Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Newest Value-Priced Hotel On Propertyby Jennifer and Dave Marx, Authors of PassPorter Travel Guidebooks
Last modified 01/19/2009
Auld acquaintance shall be remembered at Pop Century, the Walt Disney World Resort’s newest value-priced resort. By the time the final phase of construction is done (no date is projected at press time), each of the 20th century’s decades will be immortalized for its contribution to popular culture. Pop Century Resort is located in the Epcot area on the northeast corner of Osceola Parkway and Victory Way.
Peace, Love sign on outside building Foos ball guys outside Generation Gap Bridge view from our room big POP sign outside check in hall Rubicks's Cube at night
Ambience at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Whether you’re 8 or 80, a blast from your past awaits at Pop Century. In what will actually be twin-sister resorts when complete, Pop Century Classic Years and Pop Century Legendary Years surround a 33-acre lake and are connected by a scenic bridge (called the “Generation Gap”). Go from the quaint days of Main Street U.S.A. “to infinity and beyond” in eye-popping style with a uniquely themed check-in lobby, food court/shop/lounge, and pool bar. Outside, giant cultural icons fill the senses, including a monumental Rubik’s Cube®, a billboard-sized laptop computer, and the biggest Big Wheel® ever parked in a front yard. The themes continue with six imaginative themed pools. Each guest lodge building is festooned with cultural icons and “groovy” catch phrases.
Resort Layout & Rooms at Disney's Pop Century Resort
The 2,880 guest rooms that are open in Pop Century Classic Years are situated in five differently themed areas encompassing a total of 10 guest lodges. Pop Century Classic Years celebrates the decades of the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. Opening at some undetermined date, Pop Century Legendary Years will take us back to the 1900s, ‘10s, ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. Themed courtyards are formed between two or more of the ten T-shaped guest lodges. Each decade’s theme is reflected in the guest room decor, but rich, wood-grain furniture adds elegance to the fun. Rooms have either two double beds or one king bed, a large TV with remote, a small table with two chairs, and a roomy chest of drawers. Rooms hold up to four guests plus one child under three in a crib (a folding crib is available on request). Rooms are small—about 260 sq. ft.—but as with the All-Star Resorts, furnishings allow adequate floor space. Rooms have no private balconies or patios, but each offers climate controls. Amenities include soap, housekeeping, large in-room safe, table-side modem jack, iron and ironing board, and voice mail. Inquire at check-in about renting a small refrigerator for $10/night.
Eating & Drinking at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Pop Century Classic Years has a large food court with a variety of food stations. The eatery is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Typical menu items include a breakfast platter ($5.99), a double cheeseburger ($6.89), and vegetable lo mein ($6.59). Purchase a mug for $12.49 and get unlimited refills from the beverage bar (which includes frozen Cokes). A pizza delivery service is available in the afternoons and evenings, along with seasonal snack carts.
Relaxing & Playing at Disney's Pop Century Resort
For Athletes: The 12’ wide lakeside path is ideal for walks and jogs. The lake does not offer a marina, but we hear that surrey bikes may be available for jaunts around the lake when the resort is done.
For Children: A quiet playground and play fountain is located within the resort (see map on page 78 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook for locations).
For Gamers: An arcade is located in the resort’s main building.
For Shoppers: The resort offers a large shop with Disney logo merchandise, clothing, sundries, and some snack foods.
For Swimmers: Cool off in the main pool with a wading pool, and two smaller themed pools. Classic Years’ pools are shaped like a bowling pin, a flower, and a computer; Legendary Years’ pools (not yet open) will resemble a crossword puzzle, soda bottle, and highway sign. There are no spas (hot tubs) at this resort.
Tip: Pop Century -- Perfect!
Pop Century Resort was a great, inexpensive find! I love Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado Springs and for special occasions have been lucky enough to stay in the concierge level of both the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian but recently, when I had the chance for a two night trip to Walt Disney World and knew I would only spend enough time to sleep at the resort, I opted for Pop Century. I had a car so it was convenient, I got to enjoy Extra Magic Hours and free parking at the parks, my room was very clean and the lobby was very interesting with all the memorabilia. Sure, the towels are smaller but if your budget is tight or you don't have enough time to appreciate a fancier resort, definitely consider Pop Century. - tip contributed by Barbara
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Buses (see chart in PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook) are outside the main building of the resort. Stops are well-marked and offer benches and shelter. Bus service is prompt and efficient. Destinations other than those below can be reached by changing buses at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot (daytime) or Downtown Disney (evening). Parking is freely available, though you should study the map to find the closest lot to your room.
Tips and Notes for Disney's Pop Century Resort
The 33-acre lake between these resorts is an added perk for a value resort—the equivalent All-Star Resorts have no ponds, lakes, or rivers. The lakeside promenade and Generation Gap bridge are a total delight. Frequent park benches line the path, and “roadside” signs note landmark cultural events of each era. Note, however, that you cannot yet walk all the way around the lake.
Epcot’s IllumiNations fireworks are visible across the lake. Best views are from the ‘50s B and C buildings—try the fourth floor!
Food court patrons are treated to a dance routine performed by the resort’s cast members at breakfast and dinner! They do the Twist at 8:00 am and the Hustle at 6:00 pm. Be there or be square!
While Mom or Dad checks in, the kids can enjoy a big-screen video theater. Be sure to take in the memorabilia exhibits, too.
A children’s pop-jet fountain is tucked away in a corner between the ‘60s and ‘70s—look for a statue of Goofy and a red Corvette.
Plan to either carry your own luggage or wait a while (perhaps 45–60 minutes) for the resort’s luggage service to drop it off at your building. Arrangements to pick up luggage on your departure day should be made the night before.
Coin-operated laundries are located near each pool. Bring lots of quarters—wash loads and dry cycles are $2.00 each.
We've heard that the Legendary Years section may open its guest rooms as “family suites” similar to All-Star Music (see page 37 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook). Check-in time is 4:00 pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am.
Best Locations at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Rooms at Pop Century vary only by location within the resorts and floor level. For convenience, we recommend the ‘50s, ‘60s, or ‘70s (Classic Years)—they are closest to pools, food, and transportation. Our personal pick is the ‘70s (at Classic Years) as it is relatively quiet and has good views from most windows. Note that several buildings offer excellent views of Hourglass Lake, notably ‘50s B & C, ‘60s, and ‘70s A. If you seek quiet, request a room on the third or fourth floors. While the Legendary Years buildings are not yet open, when they are, we recommend the ‘10s, ‘20s, and ‘30s.
Room Rates at Disney's Pop Century Resort
2009 room rates begin at &82 for standard rooms and $97 for preferred rooms. 12.5% tax is not included in above rates. Preferred rooms are in the guest lodges closest to the main buildings (the ‘60s at Classic Years). There is a $10 per person charge for the third and fourth adult in a room, but no extra charge for children under 18. Rooms may face parking lots, pools, the lake, or courtyards. Higher rates in price ranges are for weekends and holiday periods (see page 29).
Disney's Pop Century Resort Quick Facts
Address: 1050 Century Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: 407-938-4000 g Fax: 407-938-4040
Standard guest room at the Pop Century Resort.
About the Author: Jennifer and Dave Marx are the founders of PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc. and the authors of dozens of bestselling books. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and frequently travel within the U.S. and abroad.
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Note: The text in this article is directly from our PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook and is an excellent example of the breadth and depth of our resort coverage. The only items not shown here that you can find in the guidebook are the standard room layout diagram, the transportation times chart, our ratings chart, and our sample room rates chart.
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