Feb 252011
 

Disney’s Pop Century Resort Hotel

A big POP outside Classic Hall at Pop Century Resort

If you’re looking for a quick reference to some aspect of the Pop Century resort, please scroll down to “All The Information on Walt Disney World’s Pop Century Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida Starts Here” in large, red letters, and search the headers from there. Q&A is at the very bottom.

I have stayed in Walt Disney World resorts for all of my 7 Walt Disney World vacations. Thus far I have not stayed in a deluxe resort (way pricey), but I have stayed in two moderates and 3 values. Luckily for me, my husband and I are almost totally in agreement as to our favorite hotels.

We were lucky enough when planning our second trip to The World that Disney’s Pop Century opened mere months before we were to arrive. And who can pass up an opportunity like that? We’ve stayed at the Pop Century Resort twice now, and while we do love All Star Music and All Star Sports (not yet stayed at All Star Movies), it’s Pop Century that gets our pulses quickening.


Why? The theming! No, it’s not the 3 story high cell phones and bowling pins and Yo-Yo’s that are so awesome- after all, all the Values have 3 story high footballs, 8 tracks, and brooms carrying buckets (Fantasia). It’s the era specific music played in the courtyards (in the beginning, the music was clearly audible all through the resort as soon as you opened the door from your room, but they seem to have toned it way down), the gorgeous Hourglass Lake with the lovely and romantic Generation Gap Bridge connecting the Pop Century hotels to the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort hotels. It’s the fantastic food court, and the best arcade on Walt Disney World property (that I know of- certainly the best one in the Value and Moderate resorts).

What follows is as much as I know about Walt Disney World’s Pop Century Resort in Orlando, Florida, though it may be occasionally updated as I remember information or new information becomes available. I will try to organize it in a logical order, but my logic is usually not the same as everyone else’s, so please let me know if you have suggestions for making the organization of this page make more sense. Some information may be repeated as this page is intended to be a reference point for those considering staying at the Pop Century resort, and I want each section to be complete in itself for those who only want certain information instead of reading all 500 million words.

All The Information on Walt Disney World’s Pop Century Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida Starts Here


Pop Century Resort Address & Contact Information

1050 Century Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: 407-938-4000
Fax: 407-938-4040

Pop Century Hotel Rates

The rates for all of the Walt Disney World hotels varies from day to day. In the past, you could book your vacation to start on a “value” day, and that rate would apply to every day of your stay. However, too many savvy vacationers found out that handy little tip, and now the Disney company has changed their policy so that the applicable rates of each day are actually applied to the day booked.  The Pop Century room rates start at $82 per night for a standard room in the value season, and go all the way up to $179 for a preferred room over the Christmas holidays.

The rates schedule is quite complicated, so if you are on a budget, it’s well worth check out a range of dates before settling on a specific week to vacation in.

Mini-fridges and high speed internet are available, but are an extra fee, charged by the day (usually about $10 each).

Pop Century Location

Disney World’s Pop Century resort is nearest to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney’s M.G.M.), ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort (a Moderate). In fact, as Pop Century is the newest of Disney World’s on property hotels, there are still not many accurate (or useful) signs up directing you to it. We found it very helpful to know that the hotel is located just off the road that ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is on, and simply followed signs to that, which led us to our hotel.

As the resort is also somewhat near DownTown Disney, we also followed those signs, and somewhat the Hollywood Studios signs until we were near enough for ESPN or Pop Century signs to become available.

Tip #1- Know what your hotel is near!

Really, I do love Disney, but they have GOT to do something about those signs!

Check In/Check Out Times and Locations at Pop Century

When you enter the Pop Century property, the road will take you through a security checkpoint. The guard will check your name against guests who are checking in that day, and you will follow that road around. There will be a big sign directing you to the hotel lobby (the same door will lead you to the gift shop and food court- eventually).  Check in should be to your right.

Check in at Pop Century is at 3pm, and check out is at 11am. However, Disney has made great strides in streamlining their check in/check out process. You can now check in online during the 10 days before your stay on Walt Disney World property. To do this, you will need to log into your account on DisneyWorld.com, fill in the information, and when you arrive at Pop Century Resort, simply go to the check in desk, to the section specifically labeled for online check ins and show the cast member the photo id of the person who reserved the room. They will hand you your welcome packet and room key, and you can proceed immediately to your room!

You can also sign up for Express Checkout, in which case you don’t need to ever visit the check in desk again. Early in the morning of the day of your departure, your receipt for your stay will be hung on your door handle. Just grab it and leave! This is obviously best for those who are leaving later in the morning (I believe the receipt is guaranteed by 8am, but it’s always best to leave wiggle room), and who do not charge any extras to their room. If you have to leave very early, or are planning to add charges to your room or sync your room key to your credit card, then you may wish to opt out of Express Checkout. Whichever option you choose, I recommend verifying your choice before the end of your stay. Ask at the check in desk, or call from your room phone.

Transportation To and From Pop Century Resort

Some of Disney’s hotels have multiple modes of transportation around property, such as buses and ferries. Pop Century’s water is only a lake, and so there is no ferry connected to that resort.

However, all of the Disney owned hotels offer free transportation to the parks and many of their attractions, as well as a shuttle service going to and from the Orlando airport.

Transportation To and From the Parks:

Walt Disney World offers free bus service between the theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom) and Pop Century. The buses run every 20 minutes, and will pick up/drop off at Classic Hall (the main building which contains Check In/Check Out, gift shop, and food court) in the front.

It pays to arrive at the bus stop early as seats fill up quickly, and the standing room only is not a fun way to travel.

The buses can accommodate both wheel chairs and scooters, though strollers need to be folded before entering the bus.

One thing to bear in mind, is that the bus stops at the parks and at DownTown Disney are arranged so that the Deluxe resorts stops are the closest, followed by the Moderates, and the Value resorts come up last. It’s a bit more walking, but you have to admit that for $82 a night instead of $200+ per night, a little walking is probably a good trade off.

To and From Other On Property Attractions:

Disney offers free bus transportation to many of their on property attractions such as DownTown Disney (both Westside and Marketplace, and I think Pleasure Island as well, though you may need to walk from one of the other DTD stops) and the water parks (Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach). The suggestion for getting to the Winter Summerland mini golf course is to take the bus to Blizzard Beach and then walk across the street (supposedly the bus will run to Blizzard Beach even after it closes). For Fantasia Gardens mini-golf, the suggestion seems to be either taking the bus to Epcot and walking, or hopping on a bus to the Swan & Dolphin from one of the parks. Either way involves a bit of walking, but, honestly, the Swan and Dolphin are REALLY close.

As for transportation to Walt Disney World’s golf courses (Disney’s Palm Golf Course, Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course- yes, Disney has more golf courses than it has theme parks), you will have to take a taxi/cab or drive. Not to fear, however, as all you need to do for a free trip is to go to Valet or Bell Services to have Yellow Cab called for you, and get the complimentary voucher for your ride. To return, do the same at the Pro Shop at which ever course you’ve chosen.

To and From Off Property Attractions:

To travel off Disney World property, you will need either a car of your own (rentals are available), a regular cab (they’re always hanging out in the parking lot), or a Mears shuttle. This can be a bit pricey, and may make extracurricular excursions less than desirable.

You can dial one of the numbers below to contact Mears, or visit MearsTransportation.com to book a ride online.

Mears Representative:

(407) 423-5566

Luxury Sedan Reservations:

(407) 423-5566

Airport and Attraction Shuttle Reservations:

(407) 423-5566

Group Transportation Sales:

(407) 839-1570

Taxicab Dispatch:

(407) 422-2222

Pop Century Resort History

Some people mistakenly call this resort “All Star Pop Century”. There are several reasons why so many people make this mistake, but calling this resort “All Star Pop Century” would be like saying “Caribbean Beach Coronado Springs” or “Grand Floridian Polynesian”.  While it’s easy to assume that two hotels in the same price structure are sister hotels, particularly when there are three All Star Resorts (All Star Sports, All Star Music, and All Star Movies), Pop Century is not located near the All Star hotels, and is a separate resort entirely.

