Disney’s Pop Century Resort Review

Trying to do Disney on a budget? A surefire way to save some cash while on vacation is by opting to stay in more basic accommodations. One of our favorite places to stay for cheap at Disney World is the Disney Pop Century Resort. Opened in December 2003, this Disney value resort is a hit thanks to its comfy rooms, playful pop culture icons, and wallet-friendly room rates. 

With its oversized odes to the fads of yesteryear and cozy, updated rooms with all the necessary comforts, this Disney World hotel is great for small families with children, adults looking to reminisce about the good old days, and those trying to save a few bucks.

So, how does Disney’s Pop Century Resort stack up to other value resorts at Disney World? Is it a good fit for your next trip to Disney World? Read on for everything you need to know about this lively resort.

Pop Century Disney World Resort During COVID-19

You can expect many changes around Walt Disney World and Pop Century as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though things have started returning to normal (or rather, a new normal), there are still a number of temporary modifications and closures due to health and safety recommendations. 

As a value resort, most of the hotel amenities are open and available for guests with the exception of the Fast Forward Arcade. This includes the food court, pools, pool bar, and store. However, there are some services and amenities that are still either temporarily modified or unavailable including: 

  • No Disney’s Magical Express luggage delivery
  • No airline check-in service
  • No Minnie Vans
  • No in-room dining
  • No in-room celebrations
  • No arcades
  • No campfires
  • No dry cleaning & valet laundry services
  • Housekeeping every other day
  • Decreased bell services
  • Decreased package deliveries

While we’re hopeful that many of the above amenities will make their return as the situation improves, some offerings like Disney’s Magical Express are unfortunately being nixed entirely, and others such as Extra Magic Hours and FastPass+ are being replaced by new Disney hotel benefits including Early Theme Park Entry and Lightning Lanes, respectively. 

Additionally, keep in mind that some returned amenities could also be temporarily put on pause once more should infection rates skyrocket. Things are subject to change rather quickly, we highly suggest you refer to the My Disney Experience app or Disney’s website, or speak to a Pop Century cast member during or after check-in, for the most up-to-date information. 

Staying at the Disney World Pop Century Hotel 

While paid add-ons like Disney Genie+ and increasing annual pass costs make traveling to Disney World ever more expensive, opting to stay at a value resort instead of a moderate or deluxe hotel can help make your trip more manageable. The Disney World value resorts offer clean, comfy rooms, basic amenities and recreational offerings, and a sprinkling of pixie dust all, at a price that’s easy on the wallet. 

The Disney Pop Century Resort is the Goldilocks of Disney value resorts: Not as old or cheap as the All-Star Resorts and not as new or surprisingly pricey as Art of Animation, it is just right. Part of the Wide World of Sports Resort Area, Pop Century is just a short drive, bus, or Skyliner ride from Hollywood Studios, Epcot, the Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks, and Disney Springs. Its covetable location along the Disney Skyliner also connects it to a myriad of nearby resorts. 

The exterior theming at Pop Century is inspired by some of the most vibrant decades of the 20th century: the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Similar to the other value resorts, supersized icons are displayed throughout the different sections of the resort, each representing the fashions, fads, toys, and other cultural crazes that defined that decade. 

This larger-than-life design with oodles of nostalgia helps to make the resort a fun place to stay for both kids and adults alike. Keep an eye out for everything from Play-Doh and a Big Wheel to foosball and yo-yos.

Disney Pop Century Rooms

Disney’s Pop Century Resort has earned a respectable 4.0 on TripAdvisor. Like most of the other value resorts, Pop Century hotel rooms are on the smaller side – a petite 260 square feet – so we wouldn’t recommend them for large families or groups. And while you won’t find too many room types (sorry, no family suites here – try All-Star Music or Art of Animation), you are able to choose a closer, preferred room or one with a view of one of the pools. 

Hotel room with one bed and TV

While the outsides of the hotel buildings take their inspiration from the 1950s to 1960s, Disney Pop Century Resort rooms feature modern, clean-lined furniture with a hint of mid-century modern, bright primary colors, and Disney takes on pop art. Best of all, Pop Century bathrooms are divided with a pocket door separating the sink from the toilet and shower, making it easy to avoid early-morning traffic jams when getting ready for the day.

In general, you’ll find the following Pop Century room amenities in both standard and preferred rooms: a hairdryer, iron, ironing board, mini-refrigerator, coffee maker, in-room safe, telephone with voicemail, and free Wi-Fi. 

