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Orlando/Vero Beach

Written on: Friday June 22nd, 2007

A journal entry from: Orlando, Florida 2007

We stayed at Pop Century in April. I think this is one of the best times to go. No crowds and you don?t get the usual Florida rain.  We had a dry week and an average temperature of about 80 degrees.We rented a car and were happy to find out that there is no parking fee. We waited about 15 minutes for check-in. This was a little slow but the customer service was great! Very professional, personal and polite. This place is huge! We stayed in the 50's section.  Overall this is a very basic hotel. You get what you pay for with the rooms but the children?s pools, activities and overall look of the hotel make up for it. The kids love the bright colors, characters ect..We had a view of hourglass lake. When you stepped out of our room, you could see the Epcot ball and the top of the Hollywood Tower of Terror. You could see the fireworks at Epcot from our room. I've heard many complaints of "thin walls" and lots of noise. We didn't experience any of these problems in our location. I never heard toilets flush or anything like that. The toilets were VERY loud though, so I'd blame that instead of thin walls if I had heard it. They have 3 pools. We were near the bowling pin pool, but the hippy dippy pool is the main pool. The kiddie pool is in that section. There is also a bar; kids tattoo and hair wrap station near that pool. If you don't like to walk, pay extra for a preferred room. I'd recommend staying in the 60's or 70's for a short walk to Classic Hall and the buses. Their food court is very nice, lots of choices! And not badly priced. You can also buy a plastic Disney mug for $12.95 which you can refill for free during your entire stay.They also had a gift shop and arcade. The one negative thing if you don?t have a car is that Pop Century is the last bus stop at all of the theme parks.

Mousekeeping was wonderful; they left towel animals for us several times, and always did neat things for the kids. They were always excited to get back to the room to see what Mousekeeping had done for them. If you have really young kids and you?re at Disney for the parks, this is the place to stay. Great for sleeping and showering. If you?re at Disney for resort amenities, you may want to go elsewhere.

With our hotel package we also received a round of free miniature golf.  Disney's got two Minigolfs that are very close also: Fantasia Garden and Winter Summerland. Fantasia Garden has two courses. One of them imitates a real golf course and the other one has the characters of Fantasia. Winter Summerland has two courses too, Winter land & Summerland. Both of them have great special effects!  

Chef Mickey?s

The restaurant is located inside the Contemporary Resort on the fourth floor. When we arrived there was only one other family in front of us, but the restaurant was already packed with people. While we waited for our table a Disney photographer took a family photo of us.We knew this was going to be a great experience when we walked past a handful of characters and saw that our table was right next to a window that overlooked the Magic Kingdom. Chip was the first character to join us at the table and he was more than happy to spend a couple minutes with the kids before posing for a couple photos. No sooner did Chip leave the table and Minnie surprised us with a visit. Then came Pluto, Donald, Mickey ect? It was a constant character overload throughout the breakfast. What made their visits memorable was the attention that they showed the kids rather than just taking pictures and walking away.The breakfast is a buffet, with many things to choose from. Omelets, bacon, sausage, hash, pancakes and waffles in the shape of Mickey himself. Other than a good meal and a superb character experience, the one thing that convinced me this was the place to have breakfast, was the line to get in: that now had more than thirty people waiting in it.

Disney?s Vero Beach Resort

You want to go on a Disney vacation but not have the hustle and bustle of all the parks. This is the place for you. The hotel is beautiful, clean and friendly. This is a more of an upscale resort decorated in the old Florida theme. You see small hidden Mickey emblems throughout but otherwise decorated very nice and beachy elegant. We stayed in a garden view room, which was a good size and a very clean. It had a mini fridge, toaster, microwave, coffee maker and sink. A vanity area with another sink, two queen beds, a little table and chairs, TV with DVD player and a private balcony with two chairs and table. It had an obstructed view.
The pool was wonderful with a huge slide. I didn't go on it do to the finger stitches episode but my husband loved it. The water was warm and there were plenty of lounge chairs. There is a pirate ship slide for the little kids which my kids loved. They have a nice little mini golf course in the pool area, for a small fee you can play or buy a length of stay ticket.  They let us do it for free, maybe because it was during the slow season.
They have many activities and crafts. Some had a fee. You can sign out games or rent bikes, jet ski?s ect.
They have a campfire every Friday. You sing songs and make smores afterward. There is a bingo night, movie night, treasure hunts. They hand out an activity sheet on your arrival.
The beach was beautiful, very rough surf but nice to play in the sand. you have to use you key card to get on and off the beach and also into the pool area.
There are a few dining options and one character breakfast with Goofy that is on Saturday mornings. There is a pool side grill, bleachers, was pretty good though, hamburgers, hotdogs that sort of thing. But all the food was a little pricey.

Lots of people that we talked to go there for a few days then to Disney world or vice versa. It is another part of the magic of Disney just relaxed and beachfront.