Every child remembers hearing Grandpa’s stories about what life was like in the 50’s and 60’s or have (unfortunately) witnessed Mom and Dad show off some of their groovy moves from the disco era. Maybe your kids have found a pair of your old parachute pants you’ve kept around just in case they ever come back in style. Whatever the trends, toys or topics you grew up with, Disney has brought them all together to be revisited at the Pop Century Resort!
Pop Century opened in 2003 as the fourth Value Resort on Walt Disney World property. Nestled on hourglass lake, the resort houses 2880 guest rooms in ten buildings. Each building has four floors accessible by either stairways or elevators. The buildings are themed to different decades of the 20th century – the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Along the outside of buildings you will find gigantic icons and decorations themed to each respective decade. For instance, in the 1990’s section you will find a humongous laptop computer sitting next to a stack of over-sized floppy disks. In the 1970’s courtyard sits a four story tall Mickey Mouse rotary phone and childhood favorite “Big Wheel” bike (with a weight limit of 877 pounds)!
Standing front and center of the Pop Century Resort is where you will find Classic Hall. This is also where transportation drop-off and pick-up is for Disney’s Magical Express, taxis, ride-shares, town cars and shuttles, as well as Disney Transportation buses to parks and attractions on Walt Disney World property. For guests using Disney’s Magical Express, you can find airline check-in for participating airlines and luggage services located on the right side of the building.
Inside of the Classic Hall are check-in and concierge desks with Cast Members ready and willing to help get your vacation started or assist with any needs you may have while staying at Pop Century. While Mom or Dad are checking in, little ones (or husbands - well, at least my husband) can find a spot in a seating area and catch their favorite Disney cartoons. Make sure to take the time to look at the shadow boxes lining the wall in the lobby. Each shadow box displays pictures, items and articles from each of the decades at Pop Century. I for one get a kick out of the 80’s displays because nothing says classic style like big hair, leg warmers and neon tights!
Classic Hall is also home to the Fast Forward Arcade (currently closed) and the Everything Pop shopping area and food court. From pinball games to virtual reality games, the Fast Forward Arcade is a great place to spend time having fun. If you’re looking for a gift to bring back home to your child’s teacher or the dog sitter, there are plenty of great Walt Disney World souvenirs to choose from at the store located in Everything Pop. Toiletries, medicines and baby needs can also be found here as well.
As with all of the Value Resorts, there isn’t a table service restaurant at Pop Century, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great dining options! From breakfast to dinner, you can find a variety of menu choices. Mickey waffles, baked goods, bacon, sausages, fruit and more are there when you wake up. Pastas, burgers, subs and sandwiches are ready and waiting for lunch and dinner. There are also grab and go options available, as well as two beverage stations to refill your resort mug. If you feel like staying and relaxing in your room, pizza delivery is another great option! (menu items and room delivery is currently limited for guests safety)
I’ve stayed at all three of the All Star Resorts numerous times and have four stays at Pop Century under my belt. Without including Art of Animation as I haven’t stayed there yet, Pop Century is top notch for us in the Value category. We’ve been placed in building #2 in the 50’s, #10 in the 70’s and twice in building #7 in the 80’s sections. Having stayed at opposite ends and almost at the furthest points of the resort, we’ve never found the walk to Classic Hall or the buses to have been horribly long and tiring, even after a day at the parks. While we find the distances to be manageable, if you feel you may want a room close to the main building and buses, booking a preferred room is a good idea. Along with preferred room options, you can also book standard or preferred rooms with a pool view.
Did someone say pool? Ah yes, the pools. Located within Pop Century are three pools for guests to take a swim in. In the 50’s section is a pool in the shape of a bowling pin. Settled between the 80’s and 90’s building is a computer pool. These two pools are usually the quietest of the three. The busiest and most popular is the Hippy Dippy Pool, located in the center of the resort in the 60’s section. Around the pool are tall flowers which spray swimmers below them. For the little ones, a small wading pool can be found for them to splash in. For those who prefer to hang poolside, grab a drink from the Petals Pool Bar or take on a game of outdoor ping pong with a friend!
While the exterior of the resort is bright and fun with gigantic Big Wheels and Play-doh containers, the guest rooms are more toned down. Each room is 260 square feet and has a queen size bed and a small table, hiding a second queen sized murphy bed. The bathrooms feature a shower and tub combo and a toilet. Right outside of the bathroom is your vanity area with a single sink and mirror, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, shelf and clothes rack with hangers. There is also a wall safe for guests to store smaller, important items. The vanity area can also be blocked off by sliding door and turned into a dressing area for privacy. A coffee maker, dresser, flat screen TV and mini fridge are also in the room.
Pop Century also has the added benefit of being on Disney's Skyliner - which is a quick and scenic ride over to Caribbean Beach Resort which will then connect you to either Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, or Disney's Riviera Resort. Pop Century was a fan favorite before this addition, but the Skyliner was one of our favorite parts of our most recent stay. The ride was quick and beautiful, and if there was a line it moved quickly. The Skyliner Station is on the backside of the resort, off the bridge to Art of Animation. If you are in the 60's section, you are just steps away.
The category title “Value Resort” can scare some people into thinking of a dingy, dirty off the beaten path motel, but I promise you, Disney’s version of Value Resort is far above and beyond that. Ultimately, for those who are looking for a comfortable place at a comfortable price, I highly recommend Pop Century. Each stay I’ve had has been nothing less than pleasant and filled with so much fun and I look forward to returning again!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip down memory lane! Do you have any special memories from staying at Pop Century?You can find more pictures of this resort by clicking here
*Updated September 2020.
*Some images are prior to social distancing and enhanced cleaning measures.