WDW RESORT REVIEW: Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
My family has been dying to enjoy some time outside our four walls. Our 6 year anniversary was the perfect time to book a staycation and of course we picked a Disney Resort. Disney’s Pop Century Resort to be exact.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is one of five value resorts at the Walt Disney World Resort. During the phased re-opening of WDW this is the only value resort available to Guest at this time.
What is a value resort? It’s the lowest tier of resort accommodations offered with a much cheaper price tag than the moderate or deluxe resorts on property. Typical differences include transportation wait times, price, and other small details.
Why did we choose Pop Century? Well our trips contain Ari and she has been a trooper through this quarantine/covid thing so we wanted somewhere she could enjoy. We stayed at Pop Century back in Spring of 2012 during my Disney College Program when TaVon came to visit me. Since then the resort has upgraded and changed their rooms so we were intrigued. The fun colors, theming and price were appealing in our decision.
Before our arrival we got the notification to do the online check in process. Once completed the day of arrival we received a text to say our room was ready and we could proceed straight there without having to stop in the lobby. This was something I thought was neat. I did need to get our MagicBands from the desk but was able to use our phones to unlock our door. This has been a thing for a minute at Disney Resorts but they seem to be pushing it even more now with Covid.
Let’s dive into some of what I felt were important details.
Sleep tight- How was the room?
We booked a standard room which with a FL resident rate runs on average about $140 per night. We were in Building 10 in the 70's area on the 3rd floor. With a standard room there isn't much of a view. We could see the outside courtyard walkway and some trees. We were happy with this as we did not want pool view due to noise concerns.
The room comes equipped with a queen bed and a murphy bed that is also a queen bed. TaVon enjoyed the murphy bed and thought it was cool. The queen bed is raised so you can store luggage underneath to make space. I found the beds to be extremely comfortable and got some great rest.
The décor was super cute toting a Mickey and Pluto retro theme. There is a small refrigerator and a safe. There is a small closet area near the bathroom which also houses the ironing board. The bathroom has a toilet inside and tub and shower combo. I enjoyed this perk as most hotels now a days there is just a shower in the room. With a three year old that can be quite challenging so the combo made me happy.
The TV in the room was perfect size and boasts many channels. We spent our downtime watching the channel that looped Disney movies. We were able to watch Beauty & the Beast, Honey, I shrunk the kids, The Incredibles and the live action Cinderella film. This made for some great quality family time during our stay.
Due to Covid-19, enhanced cleaning was done prior to our arrival which made us feel even better. The TV remote was wrapped in plastic and certified clean. The bathroom soaps and shampoo also had a clean covering to alert us. In each room there is a diagram to show what the enhanced cleaning contained. You can opt-out of housekeeping all together during check-in even through the mobile option or it can be done every two days.
We opted for the every two days option. With this option housekeeping comes and cleans the high touch point areas, empty the trash, and refresh towels. If you have trash and need it emptied immediately you can leave the can outside your door and it will be collected overnight.
So what do I wish the room had? I wish this room had double sinks as it can be hard for a family to get ready. I can only imagine what this would be like for a family of four trying to utilize this bathroom area. Next, the room was a bit snug. While I was not expecting a penthouse it did have moments where the three of us felt tight inside while maneuvering. Finally, there is no microwave in the room which we could have definitely benefitted from. There is a small coffee maker but we did not use it and would benefit better from a microwave. In the end, we enjoyed the room but these items would be on our wishlist.
Eat up! How was the food?
Our first night we arrived so late we just grabbed food off property. Pizza is one of my favorite foods and I had seen some amazing pictures of pizza from the resort. Our second night we decided to do dinner at the Resort as we spent all day at the Magic Kingdom.
Food at the resorts right now are to be ordered through mobile ordering. This helps promote social distancing and made for a smooth in and out. I enjoyed this part as it was easy and quick. I was able to pick a time slot, order and check out such a smooth process.
Now back to the food, once you arrive it will tell you which number to proceed to pick it up. Food is already bagged to go. You can eat in the food court area or head back to your room. We decided to eat in our room that night as we were EXHAUSTED. For $29.99 you receive a large pizza, a Caesar salad and breadsticks. Ari of course got her chicken strips with fries and apple juice. The pizza was dry in my opinion and did not seem fresh out the oven. I only ate one slice before moving to the salad. While the salad was fresh they provided just one packet of dressing. The walk was close enough that our food shouldn’t be cold but not close to head back for more dressing so I enjoyed what I had.
