Disney Pop Century Resort: The Complete 2021 Guide

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Sign outside Disney's Pop Century resort
Image: Grace Hoyos
Remember all those Disney classics that we love? The Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, and so many more find themselves firmly situated in our hearts. At the Disney Pop Century Resort, immerse yourself in the decades of these incredible films.

Disney Pop Century Resort brings to life the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s…in a big way! Think gigantic bowling bins, huge foosball players, and one truly massive Big Wheel bike. Not to mention super-sized versions of your Disney favorites, each residing within the decade of their movie’s release. Other elements of pop culture, like the fashion, music, and décor from each era influence the theming. This is what gives the resort both its name and flair.

Come with us on a journey through the ages as we explore the Disney Pop Century Resort!


Table of Contents


Far Out! A Look at Disney Pop Century Resort

signs with decades outside Pop Century resort
Image: Grace Hoyos

Broken down into five different sections, Pop Century is an expansive value level resort. Each section is associated with a particular decade, with the T-shaped buildings facing one another. The 1950s is the largest section of the resort, with three buildings, and the 1990s is the smallest with one. The remaining decades each have two buildings with a pool or common ground in between.

Right across from the 1960s at the approximate center of the resort is Classical Hall. This is the main building of the resort – main lobby, bus drop off, and Everything POP are all in this location. As Everything POP is the primary shopping and dining location for the resort, you most likely will hit Classical Hall a few times during your stay.

signs with decades outside Pop Century resort
Image: Grace Hoyos

Even though Disney Pop Century is a value resort, that doesn’t mean you should write it off. Value resorts give you all the fun of staying on Disney property at half the cost, making them ideal for a budget trip or families with kids. I also recommend value resorts to those who will spend most of their time away from the resort. If you’re looking for a Disney resort where you can just rest your head at night, but still get all the perks, a value resort is the way to go!

Disney Pop Century is also just plain fun, with the cool and creative theming appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike. Make your vacation dollar work smarter, not harder, and still have a great time.


History of the Disney Pop Century Resort

Lake view at Pop Century resort
Image: Grace Hoyos

Opening December 14, 2003, Disney Pop Century Resort was actually only half a project. Originally referred to as The Classic Years, Pop Century was meant to have a sister resort – The Legendary Years. Covering the beginning of the 1900s up through the 1940s, Pop Century – The Legendary Years was supposed to be across Hourglass Lake. However, after September 11th, tourism took a dramatic hit and The Legendary Years never came to fruition. The half-finished resort lay across the lake from Disney Pop Century Resort, abandoned until it the reimagining into Disney’s Art of Animation.

In order to bring the incredible, massively over-sized characters and pop culture elements to life, Imagineers worked with the original manufacturers of many of the items to make them as accurate as possible. Toys like Rubik’s cubes were digitally scanned, making it easier for the builders to translate these objects into architectural masterpieces. Of course, the details of the characters received painstaking attention to insure the authenticity that guests have come to expect.


Disney Pop Century Resort Amenities

As a value resort, the amenities at Pop Century are slightly more limited than other locations. However, what they do have is fun, functional, and perfect for families.

Rooms

Bowling pin building at Pop Century resort at Walt Disney World
Image: Grace Hoyos

Selection

At Disney Pop Century Resort, the rooms are in two categories – standard and preferred. The main difference between the two is the location. As Pop Century is a huge resort complex, your room could be fairly far-flung. If you want to be closer to Classical Hall, which houses the dining and shopping, as well as your transportation options, you’ll need to bump up to a preferred room. If you don’t mind a bit of a walk, the standard rooms will work for you. Standard rooms also put you closer to the parking lot, which actually is more convenient if you have your own vehicle.

