Disney World's paean to pop

Times Staff Writer

Talk about sleeping through the '60s. Walt Disney World in Florida is opening a place where you can do just that.

The 2,880-room Pop Century Resort, opening Dec. 14, will celebrate American popular culture, decade by decade, from the 1950s to 1990s. It's a colorful, if somewhat sanitized, stroll down the commercial side of memory lane.

The centerpiece of the 1960s themed area, for instance, will be a flower-shaped Hippy Dippy Pool surrounded by squirting petals. You'll also find super-sized versions of a Play-Doh can and a Duncan yo-yo. What you won't find are references to antiwar protests or the drug culture.

The idea is to focus on "the positive pop culture of the 20th century," Disney spokesman Dave Herbst explained.

In other areas, sock hoppers dance through the 1950s, soccer players kick their way through '70s table games, a 40-foot-tall Rubik's Cube puzzles '80s visitors and the '90s weigh in with cellphones and laptop computers.

Room rates start at $77 to $114, depending on the season. That's on par with the three All-Star hotels, the least expensive of the 20 Disney-run hotels at the 47-square-mile resort, Herbst said.

Also new at Walt Disney World is a section on its Web site, www.disneyworld.com, where visitors can download an online planner to coordinate family reunions or other group trips. (Click on "Magical Gatherings.") Groups of eight or more also can work with a Disney planning specialist and book themed events, with dinners and family activities.

For more information on visiting the resort, log on to its Web site or call (407) 934-7639.

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