Follow Me
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts


Happy Disney hotel Thursday! Today we're visiting one of my most stayed at resorts, Disney's Pop Century Resort. I have stayed here three times out of my 12 hotel stays (some of those stays were split stays meaning I switched hotels during the trip.) Is it my favorite hotel? No. Is it convenient and cheap-ish? Yes! 


Pop Century is one of Disney's "Value" resorts, meaning it is one of the cheaper options for those still wanting to stay on Disney property. The absolute cheapest options in the Value category are the 3 All Star Resorts (I'll be doing a post on All Star Movies in the future,) next comes Pop Century and finally Art of Animation. I personally prefer Art of Animation because of it's theming but most of the time end up at Pop Century because of the price point. It's usually at least $30 a night cheaper than AoA (Art of Animation) so I choose buying more tasty food over location.


The biggest perk of staying here is access to Disney's Skyliner in addition to buses. The Skyliner station is shared with Art of Animation and will take you to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios or the other hotels on the Skyliner Route (Caribbean Beach & Riviera Resort.) If we had a choice between most similar-priced hotels and a hotel with Skyliner, we'll choose a Skyliner resort.  Obviously I will never turn down one of the deluxe resorts like Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk or Polynesian, but in our usual budget Skyliner access vs. buses only would be a deciding factor.

We usually get one of the two queen rooms which have one normal queen bed and a murphy bed that can be left as a table if you want to dine in your room. Then at night just fold it down and you've got a second bed. The beds feature artwork of Mickey and Pluto in Pop Art style.

Murphy Bed in the up position, creating a table

Easily folding down the Murphy Bed

The bed comes down fully made and ready for sleep!

As the name suggests, each set of buildings is based on a decade within the last century and what was popular at that time. They actually only have the 50s through 90s. Disney was originally going to do another hotel with the earlier years ("Legendary Years" and the "Classic Years,") but that eventually became Art of Animation.  The resort has 2,880 rooms in ten separate buildings, three pool areas, and one central building, named Classic Hall. 


Classic Hall is where you'll find the lobby, souvenir shop, arcade, quick service dining and anything else you may need on your trip. The dining is pretty standard quick service - pizza, burgers, chicken, various breakfast options.

The shopping and dining are combined into the "Everything Pop" area

At Christmastime most hotels will get a tree and Pop Century is no different. On the trip I took this photo they had just put up the tree the night before we left, so that was a nice surprise.


Below are some of the larger than life items from the latter half of the century. I only have photos of the 50s, 60s and 90s because that's where we've stayed. I never took the time to explore the rest of the grounds because our trips were always super packed, perhaps next time!

Bowling Pin staircases are used for the 1950s buildings

Baloo and Mowgli statue in the middle of the 1960s buildings

Mickey's main man Goofy hangs out in the 1960s

The 1960s have huge Yo-Yos as their staircases
A giant laptop is featured in the 1990s section

Today we're featuring Christian's favorite hotel - Disney's Boardwalk Villas! If he had his choice we would always stay here on our trips, but I want to stay at (almost) all the hotels before we do that. We stayed here in May 2022 by renting Disney Vacation Club points. We would have paid around $3000 ($3064.50 to be exact) for our 4 nights directly through Disney but staying with points we paid $1075. Boardwalk Villas is the DVC portion of the resort and Boardwalk Inn is the normal guest rooms. The DVC rooms have a washer/dryer, sleeper sofa (hopefully a Murphy bed after renovations) and small kitchen whereas normal rooms have 2 beds and no kitchenette.



The Boardwalk is currently undergoing renovations with the Disney website stating: "Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas is being refurbished, with new offerings, plus updates coming to our Guest rooms, lobby and more." This means many of these photos, and my room tour video at the bottom, will need to be updated in the future. Oh no, guess that means we'll need to stay here again, ha ha!  

These upgrades are definitely a welcome change as the guest rooms are a little old feeling. The main problem we had was the sofa bed in the room was not the comfiest (we gave Christian's Mom the real bed.) Assuming Disney updates them to Murphy beds, as they have done with past refurbishments, there will be no fighting over who gets the better bed.  Murphy beds are also much easier to use, no need to make the bed! I don't have any photos of the room as it was pretty basic, but make sure to check out this room tour video I did!


One thing I'm sure many people are hoping Disney won't change is the creepy Nanny Chairs. They are somewhat of an inside joke with Boardwalk guests as they're said to be haunted!  Nanny Chairs were found on carousels for adults, usually nannies, to sit on while children rode the carved wooden horses. While they're a little scary, it's a fun tradition to find them every trip - there are two by the fireplace in the lobby and two hidden else-wear.


Boardwalk has some great amenities which include pools, a mini beach, and of course the Boardwalk! The Boardwalk has shops, an arcade, dining, health club and even a dance hall. You're also able to rent surrey bikes to ride along the paths. They show Movies Under the Stars like the other resorts as well as roasting marshmallows! One of our favorite things to do was watch both the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT fireworks from the boardwalk. We sat on a bench and watched both shows for a relaxing last night.


