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Disney's Pop Century Resort Overview
near the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is Pop Century Resort. Originally designed to be completed in phases, the resort opened its first section in 2004. The second phase was canceled in favor of a new Value resort, Disney’s Art of Animation.
How Pop Century Compares to Other Disney Value Resorts
Pop Century is a little more expensive - and a little bit better - than Disney's 3 older value resorts, the All-Star Movies, Music and Sports resorts; Pop Century is slightly less expensive than the newer — and better — Art of Animation value resort.
Pop Century is a near-clone of the All-Star Resorts—that is, four-story, motel-style buildings built around a central pool, food court, and registration area. Decorative touches make the difference. Where the All-Star Resorts display larger-than-life icons from sports, music, and movies, and Art of Animation is inspired by Disney cartoons, Pop Century draws its icons from decades of the 20th century and their attendant popular culture: building-sized Big Wheels, hula hoops, and the like, punctuated by silhouettes of people doing the jitterbug and the twist.
The public areas at Pop Century are marginally more sophisticated than the ones at the All-Star Resorts, with 20th-century period furniture and decor rolled up in a saccharine, those-were-the-days theme. A food court, a bar, a playground, pools, and so on emulate the All-Star Resorts model in size and location. A Pop Century departure from the All-Star precedent has merchandise retailers thrown in with the fastfood concessions in a combination dining-and-shopping area. This apparently is what happens when a giant corporation tries to combine selling pizza with hawking Goofy hats. (You just know the word synergy was used like cheap cologne in those design meetings.) As at the All-Star Resorts and Art of Animation, there’s no full-service restaurant. The resort is connected to the rest of Walt Disney World by bus, but because of the limited dining options, we recommend having a car.
Running $107–$209 per night, guest rooms at Pop Century are small at 260 square feet. The decor is upbeat, with white bedspreads and blue walls. Wall art depicts pop memorabilia from decades past. Cherry-finish wood-inlaid furniture and blue-and-tan-patterned carpet provide an upscale touch, but these are not rooms you’d want to spend a lot of time in. Bathrooms are tiny and counter space a scarce commodity. Worst of all, we’ve received many complaints from readers that the soundproofing between rooms is inadequate. A lake separating Pop Century from the Art of Animation Resort offers water views not available at the All-Star Resorts.
Look for building-sized Big Wheels, 8-track tapes, and Disney characters, punctuated by silhouettes of people dancing the decade's fad dance.
The biggest visual difference between Pop Century and the All-Star Resorts is the decorations in front of each building. The All-Star Resorts have larger-than-life icons from sports, music, and movies, while Pop Century draws its icons from the 1950's to 1990's.
Where To Check-In, Get Theme Park Tickets, and Make Dining Reservations
A security gate guards the entrance to Pop Century's grounds. If you arrive by car, you'll need to provide photo ID at the gate; it's not necessary to provide your reservation number or paperwork. A dedicated parking lot across from the lobby serves as temporary parking for those who need it while checking in.
Check-in time at Pop Century is 3:00 PM, and check-out time is 11:00 AM. Pop Century participates in Disney's Online Check-In program, which allows you to you provide name, address, and credit card information up to 60 days before your arrival. If you've done this, look for an Online Check-In sign near the Registration Desk. You'll be routed to one of the Online Check-in staff and should be on the way to your room in a few minutes.
If you've not registered online, look for signs pointing you to the Registration/Check-In area. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID and credit/debit card when you register. While parents are completing the paperwork, kids can unwind in a nearby play area decorated with child-sized furniture, and a television showing classic Disney animated films.
Pop Century's registration staff can provide MagicBands for your stay, if you don't already have them. Get theme park tickets and dining reservations at the Concierge Desk, to the right of the Registration Desk. If you need to check in and obtain theme park tickets, you can save some time in line if one adult gets in line for tickets just after another adult starts the registration process. The Concierge Desk can also make Disney dining reservations, and you can avoid a wait there by making them online prior to arrival.
Left: The hotel's lobby, called Classic Hall, features 20th-century period furniture, photos, and toys presented in a saccharine those-were-the-days theme. Right: Kids can play in a special waiting area while parents check in.
Pop Century's Rooms
Guest rooms at Pop Century are small at 260 square feet. Almost all Pop Century rooms sleep 4, plus one child in a crib. The decor is upbeat, with white bedspreads, themed-print duvet covers and wall art depicting pop memorabilia from decades past. Light-finish wood furniture and dark, patterned carpet provide an upscale touch, but these are not rooms you'll want to spend a lot of time in.
Left:Birds-eye view of a room. Right:White bedspreads and patterned bed scarves replaced the full-length, themed bedspreads in 2013.
Each Pop Century room is furnished with the following:
- Two double beds (some ADA-accessible rooms have 1 king bed)
- Dresser with 3 medium-size drawers and 2 open shelves
- Small table with 2 chairs
- Nightstand with telephone and digital alarm clock
- Full-length mirror (on bath door)
- WiFi wireless Internet access
- Flat-panel TV
- Ironing board and iron
- Hair dryer
- Digital thermostat
- In-room safe
- Tiny bottle of H2O-brand shampoo, and bar soap
The mini-fridge is a dorm-style unit that sits under a counter or desk. It's more like a beverage chiller than a refrigerator in that it'll keep drinks cool, but you're not going to freeze popsicles or make ice cubes in it. What you won't find in your Pop Century room is a microwave, coffee maker (you'll need to stay at a Disney moderate resort or higher), or wired Internet access.
Pop Century bathrooms are tiny. Almost all feature a tiled tub with shower, while some wheelchair-accessible rooms have a roll-in shower without tub. One nice feature in the standard bathrooms is a shower curtain rod that curves outward, so you're not always elbowing the shower curtain while shampooing. Water pressure in the shower is average - probably less than what you get at home, but still enough to get your hair clean. Eventually.
A separate dressing area next to the bathroom includes one sink, but not much counter space. A 1500-watt, wall-mounted hair dryer is provided, but it's not very powerful; bring your own if you've got lots of hair. The dressing area includes a curtain that separates it from the sleeping area. Combined with the bathroom, this means that 3 people can get dressed at the same time.
Handicap-Accessible Room Options
Pop Century has around 200 handicap-accessible rooms. Some feature roll-in showers, while others include assistive hearing devices. A subset of these rooms have been converted to comply with Florida's Accessibility Code, with changes to everything from bed, counter-top, and dresser drawer height, to door widths, wheelchair ramps, and more.
Some of Pop's accessible rooms have the standard setup of 2 double beds; all rooms with roll-in showers have 1 king bed, and a small number of roll-in shower rooms have both 1 king bed and 1 double bed. Use our hotel room finder to see which rooms have which features.
Standard Rooms and Preferred Rooms, Standard Views and Pool Views
Disney knows that some hotel rooms are better than others. Most people prefer to be close to the lobby and dining, and want something pretty to look at from their hotel room window. To capitalize on this, Disney categorizes all of Pop Century's hotel rooms based on how long it takes you to walk to the lobby, and what you see from inside the room.
Here's the system Disney uses:
- A Preferred Room with Standard View is a room in buildings 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 10 that is close to the Classic Hall Lobby and Everything Pop Food Court. The view
from your window may include landscaping and trees,
or be blocked almost completely by a giant decoration.
While all Preferred rooms are in buildings 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10, not every room in those buildings is categorized as Preferred; some rooms at the far ends of these buildings are distant enough from the lobby to be considered Standard rooms.
- A Preferred Room with Pool View is a room in buildings 4 or 5, also close to the lobby and food court, and which faces the Hippy Dippy Pool area.
First floor rooms here tend to have views of the backs of lounge chairs sitting around the pool,
so upper-floor rooms generally have better views.
Like Standard View rooms, some Pool View room windows are blocked by Pop's decorations.
- Standard Rooms with Standard Views are found in all Pop Century buildings. These Standard/Standard rooms are either a slightly farther walk to the lobby (an extra 3-5 minutes),
and have generally unremarkable views of
or signs. These are the cheapest rooms at Pop Century, but there are some gems to be found
in this category, though, using our Pop Century Room Finder.
For example, room 9308 has a good view of the Computer Pool, but it's a Standard/Standard because a tiny part of one of the building's signs is visible in
the upper left corner of the window.
- Pop's Standard Rooms with Pool Views are found in buildings 1, 2, 3, 7 and 9. Pool view rooms in buildings 1, 2, and 3 face the 1950's-themed Bowling Pool, while rooms in buildings 7 and 9 face the 1990's Computer Pool.
There are plenty of exceptions to Disney's room category system. Knowing what to look for will help you get a better room at a cheaper price.
For example, rooms 1x65 to 1x72 in Building 1 are Pool View because they face the 1950's Bowling Pool. However, room 1163 also faces the pool, but it's a cheaper Standard/Standard because the rooms around it have unexceptional views. To find these kinds of rooms, use our Room Finder to search for Standard Rooms with Pool Views, and click on the rooms not highlighted in red, just next door to the rooms which are highlighted in red. This will help you find the "borderline" cases where Disney was hesitant to upcharge for a better room.
Pools and Playgrounds at Pop Century
Pop Century has 3 pools. The largest, The Hippy Dippy Pool, sits directly behind the Classic Hall lobby and food court, between the two buildings dedicated to the 1960's. The flower-shaped pool is painted in bright colors that match the surrounding buildings. Adjacent to the Hippy Dippy Pool is a water play area, where small children can play in gentle fountains of water bubbling up from the ground.
