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Pre-Trip The worlds on fire, let’s go to Disney World trip

I first started stalking this page as my unofficial travel agent in 2010. Over the years I’ve ghosted it whenever a Disney trip felt too far from a reality. But, I’m back for a new trip.

Cast:
Your humble author: 41 year old male (7th trip as an adult + 3 as a kid)
DW: 42 year old female (7th trip as an adult)
DS: 16 years old ( 7th trip)
DD1: 13 years old (7th trip)
DD2: 9 years old (5th trip)

Joining our usual cast of character is my brother- 32 years old. It will be his first trip since he was 5.

Particulars:
- Pop Century (2 rooms)
- 7 days / 6 nights
- No park hopping
- Driving in from Atlanta, the day before, and sleeping off property that night.

Miscellaneous:
-First trip to Disney since 2018. First stay above a couple days since 2016.
- We love Pop, but this will be our 3rd stay there, but first since 2013.
- Only dining ressies are returning favorites for us- Sci-fi and Whispering Canyon and new to us, Wine Bar George.
- New to us- Galaxy’s edge, toy story land, Pandora, Mickey / Minnie railroad (RIP great movie ride), skyliners, and all Covid protocols.

I’ll be leveraging this thread to get info on a wide array of topics, but specifically areas i mentioned in the new to us bullet. I’m the planner of the group, but I’ve lost a fair amount of muscle memory with this last gap in visits, to say nothing of Covid.
Thanks in advance.
 

jharvey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Look forward to following and helping any way I can! You will have a blast even with a mask!!
Thanks for the reply. I’m fairly confident I can make the best out of any trip to the world. My hang up now is my planning philosophy has always revolved around certain knows quantities, specifically fastpass, transportation, and park layout. If I’m honest, I think fastpass and park layout (Hollywood) are the easiest to overcome. Transportation, specifically travel times impact to touring, has me seeing ghost. I look forward to my usual free trip planning help from the tribe.
Thanks
 

jharvey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Did I miss where you said when you were going?
My wife responded but we are getting there the Friday before Memorial Day with our first park day being that Saturday. Our last park day will be the next Friday. I’ll post dates, with parks with my next post. I will note that September is our preferred time, and was our plan for this go around. That initial plan was a brief 3 day trip to universal in may (made our first trip there back in June and loved it) with a big trip to WDW in September. However, the itch got to us and we changed.
 

Robbydj13

Active Member
My wife responded but we are getting there the Friday before Memorial Day with our first park day being that Saturday. Our last park day will be the next Friday. I’ll post dates, with parks with my next post. I will note that September is our preferred time, and was our plan for this go around. That initial plan was a brief 3 day trip to universal in may (made our first trip there back in June and loved it) with a big trip to WDW in September. However, the itch got to us and we changed.
I feel the itch getting to you. I haven't been since December 2019 and Im desperate to get back. Ill be going big in December, was hoping to go earlier but I think things might be closer to normal at the parks by then so I decided to wait. Excited for you though and I look forward to hearing about the trip!
 

jharvey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I will do this in a day 1 thru day 7 format. Within those days, I’ll give you an idea of the itinerary/goals. Within that will come solicitations for advise. Treat me like a small child or a dumb animal, I can take it.

Day 0: Travel Day
Our plan is to head out of Atlanta by 7am. Any later and I would be resisting the temptation to yank the wheel into an embankment to escape the gridlock. Taking two cars for the 6 of us.

Eating on the way, and assuming moderately passable traffic, we should be bubble adjacent by no later than 2pm. We will check in, off property for the first night.

First questions of the trip revolve around food and transitioning from off property to on property the next day.

- we love Disney Springs. Specifically Boathouse, earl of sandwich, d-lux, splitsville, and even kinda liked Planet Hollywood (went in with low expectations with that one). For that evening, and assuming we want to eat at Disney springs, anyone have a favorite to recommend? It will probably have to be counter service as reservations are a challenge. The only hard pass for me would probably be chicken guy. We didn’t like it when we tried it. Of the group, I am an adventurous eater, the rest are chicken nuggets and hotdogs for live- I can’t stand them sometimes. No food allergy concerns.

