You might think there’s no difference between the all-stars and Disney’s Pop Century Resort if you’re new to Disney hotels and you just need a standard room at a reasonable price. I’ll give you a brief overview of this hotel and what makes it stand out from the rest.
The Pop Century resort is a value hotel that is part of the wide world of sports area at the southernmost end of the disney world property. Two sister hotels were originally planned for the resort when it opened in 2003. Two celebrations of legendary decades from the start of the 20th century to the 1940s, and one of pop culture from the 1950s to the 1990s. Art of Animation, the hotel that sits across Hourglass lake, was the only one of the two to be realized.
The amenities here are simple and to the point, as they are in most value hotels. A quick service restaurant is located in the resort’s lobby next to a gift shop. Outside the hippy dippy pool is a small pool bar where you can get refreshing cocktails.
As for recreation, Pop Century sticks to the basics, with activities like movies under the stars outside the main building. Additionally, there are some playgrounds and an arcade.
You can cool off in the pools in between adventures inside the parks. Pop Century actually has three pools. The main feature pool is located in the 60s buildings. The bowling alley is located in the 1950s section of the resort, and the computer pool is in the 1990s section. At Pop Century there is only one room type, a standard room with two beds for a group of four.
As there are no suites or large villas here, you may wonder what makes Pop Century different from the rest. Transport, of course! One of the four resorts on Disney’s newest transportation system, the Skyliner, is Pop Century. Although the hotel is located in the wide world of sports area, it is actually one of the closest to the studios. Guests can continue on the Skyliner to Epcot easily.
The price of Pop Century and an all-star resort is almost the same, so if you are unsure which one to choose, remember that everything boils down to location, location, location. My opinion is that Pop Century is the best value resort at Walt Disney World.
This resort underwent a major renovation in 2019 that included a soft goods refresh and a huge upgrade to the beds. Thanks to the queen-sized beds, this hotel can be a great choice for a traditional family of four or a group of grown adults.
It can also be an excellent option for couples on a budget because Pop Century is a little quieter compared to its all-star counterparts, and you have easy access to Epcot through the skyliner.
Pop Century is a value resort, so its rooms are among the smallest on the property, at just 260 square feet. Most of the rooms at all three all-stars and the mermaid rooms at art of animation are exactly the same.
A moderate hotel would be the next step up if you wanted a little bit more space. However, that comes at a higher price point. If you need to stay within a budget and all you want is a place to crash at the end of the day, this size will suffice.
In terms of bed arrangements, these rooms now have two queen-size beds. There are two types of beds: a typical hotel bed and a murphy bed. You can close it up and use it as a small dining space for two when it is not being pulled down from the wall.
There is a little corner area that serves as a breakfast counter since it has a mini-fridge at the bottom, a coffee maker on the counter, and a few overhead shelves for snacks. There’s also a thin drawer that can be used to store some essentials.
You can store your clothes in this modestly sized set of drawers, but remember that the beds are high enough for luggage to be stored underneath. In addition to the bed upgrade, another change that came with the 2019 renovation is the bathroom area.
Pocket doors were installed to maximize space as much as possible. Storage space was slightly reconfigured to have some more cubbies for toiletries. For some guests, it might be a downside that the bathroom only has a shower. These new rooms do not have a standard shower tub combo. Taking a bath after the parks may not seem like a big deal for adults, but I’ve learned that little ones may prefer one. That’s something you should keep in mind when you’re booking.
All in all, these rooms provide everything you need for a standard trip to Disney. There is plenty of storage space and upgraded technology like a new flat-screen TV and USB outlets to charge your phones. Of course, there’s always some cute Disney-theming to add to the mix as well.
Pop Century offers some accessible rooms. Many rooms have visual alarms and notifications for those with hearing problems. Some rooms are designed specifically for wheelchair users. However, even though the non-accessible rooms have only showers, you are able to book an accessible room with either a roll in shower or a tub with rails. So there’s more space, you can even book an accessible room with just one king-size bed.
You may be confused when selecting a room online when you see four different options. So what is the difference between a standard pool view and a preferred pool view? First of all, Pop Century is a motel-style hotel, so all the hallways are exterior hallways.
Pool View Rooms
Even if you book a pool view room, you will first see the path where guests are passing by. You will be located on the side of the building directly overlooking one of the three pools in this specific room category. Therefore, you’ll either be in the 1950s section, the 1960s section, or the 1980s and 90s section. Standard rooms are in all of these buildings as well as the others I didn’t mention will overlook parking areas or some trees.
Preferred View Rooms
On either side of the main hippy dippy pool, the preferred rooms are exclusively located in the 1960s section. Both the main hall and the Skyliner station are located just a few steps away from these rooms. The extra price that you’ll have to pay for these rooms is simply for easier access to these amenities. Physically, the rooms are the same.
Preferred Pool View
In addition, there is also the fourth option of a preferred pool view, which includes both of the above features. If you book this you’ll have a room in the 1960s section specifically overlooking the pool.
