Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disney World for People Who Hate Disney World.

I have to admit to being amused by people who don't like Disney, mostly because they are so earnest in their dislike. I know you're out there: The guy whose sister-in-law decides the whole family really needs to go on a family vacation to Disney. The parent who sees too many "What Will You Celebrate" commercials on late night TV and decides to make up for working so much lately. The wife who gamely indulges her husband's yearly Disney vacation all while wishing for a spa vacation . . . alone, perhaps. So there you are, surrounded by a few thousand strangers too many, waiting in line for an hour in the Florida heat for It's a Small World, gritting your teeth, trying desparately to pretend that you're not having murderous thoughts toward a small, singing doll.

There are, truthfully, some valid reasons for the Disney hater's antipathy. Maybe you've gone and had a terrible time. It was hot and crowded. You spent a lot of money. The kids whined a lot and the grandparents gave them too much sugar. You swore you'd never set foot on Disney property again. Or maybe you've never even been, but you object simply to Disney on the grounds that it's commercial/manufactured/too much fun. Whatever the case, and I do understand, the truth is to keep the peace, you're eventually going to have to go to Disney. This is particularly true if you have kids and if you belong to that solid hunk of America, the middle and upper-middle class. And while you're there, you're going to have to pretend to like it. In this type of situation, it's best to find a way to enjoy it. Afterall, you're paying a lot of money. Oh, I guess I shouldn't remind you of that.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to make your vacation less miserable:

1) Try to go when it's the least crowded. If that's not possible, use one of the touring plans available to reduce your time in line. They really do work.

If touring plans seem like too much work (and honestly, I don't always use an entire plan unless I'm going during a busy time of year), do these two things: 1) Get to the park when it opens; and 2) Go straight to the ride you're interested in that will have the longest waits (for example, in Disney Hollywood Studios, go to Toy Story Mania), and get a fastpass for that ride. Then go ride something else. By the time you're done, your first fastpass should be ready. If you're in the timeframe for getting another fastpass, and you likely are, get one on the way over to your first fastpass ride.

2) You're being a good sport, right? Why not reward yourself and go golfing? Don't like to golf? Try fishing, right on Disney property. You can also rent little small watercraft (like double jet-skis, only slower) in front of the Polynesian Resort at at the Boardwalk. If you really need a break, go out by yourself.

3) Have a spa day. Disney's Saratoga Springs Spa is often cited as one of the best spas in the Southeast; the Grand Floridian also has a spa. The spa at the Ritz-Carlton, a few miles off Disney property, is expensive and, according to those who've gone, worth every penny.

4) Hire a sitter or take the in-laws up on their offer to watch the kids and have a night out with your spouse. After a few days, you probably need a break from the kids as much as they'll need one from you. California Grill is an obvious choice for a great meal on Disney property, but if you want quiet and fewer kids, try Citricos in the Grand Floridian or Artist's Point at the Wilderness Lodge. If you really want some grown-up time, try Victoria's and Alberts. Not only is it blissfully child-free, it's also consistently named one of the best restaurants in Florida.

5) Be a hero and be the one who takes the little ones back to the room for the mid-day break. No one needs to know that you're getting a nap too. Show up with the refreshed tot just in time for dinner.

6) Go off by yourself. If you're staying on Disney property, take advantage of Extra Magic Hours at night and leave your spouse and the kids back in the room (no need for a sitter) while you explore on your own. Disney parks are pretty safe and especially beautiful at night and often considerably less crowded. Drink around the world in Epcot--and take the bus back to your resort. Switch off with your wife the next night. You'll be surprised how much fun time in the parks can be without stragglers and obligations to others in your party. Go see the Christmas lights at the Wilderness Lodge or head on over the The Boardwalk and people watch; if you're there long enough, a wedding might even break out.

7) Take a day off from the theme parks. You're right in the middle of everything in Central Florida. Head over to the coast and hit the beach or go to the Kennedy Space Center. You get extra points for injecting an educational experience into your kids' vacation.

