I do LOVE the Pop Century! I stayed here in April 2006, June 2007, and just returned from a June 2013 stay. Each stay was 5 nights. This review is mostly based on my most recent stay.
The Pop Century is a great choice for a value resort,...and I do think it is a wonderful choice, but remember you get what you pay for. That being said....if you are a healthy adult and either aren't traveling with children, or have children that don't need naps- this is a great choice!!
We booked a family vacation ( 2 adults and a 4 1/2 year old) through Southwest vacations. It was really nice doing their package because you are able to see the different hotel choices and price differences easily. I have booked all 3 of my Disney World trips using the Birnbaum's Walt Disney World books (amazon for 12 to 14.00). That book has never led me wrong and I recommend it to EVERYONE.
My last 2 stays at the Pop were with 2 adults only, this time with a 4 1/2 year old it was a whole different ballgame.
Magical Express: from the airport- a GREAT service and has always been wonderful. This time on the way there we got an ugly yellow and black Mears bus instead of a pretty blue Magical express one. The driver was nice, but the TVs and sound system with the "Disney movie" they show didnt work. This did not help our moods after traveling for over 6 hours at this point.
Arrival: We stopped at the Art of Animation first and then the Pop. When we pulled up there were cast members outside with a bubble machine as you got off the bus. This was fantastic and made my child FINALLY smile after a LONG trip. I had done online checkin, so we were in pretty quickly,. We arrived at 2:00pm local time and the room was ready. I paid for a preferred room and it was WELL worth it. We were in room 5156, very close to the Hippy Dippy Pool and the main Classic Hall. Bus Stops are still quite a walk.
The lady checking us in was sweet, and my child was very unhappy. I told her it was his 1st visit so she gave us buttons to wear. As he was melting down in the lobby...another cast member talked to him and offered to get him a balloon which he refused, but a nice gesture by the employee. I can't fault anyone there, they were all cheerful, bright, and looking to attend to guest issues.
Our room was pleasantly close, per the Preferred room option, and our luggage arrived about an hour after we did. It is soooo nice that they check your luggage and it just shows up in your room. The room was very clean and very adequate., The beds are full sized, not queen...so yes they are small. The bathroom and everything is just small,. There are mini fridges now and the TV was nice. We never heard any noise from anyone walking by or in other rooms...but I am sure the pool side rooms are much noisier. I had previously stayed in the 50's and 70's sections.
The grounds were clean, the pools were clean, and there were always plenty of lifeguards at the Hippy Dippy Pool ( we didnt go to the others) and there were fun games going on poolside, There is also a nice bar out there. I would have loved to enjoy a day or 2 at the pool....but we spent a lot of money to travel to WDW and I feel like we can swim at home, so we only spent a few hours at the pools.
The Everything Pop Shopping and Dining is awesome., Another perk of the Pop Century. The store is large and well stocked,. the dining has several selections. They are ALL slow. You just can't get in a hurry anywhere at Disney World. We did the dining plan with the mugs. On our first day, a very nice older lady named Roma explained our mugs and the dining with us. At each quick service meal you get a drink and entree AND dessert. So if you are using the refillable mugs...still grab a bottle of pop or water for the fridge. It's included. ALWAYS get a dessert! The Pop is famous for Tie Dyed Cheesecake (in the back glass cases). My son LOVED it and ate at least 8 pieces over 5 days. Its a great deal! If you choose a sundae they will stamp your receipt and you take it back to the sundae shop side when you are ready. Many of the food employees ddi not speak English well, be kind and patient.
The arcade is HUGE and nice!!
Busses- the busses take you everywhere and that is the perk of staying on property. The EPCOT bus was HORRIBLE. We almost missed a Princess lunch at Akershus due to waiting over 35 minutes for an EPCOT bus. They say "busses run approx every 20 min" and they also say.... "allow 90 min to travel for dining across WDW"
We got in line at 2:00 for a 2:50 reservation at EPCOT's Akershus. The bus came at 2:35. we arrived at EPCOT at 2:50 and had to RUN in 90 degree heat. I had called the dining reservation line and front desk twice. They were very unhelpful and said if we didn't arrive 15 min past the time we would e charged the cancellation fee. I was really mad, the busses were just awful to EPCOT.
Often when the lines were long...you have to wait for a 2nd or 3rd bus but they seem fine except to EPCOT. If there is a wheelchair or scooter they will always load first, but be patient and kind. The bus stops for Pop Century are always the farthest away as you leave the parks!! Boo!!
In a nutshell this is a GREAT place to stay....but when you leave your room, walk to the bus stop, wait in line, ride on a bus, and walk to the entrance....it will take around 45 min to an hour to reach Magic Kingdom, and about 30 min or more to reach EPCOT, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.
I loved the Pop as a healthy adult....but my child was miserable with the distances and waiting. I had rented him a stroller from the Magic Strollers and it was a LIFESAVER but he was still exhausted. I don't plan to return to Disney until he is at least 6 or 7...and until I can afford the Polynesian Resort. I REALLY would love to stay there. I feel like we spent at least a full day of our 5 day trip waiting in lines or riding on busses. Being on the monorail route (Polynesian) would have been a DREAM.... and time is money when you try to squeeze everything into 5 days (impossible). I love DIsney!!!
**Last note, the night before we left...the note arrived with flight info. We were able to go the next morning to the luggage desk (outside) and CHECK our luggage right there for our flight on Southwest! Awesome! Then the pretty blue Magical Express Bus took us right to our spot to fly home. That was really nice! (dont forget tip money). I know Disney is $$$$$$ But if you can't afford to tip, then save up! There are people all over (servers, luggage handlers, maids) that count on tips. I did NOT tip the daily Disney transportation drivers and didn't notice anyone else doing so.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the unforgettable fads of the 1950s through the 1990s all over again. From yo-yos and Play-Doh(R) to Rubik's Cube(R) and rollerblades, this Resort hotel salutes the timeless fashions, catch phrases, toys and dances that captivated the world through the decades. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Disney Pop Century Resort
- Disney Pop Century Hotel
- Pop Century Disney
- Disneys Pop Century Resort
- Disneys Pop Century Hotel
- Century Pop