Pop Century, as it is known today, was opened in December of 2006. Originally, what is currently the Pop Century Resort was only 1/2 of the total resort. Pop Century was to represent the entire 20th century, with each decade theming one section of the resort. So, in 2006, the Classic Years half of Pop Century was opened, with the themes of the 1950′s, the 1960′s, the 1970′s, the 1980′s, and the 1990′s. The 00′s, 10′s, 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s were to open later as The Legendary Years. However, the 2880 rooms in the Classic Years in the Pop Century hotels, combined with the declining economy proved to be more than enough extra space, and while the Legendary Years buildings were finished (complete with humongous dates on the outside), the interiors were never completed. It was officially announced near the end of 2010 that the former Legendary Years at Pop Century would now become a separate resort by the name of the Art of Animation Resort. However, the two resorts will still be on the same parcel of land with connecting parking lots, and a bridge (currently known as Generation Gap Bridge, though this may change when the new resort is finished) crossing the dividing lake (Hourglass Lake).

Benefits of Staying at DisneyWorld Pop Century Resort

There are huge benefits to staying in any Disney owned hotel on Walt Disney World property. True, you will pay a little more to stay on property, but by the time you factor in gas, and parking fees (not to mention being close to the action- many hotels claim to be “5 minutes away from Walt Disney World”, but that’s 5 minutes from the entrance to the property- NOT the parks), you may end up ahead simply by staying on property. If you can land a good promotional deal, there should be no question of staying off property unless you plan to spend more than 1 day exploring the rest of the Orlando attractions.

Benefits to All Disney Hotel Guests:

*Ticket Convenience -when you stay on property, you can have your park ticket combined into your room key. You can even have a credit card hooked up to your room key (up to $500 at a Value resort- the amount goes up at Moderates and Deluxes), leaving you free to lock up your wallet in the hotel safe, or keep your credit card numbers away from prying eyes. This is only an option however- you absolutely are not required to do so.

If you sign up for the Disney Dining Plan, that can go on your room key too!

*Free Parking -a $12 value per day at the parks

* Package Delivery -any purchases that you make at the parks or at DownTown Disney can be sent back to your hotel to be picked up at the gift shop by 3pm the following day (don’t send packages back on your last day)

*Free Transportation -the Disney World resorts all offer free bus service to and from the hotels and parks as well as DownTown Disney, the water parks, and have cab vouchers for transportation to and from the Golf courses (full fledged golf- mini-golf uses the buses)

*Airport Shuttle -Disney offers a free shuttle between the Orlando Airport and their resort hotels called the Magical Express.

*Extra Magic Hours -Those staying in Disney Resorts can enter the theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom) an hour early on select mornings, or stay up to 3 hours after the official park closing on select evenings. Most rides remain open during this time, and it’s especially beneficial during the busy parts of the year.

*Incredible Theming -The magic of the parks can dissipate quickly when you have to battle Orlando traffic to stay in a plain Jane hotel with only one plain swimming pool. When you stay on property, it’s like the magic never ends, whether you drive or take the transportation. You’re still cared for as Disney’s special guest- because you are!

*Mickey Mouse Wake Up Calls -Think you can get Mickey to call and wake up your kids when you stay at a HoJo’s? No, I didn’t think so either.

*Park Info at Your Fingertips -not only does Disney have a special resort-only TV channel where they run all the info on all the parks and activities on property 24/7, as well as a constantly running Top Ten channel, but with a single button on your in room phone you can book a meal reservation, get park hours, directions to the parks, or any other Disney World related information that you need- usually given by a real live person!

*Good Food, Conveniently -While many hotels have a restaurant or two, each Disney hotel has at least a food court, and a snack bar, if not an actual restaurant (Moderates have one food court and restaurant, Deluxes usually have two restaurants and a food court). But the one food court has several sections, usually offering a variety of pizza, pasta, burgers, hot dogs, soups, salads, Asian, and a fantastic dessert and baked goods section.

*Lack of Pests -While staying on property, you’ll notice a large number of various bird species and cute little lizards. Disney has some of the best pest control that I’ve ever seen. While the properties aren’t totally bug free, there are considerably fewer than what we experience up in the NorthEast, and you can rest safe from your fears of huge Florida bugs. Those birds and lizards aren’t just for decoration, or even part of the natural population- Disney brings in many species specifically to act as a sort of decorative pest control. While I can’t guarantee that all of their efforts are environmentally friendly, I’m certain that the Disney company goes much farther in natural pest control than any other theme park.

Benefits of Staying in the Pop Century Hotels:

In addition to the regular benefits of staying on site, Pop Century has its own particular benefits.

*Location -Pop Century is most ideal for those who plan to use the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex or who are roller coaster nuts. ESPN is on the same road as Pop Century, and Pop Century is one of the closest hotels to Disney’s Hollywood Studio theme park. It is also convenient to DownTown Disney, and Typhoon Lagoon (water park), as well as Old Key West Resort and Caribbean Beach Resort (you can get reservations at their restaurants if you’re staying in a Disney Hotel).

*Privacy -This goes along with the location. Pop Century is the most out of the way hotels on Disney World property giving you a feeling of privacy despite it being one of the larger resorts and among the most popular. If you stay in the 50′s or 60′s, you can ask for a rear room, which will have you overlooking the lake, and you can park in the rear parking lot and walk the path (Memory Lane) by the lake to your room. It takes a bit longer, but is more private.

*Pizza Delivery -While most of Disney’s hotels offer pizza delivery to your room, none of the others deliver it in a sweet 60′s VW min-van! If you whip out your camera and smile at the driver he/she may stop to let you take a picture while they’re out on delivery.

Peace of Pizza Delivery Van- Pop Century Pizza Delivery

*Mood Music -I’ve not noticed themed music in any other Disney resort (aside from in the main building/lobby/food court). Here at Pop Century, it’s your decade all the time! In the good old days, you could hear decade specific music from as soon as you opened the door during the day, but now it’s been toned down and you’ll have to listen carefully while in your section’s courtyard. So, yeah, if you’re into a specific decade, it’s well worth asking specifically for that section when you book your room!

*The Big Wheel -While every Value resort has 3 story high decorations, only Pop Century offers a 3 story high Big Wheel. As cool as all the other decorations are, the Big Wheel has to be the coolest.

Pop Century Hotel Themes

The Pop Century resort themes are the last 5 decades of the 20th century- the 1950′s, the 1960′s, the 1970′s, the 1980′s, and the 1990′s. The buildings sport 3 story high decorations (such as a cell phone, a Big Wheel, and Lady and the Tramp, among other things) that represent that section’s decade. There is a large, hourglass shaped man-made lake, aptly named Hourglass Lake, which is crossed by a wide bridge, which is currently named Generation Gap Bridge.

The rooms are cute, but not necessarily well themed for the decade aside from the picture on the wall. I haven’t stayed in all of the decades yet (70′s the first time, 60′s the second), but I assume that the idea is the same in all the rooms- a collage of all the Disney things that are specific to that decade, including motion pictures, shorts, and theme park rides (I think this is why Disney started with the 50′s, as that’s when Disneyland opened- there were no rides in the 00′s through the 40′s).

While all decades get their shot in Classic Hall, it’s the 60′s and 70′s which seem to get the most play.

Pop Century: The 50′s

Lady guards the entrance to the 50′s at Pop Century

The 1950′s at Pop Century is a set of three T shaped buildings, with the wide flat part facing inwards to form a sort of triangle. There’s a bit of a Sock Hop theme, consisting of large cut outs of teenagers dancing, and large letters above them that spell out phrases from the era, such as “sock hop”, “way out”, “hang loose”, “be bop”, “cool”, “rock ‘n roll”, “poodle skirt”, and “the most”, as well as records that are as tall as your 6 year old (railing height). Huge wire-frame bowling pins house the outside stairs , while Lady and the Tramp stand guard at two of the front entrances, while a giant Jukebox stands waiting for The Fonz to come and start it up at the third building.

In buildings 1 and 2, the rear of the hotels face the parking lot, while the rear of building 3 overlooks the lake and the (future) Art of Animation Resort.  The front of all three buildings face the Bowling Pin swimming pool (yes, it’s actually in the shape of a bowling pin).

There is a laundry room located in the corner between buildings 1 & 2 (Lady and the Jukebox) which is decorated to look like a cubby with bowling shoes in it. There is another laundry room between the 60′s, 50′s, and Classic Hall which may be more convenient to those staying in the end of buildings 1 & 3 on the Classic Hall side.

