By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Review: Disney’s Pop Century Resort

By Dave Shute

The Value Resorts    Pop Century    Movies    Sports    Music   Art of Animation

DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is one of Disney World’s best-loved value resorts.

A room refurb project completed in July 2018 brings to Pop Century refurbed rooms queen beds and coffeemakers–both firsts in value resort standard rooms! A full photo tour of one of these refurbed rooms starts here.

Main Pool at Disney's Pop Century Resort

Among my 150+ stays (so far!) in Walt Disney World resort hotels, I’ve stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort ten times, most recently in July 2017.

These stays confirm that for those who can’t afford a deluxe resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort is the second best place to stay, after Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and, for families who need queen beds (or coffeemakers), or with mobility issues, it’s number one.

This review has five pages:

OVERVIEW OF DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

Resorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their kid appeal, and then on their convenience.

On this basis, Disney’s Pop Century Resort is the second-best value resort for first time family visitors, and would be number one for those seeking queen beds, coffee makers, or with mobility issues.

You can have a wonderful visit at any Walt Disney World resort hotel.

However, this site recommends that first time visitors to Walt Disney World who can afford it should stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a deluxe resort, and that those who can’t should stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a value resort. (See this for more on the value resorts at Walt Disney World.)

Compared to other Walt Disney World owned and operated resorts, the value resorts are distinguished by having the lowest prices and smallest rooms. Compared to staying off-site, the value resorts are distinguished by their higher kid appeal, convenience, and access to certain key perks that off-site hotels can’t provide.

However, if your family will fit, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, like the other value resorts, has much more kid appeal than Disney’s moderate resorts, the next higher price class (about twice as expensive, but with much bigger rooms and nicer landscaping).

(See this for much more on resort distinctions by price class–value, moderate, deluxe, etc.)

All of the value resorts–Disney’s Art of Animation resort, Disney’s All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, and All-Star Movies, and its Pop Century Resort–have terrific kid appeal.

This appeal comes from the approach to theming they all share: bright and vibrant exteriors, framing much larger than life objects of interest to kids. These objects reinforce that these resorts were designed for the sake of kids…and not necessarily for adults!

Pop Century’s theme is to recall the later decades of the twentieth century, through enormous statues of toys, games, Disney characters, and other stuff. You’ll find scattered around the resort a Mickey Mouse Telephone, Roger Rabbit, a Big Wheel, bowling pins, Baloo and Mowgli, Lady and the Tramp…all 30 to over 60 feet tall!

Elsewhere you’ll find Play-Doh, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, a more than life sized foosball game, a pool designed to look like a bowling alley, a four-story laptop, and more.

Note that the long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly B., can help you book your Disney World vacation at All-Star Movies or anywhere else–contact her at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499.

ACCOMMODATIONS AT DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

Pop Century completed a room refurb project in July 2018.

Refurbed rooms include two queen beds, one of which folds down and makes the dining table go away when it does.

Refurbed rooms also have larger TVs, more and more organized storage, more privacy around the sink area, and more power points. A photo tour of one of these refurbed rooms begins here, and there’s more on accommodations at Disney’s Pop Century Resort here.

Note that the long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly B., can help you book your Disney World vacation at Pop Century or anywhere else–contact her at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499.

AMENITIES AND DINING AT DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

All the value resorts are slim on amenities and limited in their dining offerings.

Other than the pools, you’ll find most of Pop’s amenities and all of its dining in the central Classic Hall building. The food court at Pop is better than those at the All-Stars, but not as interesting as that at nearby Art of Animation.

You are welcome to use the food court and most amenities–but not the pools–at Art of Animation Resort.

There’s more on amenities and dining at Disney’s Pop Century Resort here.

THE POOLS AT DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

Pop Century has three pools.

The main Hippy Dippy pool includes pool games, a kids pool, and many evenings movies.

The other two pools–the Computer and Bowling Pin pools–are less fun, but quieter and more convenient to many Pop Century rooms.

Overall the pools at Pop Century offer both more water and more pool-side space than those at the All-Stars–even factoring in the lower number of rooms at the All-Stars. Art of Animation pools overall are better themed but in total probably not so large as those at Pop.

There’s more on the pools at Pop Century here.

KID APPEAL AND CONVENIENCE AT AT DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT


Kip Appeal. Pop is–by a hare–the second most kid-appealing of the values.

Art of Animation has the most kid appeal among the values, with deeply themed sections and rooms evoking the settings and characters of Little Mermaid, Cars, the Lion Kings, and Finding Nemo. (At Art of Animation, only the somewhat inconvenient Little Mermaid section has standard rooms–the other three sections of Art of Animation have only much more expensive family suites.)

