion King, Cars, Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo decorations to take pictures with in the multiple courtyards. In addition to spending time at Pop, walk across the bridge to AofA and spend some time walking around; even if it’s only for the photo ops.
Fifth… Wait for the next Bus
This may sound like a very strange tip, but it is a very useful one at Pop. If you’re staying here, you’re staying at the resort with the biggest capacity on property. You’ve been warned. The buses will be crowded, but they run closer together. If there’s a long wait for the Magic Kingdom and you know you’ll be standing on the bus (or maybe not even getting on the next one) just wait for the next bus. 9 times out of 10, when that crowded Magic Kingdom bus pulls off, another one pulls in two minutes or less also going to the Magic Kingdom. We’ve seen this happen too many times to count. It doesn’t matter what park we’re headed to either. One time they packed the first bus full to Epcot and had another one already waiting to pull in that all the seats didn’t even get filled on. I promise that a few minutes spent waiting for the next bus are worth it. You will have a far more pleasant ride to the park than the 50+ people they packed on the first one.