Disney’s Art of Animation is one of Disney’s value resorts. The resort is divided into four sections featuring outsized and colorful tributes to The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo.
The buildings and courtyards in each of these sections feature enormous icons and cutout images representing the settings and stars of each of these classic films. The section devoted to The Lion King has plant life and rock outcroppings straight from the plains of Africa, while both The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo areas feature plants and other imagery that make guests feel as though they are under the sea.
The rooms in each section also go all out in their celebration of these Disney films. From the carpeting to the bedspreads to the shower curtains, families can enjoy a full immersion experience in the classic film of their preference during their stay at this resort.
The central building of the Art of Animation Resort is called Animation Hall. It is where you can find the resort’s amenities – check-in facilities, concierge desk, food court, souvenir and sundries shop, and arcade. The souvenir shop, in a nod to another classic and partly animated Disney film, is called the Ink and Paint Shop (for those of you who can’t place it, the film is Who Framed Roger Rabbit.)
The Animation Hall is home to check in, a gift shop, and food court.
The Art of Animation is the second Disney Value Resort, after the All-Star Music Resort, to offer family suites in addition to standard hotel rooms. These suites provide accommodations for up to six people while the standard rooms are only able to take four guests at a time.
The suites are all located in the Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King areas, while The Little Mermaid houses the standard rooms. Each suite contains one bedroom that can sleep four people in a combination of king or queen sized beds and Inova TableBeds that covert from small dining tables into pull-down beds. There is a separate living room with a double sized sleeper sofa, and one bathroom. The living areas include several kitchenette appliances including a refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker.
Pools and Other Recreation
The Art of Animation has three separate pools for guest to enjoy – one large feature pool in the Finding Nemo area as well as two smaller and generally quieter pools in the Cars and The Little Mermaid sections. The Big Blue Pool, as the feature pool is called, is also home to the Drop Off Pool Bar. The other two pools are the Flippin’ Fins Pool and the Cozy Cones Pool.
In the main Animation Hall building you will find the Pixel Play Arcade. There are three playgrounds at the resort: the Boneyard Playground at The Lion King, the Righteous Reef Playground in Finding Nemo, and finally a water playground called the Schoolyard that is also located in Finding Nemo near the main pool complex. Guests seeking a bit of exercise can enjoying walking or jogging the length of the 1.38-mile trail around the outside of the resort.
The pool is a great place for dudes and dudettes to cool off.
Landscape of Flavors
Like all Disney’s value resorts, the Art of Animation has a food court with a selection of quick service dining options. This food court is called the Landscape of Flavors, and it has five different counters that serve American fast food-style favorites in addition to some samplings of international cuisine.
Transportation to the Theme Parks
The Art of Animation Resort is located adjacent to the Pop Century Resort, and both resorts sit next to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and below Epcot. Though the resort is much closer to these two theme parks than to either the Animal Kingdom or the Magic Kingdom, bus travel is still the way that most guests choose to get to them. More ambitious visitors may choose to walk, but most families – particularly those with younger children – will opt for the efficient bus system instead.
Bus travel is the only possible way to get to the farther theme parks, unless visitors have their own car or a rented car with them at the resort. Depending on the lines for buses at the resort and the theme parks, taking a car may not even be quicker – by the time you have parked a car and walked or shuttled to the entrances, bus travelers may have beaten you to the gates.
Great touches like signs themed to Disney films make the resort a fun place to stay.
Pros and Cons
Although all of the Disney Value Resorts are solid options for budget travelers, past guests note that a few of them – particularly the older All-Star trio of resorts – are showing their age a bit. As the newest of the value resorts, the Art of Animation is a bit more pristine and the stylings a bit more current. This does contribute to making the Art of Animation one of the busier and more crowded of the value resorts, and make it necessary to secure reservations for this resort well in advance to ensure availability.
The family suites are another great budget option, particularly for larger families or groups as an alternative to paying for two separate standard rooms. The relatively small number standard rooms at this resort in contrast to the number of suites also contributes to the need for early reservations if a standard room if your preference.
A Truly Kid-Friendly Value Resort
The bright colors and outsized icons at all of the Disney Value Resorts are likely to delight kids, but the Art of Animation is the one resort where they are almost certain to recognize all of the movies and characters represented. The resort was also designed to allow children to interact with these settings and characters, in areas such as the Boneyard Playground and the Schoolyard splash park.
Are you a fan of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? Tips?