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The double beds have been replaced by two queens (one stored in the Murphy Bed unit) and there are MANY new features (such as in-room coffee makers, wooden door to separate the bathroom from the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