Located on Victory Way near the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is Pop Century Resort, an economy resort and a near-clone of the All-Star Resorts (that is, four-story, motel-style buildings around a central pool, food court, and registration area). Decorative touches make the difference. Where the All-Star Resorts display larger-than-life icons from sports, music, and movies, Pop Century draws its icons from decades of the 20th century. Look for such oddities as building-size Big Wheels and Hula-Hoops, punctuated by silhouettes of people dancing each decade’s fad dance.
The public areas are marginally more sophisticated than the ones at the All-Star Resorts, with 20th-century period furniture and decor rolled up in a saccharine, those-were-the-days theme. The registration area has lots of keepsakes on display and is also home to a phone-charging machine. So if you have bought the fuel rod in the parks, then you can also exchange your empty rod for a full one in the lobby.
The food court, bar, playground, pools, and so on emulate the All-Star model in size and location, but a Pop Century departure from the All-Star precedent has merchandise retailers thrown in with the fast-food concessions in a combination dining-and-shopping area.
In 2018, Disney completed the remodeling of all the rooms at the resort. While each room still has two beds, one of the beds can be folded up into the wall and converted into a table.
One of the best changes is that there is no longer carpeting but wood flooring, which makes the room so much easier to clean. All rooms have a small refrigerator, a one-cup coffee maker, a wall-mounted TV, and plenty of plugs and USB ports.
The bathroom, too, got a complete update, including a new modern sink. The bathtub comes with glass shower doors, and ladies will appreciate the new makeup mirror!
There is also more storage in the room and the bathroom. I love the new colors, the neat look and feel of the room, and the Mickey Mouse artwork. And, finally, there is light! Yes, I do like my rooms and bathrooms to be nicely lit.
Invoking the 1960s, the 235,613-gallon Hippy Dippy Pool is the resort’s main pool, featuring oversize flower-shaped water jets. A pool for little tykes is located behind Classic Hall. Cast Members entertain kids at the main pool; at night, families can enjoy movies under the stars.
The 1950s are the inspiration for the 144,352-gallon Bowling Pool, while the 1990s-themed, computer-shaped pool (with a giant floppy disc and keypad) celebrates the early days of computers. Towels are provided at all pools. Please note that, beginning in winter 2020, the Hippy Dippy Pool will be closed for refurbishment.
The resort will soon be connected to Epcot and DHS by the Skyliner gondola. The rest of Walt Disney World can be reached by bus. A pedestrian bridge connects Pop Century to the Art of Animation. While you cannot swim in the Big Blue pool, you may want to visit the food court, as it has better meal choices.
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For a complete review of all Walt Disney World hotels check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa.