Disney's Pop Century Resort - Guest Review

When I learned about One More Disney Day, I knew I had to find a way to get to Orlando for the once in a lifetime event. Sure, I’d just spent a week in December traveling the Orlando theme parks … but this was One More Disney Day: 24 hours of pure Mickey-induced craziness. And I had to be a part of it.

But, like I said, I’d only just returned from The World, and I’d blown through my Disney budget for the year. And that, my friends, is how I came to book my first ever solo excursion at Pop Century Resort

Pop Century Resort celebrates 40 years of American pop culture

Like Disney’s All-Star Sports, Pop Century is part of the growing value category of Disney resort hotels. A sprawling, motel-style complex, Pop Century is made up of 10 four-story themed buildings on 177 acres. In total, the resort offers 2,880 260-square-foot rooms, most with two double beds (although there are a lucky few kings floating about), ranging in price from about $90-200, depending on where and when you want to stay.

Yes, Pop Century has external doors and tiny accommodations, but it has one thing its inexpensive motel-brethren don’t: style. The buildings feature over-sized nods to modern pop culture, from enormous statues of Lady and the Tramp to staircases shaped like the eight-track tapes of the 70s.
8-Track stairway in the 70s section

My room, flanked by staircases shaped like Rubix cubes, was in the 1980s section, so my walls were decorated with shadow boxes full of memories, including The Little Mermaid and artifacts from EPCOT’s early days. And, with one king bed, it was the perfect size for me.
Artwork in the 80s room

I suppose, if my husband had been able to join, we would have comfortably shared the space, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a family with older kids. The room is well filled by the furniture, and it would take an extremely organized mommy (which I am not) to keep the rooms from seeming too cluttered.
Standard room with king bed
That said, the room was lovely: clean and well-kept, with plenty of towels and toiletries, room for me to work and even a flat screen television, which I immediately tuned to Stacey’s Must-Do station as I surveyed the rest of the room.

When I first booked, I was a little worried that the rooms would be … well, let’s say aesthetically loud. But the d├ęcor was extremely tasteful, from the muted blues and oranges of the carpet (festooned with hidden Mickeys) to the quietly quirky bedspread, which featured silhouettes of Disney characters throughout the decades. The headboards and lighting fixtures, not to mention the awesome blue accent wall, were lovely—lovelier than I expected from the value category!
Close-up of the bedspread

Of course, the room was not without its problems: the walls were paper thin, and I listened to my neighbor pee more times than I care to remember. Then again, he probably got tired of listening to Stacey’s Must-Dos after the fourth or fifth time, so I guess we’re probably even.

My room overlooked the parking lot, but I actually didn’t mind—I could easily cut across the lot to get to the bus station or enter Classic Hall (the resort’s hub) through the side door. Not a bad location. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have preferred a view of the grounds. Like I said, this place has style!

I was situated around the corner from the famed Computer Pool, and I even did laundry in the Computer Pool’s hard drive! And the whole resort was full of whimsical details like that. Each morning, I walked by a giant Big Wheel and a built-in Twister board on my way to breakfast. Not a bad way to start the day.
Alongside the computer pool in the 90s section
Breakfast (and lunch and dinner) are served in Classic Hall at Everything Pop Shopping and Dining, which combines all of the resort’s food and sundries in one place. I ate breakfast here nearly every morning (it wasn’t actually open early enough on One More Disney Day) and indulged in a couple of snacks here throughout the week.

Set up in a semi-circle around the cash registers, the five food stations serve everything from hamburgers to stir-fry. In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of something they don’t serve. And if you’re in the mood for dinner and a show, make sure you stick close to the food court because the staff has been known to randomly do The Hustle at dinner time. (I’ve seen it with mine own eyes!)
A giant Play-Doh sculpture outside of Classic Hall
If drinking is more your thing, Petals Pool Bar is right outside of Classic Hall, serving the full range of Disney drinks poolside. In addition to my Computer Pool and the main, flower-shaped Hippy Dippy Pool (where you can find Petals), there’s also a bowling-themed pool in the 50s section of the resort. If you’re bad at math, that’s three pools. None of them ever seemed overly busy, although the Hippy Dippy Pool was by far the most active of the three.

Like Deej, I’m a hotel snob, but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Pop Century Resort. While I don’t see myself staying there regularly (maybe for next Leap Day in 2016?), I no longer have a freakish aversion to Disney value resorts, and I’d quickly recommend Pop Century to friends looking to stay on a budget.

Thanks to Elisabeth McGuirk for stopping by today. Elisabeth is a full-time mommy and part-time Disney enthusiast living near Johnson City, N.C. She works on MickeyFix.com, helping fellow Disney fans find all of the Disney stuff they didn’t know they needed. Find your Mickey Fix on twitter @MickeyFix.