Pop Century Resort Review: 8/23-8/30/2018


#1

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about various resorts so I thought I’d share our experience at Pop Century the last week of August.

Arrival and Checkin
We did online checkin and a faxed room request. On the fax we requested Rm 5208 or similar but stated in the notes that our main priority was to be in the 60s section. We had a preferred room booked. For online checkin we made no request but indicated we would arrive around 3 pm.

We were driving to Pop from Universal (no parking fee because we booked before they were added). We wound up arriving early, around 1:30. We parked and headed to reception. Since we are Canadian we had to go to the front desk to get our magic bands. We only spent a few minutes at reception getting checked in and were delighted to learn that our room was ready. I felt very lucky because I heard the man at the next counter saying that they had been there for two hours and were still waiting for their room.

We got Rm 5441 in the 60s section. We were quite pleased with the room location, facing towards the 70s buildings. DH went to bring the car around to the front and I found a bellman to help with our luggage. I think we could have had the bellman bring a cart out to the parking lot, but we weren’t aware of that at the time. He quickly unloaded the vehicle and followed DD14, DD11 and I up to the room while DH reparked. We got to the room with the luggage, tipped the bellman (I think he was new, he seemed surprised by the tip!) and prepared to settle in.

Checkin was easy and efficient. A great start to our stay.

The Room
As mentioned above, we had Rm 5441 in the 60s section. Top floor with a view of the gardens and pathways. We could also see one of the 70s buildings.

The renovated rooms are fabulous. There is a ton of storage space, especially in the bathroom. I like the sliding door which separates the sink area from the bedroom. It was great for getting ready in the mornings. The dresser is not huge, but we had enough room to unpack all of our clothes and could then slide the suitcases under the bed. Side note: packing cubes are the best!

The two queen sized beds are super comfortable. The Murphy bed was easy to fold up and down. The table underneath was good for eating breakfast though there are only two chairs. We kept the second bed folded up most of the time to have more space in the room.

There is a great little hutch containing the fridge and coffee maker. We stored all of our breakfast supplies there. The fridge is not very big but easily held a carton of milk, a jug of juice, some yogurt and a few cans of beer. It seemed to keep everything cool.

The bathroom had a tub/shower. I love the new rain showers. The tub has a sliding glass door which was great for us, but I could see it making it difficult to bathe young children. There are dispensers for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in the tub. They worked great but you do need to keep an eye on them and let mousekeeping know when they are getting low. The bottles are not transparent and you can run out of something before you realize it needs refilling.

We were very pleased with the room. It was clean and comfortable and met all of our requirements.

Mousekeeping
We did not opt out of mousekeeping. I like having the room made up and the towels changed when I am on vacation. Plus, I always feel like I am taking away someone’s job if I opt out.

They did a good job keeping the room clean, not that we were making much mess! My biggest complaint was that the room was always cleaned so late. Whenever we took an afternoon break, the room was never done. I’m sure it was after 4 pm before they ever got to the room. I should have called and requested an earlier cleaning since we were always out of the room before 9 am and usually earlier.

I would also keep track of anything you want refilled like shampoo or coffee and leave a note. Whenever we did that things were topped up that day, but we did run out of conditioner one morning because we didn’t realize it was getting low.

Pools
We were close to the Hippy Dippy pool and saw lots of people enjoying it at all hours. We were even up early enough to see some lifeguard training a few mornings!

Unfortunately there were a lot of thunderstorms during our stay so the pools were closed a lot in the afternoons. As a result DD11 and DH only ended up using the pool one evening on our stay. Something to keep in mind depending on the time of year you are going.

Food and Shopping
We only ate breakfast and snacks in the foodcourt. It gets pretty crowded there in the mornings. DH headed down each morning to fill our water bottles and was surprised by the crowds.

We went for breakfast three times around 8:30 am. It was still crowded at that time. We had a few of the quick service breakfasts, some fruit and a bunch of pastries. You can get a fairly large container of strawberries as a snack credit! The pastries were all delicious. Favourites were probably the banana loaf and the raspberry chocolate chip muffin top. For the meals, I highly recommend the omelet station. I had the spinach, tomato and feta omelet twice and really enjoyed it. It can be a bit of a zoo around the toasters and microwaves. DH tried to toast a bagel one morning and returned complaining about how inconsiderate all of the people were. For some reason the butter is also over by the coffee instead of near the toasters.

For snacks, Pop now has Dole Whip! We stopped in one afternoon for cool, refreshing floats! So good. The shop also has all kinds of packaged snacks. We stopped in there on our last morning to use up our snack credits. They had candy, cookies, rice krispie treats, chocolate bars, trail mix and more! It seemed like a bigger selection than we saw in any other resort shops we stopped in.

Transportation
We used the resort buses to travel everywhere except Typhoon Lagoon. Since we had a vehicle and TL is so close to Pop, we drove there to avoid having to change buses at Disney Springs. It is only about a five minute drive.

We had great luck with the buses to and from Pop. We only waited more than about five minutes once. We had a twenty minute wait for Epcot one afternoon. That seemed to be our experience wherever we were traveling to Epcot from. We waited more than twenty minutes for a monorail at TTC as well!

I will say that while there were plentiful buses, they were also very crowded. It seems like everyone staying at Pop takes the buses. We stood on most of our trips whether going to the parks or returning to the resort. It wasn’t a problem for us but might be if you are travelling with small children.

The bus drivers were great. There were a lot of tired, cranky people and they always handled it well.

Checkout and Departure
At last our final day arrived. We packed and called bell services to pick up our luggage. I recommend calling early. We wanted to be out of the room around 8:30. DH called a little after 8 am and spent several minutes on hold! Eventually he got through and a bellman arrived shortly. He took our bags right out to the vehicle in the parking lot.

