As you may recall from my posts about the Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans Resorts, I enjoy wandering the grounds of Disney resort properties regardless of whether I am staying there. This series of posts is meant as a tribute to theme appreciation (or nosiness…whatever). It is speaking to those who take the time to simply explore, enjoy, and savor the immersive environments that Disney has created at its resorts (or are also nosy).
This entry is all about Pop Century Resort, which I recently stayed in for my first experience with a Disney Value Resort (I’m more of a moderate kind of guy). Disney’s Value Resorts in general are very popular, and Pop Century specifically is frequently busy. Their cost effectiveness speaks loudly to most people who are already spending a large amount on their vacation. That exact reason is how I found myself at Pop Century and, since I can never sit still, I also found myself doing several loops around the property at all hours of the day.
Okay, I didn’t love everything about the resort but I don’t want this to seem super-negative, so I’m going to go through all the praise before I get to the parts I didn’t like. As with all Disney resorts, the grounds are meticulously kept. Some of the walkways are surprisingly lush and that helps give them a more private feeling.
The layout of Pop Century, with its multiple building groups, also lends itself to many areas that are less busy than the main food court and pool area. The pool areas themselves (there are three of them) are very cool, even if they can be crowded. They are all themed and generally flanked by giant statues of Disney icons (although I understand if swimming while being stared at by a 30-foot tall Roger Rabbit makes you uncomfortable).
Another great area of Pop Century is the walkway that abuts Hourglass Lake. The lake and its bridge were originally meant as the separation between the two Pop Century resorts, but will now serve to separate the Pop Century Resort from the Art of Animation Resort. Walking near water is always a nice thing, even if the only view is of the construction of a new resort.
Then there’s the theme (and this is where I’m going to get all curmudgeonny on you); it’s kind of just a bunch of giant stuff. Okay, that’s exactly what it is…it’s a bunch of giant stuff. I understand why they did it, and I understand that kids like that kind of in-your-face stuff, but I don’t. It’s fun the first time you see it (hey look, a giant big wheel… I had one of those), but it is not the type of theme that you can find hidden details in by looking closer. What you see is what you get.
The overall theme of Pop Century reminds me of a goofy chain restaurant. Since there’s no real identity, they just put a bunch of crazy stuff on the wall and call it decorating. That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy it or get some fantastic pictures of all the crazy stuff. I’m very happy with some of the pictures I got at Pop Century (and they’re all over this post) and there are some fun photo opportunities with Goofy, Mickey, Baloo, and Potato Head statues available.
To me, an ideal resort is someplace removed from the parks, where I can unwind a little bit and immerse myself in someplace that is not constantly spitting marketing promotions at me. I don’t find Pop Century to be that place.
Would I stay there again? Yes, but because of the price, not the theme.
Would I go out of my way to visit the resort? No.
Do I enjoy asking and answering my own questions? Clearly.
Do you agree with my assessment of Pop Century Resort? (You’re supposed to answer that one below)