Pop Century Standard Room

  • Comes with 1 king bed or 1 queen bed & 1 queen-sized table bed
  • Sleeps between 2 and 4 adults 
  • Views of parking areas or resort buildings

Pop Century Standard Pool View Room

  • Comes with 1 king bed or 1 queen bed & 1 queen-sized table bed
  • Sleeps between 2 and 4 adults 
  • Views of the Bowling Pool or Computer Pool

Pop Century Preferred Room

  • Comes with 1 king bed or 1 queen bed & 1 queen-sized table bed
  • Sleeps between 2 and 4 adults 
  • Views of courtyards or landscaping
  • Near Dining, Transportation, and Shopping at Classic Hall

Hotel bedroom with made-up bed and cabinents

Pop Century Preferred Pool View Room

  • Comes with 1 king bed or 1 queen bed & 1 queen-sized table bed
  • Sleeps between 2 and 4 adults 
  • Views of the Hippy Dippy Pool
  • Near Dining, Transportation, and Shopping at Classic Hall

Disney Pop Century Hotel Rates

Without a doubt, one of the perks of staying at one of the value resorts at Disney World is the budget-friendly room rates, and Disney’s pop culture resort is no exception. Averaging around $178 a night for a standard room, Pop Century is one of the cheapest Disney World hotels. 

That being said, your actual room rate depends on a variety of factors including your travel dates, how close you want to be to hotel amenities, and what sort of view you’d like. Disney Pop Century Resort prices are subject to increase over holidays like Christmas and spring break as well as for guestrooms close to the main lobby and/or with views of the hotel pools. In contrast, visiting during the slow season or opting for a farther room or one with a view of the parking lot will net you lower rates. 

Basic standard rooms are the cheapest option at Pop Century, with rates starting in the mid $100s to low $200s in the low season and climbing up to the mid $300s over the high season. Pop Century preferred rooms with pool views are the most expensive rooms available at the Disney pop culture resort and are typically available for around $200 during the slow months or the mid $300s over the busy winter holidays.

Below are rough price ranges for what you can expect to pay at Pop Century:

  • Standard Room: $162 to $330
  • Standard Pool View Room: $169 to $343
  • Preferred Room: $179 to $352
  • Preferred Pool View Room: $190 to $361

Pop Century Resort Amenities

Of course, there is a tradeoff when it comes to those wallet-friendly room rates, and that’s a more stripped-down slate of amenities. So, if you’re hoping for a hotel with a handful of restaurants, a state-of-the-art fitness center with a full spa, or enough activities to keep you and your family busy even when you’re not in the theme parks, you’re better off booking a stay somewhere like Animal Kingdom Lodge or Port Orleans

Lifesize Foosball table at hotel

Having said that, Disney’s Pop Century Resort still has all the essentials to keep your clan happy including a quick-service restaurant, three different pools, a spot for picking up souvenirs and sundries, and a covetable location along Disney’s Skyliner. 

Dining at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

You may not find any dinner shows or signature restaurants at Pop Century, but what you will find are a convenient food court and a pool bar perfect for a nightcap or a refreshing midday cocktail. Best of all, if you’re ever in the mood for something else, you’re just a Skyliner ride away from the restaurants at Disney’s Riviera and Caribbean Beach resorts.

Everything POP Food Court

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Everything POP is a quick and easy spot for a bite to eat from morning to night. The menu here is all about approachable American flavors, with options for even the pickiest of eaters. 

In the AM, fuel up on breakfast favorites like omelets, Mickey waffles, and breakfast sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, choose from a selection of stations serving up palate-pleasing dishes like burgers, chicken, pizza, pasta, plant-based items, and even dinner specialties like roasted salmon or turkey platters. Have a sweet tooth? Be sure to save room for the Tie-dye Cheesecake, a creamy, technicolored confection made for colorful social media snaps. 

Petals Pool Bar

The only thing more relaxing than a dip in the pool is soaking up some Vitamin D with a drink in hand. Located next to the Hippy Dippy Pool, the open-air Petals Pool Bar is the place to go when you’ve got a hankering for a cocktail or a bottle of suds. Although there aren’t any food items on the menu, you will find a sizeable selection of alcoholic beverages as well as booze-free drinks like smoothies and lemonade. Plus, with ping pong tables available, Petals is well worth a visit even if you aren’t going for a swim. Groovy, baby! 