Pop Century: The 60′s

The two 1960′s Pop Century hotel buildings are T shaped buildings, with the wide, flat fronts facing each other and overlooking the Hippy Dippy Pool (flower shaped, natch) and the kiddie pool. The rear of the buildings is divided because of the angle that the hotel buildings sit at- 1/2 of building 4′s rear faces the rear of the 50′s building 3, while the other half overlooks Hourglass Lake. 1/2 of building 5′s rear faces the rear of the 70′s building 6 as well as Goofy’s playground, while the other half also overlooks Hourglass Lake.

Directly between the buildings in the back is the entrance to Generation Gap Bridge, which crosses Hourglass Lake to the new Art of Animation hotel. For those who plan to resort-hop a bit, you may want to request a lake view room in the 60′s, just for the convenience of it.

Practically actual size- fireworks as seen from 4th floor in the 60′s, lakeside

There’s a bonus, too- from the 4th floor of building 4 in the 60′s, you can watch the fireworks from Epcot (You can tell, because during the day you can see the top of SpaceShip Earth, though I do seem to recall being able to see some of Fantasmic’s fireworks from the end of our room’s walkway, and I think the rear of building 5 would be able to see those as well). The fireworks appear very small and you can’t hear the accompanying music, but it’s awesome to be able to watch fireworks from your room’s window, or by the railing. You can also see some of them from Generation Gap Bridge.

The buildings in the 60′s at Pop Century Resort are decorated with more dancing cut outs, peace signs and huge flowers. The large letters above the dancers spell out things such as “Peace Love and Happiness”, “Groovy”, “Tye Dye”, “Peace Man”, “Can You Dig It”, and “Far Out”. AllEars shows a photo of a ping pong table set up near the pool, but I don’t recall seeing this on either of our stays. So, either I totally missed it both times, or it’s only available sometimes (which happens a lot at Disney- they bring out special treats, but don’t always keep them available due to crowds, weather, and whims).

Humongous Yo-Yo’s cover the outside stairs, and Baloo and Mowgli dance in front of the middle entrance to building 5, while an elephant and a giraffe attempt to escape a giant can of Play-doh in front of building 4.

The 60′s Hippy Dippy Pool (occasionally known as the Flower Power pool) is arguably the most popular pool at Pop Century. The poolside rooms at the 60′s are among the noisiest on site, while the lakeside rooms are among the quietest. The somewhat small kiddie pool (as kiddie pools usually are) has water spraying from the edge into the pool, and Goofy’s playground is mainly just a colorful statue of Goofy holding a surfboard while standing near what appears to be a red corvette. What makes it fun is the faux ocean in front of Goofy, which has numerous circles in it that spray up water in a random pattern. Kids have a blast hopping on top of whichever circle is spraying, or trying to guess which will spray next, or occasionally standing over top of one to try to be fast enough to escape the water when it does spray.

The rooms on the Classic Hall side are the closest rooms on property to Classic Hall. Though some of the 50′s and 70′s appear just as close, the paths that lead to Classic Hall curve around more, and so are technically further away. Because of its location- the one side being closest to Classic Hall (convenience), the other side overlooking the lake (privacy) and near the bridge to Pop Century’s sister resort, and the front overlooking the most popular pool on site, the 60′s is usually the first section to fill up via requests at reservation. Requesting rooms in the back is fairly easy, however, as it’s the furthest point from the parking lots and the bus depot, and most people don’t want to walk that far.

Between the 60′s and Classic Hall, and the near side of the 50′s section, is Petals Poolbar, which serves snacks and drinks (of the adult kind as well as the softer stuff), and a laundry room. Near here there is often hair braiding and other such things available, and on select nights there is even a DJ or movies shown near the pool. I’m not certain if these nights are advertised, or if you just have to get lucky.

Pop Century: The 70′s

The two buildings of the 70′s decade are T shaped buildings, with the wide, flat fronts facing each other, and the rear of building 6 facing Hourglass Lake and the Art of Animation Resort across the lake, while the rear of building 10 (room numbers start with a “0″) faces a parking lot and the 80′s (don’t worry, there’s plenty of green space between the building and the parking lot, so it’s not as if it has an ugly view).

Tip #2: if you’re staying in the rear of building 10, try to find a parking space in the 90′s lot- it’s closer to your rooms. Otherwise, follow the signs to the 70′s parking lot.

More dancers decorate the outside of the 70′s decade at Pop Century, as well as platform shoes and mood rings. Large words above the dancers’ heads say things like “Have A Nice Day”, “Boogie Down”, and “Polyester”. Large 8 Track tapes house the outside stairs, while a gigantic Big Wheel sits in front of the entrance to building 7 and a large Mickey Mouse telephone is in front of the building 6 front entrance.

In between the two 70′s buildings is a life-size foosball “table” including the men. Sadly, you can’t actually play this giant game, but you can still walk among the “players”. Goofy’s Pop Jet Playground is on the side nearest the 60′s and Classic Hall, and there is another (non-water) playground between building 10 and Classic Hall. A life size Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead also hang out here, posed for you to join them for a picture.

Pop Century: The 80′s

The two 80′s buildings are paired up with the single 90′s building to form a triangle. The 80′s buildings are T shaped, and the wide, flat fronts face each other from across the Computer Pool (I know, I love the pun).  The rear of building 9 is closest to Classic Hall, and one half of the rear faces the 90′s parking lot (park in the 90′s if you can if you’re staying in building 9), and the other half faces the 70′s hotel buildings (building 10). The rear of building 7 faces the 80′s parking lot.

As with the other decades, dancers, decade specific phrases (such as “Radical” and “To The Max”) decorate the outside, along with a number of the ghostie things from PacMan. Yes, I’m serious.

Large Rubix Cubes cover the outside stairwells, while Roger Rabbit hangs out at the front entrance of building 7, and a Sony Walkman sits in front of building 9′s main entrance.

The 80′s and 90′s section isn’t as entertaining as the rest of the resort, and it’s also the farthest from, well, anything. There is, however, a laundry room which looks like an old school computer tower, complete with a 3.5″ floppy/hard disk sticking out of it. Obviously, though, it’s not actually 3.5″. :-)

Pop Century: the 90′s

There is only one building in the 90′s section of Pop Century Resort, and it’s set up in a triangle with the two 80′s buildings, and shares the same Computer Pool. The front of the hotel building faces the Computer Pool, and has a large Laptop at the front entrance. This is actually cool though, because it actually has several windows opened on the screen, so there’s something more to look at than just the object itself.

The 90′s also has era specific words and phrases, as well as dancers, and roller blades decorating the building. Huge cell phones cover the outside stairwells- and here’s the cool thing- the cell phone screen actually displays Disney World’s reservation phone number. Mucho awesome. I love those little touches.

The rear of the 90′s building mainly faces grass, walkways, and the driveway between the 90′s and 80′s parking lots.

So, the 90′s is the smallest section, furthest from… everything, and isn’t even all that convenient to parking. It’s also the least interesting from a decor perspective, so I have to wonder if the Imagineers stuck the cute little extras (the windows on the laptop, the phone number on the cell phones) as a last ditch effort to make someone want to stay there.

Pop Century Rooms

While a bit on the plain Jane side of hotel rooms, given where you’re at, the Pop Century rooms are quite comfortable. Disney World keeps their hotels in good repair, and refurnishes them every so many years whether they need it or not. Sometimes it’s a complete redesign, and sometimes it’s just new TVs and new carpets. Pop Century is new enough that I don’t believe they’ve had any refurbishments yet, but as of May 2010, the 60′s rooms were just fine.

How Big Are Pop Century’s Rooms? As for size, the rooms are all 206 square feet, and while most have two double beds, there are rooms with king size beds, and handicap accessible rooms (I believe they are the same as the king rooms though. I checked when we booked, but I can’t remember for certain). The beds have strong springs and are a bit firmer than I like, but are quite to my husband’s liking. Your mileage may vary.

There is enough room on one side of the beds for a large suitcase (or several stacked), and enough room on the other side of the beds to get out and walk to the bathroom. If you’re sleeping one person to a bed, then that side could be used to store smaller suitcases or your purchases from the parks. A bit more can be stored near the table on the other side of the room, or in the “closet” area. We often store some things (tote bag with snacks, extra shoes) in front of the window, but be careful when doing this, as passersby can often see the floor directly in front of the window, even with the drapes drawn.

Sound Insulation: Are the Pop Century rooms loud/quiet?

