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0 Perks of Staying at a Disney Resort at Walt Disney World Orlando, Florida

19 Aug 2014 | 06:30:00

Orlando (USA) . 2014 . Apr 22 - May 7


This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

It may well be more affordable to stay at a non-Disney hotel or motel when you are visiting Walt Disney World Orlando, but there is a reason why most Disney Park goers still make Disney resorts their preferred choice.  We share with you some of our experience during our stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort at Walt Disney World Orlando.

1. Complimentary Airport Transfer

The magic begins right after you land at Orlando International Airport.  Disney takes care of everything including collecting your luggage and sending it to your respective resorts, ensuring that you travel hassle-free and in elegance to your resort. What’s more, Disney’s Magical Express provides complimentary airport transfer to and from the resort, making sure that your transport from the airport to the magical kingdom is seamless.

2. Complimentary Shuttle to Theme Parks and Downtown Disney

All Disney resorts come equipped with a full bus bay of buses going to all four theme park, two water parks and Downtown Disney.  They are complimentary for all resort guests and run for the full day during park opening hours.  Guests who opt to stay at some selected resorts, mainly the luxury ones, can have the option of travelling in style via boat or monorail.  Return shuttle is also included at the theme parks and water parks.

3. Complimentary Magic Bands

We cannot over emphasise how much we love those bands and how useful they were.  Magic Bands were a relatively new addition to Disney, and they work as a personalised key for every Disney guest. They are pre-programmed to be our room keys, theme park entrance key, FastPass ticket, and were linked to our credit card for any purchases that we make within Walt Disney World, offering us a hassle free experience throughout.   These waterproof bands basically eliminated any need to carry cash or paper tickets around - something that could get wet during the water rides.


Although these Magic Bands were available for sale to non-Disney Resort guests, we actually felt privileged to be able to customise our Magic Bands before departing for Orlando.

4. My Disney Experience Account

There is a reason why complimentary Wifi is provided at every Disney theme park at Disney World. That is because every Disney park-goers get to have an online account where they can reserve their FastPasses, or view their Disney photos.  With the Disney Experience app, they get to do this on-the-go, even at the Disney theme parks.  With the Disney Experience Account, Disney Resort guests get to pick their FastPasses earlier than non-resort guests.

My Disney Experience (Credits: www.insidethemagic.net)

5. Extra Magic Hours

Specially designed for Disney Resort guests to beat the crowd, every guests staying at a Disney Resort can enter Disney Theme Parks or water parks either earlier in the morning, or stay for later evening hours, depending on the schedule of each park.

Extra Magic Hours (Credits: www.wdwinfo.com)

6.  Free Delivery for Purchases

If you make any purchases at Walt Disney World, fret not that you would have to carry them though the day.  Disney Resort guests can opt to have their packages delivered to their resort free of charge. All you need to do is to pay (or scan your Magic Band if that had been linked to your credit card) and give the details of the resort you are staying at.  You can collect your package from the Disney store within your resort on the very next day.

7.  Meal Plans and Reservations

Guests staying at Disney Resorts can opt to purchase a dining option to add to their base entry tickets to the theme parks.  The dining options allows Disney Resort guests to redeem their meals at cafes and restaurants at the theme parks.  It is generally considered to be a better deal than paying for an ad-hoc meal at the theme park.

Final Verdict

So as you can see, there are many perks to staying in a Disney Resort Hotel.

Are you tempted now? Check out our review of our stay at Pop Century Resort and the dining options!

This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To receive notifications on updates, subscribe to our blog via RSS feed and email.

Like us on Facebook @ Discover. Book . Travel and follow us on Twitter @Discoverbooktra!

Do check out our Flickr photos & Youtube videos too!

0 Dining at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Orlando

16 Aug 2014 | 10:52:00

Orlando . 2014 . Apr 24 - 29


This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

We had almost all our breakfast and dinner at the Disney's Pop Century Resort during our visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando.  There wasn’t really much of a choice in this if you are at Walt Disney World, because the next option would be to dine at the Disney World Theme Parks, which is usually a much more expensive alternative.


The Food Court at Pop Century Resort is huge, but even so, it is jam-packed in the morning.  There were about 6-7 stalls in the Food Court, all served by a central cashier system.


If you just want to try the food during your stay and do not want to squeeze with the morning crowd, you might want to dine on one of the days in the afternoon. The crowd is much lesser as the hotel guests would be at the theme parks during that time.


