Disclosure: This Disney Pop Century Resort tips page contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy.No matter how many times you stay on Walt Disney World property, there are still plenty of differences between the resorts. Knowing these tricks and tips will help you to make the most of your Disney vacation, as well as keep you from make mistakes that can cost time and money. I’ve fallen into this trap myself, thinking that I knew what I was getting into, but not knowing the particulars about a resort or park. It goes to show that even seasoned Disney veterans need to do their research before each trip!
Over at Pop Century, there are a few general points to consider. First, remember that this is a value resort. That doesn’t make the experience any less, but it does mean that some of the usual amenities to which you are accustomed might not be there! Second, think about transportation options – there are really only two, which we’ll get into in a moment. Finally, be sure not to underestimate its size. Value resorts tend to be large, so that Disney can maximize their profit on these less expensive options. There are plenty of tips to help conquer these things though, so don’t worry!
With that in mind, let us explore all the Disney Pop Century tips and tricks and insure you have a fabulous time!
Disney Pop Century Tips Guide
You Got it Dude! Tips for Planning Your Disney Pop Century Stay
1 – Drivers: Save the Money, Skip Preferred
There are two categories of rooms at Pop Century – preferred and standard. The difference between them is the location within the resort. Preferred rooms put you closer to Classical Hall, the central building of the resort, which means you are closer to dining, shopping, and Disney’s transportation. However, if you have your own car, this doesn’t always make sense. Since you have your own transportation, you can park in the lot closest to your room anyway. In fact, you may end up further from your car if you choose preferred.
Save the cash, get the standard room instead.
2 – No Car? Preferred for You!
If you don’t have your own car, the opposite is true. Getting that preferred room is definitely worth the boost to put you closer to the central hub of the resort. You don’t want to come back from a long park day and then have to walk fifteen minutes across the resort to get back to your room. Especially if you have small kiddos with you. This is an instance where an upgrade has both form and function, so take advantage of the chance.
3 – Pool View?
Like other resorts, Pop Century has view choices along with their room categories. There’s standard and pool view, where you can look out over the pools or the other areas of the resort (including the parking lot).
Again, if you’re driving, I say go for standard. It’s all about the proximity from the transportation to your room. If not, and you have kids that love to swim, pool view can put you closer to the water. Also, if you don’t pick pool view, it’s possible you won’t be close to a pool at all. Consider your priorities for your trip, and choose the view that works for you.
4 – Wait, What about Preferred Pool View?
Ok, so when you combine the choices together, you can end up with a pool room in the preferred zone. What that means is that you’ll be located close to the Hippy Dippy Pool, which is the largest and centrally located pool at Pop Century. This pool also has a designated children’s pool, as well as the Petals Pool Bar.
Several benefits come from this location. One, you’re in the middle of the resort. Two, you’re right by the best of Pop Century’s three pools. Finally, it gives you immediate access to the only other dining option besides Everything POP, which is in Classical Hall. Sometimes saving those few steps is totally worth it!
Check out the Hippy Dippy pool in this short video:
5 – Four Means Four
Pay close attention to this tip! Rooms at Disney Pop Century Resort can hold four people. That’s it. They don’t offer rollaway beds or cots here, and you can’t book the room for more than four. The only exception to this would be children three and under, for which you can bring a pack n’ play or ask for a crib.
At some of the deluxe resorts, extra beds are an option, but not here. If you need to put more than four people in a room, I recommend getting two rooms or trying for another resort. Right across the lake is Disney’s Art of Animation, which has family suites, and they are still a value resort.
6 – Plan Your Week
Particularly with the location of Pop Century, you’ll want to know what days you will be doing which activities before your trip. With the current park pass system, knowing which days will be park days (and which park you’ll be in) is important. As more people are comfortable travelling, we’re going to see more of these days maxing out, so get that park pass early!
Planning ahead can also help you plan in terms of transportation, since your options are limited. Also, try not to plan too many park days in a row. A day off in between will do you a world of good!
7 – Plan and Coordinate Outfits!
