Disney resorts have always proven to be some of my favorite hotels to stay in. And while I love so many things about them, one thing that particularly stands out is that Disney offers what is called “value resorts” to guests that are looking to do Disney World on a budget. And Disney’s Pop Century Resort qualifies as being a “value resort.”
So let’s begin this review of the Pop Century by talking about the decor of the overall resort.
Pop Century is a hotel based off exactly what it sounds like: centuries. Each part of the hotel is a different decade, starting with the 50’s and going up to the 90’s. Disney took it’s theming to an extreme with each decade.
For example, with the 50’s, there is an extremely large jukebox, bowling pins, and Lady and the Tramp statues. When you get to the 60’s, you will find yourself submersed in true flower power. You’ll find tie dyed colors, peace signs, flowers, and oversized play-doh containers along side Jungle Book characters, Mowgli and Baloo.
Oh and you can’t forget the giant yo-yo’s everywhere you go.
Then you move onto the 70’s. This is the wing that I stayed in when I visited. This one stood out to me a little bit more, not just because I stayed here, but also because of the decor. You’ll find a giant old school Mickey phone (which I did in fact own at one point in my life), a foosball game the size of the buildings, and a big wheel. It truly brings a feeling of nostalgia. For the 80’s, they really try to focus on the music.
There are statued break dancers and an oversized walkman. There’s also giant rubix cubes and Roger Rabbit. In my personal opinion, I think they could have gone down a different route with the 80’s but hey, it’s still enjoyable. Last but not least, there’s the 90’s. If I’m being honest, this is probably my least favorite wing of the resort. It feels as if they gave up.
You’ll find giant flip phones, laptops, and floppy disks. Now, I know that we progressed with technology but that’s all you could think of Disney? Oh well. There’s other parts that make up for it.
Onto the rooms.
I think overall, this was the most disappointing part about the resort. Now, before I get to be too critical, you do have to keep in mind that this is a value resort and that rooms are starting as low as $135. However, they put so much energy and time into decorating the exterior that I would have liked to see them put that same effort into decorating the interior.
The theming is really not found in the rooms. In fact, all that you will find are blue walls and orange walls, blue and orange carpet, and blue, orange, and green comforters with Mickey and friends.
It was just missing that extra flair. I would have liked to see the decades brought into the room a little bit more. However, like most Disney resorts, you aren’t going to want to spend most of your time in the hotels. You’ll find yourself in the parks or lounging by the many pools on site.
One thing Pop isn’t lacking is entertainment. If I had to pick one of the best Disney World hotels for kids, it would be Pop for this very reason.
1) The Pools
For a value resort, Pop Century has a lot of swimming options. They have three different pools on site, each one in different decades. The first one is near the 50’s and the cherry on top is the fact that it’s shaped like a bowling pin.
As cheesy as that is, it’s big and offers a lot of space for swimming. I never did get a chance to swim in it but it does seem like a good spot that tends to be a bit quieter unlike the pool near the 60’s.
The Hippy Dippy pool, from what I gathered, is the pool that is most used by guests. This is probably due to the fact that it’s the largest. It’s shaped like a flower and offers plenty of fun for everyone in the family. If you’re flying solo without the kiddos, be sure to stop by the Petals Pool Bar and grab yourself a tropical cocktail to sip on by the pool.
The last pool is over by the 90’s and they call it the “Computer pool.” It’s a computer shaped pool with keyboard and all. Again, a little lame but who cares. It’s another quiet spot to cool down when you’re facing that warm Florida sun.
2) Movies under the stars
Disney is notorious for featuring movies under the stars at almost all of their resorts and this holds true at Pop Century. Unfortunately, there is not a schedule online so it something you might have to ask about when you get to the resort but they do feature Disney classics near the Hippy Dippy pool for your entertainment.
3) Jogging trail
If you’re up for some exercise while you’re on your vacation, good for you. I applaud the dedication. And Disney offers some jogging trails for you, one being at Pop Century. Once you’re done chowing down on the churros and Mickey ice cream sandwiches, you can burn those extra calories off while seeing the most of Disney property.
If you’re a kid at heart like me, you’ll love the arcades (they’re not just for kids, you know). They offer a wide variety of games to play including air hockey, basketball, skeeball, and more. It’s a good spot to entertain the kids if you’re looking to take a break from the parks.
5) Bike rentals
If you look at a map, you will actually find that Pop Century sits on a lake known as Crescent Lake which makes for the perfect spot to bike around. One of my favorite things to do was bike around Disney property.
You truly get to see it from a different point of view and you get to explore all that it has to offer. The best part about biking around Pop Century is it’s close proximity to Art of Animation, another incredible resort. This gives you the chance to explore two hotels in one trip!
Because it is a value resort, you aren’t going to find many dining options within Pop. Your main dining option is going to be the Everything Pop Shopping and Dining area where you will find a food court like area to shop and eat. It is considered quick service so essentially you are visiting the station that you want most, order the food, and find a table and eat. T
here are many cases where this is actually easier rather than a sit down restaurant. With stations, you are given more options. For example, for breakfast, they include things such as omelets, pancakes, french toast, a breakfast flatbread, and more. For dinner you can find things such as fried chicken, rotisserie turkey, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, pasta, and more.
You can find the full menu here. This is going to be some of the cheapest food that you find on property so take advantage of it while you can.
If you’ve had a long day at the parks and want a night in, they also offer pizza delivery service to your room. You can get things such as salads, wings, and pizzas delivered straight to your room and the best part is that most of the dining plans are accepted when doing so.
I believe that Pop Century is much like a lot of other hotels surrounding Disney property. The areas are clean, the parking is free, and you have easy access to all of the Disney parks. Everything about Disney is pretty pricey so it’s nice to stay somewhere that won’t break the bank and makes it easy to navigate around the parks.
I will always be an advocate for value resorts–so long as there are no traces of bed bugs. I think that while the deluxe resorts may feel higher end, it is unnecessary for a Disney trip where you’re spending most of your time out and about in the parks. I think Pop Century is worth every penny you pay (and save) and I would definitely go back and stay again.
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