Last summer, we went on a Disney Cruise with our friends the Riedels to celebrate both couples’ 20th wedding anniversaries. And we decided to extend the fun just a little longer with a short visit to Walt Disney World. We were looking to go the rather inexpensive route for our time there, and the Pop Century Resort seemed to be just what we were looking for. The price was good (relatively), and it was still a Disney hotel, so we booked it for two nights for our stay.
While we didn’t spend all that much time at the hotel, here are a few photos of our visit there, as we did manage to take in a few of the sights of the place. Click each one for a larger view at the Burnsland Photos gallery.
Welcome to Pop Century! Here, Laura and Jaylin stand underneath one of the large POP signs at the main building, showing just how large those signs really are. And you can see they are wearing their rain gear, too. We got off of the Disney Cruise Line ship right in the middle of a minor tropical storm. It rained on us some, but we didn’t let that slow us down any. Because we have been there in worse tropical storms than that. And besides, by the next day the storm had moved on and it was a beautiful day. Don’t believe me? Check out the next photo.
Our rooms were in the 50’s area of Pop Century. If you don’t know, Pop Century is dedicated to the 20th Century, or at least half of it. They built the 1950s through 1990s buildings, but those apparently weren’t all that popular. So instead of building the buildings for the first half of the 20th Century, they used the land intended for those buildings to build the Art of Animation Resort, which had much more of a Disney theme than Pop Century, which apparently is what most everyone was looking for. Even though it was lacking some of that “Disney” feel, it was still enjoyable enough for what it was, which for us was a place to sleep for a couple of nights while we spent the days out doing other things. But if we were looking to stay at a certain place because of the atmosphere instead of because of the price, we might choose someplace else.
Here is another view of a 1950s building. Each building had these large people on the sides in poses appropriate to the decade, along with sayings and phrases from the decade at the top of the buildings. The trees block the sayings here, but I liked how they framed the people. As with all of the Disney resorts, the landscaping was spectacular, as you would expect. And while the large people on the buildings were in front of some of the guest room doors and windows, I doubt that anyone would complain about having their view blocked. In hotels of this type, we always keep our window curtains closed anyway, because the walkway is right outside the window and I never care for people peering in our room as they walk by.
While the whole resort may be lacking an overall Disney theme, there were plenty of Disney things to remind you where you were. For example, in the 1950s section, Lady from the movie Lady and the Tramp stands watching over things in much-larger-than-life size. This is fitting because the movie Lady and the Tramp was released in 1955, right in the middle of the 1950s.
And you can’t have Lady without Tramp, so he stands on the other side of the courtyard from Lady. These were great three-dimensional versions of the two-dimensional characters, I think, and even though they don’t move, they add some life and some color to the area.
This view looks across the pool at one of the 1950s buildings on an overcast day. You can barely glipmse Lady from the above photo through the trees at the right of this photo. And although you can’t tell it here, the pool is shaped like a bowling pin, matching the large bowling pins at the ends of the 1950s buildings. But more about those later.
Moving on to the 1960s, here are Mowgli and Baloo from the 1967 Disney version of The Jungle Book. And this shows the change in colors for the buildings of this decade as well. Much different from the 1950s, which hopefully helps those who have trouble telling one building from another. “I really think we were in an orangish-yellow building, not a blue purple one, honey. You know, the one with the big bear and mostly-naked long-haired kid jumping out of the bushes.”
The other 1960s building features a large can of Play-Doh, with some Play-Doh characters coming out of the top. And since Play-Doh isn’t necessarily Disney, this is the ultimate in product placement. Personally, I didn’t necessarily equate Play-Doh with the 1960s, since I played with it in the 1970s when I was growing up. Except that I didn’t play with it all that often because my Mom didn’t want to have to try to get Play-Doh out of our shag carpet. So there are your 1970s references, since I didn’t get to that area to take any photos.
The end stairwells at the 1960s buildings are enclosed in big Duncan yo-yos. Which again, I associate more with my formative years in the 1970s instead of the 1960s. But what do I know, since I wasn’t around in the 1960s? Anyway, at Pop Century there are a few different colors of yo-yos, but I chose this photo because of the cool clouds overhead. So if you are interested, take some time to see all of the big yo-yos. And I don’t mean people, although there may be some of those there, too.
Moving inside the main building for a moment, here is a view of the food court, where we ate a couple of our meals. In some strange way, I really liked the circle-shaped things hanging from the ceiling in here. They are actually the lights for the food court area, as each one has a light above it that shines down onto the translucent panel to light up the room. Pretty cool.
I did find some time to take a few night photos while we were there. This first view was actually the view from our room. Or more precisely, this was the view from the walkway outside our room, since you know that we kept our curtains closed if you have been reading all of these little words. This is one of the aforementioned bowling pins around the stairs of the 1950s buildings. And if you are wondering, those bowling pins don’t protect you if you are walking up or down the stairs in the rain. Trust me, I know. But they do look pretty cool all lit up at night.
This photo was taken just down the walkway from our room, looking out at the bowling pin pool. It looks like a rather oddly-shaped bowling pin from this direction, but the top of the bowling pin is actually the closest end to us here. And you can see that the pool deck is made to look like bowling lanes, although it is in fact concrete and not wood. And yes, even though it had just been raining, there were still a couple of people in the pool. Gotta make the most of your vacation, I suppose.
This last night photo brings us back to where we started. Or at least to the second photo in this post, as it is a nighttime view of the jukebox at the building we were staying in. If you are ever there, you should take some time to read the song titles and artists of the jukebox choices, because all of them are fictional and some of them are rather hilarious. But at this time we didn’t stop, because it was getting late and we had enjoyed a long day at the Magic Kingdom. So we headed up to our room to get some sleep. Which was the main reason we were there, after all. And no, the big jukebox didn’t keep us awake at night, since it wasn’t actually playing any songs.
That wraps up our visit to the Pop Century Resort. As I said earlier, it was nice enough for a place to sleep for a few days, and there were some good photo opportunities, too. I hope you enjoyed seeing it!
About the photos:
Each photo is a single RAW exposure, processed in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Read more about the photo software and gear I use at the camera gear page.
Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm