Review of Refurbished Rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

by on August 24, 2017 37 Comments

Filed under: Resorts, Walt Disney World (FL)

The rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort have received their first major update since opening in late 2003. While the resort’s colorful exteriors and icons (such as Roger Rabbit, jars of Play-Doh, and Rubik’s Cubes) remain unchanged, the rooms have been redesigned from top to bottom. Here’s our review of refurbished rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

When I first walked in to one of the refurbished rooms at Pop Century, I thought “Where do I even begin?” Everything has been changed, even the floor. Gone is the carpet with Mickey heads. Rooms now feature hardwood floors. I found the room to have much more echo because of this. But overall I think this is a big improvement in terms of looks. The down side is that dirt, hair, and other debris you’ve tracked in is now much more more noticeable.

Pop’s beds have been upgraded from double to queen size, which is great. I found the bed to be very comfortable, and a bit on the soft side. The themed bedspreads were removed a couple of years ago in favor of the all white sheets seen above. The poster featuring Disney items from different decades has also been removed. The only art you’ll find in the room is the pop art Mickey above the bed, and Pluto above the second bed. Beneath the bed you’ll find open space that is tall enough to fit most bags and suitcases. On the bed you’ll find EIGHT pillows. Why? Because…

The second bed can be folded up when not in use. This makes the room feel much larger than it actually is, so there’s plenty of room for activities. A table with two chairs is provided, but is built in to the side of the bed’s cabinet. If you have the bed folded down then you cannot use the table as it is not detachable.

Ed. – The model rooms we snuck into saw in 2016 showed the bed with a coverlet at its foot. As you can see, it brightens up the room considerably. I would guess these either aren’t ready yet or Disney is waiting until more rooms are finished before adding them.

Test room from 2016 before the refurb.

For reference, this is what the rooms at Pop Century used to look like.

The dresser is slightly bigger than before and also features a more modern look than its predecessor. The safe has been moved from the closet area to the left side of the dresser. Above it you’ll find a HDTV. I didn’t measure it, but I’m guessing it’s about 40 inches. In the corner you’ll find a cabinet containing a mini fridge, coffee maker, cups, and ice cube holder. The mini fridge has a glass front so you can see how many days of leftovers are rotting away in there.

Looking back at the room you can see how much larger it feels with the second bed stowed away. Also notice the curtains now have a… I don’t know… modern art/Ikea look to them. Whatever you call them, it’s an upgrade over the plaid curtains previously seen at Pop.

Moving on to the dressing room/closet area. One of our main gripes about the previous dressing rooms at Pop was the lack of counter space. Thankfully this has been addressed with the addition of several shelves. The lighting has also been updated from lamps on the wall to light strips surrounding the mirror. A hairdryer and iron are still included. A sliding door separates the dressing room area from the rest of the room, replacing the curtain found in the rooms pre-refurbishment.

The closet space has been severely downsized in favor of the additional shelving mentioned previously.

The bathroom also has a sliding door, which is good if one person wants to shower while another uses the dressing room and sink. Also new is a glass shower door, which replaces a themed shower curtain.

The entire bathroom and dressing room areas are much better, in all aspects, over the previous version seen above.

In my opinion the new rooms at Pop Century are a massive upgrade over the old rooms. But reaction from our readers has been mixed. Take a look at some of the comments to the tweet we made during our stay. One reader called it “sterile,” another said “WDW is going ‘Marriott’ with their once great room themeing.” A common complaint is the theme, or lack there of. I personally do not find this to be a problem, but a lot of people obviously do. Also, after seeing these modernized rooms, and knowing that Pop Century will soon be home to a station for Walt Disney World’s upcoming Skyliner transportation system, I’m curious about how much of a “value” this value resort will remain. No matter what happens, the new rooms look great, and are functionally better. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

If you’d like to stay in one of Pop Century’s refurbished rooms, you can use our room request system to ask for one directly from Disney (See this post for more information). Disney has finished refurbishing the 80s and 90s buildings. Work on the 70s buildings is in progress, and more will be completed over the next year.

Posted on August 24, 2017

37 Responses to “Review of Refurbished Rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort”

  • White is not great, since it shows all dirt, just like the “wood” floors. The track for the shower door is another dirt catcher. Though personally, I don’t care that much. I would prefer the table to be separate so it can be used when the bed is down. Lots of storage cubbies though. I’m surprised they didn’t put in double sinks while they were at it.

    Ice cube holder = ice bucket??