8) Don't try to do everything. The world won't end if you can't get a Fastpass for Soarin' or if your youngest is really afraid of Mickey and won't let you get a picture. Don't be the guy in front of Mickey's Philharmagic yelling at your three-year old because he wouldn't eat his Figaro Fries. Why was that guy yelling? Chances are he's a nice guy, but he's stressed out and hot and the kids are overwhelmed. Time to remember that it's a vacation and relax. Some of the best moments I've had at Disney World have been just riding the monorail and talking to a stranger about his grandkid's first ride or sitting on a bench at closing (the parks actually stay open about an hour after the attractions close) with my best friend watching the castle turn colors and telling funny non-Disney stories while everyone else rushes out of the park.

9) If you're travelling with extended family or a large group, agree ahead of time that you won't spend all your time together. Instead, on some days arrange to go off in smaller groups and meet up for later dinner. It's amazing to me how many family arguments are started because no one can agree on the same activity for the day.

10) Put together a good plan; know when to throw it out. I've travelled around Europe with little more than a Europass and a vague idea of where I wanted to go next, but I never go to Disney without making at least a couple advanced dining reservations and an idea of when the parks open/close and who has Extra Magic Hours. You won't regret spending a small amount of time figuring out fastpasses, learning about on-site transportation, or making advanced dining reservations a few months before you go.

Have fun! You might just surprise yourself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When is the best time to go to Disney?

On occasion, particularly with my previous blog, I get an email that goes a little something like this:

Dear Disney Expert:

I am throwing myself at your (terribly small) feet and hoping that you deign to answer this question with the full force of your knowledge and wit: Just when is the best time to go to Disney World?


A flummoxed traveller.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating. Most often, it would simply say "Hey, when is the best time to go to Disney and also, could you stop with the run-on sentences?" Well, who am I deny the weary masses the full force of my Disney knowledge. I mean, I've spent a lot of my husband's hard-earned money amassing this information. The least I can do is share.

The best thing is, it's very simple. Here's what I always say when someone asks about the best time to go to Disney:

Go when it's hot, or go when it's crowded, but don't go when it's both hot and crowded.

There. Easy peasy, right? Seriously, I should write a guidebook. Except that for most people, it isn't that simple: Kids and jobs often dictate when you can travel. So here is the next best thing, a quick primer on Disney crowds, month by month:

January: Usually a great month to go to Disney World, however be aware that when crowds are lower, Disney normally closes a small number of attractions for refurbishment and has shorter park hours. The weather can be pretty cool, although some people find swimming comfortable (Alaskans?). Disney usually closes at least one water park during this month. The following can effect crowd levels, so plan accordingly:

New Year's Day is going to be very crowded. If it falls close to the weekend, that weekend will be will be crowded as well, but after that, the crowds are very light.

College bowl games in Central/South Florida will attract crowds on the days before and after the game.

Martin Luther King weekend, like all holiday weekends at Disney, will be crowded.

Finally, Disney holds several marathons/half-marathons this month. While it generally doesn't effect park attendance that much, some resorts may fill to capacity and driving on property can get tricky during the races as some roads are closed off. If you somehow happen to find yourself trapped in this healthy horde, hide that Snickers bar and get away as soon as possible. Reward yourself later with a Dole Whip. Whew.

Verdict: I'm going to go out on a limb and just say it: Other than holidays and special events, January is the best time of the year to go to Disney World. Be mindful of park hours, as they will be shorter. Bring a jacket and a raincoat. And maybe your running shoes.  You know, if that's your thing.

February: Prior to mid-month, the parks are not very busy. Believe it or not, mid-February marks the start of Disney's Spring Break season, which also means crowds. Lots and lots of crowds. There will be long-ish waits for major attractions, although less than in March or April. February and March are probably your best months for near-perfect weather. If the Super Bowl is in Central or South Florida that year, expect higher attendance that weekend. The Epcot Flower and Garden show begins in February but generally doesn't increase the amount of visitors in the park. Higher resort rates usually start right before Valentine's day, cutting into your romantic getaway mojo.

March: Spring break crowds really get going during this month, although March is much less busy than April. This year, resort discounts kept attendance levels up but manageable despite the economy.

April: I would never go to Disney World in April. Okay, let me take that back. If I had children who were on a traditional school-year calendar (we have year-round school here and I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that I choose the schedule that was the most Disney friendly--hey, I have my priorities) and could only go in April or during the summer, I'd go in April. Otherwise, I'd stay home.

That says a lot, considering how much I love Disney. I mean, I have a blog about it.

