Saturday, July 3, 2010

All-Star Music and Pop-Century Comprise Part II of the Value Resort Series

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To many of us the most important aspect of a Disney vacation is as simple as just being there. And by staying on-property, it only enhances the experience. But, as much as I would prefer to stay at any of several resorts that take higher amounts of money from my pocket, the Value resorts still offer a better choice for me than any off-site accommodation, like I will on my next vacation in the fall for our first “food and wine”.

Mary Ann and Friends at Pop Century

Last week we took at look at two Value resorts, the All-Star Sports and All-Star Movies. This week it’s All-Star Music and what’s affectionately known to the Disney community as Scopa Towers, the Pop-Century Resort.

All Star Music
All-Star Music is themed with building size decorations for each of the themed room areas including: Broadway, Country, Jazz, Calypso and Rock. There are oversized statues of maracas, tap shoes, top hats and musical instruments. You’ll be listening to musical soundtracks playing all over that spans many generations. They are famous for its size 270 cowboy boots covering the building’s three stories, and also size 125 top hats along the roof line. There is also a Broadway-style marquee featuring Beauty and Beast. Overall the amenities are similar to the other Value resorts except they also add a Family Suite option to squeeze in the whole group.

The rooms are set apart in five pairs of three-story buildings. Four people (two adults, a child and a baby will get along fine, although the space is somewhat constrained for that group. A couple will be perfect. All the centralized guest services are located in Melody Hall (check-in, food court, shops, arcade).

The Calypso Pool is the main one with the 3 Caballeros shooting water in the center. For those too young to know, the three Caballeros are Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito. It is located closest to Animal Kingdom and ESPN Wide World of Sports. Lots of families and groups with kids are common here.

All-Star Music

Here are videos of a standard room and Family Suite in the All-Star Music courtesy of The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010 (Unofficial Guides) and TouringPlans.com.

All-Star Music Standard Room


What differentiates the All-Star Music from other Value Resorts are the Family Suites. There are 52 in the Jazz Inn building with more in the Calypso building for a total of 192. These can sleep up to 6 people plus a Pack ‘N Play. The room is broken up into two parts which provides some privacy including two bathrooms. One side has a Queen bed and the other a sofa-pull out bed. The ottoman and chairs convert into singles. It will get a little tight so the option which could work out much better are two rooms which might also be a better financial deal

All-Star Music Family Suite



Pop-Century Resort
Pop-Century is the newest of the Value Resorts and defines itself as the “Classic Years” broken up by the decades of the 1950’s through the 1990’s. The statues here include cell phones, bowling pins, a jukebox, Mickey Phone, 8-track tapes, laptop computers and much, much more. Disney calls it a larger-than-life time capsule of pop culture and indeed it is. We had a lot of fun walking the different sections and taking pictures. This is a place to enjoy the sights, even if you don’t stay here.

There are a total of 10 buildings which are four-stories high. In addition to the colorful and iconic decorations throughout the facility, there are words and phrases representing each decade splattered on the buildings. The main building is Classic Hall and includes the normal check-in, arcade, gift shop and food course.

More rooms than other Value Resorts are located here, so there are also three main pools, a flower-shaped Hippy Dippy Pool, a smaller (but large enough) Bowling Pin shaped pool and the Computer Monitor shaped one. For the kids, there’s the Goofy Kiddie Spray, a playground and of course an arcade. It is near both Epcot and DHS, but also ESPN.

The food court at Pop Century is the nicest of all the Values, maybe it’s the station layout since in general the foods will be the same at all of them. But there is a flatbread sandwich selection and “Mom’s Night Out” that mixes it up a bunch. For a quick meal on the run (if you have car) it’s not a bad stop to make (for eating or walking around) if you’re outside the parks. Both food courts are a good size for accommodating most times of the day, except for mornings from about 8 to 9 am, so be prepared for some crowding on a busy day.

Here is video of a standard room at Pop-Century Resort. It is courtesy of The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010 (Unofficial Guides) and TouringPlans.com.

Pop-Century Typical Standard Room


You can also get a souvenir refillable mug at any resort which is a good deal if you are there for more than a few days. And you should also be able to get Mickey Waffles at the Values.

