Disney’s Pop Century vs. Art of Animation: How Do They Compare?
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So, a trip to Walt Disney World is in the works, and the idea of staying at a Disney resort is on your mind. We don’t blame you.
There are many reasons to consider staying on Disney property, including free transportation to the parks, on-site dining and complimentary parking.
Let’s look at two of these properties and see what the differences are when comparing Pop Century versus Art of Animation.
Pop Century vs. Art of Animation
Here’s a quick overview of the similarities and differences between these Disney resort options:
Art of Animation
Wide World of Sports resort area.
Wide World of Sports resort area.
Standard, suites and story rooms.
Quick service, seven food stations.
Quick service, four food counters.
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A closer look at Pop Century
Disney has a few levels of resorts, including deluxe, moderate and value. Pop Century is a value hotel, which means it’s one of the least expensive options.
Room rates start at $194 per night, though you may be able to find discounts if you’re a Florida resident, an annual pass holder, a Disney+ subscriber or a member of the military.
» Learn more: How to go to Disney World for cheap
Disney’s Pop Century rooms include four types, all sleeping up to four adults. These include:
The standard room.
The standard pool view room.
The preferred room.
The preferred pool view room.
The main difference between the standard and preferred rooms is location; preferred rooms are more centrally located with easier access to dining and transportation.
Pop Century doesn't have suites — you’ll have to look for those at a different Disney resort.
The Pop Century Resort is in the Wide World of Sports area and is nearest to Hollywood Studios.
Directly across the water is the Art of Animation Resort, and the two share access to Disney’s Skyliner gondola system, which provides free transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Buses are also available for transport to the theme parks.
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As a Disney resort, Pop Century offers a variety of amenities that include:
Outdoor movie showings.
A jogging trail.
The food at the Pop Century Resort is all quick service; it’s more focused on casual dining than a white-cloth experience. There’s just one dining hall that serves American food at seven stations. This includes:
The dining hall also serves breakfast with famous Mickey waffles.
If you’re interested in a more upscale dining experience, consider making reservations at one of the many restaurants within the Walt Disney World resort.
A closer look at Art of Animation
Art of Animation is also a value resort, with room rates starting at $232 per night. Although it’s a little costlier than Pop Century, it provides a few more room types and is pet-friendly.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has several types of rooms from which to choose, including suites that sleep up to six.
Its only standard room is the Little Mermaid room type, which sleeps up to four adults and has two queen beds or one king bed.
Otherwise, you can reserve a room in one of the resort’s story suites. There are three themes from which to choose:
The Lion King.
Like Pop Century, the Art of Animation Resort is in the Wide World of Sports area.
Its nearest theme park is Hollywood Studios, and guests can access the Skyliner, which will ferry them across the sky to Epcot or Hollywood Studios.
Otherwise, buses are available to access the theme parks and Disney Springs.
Art of Animation boasts the largest pool on Disney property at 308,527 gallons, a children’s splash area and two additional pools.
In addition to those, you’ll find similar amenities to Pop Century, including:
A jogging trail.
Outdoor movie screenings.
Food offerings are more limited at Art of Animation with just four food counters serving American food. This includes:
Breakfast is available as well and features those same famous Mickey waffles.
» Learn more: Budgeting for a family trip to Disney
Which is best for you?
So, is Art of Animation or Pop Century better for you? All told, these resorts aren’t all that different. They’re right next to each other, with Skyliner access as well as similar amenities and dining options.
The main difference between the resorts is the types of rooms you can reserve: Art of Animation is mainly suites and caters to larger groups, while Pop Century’s rooms are all alike except for their location. There are no Pop Century family suites.
If you’re traveling with a family, you may want to consider staying at the Art of Animation Resort, whose themed rooms can sleep up to six.
If you’re price sensitive, the Pop Century Resort may be a better fit because its rates start at $38 less per night than those of Art of Animation.
» Learn more: How to plan a Disney World vacation on points
Art of Animation Resort vs. Pop Century Resort, recapped
Disney has done a good job with its resorts — in terms of design and the amenities they offer. Art of Animation and Pop Century are value resorts, meaning they’re less expensive than some of their counterparts.
If you’re trying to figure out whether you should stay at Pop Century or Art of Animation, consider the differences.
Art of Animation is heavily skewed toward those needing a little extra room, with a price point to match. Meanwhile, Pop Century charges less but has nearly identical rooms throughout the resort.
No matter which hotel you choose, you’ll be staying on Walt Disney World property for a great vacation.
(Top photo courtesy of Walt Disney World)
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