We spent a few minutes shopping for snacks and were on our way.

A caution if you are driving. There is a lot of construction on World Drive near the resort and several of the traffic signs are either confusing or outright missing! We were going to the Poly for breakfast and got completely lost. Very frustrating!

Summary
Overall we were quite pleased with Pop. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The transportation was convenient. There were some decent choices for food. We don’t spend a lot of time in our room when we are at WDW so we don’t need luxury. Just somewhere nice to sleep at night. Pop Century definitely provides that. We would go back again.


#2

Great to read a good review of Pop. We are leaning toward staying there for Spring Break as we will get 2 rooms for our family of 6 and this will hopefully save us a few $$.


#3

We really like it there. We did a two night stay pre-cruise in spring break 2016 before the renovations. It was good then, but I feel that the newly designed rooms make it so much better. The rooms aren’t big but are fine if you’re planning to spend most of your time in the parks anyway.


#4

Great review! Loved all the details and I love that it was mostly positive, but still very realistic. Thank you!


#5

Thanks! We had a great time but there were definitely a few things that could have been improved. And I know some things that we didn’t mind could be problems for other people.


#6

Thanks for the report! We are staying there in December. We booked 2 rooms for our fam of 5. I am excited to try it out! I was a little worried about the food court there so glad to hear that it was overall good.


#7

We didn’t do lunch or dinner there, but I was quite happy with the breakfast and the baked goods. Plus, Dole Whip!:grinning:


#8

Thanks for taking the time to write a review. We stayed at Pop the 3 times we have been lucky enough to visit the World and it has always met our needs and exceeded our expectations. Haven’t been since 2015 though, so I am happy to read such a detailed, current review. The refurb sounds great and you can’t beat Dole Whip! Can’t wait to go back!


#9

Thank you! We’re staying there in a few weeks and this is nice to hear.

Dumb question on the water bottles. We’ve got the dining plan- did your DH fill them at the soda fountain? Did he have to use the refillable mug? Just trying to figure out the water mechanics. Lol.


#10

POP is my go-to if I’m not splurging and renting DVC points. I have to agree with everything in your review (although I haven’t stayed in a refurbished room yet)


#11

Not a dumb question at all. We weren’t sure how to do the water bottles either, thought we might have to fill them in the room. It turns out that there is a water dispenser in the fountain drinks. It is a little grey tab usually next to the lemonade. You can use your own refillable water bottle there. No need to bring the mugs.


#12

Thanks! This was helpful for a probable stay in Spring/summer 2020.


#13

Thank you for this! We are staying at Pop in December so I enjoyed all the details in your review


#14

We were in room 5258 (requested 5259 on fax) 8/23-9-2. We were booked preferred as well.

I wish our mousekeeping experience was a just a little better. When we arrived there was no conditioner and it was not refilled for 3 days. I did not think to leave a note. I will do that next time thanks to your tip!. Mousekeeping did not clean our room on two separate days. The second time was our last night. I went to the front desk to get towels and their stock was out. CM had to find some. The person behind me had the same issue and unfortunately it was not their first either.

I was really happy with the renovated rooms as well. One of my biggest concerns with the refurbished room was noise from above with the laminate flooring. I did not hear very much noise from the floor above at night or in the morning.


#15

Thanks for your review. We will be there in a month and it’s nice to see everything went well for you.


#16

That’s too bad about mousekeeping. They did not miss a day with us though I think it was late afternoon or even early evening before they came each day. The notes did work well. I’m not sure if I would have thought of it myself. My DH suggested it the morning that he used the last of the coffee.


#17

Do any of you know if the pillows are polyester or feather/down?? DS (10) is really allergic to the feather/down and i’d like to know if i need to pack his personal pillow!!?? thanks so much!!! we go to POP and WDW late January 2019!! so excited! it’s out first WDW trip!!


#18

I am not sure about the pillows. I feel like they were not feather/down, but I am not positive. Perhaps someone else who has been there recently can chime in? @thekid ?


#19

I am almost certain the pillows are not feather/down.

Being an allergy is involved I would call Pop to verify.


#20

We were at Pop almost exactly a month before you (end of July/first few days of August). Agree 100% with your review. We had almost the same experience. LOVED the rooms and the storage. I don’t think I’ve seen a better lay out and organization in any hotel room. We unpacked all of our breakfast as well as a few lunch/snack items in the fridge and the shelving above. We mostly kept our Murphy bed down and just laid on beds while in the room. We had success with calling before we walked out the door each morning to tell housekeeping. Our room was always done by the time we got back for our afternoon break except for our last day. On that day, I called and asked if they would get to our room in the next 45 minutes while we went to the pool and laundry. They did.
We had mostly a lot of success with buses as well. We drove to each park except MK. One night we caught the Art of Animation bus coming back from MK after fireworks instead of Pop. It showed up right before the Pop bus did but had half the people on it. I actually had a seat which rarely happened on a Pop bus.by the way, I made it my mission that night to get to the bus stop ASAP after the fireworks. It was easier because it was just me and dd17. We zipped into Plaza Ice Cream and bought treats. Then we hot footed it down Main Street while eating our ice cream and then kept moving fast all the way down to the bus stop. That was successful and we had zero waiting on a bus. Even if we hadn’t rode the Art of Animation bus a Pop bus pulled up right after. So if you know your party moves pretty quick, you can get out to the buses without a horrible wait after the fireworks, at least on a moderate crowd night.
Thanks for the review of Pop! For all those heading that way, I think you’ll enjoy it!