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Disney’s Pop Century Resort: A Comprehensive Review and Room Tour

It’s no secret that I am a fan of vintage fashion, so when it comes to picking a Disney resort for a vacation to Walt Disney World, the retro-themed Disney’s Pop Century Resort is always the top Value Resort on my list. (After all, I’ve stayed at the resort multiple times!) With sections of the resort themed to the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s and larger-than-life versions of retro toys and memorabilia scattered throughout the resort (giant Play-Doh, anyone?), Disney’s Pop Century Resort truly offers a blast from the past. Plus, with the room renovations in 2018 and the addition of Disney’s Skyliner in 2019, the nostalgia-filled resort has quickly become one of the best Value Resorts that Disney has to offer. 

As someone who has stayed at this Value Resort multiple times (hey, I love a good deal!), I’ve put together this post to provide a comprehensive overview of everything Pop Century has to offer, along with a room tour of the Preferred Room and what my experience has been staying at this Value Resort multiple times over the years!

Classic Hall at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

A Brief History of Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney’s Pop Century Resort was originally planned as two different sections: the “Legendary” years (featuring areas themed from the 1900s to the 1940s) and the “Classic” years (featuring areas themed from the 1950s to the 1990s). The two sections would sit across from each other on Hourglass Lake and be connected by “Generation Gap Bridge”, which would allow guests to visit both sides of the resort. The Classic Years was the first phase to be completed and its section opened in 2003. 

Although the Classic Years section of Pop Century was open, The Legendary Years section–although partially completed–sat unfinished for many years. Eventually, construction was re-started and the area was completed and opened in 2012. However, instead of opening as The Legendary Years section of Pop Century Resort, the area opened as a separate resort–Disney’s Art of Animation Resort–which featured areas themed to The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars. Although the decades theme was scrapped, the bridge between the two resorts is still called Generation Gap Bridge.

An Overview of Disney’s Pop Century Resort: What Does it Have to Offer?

Although a Value Resort, Disney’s Pop Century has plenty to offer guests, ranging everywhere from multiple room options, two transportation options, and more!

Room Options at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

The rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort were renovated in 2018, giving them an updated look with a fun pop-art vibe! Disney’s Pop Century Resort offers 4 room types to guests: 

  • Standard Room
  • Standard Pool View
  • Preferred Room
  • Preferred Pool View

It is important to note that none of the rooms at Disney’s Pop Century offer 2 “permanent” beds. Instead, there are 2 different room figurations: 1 permanent queen-size and 1 queen-size table bed (which is essentially a Murphy bed that transforms into a table and chair space when put up) OR 1 king-size bed (which does not have the additional Murphy bed/table combo). However, there are less rooms with the King-size bed configuration.

Although the rooms’ lack of a permanent table and chairs and/or second bed set-up could potentially be seen as a disadvantage, I have found it to be a highly practical set-up in exchange for the money saved!

The different room options within Disney’s Pop Century Resort also offer slightly different rates in accordance to your room type. For example, a preferred room would give you a better view and closer proximity to transportation and dining, whereas a standard room might be slightly further away and offer a view of the parking lot. 

Fun Fact: Disney’s Pop Century Resort has 2,880 rooms throughout the 5 decades-themed sections!

Dining Options at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Although Pop Century Resort does not have a table service restaurant in the resort, it does offer a quick-service restaurant and a poolside bar. 

The Entrance to Everything Pop Shopping & Dining

Everything POP Shopping & Dining

Everything POP Shopping & Dining is a standard food court area, offering a variety of stations serving everything from burgers to pasta.

It’s also the resort’s gift shop! You can also find a few resort-exclusive food items here, including a Tie-dye Cheesecake (which I tried during my visit!) and POP Goes Bananas Cupcake. Their menu for Breakfast and Lunch & Dinner is also posted online, making it easy to view what is available and the cost ahead of time (great for budgeting!), as well as the allergy-friendly items available. You can also find a variety of snacks here, including cups of pre-cut fruit.

Petals Pool Bar

I absolutely love the groovy 60s design of the Petals Pool Bar, which is located directly behind Classic Hall and next to the resort’s main pool. (In fact, one of Disney’s Instagram-famous walls–the Flower Power Wall– is located directly across from Petals Pool Bar!)

Petals Pool Bar at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

I also love the variety in Petals Pool Bar menu; while there are plenty of alcoholic drinks to choose from (including speciality drinks like Piña Colada and Strawberry Margarita), you can also find non-alcoholic drinks and smoothies and a variety of snacks that are perfect while enjoying the poolside! (After all, a Mickey Ice Cream Bar is an essential snack on a Disney vacation.)

