By: Canadian Diva
POP Century Resort in Walt Disney World is FUN for Preschoolers! Although the retro Icons and theme may touch the hearts, minds and memories of most parents and grandparents, a stay at the POP Century Resort for preschoolers will not disappoint!
Here are the reasons why we LOVE staying at POP Century with our Preschooler while visiting the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. I also included some extra preschool parenting tips too.
Colorful Check-in Area
The area where you check in is large and spacious. While we were checking in (we are from Canada so we do not get our Magic Bands shipped to us) our Preschooler had fun colouring at the kid size tables with our teenage daughter. Throughout this hall there are memorabilia on the walls from the eras of the 50’s 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, and even though your preschooler will not understand what they are, it is really cool for them to look and marvel at.
Preschool Learning Fun: If your preschooler has a certain phase of interest as many preschoolers do, ask them to play an “I Spy” with the different memorabilia displayed on the walls of the check-in area. My preschooler LOVES cars and trucks, so we would seek out anything with wheels on display. Or you could talk about what you liked as a child if your child is a bit older. It’s really cool to see toys, items and other vintage stuff that you played with or were interested in when you were the same age as your child is now.
EVERYTHING POP is a great area that combines a Gift Shop with the Food Court. From the check-in area, you can walk through the lively gift shop area to pick up items (there is a section for basic medicines, diapers, wipes plus other small essentials if your preschooler needs it). And of course lots of toys, treats and clothing. The food court is bright and colourful as well. It is very spacious with tonnes of seating areas. EVERYTHING POP has a variety of food for little ones and like all Walt Disney Resorts, offers Children’s menu and a section of healthy snacks just for your kids.
Preschool Tip: if you don’t want to be among the crowds, there is a section further in the back area, separated by a walkway from the gift shop. It is usually not as busy as the main dining area. This will help your preschooler sit and relax to eat without the busy-ness of the crowds.
Larger than Life Icons
Although many of these icons will definitely go way over your preschooler’s head. It is so fun to see these larger than life Icons everywhere. Parents and Grandparents would get a kick out of noting so many memorabilia and phrases as well as themes that remind us of our youth and childhood. And though preschoolers won’t know Pac Man, what a “Walkman” is or what mood rings are, they will love how exciting everything looks. My preschooler couldn’t stop turning his head everywhere in awe. He was just so amaze with all that was surrounding him.
Preschool Learning Tip: Since POP Century is so colorful, you can play color games with your child, ask which colours do they see around them. You can also start teaching them about higher numbers if they are ready. They can start learning 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 where these numbers are displayed right outside of EVERYTHING POP. A great book to start reading to your Preschooler before going to the POP Century Resort is “Chicka Chicka 123” by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson, illustrated by Lois Ehlert.
Our family ADORES the refurbished rooms at POP Century. As soon as we walked into our the newly renovated room, we were WOW’d. It is so streamlined and bright. Gone are the dark walls and carpet that we remembered of the POP Century Resort rooms from the past. Although the rooms are the same size, the rooms appear bigger because of the light colored laminate flooring and how bright and nicely laid out the room is. There are now 2 queen size beds with a pull down Murphy bed. When it is up, it is a neato table seating area. We absolutely love this feature as it created more space during the day. Then at night we would pull the bed down and voila, have a great rest (the beds are super comfortable).
There is a mini-fridge which was very useful. A coffee maker, which wasn’t because we had our refillable mugs that we used for coffee at the Food Court anyway. A large flat screen TV and plenty of storage around. I was really impressed with the bathroom area. There is a sliding door so if the ‘early bird’ of the family (like me!) wakes up before everyone else, they can get ready without disturbing the others, and another door to the bathroom with a basic toilet and upgraded bath and shower. I really like the new double shower heads and the sliding glass door (instead of curtains) for the bathtub.
It’s a value resort so like the room, the bathroom is smaller than at a Moderate or Deluxe resort but with the new sleek design, it provided sufficient enough space for our family of four.
Preschool Learning Tip: Walt Disney World has an adorable bedtime storytime on one of their channels, it’s a great way for your preschooler to watch and wind down from a busy day.
Preschool Safety Tip: Bring a child safety lock! The security safe is in the drawer where the Television is. Your preschooler will definitely LOVE to open the drawers and if your preschooler is like mine, like to push all the buttons (YIKES). Bring a child safety lock for cabinets so that you don’t need to call Front Desk all the time to reset the safe.
