Disney’s Pop Century Resort

April 15, 2011 by DisGuruMom

Disney's Pop Century Resort

In the past, I have jokingly described myself as a resort snob. Honestly, who would not enjoy the luxury of a Disney deluxe resort? For many families a deluxe just isn’t in the budget however. We have been fortunate to stay at all levels of Disney resorts, but for us deluxe stays are a rare treat.

Our first experience with a Walt Disney World value resort was actually a last minute add-on to a 10th Anniversary stay at the Grand Floridian. We had booked 6 nights there and decided to travel down a day earlier but hated to pay another $300+ for a less than a half day plus sleep time. So we decided to give a Disney value resort a try.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is the newest Disney value resort and seems to consistently get the best reviews of all the value resorts, so that was our choice. We were able to get a reservation for a standard room with two double beds. Upon arrival, we found ourselves laughing at the kitschy signs lining the entry way advertising things such as “color TV!” and “air conditioned rooms” along with the parental favorite “are we there yet?” You know right away that you are in for fun and a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Disney value resorts lack table service restaurants, waterslides at the pools, lusher landscaping, and the space in the rooms that the moderate and deluxe resorts have. You need not be concerned that they lack Disney appeal, though. The same service, themeing, and cleanliness of the pricier resorts is here as well.

Pop Century’s theme is based on popular music, toys, films, and other cultural phenomena of the 1950’s through 1990’s. There are sections of guest rooms replicating the theme for each decade which makes for a fun walk through the resort. All the buildings are 4 stories high with exterior room entry. Each decade has buildings of a different color with large, decorative icons.

Our room was located in the 50’s section and overlooked a large pool shaped like a bowling pin. Gigantic Lady and Tramp statues smiled down at us between purple buildings sporting dancing silhouettes, vinyl records, and catch phrases of the time. A 4 story tall jukebox overlooks the pool and courtyard area.

Each decade has similarly themed buildings and pool areas based on what was popular during that time. From the enormous Rubik’s cube stairwells of the 80’s buildings to the flower shaped Hippy Dippy pool of the 60’s area, it is a walk down memory lane for anyone over the age of about 15.

The rooms are simple but attractive. There are king bed rooms and rooms with two double beds. Maximum occupancy is 4 plus one child under 3 in a crib. The bathrooms have only one sink, which can be inconvenient when several guests are getting ready for bed or reading to the parks all at once. The rooms are small but adequate as a home base from which to operate, but the space (or lack thereof) could become an issue for a family who spends more time in their room.

The cleanliness of the resort was as good as any other Disney resort in which we have stayed, as was the service. When I realized there was no hair dryer in the room like I was used to at the moderates and deluxes, a quick call to the front desk remedied the problem. Housekeeping brought one in less than 10 minutes.

The Everything Pop food court offers five stations including Bakery & Cafe, Pizza & Pasta, Grill, Market, and East Meets West. There is also a self-serve area with pre-packaged choices. All stations check out at a central register area. We found the food to be pretty typical ofd courts fare. Nothing was a real stand-out for us. Seating is rather spread out, and the dining area can get quite noisy as it is large open, and has a few televisions spread throughout. It is a decent quick dining option if you don’t want to leave the resort, but it is certainly not a dining destination to make a point to experience.

Overall, Pop Century was a good choice for an inexpensive place to lay our heads and still enjoy the Disney atmosphere. We have since returned for a short stay when our budget dictated “value” and our schedule kept us to busy to spend more time in the room than just sleeping and changing clothes. Although I’m still not a huge fan of the values as a whole, I would recommend Pop Century as a solid Disney resort choice for a smaller party of for guest whose primary concern is saving as much money as possible on accommodations while still enjoying the Disney resort experience.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is located in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Area at 1050 Century Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830.

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