The three buildings of the 1950's section contain the Bowling Pool. As its name suggests, this pool area is themed like a bowling alley, and features bowling ball racks and oversized shoe racks. The Bowling Pool is considered a "quiet pool," meaning that loud play and splashing around are discouraged.
Pop Century's third pool is The Computer Pool, found in the 1990's section. (We hoped for a pool shaped like "The Rachel" - Jennifer Aniston's haircut on Friends.) The Computer Pool is shaped like a gigantic laptop PC and, like the Bowling Pool, is considered a quiet pool.
The 1950's Bowling Pool and 1990's Computer Pool. Both are quiet pools, free from loud play and splashing around.
Pop Century's pools range in depth from around 3 feet 6 inches/1.1m to 4 feet 9 inches/1.4m. Pop's pools are open every day, including during winter. Pools are heated to 82°F/28°C throughout the year. We've swum in temperatures as cold as 40°F/4°C; the water was fine, but getting out was a shock. Pop Century does not have a hot tub or jacuzzi; those are found at Disney's moderate and deluxe resorts.
There are no water slides at Pop Century's pools, or any of the value resort pools for that matter, but guests can find showers, storage lockers, restrooms, and laundry facilities at each of the three pools. Pool hours are at least 9AM to 9 PM, extending to as much as 8 AM to 12 AM during busy times. All three pools will have lifeguards during the pools' operating hours.
Infants and children in diapers are welcome in all of Pop's pools, as long as they're wearing swim diapers. Water wings are allowed at all Disney pools, and every pool has free life vests in a variety of sizes:
- Infant/child: Weight less than 30 lbs.
- Child: Weight 30-50 lbs.
- Youth: Weight 50-90 lbs.
- Adult XS: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 31-34 in.
- Adult S: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 34-37 in.
- Adult M: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 37-40 in.
- Adult L: Weight more than 90 lbs. Chest size 40-43 in.
- Adult XL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 43-46 in.
- Adult XXL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 46-48 in.
- Additionally, there may be a small supply of even larger vests. Inquire at your resort.
You may need to bring your towels from your room to use at the pool - Disney sometimes stocks extra towels poolside, and sometimes they don't. Our advice is to send someone down to the pool to check the towel situation before you go. If you end up using your room towels at the pool, just call Housekeeping when you get back and request more.
Pool toys are permitted in Pop Century's pools, including "pool noodles" (which you may find at the Everything Pop shop in the lobby), and basic toys that would be appropriate for water use such as rubber duckies and bucket & shovel sets. Some of us will occasionally bring something like a whiffle ball for playing catch in the pool. As long as you’re not disturbing other guests, you’ll be fine. Also note that kids with pool toys become very popular with other kids in the pool who want to play too. If you’re traveling with an only child and want him to have some age cohort interaction during your vacation, a nice strategy is to bring some extra toys. Chances are he’ll make a buddy.
Wheelchair Accessibility at Pop's Pools
Pop Century's Hippy Dippy Pool has a chair-lift device that can lower guests in wheelchairs into the shallow end of the pool. Check with any lifeguard for assistance on using the lift.
Playgrounds at Pop Century
A small playground set is located between the 1970's building 10 and Classic Hall. The set has two small plastic slides and a couple of sections with a few steps for toddlers to go up and down. Safety seems to be Disney's concern here - there are no swings, and the entire area is covered in a springy, poured rubber surface.
A small water play named Goofy Pop Jet Playground area sits at the end of Building 5 nearest Classic Hall in the 1960's section. This play area is also surfaced with poured rubber, and has water jets bubbling up from the ground. "Surfer Goofy" and 1960's sports car statues are nearby for photo opportunities.
Restaurants and Dining
There's no full-service restaurant at any Disney value resort, including Pop Century. Instead, Pop Century has the Everything POP food court that's unfortunately attached to Pop Century's gift shop. If you're walking through the lobby, there's no way to get to the food court without going through the gift shop.
Everything Pop is set up like a food court at a mall. There are 7 different stations, each selling one set of meals. For example, one station sells pizza and pasta; another sells burgers; another is dedicated to sandwiches, and so on. If your kids each want something different, you'll have to line up several times. The good news is that some of the food is prepared on demand, so you'll at least be getting your burger cooked to order.
Prices range from $6 to $15 for an entree so you won't break the bank. None of the desserts are particularly interesting but there is a nice assortment of ice cream sundaes and shakes. One of the resort's few signature items is the Tie-dyed Cheesecake, which gets mixed reviews from our readers.
Everything Pop is set up like a mall food court. Seven different stations each serve a different type of food.
Everything Pop's breakfast menu has the usual combinations of eggs, potatoes, bacon, ham, waffles, pancakes, and biscuits, either alone or in various "platter" options. An omelet station serves veggie, egg white, and Western omelets, plus "Floridian" (with shrimp, tomatoes, and guacamole), "Italian" (with sausage, peppers, and mozzarella cheese), and "Southwest" (with shredded beef, black bean salsa, and chipotle sour cream). Other tasty breakfast options include corned beef hash, Spanish quiche, and a variety of yogurts. Kids' breakfast choices are essentially the same, only with smaller portions. There's also a breakfast turkey sandwich option.
For lunch and dinner, Everything Pop serves typical food court fare such as pizza, pasta, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, and salads. That menu is usually supplemented with nightly or weekly specials, such as burritos, nachos, and quesadillas, fish and chips, and other easily identifiable cuisine. Even the pickiest eaters should be able to find something on the menu. And, like at breakfast, kids' choices at lunch and dinner are generally the same as adults, with smaller portion sizes.
Everything Pop Food Court Hours
- Breakfast Dining Hours 6:00 AM - 11:00 AM Breakfast menu / Kids' breakfast menu
- Lunch Dining Hours 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Lunch menu / Kids' lunch menu
- Dinner Hours 5:00 PM - 12:00 AM Dinner menu / Kids' dinner menu
Everything Pop participates in the Disney Dining Plan; meals cost 1 Quick Service credit, and there are a wide variety of snacks to use as Snack credits on the Dining Plan. Tables in Wonderland cardholders are eligible for a 20% discount at Everything Pop.
Free refills are available for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and fountain drinks (including juice and milk) during your meal at Everything Pop. A huge beverage station sits just beyond the cash registers, and this station also provides toaster ovens, hot water, ice, condiments, and napkins. Everything Pop also participates in Disney's Rapid Fill refillable mug program, where you purchase a souvenir plastic mug once, and get free refills for the remainder of your stay. The cost varies depending on how long you're staying at the resort:
- $8.99 for 1 day
- $11.99 for 2 days
- $14.99 for 3 days
- $17.99 for length of stay (4 or more days)
The break-even point for the refillable mug program seems to be around 3 visits on the 1-day plan; 4 visits on the 2-day plan; 5 on the 3-day plan; and 6 visits for stays of 4 or more days. Keep in mind that if you buy a regular $3 fountain soda at any meal, you get unlimited refills during that meal. So for the refillable mug program to make sense, you'll need to drink soda with at least 3 separate meals on the 1-day plan, or 5 separate meals on the 2-day plan. In those cases, it would be hard to get too far from a bathroom, let alone all the way to the parks.
Pizza delivery is available to your room from Disney's own delivery service. Besides pizza, chicken wings, desserts, beer, wine, and sodas are also available. However, delivery can take up to 90 minutes, and the food quality is often below average. You're probably better off either walking to the food court or calling Domino's. Pizza delivery hours are 4 PM to midnight daily. A medium (16") cheese pizza costs around $14 and a pepperoni around $16. Minimum order is $15, and Disney will tack on an 18% tip, $3 delivery charge, and 7% sales tax. Thus, a $30 pizza order will cost you $40.50 delivered.
Petals Pool Bar Just outside of the food court and on the way to the Hippy Dippy Pool is the Petals Pool Bar. Petals has outdoor seating and a limited drink menu, with several beer selections, a couple of wines, and a small selection of spirits. It's fine if you want a Budweiser or strawberry margarita to relax with by the pool, or to get a nightcap on the way back to your room for the night. Petals Pool Bar is usually open 12 PM to 12 AM daily, weather permitting.
Transportation to and from Pop Century
Driving Your Own Car Disney's Pop Century Resort is just off of I-4 in Lake Buena Vista. Take I-4 Exit 65 - Animal Kingdom / Wide World of Sports and you'll end up on Osceola Parkway. Stay on Osceola for 0.9 miles/1.5 km, then turn right on Victory Way. Go about 0.6 miles/1 km down Victory Way, then turn right on to Century Drive, which is Pop Century's entrance road. You'll see Pop Century's sign well before you need to turn.
Pop Century's GPS address and location are:
Disney's Pop Century Resort
1050 Century Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32807
Latitude: 28.350444 North, Longitude: 81.541198 West
From Orlando International Airport If you're arriving at Orlando International Airport, Disney's free Magical Express bus service will take you and your luggage directly from the airport to Pop Century, then back to the airport when it's time for your flight home.
