When staying at Disney World, you have a lot of options — be it the deluxe or value resorts.
A fan-favorite Disney World value hotel is Disney’s Pop Century Resort, which brings guests into some of the most iconic pop culture moments in history. Speaking of history, we wanted to talk with you about this resort’s unique story and its un-built companion — the Legendary Years!
First off, if you’re not familiar with Pop Century, Quincy has a tour you can watch right here.
So let’s talk about the story behind the Pop Century Resort and what ultimately never was.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane
The time was the 90’s and it was a good time in terms of expansion. Walt Disney World welcomed 10 resorts during the decade and this was when we first saw the All-Star Resorts open up (All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, and All-Star Movies).
That time of growth and expansion rolled right into the early 2000s when Pop Century (AKA the Classic Years) was under construction. This resort was to be the first part of a duo. This one was to cover the decades of the 1950s through the 1990s, while the second half would be called “The Legendary Years” and focus on the early 1900s to the 1940s.
This second half was to be located across the Hourglass Lake and its layout was to be a copy of the Pop Century Resort. However, as the resort was still under construction, the events of September 11, 2001, had a profound impact on the tourism industry, which forced Disney to re-evaluate its plans and put the entire construction project on indefinite hold.
It wasn’t until December 2003 that guests finally saw the opening of the Classic Years portion of the resort. However, the work never resumed on the Legendary Years portion.
This half of the resort stood abandoned for years. Its facades and empty courtyards were a constant reminder of the economic challenges faced by Disney during that time, as well as an eyesore for the guests staying at Pop Century.
Let’s move forward in time
It wasn’t until 2010 that Disney decided to breathe new life into the abandoned portion of the resort. However, instead of continuing with the original vision, Disney reimagined the area as a new resort known as Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. This new resort was to be a celebration of Disney and Pixar animation and featured themed sections based on films such as The Little Mermaid, Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.
We can only speculate as to why Disney decided to replace the Legendary Years with the Art of Animation as Disney. It could be that Disney decided it would be a more fiscally responsible investment in their own animated classics as opposed to the first 50 years of the 20th century, but we may never know.
Regardless, it remains a fan-favorite resort and a very convenient one considering transportation as it is a Skyliner resort (and of all the Skyliner resorts, you tend to get cheaper pricing for rooms at Pop Century.)
As you can see, the story behind Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts is a unique one. Both are great options you might want to consider a stay there if you’re looking for a value resort for your next Disney World trip.
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Have you stayed at Pop Century? Let us know what it was like in the comments!