Exterior of Pop Century resort
Image: Grace Hoyos

Within these categories are view choices, typical of Disney resorts. Pop Century only has one specific view choice – pool view. These rooms are along the inward part of the blocks, facing both the pool and the opposite building in your decade area. Standard or non-pool view rooms face the parking lot or other areas of the resort. Again, this is more about location. If you face the pool, logic dictates you are closer to the pool, which might be a priority for your family. For those that don’t have a preference, or if you have your own vehicle, facing the parking lot might be better. Personally, I prefer to not have pool views because those rooms tend to be noisy from the swimming guests. Again, that’s my personal preference, so when staying at Pop Century, I would choose a standard view over pool and save a few dollars. It’s all about what you want out of the vacation!

Layout

Rooms at Pop Century have a simple layout – either one king bed, or one queen bed with a pull-down queen or queen Murphy bed (table bed). In front of the Murphy bed is a small table and chairs, ideal for a quick breakfast in the morning or for a snack throughout the day. With recent updates, the rooms also have plenty of places to charge your devices.

A split bathroom has the sink outside of the toilet and bathing area, increasing the ease of use, with a pocket door separating the two to save space. On the opposite side of the closet is a small closet area, with shelves for storage and an ironing board. While you might be tempted not to unpack in a smaller room like this, it’s because the room is smaller that you do want to use the storage spaces. I always recommend if you’re staying longer than three nights to get your suitcase unpacked.

If you’re staying as a family, the two-queen setup is perfect. Yes, you’ll have to put the kids’ bed up during the day to give yourself more space, but you can sleep four comfortably. If you’re travelling solo or as a couple, go for the king bed option. This will give you more space within the room, and a bit more storage. Larger families might want to consider two rooms, combining the layouts with what works best for you. Look at it this way – if you have three kids, and one is at least in high school, you could get a king room for yourself and throw all the kids in their own room! My family did this growing up, and it was perfect. My sister and I had our own personal space, and my parents had some privacy of their own. This still works out to be cheaper per night than some single deluxe resort rooms, with the added bonus of more space.

Check out this walkthrough of one of the preferred rooms at Disney Pop Century Resort!

Pools

There are three pool complexes, each located in a different decade region. First is the Bowling Pool, in the 1950s. True to its name, the pool itself is shaped like a bowling bin, set amidst other gigantic pins. At the top of the pin is a humungous jukebox, while the buildings display sock-hopping teens rocking out to the music. Completing the pool area are the sayings of the day, giving you an insight to the teen culture of the 1950s.

The second pool is the Hippy Dippy Pool, which is the largest of the pool complexes. Located in the 1960s, Hippy Dippy has a variety of fountain and shower features, which is great for kids. The smaller kiddie pool is also here, which is nice if you have younger swimmers. You’ll also find the only other dining location, Petals Pool Bar, right outside the main pool area. If you want to be close to this pool specifically, consider booking a preferred pool view, as these rooms are right by the Hippy Dippy Pool.

Finally, the computer pool is over at the 80s and 90s area. A large, square pool space, there’s plenty of seating. You might also get nostalgic with all the 80s and 90s references surrounding the space, like a giant floppy disc and old-school computer.

Know Before You Go

A few things to consider about all the pools:

  1. There is minimal shade at the pools, so you want to make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and water.
  2. Table space is also limited at the pools. If you want a table, be sure to show up early.
  3. Lifejackets are available at all the pools!
  4. Pools are not always guarded – be sure to check the schedule.
  5. As always, pool spaces are first come, first serve. Saving space for a group of ten is not a thing.

If you want a closer look at all three pools, check out this video:

Parking

I can’t find a parking space! Is not something you will say at Disney Pop Century Resort!

Each decade has a parking section, making it easy to find a place to put your vehicle. You have to pay to park your car at Disney resorts, but at the value resorts, it’s only $15 per day. This price gets rolled into your bill at the end of your stay, so no need to worry about it until then.

If you can, I highly recommend having your own car. It makes travelling around Disney property so much quicker, especially right now with restricted capacity on transit. Since you’re paying to park at the resort, you also don’t have to pay for parking at the theme parks, so why not?


Sports and Recreation

As a value resort, Pop Century doesn’t necessarily have all the same sports options as some of the higher tier stays. However, there is still plenty to do!

