Back in December I stayed at Pop Century Resort. Before the Art of Animation this was the most popular Value Resort at Walt Disney World. I should give my frame of reference before I checked into Pop. I had stayed at All Star Sports several years ago and since then stayed at a Boardwalk 1 bedroom Villa, Port Orleans French Quarter, Polynesian, Art of Animation family suite and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I had gotten a bit spoiled. I was also with my sister who had only stayed at the Polynesian, which didn’t help with my frame of mind. I had booked this room when I was planning on going by myself and when my sister decided to come I did offer to upgrade to a better resort, she said this was fine.
When we arrived at the hotel my sister was shocked to see that the resort was “motel” style. I was like duh, but then realized that having only stayed at the Poly and only really seeing other Deluxe Resorts this probably wasn’t obvious. It of course meant she hadn’t listened to me talking about other resorts with much attention.
Anyway, I’m not sure she’s gotten over the shock of the “motel” style, but I think the lobby impressed her more then she was expecting. Although we were able to check in, we were not able to get into our room. This was the first time this has happened to me and although it’s a bit of a pain, I thought Disney did a good job of notifying us when our room was ready and the room number so we wouldn’t have to go back to the check in desk.
When we returned to the resort it was dark and my sister was still not feeling the motel style with the big giant windows that everyone walks by. While I guess they’re good for light, they are a little weird too since I can’t imagine leaving the blinds open.
When we walked into the room I think we were both surprised by how small it was, the space was well laid out, but the room was small.
Aside from the small aspect the room was highly functional. There were 2 full sized beds, a flat screen TV, coffee maker, table with 2 chairs, 1 sink that was separate from the shower/toilet. In the sink area there was also a bar for hanging clothes, a safe and a shelf for storage. There was also a dresser with 3 drawers so there was plenty of storage for 2 people. I have to say the room might have been small but I”m pretty sure the shower/toilet area was bigger then the one at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which I thought was interesting. But don’t get excited, I only noticed because I had been at AKL 2 weeks earlier and was taking note of such things.
One complaint I’ve had about several Disney resorts and I had here too is poor lighting, why is it so hard to make a well lit hotel room? As for the room themeing, I thought it was weak. I expected something in the theme of the years I was in (50’s) instead it seemed there was one generic Disney design with Mickeys’ on it. I wonder if this is an area where they might improve the resort during the next refurbishment.
We didn’t spend too much time in the common areas of the resort. Actually, I had planned to take a walk around the resort, but when I got sick half way through the trip I was lucky I got out of bed, I certainly wasn’t going to walk around the resort. And after being at Art of Animation I understood the layout of the resort anyway. The main pool area was large with lots of seating and a bar like area. We didn’t get to go to the pool, we were way too busy on this trip, but it seemed pretty typical of a Value Resort.
The food court was great though. It was pretty typical for a value resort, but I could tell that before the Art of Animation, this was probably the best food court on property. We mostly ate breakfast here, which offered pretty much anything you might want in some way – waffles, pancakes, breakfast burritos, or eggs. Nothing exotic, but all the basics. For lunch and dinner they had the usual stuff: burgers, salads, pasta, pizza and some special items. There is also an ice cream station. I didn’t try the Twinkies Tiramisu or the tie-dye cheesecake, I’ll leave that up to you!
Overall I liked the resort, there were no giraffes or views of the Magic Kingdom, but it certainly offers all the necessities at a low price. When I stayed at All Star Sports for a week I felt like it was too long in such a small room, on this trip I was only there for 5 nights and was barely in the room so it was fine. But if you’re a larger family or staying on a long trip you should keep in mind that the rooms are small and it could get a little tense after a few days.
Has anyone else stayed at Pop Century, what did you think?