Dis­ney’s POP Cen­tury Re­sort

HAVE A GROOVY TIME

WDW Magazine - - Contents - BY KIM­BERLY MASIMORE

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.

RIGHT­EOUS ROOMS

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.

MOUSE-A-LANEOUS

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!

EV­ERY­THING POP!

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?”

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