From Sanford International Airport It's about a 40-minute drive from Sanford to Pop Century. If you're not renting a car, be aware that Sanford's airport offers fewer transportation options than Orlando's, and Sanford's options are generally much more expensive. A taxi from Sanford International Airport to Pop Century will cost between $120 and $150, depending on traffic. Mears Transportation offers 3-passenger towncar service to Pop Century for around $140 each way, plus tip; 5-passenger SUV service or 10-passenger van is around $190 each way. That means round-trip transportation will run you somewhere between $240 and $380, plus tip, between Sanford and Pop Century. At those prices, it may be less expensive to rent a car and park it at the hotel.
Getting to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney Disney provides free bus service from Pop Century to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, and Downtown Disney/Disney Springs. Pop Century's bus stops sit along the front wall of the Classic Hall lobby, between the lobby and check-in parking lot. Each theme park has its own bus stop somewhere along the wall. Animal Kingdom's bus service is shared with Blizzard Beach, while Downtown Disney/Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon also share a stop and service. Pop Century does not share bus service with any other resort, including Art of Animation.
Pop Century's Bus Schedule
Ask a Disney Castmember about Pop's bus schedule, and they'll tell you that buses run about every 20 minutes. In reality, Pop's bus schedule varies considerably depending on the time of day and where you're headed.
For example, if you're headed to the Magic Kingdom between 8 AM and 11 AM, you'll wait around 12 minutes, on average, for a bus to arrive. The bus schedules for Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios are about the same early in the day, with a bus arriving every 13-17 minutes, on average. Bus schedules to the water parks and Downtown Disney are a little less frequent, and you could wait anywhere from 16 to 34 minutes for a ride.
Buses run a little slower from around 11 AM to around 4 PM, when most people are already in a park. Disney's evening buses are scheduled around the theme parks' closing times, where most of the fleet is deployed to get guests back to their hotels. Your waits to return to your hotel from a theme park should average out to around 20 minutes under most circumstances.
If you've got your own car, it's faster to drive yourself to Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks, and Downtown Disney. Disney's bus service is faster to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. We evaluate Pop Century's bus service annually, and the latest transportation times can be found below.
Each theme park has its own bus stop for Pop Century. Pop does not share bus service with Art of Animation.
Getting to another hotel from Pop Century If you've got dining plans at another Disney hotel, the cheapest option is to take a Disney bus from Pop Century to Downtown Disney (or an open theme park), then take another bus from there to your destination hotel. Do the reverse to get back to Pop Century. While that's free, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours each way. If your destination is one of the Magic Kingdom monorail resorts, and the Magic Kingdom is still open, you could take a bus to the Magic Kingdom, then either walk (to the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower), hop on the monorail (to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian), or take a boat (to Fort Wilderness, the Wilderness Lodge, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian). We suggest you still allow at least an hour for that.
The fastest option, however, is almost always a taxi from Pop to wherever you're going; it's generally not more than a $20, 15-minute cab ride to get to most Disney hotels from Pop, and often less. Taxis are available outside the Classic Hall lobby; if a taxi is not already sitting out front, the bell services desk also serves as a taxi stand, and they'll call one for you.
To Universal Orlando If you're staying at Walt Disney World and don't have a car, Mears Transportation will shuttle you from your hotel to Universal and back for $18 per person. Pickup and return times are at your convenience. A one-way taxi ride is around $36, and may be the cheapest option if you have three to five people.
Shopping, Recreation, and Things To Do at Pop Century
Pop Century's gift shop is Everything Pop and sits just off the lobby, between the check-in area and the food court. As you'd expect from a Disney gift shop, Everything Pop has a decent collection of souvenirs ranging from small trinkets such as keychains and pens, to embroidered jackets and Disney princess dresses. Prices for these items are about what you'd pay in the theme parks or Downtown Disney.
In a remarkable coincidence of design, you've got to go
through the Everything Pop gift shop to get to the food court.
Everything Pop also sells basic pharmacy items such as sunscreen, aspirin, allergy and cold medicine, baby diapers and formula, shampoo, and the like. And Everything Pop has Disney-branded cookies, chocolate, coffee tins, and similar items, if that's what you're looking for. Prices for these items are considerably higher - about double - than what you'd probably pay at home.
Also located just off the Classic Hall lobby is the Fast Forward Arcade, which has a decent collection of relatively recent video and arcade games. Most games cost $0.50 to $2.00 per play, which can add up quickly. It's helpful to set a budget with your kids before they go in.
Walkers, joggers and runners will find that one lap around Hourglass Lake, which separates Disney's Pop Century Resort from the Art of Animation Resort, is a scenic 1.28-mile/2 km course. (Pop Century jogging trail.) Generation Gap Bridge cuts through the middle of the course. If you're looking for a different distance, one lap around half the lake, including Generation Gap Bridge, is about 0.7 miles/1.2 km. You won't find a gym, fitness center, indoor pool, or spa at Pop Century.