By far the best thing about staying at Boardwalk Villas is it's location. You can walk to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. The walk to Hollywood Studios is a bit longer but EPCOT's International Gateway is very close. I forgot to take photos of the walking paths so I'll be sure to do that next time and update this post. [Update: HAH! I was able to update the post before it went live because we went to Disney this past weekend] Christian and I walked to Hollywood Studios on May 4th, Star Wars Day, to avoid the hectic transportation options. If it wasn't such a popular day for HS we may have taken the super short walk to the Skyliner and ridden that over, but I enjoyed the morning walk. The Skyliner is right near the entrance of EPCOT and takes you to Hollywood Studios or the other resorts on the route. You can also take a Friendship Boat to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios from the resort - but they take a looooong time, so don't use that if you're in a rush. Buses are available for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.

Walking to Hollywood Studios from Boardwalk Resort


Walking path from Disney's Boardwalk to EPCOT

On to food! We haven't eaten everywhere at this hotel yet as we had a bunch of other places we really wanted to eat at within the parks on our last trip. We did make a visit to the Boardwalk Bakery for some breakfast on one morning. Since our stay the Boardwalk Bakery closed to make way for Boardwalk Deli. It has similar offerings but the interior and exterior have been updated. We enjoyed the NJ Crumb Cake and Doodle Muffin (not always available.) I went to Disney this past weekend and we used Boardwalk as our entry way to EPCOT (we stayed off-site for a work trip) so we got to check out the new Boardwalk Deli! 

March 2023

May 2022

Other dining options include Trattoria al Forno for breakfast or dinner, Big River Grille & Brewing World or the Pizza Window for a quick service lunch or dinner and Flying Fish for dinner. We were going to have breakfast at Trattoria al Forno on this trip but we changed plans. Maybe next time! Flying Fish is a Signature Dining restaurant meaning you'll need to dress appropriately and it will be pricier than other options. In need of a snack? Check out Leaping Horse Libations, Carousel Coffee, BoardWalk Ice Cream or the Funnel Cake Cart. If you're looking for an alcoholic beverage you'll want to visit AbracadaBar or BoardWalk Joe's Marvelous Margaritas.


And don't forget about Belle Vue Lounge, a 1930s-style sitting room where you can buy lemonade, hot chocolate, coffee and cocktails. They also have an outside sitting area you can enjoy as well. No reservations needed, just walk right up. It was never crowded when we walked by. There's even a TV for the kids to enjoy.

You also have easy access to the dining options at Disney's Beach Club Resort. We have yet to stay there but walked around and enjoyed some ice cream at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. Both resorts are connected by the same walkway that goes around Crescent Lake. You can get a beautiful view of Boardwalk from the Beach Club.

Enjoy some more photos of the hotel and lobby.

Next month Christian and I will be taking a trip to California to visit Disneyland, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. Originally we had wanted to see Joshua Tree and the Redwoods too but, since we only have a week, we needed to prioritize. We'll do a dedicated Redwoods trip in the future since it's something we both really want to do (might squeeze in a visit to the town where Halloweentown was filmed in Oregon too if we go in October, ha ha.)

We're spending three weeks surrounding the California vacation working from Christian's Mom's house now that Christian is able to have a little more flexibility with his location. Instead of flying to Missouri we'll drive like we did last Thanksgiving so we won't need to pack light for that portion of the trip. We'll limit to carry-on luggage for the California trip. The plan is to fly from Missouri into Los Angeles, rent a car and fly back to Missouri from San Francisco. Everything is booked and we're ready to go!

The first essential to packing is obviously a bag, and this stylish minimalist backpack from Day Owl is the perfect option for me! I love how simple it is with no unnecessary frills but plenty of features. I always appreciate bags with a luggage strap so I can attach them easily to my suitcase. This backpack also has a neoprene lined side pocket to fit a water bottle and a few other hidden pockets to stow smaller items. Day Owl make their bags with sustainable materials including waxed canvas made from recycled plastic bottles! How cool is that?



We will be doing a LOT of walking so the proper gear and accessories are key. My main problem is I don't go for utility, I go for fashion. Ball of foot cushions for sandals from Foot Petals will definitely be in my suitcase. At Disney I'll wear my Ancient Greek Sandals, and instead of hiking boots I'll probably wear sneakers for the national parks.  I bought an assortment of ball of foot cushions and some blister healers so I'll have options for each pair of shoes I bring. I love that they have some foot cushions with built-in toe-post crests so you can use them on flip-flop style sandals, or other sandals that separate the big toe from the rest.

Disney Supplies

The Disney portion of the trip is a whole different animal but it's only two days so I won't need much. I'll obviously need some Disney tees to wear during the day and a Mickey sweatshirt for cooler evenings. I may bring a different one since this one says Disney World, but I love the color so I may rep the East Coast! My Remy's Ratatouille Adventure Dooney & Bourke bag will also be making the trip out West!