- Magic Kingdom opens at 8am. I am a rope drop warrior. What is the earliest I can drop my bags off at Pop Century? I know it being a Saturday, I will be fighting a horde to get on a bus, but if I’m at a stop by 6:30am, when can I realistically expect a bus? Will I need to cut away from the park, maybe midday, and get the bags and check in situated?
Notes: we’ve stayed at POR and CBR most recently, and it’s been about 8 years and 1 pandemic since our last Pop stay, so my questions will seem noobie level, but I have a baseline.
 

Loco_driver

Well-Known Member
I will do this in a day 1 thru day 7 format. Within those days, I’ll give you an idea of the itinerary/goals. Within that will come solicitations for advise. Treat me like a small child or a dumb animal, I can take it.

Day 0: Travel Day
Our plan is to head out of Atlanta by 7am. Any later and I would be resisting the temptation to yank the wheel into an embankment to escape the gridlock. Taking two cars for the 6 of us.

Eating on the way, and assuming moderately passable traffic, we should be bubble adjacent by no later than 2pm. We will check in, off property for the first night.

First questions of the trip revolve around food and transitioning from off property to on property the next day.

- we love Disney Springs. Specifically Boathouse, earl of sandwich, d-lux, splitsville, and even kinda liked Planet Hollywood (went in with low expectations with that one). For that evening, and assuming we want to eat at Disney springs, anyone have a favorite to recommend? It will probably have to be counter service as reservations are a challenge. The only hard pass for me would probably be chicken guy. We didn’t like it when we tried it. Of the group, I am an adventurous eater, the rest are chicken nuggets and hotdogs for live- I can’t stand them sometimes. No food allergy concerns.

- Magic Kingdom opens at 8am. I am a rope drop warrior. What is the earliest I can drop my bags off at Pop Century? I know it being a Saturday, I will be fighting a horde to get on a bus, but if I’m at a stop by 6:30am, when can I realistically expect a bus? Will I need to cut away from the park, maybe midday, and get the bags and check in situated?
Notes: we’ve stayed at POR and CBR most recently, and it’s been about 8 years and 1 pandemic since our last Pop stay, so my questions will seem noobie level, but I have a baseline.
I’m an earl of sandwich fan, although it’s been years since I’ve been. I’m with you on chicken guy, not impressed. Planet Hollywood is still pretty easy to get a reservation for also.

Bell services will absolutely let you drop your bags off early that morning. I’ve done it plenty of times. The busses start running one hour before park opening, but I’ve heard they sometimes run a little earlier. Honestly bus transportation is a total 💩 shoot right now. We had some days where it was great and some where it was horrible. Pop usually has pretty good bus transportation though.
 

BwlrBry212

Well-Known Member
Raglan Road is one of my favorites at DS and it is usually not too hard to get a reservation. If you are lucky enough to be able to snag a reservation for Homecomin', eat there, it is fantastic!

As far as quick service, Earl of Sandwich is always a good bet. I also really like D-Luxe Burger and you can mobile order there which can make it easier to deal with potential crowds.

I don't stay on property often so I can't really help with part 2 but I know you'll get plenty of info from the pros.
 

jharvey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I’m an earl of sandwich fan, although it’s been years since I’ve been. I’m with you on chicken guy, not impressed. Planet Hollywood is still pretty easy to get a reservation for also.

Bell services will absolutely let you drop your bags off early that morning. I’ve done it plenty of times. The busses start running one hour before park opening, but I’ve heard they sometimes run a little earlier. Honestly bus transportation is a total 💩 shoot right now. We had some days where it was great and some where it was horrible. Pop usually has pretty good bus transportation though.
Yeah, I always remembered liking the buses at Pop. I think I preferred them to POR and CBR. The stops at the moderates were far nicer and better maintained, but those layouts were a bit much, especially since I have a limited sense of direction.

Chicken Guy was one we looked forward to trying while Planet Hollywood was an after thought. I guess I may have myself to blame for that. Any thoughts on the food trucks or any of the other counter services at DS?

I know, from a table service standpoint there is a running joke between my wife and I about coral reef in Epcot. Nearly every trip we book that restaurant, then we swap it and still have never eaten there. Raglan Road is probably a close second. The difference is, we almost always regret dropping raglan as it is rarely dropped due to an upgrade in options, but is instead dropped due to necessity. If I luck into Raglan, anyone able to sing it’s praises, or would I be better off focusing on counter service?
 

jharvey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Raglan Road is one of my favorites at DS and it is usually not too hard to get a reservation. If you are lucky enough to be able to snag a reservation for Homecomin', eat there, it is fantastic!