In any event, crowds this April were so bad that Disney closed the parks several times, meaning that only resort guests or guests using the park hopper option could enter the parks; day guests (that is, guests who are not staying on-site) who slept in late were out of luck. This is, fortunately, very rare. Some friends who went reported having a good time, but were frustrated with the crowds and noted that cutbacks in the parks, aggrevated by the large crowds, were starting to show. So you take your chances. Mild spring weather, but crowded parks.

Verdict: Don't go to Disney World in April. Ever. Unless of course your only other option is July. Then, by all means, go in April and enjoy. Keep in mind that the worst weeks of the entire spring break season, if not the worst weeks of the entire year, excluding Christmas, are the week before and the week after Easter. Put on your game face and bring your best attitude. You can still have fun, you'll just have to plan accordingly.

May: I've been twice during May and both times I thought the crowds were low to medium. Last year, I was in Disney World with my then five-year old and the place was practically empty on Mother's Day. Who knew other moms didn't want to spent their day in a theme park?

Check the Disney website to find out when grad nights are scheduled.  Currently, they are being held at Hollywood Studios, but that can change. Not only can it effect crowds at that park, it also means that the park will be closing at 7:00 p.m; all that means is that you will probably want to visit another park that day, particularly if you're not using park hoppers. Expect crowd levels to pick up by the end of the month, particularly if Disney announces Star Wars Weekends will begin in late May rather than June.

By the way, recent reports are that Memorial Day Weekend crowds were very light this year due to the economy. Hard to say if that will be the case next year, as holiday weekends are usually packed.

Verdict: Go the first two weeks in May and bask in the glory of how clever you are as you walk onto attractions and easily get a walk-up reservation at your favorite sit-down restaurant in Epcot (not Le Cellier--let's not get crazy here). Don't forget the sunblock; it's starting to get hot.

June: The start of summer vacation understandably means bigger crowds. Big event weekends like Star Wars Weekends (every weekend in June) and Gay Days (the first weekend in June) can add to the crowds. Nonetheless, crowds are usually manageable the first part of the month as many schools are not out yet.

Okay, here's a little secret about Gay Days. Some people are uncomfortable with it. I know, shocking. The truth is Gay Days visitors are just like any other group going to Disney World, except you may see same-sex partners wearing red shirts and holding hands. I know, red shirts. Sheesh. Otherwise, they're just like everyone else and for a lot of us, it's an opportunity to explain to our kids that there are all kinds of families out there. Nonetheless, not everyone feels that way, nor do they have to, and if you look at a Disney message board this time of year you'll probably find posts from worried parents wondering if they should cancel their vacation.

With that in mind, you can make Gay Days work for you. Here's how: Gay Days has a set schedule, with each park being designated for a certain day. That park will be busy that day, but most if not all of the park activities take place in the morning, and then the parks clear out, leaving who? You, that's who. Walking on attractions and having a ball because those other folks didn't want to visit Disney that weekend.

Conveniently, Gay Days also takes place during Star Wars Weekends. It's win-win, my nerdy friends.

Verdict: Go early in the month and you will save yourself time waiting in lines.

July: What is there to say about Disney in July that hasn't been said? It's crowded.  It's hot. Really hot. Sticky strangers getting into your personal space hot. Did I mention it's also crowded? And then there are the so-called dreaded, infamous tour groups hailing from Brazil.  Now, I have never personally experienced a Brazillian tour group while at Disney, so I can't speak to their infamy or their . . . dreadfullness. I can only say defininitively that one more tour group in an already crowded park probably won't effect your trip one way or the other. It's going to be hot. It's going to be crowded. And you're probably going to have fun anyway, regardless of how rowdy the tour group in front of you may or may not be. Make friends and practice your Portuguese.

Verdict: As a former Floridian, I wouldn't set foot in Disney in July, however, to each his own; I commend your bravery. Get a good touring plan and put it to use. Use sunblock. Drink plenty of water.

Oh, and change your socks. I'm not sure why that's important, but they say it in all the war movies and since you're basically going into battle, it must be the right thing to do.

August: Early August is much like July, but when most of the kids go back to school in late August, attendance levels drop slightly, making it preferable to mid-summer. If your kids don't go back to school until September, this is probably the best time to go during summer.