The most important thing is my walking sandals, which will be made even more comfortable with my new ball of foot cushions! My sandal of choice is Ancient Greek Sandals, not those other sandals that people claim are comfortable. One trip I tried to wear Tevas, that I thought I had broken in, and my feet were RIPPED APART after one day. For the rest of the trip I had to wear socks with them, in addition to band-aids, to protect my poor feet. Never again. I'll stick with my AGS that have been all over the world with me, literally!


I don't own much activewear, but for the second half of our trip we'll be doing a lot of walking around the national parks so I'll be wearing Fabletics workout sets, Spanx leggings and sneakers.  For warmer days (if any!) I'll have some Dona Jo biker shorts.  In addition to workout clothes I'll also look like a proper tourist with a fanny pack and water bottle strapped around my waist.


While California will definitely be warmer than Connecticut and Missouri, I know that April could still be snowy up at Sequoia and Yosemite National Park. This means I'll need to pack some layers. Tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, sweaters and sweatshirts will all be necessary at one point or another. I also have some fleece lined leggings I can wear if it's supposed to be extra cold on one of our exploration days.


We'll have a couple days in LA and visiting Universal Hollywood too so I'll bring some "normal" clothes for our sightseeing on those days. Or maybe I'll go totally against my norm and wear my leggings and activewear on those days, the horror! I'm the type of person that will not wear workout clothes unless I'm actually trying to exercise.  But, if I run out of room in my suitcase, that will probably be the move.

*This post was made in partnership with Responsival.*

Happy Throwback Thursday! Today we'll be traveling back to two separate Disney World trips to visit Port Orleans Resort - Riverside and Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter. Since they are sister resorts you can use the amenities at both as long as you're staying at one - aka the pools! It's also easy to walk between the resorts to enjoy different dining options. They are both "Moderate" resorts meaning they are slightly fancier than the cheapest options but still fairly affordable if you are able to use an offer or split the cost with a group (of up to 4 people for normal rooms)

Royal Guest Room

Riverside was actually the first Walt Disney World resort I stayed at! Previously, my friends and I would stay at Universal and Uber over to Disney but for this trip my best friend, sister and I decided to "splurge" on a Royal Guest Room. We paid around $420 each, $1,326 total with Passholder discount, for 5 nights in December 2017. Christian and I stayed at French Quarter for two nights in May 2020 for $630 with Passholder discount.


Continuing on with our Throwback Thursday Disney hotel overviews! Today we've got another Disney Vacation Club stay. For our anniversary we finally stayed at one of my top bucket list hotels - Animal Kingdom Lodge! We rented DVC points and stayed in a Deluxe Studio Villa with a Savanna View at Jambo House (you can also stay at Kidani Village, a DVC section of the resort that's a short walk from the main building.) 


Since it's Thursday, I decided to do a throwback to our stay at Disney's Riviera Resort. It is a goal of mine to stay at (almost) all of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. So far I've stayed at eight of the twenty, not counting Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser or doubles of the same hotel (BoardWalk Inn vs BoardWalk Villas.) There are different levels of resorts - Value, Moderate, Deluxe, Deluxe Villas (DVC) and Campgrounds. My current list, in alphabetical order:



Continuing on with the Disney trip recaps, let's talk about FOOOOD! One of Christian and my favorite parts of a Disney trip is trying all the new treats and snacks. We had a quicker visit this time and focused mainly on Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants and the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. Outside of that we did have a few snacks at Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom.

Now that you've seen our couples Halloween costume and Wild Africa Trek tees it's time for the rest of the outfits we wore to Disney. Also sharing those two outfits again just so everything is all together. I packed light this trip with just 1 pair of shorts, a pair of jeans, 2 pairs of sandals, workout pants, my Halloween costume and tees for each day. I also had to bring sneakers for the first time on a trip so I wore those on the plane so they wouldn't take up valuable suitcase space.


EPCOT - Day 5

Most of our time not at the hotel was spent at EPCOT so we could snack on as many Food & Wine goodies as possible (and ride Guardians of the Galaxy a bunch)

Tee: EPCOT Food & Wine Passholder Tee 2018

Shorts: Madewell

Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals Alethea perforated sandal

Sunglasses: Ray Ban 'Erika' c/o Shopbop  

EPCOT Food & Wine Festival Outfits


Magic Kingdom - Evening 1

Right after we arrived to the Riviera Resort on Wednesday (at 7pm) we headed to EPCOT via the Skyliner to make our way to Magic Kingdom for Extended Evening Hours for Deluxe Resort guests. Along the way we stopped at a gift shop to pick up Annual Passholder magnets. We opted to go through EPCOT so we didn't have to take any buses. Once at the front of EPCOT we took the Monorail over to Magic Kingdom to spend a few hours with less people in the park.


Sweatshirt Tee: Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Fireworks Pullover (was only available 10/1/2021)

Jeans: FRAME 'Le Skinny de Jeanne' (Shopbop)

Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals Alethea perforated sandal


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Blog Archive

Search the Blog