I can not guarantee that you won’t be occasionally disturbed by loud vacationers, particularly during sports competitions where the place is over run by practically unchaperoned teenagers. But, it’s really not bad. The walls are not exceptionally thin, although you will probably notice if you have some particularly energetic neighbors at night next door. Also, it seems that the bathrooms are on common walls. This helps to insulate the sleeping area from your neighbor’s shower pipes, but makes you a bit hesitant to sing in the shower. We always turn on the fan in the bathroom when we’re in it for privacy.

During the day when you’re moving around in your room, you won’t notice much outside noise unless a gaggle of giggling girls passes by, or if someone is pulling along their wheeled luggage (usually in the morning about when you want to get up anyway- by the way, the guy who invented wheeled luggage is a genius, but whoever invents silent wheeled luggage in the future has my undying devotion). At night, you’ll have the occasional person checking in late, and people returning from the pools or Pleasure Island, but for the most part, foot traffic will be light, and most guests are polite enough to not be loud. Crying babies can’t be helped, and can be heard through bomb shelter walls, so there may be the occasional off night. But, really, Pop Century isn’t cheaply built, and is about as good as you’re going to get outside of the luxury level hotels.

Pop Century Room Amenities: All Pop Century Rooms are equipped with bed/s, bedside table, TV and dresser, table and two chairs, a sink, closet area, toilet and tub/shower (shower only for handicap accessible rooms), and are lit by lamps.

In addition, all the rooms have an iron and ironing board, hair dryer, in-wall safe with key, telephone, and data port. You can special request cribs and bed rails, and for an extra charge (usually $10 per day, each) a mini-fridge and high speed internet access. The cord is provided in a bag in your closet area, and if it’s missing, you can simply call the front desk for one.

Pop Century Preferred Rooms

The Pop Century preferred rooms are not luxury rooms, and they have no additional amenities or privileges. In Disney-speak, preferred room is shorthand for preferred view room. Generally speaking, at least at the Value resorts, such as Pop Century, this means that you have a room that overlooks the pool in your section.

Since the pool is usually no more an attractive view than, say, the flower bushes around the corner, or the lake view, I assume that the idea is that parents can keep an eye on their kids without having to go swimming themselves. Either that, or because Disney is clever and requests for rooms “near the pool” can net them more profit, even if the closer distance is vertical rather than the actual distance traveled.

Also note, that while the preferred view is technically overlooking the pool, you still have a walkway and railing in your line of vision, as well as (often) those large dancing cut outs and other decorations.

For example, on our first trip, we specifically requested a room that had a great view of the Big Wheel. Our room had a perfect view of that Big Wheel! Except. Of course. The big dancer’s head on our rail that blocked most of the view. Cool from the outside looking in? Yes. From the inside looking out? Not so much.

Given that the extra charge for a preferred view room at Pop Century is usually about $10 a day, I really don’t think it’s worth it. But that’s just me, YMMV.

Also, my husband insists that the lake view is a preferred view, but we were not charged a preferred view fee (keep in mind that they won’t charge you for a preferred view unless you request it- if they stick you in a pool view room because that’s where they had space, you have no need to worry about whether you’ll be charged or not).

You can actually request specific rooms or sections, and you’ll usually get what you want, but don’t hang all your hopes on them, because Disney can’t guarantee specific requests like that. They’ll try hard to get you in, but they can’t kick others out to make room for you.

Pop Century Pools and Playgrounds

Pop Century Playgrounds:

The Regular Playground -I don’t remember much about the regular playground (located near the 80′s buildings and Classic Hall), except that it was the same generic sort of playground that they have at all of the Disney resorts. Your basic slide and tunnels plastic thing.

Goofy’s Pop Jet Playground -This is absolute awesome. Kids can not get enough of this little play area located between the 60′s and 70′s section and a short walk from Classic Hall. Goofy stands guard over his little bit of “beach” and “ocean”, holding his surf board and standing near his red car (which looks suspiciously like a Corvette). The faux beach and ocean are made of that rubber foam material that looks like cement but is soft on the feet (and the occasional falling tush) and has a series of circles which squirt water randomly. Kids, especially the really little ones, go nuts for this.

Pop Century Pools:

I should preface this by warning you that pools to me are nothing more than a noisy place to look at longingly after a long day at the parks. I can’t swim, and I don’t look good in a swim suit. So, aside from some foot dangling in the “quiet pools” at the Moderates, I mostly just pass the pools by. All of the pools are heated, and you can obtain extra towels from Housekeeping if you need them.

The Bowling Pin Pool -The Bowling Pin Pool is located in the 1950′s section, and is actually shaped like a Bowling Pin! There is a laundry room nearby.

The Hippy Dippy Pool -The Hippy Dippy Pool (sometimes known as the Flower Power Pool) is located in the 1960′s section and is shaped like a flower. There are tall flowers surrounding the pool that spray water in towards the pool, and are known as Shower Flowers. Petals pool bar is located nearby, as well as a laundry room, and on some nights there may be a DJ or a movie playing.

This is the most popular (read: crowded) of the Pop Century pools, so plan accordingly. If the Flower Power theme isn’t super appealing to you, you might want to try out the quieter Bowling Pin Pool or Computer Pool.

The Kiddie Pool -The Kiddie Pool is also located in Pop Century’s 60′s section, and has spraying water around the edge.

The Computer Pool -The Computer Pool is located in the 80′s and 90′s section of Pop Century. I have no idea what the giant keyboard does, but next time (assuming that I go in not-May for once- way too hot to wander around the resort) I hope that I’ll get a chance to find out.

Laundry at Pop Century Resort

There are 3 laundry rooms on the Pop Century Resort. One is located near the pool in the 50′s section, one is between the 60′s, 50′s, and Classic Hall, and another is in the 80′s and 90′s section. There is a charge for the washers and dryers.

Alternatively, you can have your wash sent out and delivered. In your room closet area there should be a bag on a hanger specifically for laundry. You can fill this bag and leave it for MouseKeeping (housekeeping) to pick up and return to you. If you can’t find this bag, or if you have questions on how it works, simply dial housekeeping from your in room phone, or ask the next time you’re at the front desk.

Parking at Pop Century Hotel

Each decade at Pop Century has its own special parking lots, however, there is no need to restrict yourself to your section’s parking lot if there’s room in a lot that’s closer to your room. For example, the 90′s lot is closer to part of the 70′s and part of the 80′s, and the 80′s parking lot is closer to part of the 90′s. The one place that you should not park overnight is the check in parking.

When you check in, you’ll be given a map of the resort. I suggest that you look this map over before pulling out of the check in lot. Most Cast Members circle the section of the building that your room is in when you check in, and you can use that to judge approximately the best place for you to park.

Classic Hall

Classic Hall is the name given to Pop Century’s main building. It houses the gift shop, food court, arcade, and lobby.

Pop Century Lobby and Check In/Check Out

Rocky Horror, Star Wars, James Bond… Those were the days. And they can still be experienced right here at the Walt Disney World Resort! Sort of.

When you enter Classic Hall from the main doors on the Parking Lot/Bus side, the Lobby and Check In/Check Out will be on your right. There are several sections- a section for regular check ins and check outs, one for those who did the online check in before arrival (by far the quickest) and another for regular customer service, questions, ticket purchasing and so on. There is also a kiosk which I think is in the main hallway for those using Magical Express, the Disney airport shuttle, and another kiosk for the Disney Vacation Club (DVC).

Along the back of the lobby, and I believe along the main hallway, is a series of shadowboxes depicting the various eras featured at Pop Century Classic Years hotel. Inside are newspaper clippings, posters, toys, skate keys, photos and other memorabilia.

 

Fast Forward Arcade at Pop Century

Easily the best arcade at the Walt Disney World hotels, the Fast Forward Arcade at Pop Century is packed with fun games for all (or most) skill levels. To my knowledge, this is the only hotel arcade on Disney property that still gives you tickets to trade in for prizes. Contrary to expectations, most of the prizes are not Disney related, but normal type arcade prizes, making this feel more authentic to the eras this resort tries to replicate. There is, however, a Mickey Mouse phone (or was, when we were there), which is totally true to this classic 70′s icon.

Everything Pop!: The Pop Century Food Court and Gift Shop

Pop Century’s food court is unique among Disney World hotels in that the food court and gift shop are combined. When entering through Classic Hall, you have to walk through the gift shop to get to the food court. There are outside entrances directly into the food court, however.

Not to worry, however, as gift shop purchases are handled in the gift shop section and food court purchases are handled in the food court. There’s no weird mix and match going on in that area. If I remember correctly, however, I do think that you can buy the refillable mugs in either the gift shop or the food court.

