Disney’s Pop Century Resort

The Mature Mouse™ hopes to convince more middle-aged travelers to see the enjoyment and value of a Walt Disney World vacation. One of the key ingredients in any type of vacation is your home base, the resort you decide to call home during your trip. I recommend staying on Disney property at one of their numerous resorts, priced to fit any budget, and themed to fit your style and comfort. A resort should be more than just a place to sleep, and your time at Walt Disney World should not be spent roaming the parks from open to close. I must confess that The Mature Mouse™ did not follow his own advice during my last trip. I choose a resort based on budget and simply as a place to crash after each exhausting day. However, I did make sure that I chose a resort that offered certain perks and amenities that I would enjoy.

IMG_7795It has been a little over a month since The Mature Mouse™ returned from my trip to Walt Disney World. I have briefly mentioned Disney’s Pop Century Resort in past posts. I have included links to those pages below. However, I realized that I have not dedicated an entire post to a review of this value resort.

Previous references to Disney’s Pop Century Resort:

IMG_7793As I stated earlier, I chose the Pop Century for this trip for two specific reasons. As a value resort, this Disney motel fit into my budget for this trip. And, the theme of this resort reflects the first 50 years of my life.

Did you notice that I referred to this Disney Resort as a motel? Although extremely large in area and capacity, Pop Century is built like motel; you enter your room from the outside of the building, not from interior corridors. Except for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, all the other value resorts are constructed this way.
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The balconies are decorated with images representing the pop culture of a specific decade. These images are of the two buildings in the section representing the 1960s. At the center of these two buildings is the Hippy Dippy Pool.

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My travel agent booked me a preferred room, meaning it was closer to registration, central pool, food court, and park busses. This convenience cost a few more dollars a night. IMG_7312My room could use some updating. The beds were comfortable, but not exceptional, tiles and grout are worn, as are the rugs.IMG_7775
However, rugs and wallpaper feature hidden Mickeys.
IMG_7790Disney’s Pop Century features an exceptional food court, one of the best on property. There are hot and cold dishes, most made to order, as well as assorted snack choices. There is plenty of room to dine in the food court area, and you can always bring your meals outside to the pool areas, or back to the room. There is also a gift shop on site, offering many of the items one would find in the parks.IMG_1838 This would also be the place to pick up items bought in the parks and shipped back to your room.

IMG_7794Disney transportation busses are dedicated to Pop Century, meaning that they will not stop at multiple resorts traveling to and from the parks. However, Pop Century busses traveling to and from Animal Kingdom will also stop at Disney’s Blizzard Beach. As with all the other Disney resorts, there are well-marked waiting areas for the busses. However, the lines are not covered, which can be brutal on those hot and humid Florida days, or during one of the daily downpours.

IMG_7160Guests staying at Pop Century can cross Hourglass Lake, via Generation Gap Bridge, to visit Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Although it is in the value category, the cost per night at this resort is higher than the other value resorts. You are allowed to eat at the AoA food court, which is also exceptional, as well as use the pools. Knowing that Pop and Art are sister resorts affords you some flexibility in transportation. One could take a park bus to the Art of Animation and walk across the bridge to POP very easily. Although, if you are like me, you will usually return from the parks exhausted and not want a longer walk to your room.

IMG_7158 IMG_7159Overall, The Mature Mouse™ recommends Disney’s Pop Century in the value resort category. Although adults can appreciate the theming of the resort, it is geared more toward families with kids. I can only speak from my experience; the rooms could use some updating. However, the resort worked for me as a place to crash after a long day in the parks. I am in the process of planning a student trip to Walt Disney World for next April and this is the resort I have chosen for our stay.

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Follow this link to the unofficial fan site of Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

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A travel agent who specializes in booking Disney Vacations is a valuable free resource when planning your next trip, and will assist you in choosing the right resort for your stay at Walt Disney World. I started planning my recent trip by calling Jennie Nowers. When Cool Summer Savings was released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not have to do a thing. Tell Jennie that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift with your next booking

IMG_7405Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire. This baseball hat is just one of the featured items available through the store. If you are a mature fan of Disney, consider getting an item. I am a Mature Mouse™, are you?

Planning My Solo Trip to Disney World

IMG_7405Now that I have returned from my solo trip to Walt Disney World, we should review the planning for this trip. This will allow us to discuss in my future posts whether these plans worked and if any rescheduling was needed during my time in the parks. The planning steps i mention here will work for any type of Disney World vacation.

As with any trip to Disney World, planning for The Mature Mouse™ always begins with a call Jennie Nowers. I had a fixed budget and a short span of time for traveling, so Jennie helped me figure out my choices of resort, park tickets, dining plan, and plane flights.

