Disney’s Pop Century Resort Review
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is a value resort located on the Disney Skyliner near several other hotels. This charming resort represents tons of “pop” references from the ’50s through the ’90s.
This Pop Century Resort Review will go over everything from the theming to what it’s like to stay at the resort. We’ll discuss rooms, dining, amenities, and transportation offered at the resort.
Additionally, I’ll discuss a few pros and cons of staying at Pop Century. My family has stayed at Pop Century many times over the years.
We find the resort a step above most of the other value category resorts at Disney World. And have thoroughly enjoyed our stays here.
Related: The Best Disney World Value Resorts
In case you aren’t familiar with the value resorts, they all offer larger-than-life, fun Disney-theming. For example, Disney World’s Pop Century is themed to represent fads, fashion, and everything pop between the fifties and nineties.
This article was updated on April 9, 2022.
Pop Century Resort Review
There are a couple of reasons I prefer Pop Century over the other value resorts. First, the room layouts at the resort are incredibly efficient.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Disney Skyliner now provides transportation to and from surrounding resorts and theme parks. We’ll cover those specifics later on in this review. But for the most part, the Skyliner has turned out to be a tremendous asset.
Additionally, the resort’s location is highly convenient. Those with a car on hand can be at Hollywood Studios parking lot in less than five minutes.
Pop Century sits across Hourglass Lake from Disney’s Art of Animation. Guests can easily walk back and forth between the two resorts. It’s a beautiful walk.
Related: A Walk Around Hourglass Lake
Furthermore, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the Riviera are only a short Skyliner ride away. Unfortunately, there’s not a walking path to these resorts.
The most fun thing about Pop Century is the theming you’ll find at the resort. The theming is the trade-off when staying at a value versus one of the moderate or deluxe resorts.
Sometimes when you visit a moderate or deluxe, it doesn’t feel like you are at a Disney hotel. However, when you stay at a value resort, there’s no mistake that you are on vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The theming at Pop is broken down into sections. Each section represents different decades from the ’50s through the ’90s.
The theme of each section is what makes the resort unique and fun. Trust me. If you stay at Pop Century, there are many conversational pieces and fond memories for the young and the young at heart.
Starting at the back of the resort, we’ll look at the 80s and 90s sections. Roger Rabbit stands guard over this area.
Don’t worry. You are in good hands if you receive a room assignment here.
The Potato Heads will greet you as you stroll down Memory Lane to get over to the ’90s section. It’s my favorite way to get to this end of the property. You can cut through the ’70s sections to reduce walking time and make it a straight shot.
The colors in the area are pretty vibrant. Okay, they are maybe a bit loud. But we are talking all things Pac-Man and Pop, right?
The laptop that sits between the standard room area is another fun item. If you stay in this section, look closely at the screen.
The screen shows several windows with things like Animal Kingdom’s opening. There’s also a picture of Cinderella Castle dressed as a birthday cake for Magic Kingdom’s 25th anniversary.
Hey! I visited Magic Kingdom that year, and I remember that! This is precisely the type of thing I mean by conversation pieces. Who knows what memories will trigger for you while walking the grounds of Disney’s Pop Century?
The ’70s section is another neat stop. Who hasn’t wanted to come home to a larger-than-life foosball court at the end of a busy Disney day?
The front half of the ’70s section falls into the preferred room category. A preferred room means that the room’s location is near the main lobby, shopping, dining, and transportation.
Mickey Mouse, telephone in hand, will be waiting to greet you every evening after a long day in a Disney theme park! A side note here–if you ever find one of those in a thrift store, don’t get excited and offer to pay a lot for it without checking the value first. I bet you already know how that one turned out.
The ’70s section has an 8-track sitting out front. That probably matches the condition of my cassette tape collection with the film. However, that would be in the ’80s.
All of the Disney values have stairwells that are wrapped. Like the Rubik’s Cube one below.
And the bowling pin encasements here in the ’60s.
We have the ’60s section that sits directly behind Classic Hall.
All rooms in the ’60s section fall into the preferred room category. The feature pool, the Hippy Dippy Pool, sits directly in the middle of the ’60s.
You’ll see Jungle Book references along with other fun items.
Lastly, we have the opposite end of the resort representing the ’50s decade. Everything was “Way Out” back then, apparently. There are a few select preferred rooms on the front side of this section.
Lady from Lady and the Tramp keeps an eye on this section of the resort.
Tramp is looking over at her from the other side.
As mentioned earlier, the rooms at Pop Century are one of the top reasons we’ve always enjoyed this resort over the other values. They have such a great layout.
For reference, I do love the Art of Animation Resort next door. However, I don’t care for The Little Mermaid rooms.
Related: Art of Animation Resort Review
Pop Century underwent a massive refurbishment that resulted in much-needed room improvements a few years back. The rooms turned out well, better utilizing the smaller room space.
Yes, they are standard rooms like you would find in a regular hotel. However, the space was designed with excellent space consideration in mind.
