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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.
Today I’m sharing a thorough review of Pop Century, one of Disney’s Value resorts, with a focus on what you get for your money when staying there. Is Pop Century actually a good value? Read on to find out what I think!
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 2018 from MouseSavers.com.
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 $100/night after both discounts. So… what did we get for our $100?
Pop Century Resort Review: The Room
First, of course, we got a hotel room to stay in for the night. Pop Century is in the final stages of major room renovations right now (summer 2018), so you are likely to get one of the newly refurbished rooms.
The new rooms are pretty much 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 The double beds have been replaced by two queens (one stored in the Murphy Bed unit) and there are MANY new features (such as in-room coffee makers, wooden door to separate the bathroom from the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 $100/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 $100/night rooms will be a thing of the past.
When we arrived at Orlando International Airport we hopped on a nice coach bus called “Disney’s Magical Express” and in about 30 minutes were at Pop Century and ready to check-in. This complimentary transportation to and from the airport is included in any stay at a Disney resort.
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 all of the resort hotels.
So the complimentary transportation that is included in a Disney Resort stay not only saves us money (check out my post on just how much it saves), it also saves us time and adds to our relaxation and enjoyment on vacation.
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.
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.
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 at the parks. There are two other pools around the resort as well.
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.
Pop Century Resort 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 Pop Century Resort 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!
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