    • I thought the same thing about the shower door tracks. Shower doors and tracks are an incredibly time consuming thing to keep decent, much less spotless. Additionally many people have mentioned the difficulty bathing children with the shower door set-up. Seems like the design group that put this design together didn’t consult real world care-takers. Curious how long it will all last.

      • My thinking too. I would guess that this refurbishment was aimed at ease of cleaning for the mousekeeping staff (shorter cleaning times equating to lower expenditures for cleaning staff) as well as getting rid of as much upholstery and fabric in the room as possible, again to save on replacement costs. But anybody who’s ever had cheap white furniture like this knows how immediately it’s going to scratch and scuff, especially in a hotel were most guests are children, which is essentially every resort hotel at Disney World. What it doesn’t seem like they took into account is who actual Disney World guests are, especially at the Value resorts, and how they use their rooms in real life. Another commentor mentioned that that wasn’t really an issue because families can always book suites at AoA and other resorts. But I doubt that’s true for most guests. Suites are expensive and people stay at Pop specifically because of cost. (I know we have.) Bathing young children clearly was not taking into account here, nor was the frequent need to use both beds and the table and chairs simultaneously. Honestly, if Coronado Springs was able to retain its ceiling fans in the recent renovation, Pop could have retained and ergonomic tub and a table that wasn’t hiding under a bed.

  • I love the new look. We had previously decided to stay at ASMusic in 2018 but I reserved Pop when I saw all the changes (including bigger beds!!!)

  • Stayed in a refurbished room in the 90s building a few weeks ago. It is pretty plain compared to the previous scheme, but I loved the added storage and the fold down bed. For us the room is basically a place to sleep so I don’t need much more than that!

  • I love the hooks outside the bathroom – I wish more rooms had those. So handy when you come in with wet raincoats or umbrellas, hats, backpacks and you need one place to stash all that so it’s ready to go back out the door later.

  • We stayed in a refurbished room in 80s building in early August and LOVED it. A little plain, but very comfortable and functional. The USB ports are a GREAT idea. They have maximized every inch of space

  • I agree that looks really generic, especially compared to the new rooms going in at Coronado Springs, albeit a moderate. Here’s the issue I immediately foresee. How do you eat and not disturb the rest of your family, or use a table and chair at all and not disturb your family, if it’s late at night and you have to fold up your bed in order to access the table? Or your spouse or kids are asleep in that bed, resting in the middle of the day? We have all had reason to tip-toe around our Disney World rooms to use the table and chair before. This ridiculous design makes that moment become far more complicated, and needlessly so.

    • Given the proliferation and promotion of the family suites around the other value resorts (and especially right across the lake at AoA), I’m guessing the table-shares-footprint-with-second-bed choice was made to optimize these rooms for couples/singles who only want the one bed. Less ideal when packing the whole family into the room, sure, but I know I’d prefer the extra floor space on a trip with the Mrs.

  • With opaque shower curtains, it was possible to allow others to come in and use the toilet while someone else was in the shower and still maintain some privacy for both people. With a see-through shower door, that is no longer possible. Frustrating for families of 4 trying to share one bathroom. Other than that, I really like the looks of the new rooms. Is there a freezer compartment in the mini-fridge?

  • I noticed in the picture of the old bathroom there was a grab bar in the tub/shower. I didn’t see one in the picture of the new bathroom, did I miss seeing it? It seems to me that a grab bar is very important for safety when in the shower.

  • by disneybroadwayfan on August 24, 2017, at 1:34 pm EDT

    Well, at least now I can answer a question that has long been on my mind: what would it feel like to sleep in an IKEA showroom.

    Functional, yes. Cheap looking/feeling, yep. Just like IKEA.

    No thank you.

  • I have two main issues with the new rooms and they are both in the bathroom…
    1. It is soooo hard to bathe children in bathtubs when there is a shower door and track instead of a curtain! While it may look sleek, the functionality is horrible.
    2. There’s no full length closet now. Where are you supposed to hang dresses? Apparently, there were no females on the design team. We also liked the fact that you could put suitcases (with clothes still in them) accessibly in the old closet area and that got them out of the way and out of sight without having to completely unpack.
    We were hoping to stay at Pop again, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    • by Laurel Stewart on August 24, 2017, at 1:54 pm EDT

      I was there this week and hung my knee-length dresses with plenty of clearance. For reference, I’m 5’5″. Other than a truly long dress, there shouldn’t be an issue. A maxi dress can easily be hung folded at the waist. And if I’m bringing my ball gown, I’m staying at the Grand Flo anyway 🙂

    • What isn’t shown in this post is the extension that is built into the clothes bar in the closet. The end of the rod that sticks outside the closet extends in front of the ironing board to offer additional hanging space. You could hang longer dresses there with lots of clearance to the floor.