Each room has different compartments and adequate storage space for families to utilize while on a Disney vacation.
If you take a closer look, you will find the secret, hidden bed.
Okay, it’s not a secret, but the Murphy bed is perfect for utilizing space. It transforms into a table and chairs when the bed is not used.
I wrote several blog posts from that table and chair in the photo above. So if you decide to stay at Pop Century, you’ll always wonder if you stayed in the same room as the famous Disney blogger.
I’m just kidding.
There is a space on the wall beside the dressers where we usually store the chairs while using the bed. We do the thing where you flip one chair upside down and sit it in the other chair’s seat to save room.
Here is a look at the Murphy bed instructions. It’s relatively simple to figure out. Both beds in the room are queen size, which is a nice upgrade from the former full size.
There is a flat-screen TV on the wall. You can see the dresser underneath has a lot of counter and storage space. Those are USB ports and plugs on each end.
Below, you’ll see a stand-alone pantry in the corner of the room. I enjoyed having this space to put snacks, cereal, oatmeal, etc. A coffee maker and beverage cooler sit underneath.
Here is a closer look at the beverage cooler. It’s one with a glass door, so you can see what’s in there without opening the door. The drawer above pulls out with extra space and accompaniments for the coffee.
The bathroom has an extremely functional design, given the smaller space. Since I travel often, usable space is a huge deal to me.
This room has lots of nooks and crannies to place different items. It is also ideal for multiple people sharing a room to have their own storage space.
The closet area has built-ins. I love storing my shoes on the shelves underneath.
A full-size ironing board hangs on the wall. Below you will see the hairdryer, iron, and other toiletries in a cabinet on the vanity wall.
The bath has a standard tub with a shower combination. And let’s face it, glass shower doors are a huge upgrade over a shower curtain.
You might notice the pocket door, another space saver.
They have installed a rain-style showerhead and an additional, removable one in the shower. The detachable showerheads are a massive plus for hotels in general. It’s great to have this option for washing children’s hair.
Here we have the built-in shampoo, conditioner, and liquid soap dispensers.
Back in the room, we will look at a few more details. The Mickey Mouse artwork is a nice touch, with reading lamps on each end.
Built-in bedside tables offer usable storage space without taking up too much room.
Notice that there are plenty of outlets for standard plugs and USB ports.
Pools and Recreation
The resort offers several pools and recreation activities. Every month each Disney Resort prints a new recreation calendar for guests. Make sure to pick one up during your stay.
Disney’s Pop Century has three different pools. The pools are specific to each section of the resort so that guests will have one close to their room. However, you can use any pool at the resort.
Pool hours vary during each season. During the winter months, hours run from around 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
In the hotter months of the year, pool hours are usually 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Please check with the resort for specific hours during your stay.
Hippy Dippy is the feature pool. It is located between the ’60s buildings and Classic Hall. Hippy Dippy is where you will also find the Petals pool bar.
Behind the main pool is a kiddie pool. In addition, there are plenty of seating areas around the space for adults to relax while children play.
If you are staying on the ’80s and ’90s side of the resort, you should be able to walk right out to the Computer Pool. It’s a relatively large pool and not usually as crowded.
Finally, if you stay in the ’50s, the Bowling Pool will be in the courtyard. It’s shaped like a bowling pin. As you can probably tell from the photo below, it’s a good size. There’s also a pretty cool jukebox in the background.
Related: The Pools at Pop Century Resort
As far as recreation goes, you’ll find the Fast Forward arcade inside Classic Hall.
The arcade is huge and features a tremendous variety of games.
If you have spent any time at the resorts, you are probably aware that most of them have sizable arcades. Fast Forward is another one of those significant places with plenty to do on a rainy day.
Each night, “Movies Under the Stars” are available at the feature pool. If you don’t care to see what’s playing for some reason, you can walk over to Art of Animation next door and catch their movie.
This experience is something that I recommend doing on an off day or evening when you get back to the hotel a little early. It’s a delightful time.
While Pop Century doesn’t offer a gym, they have an excellent jogging trail. The trail goes down Memory Lane on the Pop Century side. Then, it circles Hourglass Lake and continues over to the Art of Animation Resort before coming back full circle.
Related: Jogging Trails at Disney World
It’s a nice place to jog on the property, especially around sunset.
Each pool at Pop Century has a laundry room in the immediate area.
A credit card reservation machine automates the machines. It’s a simple system to use but only takes credit cards.
One of the neat things about doing laundry at Disney is the Laundry View system they use to check availability or see if your load is done. The Laundry View page for the Bowling Pool is available here. If you want to check a different laundry facility, just change the location at the top.
Pop Century offers one large food court at Classic Hall. It’s the Everything Pop Food Court and is accessible through several areas of the lobby and exterior.
Everything Pop has several dining areas inside the food court. Televisions play Disney cartoons for entertainment in the dining area.
I took a few menu pictures on my last stay so you can get an idea of what they offer.
Most of the menus have a kids’ meal section. For example, you can order a large family-style pizza and pick it up here.
