As I mentioned in my introductory post, we opted not to stay on property during our first Disney vacation because the Value resorts didn’t appeal to us. After that trip and a LOT of researching, I realized that staying on property is SO much better, so we decided on Pop Century for our December 2005 trip. Pop got great reviews and I liked that it had its own bus service, whereas the All Stars resorts shared buses.
During that trip, we were assigned a room in the 70s section – the room itself was perfect for what we needed, but the 70s was too far from the main building where the food court, shop, arcade, and bus stops are located. After staying there, we knew that next time we would request a room in the 50s section. In 2006, 2007, and 2009 we got our requested section. In 2008, we were traveling with my best friend and we required an accessible room for her that connected to ours. Because of this, we were assigned ground floor rooms in the 60s – most people would probably love this since we were super close to the main pool, but we discovered that we enjoy being close to the parking lot since we drive ourselves to the parks most of the time. I also despise ground floor rooms because of all the little lizards and other critters running around.
In 2010, we thought we would try one of the moderate resorts and chose Port Orleans Riverside because it got such wonderful reviews. It was ok, but we didn’t really think we got much more for our money. The room was in serious need of refurbishment and we just don’t spend enough time at the resort to make a moderate worth it. We knew that we would definitely be back at Pop for our next trip.
Pop was refurbished in 2010, so we were looking forward to seeing the updated rooms. We didn’t notice much of a difference except for the flat screen tv (which didn’t work very well – almost none of the channels came in clear during our stay). They changed the dresser so now there is less storage space, and they repainted the walls and changed the bedspreads.
When we checked in, we were assigned a room in the 90s and immediately asked if there was anything in the 50s instead. The cast member found us a room and we were on our way shortly after that. After unpacking and showering, we headed out for dinner. When we got back that evening, our card wouldn’t open the gate, but that’s not all that unusual. However, when we got to our room, we couldn’t get the door open either. We tried both cards several times with no luck, so I headed down to reception. The cast member there gave me two new cards and sent me on my way. When I got back up to the room, I saw the hubby was talking to a cast member and the door was open. There was another guest a floor below us who told us that when his family checked in, they were given our room first. I tried the new room keys, but they didn’t work. I called the front desk and explained the situation and the cast member I spoke with told me that the room wasn’t ours. I told her that yes, it is ours – all our stuff is here and our keys worked just fine before – but all she could say was that it wasn’t our room. She put me on hold for awhile and then transferred me to someone else who explained there was a “computer error” and someone else had been assigned to our room and all of the keys had been deactivated in the process of sorting things out. They sent someone else up with another new set of room keys, that thankfully worked for the remainder of our trip.
Other issues we had were that the toilet would not stop running after flushing it unless we jiggled the handle around, the hair dryer broke when I was in the middle of using it, and there were tons of flying insects hanging around outside our door (and everyone else’s) and it was impossible to stop them from coming inside the room. I realize we could have complained about any of these problems when we were there, but I just didn’t care enough. I did call housekeeping when the hair dryer broke and they sent up a new one within about 5 minutes.
We still love Pop, but I think we’ve graduated to a new kind of vacation. We realized that we’re not Park Commandos anymore, and that we would enjoy a couple of stay-at-the-resort-and-relax days. We could do that at Pop, but it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable as staying at, say, the Polynesian 😉 We’ve decided to save up our money and stay at the Poly next time, doing less park days, and more relaxation days.