Often a caricature artist will be outside Everything Pop! in the hallway to do sketches of you and your travel party. There is a fee, however, and the artist is not always available.

What Does Everything Pop! Food Court Look Like

Ok, it’s a little difficult to describe what Everything Pop! looks like. It’s really, really busy. And I don’t mean crowd control (that depends on the time of day and year), but the design is, well, kind of far out. Remember, the whole theme of this resort is trying to embody every decade of the second half of the 1900′s. Well, it’s not easy to actually combine all the decades. So they just kind of go crazy with colors and shapes. And when I say go crazy- I mean it. The ceiling above where you obtain your food (the seating area is separate) consists of big circle lights. There is a proliferation of circles and squares in every color- everywhere.

The seating area has stylized classroom desk chair type seating. Some, I think, are wood, but we always had the kind of plastic-y ones that were really comfortable because they were flexible to fit you, but firm enough to hold you up. On the side where you can get milkshakes there are a lot of booths that are generally fairly quiet with really high backs for privacy. This is where the old bar was (which I lament the loss of). There are 50′s and 60′s kind of dangling globe lights with ridges around them. The ceiling is painted black and has many colorful pipes running along. If you’ve ever seen the screensaver where pipes kind of build a maze on your screen while changing color, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what I mean.

How’s the Food at Pop Century?

Great! All of the Disney World hotel food courts are excellent- sometimes even better than what they have in the parks. The turkey dinners are comparable to Liberty Tree Tavern, if a bit smaller and with fewer side choices. I do think Liberty Tree is a touch above the food court’s version, but my husband considers the food court turkey dinners to be better than Liberty Tree. It’s all a matter of taste, but given that the food court version costs half of what you get at Liberty Tree, I’m willing to concede to his opinion.

The Mom’s Night Out fried chicken is out of this world! Easily the best fried chicken that I’ve ever had. I was only disappointed that the fried chicken was only served at the beginning of our stay, end ended up moaning about not being able to have it again for the rest of the trip. It’s still the main reason that I want to go back to Pop Century for our next trip to Disney World. Then again, the Port Orleans Riverside cornbread is a top contender.

The burgers and hot dogs are as good as most at the parks, and my husband is nuts about the alfredo. About the only thing that I recommend not getting is the kids’ mac & cheese, which looks amazing, but tastes like flour.

In addition to the hot food, there are refrigerators holding grapes and fruit salads, lettuce salads, sandwiches, desserts (see the Tye Dye cheesecake below), wine, beer, and soft drinks. There are also stands with chips, microwave popcorn, apples, bananas, oranges, and freezers with ice cream.

The one thing that you may find yourself pining for at the end of a long stay is fresh greens. the salads are made with mainly iceburg lettuce, and there is usually green beans available at one of the sections, but that’s about it as far as straight vegetables go. Towards the end I began gorging on the the vegetable lo mein just to get some broccoli, carrots, and snow peas into my diet!

Refillable mugs are available. While the price goes up every year, it generally works out to “break even” point at about 6 fills. So, if you’re going for a 3 day stay and plan to eat two or fewer meals at the resort and have plenty of bottled water or drink tap water in your room, then a refillable mug may not be worth it to you except as a souvenir. However, if you’re like us and stay for 8 nights and try to eat at the resort as often as possible, then they’re well worth the money. After a few vacations, however, your mug shelves will be bursting at the seams. The mugs are only good for a year, and are technically only to be used during your stay for that particular trip at that particular hotel, though I’ve never seen a cast member stop a guest from using even 5 year old mugs.

For more information (and pictures!) follow my link to my post on the Everything Pop! food court at Pop Century Resort.

Everything Pop! Gift Shop

The Everything Pop! gift shop is similar to most gift shops in the Walt Disney World hotels. There are a few hotel specific items, such as mugs, ornaments, t-shirts, and hats. There is a selection of general Walt Disney World merchandise- small toys, Disney Trading Pins, monorail sets, more t-shirts, some essentials that you may have left at home (sunblock, after sun, shaving gel, first aid stuff, booze), and package pickup for when you purchase items in the park and then have them shipped back to your resort for next day pick up.

What Rooms To Ask For At Pop Century Resort

There are many reasons for wanting different types of rooms at Pop Century Resort. While all the rooms inside are identical (well, nearly) aside from the handicap accessible rooms, their individual locations and views can make all the difference.

Most Convenient Rooms at Pop Century Resort

While each guest has their own notion of convenience, most will fall into one of two categories- the guest who prefers to leave their driving to others, and the guest who prefers to drive themselves to all points of interest. I also recommend mentioning to the cast member when making your reservation why you want a particular section, as they will be able to more accurately pin-point locations for you. If you book online, simply mention it to the cast member when you call to verify your reservation (always verify your reservation at least twice- once a month or two before your visit, and again a few days before your arrival- especially if you book online. And always get a receipt.).

For Guests Using Disney Transportation:

If you chose to use Disney Transportation during your stay at the Pop Century Resort, your most convenient rooms will be near Classic Hall. These rooms are very popular, however due to Classic Hall also being home to the arcade, food court, and lobby. You will need to request this when booking your room, and probably remind the Cast Member when you check in. Disney can not guarantee any requests, but they do work very hard to satisfy their guests.

The buildings closest to Classic Hall are building 1 in the 50′s, both of the 60′s buildings (but only a small portion of each), building 10 in the 70′s, and building 9 in the 80′s.

However. Remember how I said that there doesn’t seem to be much point to staying in the 80′s and 90′s? Well, technically, there is. You see, while the bus stops are in front of Classic Hall, they’re on the 80′s/90′s side of Classic Hall. Actually, they’re sort of a little to the side of Classic Hall (but in front, does that make sense?). So, if you’re willing to cross the grass (and bear in mind that some sections may be blocked off by bushes and other such things designed to keep you from walking on the grass), the absolute closest section to the bus stop is the rear of building 9 from the 80′s and a small portion of building 10 from the 70′s. Even by following the paths, the rear of building 9 and part of building 10 are still the closest to the bus stop.

But, honestly, you only feel distance at Pop Century when you’re hauling heavy luggage.

For Guests With Vehicles:

While you may wish to remain close to Classic Hall if you intend to make the arcade, gift shop, or food court a heavy portion of your stay, most guests who are driving themselves around Walt Disney World would prefer to be closer to their cars. After all, you can drive around to the Check In Parking Lot if you want to hit the food court.

For the rooms closest to the parking lots at Pop Century, you’ll want to request:

The rear of building 7 in the 80′s

the half of building 9 in the 80′s that’s closest to the 90′s

the ends of the 90′s

the rear of buildings 1 and 2 in the 50′s

The Most Private Rooms At Disney World’s Pop Century Resort

The most private rooms at Disney World’s Pop Century Resort are the rooms in the backs of the buildings, preferably on the top floor. The first floor is always the least private, as everyone has to pass you by to get to their rooms. As long as you don’t mind using the elevator, there’s no more climbing the higher you go, and it’s often fun to peek over the balconies at all the activity below.

Since the vast majority of those using Memory Lane (the walkway along the back of the resort, along Hourglass Lake) are either Cast Members, those taking a smoke break, or the few visitors who are heading to or from their cars, this side is pretty quiet as well.

Though the rear of all the buildings except for 10 (in the 70′s) and 1 (in the 50′s) are fairly quiet and private, the rear lake/facing sides of buildings 4 and 5 in the 60′s are the quietest, as they’re the farthest point from parking and Classic Hall, and pool hoppers will be walking around the fronts of the buildings. This may change, however, when the Art of Animation hotel opens, as this is the closest point to Generation Gap Bridge, which connects the two resorts.

Alternatively, you could ask for a room near the smoking sections, as these are generally tucked away from the general crowds.

The Rooms With The Best View At Pop Century

Just as in convenience, your idea of a good view may differ from the next fellow’s. For some, it’s all about color and excitement, for the next, it’s serene waters and tree tops.

Theme Views:

If you’re choosing Pop Century over another resort (like, say, an All Star hotel) because of a particular theme, you’ll know which section you want to stay in already. For example, if your 3 year old is obsessed with Jungle Book, you’ll want to stay in the 60′s. But the first mistake people make when they book their room this way, is that they’ll ask for the Jungle Book building!  Building #5, by the way. Now, if your child just wants the thrill of walking behind Baloo to get to his or her room, this is fine, and you may want to specify a room near the center for this reason. But if your kid just wants to be able to look out of his or her window in the middle of the night to see Baloo’s face lit up- you’ll want to stay in building #4 and specify a room overlooking the courtyard.

