Disney’s POP Century Resort
HAVE A GROOVY TIME
I love Disney’s Pop Century Resort! It’s not because it’s one of the least expensive Resorts on property (which is a plus), but it’s fun Resort that has a great location for a value, and there’s so much to do! I’ve stayed at Pop Century at least five times (I’ve lost count), and it has become my kids’ favorite too.
A BLAST FROM THE PAST
Step back in time as you arrive in another decade at Disney’s Pop Century. Buildings are themed to the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Larger than life icons (imagine a Big Wheel that’s four stories tall!) greet you around every turn. The buildings are adorned with time-period-appropriate catch phrases like “Far Out” and “Boogie Down.” The theming is bright and fun! Take your time to wander around the property. There are endless photo opportunities!
Classic Hall is the main hub of Pop Century. It’s where you find check-in, transportation, dining, and shopping.
The rooms at Disney’s Pop Century are your standard hotel rooms. They are 260 square feet in size. Most feature two double beds. They also have a table, dresser, television, bathroom with shower and tub, and a separate sink area. However, Disney is in the process of remodeling the rooms at Pop Century and some things are changing.
I just had the chance to stay in a new room and I really liked it. One bed is now a queen size. This is important when you have kiddos that take up a lot of space (I’m talking to you, Ethan, Mr. Side-ways Sleeper). I believe the Murphy bed is a double. The floors in the renovated rooms no longer have carpet but are wood laminate. There is a fresh, new feel to the rooms and although they aren’t really themed like the exterior, they are still nice.
Room choices are Standard, Standard Pool View, Preferred, and Preferred Pool View. Standard Pool View gets you views of the Bowling Pool or the Computer Pool. Preferred Pool View gets you views of the Hippy Dippy Pool.
Don’t think you must go “Preferred” to get a great room. We love staying in the 80s or 90s building in Standard rooms, which are just a quick walk across the parking lot to Classic Hall and the Transportation.
GNARLY DINING DUDE
Everything Pop Shopping and Dining is your one-stop, shop, and eat location. The food court offers Quick Service dining and has seven different food stations, giving you a lot of options for any picky eaters.
For breakfast, options often include an omelet station, pancakes, chicken fried chicken, French toast, breakfast platters, and more. Lunch and dinner offer similar menus, which include fried chicken, baked salmon, turkey, burgers, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and salads. You can grab a bite to eat from around 6:00 AM until midnight every day.
Petals, a bar located by the Hippy Dippy Pool, has a selection of beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to quench your thirst as you groove with the cool cats. Petals is usually open from around noon until midnight.
STOKED ABOUT SWIMMING
Pop Century has three pools. The Hippy Dippy Pool is the main pool located right outside Classic Hall. There is a nearby kiddie pool with a fountain for the little ones to splash and play. The 1950s area has a Bowling Pool and the 1990s area has a Computer Pool. The Hippy Dippy Pool tends to be the most crowded.
FAR-OUT FUN FOR ONE AND ALL
There are many things to do around Pop Century Resort! A jogging trail takes you on a one-mile journey around the Resort. There’s a playground in the 70s section that is mostly shaded by the surrounding trees. You can even take a short walk over Generation Gap Bridge to Disney’s Art of Animation and rent a Surrey Bike. If it’s raining, check out Fast Forward Arcade in Classic Hall.
There’s usually plenty of pool fun and games during the day at the Hippy Dippy Pool. In fact, there is a sign right outside Classic Hall, before you get to the pool, which lists the recreation activities for the week. They usually happen between 2:30 and 6:30 PM, which is a great time to take a break from the parks. Some of the activities include a pool party, trivia challenge, and a scavenger hunt.
Every Friday is “Flashback Friday” at Pop Century. You can take part in a retro craft, Rubik’s Cube Relay, or even a Decades Dance Party. Make sure you take part in at least one pool day of fun on your vacation.
On select nights, you can watch a complementary movie poolside. The movie starts at 8:30 PM. You can check the Recreation Activities board to see which movie is playing on which night.
As I mentioned above, Disney’s Pop Century is currently undergoing renovations, so some of the amenities are changing. The new rooms have a coffee maker in addition to the refrigerator, ironing board, iron, phone, and television that are already in older rooms. The newer rooms also have more storage under the bed and in drawers for your clothes, as well as more plugs and at least eight USB outlets to charge all of your devices. The room safe is now in a cabinet below the TV and it’s HUGE!
Don’t feel like you must over pack when staying at the Pop Century. We usually take a pool day in the middle of our vacation and do some laundry. Laundry rooms are available 24-hours a day near Bowling Pool, Computer Pool, and Hippy Dippy Pool. We usually visit in July and sweat through clothes very quickly. The laundry rooms are a lifesaver. Be sure to bring a credit card though, the machines don’t accept coins. You can even request a text message when your laundry is complete!
Before venturing all the way down to the laundry room with your clothes, check this Disney approved website to find out if any machines are available!
Travel time from Disney’s Pop Century to the theme parks is decent for a Value Resort. Approximate times are 12-minutes to Magic Kingdom, 11-minutes to Epcot, 9-minutes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, 7-minutes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and 10-minutes to Disney Springs. Keep in mind, these times are approximate and do not include unforeseen circumstances like traffic or alternate routes. Still, once you are on the bus, you will be having fun in no time. Make sure you plan ahead if you have time restraints, like a dining reservation.
CONS ABOUT POP
I almost hate to bring up anything negative since I love to talk about all the happiness at the most magical place on earth, but honesty it’s always the best policy. First, Pop Century has the most rooms on property at 2,880! As you may guess, the large number of rooms equals many people trying to do everything, sometimes at once.
I’ve experienced crowds in the food court that have made me “no longer hungry enough to eat.” I’ve waited three rounds of buses to leave Magic Kingdom at night. However, I’ve also had great experiences with buses and an empty food court, all in the same trip. If you’re there during peak season, it’s going to be busy, plain and simple. It’s the price you pay for saving. If you keep that in mind, breathe, and remind yourself that you’re at Walt Disney World, everything will be okay.
Even with the “bad,” I still love Pop Century!
These amazing changes might not be by coincidence. In a few short years, October 1, 2021 to be exact, Magic Kingdom will turn 50 years old. This “golden anniversary” will be the perfect time to celebrate all the wonder and joy at the Walt Disney World Resort. I can’t wait until my next visit “home” to Disney’s Pop Century.
Which resort do you call “home?”