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