Talk about two of my favorite resorts! Both Walt Disney World’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are both some of my favorite resorts, not just because of theming, but due to the fabulous amount of details. What makes it even better is that the two resorts are actually right next to each other.
So what do each of these resorts possess for those looking to stay in one of those? In my personal opinion when Disney planning, it can be a bit tricky to pick which one because they both are so much fun for any type of party you are traveling with. It honestly might come down to the theme that makes you and your party choose.
However, let’s examine every nook and cranny of both resorts and weigh both options. Comparing the two and what they each have to offer is an excellent way of choosing what is best for you and your party!
When it comes to the Pop Century and the Art of Animation, believe me when I say you have your options when it comes to types of rooms! First, let’s discuss the theming of each resort.
Walt Disney’s Pop Century Resort is a trip through the second half of the 20th century. Each section of the resort is dedicated to a certain decade: 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and the 90s. Within each of those sections are different statues, music and buildings that all coordinate with the theming of that decade.
For example, the sixties second houses the “Hippy Dippy Trippy Pool,” which is a pool shaped like a flower and themed with bright colors. Music that was popular during the decade is playing all around you; that is until you reach a new section or “decade,” and the music and the atmosphere changes.
The eighties section has a giant Rubik’s cube and Walkman along the paths your walk, and let’s not forget Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head! (This is a great photo-op by the way. Honestly, anything in this resort is.)
An adorable little detail this resort has are decorated railings of the buildings the rooms are located in with “slang” and “dance and music trends” from that decade.
For instance, the fifties have “cool,” “rock-n-roll,” and “bee-bop” on the side of their buildings, and the seventies have “discoteque” and “boogie-down” among their trends. It’s always the little things, and these little details are some of my favorite part of the resort.
One of my favorite things to do is walk around and explore what all the different decades look like and have to offer! I honestly do not know which decade is my favorite, because all of them have perfect details that bring the magic of the parks back to your resort.
The rooms are a standard size room with two full size beds, a bathroom, a television, and a desk. However, the rooms at pop century have very recently been given a beautiful makeover that is, honestly, everything. It is much sleeker, possesses more light and counter space for all your belongings.
Closet space is included as well as numerous mirrors that provide space for everyone in the room. The rooms now have a huge amount of space, because one of the beds is a Murphy bed, which means it folds up into the wall, hiding it during the day.
When the bed is put up, a roomy desk takes its place for anything you might need. It’s a perfect place to eat, work if need be, or to store all your amazing souvenirs from your day! Something else that is huge in many people’s opinion is the coffee maker that is all ready to go in your room! You would think that that would not make that much of a difference, however it is absolutely amazing.
Cups are provided for you as well as creamer and sugar if you need it. This is a great feature so you do not have to run down to the food court in the morning and spend extra money on coffee. If you also want to get to the parks as early as possible, this is a great feature so you can make your morning coffee right in your room as you get ready!
Honestly, the rooms at Pop Century are on the top of my list when it comes to Walt Disney World Resorts.
Now, let’s move on to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort! So, here is a fun fact of this resort; actually it is a fun fact about both the Pop Century and the Art of Animation. These resorts are located right next to each other. You can walk from Pop Century over to Art of Animation and vice versa, and it is not that far of a walk at all.
I have actually stayed in Pop Century and walked over to the food court at Art of Animation for dinner before, as well as exploring the resort and to also catch buses to the parks. It’s the easiest kind of resort hop! With this in mind, let’s dive into what the Art of Animation Resort can offer.
The theme of the resort takes you through the process of how a Disney animated feature comes to life. The lobby where you check-in is decorated with a huge, beautiful color wheel behind the check-in desk, and the opposite wall includes actual storyboard drawings of four Disney animated features: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars.
If you walk from the check-in desk to the gift shop, you will notice an array of art supplies surrounding the top shelves of the shop. This is the next step in the animation process: everything an artist needs to make a character finally come to life.
There’s different colored paints, paintbrushes, pencils, pens, sketch paper, etc. all along the walls that create the beautiful atmosphere of an artist’s workspace. If you continue into the next room, which is the food court, this space holds the painted landscapes of the movies the resort is featuring (The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars).