Our breakfast sets on different days at the Pop Century Resort.  It is not the most fantastic of breakfasts given the price, but we would still recommend settling breakfast at the resort first before heading to the theme parks. You won’t appreciate being held back by breakfast while other park-goers head straight for the rides. Most people had that same thought in mind, which accounts for the large breakfast crowd every morning.


If you do not want to dine with a big crowd at the food court, you could always opt for a self service take away back to your room to enjoy your breakfast.


Take-away dinner from the food court.  Prices here are not exactly cheap, but it is definitely way cheaper than what is offered at the Disney Theme Parks.

Final Verdict

If you are staying at a Walt Disney Resort Hotel, it makes sense to have your breakfast and possibly dinner at the resort as prices in the theme park are typically more expensive. Unless you have made reservations at the theme park restaurants, it might be difficult to get a table at times too.

This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To receive notifications on updates, subscribe to our blog via RSS feed and email.

Like us on Facebook @ Discover. Book . Travel and follow us on Twitter @Discoverbooktra!

Do check out our Flickr photos & Youtube videos too!

0 Hotel Review: Disney’s Pop Century Resort

14 Aug 2014 | 06:30:00

Orlando . 2014 . Apr 24 - 29


This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

In our recent vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, we made the decision to stay at one of Walt Disney's Resorts.  Several advantages of staying at a Disney Resort propelled us to make that decision.

Disney generally classify their resorts based on their pricing and amenities offered.  These resorts are broadly categorised as:
  1. Deluxe Villas
  2. Deluxe Resort Hotels
  3. Moderate Resort Hotels
  4. Value Resort Hotels
We had no need for a luxurious stay when all we wanted to do was to visit the theme parks, so it was only natural that we went for the Value Resort Hotels which was less likely to burn a hole in our pocket while allowing us to enjoy the same Disney perks that the guys at the Disney luxury hotel enjoys. Disney’s Pop Century Resort was therefore our choice of hotel.

Check-In

If you are travelling during the peak period during summer time, chances are, you will be meeting a huge crowd everywhere at Disney World, including all their resorts.  We had tough luck meeting a huge school crowd when we arrived on the Disney’s Magical Express, ended up last in the queue, so check-in took about an hour or more.  In fact, most guests appeared to be part of large school groups, or large families.  If you are travelling as a family, our tip to you is to send a family member to stand in the queue as soon as you arrive on the Disney’s Magical Express while the rest of you handle the luggage.


The check-in reception during less busy times.


Our box of magic bands that came complimentary with our stay at the Pop Century Resort was handed to us during check-in.


This magic band comes in a variety of colours and was selected and customised by us online before we even made the trip to Orlando.  The band, worn round the wrist was introduced to Disney World only recently and was clearly a magical invention, because it was pre-programmed to be the key to our room, the ticket to the Disney World Theme Parks, the reservation FastPass+ ticket to rides, and even allows us to make payment for food and purchases at Disney World Resorts and within Pop Century Resort itself.  With this Magic Band, we could simply walk out of the room without cash and would still survive for the day!


Magic Bands are available for sale at the Disney World theme parks, but all Disney World Resort guests get it complimentary!

Our Preferred Room with King Bed

It was a last-minute decision to take a vacation at Orlando, and as it was shoulder-season, the rooms at most Disney World Resorts were mostly booked.  Even the lowest-priced standard rooms at the Pop Century Resort were fully booked, leaving us with the slightly more expensive Preferred Rooms.


Eventually this turned up to be a blessing in disguise, because the Preferred Rooms were all situated closest to the bus bay for shuttle buses.  In fact, we would recommend paying a little more to stay at the Preferred Rooms because the standard rooms were all really too far from the shuttle buses.  These rooms are also nearer to the check-in counter, the Food Court and the Disney Pop Store.

The Preferred Room with a King bed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort -  Our home for 5 nights.  It also comes with complimentary in-room Wifi, which was very much needed for us to go online to make reservations for those Fast Passes.


I have always loved these specially-made Disney toiletries at the Disney Resorts.  At the Pop Century Resort, all our toiletries were manufactured by ~H2O+, a touch of luxury amid a resort.


Curtains separate the wash-area and bathroom from the bedroom.

The Surroundings

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is exactly as what it’s name suggests.  It is a resort or as Singaporeans like to call it, a chalet type of accommodation.


It is perfect for a family vacation and from what we observed, most guests here stay for a week or more.  No five-star luxury treatment at the Pop Century Resort, but we are always made to feel welcome and comfortable.


There are three pools at Pop Century Resort, and our Preferred Room overlooks the Hippy Dippy Pool, the centre of attraction for the resort.  It was the most convenient place to get a quick splash at the pool, but the downside was that there were nightly pool activities late into the night, the noise of which filtered into our room constantly.  It wasn’t the most conducive environment for early sleepers to have a peaceful sleep.


