Extended hours to access the parks and other Disney resort perks
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Free parking on-site and at all Disney parks
Renovations (ongoing throughout 2017) may disrupt some facilities or services
Small, basic rooms with poor noise insulation
No full-service restaurant, and the food court has notoriously long lines
No supervised kids' club or activities
No fitness center
No in-room coffeemakers
Sprawling; sometimes long walks between room and main building or parking lot
Property layout can be confusing
Disney's Pop Century Resort is an enormous, 2,880-room budget hotel that was built as an homage to 20th-century pop culture. The property is brimming with giant colorful installations, and three outdoor pools paying tribute to different decades. There are a big indoor arcade and a self-serve food court, but few other facilities. The small rooms have mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs, but the worn furnishings and lack of coffeemakers are a letdown. It's still worth considering this resort as a value option given its convenient location near Epcot and free shuttle access to the theme parks, but budget travelers should note that the mediocre self-serve cafeteria has captive audience prices, much higher than similar cheap eats along International Drive. It's worth comparing rates at the nearby Disney's Art of Animation Resort, which has more amenities.
Designed as much for nostalgic adults as it is for kids, Disney's Pop Century Resort has several distinct areas which are assigned themes corresponding to a particular decade, from the '50s through the '90s. Each area has giant furnishings and installations related to that decade -- a four-story juke box, a towering Mickey Mouse phone, and a life-sized foosball court make big impressions. The grounds are decorated with other surprises, from Disney characters emblematic of a certain period, to a giant Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head waving across a manicured pathway. Three pool areas are devoted to the '50s, '60s, and '90s respectively, but ongoing renovations throughout 2017 may disrupt availability. The lobby has a gallery of curiosities framed along with a timeline on a curved wall opposite the front desk, where, like everywhere else here, long lines can occur. During our visit, we noticed that there were fewer kids than at some of the other Disney resorts, and a few more older couples without kids.
Inside Walt Disney World, a 10-minute shuttle to Epcot
The hotel is on the southern edge of Disney World a few minutes from Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Disney's Art of Animation Resort is situated directly across Hourglass Lake (a 12-minute walk), but that’s it for outside attractions that are within walking distance. Many major attractions are a short drive away, including Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom Park, and SeaWorld Orlando, all of which are 10 to 15 minutes away, while Disney’s Hollywood Studios is just a five-minute drive and the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex is a seven-minute drive. All of the restaurants, shops, and hotels along International Drive are about 20 minutes away, and the Orange County Convention Center is a 23-minute drive. Expect a 30-minute drive to reach Orlando International Airport.
Disney World offers free shuttle bus service from resort hotels to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney Springs and ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex. Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's Art of Animation Resort are the only two hotels located in the Wide World of Sports Resort Area. Shuttle buses come around every 20 minutes, and begin running 45 minutes before the park opens; return service ends two hours after the parks close. Shuttle buses in the morning can fill up, and guests tend to line up early -- but because the Pop Century Resort is so big, it has its own dedicated buses, so guests don't have to stop at other resorts. Those who choose to drive will get a free parking pass that's valid at all Disney parks. This is a huge advantage for travelers on a budget, as parking for off-site guests can cost around $20 a day.
Small, and basic exterior-entry rooms with mini-fridges
The hotel's 2,880 rooms are on the small side with drab furnishings, generic art, and inevitably stained carpets. They're basic exterior-entry motel rooms set in a themed environment, little of which makes its way into the rooms themselves. Poor noise insulation between rooms results in interior noise and some rooms face parking lots. All rooms have either two double beds or one king-size bed, tables for two with wood chairs, and cabinets that house mini-fridges, while doubling as stands for small flat-screen TVs. Free Wi-Fi comes standard, but there are no coffeemakers. The bathrooms are cramped, with a toilet and shower/tub combo covered in old tiles. Separate vanities doubles as a closets, with pull-curtains that can be closed for minimal privacy.
The resort is huge and sprawling, so guests not eager to do a lot of walking may want to request a room in the '50s or '60s sections, as these are closest to the main building, where the cafeteria is located and where the buses stop. The '60s section is closest to the Hippy Dippy Pool (the most popular). The rooms themselves don't vary much, except for the view -- the entry-level Standard Rooms have views of the parking lot or buildings, while the top-level Preferred Pool View Rooms have views of the Hippy Dippy Pool. Rooms with pool views can be noisier during the day, though -- and it's worth trying to avoid ground-floor rooms on the path to the parking lot.
Three outdoor pools, indoor arcade, food court and pool bar, and free parking
The hotel's three outdoor pools each have a different theme, with larger-than-life decorations paying tribute to the '50s, '60s, or the '90s. The 1960s-themed Hippy Dippy Pool is the only one with notable features, including flower-shaped water jets, a kiddy pool, and a pool bar with seating on a colorful terrace. (Most other Disney pools have more bells and whistles.) It also hosts regular evening screenings of Disney movies. There's an outdoor playground and guests can rent a variety of bikes to tour the grounds (for a fee). There's no kids club or any supervised activities, just a big indoor arcade with a wide variety of video games and air hockey.
Dining can be hectic at the packed, Everything Pop Food Court, where lines get long and tables can be hard to find for larger families. The food is what you'd expect from a cafeteria with seven stations of fried foods, pizza, pasta, and burgers, plus some token fruit and vegetables. Room service is limited, mostly to pizza, select deserts, and drinks. Free parking is available.
Customers Who Viewed Disney's Pop Century Resort Also Viewed