Disney's Pop Century Resort Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Disney World, Orlando, Central Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Faster, direct shuttles to the theme parks
  • Three large pools
  • Enormous video arcade with new machines
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Extended hours to access the parks and other Disney resort perks

Cons

  • Small, no-frills rooms with worn furnishings
  • Poor noise insulation; you'll hear your neighbors' every word
  • No full-service restaurant, just a self-serve food court with very long lines
  • 10-minute walk from some rooms to the lobby
  • No supervised kids' club or activities on-site

Bottom Line

It's value over frills at the enormous, 2,880-room Disney Pop Century. Elements like the Hippy Dippy Pool nod to trends from the latter-half of the 20th Century, but its small rooms look grimy. However, given its more convenient location near Epcot and faster, direct shuttle access to the theme parks, it's a good choice among the Value-category resorts.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Service

Lines are long just about everywhere, but guests still benefit from Disney's standard set of free, family-friendly services.

Free shuttle buses to all Disney attractions
Free shuttle buses to all Disney attractions

Like All-Star Movies, the Pop Century is classified as one of Disney's "Value" resorts, which means minimal service and minimal staff. You pay for what you get -- lines at check-in and at the food court can reach 10 or 15 people deep (or more).

A major advantage of staying at any of the Disney resorts, however, is that you're guaranteed a set of free services, which include free transportation within Disney, extended hours to access to the parks, and the ability to use the room key card to charge theme-park purchases to the rooms.

  • Lines at check-in and at the food court can get overwhelmingly long during peak hours.
  • Concierge desk, mainly to help guests book an activity or get tickets to an event.
  • Pizza delivery only, no room service
  • No poolside drink service
  • Free transportation to and from Orlando International Airport; free delivery of one luggage item per person
  • Free bus transportation to all Disney attractions, including Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney (10 to 25 minutes, depending on traffic); unlike other Disney resorts, the bus goes directly to the to the parks without stopping at other hotels first (saving lots of time)
  • Extended hours to the parks -- opens one hour early and/or up to three hours after the park's closing time
  • Guests can charge all theme park purchases (and purchases at other Disney Resorts) to their rooms.

 Location

Inside Walt Disney World, a 10-minute shuttle to Epcot

Disney Pop Century is well located, sitting on the southern edge of Disney World a few minutes from Hollywood Studios and Epcot. One of Pop Century's best aspects is that it has its own free shuttle service. Unlike other Disney resorts, the bus doesn't stop at other hotels before going straight to the parks, it goes directly from the Pop Century to the parks -- saving a ton of time and hassle. Like most Disney resorts, the Pop Century is set back from the roads, so traffic and noise aren't much of an issue, but there is noise in between rooms and from the outdoor hallways. The downside is, as is the case at just about every other Orlando resort, that there's nothing within reasonable walking distance.

  • Free shuttle, directly to Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney (all within 10 to 25 minutes, depending on traffic)
  • 15- to 20-minute drive to SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild parks
  • 20-minute drive to Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure
  • 15- to 20-minute drive to International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's full of hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants
  • 30-minute drive to Orlando International Airport (resort provides free shuttle service)

 Rooms

Small, no-frills rooms that could use a deep clean

A standard guest room
A standard guest room

You get what you pay for at the Pop Century -- a small, basic room with two double beds or a king, a small bathroom, some drab, outdated furnishings, and the inevitable carpet stains.

  • Standard rooms are small at 260 square feet; smaller than most other hotel rooms in Orlando, but about the same size as the other rooms in the "Value" category of Disney resorts. Maximum occupancy is four people.
  • Poor noise insulation between rooms; expect to hear your neighbors' family feuds, crying babies, and television sets
  • Cramped bathroom: toilet and shower in one room; vanity (which doubles as a closet) in a separate room.
  • Weak shower pressure
  • Minimal toiletries -- Disney-brand soap and a combo bottle of shampoo and conditioner
  • 27-inch tube TVs with basic cable and on-demand movies (no DVD player though)
  • Non-electronic safe (it has a key), large enough for a laptop
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • No balconies; all rooms either open to ground level pathways or open-air hallways.
  • Tip: Some rooms are really far from the hotel lobby, amenities, and dining (up to a 10- to 15-minute walk). Request a room in the 4000 or 5000 block, which is closest to the main pool and the food hall.

