Disney Pop Century vs Art of Animation: Which is best?

Disney Pop Century vs Art of Animation: Which is best?

Pop Century and Art of Animation are two of the best Value Resorts at Walt Disney World. A step above the All-Star Resorts, but not quite moderate resorts. But how are they different? And which one is best for your Disney vacation? Let’s see who comes out on top! Disney’s Pop Century vs Art of Animation: which is best?

Pop Century Lady and the Tramp

Disney Pop Century vs Art of Animation

So what’s the deal with these two resorts? Both located on Hourglass Lake, these resorts are often thought to be sister resorts, like Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside. However, that’s not the case. Pop Century and Art of Animation are separate resorts, with different theming, restaurants, and room types. Read on to see how they compare. And to see which Disney resort is best for you.

Disney Resort Grounds at Pop Century

Disney Art of Animation Resort

Theming at Disney Pop Century vs Art of Animation

Theming at both of these resorts is bright and fun.

If you’re looking for a total “Disney” experience, you really cannot beat Art of Animation. Art of Animation has the best Disney theming on Disney property. With bright, colorful, larger than life Disney icons from some of your favorite Disney movies, this resort really immerses you in Disney Animation. Some people say this resort is a bit over the top. And we agree, it is. But in the best way. 

Pop Century is a resort themed to various decades. And is also bright and fun with larger-than-life icons that Disney Value Resorts are known for.  It has many Disney inspired icons as well as non-Disney ones. So while you may not feel as much in the Disney bubble as you would at Art of Animation, you still get the cuteness and charm from Disney characters you may be looking for in a Disney vacation. 

So who wins for theming in the Disney Pop Century vs Art of Animation showdown? Art of Animation has the slight edge. But we love them both!

Disney Art of Animation Resort

Walt Disney World Skyliner

Transportation at Pop Century vs Art of Animation

Transportation at both of these resorts is essentially identical. Both resorts have busses that go to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. And since they are right next to each other, travel time is basically going to be the same. The same idea goes for the Skyliner. These two resorts actually share a Skyliner station, so traveling to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will take you exactly the same amount of time regardless of which you are staying at. 

Now, if you want to get really particular about this, we can. The bus situation at Art of Animation seems to be better than Pop Century about 90% of the time. And by saying this, I mean, the busses usually come quicker than they do for Pop Century. This may be because Art of Animation caters more to families and as such, it takes fewer parties to fill up a bus. This is purely speculation of course. But as someone who has stayed at both resorts multiple times, this is an observation I have made on many occasions. 

Disney Art of Animation Resort Review Disney Art of Animation Resort Review

Food Courts at Pop Century vs Art of Animation

Art of Animation, home to Landscape of Flavors, arguably has one of the best resort food courts. They always have unique flavors, plenty of seating, and now they even have a coffee counter. Hallelujah. 

Pop Century’s food court is a bit more vanilla. With standard offerings, the food at Everything Pop isn’t the most exciting. But it’s also not bad. Pop Century tends to have really consistent quality when it comes to their food. And one thing that’s great about how close these two resorts are to one another is that if you prefer one food court over the other, you can just walk on over. Easy! 

Neither resort has a table service restaurant. But both do have pool bars, which are similar in what they serve and pricing. 

Disney Art of Animation Review Disney Art of Animation Review Splash area

Pop Century Resort Pop Century Resort Pools

Pools at Disney Pop Century vs Art of Animation: 

Art of Animation boasts the largest resort pool at Disneyworld. In addition to the Big Blue Pool, which is Nemo themed, they also have the Cozy Cone Pool and Little Mermaid Pool. Both of these quiet pools are fantastic. And I would actually go so far as to say, they are the best quiet pools you’ll find on Disney property. Sure, they can’t match the pools at moderate and deluxe resorts that have full on water slides. But the theming at both of these pools is just fantastic. And definitely don’t feel like a compromise that quiet pools sometimes do. 

Pop Century, though it does have great pools, cannot even begin to compare to the pools at Art of Animation. This is just fact. And I won’t be taking any other opinions on this manner at this time. Thank you. The Hippy Dippy Pool is Pop Century’s main pool, featuring a groovy 60s theme. The quiet pools at Pop Century are located in the 1950s and 1990s section with a bowling and computer themes respectfully. 

When it comes to pools in this Disney Pop Century vs Art of Animation comparison, Art of Animation wins this one. 

Disney Art of Animation Resort Review

Gift Shops at Pop Century vs Art of Animation

Resort gift shops are available at both Pop Century and Art of Animation. 

Ink and Paint, the resort gift shop at Art of Animation, is not only quite large, but it also has plenty of resort themed merchandise that fans of the resort and the movies it includes will love.  This is one of the most fun resort gift shops at Disney in my opinion. There is plenty of merch representing both the resort itself and the movies that are incorporated into its theme. 

And at Pop Century, Everything Pop shopping, is your standard resort gift shop. Though not as large as Art of Animation’s and with less resort specific merch, it still has pretty much everything you’ll need while at the resort. 

Disney Art of Animation Lion King Suites

Pop Century, new rooms at Pop Century, renovated rooms Pop Century, Value Resorts, Disney Value Resorts, Disney on a budget

Rooms at Pop Century vs. Art of Animation

The rooms at both of these resorts is what really sets them apart. Pop Century has only standard rooms. While Art of Animation has both standard rooms as well as family suites, which is their main room type. 

Now, if you need a family suite at Disney, the obvious choice here is going to be Art of Animation. You can see our full Lion King Family Suite Room Tour here. However, the standard rooms here leave a bit to be desired. The Little Mermaid rooms are cute. But what if you’re not a Little Mermaid fan? Well, that’s really too bad. The only standard rooms here are themed to Little Mermaid. And, if you are a fan of that movie, but want a suite, you’re out of luck. Because that doesn’t exist at Art of Animation. In addition to the standard rooms only offering a Little Mermaid theme, these rooms are also generally smaller than the average standard room at a Value Resort. 

The standard rooms at Pop Century have all been refurbished to Disney’s new room layout. This includes a queen-sized bed and a queen-sized pull-down murphy bed. And what’s really nice about these rooms is because the second bed is out of the way when not pulled down, the rooms feel super spacious. They’re not really unique since they’re essentially the same layout as the Disney All-Star rooms. But they’re comfortable and are a decent size for the price. 

Pop Century Disney Resort Review

Price Differences between Art of Animation and Pop Century

Talking about price differences between these two resorts almost seems unfair. Since technically, they have different rooms that can be booked. But we will just for fun anyway. Obviously if you’re booking a family suite at Art of Animation, you can always expect to pay more. Family Suites at Art of Animation, before any type of discount, can range from $478-$885 per night for 2024. This is a huge range for sure. But if you book during a cheaper time to visit Walt Disney World, you can usually find a pretty good deal. 

Little Mermaid Rooms at Art of Animation rack rates vary a lot depending on when you are traveling. These rates range from $209-$399 per night for the year of 2024.  Since there are fewer of these rooms available, they can sell out fast at popular times to travel, like during Spring Break and the holiday season at Disney. They also tend to be less likely to be included in a discount as a result. 

Now compare that to Pop Century, where standard rooms rates can range from $183-$392 per night for 2024. Not considerably cheaper than the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, but Pop Century tends to have more discounts available, making them notably cheaper once those are applied. 

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Pop Century vs Art of Animation: Which is best?

Though “best” is generally subjective, there are a few objective things to consider when deciding which is best for you. 

Firstly, if you are traveling with a larger party that all wants to room together, Art of Animation will be the better choice of the two. Yes, you can always book two rooms at Pop Century. However, you’re not always guaranteed to be situated next to each other. And it’s not always cheaper either. 

If you are just looking for the cheapest option possible, Pop Century will likely be your winner between these two. Sometimes all you need is a room. And Pop Century fits the bill!

In terms of theming, we are huge fans of Art of Animation. And think it has some of the best theming at Disneyworld. That being said, Pop Century’s theming is also super fun and bright as well. And since it’s an easy walk over to Art of Animation, you can enjoy the theming regardless of which you choose. 

So, which resort is best? As you can see, it depends on what you need! Looking for cute theming with plenty of room for the family? Choose Art of Animation. Hoping to find a good deal at a resort on the Skyliner? Then Pop Century may be for you. Either way, you really can’t go wrong with either of these resorts. We hope this comparison has been helpful for you to see which Disney resort is best for your next Disney vacation! 

Choosing Between Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation at Disney World. Which is better?


Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .

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