Disney’s Pop Century Resort- Best Value Resort with Skyliner Access
Disney's Pop Century Resort is considered a ‘value' Walt Disney World resort which makes it one of the hotels in the most affordable category. Don't confuse value with less though, the Pop Century Resort is a well-loved favorite for many Disney fans. The theme of the resort encompasses the 1950's-1990's and each area of the resort covers a difference decade with iconic images from pop culture of each decade. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I adored this hotel and it's definitely earned its way to my top choice of resorts at Disney World. Keep reading for my honest Disney's Pop Century review from my recent summer stay during a 10 day visit to the Walt Disney World Resort.
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Overview of Disney's Pop Century Resort
Walt Disney World's Pop Century resort is a value resort located closest to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot which connects to the resort via the Disney Skyliner. Value resorts all offer similar amenities to reflect the price of their resort category. For instance, you won't find hot tubs or table service restaurants at value resorts but they have many other advantages. For many folks, the biggest one being the price- the cost of a stay in a value resort is much more affordable than resorts in the moderate or deluxe categories.
The theme of the resort is pop culture of the 1950's through the 1990's and you will see each section of the hotel representing a certain decade filled with larger than life iconic images like giant bowling pins, Big Wheels, Rubik's Cubes, and more. There are a total of ten buildings at Pop Century Resort with four floors and elevators. The main building where you will find the lobby, check in desk, gift shop, food court, and arcade is called Classic Hall.
Pop Century Resort Amenities
The amenities you can expect at this hotel include:
- laundry and dry cleaning services
- mail services
- merchandise delivery and pickup (not available during our stay)
- resort transportation including the Skyliner and busses
- Disney's Magical Express- free transportation to/from airport (service ends in Jan 2022)
- complimentary wifi internet access
- online check-in
- currency exchange
- Parking for $15 per night
You can also expect common amenities such as air conditioning, mini fridges, Disney's H20 brand toiletries, Joffrey's coffee, and more in your actual hotel room.
Pop Century Resort Pools and Recreation
You won't find water slides or hot tubs at a value resort but that doesn't mean their pools don't rock! The main pool at Pop Century is the Hippy Dippy Pool home to far-out water shaped jets and its shaped like a giant flower. This main pool area was perfect during our stay. The nearest pool bar, Petals, is close by for drinks and the lobby only steps away for any much needed snacks in the food court. There was always plenty of pool chairs plus consistent entertainment provided by cast members like games, a live DJ, and more. There is also a Kiddie Pool right next to the main Hippy Dippy Pool for smaller kiddos.
I also found the entire vibe at Pop Century to be extremely positive- this is one of my top favorite things to mention in this Pop Century Resort review. When my son was playing in the pool he always found plenty of other kids to swim with and many families brought their own pool toys and easily shared them all with everyone. You could feel the Disney magic at this resort and we spent a lot of time at the pool because of it.
There are also two other pools for guests to enjoy in the other buildings: the Bowling Pool shaped like a bowling pin in the 1950's area and the Computer Pool in the 1990's area.
The resort also includes recreation options such as:
- Fast Forward Arcade
- Movies Under the Stars
- watch Disney films outside under the night sky
- Mickey Tie-Dye
- learn to tie-dye shirts guided by Pop Century cast members
- Bike Rentals
- Jogging Trail
My son loved this arcade and we spent a lot of time here when we had extra time returning from the resorts or on our break day. The prices for the arcade were actually pretty reasonable, you buy a points card from one of the machines, none of the games take cash. There's also a line up of massage chairs right inside the arcade (nice touch, Disney) so parents could relax while their kids had fun. I took advantage of that quite a few times.
Pop Century Resort Review: Dining Options
Pop Century has one main dining option: the food court located in the Everything Pop Shopping and Dining located in the main lobby in Classic hall. The menu is mainly American options with food like burgers, fries, pizza salad, desserts, and breakfast items. The breakfast also includes Mickey Waffles which is always a must in my book. You can cruise the menu in advance on Disney's website to get an idea of what to expect
A popular dessert in this food court is the Tie-Dye cheesecake which was delicious, highly recommend trying it. If you're looking for more variety, Pop Century is located right next door to the Art of Animation and their food court (Landscape of Flavors) is walkable and offers a bit more variety.
There is also the Petals pool bar located right next to the Hippy Dippy Pool. You won't find snacks here but there are a great variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.
