Port Orleans French Quarter vs Pop Century: Best Resort?

…French Quarter – Guest Room Building” by Jared licensed under CC BY 2.0

In this battle between Port Orleans French Quarter vs Pop Century resort, I will walk you through all of the various differences between these two Disney hotels, including price, theming, room amenities, dining, transportation and entertainment.  So let’s dive right in!

Pop Century Resort Theming

Mickey and Bar football” by 35mmMan licensed under CC BY 2.0

At Pop Century, the buildings themselves are divided into four decades – the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Each section has outdoor statues that represent the individual decade in terms of technology and Disney animation. 

For example, the 1960s section boasts large yo-yos as the building’s outdoor stairwells and large statues of Mowgli and Baloo from The Jungle Book. The theming is consistent outdoors (not-so-much indoors as explained later)—and impressive! Disney guests young and old will be dazzled by the size and nostalgia that the themed statues bring. 

Pop Century has the nice Florida feel that most of the Disney resorts have, and you definitely feel like you are on vacation. Despite the newly renovated rooms, Pop Century does feel a bit more on the dated side (pun intended!).

Port Orleans French Quarter Theming

At Port Orleans French Quarter, the overall theme is as advertised in the name. You are transported to the New Orleans French Quarter with a swampy feel and French-inspired New Orleans architecture. The buildings are colorful and pastel with beautiful details. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with plenty of shade and cobblestone streets and gas lamps. 

The ambiance is supported by the sounds of jazz and colorful decor. As far as resort theming goes, Port Orleans French Quarter transports you from Florida to Louisiana and is a convincing and magical experience. 

Pop Century Resort Rooms

The rooms themselves at Pop Century do not exactly fit in with the decades theming of the resort itself, which many feel is a good thing! Instead, these recently redone rooms are classy and feature classic Mickey decor.

Disney gives you an option to pick which decade area that you want to stay in as a preference with no guarantee that your room will actually be located in your preferred decade. The 1980s and 1990s sections are often considered the least preferable decades to be in due to their longer walks to the Disney Skyliner and the primary Pop Century building. 

The average room rate at Pop Century is $242/night.

Port Orleans French Quarter Rooms

The rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter are beautiful, but lack the true Disney theming that other resorts offer. Despite minor Disney details, the rooms do not imply that you are staying at a Disney resort. The kids may be less than excited about the lack of theming within the rooms, but most people agree that the luxe feel of the rooms is appropriate and makes for a better Disney experience. 

For those hoping for fun themed rooms that scream that you are staying at Walt Disney World, another resort may be a better option for you. Though, if you’re looking for a classy feel at a Disney resort, Port Orleans French Quarter is not one to skip out on. 

The average room rate at Port Orleans French Quarter is $353/night.

Pop Century Resort Restaurants

Where Pop Century fails in the war between the Pop Century vs Port Orleans French Quarteris the limited dining options in the resort itself. 

The main available option for food on resort property is Everything POP Shopping and Dining, which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don’t mind cafeteria style eats, you may not mind your experience at this quick service location! Everything POP also offers grab and go options if you are looking for something to eat on the way to the parks. 

However, if you’re looking for something that is higher quality and provides a bit more of a vacation experience, you will definitely want to eat elsewhere. Also of note, Everything POP does not have any distinct theming. 

Petals Pool Bar is a nice touch, located near the pool at Pop Century, though it is often pretty crowded around mealtimes and in the evenings. They offer adult beverages and some bar food, including.  Petals Pool Bar is 60s themed, in reference to its location near the 60s rooms and the Hippy Dippy pool.

Port Orleans French Quarter Restaurants

Port Orleans French Quarter wins the food matchup in both number of options and quality. 

The quick service option at Port Orleans French Quarter is Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. While still a quick service restaurant and sharing most of its menu with Everything POP at Pop Century, Sassagoula boasts impressive (and even a little bit odd) theming of a Mardi Gras storage area. 

While Sassagoula is also a quick service restaurant, it offers a bit more than just burgers and pizza. Here, you can find gumbo and jambalaya, as well as a few other specialty offerings in addition to the quick service finds you will have at Everything POP over at Pop Century.