There is so many FUN things to do at POP Century for your preschooler. Every Walt Disney World Resort has great activities and movie nights but at POP Century there seems to always be that extra POP of energy. While we were there they had a tie-dye shirt making activity (at an extra cost), these shirts would definitely match POP Century’s signature treat, the Tie-dye Cheesecake.
The Splash Pad area in the 60’s section is a groovy little gated area where your little one can splash around. There are tables and chairs if you decide to eat there (our family had lunch there). I personally like how this splash pad is sectioned off, away from the main pool area and pool bar. My preschooler and I spent hours in that area and it was great to meet other preschoolers and talk to their moms as well.
The main pool, the “Hippy Dippy Pool” is super HIP, with flower petals gently spurting water and psychedelic colours galore, reminiscent of the 1960’s era. There are life jackets for your preschooler to wear in the pool so you can swim with them. And life guards watching as well. Since our family was staying in the 80’s section and was near the “Computer Pool” of the 90’s section, our family enjoyed swimming in this “Quiet Pool” too. There are lifeguards there as well and life jackets for your young children. In the past we have stayed in the 50’s section and enjoyed the “Bowling Pin” pool. As Disney is all about the details, you will hear music pertaining to each era in each section. Plus, famous phrases from each area displayed around the resort! It really makes you feel like you have traveled back into time.
Parent tip: While my family was swimming together with my preschooler, the laundry rooms are by the pools. It’s a great way to spend time doing your laundry, and sitting by the pool area, read a book, catch up on social media while your family is having fun splashing around. Or vice versa, dads could do the laundry while moms are in the pool with the kids!
FUN Memory: The Walt Disney World Team always finds ways to put a little magic for their guests. The best is when Disney Characters show up randomly to surprise guests. On our recent visit, the GREEN ARMY MEN from the Toy Story Movies, were “patrolling” POP Century as they were trying to find Bo Peep’s lost sheep. It was really cool for my son to meet them at the resort! It also saved us time from meeting them at Hollywood Studios in the new Toy Story Land, as they are extremely popular there. My son practically got to spend a good amount of time interacting with them, it was funny because he was trying to imitate they way they walked!
ART OF ANIMATION Resort
There is a lake called “Hourglass Lake” that separates the POP Century Resort and the Art of Animation Resort. Although it is on our bucket list to stay at the Art of Animation Resort, we haven’t had a chance to stay at Walt Disney World’s newest Value Resort yet. POP Century usually has packages that are more in our budget. We really enjoyed walking across the “Generation Gap” bridge. Visiting the Art of Animation Resort (an article on this will be coming up soon, so stayed tuned!) is an adventure in itself!
PRESCHOOL TIP: your child will LOVE visiting this resort! Schedule a part of your vacation to visit. We had a non-theme park day and spent time visiting this resort. It was a great way to experience this resort without actually staying there. My son had so much FUN. We love the Food Court “Landscapes of Flavors” which has a variety of unique more ethnically diverse foods which is a nice way to get variety if you are spending a lot of time eating at POP Century (like our family did since we were on the Quick Service Dining Plan). The only thing you cannot do is swim at the Art of Animation Resort, there is no “pool hopping” between Walt Disney World resorts.
FAMILY TIP: When you are visiting a Theme Park and coming “home”, if you missed the POP Century bus and the Art of Animation bus is there, hop on that bus. Especially if your room is closer to the bridge, it is nice to come back earlier. We have done this on several occasions and grabbed a bite to eat at the Art of Animation resort’s food court before heading back to our room for the night!
POP Century, like all Disney Resorts, may feel huge however with the lay out, the colorful architecture of the buildings and the landscaping, it doesn’t feel overwhelmingly big. The resort almost feels like a nice maze where you discover cute things along the way, like a TWISTER area, or bumping into Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and discovering a hidden (and shaded) playground area. Once you learn to navigate the resort, it’s really easy to get around. Your preschooler will never get bored as there is always wonders to see and nooks and corners to discover. There are always a lot of Cast Members around if you have questions of where to go. And the walk along the Hourglass Lake is lovely.
POP Century is usually a great budget-friendly choice for families. It may not have the fancy slides and pools or other amenities like the Walt Disney World Deluxe or Moderate resorts have. However, I strongly believe there is enough FUN at POP Century to entertain and make your preschooler have the most magical vacation like our preschooler had! And guess what my son’s favourites words were from our trip …….. “POP CENTURY”!
Are you ready to start planning your magical vacation, but you aren’t sure where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!
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Thank you to Passholder Diva “Lila Quintiliani” and Romina Paloma for contributing some of the photos for this Article.