Transportation Overview and Review
One of the best perks of staying at the Pop Century Resort is you have Skyliner access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Disney's Skyliner is always a big perk and definitely worth mentioning in this Pop Century Resort review. You will have to transfer at Caribbean Beach Resort to a new gondola before heading off to your theme park but this process was actually really smooth. I always made sure we were lined up well in advance on our Hollywood Studios days, however. If you're not at the front of the line at Pop Century for the Skyliner you may then be placed at the end of the morning line at Caribbean Beach Resort which will delay your morning arrival. We lined up at 7:15AM each day for a Hollywood Studios opening of 9AM and we never had to join a line at Caribbean Beach Resort and were usually some of the first groups to arrive at Hollywood Studios.
Keep in mind that the Skyliner will not be running in heavy rain or bad weather so in the summer months when storms roll through this will impact the convenience of the Skyliner. I found we only got to use it in the mornings because in the late afternoon/evenings it was usually raining and they shut it down for safety reasons.
The bus transportation at Pop Century was extremely good during our visit. We never waited longer than 5 minutes for a bus either leaving the parks or leaving the resort to head to the parks or Disney Springs. It was an absolute breeze using the bus our entire stay. My rule of thumb is always to line up 90 minutes before the park opens as they will start sending buses right around that 90 minute mark just to get folks lined up at the resorts. Even if we lined up and the bus filled up ahead of us, another bus was right behind it. Overall, great transportation our entire stay. Great bus transportation was a huge plus when writing my Pop Century Resort review.
Disney's Pop Century Resort Review and Photo Tour
I booked a preferred pool view standard room which was only about $25 more a night and was worth every penny! The resort itself at Pop Century is small (which is great- you won't be walking far to the amenities!) so paying for closer proximity really spoils you. We were literally steps away from the entrance to the pool, I could open my window and see my son playing in the pool which is convenient if you have tweens that are getting close to wandering around on their own but you still want to keep an eye on them. We were so close to the lobby so it made going to grab our mobile order for food a breeze when we wanted snacks.
Pop Century Resort Review: Room Photo Tour
Our room came with two queen beds with one that transforms into a table when needed. The room isn't large but felt spacious enough for my family.
Overall, I loved the room and you can definitely tell that it's been recently refurbished. In fact, it felt nicer than our room at the Caribbean Beach Resort did even though that hotel is a moderate. But to be fair, the room was smaller than the one at the moderate resort. Since it was just me and my son traveling, that didn't matter to us but might for larger groups.
Pop Century Resort Review: Hotel Grounds and Lobby Tour
Disney's Pop Century Resort Review and Final Thoughts
- I loved the overall vibe of the cast members and the guests at Pop Century. You can tell that many seasoned Walt Disney World guests use this hotel- we saw tons of decorated hotel room windows with Mickey window clings, balloons, you name it. Not even celebrating a specific holiday- just celebrating being at Disney World! I loved the atmosphere. In the pool area, there were always families just handing out pool toys for kids to share and enjoy. The unique and happy vibe of this resort is definitely my biggest pro- this might become my go to Walt Disney World hotel based on that alone.
- Paying for a preferred room isn't necessary but it's not much more expensive either so if you want to go that route, you can really spoil yourself with the close proximity.
- The rooms at the Pop Century were recently refurbished so the rooms feel brand new!
- Skyliner access is always a plus and Pop Century is one of the only values (the other being Art of Animation) that has it.
- The customer service was top notch and everything you can expect from Disney.
- Booking with Get Away Today made our experience even easier as they took care of any reservations I needed them to such as making our reservations for the Disney Magical Express so I could enjoy the trip.
- I loved staying in the Disney bubble, I will always stay on-site when we come to Disney World for this reason. The grounds were beautiful and I felt like we were in a tropical paradise.
- Being a value resort, you won't have hot tubs or table service options. There is only one food option, besides the pool bar, and it's just simple food court items. During our 10 day stay, we were getting a bit sick of the food options there and wishing we would have ordered more groceries for the hotel for late night snacks.
- The hotel is a motel style with outdoor corridors which I know can be a con for some folks. We felt extremely safe, as we always do at Disney, so this wasn't a concern for me.
- The Skyliner won't run in rain or bad weather so if you're visiting during rainy months (like summer!) then you might not get to use it as much as you would like.
- The pop culture theme might not appeal too much to kids that may not be familiar with pop culture items of the 1950's through 1990's. But the larger than life sculptures are still cool for kids to see! Adults might appreciate the nostalgia a bit more though.
- If you use your Magic Band to charge, be sure to use a credit card with a large limit. Upon check in everyone has $100 charged to their card on file. If you do not make any charges to your room then that $100 will drop off. However, I've read reports of guests noticing that pending charge taking a long time to clear if you also charge purchases to you room. For example, I had a $100 pending hold on my card and charged $80 of purchases to my room. As of two business days after check out, I still have $180 pending on my card. This is not unique this hotel but to all Disney World resorts. It's good to be aware so you use a card with enough cushion.
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