All-Star Music and Sports are thin on Disney-specific decor, and can be visually dull except to kids devoted to sports or music. All-Star Movies is more kid-appealing than these two, living more richly in Disney’s visual world.

Pop Century adds to its own strong Disney visual presence lots of fun toys!

Convenience. Disney’s Pop Century Resort is slightly more convenient than the All-Stars, and in general as convenient as Art of Animation.

Compared to the All-Stars, it is more central. Pop Century is quite centrally located.

  • It is just south of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, nestled in the area between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • It is closer to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom than the All-Stars are.

Pop Century is also one of only two resorts at Walt Disney World that has only one bus stop and does not share buses with any other resort. (Art of Animation is the other.)

Each of the All-Star resorts has only one bus stop, but they share some of their buses with one or both of the other All-Stars.

Moreover, in the fall of 2019, Pop Century will be linked by the new Disney World gondola system to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The gondola station (construction photo above) will be shared with Art of Animation and located on the bridge between these two hotels.

Pop is a little easier to get around than is Art of Animation for those in standard rooms. The standard rooms at Art of Animation are more distant from the hotel’s central services than most of Pop’s are.

Other distinctive features. Pop and Art of Animation are the only values on a lake; Pop is also (slightly) more graceful, and (slightly) less garish, than the All-Stars. Refurbed rooms at Pop offer the only queen beds–and only coffeemakers–among value resort standard rooms except for refurbed rooms at All-Star Movies.

THE BEST PLACES TO STAY AT DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

This site suggests that first time visitors stay in standard rooms, not preferred rooms (because they won’t be spending much time in their rooms, or going to the main resort food area often.)

The single exception is visitors to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, who should always pay for savanna views.

Map of Disney's Pop Century Resort

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is divided into areas named for decades from the second half of the last century–’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.

Click the map to see the general layout.

Of these, a fourth floor room in the ’70s area with a lake view is the best place to stay.

The lake view speaks for itself.

The ’70s area is the only one at Pop Century not built around a pool, which makes it quieter.

The fourth floor is also the top floor, which improves the lake views, and makes it quieter as well.

Below is the on-line check-in form.

Online Check-In Pop Century from yourfirstvisit.net

BEST FOR:

Families than cannot afford a deluxe resort, or who are otherwise on a tight budget, who can fit into its small rooms, and don’t wish to, or can’t, stay at Art of Animation.

WORST FOR:

Families who are tall or otherwise won’t fit into the full-size beds in Pop’s not-yet-refurbed rooms, or who have more than two adult-sized people, or who will be using a crib.

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly B., can help you book your Disney World vacation at Pop Century or anywhere else–contact her using the form below:

THEMING AND ACCOMMODATIONS AT DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

This review continues here.

 

MATERIALS IN THIS REVIEW OF DISNEY’S POP CENTURY RESORT

OTHER KEY PAGES FOR WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD

 

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!



6 comments

1 Tyler @ thetravelingtoddler.com { 02.07.18 at 2:04 am }

We were just at Pop Century a few months ago. Pop Century is our go-to hotel when we visit Disney. For traveling with a toddler, the compact nature of the resort and the fact that the buses only service Pop Century are the two biggest positives. With a 3 year old, not having a table service restaurant or water slides is not a deal breaker.

2 Dave { 02.07.18 at 9:46 am }

Thanks, Tyler!

3 Ana { 06.01.18 at 8:20 pm }

Hello Dave!
Do you have any information about the buildings that are left to refurbish?
I have booked a preferred room in July and requested the 60’s section. Do you know if that section is being worked at the moment or it’s done? So I should maybe request another section, I do not want to take my chances and get a preferred that it’s not refurbished.

4 Dave { 06.02.18 at 8:00 am }

Ana, all rooms are either refurbed or closed to be refurbed, so you are set!

5 Lisa { 10.26.18 at 3:59 pm }

Hello Dave!
Love your page. We are taking your advise and staying at POP for Apr. 2019. We booked a standard room. If we were hoping to get a free upgrade should we check in at the time we get there instead of doing the on line check in? Also I heard about the new change you came make with declining house keeping and get a $10 gift card for the numbers of nights you stay. Would that be better to check in when we get there also? I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Have a magical day. 🙂

6 Dave { 10.27.18 at 12:00 pm }

Lisa, upgrades are rare, but you can ask for one at the desk whether or not you do on line check in. (You will be assigned a room ahead of time whether or not you do online check in, so they have to change you either way.)

On the gift cards, if available you may get an email offering you them, or can go to the front desk. Either way online check in matters not, as the desk is still available to you to talk to!!

PS I think the gift card is for number of nights minus one–they still have to clean after you leave, hence the missing night.

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2018 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.