Pop Century Resort Review or A trip back in time. The arrival

| April 9, 2008

Hi Folks, I recently stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Pop Century Entrance

Let me begin by saying it is important to get a first hand look at each Disney hotel property to really be able to comment about it. It makes a big difference to be at the hotel for a couple of days, so you experience what people that are staying there are really experiencing. The focus is the hotel, not the theme parks when we are there. I have found by doing this you will see things that others that are focused on the theme parks might not see.

I will start my review by saying I am very fond of this hotel. Having grown up in the Classic Years as Disney refers to the time period from 1950 – 2000, I found myself traveling back in time. Even before you get to the security gate you start to feel like you are in a way back time machine. I found signs along the side of the road that brought back memories of past road trips my family and I use to take.

 

These signs I remember were placed along the road as you would approach a hotel . 

I always loved it when we would pull into the parking lot of a hotel that had these signs out front. Disney really does do a good job of bringing back the memories of the last 50 plus years at Pop Century.

I have to tell you the lobby front desk area has to be one of the largest that Disney has at any of their hotels. Look up and you will see a time line that runs the entire length of the lobby check-in area on both walls. Behind the check-in area you will see pictures on the wall of different things that were common to the decade you were on the time line for. In the 50’s you had a picture of a drive-inn movie, a sock hop and Marilyn Monroe. Then continuing down the time line each decade had it’s own set of pictures. Take a few minutes to walk the lobby I think you will say more than a few times “I remember that”

Check-in was painless. The whole process took a total of 15 minutes. It would have been shorter but we decided the room on the 4th floor would be a little too much walking for me. So we paid the extra $12.00 plus tax for a room with a preferred location. My room was in building 1 on the first floor which was a 2 minute walk to Classic Hall. Pricing for the room per night was $119.00 plus the $12.00 preferred room upgrade plus 12.5% tax. This was peak season that we were at the hotel. Rates can run from $82.00 during value season to $129.00 during Holiday season. So if you are looking for a deal, schedule your trip during a value season time period. A quick note if you are asking what the difference between Pop Century and the All Star Resorts are. One of the things is this hotel is the newest of all the Value resorts Disney has. It may not save you a lot but You can save 1% off your total room charge bill, by staying at Pop Century rather than any of the All Star Resorts. Pop Century is in a different county than the All Stars and the tax rate is 12.5% at Pop Century and 13.5% for the All Stars. So for every $1000.00 you spend on the actual room, you will save $10.00. Hey for some people every little bit helps when you are planning a trip. 

After I checked in with the front desk, I had time to wander around the lobby looking at all the glass display boxes on the wall across from the Front Desk area. Again there is a time line that runs the length of the building. At first glance you will see a big wheels attached to the wall along with a few early small portable TV’s and radio’s. Start on the right side as you face this wall and you will get a good idea how events and products evolved over the last 50 plus years. You will see in one display case in the 60’s a newspaper that reports on Man landing on the moon. In the 70’s you will see the newspaper report on the Day Walt Disney World opened. Again if you grew up during these years, you should walk the timeline with your family and you will catch yourself saying” I remember that” many times.

Also in the lobby is the area that kids can go and sit to watch Disney Classic movies that are shown on a retro looking TV. In other Disney resorts the kids sitting area is not always in the best location. Most times it sits almost in the middle of the lobby. Just look at any of the All Stars areas that are set up to watch the cartoons. Pop Century’s area is in its own little alcove away from the main lobby. I think that is a big plus for Pop Century.

Continuing to walk around Classic Hall, I was drawn into the Arcade. Now I have always had high praise in the past that the Contemporary Resort has the biggest and best Arcade anywhere on Disney property. I can’t say that anymore. This arcade is tops in my book. It has a wide variety of non- violent video games, games of skill and a few pin ball machines. They even have the retro games like Pac-Man, Centipede, and Frogger. All games I grew up playing for more time than I am willing to admit to.

Back to the lobby I called the phone number I was given to check whether the room was ready. Not bad, the room was ready at 2:35 pm. Just over an hour from checking in till the room was ready. Not bad at all.