Pop Century's free Movies Under the Stars program shows a different Disney film every night of the week on a small outdoor screen set up near the 1960's buildings, between the Hippy Dippy Pool and Classic Hall. Folding chairs are provided. The movie schedule varies based on when it gets dark, and may start as early as 7 PM during winter, or as late as 9 PM during summer. A sign near the pool will have the schedule for the next two days. In the event of rain, movies are usually shown in the small children's play area adjacent to the check-in desk in the Classic Hall lobby.
Pop Century Babysitting and In-Room Child Care
Disney doesn't offer on-site child care at Pop Century, but you've got some options. If you've got a car and you're headed to the theme parks, you can drop off your little ones at one of the child-care clubs at a resort nearby. Services vary, but children generally can be left between 4:30 PM and midnight. Milk and cookies and blankets and pillows are provided at all centers, and dinner is provided at most. Play is supervised but not organized, and toys, videos, and games are plentiful. Guests at any Disney resort or campground may use the services.
The most elaborate of the child-care centers (variously called "clubs" or "camps") is Lilo's Playhouse at the Polynesian Resort. The rate for ages 3-12 is $15 per hour, per child (2-hour minimum).
All the clubs accept reservations (some six months in advance!) with a credit card guarantee. Call the club directly, or reserve through Disney at 407-WDW-DINE. (If you call before 4 PM, call the club directly using the number shown below.) Most clubs require a 24-hour cancellation notice and levy a hefty penalty of 2 hours' time or $22.50 per call for no-shows. A limited number of walk-ins are usually accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
|Hotel||Name of Program||Ages||Phone|
|Animal Kingdom Lodge||Simba's Clubhouse||3-12||407-938-4785|
|Dolphin and Swan||Camp Dolphin||4-12||407-934-4241|
|Polynesian Resort||Lilo's Playhouse||3-12||407-824-1639|
|Yacht and Beach Club Resorts||Sandcastle Club||3-12||407-934-3750|
|Wilderness Lodge and Villas||Cub's Den||3-12||407-824-1083|
If you don't have a car, then you're better off using in-room babysitting. Trying to take your child to a club in another hotel by Disney bus requires a 50- to 90-minute trip each way. By the time you've deposited your little one, it will almost be time to pick him or her up again.
Two companies provide in-room sitting in Walt Disney World and surrounding areas. They're Kid's Nite Out and Fairy Godmothers (no kidding). Both provide sitters older than age 18 who are insured, bonded, screened, reference-checked, police-checked, and trained in CPR. In addition to caring for your kids in your room, the sitters will, if you direct (and pay), take your children to the theme parks or other venues. Neither service will transport your children in private vehicles or give baths. Both offer bilingual sitters.
|Kid's Nite Out||Fairy Godmothers|
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
Men and women
Mothers and grandmothers, female college students
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $18
2 children, $21
3 children, $24
4 children, $26
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $16
2 children, $16
3 children, $16
4 children, $18
Transportation fee, $10; starting before 6:30 AM
or after 9 PM, +$2 per hour; additional fee for holidays
Transportation fee, $14; starting after 10 PM,
+$2 per hour
24 hours before service when reservation is made
3 hours before service
Form of Payment
AE, D, MC, V; gratuity in cash
Form of Payment
Cash or traveler's check for actual payment; gratuity in cash
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children in private vehicles,
take children swimming, give baths
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children, give baths; swimming
is at sitter's discretion
Washers and dryers are in laundry facilities next to each pool. Cost is $3 per wash, and another $3 per dry cycle. The machines take credit cards. A small selection of soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets are also sold, for around $1 each. A typical wash cycle takes 20 to 30 minutes, and a typical dry cycle takes 40 to 50.
Laundry room cards can be purchased for $7 (using cash or credit) at the hotel's front desk. These cards get you one wash and one dry cycle, plus text messages letting you know when your laundry has been completed. Walt Disney World laundry rooms now make use of a technology called "LaundryView" which displays washer and dryer availability on their website.
A caricature artist is located just off the Classic Hall lobby at Pop Century, who can create a stylized portrait of one or more family members to commemorate your trip. The cost varies based on how many people are drawn, and whether the portrait is in color. The process takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, and the artist is available most afternoons.
If you lose something during your stay, contact Pop Century's Lost and Found department by calling (407)934-3090.
