I recently took a trip to Walt Disney World and stayed at POP Century resort. This is a great value resort to stay in. Much nicer than the All-Star Resorts and cheaper than Art of Animation resort.
Currently POP is the only value resort opened. It’s not really a value when you consider the price is usually $175 or more a night depending on when you go. It’s also lacking some things right now due to the current environment.
Today I am going to share my thoughts, feelings, and observations on everything about POP Century. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Hopefully, it will help you decide if a stay at POP is right for you.
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First I want to talk about the Transportation situation. Across all Disney World resorts and theme parks, they are limiting capacity on EVERYTHING. From rides to restaurants to buses and the Skyliner.
Everywhere you go the capacity is limited to 50% or less. The buses are split into different sections. Most buses have 6 different sections made up of about 5 eats each. Between each section they have divides up but most of the time you don’t have to worry about sitting next to a stranger with a divider between the two of you.
Now I have always hated the bus transportation at Walt Disney World. Either it is my bad luck or just bad timing but I always seem to JUST miss the bus. On this most recent trip I wouldn’t miss the bus but I wouldn’t make the cut off to get on the bus. Most of the time I noticed the bus having less than 10 people on it.
I love that Disney is putting the health and safety of their guests and employees first. Still sucks when you are that next group and you have to wait for the next bus. Unless it’s the first thing in the morning at the resort the buses come about every 15 to 20 minutes.
Bus transportation from the resort to the theme parks gets a big thumbs down for me.
The other mode of transportation to the theme parks from POP Century is the Disney Skyliner. I must say I am a huge fan of this. While I don’t like all the stops and stations. It does seem to be a faster way to get to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
It is definitely much quicker than the buses. Might not be as fast if you drive yourself to the parks. But definitely quicker than taking Disney Buses.
The Disney Skyliner gets a big thumbs up from me. While it is the only way to get to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. It loads quickly. The lines move quickly. Plus we only got “stuck” on it once in over 10 trips going back and forth to the theme parks during the Pandemic.American Tourister Disney Hardside Mickey Mouse, 2-Piece Set (18/21)
Everything POP Shopping & Dining
Everything POP Shopping & Dining is POP Century’s Food and Souvenir location. The store is small compared to some other resorts but it does offer a nice selection. You can find different pins, shirts, mugs, knick-knacks, snacks, and so much more.
They are currently limiting the number of guests in the store but during the week I visited (8/27-9/2/20) there was never a wait to get in the store. Plus the store always seemed to be busyish no matter what time of day it was.
Now for the dining area. Boy, where do you start with that? Well, lets first say that I never thought the food court at POP was anything to write home about. Before the coronavirus Pandemic they never really offered anything that jumped out to me and screamed you got to try this. Unlike food that is offered right across the lake at Art of Animation.Limited Edition Disney Fantasy in the Sky Mickey Mouse Plush, Amazon Exclusive
Walt Disney World is really pushing Moblie Ordering but you can still go in a place an order with the cashier. In the 7 days, I spent at Walt Disney World my order got “lost” only once and that was at POP. There was a huge line outside waiting to get in so I am not sure if that had something to do with it or not.
Now like I was saying. The food choices here are not that great. Burgers, chicken fingers, salads, and pizza. None of them are so good you have to order. They are not disgusting. It’s just nothing you are going to run back to the resort and get to eat.
I had the Applewood-smoked Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger twice and both times it didn’t impress me. It was ok but I would have rather gone to Disney Springs. I also ordered a salad with chicken for lunch one day. Again it wasn’t bad but it didn’t knock my socks off. My daughter got chicken fingers twice and mac and cheese another time. She really likes Disney’s chicken fingers. I also think that the best thing on the menu is the chicken fingers.
The chicken fingers have also been cooked perfectly at POP. Since this is usually my go-to resort we have had the chicken fingers many times. Each time they have been good.