Planning out your outfits for each day is a great idea. This makes packing easier, and also helps to coordinate the family for pictures. This tip is particularly good with kids, as it simplifies packing and getting ready while on your trip! I even like to divide particular outfits into bags, labeled for the day I’m going to wear them. I know it seems excessive, but believe me, it helps with organization.
Also, at a value resort like Disney Pop Century, your storage spaces will be limited. Use this tip to streamline your packing so you won’t be overwhelmed when you try to unload your suitcase.
8 – Special Celebrations
I always recommend this, no matter what resort you choose! When you book, be sure to specify if you’re having a celebration during your stay. A birthday, anniversary, honeymoon – any celebration will be marked by special decorations in your room.
Since the celebration styles tend to be themed along with the resort, you’ll end up with your own fun decade-themed decorations to go along with whatever you are already celebrating! Especially with kids, this sort of Disney magic goes a long way.
9 – What About Disney Vacation Club?
For Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members, there aren’t any DVC specific accommodations at French Quarter. However, DVC members can use their points to stay at any Disney World resort, including Pop Century. If you are looking stay here, you can absolutely use your points (or rent them) for your stay.
10 – Pack a Pool Bag
Especially if I’m driving to the resort, I like to pack a separate bag with all my pool gear. That includes swimsuit, sunscreen, and extra clothes. This is so that, if the room isn’t ready when we arrive, I can head to the bathroom, change into my swim gear, and enjoy the pool while I wait.
If you have kids, you will be doubly glad you took advantage of this tip! The pools are key features at Disney Pop Century, and they are going to want to get in right away. If you’re prepared with all their swim gear in its own bag, then you’ll be off swimming in no time.
11 – Pack a Cover-up
Along the same lines, you should plan to bring some sort of swim cover up or “over clothes” to wear back from the pool. After using the resort towels, the expectation is that you will return them before exiting the pool area. Unless you bring your own towel, that means you won’t have one to wrap around yourself for the walk back to your room. That’s where having a cover up, or even just a dedicated pool t-shirt and shorts, can be nice. Pop Century is a large resort, and if you have to trek a bit to get to a pool, it is nice to have some clothes to cover yourself during the walk.
12 – Swim Shoes
Similarly, make sure you have swim shoes or flip-flops. I know, I know, it’s Florida, you’ll probably bring them. However, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen people just walk barefoot from their room to the pool…and regret that decision. With the size of Disney Pop Century, you’ll want shoes for the pool. This is one of those tips you’ll be glad for in the moment!
13 – Know Your Route
For those driving to the resort, make sure you know exactly what route you need to take to get to Disney Pop Century. While many of us depend on the GPS, occasionally the generated directions take you to the wrong places on Disney property. It’s important to check the map ahead of time to be sure you’re headed to the right place.
Even though you’ll be able to see the resort from several of the Florida highways, it isn’t a straight shot from the exit to the Pop Century entrance. Trust me – look it up ahead of time.
14 – Get the App!
The My Disney Experience app (or MDE, as more people are calling it) has become a crucial component to any Walt Disney World vacation. From purchasing tickets and making dining reservations to obtaining a coveted Rise of the Resistance boarding pass, you can’t really do Disney effectively without out.
This app is important at your resort as well, as you can use it for as a map to navigate the resort. I know I’ve already said, but Pop Century is huge. Having a map right in your pocket that you can access at any time will save you time, versus trying to find one of the few posted throughout the resort.
15 – Plan Rainy Day Fun
Guys, it’s Florida. It’s going to rain. Thunder, even. So with that in mind, make sure you have some rainy day activities in your back pocket. The pools don’t always close for rain, so if you and your kids are fine with that, you might have the area to yourselves. However, they will close for thunder, so it’s good to plan ahead.
Over in Classical Hall, you can find Fast Forward Arcade, where you can play games with your family. Sometimes there are even other indoor events for kids over in this building, so check with the front desk. If you drove, I also recommend bringing cards or board games you can play in your room while you wait for the weather to clear.
16 – Pack Snacks
Since the rooms at Disney Pop Century have mini-fridges, one of my top tips is to bring your own snacks. This will save you time, money, and headaches. Have items you can eat for breakfast so you can get out the door sooner. Bring small things to nibble at the pool. Make sure you have granola bars or something semi-substantial for the parks. You can even bring your own cereal or oatmeal and get a small milk from Everything POP, which is something my family always did. Prepping with these snacks means you’ll be less tempted to buy Disney food for every meal, which takes its toll on your belly and your wallet.
