We just came back from a 4 night trip to WDW and stayed at our first Value resort on Disney property. Value resorts are the least expensive resorts, averaging around $100 USD per night. Value resorts have double beds (instead of queen), smaller rooms and fewer room and resort wide amenities. However, we were pleasantly surprised by how clean the rooms and property were, decent quick service restaurant/cafeteria, pool area, and efficient bus service to the parks. Overall, I felt it was a great place to stay for our family of four when we were on a budget and just needed a place to sleep close to the parks. Here are some of our take-aways and tips from staying at Pop Century Resort:
- Plan to drive/bus everywhere.
Pop Century is not within walking distance to anything. You will need to take your own vehicle or use the Disney bus transportation to get you to the Parks and Disney Springs. Luckily, Pop Century has a dedicated bus service, meaning you do not share the bus with any other resorts. We found the buses to be very efficient; we never had to wait more than 10 minute for a bus to arrive. I liked the fact that the bus lines had queues, so there was no question as to which order people would board the buses (unlike at other resorts we’ve stayed at). However, the downside is that the queues are uncovered so you are exposed to the elements (e.g. sun or rain).
2. Make room location requests.
The resort is quite large and spread out. We wanted to be near the bus transportation and lobby (called Classic Hall on the map below) so we requested a room in the 60s building. We received this request by getting a room in building 5 in room 5433 and were pleasantly surprised by this lake view (that’s Art of Animation Resort across the lake, which you can access via a bridge):
3. Check out the Everything Pop Shopping and Dining
This is where you will find Disney merchandise along with the quick service restaurant. This cafeteria/hub gets very busy at breakfast and dinner so expect line ups to order hot foods and to check out. There are also refrigerators to pick up other food items such as sandwiches, sushi, salads, desert, alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages and other snacks. Seating areas were spacious, well light and interestingly themed. Click here for the menu.
4. Bring your own towels to the pool
Pop Century does not have towels available at any of their pools. You’ll need to bring towels from your room and make a request with Mousekeeping to bring you more towels for your room. On the bright side, we enjoyed our pool time with our two sons, ages 5 and 4. The pools were large and clean; however, as with all Value resorts at Disney, there were no slides or hot tub, but there were Cast Members engaging with Guests throughout the day through activities by the pool (e.g. Disney trivia).
5. Walk over to Art of Animation Resort
Finally, I recommend that you take a walk across the bridge by the 60s section to Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s newest Value resort; there is great theming over there so you’ll have to check out the different areas (e.g. Lion King, Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo and Cars) to get some great photos, check out the lobby for some sketches and Disney artwork and then head to Landscape of Flavours for a bite to eat. Landscape of Flavours is Art of Animation’s quick service restaurant and has more variety and choices in food than Pop Century; you can check out the menu by clicking here. An added bonus is that you can then use the Disney bus transportation from Art of Animation, so it’s a great place to grab breakfast before you head to the parks or to use the Art of Animation bus from the parks to get back and grab a bit to eat before heading back to Pop Century via the bridge. While at the parks, the lines were usually beside each other, so if the Pop Century line looked long and and an Art of Animation bus came along and there were only a few people, we would simply get on that bus.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this Value resort. It had a great vibe and good theming (with each section of the resort celebrating a decade). It attracts a wide variety of guests, from families with children, young couples and seniors. I would not hesitate to stay here again if I was on a budget, but my sons are already trying to convince me to stay at Art of Animation after checking out the resort, so we might try there next. It’s one of the best things about staying on-site; you never run out of new places to stay at and explore!