 Features

Three pools, an enormous arcade, and an entertaining pop culture theme, but little else

The Hippy Dippy Pool
The Hippy Dippy Pool

As is true with all of Disney's Value-category resorts, the on-site features are limited largely to pools and arcades, as is the case at the Pop Century, which has three pools in an assortment of shapes. What's especially nice about the Pop Century, though, is that there's a direct shuttle from the resort to the parks. In other words, guests don't have to wait around for a Pony Express-style shuttle that stops at other resorts before finally making its way to, say, Epcot -- it goes directly from the Pop Century to Epcot.

  • The main pool is the flower-shaped Hippy Dippy Pool in the '60s section; adjacent is a small, shallow children's pool.
  • Pin-shaped Bowling Pool is located in the '50s section.
  • Computer Pool (shaped like a computer monitor) is located in the '90s section.
  • Enormous video game arcade, just off the lobby
  • No supervised kids' club
  • 1.38-mile jogging trail around Hourglass Lake
  • Coin-operated laundry room
  • Gift shop sells a selection of snacks, magazines, newspapers, and a huge stock of Disney paraphernalia (all at typically inflated resort prices).

 Family

Small, basic rooms, and no on-site kids' club, but three great pools and an enormous arcade

The arcade
The arcade

The hotel has three enormous pools and a massive arcade, but its guest rooms are small (and often noisy) and the on-site food options are limited. That said, the hotel is a fine landing pad for families spending most of their time (and money) at the parks.

  • Standard room capacity is four (even if you bring in an extra rollaway bed for a per night fee).
  • Concierge can arrange private, in-room babysitters through a separate company.
  • On-site coin-operated laundry
  • Free cribs and bedrails available on request
  • Video game arcade
  • Three popular pools
  • No kids' club or supervised activities, as found at some Moderate-level resorts like Coronado Springs and Deluxe-level resorts like Animal Kingdom (but parents can take their kids to use the facilities at other resorts)

 Cleanliness

Just clean enough

The grounds are well maintained, but the guest rooms look rather worn. Expect grungy bedspreads, stained carpets, some grime in the shower. Value-category resorts at Disney simply aren't as well kept as Disney's Moderate- and Deluxe-category resorts.

 Food

Just a single self-serve cafeteria with mediocre food and long, long lines

Everything Pop Food Court
Everything Pop Food Court

Dining options are limited at Disney's "Value" resorts, and the Pop Century is no exception. The only place to eat on-site is a single cafeteria called the Everything Pop Food Court. Mealtimes are mayhem, particularly at breakfast and dinner. Not only are there lines long, but parents often have to take laps around the seating areas to find a place to park their families. The food is what you'd expect from a cafeteria -- tons of fried foods, pizza, and burgers, plus few fruits or vegetables (all I found were some bananas and bruised apples).

  • The Everything Pop Food Court serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Breakfast items like pancakes, waffles in the shape of Mickey Mouse, and pastries available
  • Lunch and dinner items are kid-friendly, but offer little by way of healthy options, mostly just pizza, pasta, burgers, and chicken nuggets.
  • Petals Café serves alcoholic drinks outside the food court near the Hippy Dippy Pool.
  • No hotel room service, but guests can order pizza and have it delivered to their room

 Bottom Line

It's value over frills at the enormous, 2,880-room Disney Pop Century. Elements like the Hippy Dippy Pool nod to trends from the latter-half of the 20th Century, but its small rooms look grimy. However, given its more convenient location near Epcot and faster, direct shuttle access to the theme parks, it's a good choice among the Value-category resorts.

Things You Should Know About Disney's Pop Century Resort

Address

  • 1050 Century Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Disney Pop Century
  • Disney Pop Century Hotel
  • Disney Pop Century Resort
  • Disneys Pop Century
  • Disneys Pop Century Hotel
  • Disneys Pop Century Resort
  • Pop Century
  • Pop Century Disney
  • Pop Century Hotel
  • Pop Century Resort

Room Types

  • Preferred Room
  • Standard Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 2880
Pool: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Disney World, Orlando
Address: 1050 Century Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830
(See Map)
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