IMG_1838Pop Century is the resort I chose for this trip. This is a value resort with rates ranging from $95 to $186 per night, varying according to the season in which you stay. The resort is themed after the pop culture of the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. These last two decades are reflected in the same unit within the resort. As a middle-aged vacationer, The Mature Mouse™ can certainly relate to the theme of this resort. Pop Century is just one of the few resorts to feature dedicated buses that travel directly to and from the various parks, without any additional stops at other resorts. Here is a link to a previous post about Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

The next step in my planning process involves researching expected crowd levels in the 4 theme parks during my stay. I rely on TouringPlans.com Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 11.54.10 AMfor this information. The site is simple to use, and it offers subscribers the ability to create personal touring plans for each day of their trip. You pick a park and attractions you wish to experience, then add the start and end times for your time in the park, along with lunch and rest breaks, and the site creates an optimized plan to avoid long lines. As you can see from this example, the plan even includes a map of the park. They have an excellent track record.

Supported by suggestions from Touring Plans, I made the choice to include the Park Hopper onto my ticket purchase. By adding the Park Hopper option I would have the possibility to visit any or all of the four major Walt Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) during each day of my trip. Here is more information on the value of the Park Hopper option. The various prices listed on this site may have changed since it was last update; please see Disney’s website on ticket pricing.

My final decision in planning was to determine whether to include a dining plan. I enjoy having an all-inclusive trip so as not to worry about added expenses. Of dining plans offered at Disney World, the Quick Service plan appeared to make the most sense. This would allow me two Quick Service meals and one snack. There are numerous QS restaurants throughout the parks, offering me numerous choices. Breakfast on the QS plan includes 1 entrée or a combo meal and a beverage. A QS lunch includes 1 entrée, 1 desert, and 1 non-alcoholic beverage. This dining plan would allow me to focus on touring the parks, not spending time sitting at a Table Service restaurant. Please do not misunderstand, Walt Disney World offers incredible fine-dining experiences. Please see my various posts about adult dining at WDW.

Chapter 7: Disney Magic and Romance at the California Grill

Top 10 Places to Dine Without Kids at Walt Disney World

My final step in planning was to book my FastPass+ choices 60 days prior to my trip, which was made based on the plans I created through the Touring Plans website. Making these reservations early insured I would have FP+ selections during my vacation, knowing that I would have the flexibility to alter these choices before and during my trip.

There was a period of time when a visit to Walt Disney World could be done on a whim, with little or no planning. However, times have changed. Planning is important and allows for flexibility. The process of planning your trip serves another purpose, educating you about the ins and outs of the resort. Think of it this way: Would you plan to travel to a city you have never been to before? The entire Walt Disney World Resort covers 40 Square miles, which is the equivalent in size of San Francisco. Would you research and plan your first trip to San Francisco?

IMG_1869Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire. This baseball hat is just one of the featured items available through the store. If you are a mature fan of Disney, consider getting an item. I am a Mature Mouse™, are you?

I Am No Longer At Disney

A satirical look at the post-trip crash all Disney vacationers experience.

Guests feel an intense level of excitement as they begin their Walt Disney World vacation. The disheartening feeling is just as intense as your vacation ends. There comes a time when you begin to realize you are no longer at Disney.IMG_7152

I was still riding in Disney transportation as I left Pop Century. My luggage had already been checked at the resort, so Disney would insure that it would accompany me in my flight home.

You will find numerous busses outside the terminal at Logan in Boston. One of these would take me back to Maine. I thought of the line of Disney busses standing by to take you to the parks. Maybe I was only tired. Or, the Disney bubble of euphoria still engulfed me.

I finally began to realize my recent Disney experience was over when I had to pay for parking at the Portland bus station. I ceased to be one of Disney’s guests. No one was insuring my luggage would reach my destination. No one was driving me ‘home’. There were no plans to be made for a  trip to the parks the next day.IMG_7790

I made my own breakfast the next morning. Gone was the food court with all its choices. I was not on Disney’s dining plan anymore. I visited the local mall later in the morning and I had a Disney flashback as I walked through the food court. I thought about having a snack, but I realized all my snack credits were gone. I would have to pay out-of-pocket instead of using my MagicBand.

There is a Disney promotional commercial that suggests that the power of the MagicBand. would make life so much easier. I always thought this was just a gimmick, a marketing ploy to make you believe that the magic of a Disney experience extends beyond the parks. The Mature Mouse™ is well aware that Disney magic does exist, even when your vacation is over. This is why fans read and write blogs, listen to podcasts, and follow fan sites.