Scat Cat’s Club Lounge is a New-Orleans themed lounge open in the evenings. Scat’s is a full service bar, with live jazz performances on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There are also specialty drinks offered at Scat’s, as well as Mickey beignets!

Just outside of Scat Cat’s Club Lounge is Scat Cat’s Club Cafe which offers beignets, bottled beverages, and hot beverages.

You also get a table service restaurant called Boatwright’s Dining Hall, although it’s technically located inside the French Quarter’s sister resort: the Port Orleans Riverside.

Pop Century Pools and Entertainment

There are two pools located at Pop Century; the Hippy Dippy Pool in the 1960s section and the Computer Pool in the 1980s and 1990s section. The Hippy Dippy Pool is the larger and more popular of the two and includes the Petals Pool Bar nearby. This pool can get very, very packed at times, but there are also times where the pool is relatively empty. The Computer Pool, on the other hand, is more shallow and is typically where families with smaller children choose to spend their time. 

As far as entertainment goes, Pop Century has the Fast Foward arcade within the main building, as well as a souvenir shop. As well, there is a playground located in the 1970s section of the resort, and a one-mile long jogging trail around the resort. 

Movies Under the Stars is offered at the Hippy Dippy pool on select nights. 

Port Orleans French Quarter Pools and Entertainment

The pool at Port Orleans French Quarter is called the Doubloon Lagoon. Unlike both pools at Pop Century, Doubloon Lagoon has a water slide (named Scales). The pool itself is Mardis Gras-themed and boasts King Neptune sitting atop a massive sea serpent. This pool is an all-time kids favorite out of Disney resort pools. 

Just a short walk away from Port Orleans French Quarter is its sister resort, Port Orleans Riverside, providing easy access to five other leisure pools.

** Note that the Doubloon Lagoon pool will be closed for maintenance from January 2024 to April 2024. **

There is also a mile-long jogging and walking path along the Sassagoula River that connects to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside resort. 

Port Orleans French Quarter also has a playground, located adjacent to Doubloon Lagoon. As well, South Quarter Games is Port Orleans French Quarter’s arcade, located in The Mint building. 

Movies Under the Stars is offered at the Port Orleans French Quarter on select nights. 

Pop Century Resort Transportation Offerings

If trips to Epcot and Hollywood Studios are in your future, Pop Century’s quick access to the Disney Skyliner is an unmatched timesaver. The Disney Skyliner is an aerial gondola which can greatly reduce your wait times to get into the parks. If you are planning on parkhopping or getting back to the resort for a midday break, the Disney Skyliner is a mostly seamless and fast transportation option. Other resorts with access to the Disney Skyliner are Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, and Disney’s Riviera Resort

For your Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom adventures, Pop Century’s bus stops will be your best bet. Beware of those rope drop wait times though and make sure that you put your sunscreen on before you leave your room. These bus stops can have long wait times in the mornings in the hot Florida sun without much cover.

Port Orleans French Quarter Transportation Offerings

While Port Orleans French Quarter does not have access to the Skyliner, it does have boat access. Unlike other Disney resort properties, the boat service from Port Orleans French Quarter does not take you directly to the parks, but rather to Disney Springs. This is a great option for those that want to spend time shopping, dining, and relaxing in Disney Springs. 

In order to make your way to the parks, the bus stops at Port Orleans French Quarter is your primary complimentary transportation option. The bus stops at Port Orleans French Quarter have similar difficulties to the bus stops at Pop Century in terms of wait time, so plan your morning accordingly!

Conclusion

As far as this author’s personal opinion on this matchup is concerned, your resort pick will depend on your priorities with your Walt Disney World vacation. If you are more interested in your experience at the parks than at your resort, Pop Century is a clear winner. With the Skyliner’s short wait time to get to two of four of the parks and the lower room rate, you can maximize your stay at the Disney World parks themselves. 

On the other hand, if you plan on spending some more time at your resort property, Port Orleans French Quarter boasts better options for food, entertainment, and theming.

All in all, each Disney resort that is on property is a quality choice with Walt Disney World amenities and free transportation, but for me, Pop Century is my pick!  

Hopefully, you’ve found our battle between the Pop Century vs Port Orleans French Quarter resort to be very helpful.  Good luck and have fun!

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