So you’ve finally decided to visit Walt Disney World. Yay! If you’ve decided to stay on property and are trying to figure out how to stay on property while staying on a budget, we think Pop Century might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.
While budget options are pretty easy to come by if you’re staying off property near WDW, there are really only a few resorts in the Value category on property. There’s Art of Animation, which we generally don’t include in “value” since its technically a “value-plus” resort and is more expensive and usually not included in a lot of the promotions(unless you’re getting an even more expensive suite), the All-Stars resorts and Pop Century.
The All-Stars include All-Star Music, All-Star Sports and All-Star Movies. These are all right next to each other and all offer the same amenities. They’re all also very loud and chaotic in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, we have actually stayed at the All-Star resorts many times, but the one word that comes to mind when I think of the All-Stars is LOUD. Like really loud. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but there are usually children running around at 6 am, the food court is always crowded and so are the pools, even at pool closing time.
Honestly, its never really bothered us but its not exactly the epitome of vacation. We don’t spend a ton of time at our hotel, so the All-Stars have always been just fine.
Then we decided to finally try Pop Century. We had heard a lot of good and bad things(like any Disney resort we hear about) and decided it was time for us to make up our minds for ourselves.
Pop Century has a theme for each building based on a specific decade. Like 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, you get the point….and designed with Pop Culture(and of course Disney) elements of that decade. Its a mixture of cute and cheesy and honestly I kind of love it.
Pop Century is actually located right by Art of Animation, which is pretty cool because you can walk across Hourglass Lake and there you are. I love resort hopping, so for me, even just seeing another resort is exciting.
Pop Century is still a value resort. So its still in the least expensive category, is still set up like a motel with door entry on the outside and still lacks a stellar restaurant to eat at, but it feels different. We didn’t notice the chaos or noise that we have noticed at the All-Stars though, which was a pretty nice surprise.
The rooms are the standard size for a Value resort and sleep up to 4. They have a curtain that separates the bedroom from the vanity area. I know this drives a lot of people crazy, but usually I am just traveling with only G or G and my sister so its not a big deal. The beds were clean and comfy and that is really all we need from a bed.
The food court seems larger(whether it actually is-I’m not sure), a lot less crowded and we never had to wait to use the drink station which was a huge plus over the All-Star resorts , where it felt like we were always waiting. Always.
The resort is set up similar to the other Value resorts. There is a large pool at the front and then smaller pools throughout. They also have a New Balance running trail throughout the resort which follow parts of Hourglass Lake. One thing I really loved was the serenity of hidden little spots by the bridge. Such a great place to sit with your coffee and watch the sun rise. I’m an early bird. And I love coffee. I can’t help it.
The transportation is the same as other Value resorts; the only transportation available is by bus. We did notice, though, that Pop Century frequently got the bigger buses and they seemed to come a little closer together. Less waiting time is always a good thing, am I right!?!
The amenities are pretty similar to the Value resorts-movies by the pool, a pool bar, food court, arcade, laundry facilities, etc but one thing we noticed was that you could rent bikes here! You have to head over to Art of Animation but its still a cool perk to have access to if you’re looking for some down time away from the parks.
We loved the theming throughout the resort and to make one thing clear- this is not the resort to come to if you’re trying to relax or be fancy . This is the resort you come to if you want to be surrounded by Disney and fun. Its kitschy, kind of cheesy and just plain silly fun.
We love the Grand Floridian, but its a little too sophisticated for us. Yea we aren’t that grown up. Sorry. But not really…..
Caribbean Beach is gorgeous and relaxing and we love that one too! But the experience is just completely different.
Pop Century is neither relaxing, not really gorgeous and not at all sophisticated. But its also not as loud or chaotic as the All-Star Resorts.
If you’re looking to stay at Walt Disney World on a budget, Pop Century might just be our new favorite Value resort. We hope this review has helped you in making a decision about your Walt Disney World Resort selection whether you choose to stay here or not!
Have you stayed at Pop Century before? Did you love it, or not so much? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!