Jogging Trails

Those who love a good walk or run will enjoy this jogging trail around the resort. The trail is one mile long, so you can start your circuit wherever you like and keep track of your distance from there. This is also a great activity in the evening, taking you around the entirety of the resort while giving you the chance to take some great pictures along the way.

Playground

Over in the 1970s section, a playground complex is the perfect way for your younger kiddos to get out some energy. Especially if you’re taking a break from the parks, you don’t want to just sit in your room during the vacation. Let your little ones swing, slide, run around, and just be kids!

Fast Forward Arcade

While some of the deluxe resorts are getting rid of their arcades, this feature fits right in at Pop Century! Next to the food court in Classical Hall is Fast Forward Arcade, with all of your typical arcade entertainment. This is a great stop on a rainy day, as you can have fun playing the games together without being stuck in your room.

Movie Under the Stars

Like many of the Disney resorts, Pop Century offers an outdoor movie night on select evenings. This is a great way to wrap up your day, especially if you’re not in a park or don’t have to get up early the next morning. Bring your own snacks, a blanket or chairs, and of course your whole family! The movies are always Disney favorites and kid-friendly, so you don’t need to worry about the content. One of the benefits of the family atmosphere!

Movie at Pop Century are over at the Hippy Dippy pool, giving a fun backdrop to the night. This is also a central location in the resort, making it easy for you to find no matter what section you’re staying in.


Transportation

Disney Skyliner

Image of Disney World Skyliner
Image: Grace Hoyos

One of the biggest benefits of staying at Disney Pop Century Resort is that it is right on the Disney Skyliner. With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at the Studios, the need for more transportation options to get guests to and from the parks. The newest way to travel, these adorable gondolas form a path that connects Pop Century, Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, and Disney’s Riviera Resort with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

A station right along the edge of Hourglass Lake gives Pop Century guests direct access to the Skyliner, connecting these resorts to the station at Caribbean Beach. From there, you can continue on to any of the other stops along the route. Having the Skyliner also connects you to the Yacht and Beach Clubs, as well as the whole Disney’s BoardWalk, as these areas are right by the Epcot station. You can make a day of just travelling the Skyliner!

Disney Busses

Like all the Disney resorts, Pop Century gives you access to Disney bus transportation. You can use the busses to get to any of the parks and to Disney Springs. However, busses do not travel between resorts, so to do that you’ll first need to get a bus to Disney Springs and then change busses, or use a ride share option.

Ride Share

Throughout Disney World you can catch a Lyft or Uber using their respective apps. I recommend Lyft, although you should use the one with which you are most comfortable. Ride share is nice because it is a direct route, although of course it is extra cost. However, that has been worth it for me to beat the busses for rope drop or make my dining reservation.


Disney Pop Century Resort Location

Map image of location of Disney's Pop Century Resort
Click on the map!

When driving to Pop Century, you’ll want to get off on the Disney exit for West Osceola Parkway, which will then split into two. Take the right of the split, and turn right onto Victory Way. From there, turn right onto Century Drive, which encircles the resort. Century Drive will lead you to the main entrance and Classical Hall, although later you may choose to keep going to get to the parking lot of your choice.

If you’re coming from Florida 530 or 192, you’ll want to take World Drive to get on West Osceola Parkway, and then onto Victory Way from there.

This may be a point where looking at the map and using the GPS would be helpful. You’ll be able to see the resort from Osceola Parkway long before you’ll actually pull into the parking lot, so getting the right directions will keep you from making mistakes!

Resort Address

1050 Century Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8433


Contact Information

If you need to contact Disney Pop Century Resort directly, their number is (407) 938-4000. However, for questions about your booking, Disney recommends calling (407) 939-5277. For all dining queries, please use their online dining reservation platform.

We know your stay at Disney Pop Century Resort will be positively neato, the rooms far out, the pools gnarly, the views awesome, the food fresh, and just a plain old wonderful time!


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.

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