September: September is a great month to travel to Disney World. Crowds drop dramatically after Labor Day and stay that way for most of the month. Disney frequently announces incentives to get people into the parks like free dining and room discounts, so watch for those. Special events include Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, held several nights a week in the Magic Kingdom, until October 31st, and Night of Joy, a Christian music festival held at Hollywood Studios early in the month. Neither event increases park attendance dramatically, but it can result in earlier park closings of Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios on those nights. Again, if you're not taking part in those activities, arrange your park schedule so that you visit a different park on those days, or be prepared to park hop or call it an early night.

Of course, there is a reason why September isn't very crowded. Most obviously, the kids have gone back to school. But it's also hot. And this: Did you know that September is the worst month for hurricanes? While Orlando is normally spared the most dramatic effects of hurricane season, it often gets soaked--for days--by its outer bands, which makes for some very wet days in the parks.

Verdict: September is reliably one of the slowest times of the year at Disney World. Go and take advantage of the low crowds. Obviously you should be aware of the threat of bad weather, but that wouldn't personally stop me. However, if you're staying somewhere with a strict cancellation policy off-site, by all means, this is the time to buy trip insurance. You never know. Better safe than sorry.

October: The weather is cooling down. A bit. It probably won't be as rainy as September.  Epcot's Food and Wine Festival is underway. Several times a week, there's a Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom WITH FREE CANDY! Crowds, while not as low as September, are very manageable. What's not to like? If you're still worried about crowds, try to find out when fall break is in the United Kingdom; in past years, due to the favorable exchange rate, the parks have been very busy during this time.

Verdict: One of the nicest months to go to Disney.

November: In early November, Disney starts putting up Christmas decorations. This is either really great, if you happen to like Christmas, or really, really . . . not so great, for those among us who lean more towards Scrooge than Clark Griswold. This month, Disney starts its nighttime Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party as well. Crowds early in the month are generally low, although Jersey week can effect attendance levels; it you're worried about this, find out when New Jersey schools will be taking their fall break.  Crowds really get going the week of Thanksgiving but the following week normally has very low crowds and short waits for attractions. By the end of the month, all of the Christmas decorations are up, although the big Christmas tree in Town Square in the Magic Kindgom won't be in place until after the taping of the Christmas parade in early December (it's in a different location in the Magic Kingdom).,

Verdict: November is a great time to go to Disney, although crowds will be thicker than sweet potato pie Thanksgiving week. Plan accordingly and if you're there on Thanksgiving day, make sure you make on-site dining reservations at the 180-day mark or you'll be eating Figaro Fries and a smoked turkey leg on a park bench for dinner.  Not so festive.

December: I hesitate to tell you this, but if you've read this far you've probably earned the right to know:  Early December is my favorite time of year to go to Disney and if you go, it just might be yours too. Apparently, I'm not alone in feeling this way. While early December used to be the best time to go to Disney, hands down, with low crowds being the main draw, word got around: The parks seem to get busier every year in early December. Despite this, crowds are still manageable and the Christmas decorations are gorgeous. I would venture to say that even the Scroogiest among us can't help but feel just the slightest bit festive during the holidays at Disney.

The downside? Well, as I said above, crowd levels have increased over the years. The days of walking on just about every attraction are long gone. And then there's Pop Warner. Now, some people say park attendance levels aren't effected by Pop Warner, a high school cheerleading and football competition which normally takes place two weeks after Thanksgiving. I'm not so sure I agree. At the very least, the weekend Pop Warner ends, the parks are packed with kids and their parents enjoying their last day or two in Disney. Keep in mind that the resorts where the kids stay (in previous years, All-Stars, but this has changed recently so check ahead of time) tend to get very loud, which really, is fine; they're kids, afterall. Unless you're trying to sleep. If you want to book a value resort at that time, book at least six months ahead and try for Pop Century. Finally, the weather in December can be very unpredicatable. I've worn a heavy coat and I've worn shorts. Mostly, it's comfortable enough for pants and a long-sleeve shirt during the day; you'll need a light coat at night. And don't forget your rain poncho.