Pop Century Resort offers Movies Under the Stars at the Hippy Dippy Pool, a complimentary movie screening of Disney’s films by the pool side.  They screen even recent movies such as ‘Frozen’!


The thematic decorations of the Pop Century Resort.  Pop Century Resort, as with all the other Disney World Resorts that we passed by, was huge, housing more than 2,800 rooms in 10 separate buildings.  Each area is demarcated by its own decade and icons.


The building we were staying at was depicted as the 1960s, with Baloo with Mowgli in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ as our giant statue.


Parking is complimentary for all guests, but we won’t recommend driving to any parts of Disney World.


Although the rooms and facilities were generally well taken care of, the only place that needs a facelift seems to be the lift lobby.  Hidden in a dark and obscure corner, it could hardly fit in with the more modern surroundings.


Pop Century’s own Disney merchandise store.  It carries most of the common merchandise sold at the Disney World Theme Parks.  If you had bought any mechanise at any of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks and don’t fancy carrying them with you for the entire day, you could also ask them to send it to the Everything Pop store at the resort for collection.

Complimentary Shuttle Service to Walt Disney World Theme Parks

If you do not drive (and we are recommending that you don’t because finding parking at the theme parks can be a challenge), the easiest form of transportation will be the complimentary shuttle buses provided at each Disney resort.


Queues can get astonishingly long in the morning,  especially for the buses to Magic Kingdom, the most popular theme park in Disney World. The frequency of these buses were good in the morning during park opening hours, but not so in the afternoon.


I wished there was shelter for the queues.  Those who holidaying in Orlando must obviously love the sun, but not for us who were over-exposed to the sun in sunny Singapore.

Final Verdict

Walt Disney’s Pop Century Resort lives up to its expectation as a Disney Value Resort.  We had such a carefree and wonderful time at Disney’s Pop Century Resort and will certainly stay here again!

Disney’s Pop Century Resort
1050 Century Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8433
(407) 938-4000

Up next as we review the dining options at Pop Century Resort in the next article!

This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To receive notifications on updates, subscribe to our blog via RSS feed and email.

Like us on Facebook @ Discover. Book . Travel and follow us on Twitter @Discoverbooktra!

Do check out our Flickr photos & Youtube videos too!

2 Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary (Updated)

13 Aug 2014 | 21:07:00

Orlando (USA) . 2014 . Apr 22 - May 7

Orlando is one of the places in our bucket list as we strive to visit every Disneyland in the world! :)

Orlando is sometimes known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" with its numerous famous theme park attractions which include Walt Disney World Resort, located approximately 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, which consists of the two parks of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure; City Walk; SeaWorld; Gatorland; and Wet 'n Wild Water Park.

Orlando''s tourist attractions draw more than 51 million tourists a year, including 3.6 million international guests. In fact, the Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the thirteenth busiest airport in the United States and the 29th busiest in the world.

Here's our itinerary with some photos and links to our reviews for our trip. The links will become clickable as we post them. Do bookmark this page as we update the reviews! :)

Last Updated: 13 Aug 2014

Day 0  Singapore -> New York (Apr 22)

2130        Check in at Singapore Changi Airport
2355        Flight to New York JFK Airport

Day 1  New York JFK Airport (Apr 23)

1100 Arrive at New York JFK Airport
1230 Check in at Hampton Inn NY-JFK Airport Hotel
1400 Rest
1800     Order Takeout Dinner
2000 Back to hotel


Day 2  New York -> Orlando (Apr 24)

0430 Rise and Shine
0500 Hotel shuttle to JFK Airport
0530 Check in at Airport
0725 Board American Airlines flight to Orlando
1020 Touch down at Orlando Airport
1100 Disney’s Magical Express to Pop Century Resort
1200 Check in to Pop Century Resort
1230 Lunch @ Katsura Grill
1300 Visit Disney World’s EPCOT
              - Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
              - Take photo with Duffy
              - Innovations East / Innovations West
              - Spaceship Earth (FP+)
              - Mission: SPACE (FP+)
1945 Dinner @ Nine Dragons Restaurant
2100 IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (FP+)
2200 Back to Pop Century Resort