Which Room To Choose?
The walk to a restaurant or bus station at most moderate or large deluxe villa resorts can sometimes take up to 15 minutes. The distance between your room and the major amenities is relatively short at the values. The distance between the standard and preferred rooms isn’t too great. Make sure you book a standard room and, at online check-in, request the 1950s or 1970s section based on your preferences.
The 50 section will mix the best of both worlds without going into the higher price range because this area has the second-largest pool at the resort and it’s still a pretty short walk to the classic hall. This is much shorter than if you were at the back of the 1980 section. The 1970s section is equally close to everything but without a pool at the center, so if you prefer a quieter area, this is for you. Disney’s Skyliner can be reached by either option in a few minutes.
Just in case you were wondering, all of those different view categories are available to those booking accessible rooms. You can choose between preferred pool view and both. Again, I would suggest the standard room and the 50s or 70s section. By skipping a preferred room, you can spend that extra money on dining or souvenirs.
I’d like to circle back to the main reason this hotel is above the rest, which is its location and transportation. Pop Century really stands out from the competition thanks to its easy access to not one, but two theme parks, so let’s take a look at this extra perk.
Skyliner station is located right in the middle of Hourglass lake, between Pop Century and Art of Animation. There is only one line that goes directly to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the main hub station for the Skyliner. To get to one of the parks, you will have to transfer to a second line. one will take you directly to the front entrance of Hollywood Studios. The second will take you to the International Gateway entrance to Epcot in between France and the United Kingdom.
The only difference is that this line will make a brief stop at Riviera Resort along the way. However, you don’t need to physically get off at this station to continue to Epcot. It’s just a minor stop.
Even though the ride from Pop Century to both parks is relatively short, I recommend allowing about 20 minutes for hollywood studios and 45 minutes for Epcot. Getting to Epcot may only take 30 minutes, but things might get crowded at Caribbean Beach Station early in the morning, so give yourself extra time.
If visiting Hollywood Studios is a priority on your trip, Pop Century is a great choice. If you arrive to the park early to rope drop toy story land and need a midday break before your boarding pass number is called for Rise of The Resistance, it’s a very short ride back to your hotel room.
In terms of transportation, you have to keep the bus in mind that there is no bus to Epcot or Hollywood studios unless it is peak rush hour or the Skyliner is down. It may be worth booking a different hotel if you’re afraid of heights and plan on going to these two parks. However, single strollers can be rolled onto the gondolas without being folded at all.
In addition, it is possible to use a wheelchair or an ECV. In both cases, guests can stay in their chairs without having to transfer. If you do not own a vehicle, the only way to get to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs is by bus (unless you grab an uber). Magic Kingdom is just 12 minutes away and Disney Springs and Animal Kingdom are only 10 minutes away.
If riding this Skyliner is on your list of must-do’s at Disney World, a stay at Pop Century will make your trip a breeze; it beats waiting for buses at the all-stars and makes the resort feel more moderate.
Well, that’s all for my guide to Disney’s Pop Century resort the perfect stay for a group of four looking for an affordable option at Disney that still gives good access to your favorite parks.
Are Pop Century Pools Heated?
Disney’s Pop Century Resort also offers heated pools. Just as the other Walt Disney World resort hotels they are heated to a balmy 82 degrees.
Which Pop Century Rooms Are Closest To Skyliner?
You’ll be closest to the Skyliner if you stay on the west side of one of the 60s buildings, but it’s also fairly close to the 50’s and 70’s sections if you stay in one of those buildings.
Is Pop Century Pet Friendly?
No, Pop Century does not allow dogs, nor any other type of pet for that matter.
Which Pop Century Rooms Are Refurbished?
Yes, all of the rooms are completely remodeled as of early 2018! Renovations were completed between 2017 and 2018.
Do Pop Century Rooms Have A Fridge?
Yes, there is a mini-fridge in every room at Pop Century Resort, but that is also true in all resort rooms at Walt Disney World.
Can You See Any Fireworks From Pop Century?
Disney’s Pop Century Resort offers wonderful views of Epcot fireworks if you are in just the right place and at just the right height. Buildings in the 50s and 60s area will have the best views from what we have seen.
Does Disney's Pop Century Resort Have A Gym?
Disney’s Pop Century Resort does not offer a fitness center, but there are a variety of ways to stay active at this decades-themed hotel. For example, take advantage of the trail between Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort. You can jog or ride a bike on their trail around hourglass lake.
Does Pop Century Have Free Breakfast?
The Disney’s Pop Century Resort does not provide complimentary breakfast, but you can find a wide selection of breakfast snack items, beverages, and even full breakfast entrees in the Everything Pop Shopping and Dining food court area.
Do Pop Century Rooms Have Microwaves?
Although the rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort do not have microwaves, there are microwaves located in the Everything Pop Shopping and Dining area. You can use the microwaves from 6:30am to 11:30pm each night.