Review: Refurbished Pop Century Room

We’ve been on a bit of a run (if you can call no posts in the last ten days a run) with refurbished resort room reviews, so I thought we’d continue with a look at a refurbished room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. We’ll take a look inside a new Deluxe Studio and 1-Bedroom Villa at Copper Creek at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge next. You might recall our look at a refurbished room at Coronado Springs Resort here and then a look at a 2-bedroom suite at the Beach Club Resort here.

Like with the Coronado Springs update, pictured above, virtually everything about the Pop Century refurbishment is an upgrade.

When discussing Value resorts, there are a lot of “firsts” that arrive with this refurbishment, many of which are obvious at first glance.

It’s the first Value resort to introduce queen beds, one of which is hidden inside this pull-down Murphy-esque contraption that doubles as the table.

If you’re a couple or otherwise have plans to occupy just one of the two beds, then the room “feels” much larger with the pull-down bed in the up-position. It’s very easy to maneuver the bed up and down – even a Disney blogger can do it without much struggle.

If you’re going to use both beds or otherwise prefer a more “classic” look to the room, then you can simply pull the bed down and leave it in that position.

The larger beds are a welcome addition – the fixed bed measurements are to the exact specifications of a queen-size, while the pull-down bed is an inch short in both length and width. But at five inches larger than a full on both sides, it’s a serious improvement that should make the rooms much more livable.

One thing that may not be obvious is just how bright these rooms are with mostly natural, neutral lighting. These pictures were taken at night, so there’s no sunlight coming in through the windows. Anybody that has stayed at a Walt Disney World resort over the years is probably familiar with the relatively dark, drab, yellow lighting that typically permeates most rooms on property. I was happy to see that eliminated here and at other recently-refurbished rooms at other resorts. Also like Coronado, you’ve got similar laminate flooring. When stepped on, it’s much louder than carpet, but it also “feels” much cleaner and looks much sleeker.

Personally, I’m a little iffy on the lack of color in the living/sleeping area. Obviously, bed runners lack utility, but they also typically offer a textural contrast to the rest of the room, in addition to being an easy way to communicate theme and add a splash of color. I feel like the dresser would have been a good opportunity to add some “grooviness” to the room or could otherwise be a way to set rooms that appear in different buildings apart. Instead, they’re very bright and very white.

On the plus side, the drawers are usable and the bright, large television up above is nice.

Inside you’ll find a safe, in addition to some shelves that don’t look to be particularly straight.

There’s also a plethora of outlets and USB ports around the room for charging. You could be refreshing easywdw.com on 30 devices at once only to find no new content on each one.

The addition of a coffee maker is a first in a Value-level room. It’s rather absurd that rooms in this category didn’t previously offer them, but Disney does artificially segregate its room categories by eliminating amenities that you would find in literally any other hotel, motel, or we-may-well-die-here roadside establishment nationwide. The refrigerator on the bottom is of the glass-front variety, so you don’t have to get up to find out whether or not you drank the last Jai Alai.

Unlike the Keurig brewers we’ve seen elsewhere, these rooms just have your typical Cuisinart. There’s Joffrey’s regular and decaf coffee in the drawer.

Like with other refurbishments, new rooms bring space underneath the bed for storing items like suitcases or children.

There are some fun pop art touches throughout the room, like this Mickey motif above the headboard on the fixed queen bed.

And a snoozin’ Pluto above the other.

And some green on the fabric chairs.

Said chairs don’t exactly stack, but they’re pretty easy to push over in the corner. Only the narrowest of air mattresses would fit in between the door and the beds. Dave over at yourfirstvisit.net offers far more measurements with his trusty tape measure here, in addition to some thoughts on the livability of the rooms as compared to those found in other resorts.

Another look at the headboards and power outlets on both sides of the bed. It might be a little awkward for people laying down in both beds to hold a conversation as the wood surrounding the bed might get in the way. I wouldn’t know as I don’t have any friends. And as someone that typically has an elbow hanging off the bed a bit, it doesn’t look like there’s much room on the fold-down bed for that, either. Of course, there’s another bed for those with wandering elbows.

This is a dated picture of what the rooms used to look like – they sort of scream cheap motel, in my estimation. You can almost smell the mildew in the carpet and who knows the last time those comforters were washed. Probably summer 1996. And by accident.

The bathrooms borrow a lot of elements that we saw at Coronado with the sleek, bright-lighted mirror and a punch of color with the oranges and blues. And while it’s not terribly large, there’s a surprising amount of storage possibilities with the various cubbies and drawers. There’s also a sliding door that separates the sleeping and bathroom areas, which is another first for Value resorts.

So you can iron and hang that suit you’ll be wearing to Victoria & Albert’s.

The single sink.

Hair dryer and iron.

The shower arrives with glass doors, which I love. But I have been told that it makes washing a child in the tub a little difficult. This is only a problem for me when I am staying with another Disney blogger.

The shower is otherwise a huge improvement with the rainfall-esque showerhead attached to a second, removable head.

Basic toiletries are provided. Unlike the Deluxe resorts, you’ll have to bring your own solar relief gel or otherwise try to bum it off someone staying at the Contemporary.

Like with the Coronado Springs refurbishment, new Pop rooms are an upgrade in virtually every meaningful way. At 260 square feet, they are still small, of course, but the space “feels” much more spacious now with the pull-down bed and additional storage options. The lighting and flooring are major improvements and I don’t think anybody will scoff at larger, more comfortable beds. The television is upgraded. The sliding door to the vanity area is better than the curtain. The bathroom looks elegant. Nothing about it screams cheap.

On the other hand, I feel like it is missing something that would otherwise tie the room together. A rug, perhaps. But after a day full of screaming at Magic Kingdom, returning to a room that’s a lot closer to an oasis than a cartoon is probably welcome. These are easily the nicest and best-appointed Value rooms on property. And speaking of Dave, he has an interesting breakdown on 2018 pricing as well in this post. We’re starting to see Disney charge different prices during some parts of the year on Thursday and Sunday nights, in addition to lower pricing on other weekdays and higher pricing on Friday and Saturday nights.

Currently, the 90s buildings are refurbished, so request a room there if you’d like to experience a “new” room. Buildings in the 80s section are next with building 9 looking like it could open any day, followed by building 7. The refurbishment should be complete by June of next year.

In unrelated news, gondola construction has begun property-wide. The first installment in this area is currently being built in between the Art of Animation Resort and Pop Century Resort.

It’s expected that pylons will be installed across the water with the station appearing near the bridge that connects Pop and Art of Animation. Dubbed “Disney Skyliner,” Disney’s official announcement is located here.

We’ll get over to Wilderness Lodge next.

Comments

  1. Amber says

    My least favorite on-site stay ever was at Pop, and I swore off staying there again. However, these new rooms have made me think that maybe someday if I get a really really good deal I might try it for a couple of nights. I do wish there was a bit more color in there, though.

  2. Brian Noble says

    I’m a hotel snob. I’m not shy about it. And those rooms look positively lovely. Too bad the exterior is still the exterior, but a major upgrade indeed.

    • George says

      I agree. For a “value,” they look quite sleek. I’d stay there in a heartbeat, and it’s great that there are 2 Q beds, so it would even work with two of us. And I’m usually a 1BR or larger kind of person, even with only two in the room.

  3. Megan says

    I can’t believe people actually stayed in thos old rooms. Omg. Terrible. The new rooms are a huge improvement.

  4. Penguin says

    I am the opposite of a snob, as long as it has air conditioning and a functional roof, I’m pretty happy with any level of Disney resort. That said, I really wish there was more color in the new rooms. The white definitely brightens up the space, but an accent wall wouldn’t be amiss.

  5. TaxiMike says

    “On the other hand, I feel like it is missing something that would otherwise tie the room together. A rug, perhaps”

    The obvious response to this being…. Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  6. krikiter says

    “only to find no new content on each one.” Brutal. There’s a not-so-fine line between self-deprecation and flagellation.

  7. CJ says

    I’m predicting some fairly hefty price increases for POP once the gondolas are up and running. Rumor has it that Disney is moving away from categorizing the resorts as Value/Moderate/Deluxe. This refurb seems to support that rumor.

    Looking forward to the CCV one bedroom review. We’re staying there in November.view.

  8. Kelly says

    I love the new refurb look, but I agree there needs to be a bit more color. Maybe an accent wall in the green or orange, or even just having the drawers or the sliding door to the bathroom in one of those colors would be enough in my mind.

  9. Jill says

    Have all of the rooms been refurbed? Thinking of staying here Sept 2018, but really don’t want to stay in the old rooms again. I currently have AoA Little Mermaid booked, but may switch over if we’d definitely be in these rooms!

    • Kathy says

      In the article:
      “Currently, the 90s buildings are refurbished, so request a room there if you’d like to experience a “new” room. Buildings in the 80s section are next with building 9 looking like it could open any day, followed by building 7. The refurbishment should be complete by June of next year.”

  10. Melissa says

    Is that separate shampoo and conditioner I see? Are the values moving away from the 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner? Please say yes!

  11. Sue says

    Looking forward to staying late Nov/Dec will be requesting new room. It would have been nice to bring some of the blue in bathroom into the room with accent wall and bed runner. Those beds look like hospital beds!

  12. Mary Ann says

    Love the larger beds. My adult kids would probably be willing to share rather than one of them sleeping on the floor (with feather bed). As to the lighting, do you think that it’s LED? Just wondering.

  13. Amanda says

    Out first stay at POP last summer was not that great. Admittedly, we thought rooming with our two youngest teenage sons was a good idea (not even a little bit for the sake of space and size alone), so that part is our fault. However…the room was never cool enough and a few pillows were very mildew-y. Smelled like a gym locker room. It was horrible!

