Okay, so you’ve got your park tickets, your flight plans, your table service reservations, but wait! What about the resort?! Picking which resort to stay at while on your trip to Disney can be hard! There are so many places to choose from, which one is the right choice?
It can be even harder when two of the resorts are very similar but also very different! Choosing between Pop Century vs. Art of Animation can be a tough decision, but we are here to help you out!
This will contain everything you need to know about each resort. We are going to explore the theming of each place, the rooms, the pools, the prices, and even the food courts!
We won’t leave any stone unturned because we want you to be able to make an informed decision. Hopefully, all this information will help you decide which Value Resort is best for you and your family!
What Things Are The Same At Pop Century And Art Of Animation?
There’s no doubt that both resorts are equally adorable, but what other things are similar at Pop Century and Art of Animation? You might be surprised to find out that these resorts have a lot in common! The layouts for both resorts are very similar.
They each have different sections set to a different theme, with the main building (including the lobby, food court, and store) at the front of the resort. They also each have multiple pools! Kids can find fun activities by the main pool of each resort, while parents can relax at the bars located right by each main pool!
Both of these resorts have all the amenities you could find at other Disney resorts as well. There is the Magical Express to take you to and from the airport, ability to participate in Extra Magic Hours, provision of Magic Bands, ability to book Fastpasses 60 days in advance, and bus transportation.
The best part is, both of these resorts are located on the Skyliner route for easy transportation to Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and other resorts! There is a lake in between the two resorts where the Skyliner is located for easy access from both the Pop Century and Art of Animation.
Now that we’ve talked about all the similarities, let’s talk about the theming differences between the two wonderful resorts!
Theming Differences At Pop Century vs Art Of Animation
Even though the layout of both resorts is quite similar, the theming for each is very different! Let’s start with the OG, Pop Century.
Pop Century’s theme is a trip through the 20th Century decades of the 50s through the 90s. Each section of buildings is separated into a different decade, so if there is a specific decade you want to stay in, you can always make a request! (My family used to like to stay in the 50s section). Not too long ago even the rooms used to be themed to their decade, but now all the rooms have been refurbished to look the same.
Walking through the different decade sections is like walking through the different areas of Magic Kingdom! The decorations and theming will change as you move from one decade to another. Even the music changes too! The 50s section has a giant jukebox right in front of the Bowling Pin shaped pool. Even the stairs are bowling pins!
The 60s is the section right behind the main lobby building and has the biggest pool that is shaped like a flower, the Hippy Dippy Pool. This section has Yo-Yo stairs on its buildings. The 70s section has a giant Mickey Phone, the game Twister imbedded in the ground, and the stairs are encased in 8-track tapes.
The 80s section has a giant Walkman, and the stairs are Rubiks Cubes. Lastly, the 90s section has a giant computer, a Computer pool, giant floppy disks, and the stairs are old style cell phones. How cool is this resort! Even the Classic Hall (basically the lobby) is decorated with items and themed to the decades.
Art of Animation
This resort is just as cool, but in a completely different way! This resort takes you through the process of bringing animated Disney films to life! The four movies they focus on, which also happen to be the different sections of the resort, are the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Cars.
As soon as you enter Animation Hall (which is Art of Animation’s front entrance and lobby), you are greeted with bright colors and rough sketches of characters from those four movies. The store is decked out with art gear along the walls, and the food court has beautiful murals. There is even a brightly lit color wheel pattern behind the front desk. The whole place is absolutely beautiful!
As you exit Animation Hall, the first section you see will be the buildings themed to Finding Nemo. This is the location of the main pool, the Big Blue Pool. This place is just like diving right into the sea to join Nemo and his friends! There are giant statues of characters from the movies, and the buildings match the theme of the area.
To the right of the Finding Nemo section is a pathway that will take you over to the Cars section. This section is one of the coolest because it is set up to look like you are entering Radiator Springs! Life size statues of cars from the town are placed around the area. The Cozy Cone Motel is at the center of the section because this is where the pool is located! Even if you aren’t staying at the Art of Animation, this area is really fun to explore!
If you head towards the left of the Nemo section, this first area you’ll run into is The Lion King section. This section takes you into the savannahs of Africa, with tall trees and grass, and rocky areas. This place is adorned with statues of all your favorite characters from the movie. There is even a great photo op of Timon, Pumba, and young Simba walking across a fallen tree like in the movie!
If you keep walking past the Lion King area, you’ll eventually run into the Little Mermaid section. This area is filled with statues of characters from the movie, and treasures that Ariel has collected. Another great photo op is with the statue of Prince Eric that Ariel found and took! There is another pool located in this section, where Sebastian is close by in the middle of conducting!
This is another great resort to explore because it is really fun to see and take pictures of all the wonderful characters! So choosing Pop Century vs. Art of Animation on regards of theming is a tough decision!
Pools At Art Of Animation vs Pop Century
The pools at each resort are super fun, but if you’re a person who loves hanging out by the pool, it might help you choose between Art of Animation vs. Pop Century!
The main pools will probably be the biggest deciding factor. At Pop Century, the main pool is the Hippy Dippy Pool located in the 60s section. The Hippy Dippy Pool is a giant pool shaped like a flower. It has several standing flowers located around the perimeter of the pool that spray water at guests. This is a fun place to cool off after a long day at the parks!
The Big Blue Pool is the main pool at Art of Animation located in the Finding Nemo section. This pool is the largest hotel pool located at Disney World! It has a walk in area adorned with giant Jellyfish, and a water play zone for kids located nearby. However, the best part about the pool is that it plays music underwater!
The two other pools at Pop Century are the Bowling Pin pool in the 50s section, and the Computer pool in the 90s section. The two other pools at Art of Animation are the Cozy Cone Motel pool located in the Cars section, and the pool located in the Little Mermaid section.
If swimming isn’t as important to you during your hotel stay, the pools might not matter. But if you and your family love visiting the pools, we think the pools at the Art of Animation are a little better.
Family Suites And Rooms At Art Of Animation
There are two different types of rooms offered at Art of Animation. You can either book a Family Suite or a regular room. The Family Suite sleeps up to 6 adults, and the regular rooms sleep up to 4 adults. These rooms are great when you have a large family or are traveling with lots of people. They include two bathrooms, and three beds. One of the beds is a murphy bed that turns into a table, another is a pull out couch, and the third is a regular bed. These rooms are quite spacious and are perfect for large families.
The Family Suites are located in the Cars, Lion King, and Nemo sections. The regular rooms are only offered in the Little Mermaid section, so if you aren’t a fan of the Little Mermaid but you have less than 4 people, you might want to stay at the Pop Century instead.
Another important thing to note is the Little Mermaid section is the furthest section from Animation Hall and it can be quite a walk to the Skyliner. So trying to get to different transportation locations will be a little more difficult.
Art of Animation is a great resort for people will large families and big groups. If you want to be close to Animation Hall and the Skyliner, ask to stay in the Finding Nemo section. Otherwise, be prepared to walk to get to your destinations.
Each room is themed to the section they are located in. The decorations and theming are very well done, and the rooms are beautiful. If one of these movies is your favorite, definitely ask if you can stay in that section! This article will help you get the room you want at a Disney resort!
Rooms At Pop Century
Pop Century only offers one type of room at their resort. There are no Family Suites offered here. This can both be an advantage and a disadvantage. It’s an advantage for smaller families who don’t want to pay the higher price for the Little Mermaid rooms over at the Art of Animation. However, it is a disadvantage for larger families because they might have to book multiple rooms to stay at the Pop Century.
Even though there are different themed sections at the Pop Century, every room looks the same on the inside. They recently refurbished the rooms to have hardwood floors, more countertop space, and a cleaner look. These rooms are great if you want a nice, clean, comfortable stay.
If you want to stay at the Pop Century, but want to be closer to the Classic Hall where the buses and food court is, you can book a preferred room. Preferred rooms at Pop Century are a little more expensive than the regular rooms, but they offer you closer access to all the amenities. This will also help you be closer to the Skyliner.
Space Differences Between Rooms At The Resorts
There is a slight space difference in the rooms at Pop Century vs. Art of Animation. The Art of Animation Little Mermaid standard rooms are slightly bigger by about 17 square feet.
This gives guests a little more breathing room and space to walk around compared to the Pop Century rooms. There is no murphy bed in the Art of Animation standard rooms, but it doesn’t feel too cramped.
The great thing about the Pop Century rooms is there are two beds, but one of them is a murphy bed that turns into a table when put up. This allows the room to feel more open and gives you more space to move around. However, when the bed is pulled down it can feel a little more cramped than the Art of Animation rooms.
Overall, the regular rooms at Art of Animation and the rooms at Pop Century are very similar in size.
Food Courts At Art Of Animation And Pop Century
The Art of Animation food court and the Pop Century food court are very similar in size and types of food offered. Both are very large and have plenty of seating areas. However, the theming and decoration of Art of Animation’s food court is slightly better.
The Art of Animation food court has different sections to sit in based on one of the four movies at the resort. Each section has murals from each movie. These murals are very beautiful and nice to look at.
The Pop Century food court is pretty plain and has a sort of retro theme to it. The layout is very similar to Art of Animations, but the theming is just not on the same level.
The food is also very similar at each location, with some minor differences. Take a look at the menus to decide which location is best suited for your family’s tastes!
Art of Animation food court menu
Price Differences At Pop Century vs Art Of Animation
Both of these resorts are classified as Value Resorts, so you are getting some of the cheapest rooms on Disney property. These two resorts are probably the best Value Resorts offered at Disney. If you can find a good price to stay at either of these places, it is definitely worth it! They have comfortable rooms and great amenities for a cheaper price.
The important thing to note is that standard Art of Animation rooms are usually more expensive than the Pop Century rooms. Prices are always changing at Disney depending on the time of year and crowds. The summer and holidays are usually more expensive because these are popular times to visit.
You will probably find the best prices in January, February, April, and sometimes September. Checking our Crowd Calendar can help you decide on the best time to visit.
On average, Pop Century rooms range from $190 to $240 per night, depending on when you are visiting. The standard Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation range from $200 to $250 per night. The Family Suite rooms at Art of Animation usually range between $540 to $600 per night.
Again, it is important to know that prices can always change, and Disney is always raising or lowering prices depending on different things. Checking the Disney website frequently is the best way to get the best price during the time you want to visit!
So, Which Resort Is Better?
So now that you’ve gotten all the information you need to know about each resort, it’s time to decide which is better! The thing is it’s totally up to you and what you prefer more! We can’t really say that one is better than the other because some people prefer Pop Century and some people prefer Art of Animation.
We love the theming and wonderful rooms of Art of Animation, but the hardwood floors of the rooms at Pop Century are loved as well! Going to Pop Century reminds me of my childhood, so sometimes I prefer to stay there just for the nostalgia! It is totally up to what you like and what your preference is! Reading this post should hopefully narrow it down for you. Just go with the flow like Crush and pick the resort you vibe with the most!
We hope all this information has helped make your decision a little easier! We know it is tough to decide between these two amazing resorts! The great thing to know is that if you stay at one, it’s a quick walk across Hourglass Lake to visit the other! This way you can experience the magic of both resorts!
I’m a Disney fan too. My first time was in 1982 when I was 5 years old. Today I’m 44 and every single year we travel to Orlando to visit Walt Disney World Resort. I love Disney!!!