Each of these two resorts offer a Concierge Desk in the main buildings to help you with nearly any part of your vacation, such as a restaurant ADR or special event tickets. There is also a information button on your room phone to get information, but it’s better to use the Concierge Desk to save time.

Additional Information on these resorts
Before I get to the FAQ information and links on each of these two resorts, I wanted to highlight a special Disney service called Kid’s Nite Out. These are one-on-one in-room childcare right in your room. You can hire professional babysitters play games, read books and otherwise occupy children while parents take some time for themselves. “They can also provide a fun, well-trained sitter to just hang out with the family if they need a father's/mother's helper.” Advance reservations are required and services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at all WDW Resorts. The Phone Number: 407-828-0920


All Star Music
Number of Rooms: 1,706
Room Size: 260 square ft.
Pools: 2 Pools and Child Water Play Area
Laundry: Self-Service
Standard Room Configuration: 1 King, Two Double

All-Star Music Family Suite
Room Size: 520 square ft.
Configuration: 1 Queen, 1 Double Sleeper, Single Convertible Sleeper Chair & Single Convertible Sleeper Ottoman
Amenities: 27” flat CRT TV, kitchenette with microwave, small refrigerator (4.3 cu. ft), coffee pot and 2 full bathrooms


Pop Century
Number of rooms: 2,880
Configuration: 1 King or Two Double
Size: 260 square ft
Pools: 3 pools and Children’s Pool and Pop-Jet Water fountain play area
Laundry: Self Service and Valet

Both Resorts:
Disabled Accessible Rooms Available
Elevators and Interior Corridors
All Rooms Non-Smoking
Dining: Food Court Only
Pizza Delivery: 4 pm to midnight
Pool Bar
Children’s Playground
Arcade

All-Star Music
Other Resources
All-Star Movies
- Resort Map
- Virtual Tour
- Menu for Breakfast
- Menu for Lunch and Dinner

Pop-Century

Pop-Century
- Resort Map
- Virtual Tour
- Menu for Breakfast
- Menu for Lunch and Dinner
- Menu for Pizza Delivery

Summary on Value Resorts
Value Resorts are the least expensive rooms on property. Although various features might increase the nightly rate, they all have the same basic pricing. Thus, Value Season in a Value Resort is $82, Regular Season $105 and from $139 to $159 for various Holiday seasons. Remember Disney resort room pricing depends on whether it’s a weekday or weekend as well as the time of the year. Other pricing for these two resorts include such options such as preferred room and extra adult charges. The Family Suite at All-Star Music will be a low of $190 to a high of $310 a night.

Remember also that these are “rack” prices and there are many ways the pricing can be lower. For example, the current summer deal that cuts the Value Resort room rates 15% or 30% depending on dates. I haven’t seen too many specials on the Family Suites, thought. There are also the specials offered Annual Pass Holders. The key to getting the best price is planning early, following the Disney fan web sites like this one and working with a Disney-authorized travel agency.

Normal set-ups include two-doubles or one-king size bed, table, chairs, a wall safe, an iron and ironing board, air-conditioning and hair dryer. For an extra cost you can add a Pack ’N Play, mini-refrigerator and Internet service. There are wheelchair accessible rooms. Also in the room is a television, clock radio and sink/vanity. If you need connecting rooms, there are plenty available. Housekeeping can get you extra pillows, blankets and towels.

Pop Century is the only Value Resort that I’ve found a fan site dedicated to it.You’ll find a great deal of detailed information about the resort with a ton of photos, maps and more at http://www.popcenturysite.com/.

One new resource on the web describing and providing assessments of different WDW resorts is EasyWDW at http://www.easywdw.com/. They provide a nice review of the Value Resorts . I think this is becoming a great online resource for Disney visitors and worth a closer look. For example, on the value resorts you’ll not only find clear descriptions of what they offer but various “best” and “worse” notations and recommendations. Based on my own observations, I tend to agree with their analysis.

For some more in-depth information, check out these two Disney fan sites: DIS/WDW Info and All-Ears.Net Guest Reviews. All-Ears also has Fact Sheets for All-Star Music: and Pop-Century: on AllEars.Net which also provides a nicely edited video tour of Pop Century Resort.

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