We spent a night at Disney’s Pop Century Resort back in September, and then stayed again for three nights in January. Pop is a what Disney calls a value resort, and is definitely my preferred choice in that category.
The resort is themed after the unforgettable fads of the 1950s through the 1990s. From yo-yos and Play-Doh® to Rubik’s Cube® and rollerblades, this Resort hotel salutes the timeless fashions, catch phrases, toys and dances that captivated the world through the decades. You will find larger than life representations of the decades throughout the sprawling resort.
It is definitely worth booking a preferred room at Pop, to stay close to the one bus stop, Skyliner station, feature pool and dining. The rooms over in the 80s and 90s are so far away that I didn’t even trek out there to take pictures for y’all. :-) Some of the 50’s section is also quite a hike. I always make room requests for each and every client, no matter where they are staying, based on my own personal knowledge of the resorts.
Many of my clients ask which resorts are kid friendly. The answer is ALL OF THEM! It’s Disney World! My advise in choosing a resort is to pick one that YOU want to come home to at night after trekking around a theme park all day. Your kids will be counting sheep the moment their heads hit the pillow. So, pick the resort where the adults in the party will feel comfortable and special.
The resort hub is the Classic Hall where you will find check-in, Everything Pop Shopping & Dining, the Fast Forward Arcade and the Hippy Dippy Pool.
Each time we checked in here, we found all of the cast members to be prompt, courteous and knowledgeable.
Value resorts do not have sit down restaurants, only food courts. The food court at Pop Century is fine, but nothing to rave about. I much prefer the options over at Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation. (But those Little Mermaid rooms are awful!) I’d plan to primarily eat in the parks if staying at Pop, or make the walk over to Art of Animation. We enjoy our resort time and my family requires a good balance of parks versus resort so I like to have more options than a busy busy food court.
This is our third or fourth stay here in five years and we usually really enjoy the Hippy Dippy Pool!!!!!!! It is HUGE and a lively and colorful setting. However, right now the entire feature pool area is closed for the majority of 2020, without a completion date on record. Disney says you “may notice noise” but I’m going to let you know that they are actually jackhammering up the entire pool surface so you “certainly will notice noise”. As I noted in my original 2015 review, one disadvantage of the value category is that there are no water slides.
They do have a pool side ping pong table, which my boys love, and a splash pad for the babies, and a pool bar.
In addition to the Hippy Dippy Pool, there are two quiet pools in the 50’s and 80s/90s sections of the resort. These are open to anyone to use, you don’t have to be staying in those buildings.
As you walk around the different buildings, you will notice there are cute pocket play areas like this one for Twister. There is a full playground and Pop Century does host a variety of pool games, Movies Under the stars and Groovy Campfire.
With just two exceptions I can think of, all resorts in the value and moderate categories are motels. You might have noticed in my pictures that the room doors open to an exterior walkway.
The resorts DO still book different “views”, which I think is a complete waste of money since you have to exit your room to enjoy said view. I book preferred in these categories for the location, or standard if that is not available. There’s no in between for me or my clients unless nothing else is available.
The rooms do not have balconies or patios and the window almost always remains curtained to give some semblance of privacy. (Which also makes them quite dark.)
Back in 2015 I shared that the rooms are “extremely basic”. Well, they have been completely overhauled and are MUCH improved. They aren’t any larger, but Disney really made the very most of every square inch!! They ditched the two double beds for a queen and pull down queen murphy bed. This makes sleeping SO much more comfortable and, on that topic, we found both beds to be quite comfy. There is room to slide a suitcase under the bed, but limited drawer and closet space so a family of four with a stay longer than a few nights will be living out of the suitcases.
These rooms are not large, and it is a tight fit for a family of four. Since we had a second room for my mother in law this stay, it was a much better experience (we did 3 in one and 2 in the other) than our fall stay with all 4 in one room. When the murphy bed is down, there is barely room on the floor for 3 suitcases. The two chairs have to go between the two beds or in front of the mini fridge.
Like the sleeping area, the bathrooms are also significantly improved. They are extremely well lit and organized. I really like the addition of a sliding door between the bedroom and bathroom as well. Do note that they took out tubs in most of the rooms, in lieu of nice showers. If you need a tub, that will be a request only and not a guarantee.
This is not my image, and I don’t have a source, but it is a nice depiction of the size of room you get in different resort categories.
Finally, let’s talk transportation! Pop Century has one central bus stop, which I love. I strongly dislike resorts with an internal bus loop before you ever leave for the park. There is bus service to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom a few times an hour. The resort is also on the new Skyliner system. This is a gondola ride connecting the resort (shared with Art of Animation) to the central Skyliner hub at Caribbean Beach Resort. From there, you change lines to gain access to Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The resort does still run one bus per hour to those to parks, so guests are definitely pushed to use the Skyliner. It is accessible, but that is a different queue that appeared a bit longer than the regular line. Single strollers are welcome, but double strollers must have everything taken out and be fully collapsed.
If you’re looking for accommodations in the value category, Pop Century has been and remains my top choice!
As Premier Level Gold Key Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Disney Aulani Hawaii, Universal, Sea World and to 35 countries on 6 continents through Adventures by Disney®.
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