This isn’t a one hit wonder. What are we talking about, we’re talking about Disney’s Pop Century Resort. One of two resorts situated around Hourglass Lake, Pop Century opened its doors to guests in December of 2003, followed later by the Art of Animation resort in 2012. Recently we had an opportunity to step away from the norm (Disney Vacation Club Resorts) to enjoy a few nights at Disney’s Pop Century. It’s time to celebrate the iconic symbols of different decades. Let’s strap on our rollerblades and tour the resort!
Disney’s Pop Century Resort celebrates the best of 1950’s through the 1990’s. Take a step back in time to remember when the mood ring or the yo-yo were the must-have Christmas gifts. You’re immersed in large items from each decade, along with Disney characters spread throughout. Keep an eye out for the Goofy and his surfboard, he’s ready for his surfing lesson over at Typhoon Lagoon
With 2880 rooms Disney’s Pop Century Resort is the largest at Walt Disney World. The resort is broken up into ten buildings that are grouped by decades. Each of the buildings has three stories with elevators in the center. All rooms at the resort open to an outdoor walkway, similar to motel style resort. In 2017, Pop Century went through a room refurbishment that updated the rooms to a more contemporary feel. The major change came in the form of new beds. Disney removed the original double beds and replaced them with queen-sized beds.
With the room refurbishment came updates from top to bottom. The rooms have two queen-sized beds (one traditional bed, and the other a murphy-style bed), new flooring, a small refrigerator, updated shower, and a new brighter color palette. The focal point of the room is the retro colored piece of art over the bed featuring Mickey.
The rooms at Pop Century can hold up to 4 guests and come in four different options, preferred pool view, preferred room, standard pool view and standard room. The big difference between the preferred and standard is the proximity to the action. For us, we prefer the quieter areas and went with a standard room, which ended up being on the top floor overlooking Hourglass Lake.
Passholder Insights: When checking in online Disney gives you the option to request a room. We’d definitely recommend taking the opportunity to request the room or area you prefer. You’re not guaranteed to get it, but more often than not you’ll get something close.
Arriving at Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Whether you’re rolling up to the resort by the Disney Magical Express, rideshare, car, or even a taxi, you’ll be dropped off at Classic Hall. You’ll be greet by bell services for any of your baggage needs. Walking through the front door you’ll have guest check-in on your right and the Everything POP Shopping and Dining on your left. If you did not check-in online, you’ll want to head right for check-in.
Depending on the time of day (before check-in time) we would recommend having bell services hold your bags so you can enjoy the magic. Of course, you could always take advantage of the Magical Express Luggage service and save yourself the hassle of lugging luggage like we do!
Even if you checked in online we’d recommend setting aside a few minutes at some point to explore the Classic Hall lobby. Filled with memorabilia from the different decades it’s a great place to see what was popular back in the day. It’s definitely a must-see, and a great way to take a break from the sun at the resort.
The Pool and Recreation
Heading straight through Classic Hall you’ll find the Hippy Dippy Pool. Themed around the flower children of the 1960’s the Hippy Dippy Pool has tons of space to spread out and soak up the rays. Keep an eye out for the small details like the flower-shaped pool jets. The Hippy Dippy Pool is also where you’ll find the Movie Under Stars on select nights, where the resort plays classic Disney hits for the whole family.
If you’re looking for an adult time out while relaxing by the pool, you’ll want to check out Petals Pool Bar. Right by the exit to Classic Hall this poolside lounge is serving up some groovy drinks. Is there anything better than a tropical drink to sip on while spending a hot day by the pool? We didn’t think so.
Beyond the Hippy Dippy Pool you’ll find two additional pools on the far ends of the resort, the bowling pool and computer pool.
At Pop Century the main food option is the Everything POP Shopping and Dining in Classic Hall. Open from 6am to 12am the quick-serve location is set-up with a variety of stations serving up different classics. Below is a breakdown of the stations:
- Mom’s Kitchen – The perfect place to grab an omelet in the morning or mom’s home-cooked classics like pot roast or meatloaf in the afternoon or evening.
- Grill Shop – Burgers and grilled chicken is what the grill shop is known for. You can also find the Impossible Burger at this location if you’re looking for a plant-based option. For breakfast you’ll find the staples like bounty platters, pancakes and even biscuits and gravy.
- Pizza Shop – It’s not just pizza, they’re also serving up Italian classics like chicken parmesan or a meatball sub. Yum! At breakfast the Pizza Shop is serving up sandwiches and french toast.
- Sandwich, Soups and Salads Shop – The name says it all. Build the sandwich of your dreams or enjoy one of the already designed options. If you’re looking for something a little different, you can check out the quiche. For breakfast, they have the famed Mickey waffle, a must-try for sure!
- Dessert Shop – No meal is complete without it. From sundaes to cones, and even a pineapple float, there’s something for everyone’s sweet tooth here.
Passholder Insights: At the Dessert Shop you’ll always find one our favorite coffees, Joffrey’s. Nate will take a cold brew!
If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, you’ll be able to use one quick-serve credit for any of the meals. We recommend always checking with a cast member on what is include with the quick-serve credit, as it varies from location to location.
Passholder Insights: If you’re looking for more food options you can take the bridge across Hourglass Lake and enjoy the food options at the Art of Animation Resort.
Pop Century is home to one of the better running paths around Disney World. The 1.3 mile loop around Hourglass Lake is perfect for a morning jog or afternoon stroll. Best part if you’ll have great views on the new Disney Skyliner Station being built. You’ll also have access to the gym at the resort for a quick workout.
Overall, our time at Pop Century was enjoyable. If you’re looking to spend the majority of your vacation in the parks and just looking for a solid room, we’d definitely recommend it. The resort has a great location as it relates to travel time to the different parks and the Disney transportation does come frequently. The only thing to note is with Pop Century being the largest resort on Disney property the buses can get busy. Alright, we’re going to take a lap around Hourglass Lake, we’ll see you out there!