As far as quick service, Earl of Sandwich is always a good bet. I also really like D-Luxe Burger and you can mobile order there which can make it easier to deal with potential crowds.

I don't stay on property often so I can't really help with part 2 but I know you'll get plenty of info from the pros.
You read my mind on raglan. And we are actively stalking ressies for homecoming and/or boathouse. Boathouse is a favorite of ours and is probably just behind Via Napoli as a top choice.
 

Loco_driver

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I always remembered liking the buses at Pop. I think I preferred them to POR and CBR. The stops at the moderates were far nicer and better maintained, but those layouts were a bit much, especially since I have a limited sense of direction.

Chicken Guy was one we looked forward to trying while Planet Hollywood was an after thought. I guess I may have myself to blame for that. Any thoughts on the food trucks or any of the other counter services at DS?
I also prefer the bus set up at the values. It’s far more orderly.
Chicken guy reminds me of raising canes or slim chickens, except it’s twice as expensive and not as good. I admit I’m not a huge fan of DS, so I’m probably not much help when it comes to restaurants there. I do recommend checking other apps like open table to find reservations for third party restaurants like boathouse, morimoto, etc. I believe there’s a QS place attached to raglan road also, but don’t quote me on that.
 

Robbydj13

Active Member
I will do this in a day 1 thru day 7 format. Within those days, I’ll give you an idea of the itinerary/goals. Within that will come solicitations for advise. Treat me like a small child or a dumb animal, I can take it.

Day 0: Travel Day
Our plan is to head out of Atlanta by 7am. Any later and I would be resisting the temptation to yank the wheel into an embankment to escape the gridlock. Taking two cars for the 6 of us.

Eating on the way, and assuming moderately passable traffic, we should be bubble adjacent by no later than 2pm. We will check in, off property for the first night.

First questions of the trip revolve around food and transitioning from off property to on property the next day.

- we love Disney Springs. Specifically Boathouse, earl of sandwich, d-lux, splitsville, and even kinda liked Planet Hollywood (went in with low expectations with that one). For that evening, and assuming we want to eat at Disney springs, anyone have a favorite to recommend? It will probably have to be counter service as reservations are a challenge. The only hard pass for me would probably be chicken guy. We didn’t like it when we tried it. Of the group, I am an adventurous eater, the rest are chicken nuggets and hotdogs for live- I can’t stand them sometimes. No food allergy concerns.

- Magic Kingdom opens at 8am. I am a rope drop warrior. What is the earliest I can drop my bags off at Pop Century? I know it being a Saturday, I will be fighting a horde to get on a bus, but if I’m at a stop by 6:30am, when can I realistically expect a bus? Will I need to cut away from the park, maybe midday, and get the bags and check in situated?
Notes: we’ve stayed at POR and CBR most recently, and it’s been about 8 years and 1 pandemic since our last Pop stay, so my questions will seem noobie level, but I have a baseline.
Maybe you have addressed this, but why would you be taking a bus if you are staying at POP, just take the cars and beat the bus crowds. You have free parking with your hotel reservation. I always prefer to take my own transportation when possible.

As far as QS dining on the first day, Earl of Sandwich
 

jharvey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I also prefer the bus set up at the values. It’s far more orderly.
Chicken guy reminds me of raising canes or slim chickens, except it’s twice as expensive and not as good. I admit I’m not a huge fan of DS, so I’m probably not much help when it comes to restaurants there. I do recommend checking other apps like open table to find reservations for third party restaurants like boathouse, morimoto, etc. I believe there’s a QS place attached to raglan road also, but don’t quote me on that.
Line of the day! Canes is life
 

jharvey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Maybe you have addressed this, but why would you be taking a bus if you are staying at POP, just take the cars and beat the bus crowds. You have free parking with your hotel reservation. I always prefer to take my own transportation when possible.

As far as QS dining on the first day, Earl of Sandwich
We love the bubble impact of using the buses. Park the car and forget about it. We are the same delusional thinkers that believes the meal plan saves you money.
 

fizzieee

Well-Known Member
Yay another TR!!! Following along!

Im Ready To Party Kristen Wiig GIF
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
One of the best DS quick service restaurants I have eaten at is the Polite Pig. So delicious on so many levels.

As for rope drop....drive your cars to the park with the luggage in the car. Head back to Pop when you get the room ready text. You can go car free the rest of the vacation but do not over complicate your first day!

Have fun!!!
Happy Fun GIF
 

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