There is a section for each of the “movie landscapes” in the food court for you to sit down and enjoy your meal. This artwork is some of the most stunning I have seen at Walt Disney World, and it’s fun to see the “process” of some of your favorite movies come together.
When you walk outside into the resort, the animations are now “complete!” Each section of the resort represents one of these four movies The first thing you see after walking out of the lobby to your room is the Big Blue Pool and all the friends from Finding Nemo. These statues and details at the pool, and also on the buildings, are absolutely stunning. Honestly, you really feel as if you are in the middle of the story. There are three other sections, representing the rest of the four movies represented. The Cars’ section emulates a smaller “Radiator Springs,” which is the cutest thing.
The Lion King section has tall grass everywhere to represent the Savannah, with all the friends from the movie hidden amongst it. The Little Mermaid section holds all of the treasures from Ariel’s Grotto in the movie, accompanied by a huge statue of King Triton on one side, and Ursula on the other.
Ariel is joined by Flounder in the middle of the section, and Sebastian is at the head of the pool, conducting a symphony. The detail is absolutely amazing.
What is unique about the Art of Animation Resort is that it has the option of “suites” for you and your party. They hold up to six adults comfortably, while also providing room for all of you. If you are traveling with children, the suite could most likely accomodate more people, rather than with an adult only party.
What do they look like? Upon entrance, there is a dining table that seats four, which is a perfect spot for storing anything you might need a spot for. When not in use at all, it converts into a Murphy bed! It isn’t the biggest bed, however it will fit two small children or one adult and one child. There is a little kitchenette with a coffee maker, sink, small fridge, and microwave that has plenty of storage for any snacks and/or anything else that you might have.
The suite holds a sofa, some sitting chairs, a dresser, and a television stand with a tv. The main living area has a toilet, sink, and a full bathtub and shower, which is separated from the toilet and sink area. To learn more about the suites, this article shows amazing pictures and describes it in a bit more detail! The suites truly are amazing, and they are perfect if you and your party would like to save money while also being in a big enough space to accommodate all of you!
Now, Pop Century Resort and the Art of Animation Resort are both value resorts, which means that you have quality service and wonderful rooms for a value price. They are both amazing resorts that are perfect for families or parties to travel to Walt Disney World without breaking the bank on where they stay.
In my opinion, these value resorts are some of the best resorts on property. Having stayed in both of them multiple times, I am always looking for their availability because they are usually always at a good price throughout the year, with amazing amenities, beautiful theming, and great food courts, and now, transportation.
It can be hard to pin down an exact price for the resorts, since the prices change throughout the year due to crowds and the seasons. For instance, the summertime, as well as around the holidays, are going to be the busiest times of the year.
Because of this the prices will go up. Right now, the best times to go where the prices will drop are January and February. March and April might be cheaper as well; the only thing going on at that moment is the Flower and Garden Festival in EPCOT. This Mousesavers website will provide all the details you need in figuring out when the best time to go to Disney World is.
Now, just because these two resorts are value resorts does not mean they will be the same price. In my experience, Pop Century can sometimes be even cheaper than the Art of Animation.
This happens sometimes due to the Art of Animation having amazing suites for groups to stay in as we discussed earlier. I have found for Pop Century, depending on the location of the room and the time of year, can range from $190 to $240 per night. The Art of Animation is a little different, as it has suites.
I’ve never stayed in one of the suites, but I have found it to be about $540-$600 per night. For a standard room in The Little Mermaid section, it is about $200-$250 per night. These are the average prices for all of these; remember it will rise or fall depending on the availability. I suggest searching for a Disney World crowd calendar in order to get a rough estimate of the crowd level at the time you are planning.
Transportation is interesting to talk about due to all the options that are available at Walt Disney World now. Let’s start with buses. Buses are the most popular way to get to and from all the different destinations on property because they are free and constantly run.
They run to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs. You can catch the buses out in front of both resorts, and each destination has its own section for you to wait in line in.
It might be a bit of a wait, depending on crowds. For instance, you might wait a little longer first thing in the morning because everyone is trying to get to the park upon opening. They try and get the buses to move as fast as they possibly can, but this also depends on traffic on property, remember. For your convenience, each resort has screens hanging up that will show when the next bus will arrive. In my experience, it has been pretty accurate.
