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“Dependably Disney”

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Disney's Pop Century Resort
Ranked #142 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
Washington, DC Area
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Dependably Disney”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Since our vacation was my 8 year old son’s introduction to WDW, and not simply a Florida vacation or an Orlando vacation, I decided we would stay “on campus,” focus our time on the parks and not splurge on accommodations. I worked through a no-fee travel agent, but could have easily set it up on my own through the Disney website. Among the “Value” class Disney resorts, Pop Century Resort is newer than most and, along with Art of Animation Resort, a bit better situated within WDW and better served by Disney transportation (we had no car, and didn’t need one). In short, the place definitely met expectations. Disney’s “Value” class resorts are not the Ritz, but they’re not Motel 6 or Econolodge, either; and Pop Century was a very typical Disney “Value” class resort. The grounds, while a bit confusing at first, were nicely landscaped and very walkable. I had indicated a preference in my reservation for a top floor room in the ‘50’s building, facing the lake. We initially were offered a room in the ‘80’s building, overlooking the parking lot and far from the main building. After some negotiating, we ended up with a room on the second floor of the ‘50’s building, overlooking the laundry/loading dock area, within a short walk of the main building (which was particularly desirable).

The room was small, but clean, well-maintained and nicely furnished. The bathroom was tiny. But fortunately, the toilet/tub area was separate from the sink. The room had a small fridge, a flat screen TV, and small table and chairs, in addition to the two queen sized beds. The sound-proofing was adequate most of the time, and the room temperature was easily controlled to our liking (and the HVAC unit was quiet). We were looking for a conveniently located, quite room, and that is what we got.

The main building housed the reception/concierge desk, food court, gift shop, arcade and a few other amenities. The staff was friendly and helpful, though some of the food court staff had a difficult time translating the dining plan at times (which is a whole other topic to discuss). The food court meals were actually pretty good (the chocolate croissants at breakfast were excellent), but the checkout/beverage/condiments area was very congested. The intra-WDW transportation system (buses) to and from Pop Century Resort worked fairly smoothly, and I would agree with other reviewers who have opined that the Pop Century access is better than that for the “All Star” “Value” class resorts, with shorter waiting lines and ride times, and less crowded buses, for the most part. The swimming pools were huge and maintained at 84 degrees year-round according to one of the lifeguards; and the arcade had a great variety of high quality electronic games.

Overall, we were very satisfied with our accommodations, and would consider Pop Century Resort again during a future visit to WDW.

Room Tip: The main buildings are the heart/core of the "Value" class resorts, and it is best to have...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank FormerFrequentFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hartbeespoort, South Africa
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Overall is was a nice stay. The buildings are very nicely done. The swimming pools are very popular. The Breakfast was not very good although yu can get mini pizza and some other dishes instead. I highly recommend to everyone buying a Disney cup for a few dollars in which you can refill from their fountain machines at all time. It works out much cheaper that buying a drink everytime. The rooms were quite nice and the surrounding were very musical.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Sjibbolet v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2013

We love Pop Century. This was our third time staying at POP. We have always enjoyed our stay. We love the cleanliness of the resort, the pools, and the friendly staff. We were disappointed when we found out some of our favorite food choices were not available because the menu had just been changed two weeks prior to our arrival. We found that the old menu gave more variety and was tastier. We waited a long time to get served at the stations and also to check out. The staff looked confused and the cashier had no idea what we ordered. We ordered the stromboli but found them too salty and oily. The chicken burgers did not taste like real chicken. The pizza sub was not satisfying it is a piece of bread with melted cheese on it. And the crab quesadillas was awful. It would be great if they brought some of the old favorites back. If we choose not to go back to Pop Century it will be because of the food.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 775yil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
62 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We just got home from out stay at Pop Century. It has such a fun atmosphere. We stayed in the 50's section overlooking the lake. We could see Illumniations at night from our room. We could also see Spaceship Earth and the Tower of Terror. We stayed on the 4th floor and the view was amazing. It was very quiet there too, I slept great!

Everyone who helped us out in the lobby was wondeful. They were great with my boys and went out of their way to make them feel special.

I loved the music they played by the pool and in the food court area.