Tips for Rocking Your Disney Pop Century Vacation
17 – Online Check-in
One of the first things you should do when you arrive is check in. You can actually use the My Disney Experience app to do this weeks ahead of time. However, I suggest waiting until your flight comes in or you’re driving onto Disney property. From there, you can check back periodically to see if you have been assigned your room.
This is particularly nice at a place like Pop Century, which has multiple blocks of rooms spread out over the property. You can find out your room section, skip the main building and front desk, and head straight to your room. Classical Hall will be there for you to explore after you get yourself settled.
18 – Unpack, Settle In
If you’re staying for more than three nights, you really should unpack your suitcase and store it out of the way. Even in this smaller space, you do have lots of storage options. A dresser under the TV gives you drawer space, and each nightstand has a cubby space for some of your smaller items.
Right next to the dresser is a set of hanging knobs, ideal for hats or jackets, or even your towels. You even have a small closet space in the bathroom area, so you can hang up some of your clothes that don’t fit in the drawers. Small shelves sit under the hanging area, perfect for your shoes.
With the bed fairly high off the ground, I recommend you stick your suitcase under in this space. It gets that luggage out of the way, allowing you to use all the space in your room effectively.
19 – Travel Hangers
For those that really like to hang up their clothes, or you’re worried that the resort won’t have enough hangers, grab some of these travel hangers before your trip. Super compact, they fold up perfectly to fit in your suitcase. When you arrive, just unfold the hangers and click them into place, and there you go!
20 – No Gym?
No, Disney Pop Century Resort does not have a fitness center. However, there’s still plenty of ways to stay active at the resort! From the paths for running, jogging, or just walking, to swimming in the pool, you’ll find plenty of ways to stay in your routine.
If you drive yourself, you can always bring some small weights or exercise ball to use in your room.
21 – Transportation
Ok, here it is. You have two transportation options – the Disney Skyliner or the Disney busses. Whenever possible, take the Skyliner. If you have your own car, use it.
Pop Century isn’t as far away from the rest of property as, say, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it’s not exactly central either. You want to make the best of all your transportation options!
22 – Ask About Discounts
DVC members, annual pass holders, and Disney Visa card members all have varying discounts throughout Walt Disney World. Beaches & Cream and Cape May Café both offer discounts in all these categories. If you’re not sure what discounts are available to you, you can look it up ahead of time, or just ask! As someone with the Disney Visa, I always ask when we’re shopping or dining. The worst thing that happens is the Cast Member tells you no!
23 – Disney Skyliner
Let’s get a bit more specific here. If you’ve never used the Disney Skyliner, it is the newest transportation option, using large gondolas to transport parties from different resorts to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Pop Century shares a station with Disney’s Art of Animation, putting it right on the Skyliner track.
If you’re going to Hollywood Studios or Epcot, definitely use the Skyliner rather than the busses. You do have to wait in line for the Skyliner, depending on how many people are trying to ride it, but the main benefit to the Skyliner is that it’s always moving. Since you have a station right there, this is definitely what you want to do!
24 – Bus Stop is out Front
If you are taking the bus, it’s important to know there’s only one Disney transportation bus stop at Pop Century. Located right out in front of Classical Hall, you can catch all the busses to the parks and Disney Springs. The only downside is if you’re staying in either the 50s or the 80s/90s complex, you’ll need to make time to walk to the bus stop.
25 – Hop the Monorail
This might be just a bit out of the way, but if you don’t want to wait for a Magic Kingdom bus, you can also take the monorail. How, you might ask? Ok, here’s what to do:
- Take the Skyliner to Epcot
- Catch the monorail there to the Ticket and Transportation Center
- Hop on a boat or monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
I will readily admit this is the long way or scenic route for sure, so you might prefer this on a return trip or if you’re going back in the evening. However, it is one other free transportation alternative. This is also a good way to get over to the Magic Kingdom resorts if they are your final destination, as there isn’t much in the way of resort-to-resort transportation.