    The rooms were cheap motel at best, but with these refurbishments, we are excited to stay there again! Everything looks great! But this time we booked two connecting rooms to give us all plenty of breathing room. :)

  14. Jeddiskoch says

    I always refer to that combo shampoo and conditioner as Brillo for hair. It is to be avoided at all costs unless you are trying to go bald on purpose.
    I love rugs so I’m hoping that someone will start up a throw rug exchange on the Dis boreds like they had with the refrigerators. Someone could buy ratty old throw rugs from Walmart and leave them at Bell services under the name “Skanky Karpett”. If you borrowed the throw rugs but didn’t wash them after your stay you would be banned from ever borrowing them again!!!

  15. Danielle L says

    The new decor reminds me an awful lot of military barracks. Minus the wall art, of course. But very plain, wood veneer everything. Not a bad thing, necessarily but also not a good thing for me lol. I like the wood floors though. Carpet is the devil.

  16. Laura says

    Where does one pile the likely 4 suitcases that would accompany them on the trip? We only stayed at Pop once (May ’17) and we were disappointed that our 21″carry-on suitcases wouldn’t fit in the dresser drawers like they conveniently did when we stayed at CBR. It doesn’t seem Pop used this opportunity to improve the dresser drawers : (

  17. John L says

    That before photo (of the non-renovated room) is dreadfully accurate, at least as recently as a week and a half ago when my wife and I stayed the night prior to a cruise (our room had a bowling pin outside the door, whatever that means for location). I’m guessing all of the new rooms were claimed before we stumbled in around 1am out of Austin. I like the idea of eliminating the Value/Moderate/Deluxe structure as another commenter mentioned, considering Art of Animation blows this fellow “value” resort out of the water and makes a comparison almost meaningless.

    Another surprise for us when we came in late at Pop were the number of teens outside of rooms just hanging out. Out room was enough away from these scattered groups that it wasn’t an issue but it was another reason why we’ll probably book elsewhere in the future, whatever happens with the room design.

  18. says

    Josh or anyone else who’s slept on the new beds – how comfortable are they? I honestly didn’t mind the old rooms for the price when I could get a good AP discount, but the beds were horrible quality. My husband and I would roll into each other all night and the springs made noise when you got up and down.

  19. CMM says

    “an inch short in both length and width”, otherwise known of as Tom Bricker Syndrome.

    That aside, the renovation is a vast improvement, even though it does sort of resemble a prison designed by Ikea. And hey, I can personally guarantee that Cusinart coffee machines has only been peed in 38 times so far.

  20. Peter says

    We are staying at the Pop for 1 night before our weeklong stay at the Polynesian. Hopefully we get one of these refurbed rooms, we requested to be in the 80s or 90s building since they are the only ones done at the moment.

  21. JB says

    Since Pop Century opened we’ve been staying there every other year. It’s a value resort not a deluxe. The refurbished rooms look very nice. I do not like carpet in hotel rooms, not even a throw, gross. I am thrilled about more storage & counter space. Thank you for the coffee maker! WDW just needs to lower prices on the milk, juice & fruit cups, in their food courts.

  22. MerryWeather says

    Huh. I’ve been lobbying for a Wilderness Lodge room for my and my husband’s eventual trip (Lord willing) for convenience’s sake, but was willing to compromise with a Pop Century room. With this refurb and the promise of gondolas to come, that compromise seems a lot easier to make.

    He probably won’t want to go before they open up Star Wars Land, though. ;-;

  23. Ange says

    I’m going to miss the touches of blue, since it’s my favorite color, but otherwise the space and organization of the new Pop Century rooms looks fantastic! We just stayed at the 50s in February and I’m almost wishing they had had one of these rooms ready. I do agree that they could use a little more color in the main area (something blue?). At least something that says “90s” vs “70s”. Or maybe the Mickey and Pluto wall art will be the change? Color schemes? Who knows. Thanks for the update, Josh!

  24. Daz says

    I think the renovations with hardwood floors are a response to the possibility of bedbugs. Much easier to respond to infestation without carpet.

  25. katharine says

    Important question: Will the maid be putting the murphy bed up each day the room is made up? or if they find in down, they just make the bed and leave it down?

  26. wendy says

    I loved the old rooms. These look “OK” but also look like any other hotel i’ve stayed at. Too generic IMO. They need more Disney touches and are SCREAMING for colour!!

  27. Tigger515 says

    I think the new Pop rooms look really cool!! Can’t wait to stay in them. However, I didn’t mind the old rooms. Lets face it, we don’t spend much time in the room when we go to Disney, just sleep and shower, and the old rooms are just fine that. If wanted something more, I’d PAY to stay somewhere else. After all, it is considered a “Value Resort.” And as for comfort of the bed, after walking all day in the parks, I could have slept on a picket fence!

  28. says

    We stayed in pop about 11 years ago.. and have been trying different resorts since .with that being said I have never had a bad experience at any. The new renovations may bring us back to pop again love that new bed/table. I didn’t think it was a huge deal till we had one at art of animation..now,I look for one at any hotel I stay at…lol

  29. Philip Jones says

    As of November 19, building 6 refurbs are well underway! This is the westernmost building of the 70’s section.

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