The buses are as roomy as they can be, but there is limited seating. Be prepared to possibly stand, especially if you are one of the last ones loading onto the bus. There are bars and straps for you to hang onto for safety.
Nothing is too far from both of these resorts. Hollywood Studios is actually right across the street from both of them and only takes a few minutes to get to. The furthest destination is the Magic Kingdom, which you find at a lot of resorts.
I would set aside about fifteen to twenty minutes to travel to the Magic Kingdom by bus. The buses also provide scooter and wheelchair transportation. The bus drivers always load them first, and it takes a couple minutes to load them.
Disney’s Skyliner review
The mode of transportation that I am most excited to talk about is the new Skyliner that just opened up in October of 2019! Let me tell you, this thing is WILD! I absolutely love it!
The skyliner is an extremely quick and efficient way to travel to certain destinations at Walt Disney World. Honestly, my family and I had a great time just riding it around.
The Skyliner route is as follows: it goes to Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Resort, the new Riviera Resort, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT.
From The Art of Animation and Pop Century, you can get onto the skyliner and travel to any of these destinations. These resorts are one end of the line, so once you arrive here, you must disembark.
The loading process is very easy. The skyliner is continuously moving, so it just slows down when it comes to loading passengers. If your party is bigger, you will get your own car. If you’re party is only a few people, there is a possibility that you will be with another smaller party.
Now, this only happens if you are loading at a destination that is busier. There was only one time we were with another group, and the group was only two people. This happened because we loaded at Hollywood Studios, and it was a busier loading center.
Every other time, however, we had our own car, and there was only three of us. The main central location that you must disembark at to get to your destination is the Caribbean Resort. There’s three stations. If you are coming from Pop Century and the Art of Animation, one line will take you to Hollywood Studios, and the other line will take you to Disney’s Riviera Resort and EPCOT.
Something else I want to point out is the massively efficient way they load and unload scooters and wheelchairs. My grandmother used a scooter while we were there, so we were able to test out the process. Honestly, it was the fastest loading and unloading of her scooter I had seen during our vacation.
One more suggestion I will say is if you are traveling to Hollywood Studios, I believe it is actually faster to take the bus or drive from these resorts. The reason I say this is because Hollywood Studios is right across the street from Pop Century and the Art of Animation.
On the skyliner, you are taking a couple extra steps to get to the park, which only takes a few minutes to get to by bus or driving. That being said, it is still efficient and I believe using it to travel to EPCOT and the other resorts it goes to is absolutely worth it.
Driving Yourself Around
The last transportation option I’m going to mention is driving yourself. Obviously, you can only do this if you drove to Walt Disney World. Driving is a very quick and efficient way to get to your destination.
Unless you are staying at a resort that is on Disney World property, you will have to pay to park at a park. In order to park at a resort you are staying at, it is $13 a night to park your car there. However, since you are staying at a resort, you will not have to pay to park at a park.
Both of the resorts provide activities during the day if you decide to have a day to relax from running around from park to park. Like all the resorts on property, cast members will have activities by the pool like Disney trivia, hula hoop contests, and other games.
At Pop Century, there is the Hippy Dippy Pool which is right outside the main building, and there are two pools at the Art of Animation. The Big Blue Pool is the biggest pool at any Disney World resort and is right outside the main building, and then the Flippin’ Fins pool in The Little Mermaid section of the resort. There are different scheduled activities at the resorts; sometimes these activities can depend on the season.
For instance, there was a pumpkin painting scheduled in October around Halloween time. Other times, the activities are based off the theme of the resort. For instance, I have seen multiple times where guests can come tye-dye a shirt, which reminds people of the 60’s right?!
My Opinion: Which One Is Better?
These are two of my favorite resorts. Every time my family and friends go to plan a Disney World trip, we are always checking these resorts first.
Everything about them: the price, the atmosphere, the rooms, the transportation, etc. is absolutely amazing. In my opinion, you should check these resorts out before any other.
My final opinion is that I love both of them. However, as far as price and such, I would choose Pop Century over the Art of Animation. The standard rooms offer more, provide more space, and are newer and nicer, while all the transportation options and activities and such are the same as Art of Animation.
The bonus is that it is cheaper than the Art of Animation. If you are going to pick a resort that is an all around amazing place at a value price, Pop Century is the way to go.
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