Disney Pop Century Review: Is It Actually a Good Value?

Posted in Disney World
on May 1, 2019

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Today I’m sharing my Disney Pop Century review with a focus on what you get for your money when staying there.

Walt Disney World resorts are split into three main categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. Value resorts are the most affordable and the most basic in terms of amenities and Pop Century is arguably the most popular Disney Value resort.

Is Pop Century actually a good value for the money? Read on to find out what I think!

Disney Pop Century Review: What It Costs

What you will pay for a room at the Pop Century Resort varies greatly depending on what time of year you visit.

The most affordable months of the year are January, February, August, and September.

But it is only slightly more to visit at other, more desirable times of the year. Here’s a chart of what rooms cost at Pop Century during 2020 from MouseSavers.com (tax is already included in these prices).

But keep in mind that you can almost always get a discount off of these “rack rates”. Disney offers room discounts year-round, from 15-35% off, which you can stack with Orbitz promo codes to save even more. 

When I stayed at Pop Century last September I paid $130/night after both discounts. So… what did I get for my $130?

Pop Century Resort Review: The Rooms

Old vs. new rooms at Pop Century

The rooms at Pop Century got a complete overhaul in 2018. The new rooms are completely different from the old ones!

The double beds have been replaced by two queens (one stored in the Murphy Bed unit) and there are MANY new features (such as in-room coffee makers, wooden door to separate the bathroom from the main room, and a giant TV).

Check out my photo tour of the new rooms at Pop Century here.

I personally think the rooms at Pop Century are great – clean, modern, spacious enough, nice features and a few special Disney touches.

The rooms are small (260 square feet) but have everything you’d expect: a flat screen TV, mini-fridge, dresser with drawers, coffeemaker, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, phone, and toiletries.

The fridge does NOT have a freezer section and there is no microwave in the room.

The bathroom is a split design with the sink separated from the toilet/tub with a sliding pocket door.

Overall I feel that the room is a great value for the money. I think it is at least on par with what you would get for $130/night elsewhere in the world, if not a cut above.

Keep in mind that room prices will likely rise in 2019 with the addition of a Skyliner station at the resort, so $130/night rooms might be a thing of the past.

If you want to see how Pop Century stacks up against the other Value resorts, check out my pick for the best Value resort at Disney World in this post!

Disney Pop Century Review: Transportation

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When we arrived at Orlando International Airport we hopped on a nice coach bus (the Disney Magical Express) and in about 30 minutes were at Pop Century and ready to check-in. 

In addition to airport transfers, Disney also provides complimentary transportation within the Walt Disney World resort. Buses constantly run to and from the theme parks to Pop Century. 

Bus transportation at Pop Century is especially fast because the buses go directly to the parks from the hotel – you won’t stop at any other resort to pick up passengers. 

This isn’t the case at many other Disney resorts (including some Deluxe resorts) so it is a nice perk of staying at Pop Century. 

Photo Credit: Disney Parks/David Roark

Pop Century also has a stop on the new Disney Skyliner gondola system which can take you to Epcot (the back entrance in World Showcase) and Hollywood Studios. 

The Skyliner stop is shared with Art of Animation on the bridge that connects the two resorts. To get to either of the parks, you first have to take the Skyliner to the Caribbean Beach Station and get off. Then you have to reboard a gondola that is going to either Hollywood Studios or Epcot. 

The approximate travel time to Hollywood Studios via the Skyliner (allowing for transfer time) is 12 minutes. 

The approximate travel time to Epcot via the Skyliner is 17 minutes. Though the Skyliner will likely be a faster way to get to Hollywood Studios, it may be quicker to bus to Epcot.

But if you are heading to Epcot’s World Showcase, then the Skyliner will drop you off right there and save you about 15 minutes of trekking through the park!

Disney Pop Century Review: Resort Amenities

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Check-in and Concierge Desks

You might be surprised at the amenities you’ll get for the price tag at the Disney Value Resorts. 

If you want to know what to expect at the Value resorts in general, check out this post

In the main building (Classic Hall) you will find the check-in and concierge desk, food court, gift shop and arcade. They are all clean and modern looking with a fun retro look.

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I have found the food from the food court to be fresh, tasty, and a good value for the money. Here is the current menu from AllEars.net.

Portions tend to be huge so my husband and I have learned to start by ordering one entree and splitting it. Rarely do we need more food.

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The only warning I will give about the food court is that it can get scarily crowded from roughly 8:00 – 9:30 am each morning.

I would avoid it if possible during this time! Everyone is in a hurry to eat and get to the parks and it is chaotic and not at all fun.

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Each Disney resort has a “theme”, and Pop Century’s theme is American pop culture of the second half of the twentieth century.

The buildings of the resort are grouped by decades and the decor reflects the fads and entertainment trends of that decade.

We stayed in the 1950’s area and my daughter really enjoyed the giant Lady and the Tramp statues.

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Main Feature Pool

Next in my Disney Pop Century review we’ll check out the pools. Pools are a big attraction at all of the Disney resorts and Pop Century is no exception.

