Everything Pop Review
Everything Pop is the food court at Pop Century, a Walt Disney World Value Resort hotel. Like most quick service restaurants at Walt Disney World (which includes food courts), it participates in the Disney Dining Plan. Since there’s no table service restaurant at Pop Century, it also accepts the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. (Nice!) Thanks to the new menu, it’s now one of the Top 10 Counter Service Restaurants for Maximizing Value on the Disney Dining Plan.
For many years, we stayed at Pop Century regularly and became a bit…let’s just say “familiar” with the standard menu at Everything Pop. Pizza, burgers, hot dogs, with maybe a token interesting option or two thrown in. It was a quintessential example of stereotypical theme park food, and we avoided it like the plague–for fear it might give us the plague. On top of that, the seating area was often loud and unruly. Double bonus!
All things change with time, and Everything Pop most definitely has changed for the positive. While the seating area is still basic, open, and un-themed, it has been given a fresh coat of paint and a few stylistic upgrades have been made to push it forward. More importantly, the menu at Everything Pop had evolved, and taken many dramatic steps forward to the point that I felt compelled to give it another chance.
My main interest upon seeing the latest menu was the gourmet burger options, which are…really something else. I assume they are a key plot point in the forthcoming Cheech & Chong’s Adventure in Hotel Management, a reboot to the classic stoner comedies (and you whippersnappers think Harold & Kumar are funny!). I really don’t know how else to explain some of these little gems than them being dreamt up after someone got ahold of some fine Maui-wowie.
Wanting firsthand thoughts on a few of them and not wanting to kill myself in the process by going it alone, I coaxed and cajoled some friends to join me at Everything Pop after we visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports. These burgers may target the stoner demographic, but nutritionists all agree* that they are also great for Walt Disney World Marathon pre-race meals!
There are 7 gourmet burgers (plus a normal burger) for a total of 8 burgers on the menu. At several counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World, this would be the entire menu, yet Pop Century has multiple other ordering bays, each with a robust slate of offerings, many of which are interesting. Aside from the burgers, there are a few other crazy choices, such as the “Paella” and “Vegetable Sandwich.” LOL, a sandwich with no meat on it? Nice joke, guys!
Suffice to say, the menu is far more ambitious than you’d expect. They’ve made rad new graphics with many of these menu items on them, so they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That is, unless Disney has altered its policy about updating displays at the Value Resorts more than once every 15 years.
Turning to the burgers, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. Gourmet burgers are the trendy cuisine du jour in a lot of restaurants, and there’s a fine line between “ambitious” and “disgusting burger that was only made for shock value and should be consumed by one one ever.” In its past efforts, this is a line Disney has found itself on the losing side of, so I wasn’t totally sold here. On the plus side, the prospect of getting sick added an element of intrigue to running the Dopey Challenge!
Anyway, first up is the burger I tried, the Benedict Burger. I’m a total sucker for egg on a burger, and with vine-ripe tomato, lettuce, Canadian bacon, fried egg, and Hollandaise sauce on a brioche roll, about the only real “danger” here was that the fried egg was actually Disney’s typical powdered egg BS. Luckily, it was not.
The lone disappointment about the burger was that it was clearly Disney’s standard counter service beef patty, which leaves much to be desired. Every other ingredient was higher quality–from the brioche bun to the ham and sauce–that this just tasted out of place. Fortunately, the other ingredients helped mask the lower quality of the patty.
Next up is the Picnic Burger. A very similar version of this used to be served at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, and it was glorious. However, that restaurant was so overwhelmed with demand and booked solid at the 180-day mark that cooler heads prevailed, and the burger was removed from the menu. I believe this happened shortly after the infamous “Picnic Burger Stampede of ’11” during which one guest sprained an ankle and dozens of fanny packs were torn.
Noted Burgommelier Adam Burke summarized this national treasure in four poignant words: “‘Merica in your mouth.” To be sure, the taste of victory and freedom are sweet, and the tears of joy bottled from Bald Eagles (cried after they’ve eaten the Picnic Burger) are the secret ingredient that put this over the top. There’s a reason Ronald Reagan ate a Picnic Burger for breakfast everyday, and that’s because this burger is surprisingly awesome.
Or so I’m told. Everyone in our group who tried it liked it, and said they’d order it again. If there weren’t so many other burgers that I “need” to try at Everything Pop, this would be what I order on my next visit. (And there will be a next visit…I just wanted to get this up ASAP to alert you all to the presence of these must-try burgers.)
Note that while both of the burgers our group tried were universal hits, the jury is still out on the menu as a whole. Several other options look like they may not toe the “ambitious” v. “gimmick” line quite as well, as evidenced in easyWDW’s review of the Johnny Appleseed Burger. I’ll try each of them once because I’m a foolish blogger, but your stomach may not thank you if you take the same approach.
Not adopting the “stay hungry, stay foolish” philosophy of the rest of us (or wisely cognizant of the fact that she had a marathon to run and didn’t want to get sick), Jenny Burke ordered the Turkey Sandwich. With fresh mozzarella and a good helping of turkey, this looks like it’d rival some of the comparable sandwiches from Sunshine Seasons or Captain Cook’s. Definitely a safer bet than some of the outlandish burgers, which could be a good thing depending upon the burger.
One thing that has not changed at Everything Pop is some of the iconic desserts that have long been fan-favorites. I like the tie-dyed cheesecake, but there’s also the King’s Whoopie Pie (thanks to Laura in the comments who shared this photo of the pie), and Everything Pop Sundae. Anyone one of these choices would make Jerry Garcia proud.
Overall, Everything Pop is exponentially better than it once was–to the point that I’m actually looking forward to eating here again. Someone put serious effort into turning this place around, and the effort deserves some recognition. Not everything on this “interesting” menu is going to appeal to everyone, which is the nature of the beast. However, the next time someone tells me Walt Disney World food is going downhill, I’m showing them this menu and the one from about a decade ago when we first stayed at Pop Century. In terms of ambition alone, the improvements are staggering. I can only assume the recent improvements at other food courts are a result of Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation, and the ambitious menu there. It must(?) be a success if other spots are following its lead. Regardless of the cause, these gains are much appreciated.
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Have you tried the new menu at Everything Pop? Any favorites? Anything make you sick? Considering trying this spot? Any other thoughts or questions? Share below in the comments!
Thank you for this review. We will be eating there tomorrow as we visit friends from CA. You review as funny, informative, and very entertaining. I have found a new Disney site I have a feeling I am going to really like. We just moved Florida and there will be many a meal trip to Disney.
We’re planning on staying at Pop this November. Burgers are a food group for my family, so I was excited reading this review. I just looked at the menu – only 2 burgers offered. I hate when that happens! Hopefully the quality of the 2 burgers hasn’t dropped since this review.
We’re getting ready for our stay at Pop Century (rescheduled on account of hurricane Irma), and I just want to say that your blog had been an INVALUABLE resource for us over the past year! For real. I’ve never planned a trip to DW before, although I went with my parents as a young adult, and my husband has never been at all. This blog was recommended by a Disney connoisseur friend when we first started planning, and the wealth of information has been truly amazing. We will continue to pass the word of your awesomeness. Thank you!!
Our “Value Meal” at Everything Pop is the Wine Butter Mussels. Spring ’16 we counted 42 in our basket. For the price then ($13.49, same price as of Mar ’17), you’d get a dozen as an appetizer in most casual dining restaurants in NE Ohio. At Pop, it’s an entree with garlic bread and 2 sides.
Three quarters of your articles are talking about what you are going to talk about and only one quarter is talking about the topic. This is extraordinarily annoyingv three quarters of your articles are talking about what you are going to talk about and only one quarter is talking about the topic. This is extraordinarily annoying
Awesome timing! We just booked our stay in Pop Century for May and will for sure be eating there the evening we fly in since it’ll be late and we won’t feel like going anywhere. Good to know that dinner that night isn’t going to taste like disappointment!
I appreciate all the effort you put into researching and writing this article, but I really feel the need to express my disappointment over the fact that there is no picture of the Everything Pop Sundae. I know you mentioned it (and that is appreciated), but as the most glorious thing you can get at Pop Century to eat, I don’t think its overkill to say it should be ordered, photographed and consumed 100% of the time anyone eats at Pop Century’s food court. (And I’d just like to add that if you order the Everything Pop Sundae and DON’T order it with EVERYthing, you are bringing shame upon your family name.)
It’s true. I am a fraud and a failure who has soiled the good “Bricker” name.
Next time, I will definitely get the Everything Pop Sundae…any probably a couple of other snacks. Given that I’d be running ~50 miles over the next few days, I wasn’t sure if all that ice cream in addition to the burger was a brilliant idea. I’ve come to learn that if I think something “might” be a bad idea, it MOST DEFINITELY IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.
Found out about the King cupcake whilst cheating on DTB with another blog and my mum and I are actually working out when and how we can make a pilgrimage over to Pop Century to get one. It looks amazing!
I know you’re joking, but this serves as a good time for the reminder that I’d encourage everyone to read numerous sources when planning. Not only are there things I miss, but my opinions are far from infallible, so it’s always good to get different takes! 🙂
I like egg on pretty much anything, and if it can make a QS burger edible then I’d give it a try!
I find banana disgusting, so the change to the king whoopie pie sounds good to me. On the other hand the original had a good theme to it and there are many other dessert out there for the banana-adverse like me.
One other point in favor of the Pop food court – they have half gallons of milk you can buy to take back to the room (the AS resorts don’t have this). Sure it’s >2x the price of your local grocery store, but it’s still far cheaper than buying single serving size.
If you aren’t putting Coca-Cola on your cereal (or at least chocolate milk!) while on vacation, you’re doing something wrong, so I find this information about half gallons of milk to be useless. 😉
I stayed at Pop this week and was greatly anticipating the king cup cake only to find out they don’t make them anymore. I was crushed. I was really excited for the banana, chocolate and peanut butter combo but a cast member told me allot of people didn’t like the banana so they make a chocolate peanut butter “king whoopie pie” instead with a banana chip on top instead. It was good but I was still really disappointed. You can see a pic of the whoopie pie on my IG laurabee_28. My husband also liked the Benedict burger and I loved the salmon one.
Thanks for the heads up about the King’s Whoopie Pie. I updated the post and added a link to your photo!