The week before Christmas through New Year's Day is very crowded. Most guidebooks don't recommend a first trip during this time for the simple reason that you may find it hard to ride a lot of attractions. Parks are most likely to fill to capacity during this time, although as noted above, this is still rare. Despite the crowds, I've heard people say that just being there with all the excitement and beautiful decorations was more than worth it.

Verdict: Early December is still a great time to visit Disney, which is at it's best at Christmas; while the parks are gorgeous, don't overlook the decorations at the resorts, particularly the Wilderness Lodge. You don't have to be a Disney resort guest to resort-hop. If you're worried about Pop Warner, find out which week they'll be there and avoid the resorts where the kids will be. If you go during the holiday week, understand that it will be very crowded and plan accordingly, including using a touring plan. Even the weekend before Christmas can be so crowded that moving through the parks can be difficult.  The same advice for making dining reservations for Thanksgiving applies for Christmas day, so make your Advanced Dining Reservations at the 180-day mark (or 180 plus 10 for resort guests, the earliest you can make them).

A couple of final thoughts on crowds.  Keep in mind that while you can use the above information as a general rule, for the closest thing you'll find to exact crowd projections, check out the crowd calendar at Touring Plans (the people behind the Unofficial Guide).  They make their predictions based on years of data  and constantly update these projections  based on everything from new data and the current economic forecast (they have an economist on staff) to the latest Disney promotions.  You can view the calendar for free 30-days out or you can subscribe for about $10, which also gives you access to touring plans for the parks as well.   You can also check out this site for free information on crowd predictions.  I can't vouch for its accuracy and I don't know where they get their data from, but it seems to be very popular, so it might warrant a look.  I tend to think that you get at you pay for when it comes to this sort of information, but if you want to save some money, check it out.  I'm interested to know what you think.

Finally, if you're going during the busier times of the year, I recommend using a touring plan, which can cut down on time spent waiting in line.  Most are tailored toward your specific needs, for example, a plan for those visiting the parks with young children or for touring a special event like Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  I've used both Tourguide Mike and Touring Plans.  I personally prefer Touring Plans, in part because they have more experience and data behind them, but also because I prefer a pre-made touring plan (although I still change it around a bit), however both have their advantages and I don't have a problem recommending Mike's site in the least.   You can find plenty of reviews of both plans on Disboards using their search engine.

This post gets a lot of hits so I try to keep it updated.  Feel free to email me at or leave a comment if you find something inaccurate, have a concern, or want to share a tip. Thanks!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Morning Distraction

In case you're being far too productive this morning, here are a few links to distract you:

Well-known food blogger Amateur Gourmet's take on Disney World food. Funny, but I wish he'd tried something other than fast food. Make sure you read the comments.

A Disney-hater is converted. Chicago Sun Times Columnist Neil Steinberg's spring break trip to Disney with his kids.

I don't drink coffee, but if I did, I'd want to read about this man's quest to find a decent cup of coffee in the Magic Kingdom. Hint: It's apparently not possible.

Gluten-Free Girl, another well-known food blogger, remembers childhood visits to Disneyland. It may be a bit snarky for some Disney fans, but it's beautifully written and captures the excitement of being a kid at Disney back in the 70s. And made me crave pickles.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New DVC Resort Video.

From the Lou Mongello radio show. I would LOVE to stay in a three-bedroom at Bay Lake Towers! The Tree House Villas and new section of Animal Kingdom Lodge look very nice as well.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Disney Resorts: Pop Century.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Disney World with my best friend on a girls only weekend. It was a spur of the moment trip and it needed to be cheap, so I booked a room at Pop Century. Now, I'll be honest: There are truly no "cheap" Disney resorts, but there are those that are less expensive than others and Pop, which falls into the value resort category, is one of them. Low season value rates start at around $89 a night, but you can find lower rates by using the ever so elusive pin codes (special discount codes that Disney mails out to certain customers who sign up with through the official Disney website), annual passholder discounts, or various other discounts available to the general public. You can also book your room through Triple AAA or a travel agent. Sites like Mousesavers regularly post discounts, so if you're looking for a bargain, check there first. Our room cost $130 a night, including tax. By the way, taxes in Florida are high--plan on 12.5 percent being tacked onto your room rate.

