Disney's Pop Century Resort
|Disney's Pop Century Resort|
|Location||ESPN Wide World of Sports Resort Area|
|Resort type||Value Resort|
|Opened||December 14, 2003|
|Theme||20th-century American pop culture|
|Areas||'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s|
|Operator||Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
(The Walt Disney Company)
Disney's Pop Century Resort is a resort located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, opened on December 14, 2003. It is the fourth value-priced resort in the complex, following Disney's All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, and All-Star Sports Resorts in the 1990s. The resort is themed around 20th century American pop culture. Original plans anticipated the creation of both the "Legendary Years" and the "Classic Years" to divide the property by the first and second halves of the century, respectively. However, the former section was scrapped after reduced tourism in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and was redeveloped as a fifth value-priced resort Disney's Art of Animation Resort in 2012.
After achieving international success with existing accommodations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts began construction of the first value-priced resorts at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The three-resort complex opened during the 1990s, consisting of Disney's All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, and All-Star Sports Resorts. The properties proved themselves as successful investments, leading to the development of a fourth value-priced resort in 1999. The resort was originally planned to open in 2001, though the opening was eventually delayed to March 2002. It was delayed once more before accepting reservations on April 22, 2003, and opening on December 13, 2003.
The original plans for the resort included a second phase of units themed to the Legendary Years, which would have included 1900–1940s themed areas. These rooms would have resided across a lake from the Classic Years section, and would be connected by the 'Generation Gap' bridge to that section. Construction for both phases were started at the same time, but after the September 11 attacks, Disney scaled back the hotel due to the reduction in tourism.
The Classic Years section opened in 2003, while the Legendary Years lobby building (to be called "Legendary Hall") plus several of its buildings were left uncompleted. Initially, the completed resort was to have an additional 2,880 rooms on the Legendary side, configured identically to the Classic side. The parking lot for the expansion was completed during the earlier phase of construction, and occasionally was used as overflow parking for the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The fact that the "Legendary Years" was never opened has led to people calling the Pop Century the "Pop Half-Century Resort", since only the 50s-90s are featured.
On May 12, 2010, Disney Parks announced plans to complete the remaining section of the resort as a separate value-priced resort known as Disney's Art of Animation Resort. It is based on four of Disney and Pixar's most popular films: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars. However, to distinguish it from Pop Century, the hotel has 1,120 suites, designed for up to six people. The remaining 864 rooms are standard value-resort size. The addition of suites was based on positive guest responses after a number of hotel rooms at Disney's All-Star Music Resort were combined to form larger accommodations. Construction resumed in the summer of 2010, and the resort opened in May 2012.
Each themed area features motel-style buildings adorned in larger than life phrases and iconography of the particular decade being represented. The resort has 2,880 rooms in ten separate buildings, three pool areas, and one central area, named "Classic Hall", that houses the front desk, gift shop, arcade and food court. The buildings are four-story versions of the three-story All-Star Resort buildings.
In the Classic Years section of the resort, each area is themed with a specific decade and giant items related to that decade. This was originally one of two planned construction phases for the resort, but has become the only completed area of the resort due to a scaling-back of the project.
Disney Transport buses provide scheduled service between the resort hotel and the theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney. The resort has laundry facilities and babysitting options available. It also has pizza delivery to guests' rooms as well as cable television. As of April 2012 refrigerators and internet access are now complimentary.
The hotel has several shopping and dining locations, including the following:
- Everything Pop is both the food court and the gift shop for the resort. The gift shop has products based on the 1950s-1990s as well as Disney merchandise. The food court has five different specialty shops; Bakery, Grill, Market, Pizza, and Ethnic. This is the only resort in the magic kingdom, that serves 'Tie Dyed' cheesecake, a Pop Century favorite. The Disney Dining Plan can be used to purchase Quick Service meals.
- Grab-N-Go Market is located in the back of Everything Pop and offers foods that can be carried into the theme parks, such as water, muffins, and sandwiches.
- Petals Pool Bar is a bar located near the Hippy-Dippy Pool in the 1960s themed area, near the "Classic Hall" lobby. Drinks may be purchased at the bar.
- Mark Goldhaber (May 31, 2012). "The History and Story of the 'Legendary' Disney's Art of Animation Resort". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Disney To Delay Opening Of Pop Century Resort - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2001-06-21. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "Pop Century Resort". Disneyzone.net. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- Jason Garcia (2010-05-11). "Disney to build 2,000-room hotel dubbed Disney’s Art of Animation Resort". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "Pop Century". HanBan Photos. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
- "Disney's Pop Century Resort | Walt Disney World Resort". Disneyworld.disney.go.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10.