By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Review: Disney’s Pop Century Resort

By Dave Shute

The Basics: Where to Stay

The Value Resorts   Art of Animation   Pop Century    Movies    Sports   Music


Note: guests at Disney’s Pop Century Resort are eligible for Disney World’s Early Entry program, and for early access to its paid individual system for access to certain rides, but NOT for its Extended Evening Hours.

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

A room refurb project completed in 2018 brings to Pop Century rooms queen beds and coffeemakers–both firsts in value resort standard rooms! You’ll also find these in All-Star Movies, and soon in refurbed rooms in All-Star Music and, likely, All-Star Sports.

Main Pool at Disney's Pop Century Resort

Among my 160+ stays (so far!) in Walt Disney World resort hotels, I’ve stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort ten times, most recently in July.

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.

You should note, though, that with price increases associated with the new Disney Skyliner, Pop is now on average $40 more a night than the All-Star resorts (although it averages $40 less a night than four person rooms at Art of Animation).

This review has five pages:


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 40% more expensive than Pop, but with much bigger rooms and nicer landscaping).

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 Pop Century or anywhere else–contact her using the form at the bottom of this page.


Pop Century completed a room refurb project in 2018.

Pop Century 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. than before the refurb. 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 some of these rooms have showers, no tubs. (Thanks Cindy!)


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.


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.


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 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,  Pop Century is now linked by the new Disney World Skyliner gondola system to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It shares a Skyliner station with Art of Animation, on the bridge connecting the two resorts over Hourglass Lake. From this station, you ride to the main hub, at Caribbean Beach, and re-board there for either the Epcot or Hollywood Studios lines.

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. Pop also offer the only queen beds–and only coffeemakers–among value resort standard rooms except for those at All-Star Movies–and refurbed rooms at All-Star Music.


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.

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.

The map shows the general layout of the resort.

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. It’s also reasonably convenient to transportation–both the buses and the Skyliner station

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


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.


Families 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:

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This review continues here.






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1 Tyler @ { 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.

7 Amy { 09.01.19 at 2:19 pm }

Hi Dave – any idea how long a “typical” pool refurbishment may be? Thinking of coming second half of April 2020. POP says Hippy Dippy Pool to be under refurb “Winter to early Spring 2020”

8 Dave { 09.02.19 at 8:38 am }

Amy, it can be a month to 4 months. At Pop, there are two other large pools that are usually not crowded, so I’d expect things to be OK even with the main pool closed.

9 Cindy { 09.27.21 at 2:14 pm }

Dave, some rooms at Pop Century are showers only, no tub. We changed rooms to have a tub.

10 Dave { 09.28.21 at 3:49 pm }

Thanks Cindy! I had that on my photo tour, and just added it to this summary page as well!

11 tv schedule { 12.25.23 at 5:02 am }

I enjoyed reading your review on the Disney’s Pop Century Resort! It sounds like an amazing place to stay, with its retro theme and convenient location. Thanks for sharing your experience!

12 Anon { 05.01.24 at 8:18 am }

Loved the detailed review of Disney’s Pop Century Resort! As a fan of the retro theme, I appreciate how the resort’s design pays homage to different decades. The photos and videos included in the post really gave me a sense of what the resort is like. Definitely added Pop Century to my bucket list! ???

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