I have to admit: I was a little wary about Pop. Although I'd seen good reviews on Disney travel websites like Passporter and Disboards, I'd also seen plenty of reviews from disappointed guests. Disney's value resorts seem to inspire a lot of fear in first-timers and with good reason: If your only experience with a value accomodation in Orlando is off Disney property, you've probably encountered some scary places. In fact, the idea of staying at a "value" hotel anywhere probably inspires at least some trepidation. I'd actually booked Pop twice before and cancelled. Once, I'd upgraded to the Grand Floridian and another time we had so many people going at the last minute that it made more sense to stay off-site. Most of the complaints were that the resort was crowded, had transportation issues, and that the rooms were too small. For me, there was also this little issue of the decor: I thought it was ugly.

If you're looking for subtlety in theming or a romantic setting, you'll want to keep on looking: Pop is intentionally kitschey. However, if you're looking for a clean, safe place to stay that gives you all the benefits of staying on Disney property without spending a lot of money, Pop might just be the place for you. So, here are the basics:


Keep in mind that this was a moderately busy weekend in May, so obviously resort check-in and the lines for the busses may be slower during the summer or holidays, but we didn't wait at all for the Magical Express bus from the airport to the resort. The bus was about half-full and it stopped at one other resort before we reached Pop and that drop-off was pretty quick. I'd heard some bad stories about the busses from Pop to the parks and back, but we didn't encounter any problems. The bus to Disney Hollywood Studios took about 15 minutes on Saturday morning during Extra Magic Hours; busses to the Magic Kingdom took about a half hour or so. The longest I waited for a bus the entire weekend was maybe fifteen minutes.

One downside, however, is that the bus stops at Pop are not covered. Not a big deal when it's not raining or during the cooler months of the year, but downright unpleasant even on a not-so-sunny morning in May. A surprising oversight, given that other resorts have covered stops.

Overall, transportation wasn't a problem in the least. A pleasant surprise.

Check-in and Public Areas:

Check-in was very fast and super-friendly. In fact, it was probably more efficient than the Grand Floridian, with a cheerful manager greeting guests and directing them to several cast members when a spot opened up. Our plane arrived in Orlando at 9:00; we were in the Magic Kingdom by 11:20, about the same amount of time it took to get from the airport to the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom last year (although in fairness to the staff at the Grand Floridian, some of that delay can be attributed to us oogling the beautiful hotel).

The lobby is clean and bright. One thing that surprised me was how much I enjoyed the "theming" of the lobby. It's filled with memorobilia from the 50s through the 90s and it was fun to look around while we waited. Pop is a very kid-friendly resort and there are several little areas where kids can amuse themselves while their parents are checking in. There is a combination gift shop (selling just about everything you'll ever need) and a food court which gets pretty good reviews just past the lobby, as well as a game room for older kids.

While deluxe and moderate Disney resorts seem to be "themed" for grown-ups, Pop is a resort designed for kids. You can see that in the resort's pools, decor, and in the families who go there. Pop is full of kids. It wasn't any louder than other Disney resorts, but it did have a different energy than a place like the Grand Floridian or Boardwalk, both of which lend themselves to a more quiet, relaxing getaway than the value resorts.

Outside, Pop is decorated with huge icons of the decades from the 50s through the 90s. Our building, the 1970s had 8-Trac tape stairwells with funny "songs" and different phrases from the 70s; for some reaons, every time we saw the lifesized "hot pants" sign on our building, we cracked up. Okay, maybe it wasn't that funny. But Pop is cute. The inexplicably famous tie-dyed cheesecake sold in the food court? Okay, that was disgusting. But to each his or her own.

The Room:

The rooms at Pop Century are on the small side. Think slightly smaller than your average room at say, a Holiday Inn or Marriott. The rooms, which are accessed from the outside, have two double beds, a small table and two chairs, and a television. There is one sink and a very small vanity. The bathroom, which includes a toilet and a tub/shower combo, is small enough make it slightly akward going in and out. Still, it's very clean and cute and, when compared to the theming of the public areas, not over the top. I didn't have any issues with noise. The lighting was good, the linens clean, and the beds comfortable.

One caveat: The rooms are small enough that if you're staying there with more than one child, you might want to consider renting two adjoining rooms. I can't imagine a family of four staying in one room at Pop for a week, although people do it all the time.

Overall, I loved Pop and was really pleased with my stay there. I'd recommend it to anyone.