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The BEST Value Resort at Walt Disney World, REVIEWED! (Spoiler: It's Pop Century)

Hello there! Morgan here, with Neverland Navigation Co., your guides to everything Walt Disney World and Beyond! MY favorite Disney World Value Resort is up for review today and I can’t wait to share the fun details about this hotel with you. Let me give you a brief overview of WHY this one is my favorite before jumping into the details. 1) Cost. This hotel costs more than the All Stars hotels but MUCH less than Art of Animation. As a matter of fact, Art of Animation would be my favorite BUT I can’t even make it my favorite because most of the time Art of Animation (a “Value” Resort) costs MORE than a moderate resort! Crazy! 2) Skyliner access! Yessss! Stay at Pop Century and you can hop on the Skyliner to get to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or any of the other “Skyliner Resorts” to get a great non-park meal (I’m looking at you Topolinos! Yum!) Easy Peasy! 3) Nostalgia! How fun is this hotel? I personally am an 80’s baby and a 90’s kid, but regardless of your age you’ll love all the throw backs. Check out our video review and room tour below, then/or keep reading to hear me rave about this totally tubular hotel.

Pop Century has 5 sections and every section is decorated with larger-than-life statues of icons of the decade that they represent. 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s. These buildings are similar to the buildings at the All Star hotels and (at least partially) like the buildings at Art of Animation. My favorite is the 1990’s because of the connection it has to my childhood, but all the sections are fun and the rooms are all basically the same regardless of which decade building you get. I would highly recommend walking around the grounds and checking out all the buildings and all the statues and soaking it all in. Around the outside of the buildings on the jogging trail there are signs with different “trivia type” knowledge about different years. I found that fascinating. I love playing trivia and these signs certainly upped my game. At the back of the grounds is “Hourglass Lake”, which is the lake that separates Pop Century and Art of Animation. There is a bridge over Hourglass Lake, and in the middle of the bridge is the Skyliner entrance. You can walk all the way over the bridge and explore Art of Animation if you’d like. It’s a fun thing to do on a resort day.

The Skyliner has just beat out the Monorail as my favorite mode of WDW transportation. I know, I know. It pains me to say it and it may pain you to read it, but the monorail is in need of refreshing. It just is. I also hate hate hate being crammed into a monorail car that has way too many people in it and I hate the occasional smell of pee on the monorail. I'm desperately hoping they update it soon. So, for now, the skyliner wins for me because of it’s newness. The monorail will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart though and I love it for the nostalgic warmth it brings to my soul. The skyliner is like an updated (and enclosed) version of the skybuckets that used to take you from one side of Magic Kingdom to the other. I hear they are also like Gondolas that you may take when you go skiing. (I have never been skiing, so I can only tell you that that is a thing that I have heard.) I was NERVOUS about the skyliner at first. If you are scared of heights at all, you will be too. But it is a smooth and effective way to get around, so I pushed passed my nervousness.

Value resorts all have the following: a food court, an arcade, a big main pool with fountains and extra decor, a smaller pool (2 smaller pools in this hotel’s case), a gift shop, a self-serve laundry center, random hidden mickeys, and scheduled activities like outdoor projector showings of Disney Movies. The “main” pool at Pop Century is the Hippy Dippy Pool, which is located in the 1960s section right behind the main building that has the food court, gift shop, etc. There is also a kiddie pool in this area and this is the location where they project Disney Movies during scheduled times. The two other pools on this hotel’s property are the “Computer Pool” located in the 1990s section, and the “Bowling Pin Pool" located in the 1950s section. Those two are smaller and quieter but don’t have “extras” like spraying fountains, kiddie pools, or any of those kinds of extras.

The only food option at Pop Century is the food court. The food court is convenient but not great. I have had some good desserts there but I've always been a little disappointed by any meal-type food that I have gotten here. I would recommend getting a refillable souvenir soda cup for $19.99 that can be refilled the entire length of your stay. I find these to be a good value, especially if your stay is longer than a few days. They are not refillable in the parks though, only at the resort. But for $20 you get a cute souvenir cup and all the soda/coffee/tea/hot chocolate that you can drink during your stay. We also got a Mickey Cupcake and the (exclusive to Pop Century) tie-dye cheesecake (which is served in a plastic cup, see below), because they were just too fun sounding to pass up. The flavor wasn’t amazing, but it was fun and made for a fun photo, so I think it was worth whatever small amount we paid for the experience.

If you do mobile check in, I still think it would be worth your time to stop by the check-in area to check out the displays of different memorabilia from the different decades. You can hear people around you saying “I had one of those!” in nostalgic glee. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time, especially if you are over 23 years of age, and remember at least one of the decades featured. But even if you are younger you will likely recognize some of the stuff you weren’t even technically alive for because of hand-me-downs, watching reruns of old shows, the inevitable and eventual resurgence of interest of "retro" toys and fashions, and of course your family packrat.

The rooms at Pop Century are FANTASTIC! They have ben recently renovated and they feature a queen sized bed and a queen sized Murphy bed which is such an amazing update. It makes the room look much more spacious and open when you first walk in and if you only need one bed then it gives you lots of extra room. If you need the second bed, it easily pulls down and the murphy bed is quite comfortable. The floors are hard wood and the bathrooms are much nicer than they were previously. My only complaint about these hotels is the noise level is a little high. You might want to bring ear plugs, especially if you are a light sleeper. The walls are a little thin and whether it's families getting up at 5am to get breakfast before rope drop or Disney Springs partiers coming back at 2am it seems like there is often someone walking by your door and people just don’t think in their excitement to be quiet because others could be sleeping. I am a light sleeper so this is really an issue I have with every hotel. If you are a heavy sleeper or think you'll be so exhausted from running around all day that this won't be an issue, then I am happy for you (and also jealous!). If you are like me you probably bring earplugs when you go to hotels anyway, and here you will probably need them.

If you are looking for a hotel at Walt Disney World, Pop Century is definitely a great option. I would actually choose Pop Century over any of the moderate resorts at this moment! It is better than the All Star Resorts because of the Skyliner access (and I prefer the unique theming of Pop Century) and better than the Moderate hotels because of the renovated rooms and the VALUE! If Pop Century is unavailable or priced way above All Star Movies or Music then please take the time to read or watch our review of the All Stars Resort here --> . If you'd like to read/watch a review of a Moderate Hotel check out our review of Port Orleans Riverside here --> If this review helped you or you want to read or watch more of our WDW adventures and reviews check us out at the links below! We do a podcast, YouTube vlogs, blogs, and almost all of the social media platforms!

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