26 – Account for Walking
Since Disney Pop Century is spread out, this is one of the best tips to get you where you want to go in a timely manner. If you’re over on the 80s and 90s side, and you’re trying to get to the Skyliner, it might take you about fifteen minutes to cross the whole resort. If you have somewhere you want to be at a specific time, make sure you budget those fifteen minutes into your travel. You could have accounted for how long it will take to ride the Skyliner, but if you don’t factor in the walking distance it could throw you off.
27 – Be Early
Along the same lines, a good general tip is to be early for all reservations or high-priority events. Don’t plan to show up for your dining experience right at your reservation time. Firstly, Disney asks that you show up at least fifteen minutes early. Second, you don’t know what factors could interfere with you getting there on time. Even if you have your own transportation, Disney World has high-traffic times just like all other roadways. Give yourself at least forty-five minutes to get wherever you’re going, and plan to be at least half an hour early to your reservation.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
28 – Ride Share
While I know not everyone is comfortable with this option, I have had pretty good luck with ride shares at Disney World. Lyft is our go-to, although Uber does operate on property as well. Yes, this option isn’t free, but it can be much quicker and more direct than waiting on Disney transportation.
There are two main times I suggest it – inter-resort travel and rope-drop entrances. Again, there aren’t many good options to get you from one resort to another, so ride share helps with that problem. As for rope drop, or arriving as soon as the park opens, ride share helps you to beat the Disney busses. Busses won’t run before a certain time in the morning, so if you use the ride share you can get there before the rest of the resort crowd. This does mean getting up early, but it’s worth it to be some of the first people in the parks!
29 – Use Your Own Car
All of these transportation tips are moot if you drove your own car! You already have to pay to park at the resorts, you might as well taken advantage of having your own vehicle. As you’re paying the daily parking fee at Pop Century, you do not have to pay the fee again at the parks! Since you’re staying at a value resort, this is a steal.
With all that in mind, I always suggest taking your own car. It is the fastest and most dependable way to get anywhere, especially at the end of a park day. You can always use the Disney transportation to take a quick jaunt back to your resort if you don’t want to lose your parking space…just remember where you left your car!
30 – Everything POP
Everything POP is the primary (and pretty much only) shopping and dining location at Pop Century. It is large enough to accommodate the number of guests at the resort, but you do want to watch out for peak times. This is where having your own breakfast food comes in handy – these counter service locations are the craziest at breakfast time when everyone is trying to eat before heading to the parks.
If you want a Pop Century-specific souvenir, this is where you’ll get it. You can also find other simple dry-good and grocery items here if need be, so make sure you stop in at least once.
31 – Grab and Go
Everything POP also has great grab and go items, whether it’s a piece of fruit or a transportable meal. If you have somewhere to be, this can be a great way to eat quickly without getting bogged down in the crowds. You also can take some of these items back to the room to keep in your mini-fridge, and then have your sandwich (or whatever) out by the pool later than afternoon.
Main point – work smarter, not harder!
32 – Don’t Forget Your Mug!
Everything POP is also where you can pick up your refill mug. If you are unfamiliar with the Disney refill mugs, they originally came about as part of the Disney Dining Plan. Disney resort guests can purchase a refillable mug for all self-service beverages at their resort. \you can buy the mug for $19.99 (sometimes more for specialty mugs). A regular soda at Disney World is $3.99, and if you drink two sodas a day for a five-day vacation, that comes out to $40! With the mug, you can save lot of money on nonalcoholic drinks (soda, juice, coffee, etc.) by refilling instead of buying a new drink.
The free refills are only good for the length of your stay, but as the mugs change in design from time to time, they make great souvenirs. I particularly like to fill mine with coffee on the way to the park, and then rise it out and use it for water later. The refills don’t work in the parks, but if you bring a soda bottle or another beverage you can use the mug then.
33 – Try the Edible Cookie Dough
One of the original Disney locations to have this treat, Everything POP has amazing edible cookie dough options for dessert.