List of Pop Century's Building Icons
- Building 1, Rooms 1101-1472, 1950's theme: Lady from Lady and the Tramp
- Building 2, Rooms 2101-2472, 1950's theme: Jukebox
- Building 3, Rooms 3101-3472, 1950's theme: Tramp from Lady and the Tramp
- Building 4, Rooms 4101-4472, 1960's theme: Can of Play-Doh
- Building 5, Rooms 5101-5472, 1960's theme: Mowgli and Baloo from Jungle Book
- Building 6, Rooms 6101-6472, 1970's theme: Mickey Mouse telephone
- Building 7, Rooms 7101-7472, 1980's theme: Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- Building 8, Rooms 8101-8472, 1990's theme: Laptop Computer
- Building 9, Rooms 9101-9472, 1980's theme: Sony Walkman Music Player
- Building 10, Rooms 0101-0472, 1970's theme: Big Wheel
Reader Reviews of Pop Century
A reader from Dublin, Georgia, thinks we underrate Pop:
I can’t believe you don’t like Pop Century. (1) It’s far superior to the All-Star Resorts. (2) There’s a lake at a Value resort and a view of fireworks. (3) The courtyards have Twister games and neat pools for little children. (4) The memorabilia is interesting to us of a certain age. (5) I love the gift shop, food court, and bar combo. The [dinner entrees are among] the best bargains and the best food anywhere. (6) Bus transportation is better than anywhere else, including Grand Floridian! (7) The layout is more convenient to the food court. (8) I never hear construction noise, and the noise from neighbors is not worse than anywhere else. (9) Where else do the cast members do the shag to oldies?
Don’t know what it is about Pop Century fans, but they seem to have a propensity for making lists—take this Waukee, Iowa, family:
We loved Pop Century Resort: (1) It was cheap enough that we had plenty of money left over for other fun things at Disney. (2) A shrimp [entrée] was one of the most awesome fast-food items we’ve had at Disney. (3) Although the rooms are a little small and the lighting isn’t the best, the resort is affordable enough that without tax two rooms at the Pop Century are in the same price range as one room at other resorts. (4) It’s not far from any park at Disney, nor from Disney Springs. (5) The combo food court–shopping area really works: My grandparents can eat breakfast in the food court while my brother, sister, parents, and I shop. (6) Food is actually pretty affordable for Disney. (7) Great pools that are not too far from our rooms. (8) You can request a room on the first floor, near the parking lot. They were really accommodating when we explained that I had to have a rather heavy oxygen tank brought to our room, so it would be easier on us to stay on the first floor. (9) Check-in takes probably the least amount of time that I have ever seen at a Disney resort.
But a Springfield, Illinois, dad gives Pop Century a mixed review:
We wanted something different from All-Star Movies (two stays in the previous three years), so we gave Pop Century a shot. Believe the noise complaints—they’re true. It’s like the walls were made of papier-mâché. Although the bus service was great and the pool (and splash pools) were nice for a Value resort, we’ll be back at All-Star Movies the next time around.
A family from Spartanburg, South Carolina, was also disturbed by the noise:
The one thing I should have paid more attention to was the noise level rating at Pop Century. The resort itself was great, but it was hard to actually nap when we came back to the resort each afternoon due to music and games on the loudspeakers. Do not face the 1960s pool if you want some R&R.
Blog Posts About Disney's Pop Century Resort
- SATURDAY SIX: Six MORE Extreme Eats at Walt Disney World
- The Demographic Disney Forgot: Best Disney World Resorts for Teen Boys
- SATURDAY SIX: Six Ways To Get Your Disney Fix Outside of the Theme Parks
- SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Disney's Pop Century Resort
- Get to Know the Disney World Pools, Part Two: The Value Resort Pools
- Disney's Pop Century Resort - My Home Away From Home
- Resort Exploring: Vol. 3 - Pop Century
- Take A Stroll Down Memory Lane at Pop Century!
- Pop into Pop Century!
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Pop Century Resort||76% (+6%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Pop Century Resort||91% (-2%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Best and Worst Room Views at Disney's Pop Century Resort
TouringPlans offers pictures of the view from any Disney resort room on property. Click here for the Pop Century Resort map and to choose a room to see the view.
Being a value resort means that Pop Century doesn't offer many spectacular views. But there are a few rooms that are better than the usual parking lot or loud pool area.
Good Rooms in Building 1 of the 1950's
Building 1 rooms facing east are, unfortunately, looking over a parking lot. Most of the western-facing rooms, though, give views of The Bowling Pool. Building 1 is also a short walk to Classic Hall. Good views in Building 1 include rooms 1X16-1X20 (replace X with the floor number), and rooms 1X30-1X36. Rooms 1X64-1X72 also offer nice view of The Bowling Pool, but this comes at the cost of some higher than usual noise levels.
Bad views in Building 1 include:
- Rooms 1X02-1X07, which look at the back of a maintenance building
- Room 1137, which is a ground floor view of a light pole in the parking lot
- Rooms 1142-1154 and 1159-1162, ground floor rooms with views of water pipes, service areas, and parking lots
Finally, rooms 1X18-1X27 at Pop Century would be considered a "Woods View" if they were at, say, Wilderness Lodge. They're not bad views, if you like nature.