  • Was there a safe for locking things up?

  • Wondering if the pull-down bed is also a queen? As well, was it as comfortable as the regular bed? I’d hate to get there and find out that the pull-down was sofa bed quality and have half of my family complaining about the bed for the length of our stay!

    • Both beds are queen beds with identical pillow top mattresses on them. Others have taken pictures of the mattresses before the sheets were put on and confirmed that both beds have great pillow-top mattresses.

  • We just stayed at the Pop Century 8/14-8/18/17. We had a refurbished room #9426, building 9. We loved the queen beds. Nice to have extra room when two teen sisters have to share a bed. The fold down bed was very comfortable, love the extra pillows. There are a lot more shelves. The larger TV is nice. In the shower were two showerheads on the wall, a handheld and one that aims the water straight down. The floor of the tub is anti-skid. There are lots of lights and the lighting is much better. Fridge didn’t appear to have a freezer compartment. I thought the room felt like an upgrade from the typical value resort. There’s not a lot of walking room but we didn’t anticipate there would be. We were grateful for another fun trip!

    • We were in 9330 same week. Agree with you 100%. 2 teens 2 adults, queen beds were fantastic, felt like expensive mattresses. Tons of storage areas. See-thru refrigerator very nice (no freezer). Too much white theming but the room was the one thing I felt was a bargain during the vacation.

  • I personally like the scaled back theming, and find the contemporary Mickey art over the bed just enough of a Disney square for this 260 sq ft space. Overall, seems like a very on-trend, well-executed upgrade. Love the additional storage space via shelving, and the fold-down bed.

    (Though I feel for the parents out there who will have to contend with shower door tracks when bathing the kiddos; at least there is the hand-held faucet to make things a bit better?)

  • zoinks! *Disney FLAIR

  • I think this is GREAT, on the whole. I booked a room there for January for my husband and I, gambling that we’d be able to get one of the refurbished rooms (as after my first/last stay, I swore I’d never lay my head there again!). Glad to see things looking clean – would vastly prefer sterile over grimy. Echo concerns over the glass door in the bathroom, and I, too, hope they’ll bring in a touch more color eventually.

  • I’ve stayed at PC many times and loved the kitsch of the room decor. However, functional it wasn’t. I like the new digs and look forward to staying there soon. Thanks for a thorough update!

  • I am staying at Pop Century in December. I usually book a preferred room, but would like to request a refurbished room. Does anyone know the progress of the refurbished rooms and what building they are currently working on?

  • I just got back from staying in a refurbished room in the 90’s section. The refrigerator is quite shallow. I was not able to put the gallon water jug in it. I loved the thick sliding door to separate the bathroom from the sleeping area. I was able to shower without waking up the rest of the family. Mousekeeping forgot to put cups in our room and I had to ask for some before using the coffee maker. The tv remote did not work and I had to ask for a new one. The 90’s is quite a long walk from the buses.

  • Were coffee and filters provided for the coffee makers, or should I bring my own?

    • When we got to the room, we had cups, no coffee. We pressed the button on the phone for concierge and requested coffee. They brought it within 20 minutes. Faster than I expected for such a big resort.

    • by Guy Selga Jr. on August 30, 2017, at 3:20 pm EDT

      Yes, everything was included.

  • I forgot to mention that when we checked in at the lobby, we were asked if we wanted to forgo housekeeping. (It was a short visit 8/14-8/18). In return they gave us a $15 gift card for each of the three nights we wouldn’t have housekeeping. The first night the room was already clean. When we needed towels, coffee, etc. they brought everything very quickly. When we stay at the World every little extra $$ is appreciated.

    • by Guy Selga Jr. on August 30, 2017, at 3:19 pm EDT

      That’s something Disney is testing at Pop and Port Orleans French Quarter. Pretty interesting right? I’m curious to see if they roll that out to other resorts.

  • I like the white, fresh and clean. Kids with snacks, drinks, dirty sneakers etc. will make a mess there in minutes.

    Are the beds the extra-long doubles as in All Star Sports? Those are awesome, perfect size. As long as queen and king.

    Would be hard to bath kids in that tub, reaching around the slider. For the age group of many guests, that’s a miss. Sticky kids, gummy with sweat, sunscreen, juice, formula – need a good soak. Parents will strain their backs to do that here….