My first impression of the room was that the room had an odor that was either a musty smell or a spray used to cover up a musty smell. It was not a strong smell but it was evident as you walked in the room. I was not the only one that picked up on it. Everyone that came to the room said the same thing. I also felt the room was drab looking and was kind of small. I expected more of a theme in the room, because the outside of the resort is so well themed and colorful. The room square footage is 260 square feet. To compare space, the Moderate resorts average 314 square feet and the deluxe resorts run 380 square feet. The room has two Double beds, one small table with two chairs, and Armoire with a TV in the main part of the room There was a sink area that had a place to hang clothes, with a ironing board and iron, a wall safe, a hair dryer, one sink, and a separate bathroom with a toilet and a tub/shower unit.

The room was clean, except for some of the grout in the bathroom looked like it could use a cleaning. I also felt the blanket and comforter were on the thin side for quality. My bed was very comfortable and noise was not an issue for me during my stay.

Each room has a DSL high speed internet connection. Pricing is $9.95 plus tax per 24 hour time period. So to save a little money, plan carefully what time you start up your 24 hour time period each day. By waiting till something like 10 pm the first night and making sure you log out by 9:55 pm the next night, you can cover two days for one charge. Then wait till the next day before logging in again. It might not be saving much but every little bit helps. Each room has a 3 foot DSL cable in the room that you can use during your stay.

Each room has the H2O products in the bathroom. You are given Face soap, bath soap, and a bottle of Shampoo and conditioner.

For a family of four with two adults , and 2 children ages 14 and 6. You might find this room rather tight. But if you are trying to keep inside a set budget, you can probably get by.

Look for part two of the Review of Pop Century that will touch on the features of the resort.


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Category: Disney World, Editorials

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  • Cyrano

    Great review Bob.
    Looking forward to part II

  • choirboy501

    Thank you, Bob. Great review.
    The mention of hotels on Disney property being located in different counties is interesting. I enjoy it when this type of trivia is mentioned.

  • dpuck1998

    Bob, if you check this comments..did they have any activites in the lobby for kids? I dropped off my sister there once and they have the kids doing sidewalk chalk and hoola-hoops. Just wondering if they still do this.

  • cocowum

    Thanks for the review Bob. We love the POP. :)

  • NC Belle

    I’m enjoying your reviews.

    Dh and I tried Pop twice and had issues on both trips—housekeeping, smoke/musty smells in a non-smoking room, and management handling of issues. We did like the food court and enjoy the icees for breakfast. Dh’s folks visited us with no trouble during free dining in 2006 (their used a week in a time share trade instead of staying on-site).
    We prefer All Star Music for a value resort choice.

  • http://www.wdwinfo.com WebmasterRegina

    Bawb, you’re what one or two years younger than me? We grew up in the prehistoric era and played with rocks, sticks and Spaldings, not Pac Man. :)

  • tinkbutt

    thanks for the review I absolutely love POP me and my Dbf stayed here for our first year anniversary so it has lots of wonderful memories for US!!!

  • disneybridein2k3

    Hey Bob! I know you mentioned the transportation was an issue but wanted to mention one quick thing – Pop does have their own buses which is one benefit over the All Stars who often share their buses.

  • dizneedoll

    Hi Bob! Excellent review. I’m really enjoying all of these hotel reviews! Quick question..I know the Value Resorts don’t provide refridgerators in the room but can one requested? And if so is there an extra charge? And how much? Thanks so much.

  • http://www.wdwinfo.com/ WebmasterBob

    Hey Regina, Who says I have grown up yet. I am still young at heart.

    My era played with American Flyer Trains and erector sets and Silly Puddy.

    I also remember playing baseball in the sand pit near the house with a baseball that was wrapped in electrical tape to keep the cover on it. Then my bat had to be nailed and taped at the handle so I could use it. No organized baseball for the kids that lived on my street. We played all day till the street lights came on.

    Visiting this hotel has brought back so many memories for me and my family.

    Regina it pains me to say you are right, the video games were from the time my kids were growning up not my early childhood. Now I am in my late childhood so it still counts in my book.

    Look for part two of the report soon. In that report I will answer questions that you have made in this comment area. So if you have any other questions, now is the time to post them here.

  • Minnie Lor

    Great review Bawb! I stayed at Pop for the first time this past Dec. I loved the themeing and the thought the food court was delish! Loved the store. It had more that interested me than the World of Disney store. Loved everything except the buses. Looking forward part 2 of your report.

  • crazydisneyman

    My wife and I stayed there last fall and we really liked it. The room is what we thought it would be, but the theming of the grounds was really cool. We were impressed with the food court selections, the size of the gift shop, and the bus service. We never waited very long for the busses. I would recommend this resort over the All-Stars. I can’t wait for Paht 2. Thanks Bawb.

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