You want “character” – look no more. Opening in May of 2012 The Art of Animation (considered a value resort) gets an A plus in its life size theming. Guests are placed right in the middle of famous Disney movies such as Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. The first three are family suites (1120 in all) housing up to 6 guests at 565 sq ft. I long to stay in Radiator Springs however, I am reporting on The Little Mermaid section which houses 864 standard size rooms at 277 sq. ft. From check in guests are immersed in the world of animation! A few weeks ago I had a chance to stay here with my family over the Christmas holidays.
The back entrance to Animation Hall.
Check in – delightfully helpful cast members!
The walls of the lobby show animation in action.
Hundreds of sketches fill the halls of the lobby.
Animation stations set up outside the lobby.
A place to put your head down…
Time to sleep at the Art of Animation! Our room was delightful although a tight squeeze for a family of four. You can sleep on a full size clam bed, check your itinerary at a small table with two chairs, or unpack with three small drawers in a tv stand with a fridge hidden inside. This room had the basics (minus the coffee pot) and was clean and well maintained. No complaints from my three non-loving mermaid boys as the decor is tastefully decorated and Ariel is only on the shower curtain! I loved the theming and princess/mermaid loving children would be delighted! (side-note: I’m 5’8″ and my legs hung off the end of the bed).
inside the shower…
and the table and chairs
The Outside… positively enchanting but make sure you have your walking shoes on (see “on the go”)
The Little Mermaid – Building 8 – furthest away from the world…
King Triton -Building 9 – views of pool and parking
Ursula – Building 7 – views of pool, lake and Pop Century Resort
Some of Ariel’s treasures
On the Go (transportation)
The bus stop at Art of Animation ROCKS! There is one main bus stop located in front of the resort. The buses made only one stop and were frequent. We never waited more than 5-10 minutes and this was Christmas week. The rides to all four theme parks seemed quick and reasonable. Actually we spend a longer time getting to the bus stop from our room than waiting for a bus. (weird note: when you take the bus and it lets you off at the gift shop and you have to walk through). You should request building 7 or 9 in The Little Mermaid section. We were in building 8 housed in the room furthest away from civilization although we requested other. I swear our room was in Kissimmee not Orlando. This area was a LONG ways away from the bus area.
Ink and Paint Shop – the gift shop you walk through
“Under the Sea” has never been so fun swimming at the Art of Animation Resort. There are three themed pools: The Flippin Fins Pool in the Little Mermaid area,
The Cozy Cone Pool in Radiator Springs,
and The Big Blue Pool the largest pool in a Disney Resort.
This picture doesn’t do this pool justice. It is beautiful! There is music piped in under the water so make sure to take a dive! There are lots of activities take place during the day! Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! Also make sure you visit the poolside bar – The Drop Off! Tell then Nemo sent you!
Time to Eat!
Landscape of Flavors is the place to eat at Art of Animation. This food court has rave reviews due to it’s fresh foods and variety of flavors. We were not impressed. It seemed overpriced (13.99 make your own salad) and there was a very long wait every time we went. There are several stations so while you waited for food in one station, your food from the other stations gets cold. Please check the children’s menu before you go if you have picky eaters. We found not that much to choose from and the portions were so small we had to order multiple meals. We did hear several people complain to the cast members about portion sizes while we were there. With that said the cast members were most likely overworked but positively happy and delightful!
Overall we enjoyed our stay at Art of Animation and I am glad I can check it off my Disney “Bucket list”. A family of three or a family of four with two little mermaid lovers would be perfectly suited for this hotel. If I returned I would choose to stay in the Cars section but at over 380 plus a night for the family suite I think I’d rather venture over to Animal Kingdom Lodge – now that could be a WILD adventure!
Want to know more about some of the other Walt Disney World Resort? Check out our other hotel reviews: