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Disney to finish Pop Century

The sands of time that buried the unfinished ‘Legendary Years’ half of the Pop Century value resort at Walt Disney World have begun to shift. Construction on the 1900-1940 themed buildings was stopped after 9-11 drove tourism traffic down. By the time the industry recovered, Disney’s priorities had changed to focus more on building only DVC resorts and outsourcing everything else.

Over the last few years the Legendary Years part of Pop Century has been used mainly as a training ground for Disney’s fleet of bus drivers. It’s also gained some fame as Disney’s Ghost Hotel (separate from the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, of course). The ‘ghost hotel’ video I’ve included below was filmed in 2007 and gives you a great look at exactly how much of the Legendary Years was built when they stopped work on it. Looks like most of the check in building was done and maybe 2 of what would be 10 buildings, then they just dropped their hammers and walked away lending it a very ghost hotel feel.

Now I’m hearing that Walt Disney World has decided to finish building some or all of the Legendary Years (although the name may change) with the goal of rapidly adding some more value rooms to the Disney’s stable. Some of the rooms will be what are currently called “Family Suites” where a whole family can stay together with rooms themed specially for adults and kids. Some Family Suites in use at the All Star Resorts and are quite popular. And, of course, there’s a whole hotel of them just across I-4 from Disney and the Nickelodeon Family Suites Hotel.

So why the sudden change of heart?

Here’s the only reason I think they may be doing this. If the rumor is true that they can’t get any company to building a value resort at the westerly located Flamingo Crossings (whether its the location or economy), and their internal numbers say they need a certain number of value rooms to maximize on property booking (which equals on property spending). Finishing Pop Century would be the quickest way to solve that problem. The fact that many families are switching from deluxe to moderate and moderate to value resorts is probably another good indication that more value rooms are needed.

I will point out that if Disney really wanted more value priced rooms they could just convert some of the older moderate resorts into value priced resorts. But then it would probably be difficult to charge moderate prices for that hotel again in the future.

So, the dirt pushing and other exploration currently going on at the Legendary Years site could possibly just be preparation for something else, but most bets are on them finally finishing Pop Century. Seems like a good idea to me.

10 thoughts on “Disney to finish Pop Century”

  1. It’s about time! We stayed in the Classic Years once, and dreamed of visiting the Legendary Years… and the *poof*, the project just stopped. We’ve been waiting….

  2. Wow – is that what it really looks like today?? And Disney has allowed this? What an eyesore!! Happy to hear it will be completed.

  3. I was just at POP two weeks ago, and I had to explain to my friends about the “ghost hotel” we could see from the bus while approaching our own. I really hope they finish it, either as an extension of POP or something of a sister-hotel with a slightly different theme if they think the early-century theming wouldn’t sell well.

  4. We were just at Pop Century last week and our room faced the deserted building and all of us including the people in suronding rooms were in shock. Everybody was asking about the buildings.
    My wife and I would love to see it finished. We allready talked about staying there if and when Disney would finish it. It would be cool to see all of the sayings and such from the first part of the 19th century.

  5. I really hope that this rumor does come true and I also hope that it stays at POP Century the Legendary Years. I think that resort has a strong concept. Anyways… I have seen the approved notice filed by the Orange County Controller (I will post the link tonight) that the ‘tester rooms’ for the Animation Inns and Suites will be built this year. These tester rooms are just two or so rooms that will be built to test decor and atmostphere of a POSSIBLE resort. Eisner use to stay in them himself to test the atmostphere of each built resort. I do hope this resort (as I am an Animation Major in college) is built but I hope that this resort is the Flamingo Cossing Resort. I hope that they keep Pop Century exactly as it is. I just hope that all of these rumors aren’t like the infamous “Dark Kingdom” rumors.

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