You may be wondering what makes it edible. I mean, isn’t all cookie dough edible? Yes, that is true, however this soft and yummy deliciousness doesn’t have any raw egg or those other ingredients that makes actual cookie dough not 100% safe to eat. Never fear though, this cookie dough is all good, in every sense of the word!
34 – Mobile Order
Skip the line and order your counter service meals on your app! Whether you’re in the parks or just picking up something from Everything POP, Mobile Order is an ideal way to get your food without having to wait. You also can find more customizations on the app, which helps you to get the food just the way you want it. Particularly if you’re really grabbing and going, Mobile Order is a must.
Check out the Mobile Order process in this video!
35 – Order Pizza
Pop Century is one of the resorts that offers what Disney calls “In-Room Dining.” This is not the same as Disney’s typical room service, since the concept is more family-focused. You can order a meal for your whole family (rather than separate entrees) straight to your room! If you’re staying for a week, this is a great cost-effective option to feed your whole family at once, especially since you can’t cook anything in your room.
Some nights, you just want to chill and watch pizza. In-Room Dining allows you to do just that!
36 – Don’t Overeat
While we’re on the subject of food, be aware of how much you’re eating in one sitting. There is a temptation to each waaaaay too much food when you’re in Disney. I get it, there’s amazing food everywhere! When the dining plans return, the need to eat to maximize your investment is even worse.
However, you’re going to regret it if you overdo it. Trust, me, I know from experience! Find simple ways to reduce your meals, like choosing a lighter option instead of a table service. For the snacks, bring your own, or choose something like an apple or granola bar instead of that massive Mickey rice crispy treat. You’ll enjoy your time so much more if you don’t gorge yourself!
37 – Take a Break
One of the biggest mistake people make on their Disney vacation is not stopping for a rest. Even adults need to take a breather, so don’t be afraid to take a break. Especially if you’re at Epcot or Hollywood Studios, you can use the Skyliner and be back at Pop Century within a half an hour.
In the summer, Florida is hot. Everyone in your group, from toddlers to grown-ups, will be glad for the chance to go for a swim or just be in the AC for a little while. This tip is particularly useful if you’re planning to go to the park in the evening, as you can recharge a bit before a late night. Moreover, will such awesome pools at Pop Century, you’ll want to use them!
38 – Know the Distance
Along the same lines, make sure you know how long it is going to take you to get back. Depending on what park you’re going to, it may take you even an hour to get all the way back to your room from the park. If you know you little one needs a quiet nap or you want a dip in the middle of the day, don’t plan to leave the park fifteen minutes before you know a meltdown is coming.
Even if it’s a non-park day, you still want to keep an eye on that clock. You know your children, and you know how quickly they will lose it without a break or nap. Disney transportation, no matter the option, takes longer than you think, so just be prepared!
39 – Pool Etiquette
We know it’s your vacation, but it’s everyone else’s vacation too. Be courteous of others, especially in public areas like the pool. You might be in a group of ten, but if all those kids in your group are going to spend all their time in the pool, they probably don’t need lounge chairs. Keep their towels at the end of your lounger, instead on its own, taking a chair someone else could use.
Also, spot saving isn’t permitted at Disney pools. Please, don’t send down your early riser to take over two tables and six lounge chairs at 7:00am if you’re not planning to go to the pool until 10:00. Not only is it not allowed, it’s not fair to the other guests. Use what you need, making space for the other people staying on property.
40 – Pool Day? Pack a Charger.
If you’re going to spend the day at the pool, you’ll want to throw a charger (preferably of the portable variety) in your pool bag. Particularly if you’re not on the pool side of your block of rooms, or over in the 70s where there isn’t a pool, you might have to walk a bit for your swim. If you don’t want to hike back to your room and then be without your phone why it charges, you’ll take advantage of this tip.
41 – Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Since the pools don’t have tons of natural shade or umbrellas, you’re going to want to lather up in sunblock. Florida sun is no joke, and you don’t want to start your trip with a sunburn. Trust us, it will make the rest of the week miserable.
42 – Hydrate, Hydrate, and Did I Mention Hydrate?