Good Rooms in Building 2 of the 1950's
Good views in building 2 include rooms 2X15-2X20, 2X38-2X40, 2X58-2X60, which offer good views and low noise levels.
Rooms 2X01, 2X68, and 2X70-2X72 also offer nice views of The Bowling Pool, but these rooms have above-average noise levels because they face the pool and are near the intersections of several pedestrian walkways.
Other high-traffic rooms to avoid in building 2 are rooms 2X02-2X07, 2X13, 2X24-2X28, 2X44-2X57, and 2X69.
Good Rooms in Building 3 of the 1950's
Building 3 offers nice views of Hourglass Lake and The Bowling Pool. Like building 1, it also has the advantage of being close to Classic Hall. Good views in building 3 include rooms 3X14-3X21, 3X29-3X38, and 3X57-3X65. Rooms 3X02-3X13 also offer a nice view of The Bowling Pool, but this comes at the cost of some higher than usual noise levels.
Bad views in building 3 are 3X24-3X27, 3X42-3X55, and 3X66-3X72.
Good Rooms in Buildings 4 and 5 of the 1960's
Most rooms in Building 4 and 5 give nice views of either Hourglass Lake or Hippy Dippy Pool. These buildings also have the advantage of being closely located to Pop Century's lobby, Classic Hall. Good views in building 4 include rooms 4X35-4X43, and 4X54-4X65. Rooms 4X01-4X02, 4X04-4X12, and 4X69-4X72 also offer a nice view of The Hippy Dippy Pool, but this comes at the cost of some higher than usual noise levels.
Bad views in building 4 are 4X03, 4X17-4X32, 4X48-4X53, and 4X67-4X68.
Good views in building 5 include rooms 5X09-5X21 and 5X29-5X41. Rooms 5X01-5X05, 5X07-5X08, 5X61, and 5X63-5X72 also offer a nice view of The Hippy Dippy Pool, but this comes at the cost of some higher than usual noise levels.
Bad views in building 5 are 5X06, 5X24-5X27, and 5X43-5X55.
Good Rooms in Buildings 6 of the 1970's
Building 6 is one of two buildings at Pop Century which doesn't have a pool out front. Some of the rooms have views of Hourglass Lake, though. Rooms not facing the lake have views of gigantic Foosball players and Big Wheel sculptures. Good views in building 6 include rooms 6X01-6X03, 6X08-6X09, 6X11-6X18, 6X32-6X45, and 6X53-6X60.
Bad views in building 6 are 6X20-6X31, 6X46-6X53, and 6X61-6X65.
Good Rooms in Buildings 7 of the 1980's
Most of Building 7 faces a parking lot. The north-facing rooms, however, offer a view of The Computer Pool. Good views in building 7 include rooms 7X04-7X07 and 7X09-7X13. Rooms 7X01-7X03 and 7X65-7X72 also offer a nice view of The Computer Pool, but this comes at the cost of some higher than usual noise levels.
Bad views in building 7 are 7X08, 7X21-7X32, 7X36-7X39, 7X42-7X56.
Good Rooms in Buildings 8 of the 1990's
Building 8 is not only the farthest away from Classic Hall but it also offers few good views. The handful of good views in building 8 are in rooms 8X11-8X12, 8X61-8X66.
Bad views in building 8 are 8X01-8X07, 8X13-8X14, 8X20-8X34, 8X37-8X41, and 8X46-8X53.
Good Rooms in Buildings 9 of the 1980's
Good views in building 9 include rooms 9X61-9X70. Rooms 9X01-9X03, 9X05-9X11, and 9X71-9X72 also offer a view of The Computer Pool, but this comes at the cost of some higher than usual noise levels.
Good Rooms in Buildings 10 of the 1970's
Building 10 is the only building at Pop Century not to have any water views, since it's not near Hourglass Lake nor does it have a pool in its courtyard. Good views in building 10 include rooms 0X01-0X08, 0X10-0X13, and 0X66-0X72.
Bad views in building 10 are 0X09, 0X20-0X31, 0X47-0X53, and 0X64.
|Kid-friendly theme||Small guest rooms|
|Low (for Disney) rates||No full-service dining|
|Large swimming pools||Large, confusing layout|
|Food court||No character meals|
|Convenient self-parking||Limited recreation options|
Pop Century 2015 Rack Rates
Disney's Pop Century Resort Dining
- Everything POP Shopping and Dining (Counter Service)
- Everything Pop - Market
- Petals Pool Bar (Bar or Lounge)
|Park||Commuting Times||Resort Transportation|
|Magic Kingdom||26 min|
|Hollywood Studios||18 min|
|Animal Kingdom||23 min|
|Quietness of Room||C|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|