Now, as I’ve said before, Disney can not guarantee you a specific room or view- and even if you get that room over looking the courtyard, you may find that you have the perfect room- except for the huge flower petal obstructing your view of the big bear’s grin. So, make your request, but do not promise that little one that he or she can wave hello every day before brushing their teeth. edit to add: my husband has been pointing out to me that you merely have to step outside your room and look over the railings to wave at Baloo. This is true. My point was only that you may not be able to do so from inside the room (from the window).

Pool Views:

Eight of the 10 hotel buildings at Pop Century overlook a pool. And, well, they all cost extra. You’ll have to specify on the form online, or when booking with a cast member that you want a “preferred room” with a pool view. Because there is an extra charge (normally $10 a day), you should be guaranteed this room when requested.

Pretty Views:

 

I have to say that I don’t think that there is a bad view from any room in a hotel owned by Disney. However, I’ve not stayed in every room, so don’t just take my word for it.

There are many pretty views in the  Pop Century hotel rooms. There’s plenty of grass, shrubbery, flowering bushes and trees, and of course the fun icons everywhere. But the prettiest views are of Hourglass Lake.

If you want a view of the lake, then I can not stress enough that you want the 4th floor (or whatever the highest floor is in your building). There are a lot of trees at the resort, especially at the back, and some are quite tall. While most of the third floor should have some good views, it’s only at the 4th floor that you’re guaranteed that the trees won’t get in the way.

I highly recommend the fourth floor in building 4 in the 60′s. I can’t remember our exact room number, but I believe it was 4490 or close to it, and I was able to watch Illuminations from my room window. It stands to reason, and I’ve seen it mentioned in several forums, that pretty much any 4th floor lake view room in buildings 2, 3, or 4 will be able to watch Illuminations (and apparently Wishes as well, but we were there in May and refused to stay up that late to find out!) and see Spaceship Earth (the top of it- only if you look really hard or use a camera zoom). It seems likely that lake view rooms in buildings 5, 6, and maybe part of 7 might be able to see the fireworks as well, but this is more iffy as their angles are different. Those buildings, however, should be able to see Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios and Fantasmic fireworks. However, there aren’t many fireworks at Fantasmic, so it may not be worth your while. You may still be able to see Wishes from here as well.

If you can’t get a fireworks view room, or if your family insists on being poolside, don’t despair. You can walk up to the 4th floor of any of the buildings to watch (if you’re not squeamish about people in those rooms eyeballing you), or watch from a lakeside bench alongside Memory Lane, or from Generation Gap Bridge.

For Guests With Disabilities

Guests with disabilities will want to ask specifically for the handicap accessible rooms. If this type of room isn’t necessary, then you may want to request a ground floor room, closest either to a parking lot or to Classic Hall.

What Not To Miss At Pop Century Resort

*Do not, whatever you do, do not miss the Mom’s Night Out Southern Fried Chicken (unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, of course). Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 4pm till 10pm

*Watching Illuminations from your room, Memory Lane (the walkway along the lake in the rear of the resort), or Generation Gap Bridge.

*Do not miss the milkshakes. They’re made with Edy’s ice cream, and are soooo good. Maybe pair it with the fried chicken.

*Check out the back wall of the lobby/check in area. You’ll find a wall full of shadow boxes containing memorabilia from the 1950′s through the 1990′s.

*Don’t forget to take a little time to walk around and check out each decade’s theme. You may be a Big Wheel fan, but don’t you want to see what’s on the computer screen in the 90′s?

Pop Century Tie Dye Cheesecake

*Tye Dye Cheesecake. Nuff said.

*Everything Pop! Giftshop- the gift shop is technically part of the food court and vice versa. It’s a unique set up, and very convenient.

*Check out the Fast Forward Arcade located in Classic Hall. It’s the only resort arcade that I know of that actually spits out tickets to trade in for prizes. When we were there in 2006, there was even a Mickey Mouse phone as one of the top prizes.

*Climbing stairs inside of a Yo-Yo, cell phone, or bowling pin. Because, seriously, how often can you say that you’ve been inside of a bowling pin? (or made a phone call from inside of a cell phone!)

*Take a walk down Memory Lane. There are interesting facts posted along the way- 1 for each year! The view of the lake can be breathtaking, and it’s a nice break from the hectic pace of the parks and pools.

*See the Peace of Pizza delivery van. This one is a bit hard to arrange- in our recent 8 day stay, we only saw it once up close.

Pop Century Sister Resort

Originally, what is currently known as Pop Century was to be 1/2 of the actual Pop Century Resort. What is currently built was for some time known as The Classic Years. Across Generation Gap Bridge, on the other side of Hourglass Lake, was to be The Legendary Years, focusing on the decades of the 00′s, 10′s, 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s. This would have been awesome, especially given that the courtyards play era specific music. Hubs and I had big plans to stay in the Legendary Years, maybe even exclusively until we’d tried out each decade.

However, this was not to be. The buildings sat empty, with decades posted up on the the exteriors for years. Several times there were rumors that the Legendary Years were to be completed, but all for naught.

Until a few months ago. It was finally, officially, announced that The Legendary Years was to be completed! Hurrah! But then, disaster struck. The buildings were to be finished, and it was to be a Disney World Resort- but it would no longer be a part of Pop Century, and the theme had been changed to the Art of Animation. Nooooo!

The new themes of the new Art of Animation Resort are to be The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. The Little Mermaid section is to have 864 regular rooms, and The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo will have a combined 1120 family suites (bad luck to coupons on a budget who want to see Mr. Ray or Simba).

For more information on the Art of Animation hotel, check out my new soon-to-be-posted post on the subject.

Other Pop Century Tips and Questions/Answers

Can I smoke At Pop Century? Where Can I Smoke At Pop Century?

While there is no smoking in the rooms at Pop Century Resort, there are designated smoking sections. All smoking sections are a bit out of the way of the regular resort guest, so you’ll need to check your map.

Currently, there are 7 smoking locations (all with benches, I believe) along Memory Lane (along Hourglass Lake), one between the 90′s and 80′s, 2 near Classic Hall (between Classic Hall and the 60′s), and one in the 50′s on the Classic Hall side.

While each location is only a short distance away, if you need frequent smoke breaks, you may want to request a room near a designated smoking area, and on the ground floor when making your reservation.

Can you smoke on the balconies at Pop Century Resort?

No, absolutely not. I mean, physically you can, but it’s against the rules and can easily bother other guests. While the rooms are pretty decent, that smoke does drift in through windows and the gap at the bottom of the door. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but as a non-smoker, I can tell you that I smell smokers who are walking by my room. I actually like the smell of fresh cigarette smoke (except Camels- ew), but I’m not the usual guest. Plus, you’d have to bring out your own ash tray or be a litterer. The cast members work hard to keep the resort clean, and other guests won’t appreciate seeing butts everywhere.

Can I see the Pop Century map? What does Pop Centuries layout look like?

The Pop Century hotel buildings for each decade face each other, and as a whole follow a kind of curved half-moon type line with Classic Hall in the center, and Hourglass Lake at the back. For an actual map, click here.

Can I get my hair braided at Pop Century? Where is the hair braiding station at Pop Century Resort?

Yes, you can get your hair braided at Pop Century. The hair braiding station at Pop Century is on the Classic Hall side of the Hippy Dippy (60′s) Pool. The station is always there, but like the caricature artist, it’s not always manned. If you want your hair braided, call the info line on your room phone or ask a cast member when the hair braiding station is open.

Can you request a room at Pop Century?

Yes! Absolutely! You can ask for as detailed as you want- just a room in a quiet location, a room near the buses, or get specific like a lake view in the 50′s, the closest room to the 90′s parking lot, or room 4490. Disney can not guarantee that you will get the exact room that you want, but they do try to accommodate your needs and wishes. Rooms are pretty much first come first served, so if you really really really want a specific room, it pays to arrive early. Even though check in isn’t until 3pm, if your room is available earlier, they’ll usually let you check in and get your key. Once we arrived at 8 or 9 am and got to pick the exact room we wanted out of a selection, but the next time that we arrived that early, nothing was available until noon and we either had to take what they had available, or wait until the normal check in time. So, your mileage may vary.