There is a large flower-shaped feature pool close to the main building, a zero-entry kiddie pool with bubblers, and a pool bar that serves up tasty alcoholic drinks.

On this last trip, we thought the pool was warm and very clean. Every afternoon there is a pool party at the main pool with games and activities led by the pool staff.

Each night there is a Disney movie shown pool-side on a giant inflatable screen. It’s a nice way to spend an evening if you aren’t in the parks. There are two other pools around the resort as well.

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There is a nice-sized playground close to the main building along with a water play area with my main man, Goofy. My daughter liked the playground a lot and we had a fun photo op with Goofy.

paths around pop century - disney pop century review

Path we walked to get to our room

It is also worth noting how lush the grounds are at Pop Century.

The landscaping at Disney is outstanding, and even at a Value resort, you will find flowers, bushes, and trees lining the paths that wind around the resort. You don’t feel like you are in a concrete jungle like you might at other hotels.

Other Benefits: Magic Bands & Extra Magic Hours

One thing I would be remiss not to mention is that each person will receive a MagicBand as part of your room reservation at Pop Century.

A MagicBand is essentially a bracelet with an RFID chip inside that acts as your room key, among other things (learn all about MagicBands in this post).

Finally, guests at all Disney resorts have access to something called “Extra Magic Hours”. Every day, at least one of the theme parks opens an hour early or stays open two hours late just for folks staying at Disney resorts.

We especially love the morning extra magic hours because there is rarely any wait to ride any attraction during that hour. We can spend a good 3 hours in the park and be on our way out by 11 am when many people are just getting there.

Disney Pop Century Review Summary

goofy statue - disney pop century review

To summarize, we got the following with our $100/night room at Pop Century:

  • A clean and comfortable room
  • Transportation to/from the airport and around Disney World (alone worth at least $80/night)
  • Magic Bands
  • Access to Extra Magic Hours
  • Moderately priced delicious food at the food court
  • Great pools and activities
  • Resort amenities such as a pool bar, playground, arcade, gift shop, laundry facility

I think it goes without saying that I find Pop Century to be an excellent value for the money spent! I am frugal and careful about spending a lot of money on a vacation but I feel that a stay at Pop Century is a total bargain.

What do you think of this Disney Pop Century review? Have you stayed there or would you? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion in my private Facebook group called The Budget Mouse!

If you liked this post you may also like:

A thorough review of Disney's Pop Century resort! Lots of photos and descriptions of the rooms, pools, and amenities at this Value resort in this Pop Century Resort review. #disneyworld #familytravel

10 Comments

  • Disney World Free Dining: Everything You Need To Know - The Budget Mouse

    […] First let’s take a family of four, with kids ages 7 and 10, staying in a standard view room at Disney’s Pop Century resort (you can read my full review of the resort here). […]

    February 8, 2019 at 8:58 am Reply
  • Pop Century Resort Refurbished Room Photo Tour! - The Budget Mouse

    […] Overall, the room has a clean and mid-century modern look which I appreciate but others think looks too sterile for Disney. What do you think about the aesthetic of the refurbished rooms? Leave a comment below or join the discussion in The Budget Mouse Facebook group. You can check out my full review of Pop Century Resort here. […]

    June 14, 2018 at 8:37 am Reply
  • How to Book Your Ideal Disney World Hotel - The Ultimate Guide | Roads We Wander

    […] If you’re on a budget and wondering how nice Disney’s POP Century resort actually is, Leah from The Frugal South put together a fantastic review, which you can read here! […]

    April 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm Reply
  • nancy thompson

    we have stayed twice at all stars and twice at pop century, all stars were very nice but pop century just has that little some thing different to it. really enjoyed it. this year we splurged and we are headed to port orleans french quarter. we just feel appreciated when we are at disney world and they do what ever is reasonable to make you happy

    March 13, 2017 at 10:41 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I agree, Nancy, Disney hospitality is why I keep going back. French Quarter is my favorite moderate resort and it got even better with the food court refurbishment last year. You’ll love it there!

      March 14, 2017 at 5:55 am Reply
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    […] possible to stay at a Disney resort on a tight budget. If you need convincing, just check out this post and this post and this post! This post isn’t sponsored by Disney, I’m just sharing my […]

    November 11, 2016 at 4:15 pm Reply
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    […] Are Disney Value Resorts Actually a Good Value? A Review of Pop Century Resort […]

    June 3, 2016 at 6:17 am Reply
  • The Best Times of Year to Visit Walt Disney World - The Frugal South

    […] example, the “rack rate” for a standard room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort (read why it is one of my favorite resorts here) fluctuates from $99 to almost $200 throughout the year. Yes, that same exact room costs 100% more […]

    January 24, 2016 at 3:42 pm Reply
  • Disney Dining Plan 101 - The Frugal South

    […] you are staying at a Value Resort (see my review of Disney’s Pop Century Resort for an idea of what they are like) you will receive the Quick Service plan. If you stay at a […]

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