Disney Pop Century Hotel Pools

Walt Disney chose to build in Central Florida because of its warm weather all year long, so it’s no surprise that each Disney World hotel has at least a couple of pools for guests to enjoy. Pop Century has three refreshing pools to choose from, each themed after a different decade celebrated at this Disney pop culture resort. Best of all, complimentary towels are provided at each pool, so you’ll never need to worry about schlepping yours from your hotel room. 

Located behind Classic Hall, the Hippy Dippy Pool is the Pop Century Hotel’s feature pool. Inspired by the laidback vibes of the 1960s, this colorful pool puts the “power” in flower power with water jets shaped like daisies. A kiddie pool is also available. 

Shaped like a bowling pin, the Bowling Pool is one of the resort’s leisure pools and an ode to the 1950s. The 1990s-inspired Computer Pool brings things a little bit closer to the present, but while oversized versions of a floppy disc and clunky keyboard keep things feeling nostalgic. 

Other Recreation at the Walt Disney World Pop Century Resort

While Disney World moderate and deluxe resorts offer a slew of activities to keep you busy even when you’re not in the parks, along with a more wallet-friendly price tag, value resorts like Pop Century also have a streamlined menu of recreational offerings to choose from. 

One of our favorite free things to do at Walt Disney World is to go watch Disney Movies Under the Stars at the resorts. Pop Century’s moonlit movie screenings take place near the Hippy Dippy Pool and are wholesome fun for kids and adults alike. Young guests staying at Pop Century will also love monkeying around on the hotel’s playground in the 1970s area or trying their luck in the Fast Forward Arcade. Or, for adults looking for a way to stay fit while at Disney World, there is also a mile-long jogging path that loops around the Disney Pop Century Resort. 

Pop Century Resort Disney Merchandise Locations

Everything POP isn’t just Pop Century’s quick-service restaurant, it’s also home to the resort’s merchandise outlet. Whether you’re on the hunt for a special souvenir or searching for a replacement for something you left at home, this one-stop shop has it all. Located in Classic Hall next to the Disney bus stop, it’s a convenient pit stop whether you’re on your way to the parks or returning at the end of the day. 

Complimentary Transportation to and from Pop Century

Guests staying at Pop Century and other Disney World resort hotels are able to use a variety of complimentary Disney transportation offerings. Buses to the theme parks and Disney Springs pick up outside of Classic Hall. 

However, with its soaring aerial views and spacious gondolas, our favorite way to get around when staying at Pop Century is the Disney Skyliner. Pop Century shares a Skyliner station on Generation Gap Bridge with another value resort, Disney’s Art of Animation. Once onboard at the Pop Century Skyliner station, you’ll be whisked away to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, with the choice to continue to either Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot, as well as the Riviera Resort. 

Disney Pop Century Resort FAQs

Want to know more about Disney’s Pop Century Resort? Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions. 

Is Disney’s Pop Century Resort refurbished? 

Yes! Disney’s Pop Century Hotel is completely refurbished. Renovations were carried out during 2017 and 2018, with rooms receiving bigger beds, updated finishes, and plenty of pop culture-inspired touches. 

Can you walk from Pop Century to Hollywood Studios? How about Magic Kingdom?

Unfortunately not. In fact, none of the Disney World theme parks are walkable from Pop Century. However, the resort does offer a variety of transportation options including the Skyliner and Disney buses, making it easy to get wherever you need to go. 

Can you see fireworks from Pop Century?

Actually yes! Depending on where you are, you will be able to catch some of the higher Epcot fireworks, as well as those at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, keep in mind that you’ll only be able to spot the tip-top of the fireworks as the trees block most of the view. 

Your best bet to see the Epcot fireworks is from the buildings in the 50s and 60s sections, particularly those close to Hourglass Lake. The Hollywood Studios fireworks can be seen from upper-level rooms looking out over the lake in all the decades. For the best view, head over to the Generation Gap Bridge connecting Pop Century to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Does Pop Century have free breakfast?

Not a complimentary one. There’s no such thing as a free meal at Disney World. So, while you will find an assortment of breakfast options on offer at the Everything POP Food Court in the morning, you will have to pay for anything you’d like to eat. 

Well, budget travelers, that concludes our whirlwind tour of Disney’s Pop Century Resort. With its larger-than-life theming, cozy rooms with all the necessities, and downright affordable room rates, Pop Century is a dream for small families, pop culture fiends, and those trying to do Disney World on a shoestring.  

While you’re there, make the most of your time with our 1-day plans for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Then, save even more cash by booking our discounted Walt Disney World tickets

Have you ever stayed at Pop Century? Which decade do you like staying in? What other dishes at Everything POP can’t be missed? Let us know in the comments!

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