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A travel agent who specializes in booking Disney Vacations is a valuable free resource when planning your next trip. I started planning my recent Disney World Vacation by calling Jennie Nowers. When the Cool Summer Savings were released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not need to do a thing. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire. Below are images of just a few of the featured items available through the store. If you are a mature fan of Disney, consider getting an item to let others know. I am a Mature Mouse™, are you?

Farewell Disney World, For Now

 
The end has arrived. The Mature Mouse™ is leaving Walt Disney World tomorrow. I will return again, someday. Until then, I will share my insights and the information I gained from this trip. And, as I have done in previous posts, I will share material from all the blogs, websites, and podcasts I follow. 

I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to my family for their continued support of this blog, and this research trip. 

My travel agent, Jennie Nowers, who specializes in booking Disney Vacations was a valuable and free resource in planning this trip. When the Cool Summer Savings were released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not need to do a thing. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire. Below are images of just a few of the featured items available through the store. If you are a mature fan of Disney, consider getting an item to let others know. I am a Mature Mouse™, are you?

  

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Mature Mouse™ spent the morning and early afternoon visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It was hot, humid, and crowded. However, the park looks great, even with all the construction walls. My only regret was missing an opportunity to eat some of the animal poop now featured at the Harambe Sweet Shop. They had run out! Who knew animal poop would be so popular?  I’ll write more on my visit to the park in my post-trip posts. I’ll be over World Showcase to enjoy a quick-service meal, explore the pavilions, and eperience Illuminations. 

Sporting a Mature Mouse™ baseball hat!
  

Bound for Disney World

It is the night before my next trip and I realize I never posted my pre-trip planing overview. The school year just took longer to end than planned, and there’s even more paperwork to do post-trip. I will post that overview once I’m back, but look for daily trip posts over the next few days. The Mature Mouse™ will be in the parks beginning tomorrow evening with a sojourn to Hollywood Studios. If you’re in the parks between now and June 30, look for a guy wearing a baseball cap and carrying a backpack with The Mature Mouse™ logo. Please take a minute and say hello.

  

When the Disney Dining Plan Is Not For You

The Mature Mouse™ has recently posted several articles about Free Dining at Walt Disney World. Given the overwhelming response to the recent release of this offer, and the technology glitches that plagued travel agents and guests attempting to book vacations, the Dining Plan is obviously an important topic for Disney vacationers. However, just because the Dining Plan is offered as free, is it worth the value? And, more importantly, when is the Disney Dining plan not appropriate for your vacation.  Disney Dining has posted an article that speaks to this question to assist you in determining if a dining plan is right for you. 

A travel agent who specializes in booking Disney Vacations is a valuable free resource when planning your next trip. I started planning my next Disney World Vacation by calling Jennie Nowers. When the Cool Summer Savings were released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not need to do a thing. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire.

  

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

The Mature Mouse™ will be staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort for my solo trip in June. This will be my first stay at this resort, and my first time at aThe-Pool-at-DIsneys-Pop-Century-Resort1 Disney Value Resort. Dad’s Guide to WDW recently posted a review of this resort, listing the 5 reasons to love Pop Century. I am looking forward to the theming at this resort. After all, I have lived through all 5 decades represented at this resort in the pools and iconic images. And, as mentioned in the review, value resorts are directed toward families with young children. The nostalgic feel to Pop Century appeals to the older, mature guests. I also chose Pop Century for the price and the dedicated Disney busses.

Have you stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort? Have you stayed at other value resorts? What were your impressions, as a mature mouse, of these resorts? Just take a moment and leave a comment below.

If you have not done so already, please vote here to help me plan my next trip to Walt Disney World. Please use the link to visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make great additions to your vacation gear and attire.

And, make sure you consult Jennie Nowers about your next Disney vacation. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts

“In 1994, the first of the Walt Disney World Value Resorts opened.” Dad’s Guide to WDW recently posted an overview of the Value resorts at Walt Disney World. As I have mentioned in this blog, my favorite resort is Disney’s Beach Club for many reasons. You can read about our resort choice back in Chapter 2: The right Disney Resort, for us. However, my budget will not always afford me the opportunity to stay at a deluxe resort. I am looking at Disney’s Pop Century Resort for my next trip. This value resort offers dedicated busses to the parks, and some great theming based on the pop culture of the 1950’s, ’60’s, ’70’s, ’80’s, and ’90’s.

Have you stayed at a value resort? If so, which one and how was your experience? If you have not stayed at a value resort, why not? IS it because these resorts are themed more for families with children, or because you really enjoy the comfort of the moderate and/or deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.

Click on the image of Disney’s Pop Century to visit the full article by Dad’s Guide to WDW.disney-world-value-resorts-pop-front-judd