If I check in online for pop century resort will they give me my room number?

Yes and no. When you do Disney’s Online Check-in, they won’t give you your room number at the time that you check in. However, once you get to the resort, you’ll still need to go to the check-in area at Classic Hall, but there’s a separate line just for people who have checked in online. You’ll need to show them your id, and then they’ll give you your room key and welcome package which should include a map with your room’s section circled and your room # either written on the map, on the folder, or both. Regular check in takes much longer than flashing your id and taking the welcome package and key, so it’s still well worth doing online check in. But you still won’t know where your room is until you’re actually on property.

Can you see fireworks from pop century resort?

Yes! You can, indeed, see fireworks from Pop Century Resort. Your view will depend on where at Pop Century you’re at, but pretty much any good view of the lake in the rear of the property will also give you a good view of the fireworks. For viewing fireworks from your room at Pop Century, you’ll want to request a 4th floor room overlooking the lake (50′s, 60′s, and 70′s). From there you can view Epcot’s Illuminations and Magic Kingdom’s Wishes. You can also see these fireworks from the benches along Hourglass Lake, or Generation Gap Bridge- also the parking lots near the 50′s.  From the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s, you’ll be able to see fireworks from Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Fantasmic, though there aren’t that many of those, and you’ll need to request a room facing Hollywood Studios (parking lot side).

What is the walking distance from Pop Century to Hollywood Studios?

About 2 miles if you follow paths, a bit less if you cut across lawn area.

Can you walk from Pop Century to theme parks (Magic Kingdom/ Disney’s Hollywood Studios/ Epcot/ Disney’s Animal Kingdom)?

Technically, you can walk from anywhere to anywhere, but in this case, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you want a resort that is walking distance to one of the theme parks, you will need to stay in one of the Deluxes. Pop Century is a Value resort, which means that not only is it the furthest distance from the theme parks, but its bus stop at the theme parks (for returning to the hotel) is the furthest bus stop from the park entrances.

The theme park that is closest to Pop Century is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and that is approximately 1 mile away as the crow flies. You do NOT want to attempt walking straight from the hotel to the park, however, as there are plenty of marshes, trees, and other obstacles in the way.  Walking along the road will put your distance at about 2 miles, and these roads are not lazy back roads- they’re pretty much full on highways, despite the fact that they are on private property and the only traffic is that is on them are other Disney visitors. While taking a resort bus isn’t always fun (when crowded), the two theme parks that are somewhat close enough to walk to (DHS and Epcot), the bus ride is only a few minutes long and is much safer, and easier, than walking. If you’re just interested in the exercise, don’t worry- you’ll get plenty of walking in while at the parks! (and if you need more, the path around Hourglass Lake is lovely)

HOWEVER. A TheMouseShop.com reader did email me with a suggested walking path from Pop Century to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and after examining Google Earth minutely, I think he may be right. Now, Disney is great with designing hidden barriers, but it does appear that you CAN walk from Pop Century to Hollywood Studios and even Epcot (recommend entering from the International Gateway).

Basically, if you choose to walk from Pop Century to Hollywood Studios, He (and I) recommend walking from the rear of Pop Century’s 50′s section to Caribbean Beach Resort. Then, cross the highway (this is a little dangerous, but probably won’t be bad if you try this during non-peak hours) and follow the walking path that is found there.

Check out the path that I mapped out on Google Earth- you can see both the path (in red) from Pop Century to Hollywood Studios, and the path from Pop Century to Epcot’s International Gateway (World Showcase- I’ve heard that there’s another entrance from the back of World Showcase, but I don’t know anything about that, or even if it’s true).

Click to see the full size path from Pop Century to Hollywood Studios and Epcot

When will new POP Century family rooms be available at Walt Disney World?

There are currently no plans to renovate any of the Pop Century rooms into family suites. However, the Art of Animation Resort is currently planned to hold 1120 family suites and is expected to open by the end of 2012. Art of Animation was formerly known as Pop Century the Legendary Years and sits directly across Hourglass Lake from the current Pop Century Resort.

Does Pop Century have [a] playground?

Yes, Pop Century has a playground, though I can’t remember exactly where on property it is.

What does the Disney Pop Century mug look like?

Sadly, Walt Disney World no longer makes resort specific refillable mugs. All refillable resort mugs are now themed to the year’s theme (What Will You Celebrate? Year of a Million Dreams, and so on). Strangely, the 2011 mugs look just like our 2010 mugs, so no idea what’s going on there.

What kind of beer can you purchase at the Pop Century Resort?

I can not guarantee that all of these beers are available at Pop Century or that there are not any other brands of beer available- but, here’s a list of the beers that can be ordered from the Pop Century pizza delivery (Pop Pizza Delivery/Peace of Pizza), which, as it comes from the same food court, makes it a pretty good indicator: Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light or Miller Lite (16 oz) $5.00
Heineken or Corona (12 oz) $4.75
(yes, booze at Disney is expensive)

Are there microwaves in the rooms at Pop Century Resort?

Sadly, there are no microwaves in the rooms at Pop Century Resort and as far as I know, they are not available for rent either. It used to be against policy to allow the use of microwaves in the rooms as they can be a fire hazard though I’ve never heard if the policy was enforced or not. This may have changed since Disney started building the Family Suites, which do have microwaves (family suites currently only available in All Star Music and the future Art of Animation Resort).

If you need to use a microwave, there is one (or several, not sure) provided in the food court area where you get your drinks.

Is there valet parking at Pop Century?

No, there is no valet parking at Pop Century Resort. The only Disney resorts that have valet parking are the Deluxe Resorts.

How often do buses run from Pop Century to Magic Kingdom?

Buses run from Pop Century to Magic Kingdom and other theme parks and water parks, as well as DownTown Disney, every 20 minutes. Exact times are not posted because the buses are staggered (different buses for each theme park), but they keep pretty tight to the every 20 minutes rule.

Is Pop Century really the smallest Disney property?

Pop Century is not the smallest Disney property, nor even the smallest Disney World resort. That honor goes to one of the Deluxe resorts. Now, you might be able to consider Pop Century to be the smallest of the Value Resorts, but that depends on how you reckon it. You see, Disney considers the three All Stars (All Star Music, All Star Movies, All Star Sports) to be one resort. Each one holds 1920 rooms, except for All Star Music which has Family Suites, which makes the entire resort considerably larger than Pop Century’s 2880 rooms. However, most visitors consider each All Star to be a separate resort- after all, you book a room in one of the three, not just “All Star” in general. From that viewpoint, Pop Century would be the largest of the Values- either from a land mass perspective or from the number of rooms.

Once the Art of Animation Resort opens, the debate is up again since no one really knows if Disney will consider AofA to be Pop’s sister resort or not.

Does Disney Pop Century Resort rooms have balconies?

Technically, no, Pop Century rooms do not have balconies. The “balcony” at Pop Century is a public walkway. Yes, you can exit your room and lean over the railing and enjoy the view- but it is not private and pulling your room chairs out to enjoy the view will put you in other people’s way.  Not a problem for watching fireworks, though, because you can see those from sitting farther back in the little alcove where your room door is.

Does Pop Century sell Typhoon Lagoon tickets?

Yes. You may buy tickets to any Disney World park (including the water park) at any Disney World hotel. Just go up to the front desk, or call the front desk from your in room phone.

Is there transportation from Pop Century to AllStar Resort?

There is no direct transportation from Pop Century to any other Resort/Hotel. To get from one hotel to another (except sister resorts, such as Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside, or the handful of Deluxe resorts close enough to each other to walk to/from), you’ll need to take a Pop Century bus to one of the parks (theme park, water park) or to Downtown Disney, and from there, take the All Star resort bus. Then, go back the other way to return back to Pop Century. Alternatively, you can take a taxi.

If you’re changing resorts mid-way through your stay, I recommend the taxi to take your bags with you. I think I heard once that Disney will send your luggage between resorts, but I’m not certain of that. Certainly, there’s no harm in asking!

What rooms at “Pop Century” overlook Epcot?

Technically, you should be able to see the top of Spaceship Earth, which is in Epcot, from the 4th (top) floor of any room that overlooks Hourglass Lake. For the best view, I recommend top floor lake view rooms in either the 60′s or the 50′s, and bring your binoculars. You can see the top of Spaceship Earth with the naked eye, but only on a clear day, and even then it tends to blend into the sky. It’s much easier to get a good picture of it (assuming that your camera has a decent zoom) than it is to just look at it.

Can you drop your luggage off at Disney Pop Century before check in?

Yes, you can leave your luggage with bell services at Pop Century (also called Luggage Assistance). You can either have the luggage assistance department deliver your bags to your room once it’s ready, or you can pick them up and bring them to your room later. It’s polite to tip $1-2 per bag to the person delivering your luggage, but if you’re not in the room when it’s delivered, it’s up to you whether you want to go through the effort to get a tip to them or not. Pop Century’s bell service delivers multiple rooms worth of baggage when they deliver, so your bags may not appear immediately. Sometimes service is quick, sometimes it’s slow- it all depends on how much luggage they have to deliver.

Also, you can call luggage assistance to have your suitcases/refrigerator/cooler/whatever taken from your room to your car, or up front for Magical Express. Same tipping recommendations apply.

How much is parking at Pop Century Resort?

Parking is free at Pop Century to Resort guests. Only those staying on Walt Disney World property are allowed on Pop Century grounds, so there is always plenty of parking- it just might not be near your room. Also, if you stay at Pop Century, you can park at the theme parks for free (you’ll need to get a sign at the front desk of the resort to put in your car).

Is there free wifi at Disney’s Pop Century Resort?

Sorry, there’s no wifi at Disney’s Pop Century Resort at all. Disney is contracted to a third party supplier for their high speed internet, and the third party charges about $10 per 24hour period. I know, there are a lot of complaints about this, and it’s one of the few areas where Disney is really behind the times. (One wonders if it was an ill-advised long term contract, such as the 100 year lease they agreed to with the non-Disney owned resorts that are on property).

Are you assigned a parking lot at Pop Century?

When you check in at the front desk, the cast member will usually mark the section of the hotel that your room is in, and the section of parking lot that is assigned to your hotel building. This is not a requirement, however, and many times you will find that another section of parking lot is more convenient or has more room. The one place that you can not park is in the Check-in area parking lot (unless you’re checking in/out- and sometimes we park there for breakfast or dinner before hitting the parks/going back to our room).

IS THERE AN EXCERISE ROOM AT POP CENTURY?

I’m sorry. There are no exercise room at Pop Century or any other Disney Value Resort. Exercise rooms start at the Moderate Resort level.

Does Pop Century Resort have elevators?

Yes, there are elevators at Pop Century Resort. Two per building, in the center of each building. Along the outside sections of the buildings are stairwells.

 

Do you have any tips, suggestions, or questions about Disney’s Pop Century Resort? Leave a comment below! And remember, while I do know a lot about Pop Century, I’m not affiliated with the Disney company at all (except as a stock holder- literally, one stock), so verify anything that’s important to you before making your Pop Century hotel reservations.

  13 Responses to “Pop Century”

  1. I’ve stayed at Pop Century several times. This is a very comprehensive overview of the resort. Kudos to you on what must surely have been a labor of love :)

    *~*~*

  2. Thank you so much! It definitely was- it took me over a week to finish it, and I still feel like I should be adding more! *lol* A couple of my favorite parts of Pop Century are going to get posts of their own with more detail, and then I’ll just link it up for those who want to know more.

    Isn’t Pop great?

  3. Great post-I’ll be staying at Pop for the second time in August. Is there a noticeable amount of noise from the Art of Animation resort?

  4. Thank you so much, Hedy! I did not notice any noise while we stayed at Pop Century in May. However, the construction was taking place mostly towards the back end of Art of Animation. It’s possible that some of the noise might reach the rear buildings at Pop, but remember that there’s a whole lake plus some lawn area between the two resorts. Unless you’re staying in a lake view room, though, I wouldn’t worry about it at all. In a lake view, maybe a little noise, and even then probably only because sound travels farther over water.

    I hope your August trip is a great one! :-)

  5. I would appreciate it if you would bring up the pictures in the gift shop so that I could look at what merchandise you have there. We are Season Passholders and we are coming back in Sept, but before we do I would really like to see your gift and souveniers. There will be some items that i would like to shop for on the internet. Thank-You.

  6. Hi Mary Anne! I would love to be able to put up pictures of the Pop Century gift shop, but I unfortunately didn’t take any photos of the gift shop or its merchandise on our last trip, and the trip before that was with the old fashioned disposable cameras (and I don’t have a scanner). We’re planning another trip soon, but we’ll be staying in one of the All Stars, so I’ll likely be unable to get pictures for you out of this trip. I do have more information on the Pop Century gift shop and food court here, but no gift shop pix. Sorry!

  7. Hey there! Awesome job! We’ll be at POP in just 7 days, woohoo, was wondering if there is any kind of policy about drinking a beer by the pool one night…a great way to relax :-) Thanks

  8. Spartan- Thank you so much for the compliment! :-) You absolutely may drink beer by the pool. In fact, there’s even a pool bar on the main building side of the main pool (the bar is called Petals). You can also buy beer in the gift shop and the food court. The only rule is that you can not have glass bottles by the pool, so if you buy it in the food court/gift shop, or if you bring your own, you have to pour it into a plastic cup and dispose of the bottle before you bring it to the pool.

    Looks like it’s going to be in the low 90′s next week, so make it a cold one and toast the beer gods for me. ;-) Have a great trip!

  9. Hi wordvixen :) You’ve done a great job here, very informative and helpful. I’ll be coming to Disney for the 3rd time in February 2012. First time was Fort Wilderness in 1979, then All Star Movies in 1999. This will be my first time at Pop Century and I’m soooo excited!!!! I do have a concern though…I have an early morning reservation for breakfast with the princesses at the castle in MK and I’m concerned about getting there in time if the buses don’t start running til an hour before that park opens. I’m curious…do you have any idea how difficult it might be to get an early morning taxi to take us from Pop to the MK? Will it drop us off right at the entrance? And how much would a taxi cost, one way?

    Thanks so much for any info you may have. Keep up the fantastic work! :D

  10. this info is great, we are staying the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through the Tuesday after….thanks for all the details

  11. mindinflight- Thank you so much! I’m glad to know that I’ve been helpful. :-) I’m sorry that it took me so long to respond to your comment (I’m a bit forgetful and a lot lazy).

    To make up for my lazy attitude, I called Pop Century and asked them. They in turn patched me through to Yellow Cab, so I asked them. They said that they’ll be able to pick you up in about 10 minutes after you call them to be picked up- I think there’s a cab button on your in room phone, but if not, you can either take the number with you, call the front desk to be patched through, or go to the lobby where I believe they still have a hotline phone to the cabs (I could be wrong, that might be the car rental hotline that I’m remembering). I forgot to ask how long it would take the cab to get to the Magic Kingdom, but when we drove it was only about 10 minutes-ish (everything is about 10 minutes-ish IMO). Yellow Cab said that they drop you off at the Ticket and Transportation Center, not the MK entrance (sorry), and they said that it would cost about $18-20 for the one way trip.

    I have the Pop Century phone number and the Mears phone numbers listed above if you have more questions. Sorry, I don’t have the Yellow Cab number as Pop connected me directly. Hope that helps!

    Jenna- Wow- what a great time to go! I’d love to go over Thanksgiving, but I can’t even imagine trying to plan that dinner! *lol* Upside is, they have a great turkey dinner at the food court. Have a blast!

  12. Hello;
    Does anyone know the name of the company that does the caricatures in the resort lobby? Would you happen to know if they do them outside of the resort as well?

    Thanks!

  13. Hi Tina! As far as I can tell, all of the caricature artists at Disney World work for Rubio Arts Corporation: http://www.manta.com/c/mm2dw2h/rubio-arts-corporation

    I’m not sure if you mean “outside of the resort” as in “outside of the hotel” or “outside of Disney World”. If you mean outside of the hotels (and there’s a caricature station at every Disney World Resort hotel- usually near the lobby), then, yes. It seems that there is at least one caricature station in each of the parks, if not more than one. According to several forums, you can be pretty sure to find a station in France at Epcot, and near the Christmas shop in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. If you mean outside of Disney World, it appears that Rubio Arts only has stations in Walt Disney World in Florida, and in Disneyland in California.

    If you’re looking to hire them yourself for an event, I’ve seen several listings for Walt Disney World caricature artists that are willing to freelance- but you’d be hiring the actual artist, rather than the company, if that is the case.

    I hope that helps!

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