Day 3  Walt Disney World -Animal Kingdom (Apr 25)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Animal Kingdom
- Dinoland U.S.A and Discovery Island
              - Finding Nemo – The Musical (FP+)
  - Kali River Rapids (FP+)
              - Wildlife Express to Conservation Station
              - Take photo with Chip & Dale
1430 Lunch @ Tamu Tamu Refreshments
1530     Visit Disney World’s Animal Kingdom
- Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
             - Kilimanjaro Safaris (FP+)
  - Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
1830 Shopping
2000 Dinner @ Resort
2100 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 4  Walt Disney World - EPCOT + Downtown Disney (Apr 26)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Epcot
              - The Seas with Nemo & Friends (FP+)
              - Living with the Land (FP+)
              - Journey Into Imagination With Figment (FP+)
1230 Lunch @ Coral Reef Restaurant
1400 Back to Hotel
1600 Visit Downtown Disney
- Disney Quest Indoor Interactive Theme Park
2000 Dinner @ Earl of Sandwich
2200 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 5  Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom (Apr 27)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
              - Emporium (Shopping)
              - Stitch’s Great Escape
              - Tomorrowland Speedway (FP+)
              - Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
              - Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
              - Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
              - Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
              - Mickey's PhilharMagic
              - "it's a small world"
1330 Lunch @ Diamond Horseshoe
1430  Visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
             - Jungle Cruise (FP+)
             - Pirates of the Carribbean
             - Haunted Mansion
             - Peter Pan's Flight
             - The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
             - Under the Seas - Journey of the Little Mermaid (FP+)
2100 Dinner @ Resort
0000 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 6  Walt Disney World - Hollywood Studios (Apr 28)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
              - Star Tours® -The Adventures Continue
              - Muppet Vision 3D
              - Studio Backlot Tour
              - Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular! (FP+)
              - Walt Disney: One Man's Dream
              - Lights, Motors, Action!® Extreme Stunt Show (FP+)
              - The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
              - The Great Movie Ride
              - Take photo with Stitch
1500      Late Lunch
1600  Visit Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
              - Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage
              - American Idol
- Toy Story Midway Mania
              - Voyage of The Little Mermaid
              - Fantasmic! (FP+)
2200 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 7  Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom + Premium Outlets (Apr 29)

0730 Rise and Shine
0830 Check out of Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
              - Big Thunder Railroad (FP+)
              - Splash Mountain (FP+)
              - Take photo with Mickey (FP+)
1300 Back to Pop Century Resort
1330 Lunch @ Resort
1400 Taxi to International Drive (Orlando Universal Studio)
1430 Check-in Hyatt Place Orlando Universal
1500      Visit Orlando Premium Outlets
1900 Dinner @ Premium Outlets
2200 Back to Hyatt Place






Day 8  Universal Studios Florida (Apr 30)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0830 Hotel Shuttle to Universal Studios
0900 Visit Universal Studios Florida
2100 Back to Hyatt Place


Day 9  Orlando Premium Outlets (May 1)

0800 Rise and Shine
0830 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0930 I-Trolley bus to Orlando Premium Outlets (International Drive)
1030 Shopping at Orlando Premium Outlets
2200 Back to Hyatt Place




Day 10  Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (May 2)

0630 Rise and Shine
0700 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0730 Hotel Shuttle to Universal Studios
0800 Visit Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
0900      The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Part 1 / Part 2
1200      Lunch at Three Broomsticks
1300      Continue visit of Islands of Adventure
1700      Dinner @ Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
1800 Back to Hyatt Place


Day 11  Kennedy Space Center (May 3)

0800 Grayline bus to Kennedy Space Centre
0900 Reach Kennedy Space Center
1000 KSC Bus Tour
1200 “Space Station” 3D Imax Show narrated by Tom Cruise
1300 Shuttle Launch experience
1530 “Hubble” 3D Imax Show narrated by Leonardo Dicaprio
1700 Shuttle back to Hyatt Place




Day 12  Free & Easy at Hyatt Place (May 4)

0800 Rise and Shine
0830 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0900 Rest and relax at Hyatt Place
1200 Lunch at T.G.I. Fridays
1800 Dinner at Hyatt Place


Day 13 to 15  Orlando -> New York -> Singapore (May 5 - May 7)

0600 Rise and Shine
0630 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0800 Check out of Hyatt Place
0830 Taxi to Orlando Airport
1025 Board Jet Blue flight to New York
1255 Touch down at New York JFK Airport
2055 Board flight to Singapore
0650      Arrive at Singapore Changi Airport (May 7)



The links will become clickable as we post them. Do bookmark this page as we update the reviews! :)


We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To receive notifications on updates, subscribe to our blog via RSS feed and email.

Like us on Facebook @ Discover. Book . Travel and follow us on Twitter @Discoverbooktra!

Do check out our Flickr photos & Youtube videos too!
 
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