Here is the Italian station.
These sandwiches look okay, considering they’ve been pre-made.
There are dessert cases with grab-and-go items. Think late-night snack.
You’ll find a plethora of pastries.
The cooler has a variety of beverages, fruits, and salads.
A few more items.
If you spend a reasonable amount of time at a resort and drink soda, a refillable mug might be a good option.
Another thing you want to familiarize yourself with is Disney’s mobile ordering and pick-up service. Most counter services are now offering this option.
It’s nice to order something on the way back from the parks or your room and have it ready by the time you get to the location.
For more information on dining at Pop Century, check out our full food court review.
Related: Everything Pop Food Court at Pop Century
Pop Century offers two different forms of Disney transportation. The first form is the Disney bus system. Pop has one bus stop that takes guests to and from the following locations:
- Disney’s Magic Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom
- Epcot and Hollywood Studios (when the Skyliner is not running)
- Disney Springs
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
*A transfer system might be in place for the water parks. If so, a sign at the bus stop will indicate where to go to transfer to a water park.
Additionally, Pop Century is home to the Skyliner station that travels to Caribbean Beach. At Caribbean Beach, you will disembark and get in line to board a new gondola to one of the following locations:
- Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
Below is the Skyliner station Pop Century shares with Art of Animation. It is located on the bridge over Hourglass Lake. If you end up staying at the resort, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the travel times and routes of the Disney Skyliner.
Related: Disney Skyliner Resorts with Travel Times
Since you can quickly get to Riviera Resort, I recommend trying the resort’s excellent character dining location. The breakfast with characters at Topolino’s Terrace is our favorite choice.
Related: Character Dining at Walt Disney World
Unfortunately, Disney discontinued their Magical Express service from the Orlando airport to the resorts. If you need help securing transportation from the airport, use an authorized Disney travel agent for all of your vacation planning.
Next, we’ll look at Pop Century’s lobby, Classic Hall. At first look, you might find it fairly generic. However, if you look a little closer, there are a few neat pieces.
These shadow boxes hanging on the walls have some fantastic items.
But I cringe at the thought of having to visit the front desk. The line here is nearly always extreme.
When you exit the bus at Pop Century, you can walk directly into the resort’s gift shop, Everything Pop Shopping & Dining. You can also enter the retail store from the Classic Hall side.
I tend to take my time and browse the gift shop when I come back in the evenings.
Related: Pop Century Gift Shop
It’s a standard resort retail store with something for everyone.
They will probably have some Star Wars merchandise out and about.
And there’s usually resort-specific merchandise.
You might even find a tie-dye Pop Century t-shirt.
Final Thoughts: Pop Century Resort Review
Overall, Pop Century provides pleasant rooms, a fun atmosphere, and a reasonable price point. Sure, it will not have everything that a moderate or a deluxe resort will offer. But it won’t cost nearly as much to stay here.
Additionally, guests of Pop Century Resort can take advantage of early theme park benefits. This benefit allows guests to enter the theme parks 30 minutes early. It applies to each park every day.
Related: Benefits of Staying in a Disney World Resort
There are a few other aspects you might want to consider about Pop Century. All rooms will have exterior access, meaning there are no interior hallways.
Thankfully, the resort does offer elevators in each building, along with stairwells.
Additionally, luggage assistance is provided. However, this is not a resort that tends to cater to your every need. The undertone is that everything’s self-service for the most part.
And that’s fine, as long as you know these things in advance.
The rooms are nice, the food is okay, and having more than one transportation option is a huge plus.
The resort activities are somewhat comparable to what you might find at any moderate or deluxe resort. However, unfortunately, the swimming pool won’t have a waterslide feature.
Additionally, you will likely have to walk a fair distance to access your room. Or you could go with a preferred location and be near the lobby and bus stop.
These are all tiny details.
In the overall scheme of things, you are paying to stay “on Disney property” when you book a Walt Disney World Resort. It’s plain and simple.
You are paying to stay on Disney’s scale of what they determine is value, moderate, or deluxe.
With that being said, the benefits of staying on property are numerous and valuable to your limited vacation time.
So when it comes to value, Pop Century is number one for me. I haven’t stayed at the newly updated All-Star Movies yet.
If you enjoyed this review of Pop Century, you might want to browse a few other popular resort reviews. Here are a few favorites:
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Review
- Gran Destino Tower Review
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Review
- Disney’s Beach Club Review
Or browse all of our articles for Pop Century here.
In addition, you might enjoy staying in the Magic Kingdom Resort area. For more info, try these:
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort Review
- Grand Floridian Resort Review
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Review
Or you can preview our entire list of Disney World Resort Reviews.
Trying to decide between Pop Century and Art of Animation? We have a comparison article that details the differences.
Related: Disney’s Pop Century vs. Art of Animation
In the comments: Hopefully, this Pop Century Resort Review was helpful for planning your Disney vacation? Are you going to stay at this hotel? What are your thoughts on this resort? Do you have any questions?