Recreation and Activities at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

I am always looking for fun things to do around Walt Disney World, especially on arrival and departure days or rest days during my vacation, when I don’t have a theme park ticket. (Errr… the days before purchasing an annual pass, that is.) Thankfully, there are plenty of things to do on a non-park day at Walt Disney World, including at Pop Century Resort! 

The Entrance to Hippy Dippy Pool at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Pools at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Pop Century Resort offers 3 pools throughout the 4 courtyards within the resort:

  • Bowling Pool: Shaped like a bowling pin, this pool is located in the 1950s area of the resort.
  • Hippy Dippy Pool: This flower-shaped pool within the 1960s area is the main pool at the resort. This is the only pool at Pop Century that offers poolside activities. Nearby, you will also find a kiddie pool, Petals Pool Bar, and (at night) Movies Under the Stars.
  • Computer Pool: This computer-shaped pool (complete with a giant keyboard nearby!) is located in the courtyard of the 1980s/1990s area of the resort.

This leaves the 1970s area as the only themed-section of the resort without a pool in its courtyard. However, it does have a life-size foosball area that makes for a great photo op!

Hippy Dippy Pool in the 60s area of Disney’s Pop Century

In addition to the 3 pools throughout Disney’s Pop Century Resort, there is also a splah pad for kids! This is located in the 60s area, across from Hippy Dippy Pool.

Splash Pad at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Playground at Pop Century

Disney’s Pop Century Resort only offers one small playground, which is located on the edge of the 1970s section, along the running trail. There isn’t too much to note about this playground, but it’s proximity to the almost-center of the resort makes it never too far away from your room. 

Additional Activities at Pop Century Resort

In addition to the pool and playground, Pop Century Resort has a variety of additional activities, including:

  • Nightly Campfire: Many resorts around Walt Disney World offer a nightly campfire… including Pop Century! S’mores kits are also available for purchase, adding a tasty treat to this fun activity.
  • Movies Under the Stars: Movies Under the Stars is one of my favorite resort activities at Walt Disney World. The movies shown each night rotate, but the schedule is posted in advance.
  • Fast Forward Arcade: It only makes sense that a retro-themed resort includes an arcade! Located within the main building (Classic Hall), there are plenty of games to choose from. 
  • Jogging Trail: For fitness enthusiasts, Pop Century has a 1-mile jogging trail that takes you throughout each of the themed sections of the resort. 
  • Pop Century Scavenger Hunt: Looking for a fun activity to participate in while also exploring the resort? The Pop Century Scavenger Hunt is the perfect FREE activity! Pick up the scavenger hunt at the front desk and, after completing it, turn it in for a fun retro prize!
  • Skyliner Rally Scavenger Hunt: Explore the resorts along the skyliner line with the Skyliner Rally Scavenger Hunt!
  • Do A Photoshoot: What I love most about Disney’s Value Resorts (besides the cheaper prices) are the themed areas… which are perfect for a photoshoot!
The entrance to Fast Foward Arcade in Classic Hall at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Amenities at Pop Century Resort

Pop Century Resort doesn’t have any amenities that are different from the typical hotel experience. The primary amenities include free WiFi, complimentary overnight parking for resort Guests, and housekeeping service. There are also 3 self-service laundry rooms (located near each of the pools).

However, one of the major benefits of staying at Pop Century is that, as a Disney resort, guests receive early entry to the theme parks! This can make a world of difference in experiencing the parks before they get crowded or (if you’re like me) getting photos with less people in them! Since most guests are rushing to get on the popular rides in the early morning, many locations are left empty (or close to empty), which makes it a great time to take photos in the parks! During my recent stay at Pop Century, I used the Early Theme Park Entry to walk around World Showcase (which was nearly-empty during Early Entry!) and take tons of photos. (After all, there are so many great photo spots at EPCOT!)

Transportation Options at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

One of my top reasons for staying on-property at Disney is the ease of transportation between the parks and resorts. While bus transportation has been a long-time offering at Pop Century, the addition of the Skyliner in 2019 added a new, fun way to get to and from select parks.

Skyliner Station for Pop Century and Art of Animation
  • Bus Transportation: Bus transportation for Pop Century is located outside of Classic Hall and offers easy transportation to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. In recent years, screens have also been added to the bus stops, offering an ETA for when each park’s designated bus will arrive. (It is important to note that Pop Century does not have buses to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios unless the Skyliner is out of service.)
  • Skyliner: The Disney Skyliner opened in 2019 and offers a fun way to travel throughout Walt Disney World! Serving 4 resort hotels and 2 theme parks (EPCOT and Hollywood Studios), this ride in the sky offers a relaxing way to see Walt Disney World from above. 
The Entrance to Bus Transportation within Classic Hall at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Storytime: Throughout my many visits to Walt Disney World, I’ve stayed at an off-site hotel twice. Although it did save me a little money, the experience ended up being a massive headache, primarily because of the transportation difficulties. Even though the off-site hotel offered complimentary bus transportation to and from the theme parks, it was offered far less frequently than Disney’s bus transportation. It also had obscure pick-up and drop-off points, which were so confusing to locate that not even the Cast Members knew where they were. Needless to say, I now always splurge a little extra to be able to stay at a Disney Resort and use their transportation.