Ari did not eat much and honestly the menu seemed limited. We were going to try the court area again but this went out the window the moment we went to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. We decided to take the skyliner over as their food court area Centertown Market had some great choices.
Now I know this post is about Pop Century but let me just say..... Disney’s Caribbean Beach was definitely busier than Pop Century. They did just open but I was extremely shocked by the things I saw. You had to walk past the main pool to get to the Centertown Market and I told TaVon no way I would be in that area. It had wayyyyyy too many people. The jerk chicken bowl and turkey sandwich were great choices. Overall the food here was amazing and a huge upgrade from what we tasted at Pop Century. It was so great we went back our last night to get food again.
What to do? Know before you go!
The pools were one of the main reasons we were looking to do a staycation. Ari is a fish and enjoys swimming plus we wanted an area where we felt we could relax. We did not get to enjoy the pool until our last night but it was still fun. We had passed the hippy dippy pool several times and it was busier but nothing like what we seen at Caribbean Beach. The hippy dippy pool is the main pool for Pop Century located behind the main building and in between the 60's buildings. We did not see the bowling pin pool which is located in the 50's area but every time we passed the computer pool on our way to our room it seemed empty.
The computer pool is located between the 80's and 90's area but close to the 70's area as well depending on the building. We were able to have the computer pool all to ourselves for an hour and a half before two guest showed up. This was great for social distancing and we enjoyed it. The lifeguard Cast Member told us that it’s the forgotten pool. Each pool has complimentary towels and a towel return. You must wear your mask to the pool and when not in the pool it should be on.
The resort held a movie night on the lawn near the hippy dippy pool which a large screen was brought out and a cast member had towels/blankets for Guest. While we did not partake in this it was nice to see other social distancing and others enjoying Beauty & The Beast. Guests were still required to wear their masks while out there and the Cast Member seemed to be strictly enforcing that unless they were eating or drinking.
I would recommend taking a walk around the resort and understanding where everything is. We did not get to make it to the 50's area but did see quite a bit by taking some strolls. We knew exactly how to get to the skyliner area, food, and pools.
Let's talk the skyliner for a second. We had breakfast reservations at Topolino's and wanted to take the skyliner over. Well the skyliner is the only method of transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios from this resort. We left our room at 8:40am for our 9:15am reservation and the line was wrapped down and around. There was no way we would make it on time so we drove over. This was a bit disappointing but with social distancing I understood why and how the line was so long. Later in the day and nighttime was a breeze to get on. No lines at all. My suggestion is to arrive super early if you have plans to be somewhere that involves taking the skyliner in the morning. I am also wondering how this will change once Art of Animation opens as they share a skyliner station.
What’s the scoop? Pro Tips!
1. Request the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s. The computer pool area was basically empty and quiet. These buildings are close enough to the skyliner and food but not super far.
2. Use the skyliner for food at Disney’s Caribbean Beach or other skyliner areas which include Disney’s Riviera Resort, Epcot Area and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
3. Bring your own lotions and soap. No lotion is provided and they only have shower gel.
4. There is no microwave in the room so eat all your food. While we heard you can request one we did not.
5. Venture to the other decades as they each are unique and make for some awesome picture moments. There is a rubix cude, roger rabbit, Lady and the Tramp, giant yo-yo's and more!
6. Place your food orders using mobile ordering. This is such a smooth and easy process. I also suggest selecting the "I am here" option when you are on your way to get your food. This helps eliminate the wait once you get there and allows you to walk right in.
7. Check the WDW site for deals as there are sometimes options that can help you save. You may also consider booking with a travel agent.
Overall we both ranked this resort an 8 out of 10. While we enjoyed our stay the food played a huge part in our experience as a family. Hey, we are foodies and like to eat so quality food is a must. The beds were comfortable and the room was quiet and we would totally stay again. Do not knock the value resorts as the experience was still just as magical for less the price.
If you have any questions about our stay you can comment or shoot me a message and I am happy to help.
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