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The Top 5 Most Surprising Things About Disney's Pop Century Resort: A Walt Disney World Resort Review

by Jennie Thomas, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 06-30-2017

After two trips to Walt Disney World, we decided it was time to stay on property.

We decided to go during the Christmas season and we settled on the first full week of December because the crowds were forecasted to be lower and the resort had not yet entered the peak price time of year. We are researchers and spent a lot of time and energy going over the pros and cons of each resort designation “Deluxe”, “Moderate” and “Value”

My husband and I are unapologetically frugal when it comes to hotel accommodations, however we enjoy a good deal on a nice hotel room. So when we were deciding if it was worth it to spend approximately $100 per night on a “value” resort, we wavered, but, the promise of the “Disney Bubble” tipped the scales and we settled on Pop Century Resort.

Even after spending hours researching the ins and outs of staying at Pop Century Resort, there were a lot of things that still surprised us.

5. The Quality
What we were expecting was a Disney-themed, 2 to 2.5 starred hotel similar to what we could find on a travel website. What we found was a very clean, bright, and well themed lobby and food court in the main building. The fixtures did not feel “value” to us. The rooms, while small, were clean and well maintained with cute Disney theming. The icons were impressive and the buildings were impeccably maintained.

4. You Can Hear Illuminations
Looking at the map, you can see that Pop Century Resort is relatively close to Epcot’s World Showcase, but we were surprised when we started hearing “pops” and “booms” around 9:30 and realized it was from Illuminations. It wasn’t overly loud, but we could definitely hear the fireworks exploding from inside our hotel room.

3. The Quiet 
We were at Pop Century Resort during Pop Warner week. Everything I read on various Disney forums warned me away from the Value Resorts during that week because of the abundance of teens and pre-teens. My husband and I talked about if we should upgrade or if we should abandon the idea of staying on property all together. We decided to chance it because we wouldn’t be in the room very much and we can sleep through anything. We also decided to plan on driving later in the week if the busses got too crowded.

Based on what we read from people who had previously stayed at Pop Century Resort during Pop Warner week, we expected loud groups of rowdy teenagers on the busses and in the food court, loud music and pick-up football games outside our windows and loud TVs and doors slamming. But, it was quiet. I never heard anyone passing our rooms or anyone in the rooms around us. The food court was mainly filled with families or groups of younger athletes. The busses were only overcrowded leaving the Magic Kingdom at park closing. And there were never any loud pool parties or pick-up games outside our window.

2. Window Decorations
I read on a forum that a lot of people decorate their windows at Pop Century. I thought that sounded fun, so I brought some Christmas lights and suction cups and some window clings. The window decorations were awesome! One of the windows we passed had Christmas lights, garland and a window ledge full of tsum tsums. Another window had a mini Christmas tree and fluffy snow on the ledge. A lot of people put up Christmas lights. It was fun to walk past the Christmas decorations late at night on the way back to our room! And it was definitely helpful to be able to pick out your room as you are walking down the hallway at the end of a long day in the parks!

1. The Pot Roast
The Everything Pop Shopping and Dining at Pop Century is not on any of the radars of the people who write about Disney food. While it is mostly a basic menu of burgers, nuggets and pizza, there are a few gems in the food court, like the create-your-own-salad and the turkey sandwich. But our favorite was the pot roast. One night, we needed a hot, comfort-food meal and decided to split a pot roast entrée. It was delicious! The pot roast was so tender and flavorful. The mashed potatoes were creamy and buttery. The veggies were cooked just right and not over cooked. You can find the pot roast in Mama’s Kitchen, which is all the way to the right when you enter the food court.

After a week at Pop Century Resort, we are converts to staying on property! We are currently in discussions about which resort to stay at for our next trip.

About the Author: Jennie is a stay-at-home-wife who has a serious Disney addiction. She is currently “planning” their next trip to Disney World, date still to be determined.

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Updated 06-30-2017

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