Photo Tour: Preferred Room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

During a recent stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, I stayed in a Preferred Room. However, the majority of rooms will be set up similarly, with the major difference being location and view. Since I had booked a Preferred Room, I was placed in the 60s area of the resort, which offered quick access to both Classic Hall and the Skyliner.

A Preferred Room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

I found the layout of the room to be highly practical and organized. (Not to mention the updated design looks so much more modern compared to the design before the renovations!) As soon as I entered, there was a stand with a mini fridge, small counter, and some shelves to hold cups and such. The room also had a coffee maker, complimentary tea packets, etc.

A “Hey Disney!” device at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

The room also featured three built-in bedside tables: one between the door and table bed, 1 between the table bed and queen bed, and 1 between the queen bed and wall. The bedside table closest to the door also had a “Hey Disney!” device. These began rolling out in the Disney resorts in late 2022 and provide planning tips, but also allow an easy way to request extra pillows, towels, and more.

The toilet and shower at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

The layout of the bathroom is always well organized, as there is the toilet and shower in one room (with a sliding pocket door that locks) and the sink and mirror in the next room (with another sliding door). The sink area also has a large mirror with AMAZING lighting (that is perfect for doing hair and makeup), a small magnifying mirror, plenty of counter space and shelves, hairdryer, etc. There is also a cubby and closet space with plenty of hangars to hang up clothing, along with an ironing board and iron. As someone who regularly wears vintage outfits to the Disney Parks and has to iron and hang the pieces up (due to the creases from packing), I appreiciate that the rooms include this. 

In addition to the table and chairs in the room (which turns into a bed when folded down), the main room also has a dresser below the TV with several drawers, a cabinet (which had an extra pillow in it) and a large amount of counter space. The TV was also personalized with our party’s name (I love little details like this!) and had plenty of channels to choose from.

Some additional details about the room include:

  • Retractable clothing line in the shower
  • Coat Rack (perfect for hanging up purses, rain jackets, etc.) 
  • In-Room Safe

My Experience and Review of Staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Online Check-In

A couple weeks before arriving for my stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, I utilized their online check-in service through My Disney Experience. This allowed me to set up email and mobile notifications for my visit, select my resort arrival time, put a card on file for room charges, and place room type/location requests. 

At the time of my most recent visit (February 2024), there were 4 request options: Ground Floor, King Bed, 50s Section, 70s Section. I could make up to 2 requests, but could also select that I would prefer to have my room ready earlier in the day over having my room requests accommodated.

Check-In

On the day of resort check-in, I received multiple app notifications regarding the status of when my room would be ready. Once my room was ready, I was given an app notification and could see my room number. Since I had utilized the online check-in service, I could bypass checking in at the desk and go directly to my room!

The Check-in Area in Classic Hall of Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Although I didn’t need to stop by the desk first, I did stop by to get a resort map AND key cards. Although I prefer to use my phone for unlocking my resort door and as my park ticket, it was nice for the other members of my party that I was traveling with, as their room key card also doubled as their park ticket. Stopping by the front desk is also great if you are celebrating something during your visit, as they could give you a celebration button!

Check-Out

The check out process was super simple. After leaving the room, you can select to check-out in the app. It’s that easy!

Did You Know? You can recycle MagicBands at the Disney Resorts! I did this during my recent visit to Pop Century, since my family had years of accumulated MagicBands that we no longer used. (We actually stayed at one of the first resorts that was testing out MagicBands back in 2013, so we had accumulated quite the collection!)

Review of Disney’s Pop Century Resort

When staying on-property at Walt Disney World Resort, I typically choose to save money on the resort and stay at a Value Resort (although I have stayed in Moderate and Deluxe Resorts in the past!) since I spend the majority of my time in the parks. Of the Value Resorts I have stayed at, Pop Century is hands-down my favorite. The recent room renovations and the addition of the skyliner, in addition to the fun themed sections, make it a nice resort to stay at, and the variety of amenities and benefits (like early theme park entry!) make it well worth the value. The Cast Members at Pop Century were also super friendly, all of them greeting guests as they walked by and were happy to help with any questions.


Planning a visit to Walt Disney World in Florida? As a former Cast Member and current Annual Passholder, I love sharing tips and tricks to help guests make the most of their visit! Be sure to check out the below posts and let me know in the comments what you’re most looking forward to on your Disney vacation!

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