Thursday, January 19, 2006

Day One - Part Four - Pop Century Resort

Pop Century ResortAt last we arrived at the Pop Century Resort, which looked even more amazing in real life. I had heard the Pop Century described as a Motel 6 with theming. I found it to be much nicer than a Motel 6. The front desk spanned much of the length of the lobby area. Along one wall were shadowboxes, each containing artifacts from a particular time period. Across from the front desk was a room with a TV and couches for kids to wait while their parents checked in. The check in line was short and in no time at all we were issued our “Key to the World.” This key functioned not only as our room key, but also contained our park tickets and dining credits. In addition, by providing a credit card number, we were able to use our “Key” to charge all of our purchases to our room. Our next stop was the Concierge desk, where we picked up our tickets to “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.”

Icons from the Jungle BookWith map in hand we exited the building, called “Classic Hall” and headed for our rooms. The resort contains 10 buildings, each with 288 rooms. It is divided into five areas, each representing a different decade between the 1950’s and the 1990’s. Each building is T-shaped, with an elevator, ice machine, and pop machine in the center. Our rooms were located in the 60’s section. This section was considered a preferred section as it is closest to Classic Hall where the food court and gift shop are located.

The Hippy, Dippy Pool in the 60's SectionWe walked past the Hippy, Dippy Pool, which coupled with the heat and humidity, immediately fogged up our glasses. Up the elevator we went and exited on the third floor. To our delight, our rooms overlooked Hourglass Lake, located at the back of the property. Across the lake was Phase II of the resort, still under construction. This phase was called the “Legendary Years” and represented the time period from the 1900’s through the 1940’s. The two phases of the resort were connected by the Generation Gap Bridge.

Two Double Bed RoomWe each entered our rooms and were pleased to discover that they were connecting rooms. Each room contained two double beds, a table with two chairs, an armoire with a 27” TV and drawers, a wall safe, iron and ironing board, and a vanity. I had requested a refrigerator, and that was waiting in the corner. The bathroom contained the usual toilet and a shower/tub combination, along with Mickey Mouse soaps and shampoo/conditioner. The room was definitely nicer than any Motel 6 we had ever stayed in. We were more than a little relieved to discover the temperature in the room to be very cool and comfortable.

Refillable MugsAs our luggage had not arrived yet, we decided to head on back to Classic Hall to check out Everything Pop, the food court and gift shop. The first thing we did was purchase a refillable mug for $11.99. This mug entitled us to free refills from any of the beverages located in the beverage island throughout our stay. We filled our mugs and looked through the gift shop. By this time we were getting a little hungry so we decided to use one of our counter service meal credits and split the Very Sloppy Joe, which included a dill pickle spear. In addition, we chose a milk and a piece of chocolate cake. Since we had our mugs, we took the milk back to the room with us and put it in the refrigerator. The total for the entire meal was $11.58, but it cost us nothing with our meal plan.

By now it was 9:45 PM and we were both very tired from our long day. We decided to go back to the room and hoped our luggage would be there waiting for us. I refilled my mug with decaf coffee and we headed out the door. Once again, our glasses immediately became fogged up and we blindly walked to the elevator.

Once back in the room, we were disappointed to find that our luggage still hadn’t arrived. I called luggage assistance and was told that it would take 4-6 hours from the time our plane landed until we could expect our luggage. This means that our luggage would be delivered sometime between 10:00 PM and midnight. We were not happy about this as we had planned to get a good nights sleep so as to be refreshed and ready for our first day at the Magic Kingdom.

Two Double Bed RoomBecause Jason was really tired, I told him to go lie down in his room and I would wait up for the luggage. I continued watching TV and ended up turning the thermostat up a couple of degress and crawling under the covers as it was getting really chilly in the room.

Shortly before midnight the luggage still hadn’t arrived and I began to worry that due to the late hour, they may not deliver it until the next morning. I called down to luggage assistance again and was told that they were running behind, but that my luggage had arrived from the airport and they would be delivering it to me within the hour. Finally, at 12:57 AM the luggage arrived. I was relieved that the ½ case of water bottles we had each packed was still intact and hadn’t spilled out over the contents of my suitcase. I wheeled Jason’s luggage into his room and said goodnight. Quickly I unpacked my things and got ready for bed. The last thing I did was call to request a wake-up call for 6:00 the next morning. I slipped into the most comfortable bed and didn’t stir until the phone rang the next morning.


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