Now one of my biggest complaints with Everything POP Dining is the dessert and bakery selections. I can remember them having a good selection of cupcakes, cookies, danishes, and the like. Now of course they can’t have you putting your dirty hands on everything but the selection they do have is laughable. Mickey cupcake, chocolate chip or M&M’s sugar cookie, cherry or apple danish, chocolate chip or blueberry muffin. That’s all they have to offer for a sweet treat. Before I can remember the case being loaded with all kinds of stuff. To make matters worse you can’t even select which one you want. You can’t pick the biggest one in the bunch because one of the cast members will do that before you even come up to pick up your order.
Now one thing I did like that they are still currently doing is the refillable mugs. I thought I heard in the beginning when Disney World first opened back up that they would not be doing that. So that first day I didn’t get one because I didn’t want to buy a $20 Disney mug and not be able to get it filled. Well, they are doing the refillable mugs. Just you can not do it yourself.
A cast member is stationed by the soda machines and you just bring your mug up and they will get whatever you want and put it in a disposable cup. The good thing to me is the cup is bigger than the mug so you get more. I would also remember chugging that first little mug and having to wait 30 seconds so I can fill my mug up again. After a long day in the park in the heat, all you really want is a cool drink to cool down.
Now the line to get your cup refilled usually wasn’t too bad. Normally you just show the cast member standing guard your mugs and say you are getting a refill and they let you right in.
For the dining area at Everything POP they have many tables marked off so you cannot sit there. However, there were more tables available than I was expecting. Plus I did see several cast members going around cleaning tables after guests left them. I will say that in my opinion, POP Century was doing a good job of cleaning.
Now I love the rooms at POP. The updated rooms have always felt much cleaner to me than the old rooms. The wooden floors really help let you see if the floors are dirty or not.
In the bathroom, they place a wrapper around the shampoo and stuff letting you know it was cleaned. Housekeeping currently does not come in every day. Even the days they do come in it is just for a lite cleaning. Taking out the trash, replacing towels, sanitizing the shower. You can opt-out, however, unlike before you will not receive a gift card.
It might not seem like a lot of things are different when it comes to housekeeping and how they service the room. While it is only little things that you will notice like in the shower or the remote. The whole room has been paid attention too and cleaned in a way to keep everyone safe. I didn’t notice one thing that was wrong or felt off about the room.
All three pools at POP Century are open. During my week-long stay I only noticed the main pool being closed due to capacity. Both of the other pools never hit capacity at least I never noticed if they did.
One major difference you will notice when visiting the pool is the lack of seating. There is still a ton of seating but nowhere near as much as there used to be. It makes it easy for you to distance yourself from other people while around the pool.
However, in the pool social distancing is really up to you. Since you are not required to wear a mask in the pool I did notice many people getting close to one another. Funny thing was it was more from the adults than from the kids.
Everyone needs to be mindful of where they are and what they are doing. I know it is easy to lose focus of where you are and what is going on. We all just want things to get back to normal and swimming is a part of that.
Overall I was very happy with everything that was being done at POP Century during the Pandemic. Noone said it would be easy but they are making it look that way. While I wish the mobile ordering was done a little differently.
Looking back there really isn’t any other way for them to do it. It does work out just fine so there really aren’t any issues.
Now for the bus issue, that I think could be fixed. It would just be as simple as adding just a few more buses. In the morning you will see a bunch of buses coming back to back. However, in the middle of the day you could be waiting 30 minutes or more.
If I decide to go back before things get back to normal I would have no problem staying at POP again. I felt safe the whole time with everything going on with the coronavirus. I would see cast members throughout the day cleaning high touch surfaces and reminding other guests to wear their mask correctly. Disney and the staff at POP Century did a great job in these tough times.
Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World during the Pandemic? Are you thinking of staying at POP Century or another WDW Resort? Let us know in the comments below. Also let us know if you have visited recently and what your thoughts are.
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