The only complaint I had was housekeeping. Our room wasn't kept as clean as I thought it should have been.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank scraphappy256
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013 via mobile

Staying here now in the 50's wing. Nice clean room with mini fridge. Nice size safe in room. The pool is a nice size and the lifeguards are very professional and focused but let the kids have fun. We have a rental car and the parks are all a short drive (MK takes a little longer since u need to park at TTC and take a monorail). Ample parking too. Close to other food and shopping options to save $$ since we did not take the dining plan. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bookers007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Liberty, Kentucky
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We had originally booked a family suite at Art of Animation, but two of our party of five decided not to go at the last minute. I chose Pop Century because it was just across the lake, the price was great, and it had its own buses and didn't share buses with any other resorts. I requested a lake view room in the 50's section (Room 3115 on the ground floor) because I knew my four year old would need to nap in the middle of the day and we would need quiet. (It turned out that all three of us needed to nap in the middle of the day!) Reviews I had read recommended this area for quietness and they were correct! It was very quiet back there. We rarely heard any outside noise at all. The room was very, very clean and maid service did a great job each day. The cafeteria was good, especially the tie-dye cheesecake! My son loved the arcade and the pools were great, too. The bowling pin pool was right by our room, so we used it a bunch. We went to the Hippy Dippy pool once.

The only two complaints I have and the only two things that keep me from giving this five stars instead of four: 1) The bed was pretty hard. My husband was fine with it, but it hurt my hips and back. I guess this is subjective based on your preference. 2) The Hippy Dippy pool was a little dirty. There were a lot of bugs and visible dirt on the bottom. The bowling pin pool was much cleaner, but also saw a lot less traffic, so it is probably easier to keep it clean.

However, neither of these things would keep from staying there again! We knew we wouldn't be in our room much, except to sleep, so we didn't want to spend more for amenities would wouldn't get the chance to use. We had a great time and I recommend this place!

Room Tip: Lake view rooms in the 50's section are quiet.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mrshammonds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broomfield, Colorado
Level Contributor
61 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2013

My son and I stayed at the Pop Century resort for 10 days, from the end of May through the beginning of June, 2013. We've stayed at other WDW hotels, but this was our first stay in one of WDW's "value" resorts.

We arrived at the airport after 10:00 PM, and while the Magical Express was still running, the associated luggage service wasn't, at either the airport or the hotel. This meant that we fetched our own luggage off the carousel at baggage claim and gave it to the Magical Express driver, then claimed it back from him when we arrived at the hotel. We knew that we'd be arriving too late for the baggage service, so this was all as expected.

We'd done the online check-in, which didn't actually work out all that well; at that hour, the front desk was not very well-staffed, and all but one of the families checking in had done the online check-in. So the family that didn't was the only one in line for regular check-in (which meant no wait for them), while the rest of us were in a queue waiting for one of the few clerks assigned to deal with guests who'd checked in online. A bit frustrating.

It would have been nice to grab a snack from the food court or the shop, but everything was closed due to the late hour.

I'm pretty much of a tightwad, but since it was so late, I wanted to get a bellman to help us get our luggage to our room. Unfortunately, I was told that it would take a good ten minutes to summon someone to help, so we went ahead and schlepped our ten days' worth of luggage to our room. Turned out it wasn't all that far.

On the recommendation of the Disney agent with whom we booked the trip, we paid an extra $5 per night for a "preferred" room. The only advantage to the preferred rooms is their location; they are close to the main building, and hence the food court and transportation. Our room was just 3-4 minutes' walk from both, which meant a faster trip to fetch coffee in the mornings, as well as to get to the buses when we were ready to leave for the parks. Those few minutes may not sound like much, but when you figure the cost of a WDW vacation, it's worth saving that time so as to spend it in the parks.

Speaking of buses, you'll be spending some time on them! They do come fairly frequently, but if the lines are long in the morning, you might not squeeze on to the first bus that comes along. You might even miss the second. And once you're on, it's over 20 minutes to the Magic Kingdom (but at least they take you to the MK and not to the TTC). Epcot is about 12 minutes away. I forgot to time the trip to AK or to HS.

I was afraid that this cheaper hotel would have less sound insulation, but it was generally fairly quiet, unless you were trying to catch a nap in the middle of the day, when people seemed to feel the need to shout to one another. I'd asked for a top-floor room, but we were given a 3rd-floor room; still, the noise wasn't bad at all. It was probably an advantage that our room was in the corner of the building, and that it didn't face a pool; I think there would have been more noise then.

The rooms themselves are definitely on the small side, and the two beds were doubles, not queens. There was a reasonable amount of storage space. There's the main room, then an area that can be curtained off, with the sink and some space for hanging clothes, then the bathroom, which had a shower/tub combination as well as the toilet in it. It was fine for two people, but would be pushing it to cram in many more. The rooms were in good shape and were always clean when we got back from the parks.

We have AT&T for our cell phone carrier, and got pretty consistently poor reception in our room. (Of course, with a property this large, reception probably varies considerably from one building to another.) Since the rest of the family were at home, we'd text when we were in for the night, and they'd call our room via land line. But better cell service would have been handy.

Our room was 337, at the very corner of Building 10 (the 70's building). There were only two or three elevators for the whole building, and they were shared by guests and staff (something you'd not find at the better hotels), but since there were only four floors, I never had to wait long.

I normally used the staircase (since we were on the corner, it was really close to our room), but throughout our stay it had the smell of a dog park, and the heat and humidity added to the effect. It would have been nice if they'd figured out the precise location of the problem at some point and sorted it out!

There's a guest laundry (8 washers/12 dryers, I think) by each pool; I went there early (before 7) one morning and did a couple of loads of wash, and there were plenty of available machines at that hour. It was $2 per load to wash and $2 to dry, and a sign said that it took 30 minutes for each (it took a bit longer, but they probably were trying to keep guests from wandering off too far and tying up the machines). If you use the one by the Hippy pool, you'll be very close to the food court, so you can grab some coffee or breakfast while you get the laundry done.

We bought the resort mugs early in our stay; they cost something like $16 apiece, but you can refill them with coffee or soft drinks throughout your stay. We brought along styrofoam cups with lids so that we could pour our coffee into something we could take with us into the parks. (We saw a lot of people carrying their resort mugs with them onto the buses, but then they'd be stuck carrying them around all day, and we wanted to travel light.)

It should be noted that in the resort's food court, and, I believe, in other parts of WDW, they carry artificial sweetener in yellow, pink and blue packets, all kept in separate containers Usually, yellow packets are Splenda, pink are Sweet 'n' Low, and blue are NutraSweet. Well, at WDW, these are all NutraSweet. They keep them sorted by color, which leads one to believe that they're all different, but if you read the packet, they're all the same. I am fine with Nutra Sweet, but I know that it's a bad thing for folks with certain physical issues, so I think it's a lousy idea for WDW to try to pass off NutraSweet as other sweeteners.

Another note on the food court: the kid meals are just about right for a small meal for an adult, they are somewhat more reasonably priced than most WDW food, and they come with sliced apples as an option for a side dish. After a few days at WDW I was really starting to crave fruits/veggies, so I sometimes grabbed a kid meal on the way back to the room.

After ten days, we left mid-day on the Magical Express. You're responsible for getting your luggage to the baggage check, which is near the entrance through which you originally came to check in. For most airlines, you can check your bags in right there at the hotel and not touch them again until you land at your final destination. This is awesome. If you're headed into the parks before you leave, you can check your carry-ons with the bell folks, and reclaim them right before you board the bus on the return. All of that is great. The only thing I disliked about the Magical Express was that the driver appointed himself a one-man entertainment troupe on the way to the airport, and then was pretty aggressive about soliciting tips. I am generally a lot happier tipping someone who hasn't just made it abundantly clear that there's not really much choice in the matter.

As to the "value" resort versus the moderate or the expensive resorts: if you're not spending much time in the room, and you can live without a fancy pool, then the value resort was OK. There are definitely differences, though. The rooms at this resort all have entrances to the outside (no inside corridors), and if it weren't for the bright colors and the huge icons, it's not that different from a Motel 6. And if you start to forget you're at a value resort, you'll be reminded by the poor quality of the toilet paper and towels!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Yobabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Pop Century Resort

Property: Disney's Pop Century Resort
Address: 1050 Century Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8433
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#31 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#106 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#108 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Disney's Pop Century Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 2880
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

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