I mean it. Summer in Florida is no joke. I know I sound like a broken record, but newbies you will thank me. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you to the pool, and actually drink it. If you run out, go to Petals Pool Bar or hit the water fountain for some more. The pool will trick you into thinking you aren’t dehydrated, but it will sneak up on you. With the abundance of sun at these pools, make sure you drink up!
43 – Don’t Worry about a Towel!
Disney resorts provide pool towels to their guests, so you don’t need to worry about packing your own. You can of course, but as someone who often flies, I appreciate the fact that I don’t need to pack these bulky items. Even if you do bring your own, grab a resort towel anyway. That way, yours is nice and dry when you want to bundle up for the journey back to your room.
You also can borrow life vests at the Disney pools, so you can save room in the suitcase and leave the puddle jumper at home. Again, if you’re more comfortable with your own, that’s fine. Just remember that big floaties, like those gigantic inflatable islands or animals, are not allowed.
44 – Community Railings
As is the case at most value resorts, Pop Century doesn’t have balconies on their rooms. Instead, the doors to your room are off an external hallway. That means the railing right in front of your room isn’t yours, it is essentially part of the community walkway/hallway space. With that in mind, don’t hang items on the railing.
You aren’t supposed to do this at Disney resorts anyway, but it is especially true in this case. You are much more likely to have your items lost, or, unfortunately, stolen. For wet things, use the retractable shower line to hang them up in your shower. If you’re worried they won’t dry quickly, turn on the fan in the bathroom to circulate the air.
45 – Get a Baby-sitter
You’re travelling with your kids, who you love dearly. However, you and your spouse just want a night to be adults. To go to Ohana at the Polynesian and drink a Lapu-lapu without your kids trying to take it. To not have to share your ice cream at Beaches and Cream over at the Beach Club.
If that sounds appealing, you might want to think about getting a sitter! Disney partners with the independent childcare service, Kid’s Nite Out, to provide in-room baby-sitting for your little ones. Enjoy a few hours out knowing that your children will be well taken care of and well rested for whatever your next day brings.
46 – Take a Jog or Walk
Pop Century has a one-mile jogging path that circles the resort, perfect for a morning run or an evening walk. Yes, I know you might have spent all day walking in the parks, but if it’s a down day a walk can be nice. This path gives you the chance to see the entire resort, which is well worth it. All the massive memorabilia and Disney icons will astonish you…and of course, it’s the perfect chance for a photo opp!
47 – Check out Art of Animation
Right across the Generation Gap Bridge (yes, that’s what it is really called) is Disney’s Art of Animation resort. Built out of what was supposed to be the other half of Pop Century, this family-suites location takes inspiration from classic Disney films. Each block has the theme of a particular movie – Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. This is a great chance for you to get some awesome pictures, and check out their shopping and dining option.
You can totally use the Righteous Reef playground, but the pools are for AOA guests only. However, you can still take all the pictures you want!
48 – Watch a Movie
Not just in your room, but outside! On select nights, you can watch a Disney film favorite outside at the Hippy Dippy pool. This is a fun way to end a day, and a great way to bond with your kids. Again, all the movies are kid-friendly Disney and Pixar classics, so there’s no need to worry about the content.
Make sure you check with the Front Desk to get the schedule of these activities!
It’s Been Real, but It’s Time to Peace Out – Heading Home
49 – Pack the Night Before
It may be the last thing you feel like doing, particularly if you spent your last day at the park, but you’ll be glad you did in the morning. Packing ahead of time means less scramble, and you will be less likely to leave anything behind in the room.
Leave out your outfit for the next day and your essentials, but get everything else ready to go. If you have young kids, make sure you know the location of all their items. Your departure will be much smoother, and you will be less stressed, with this one big to-do item checked off your list.
50 – Have Breakfast!
You might think there isn’t enough time for a meal, especially if you have a flight to catch. However, if you plan ahead, there will be enough time for you to eat before you head out, and we suggest that you do. Heading away from Walt Disney World on an empty stomach not only will make your departure harder, but will most likely make your whole party miserable (especially the kids). Everything POP opens at 7:00am, but if that isn’t early enough for you, consider getting some snacks the night before to hold you over until you get to the airport.
We know that if you use these tips, you’re going to have a great time during your stay at the Disney Pop Century Resort!
Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer
Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.