Family suites, fun pools & great theming make Disney’s Art of Animation Resort a good choice for your Disney vacation. Disney’s Art Of Animation Resort Review.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Overview
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a Disney World value resort. This is a large resort with over 1,900 rooms.
You’ll check in at Animation Hall. This serves not only as the check in but also has the resort’s restaurant and gift shop.
Four areas are themed based on Disney animated movies; Cars, Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. Each area has two or three hotel buildings that are painted to match the theme and are decorated with iconic images. Large art installations are spread throughout the resort.
The themed elements add a fun flair to the resort. It is fun just to walk around checking out all of the different movie areas and seeing your favorite characters. One thing that might make it even better is to have them lit so they are more visible at night. Path lighting is bright for good visibility but some enhanced lighting of the characters would be a nice improvement.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Rooms
Traditional Disney World Value Rooms
Rooms in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are basic but comfortable. Each room has either two double beds or one king bed.
I had the chance to stay in a King room. The bed was a bit firm but comfortable. Note that there isn’t a themed bedding element like a runner, just white sheets. The blanket was a bit thin and a spare blanket wasn’t provided in the room.
There are night stands on either side of the bed. A clock radio is provided, a nice touch not usually found in Disney resorts. Outlets are proximate to the night stand so that you could charge your phone. Some Disney resorts have begun to add USB outlets but they are not yet available at Art of Animation. There is a light in the headboard of the bed. Its a cool, pearl-shaped light which fits Little Mermaid well. It unfortunately doesn’t make a good reading light.
In addition to the beds, there is a small table with two chairs; a nice place to eat breakfast or a snack. Note how the chairs match the Little Mermaid theme. The room I had was clean and neat. There are definitely some fun elements to support the Little Mermaid theme.
The TV has a nice feature that lets you connect devices to it. A small refrigerator is available to keep your snacks or beverages cold. Note that there is no coffee maker or microwave in the room.
You’ll also find a a set of pegs to hang things on. This is a nice touch and a great place to hang up hats, jackets, or ponchos. However, it was placed far into the room rather than next to the door.
There is no closet in the room. In the bathroom area, you’ll find an area to hang clothes and a nicely sized room safe, large enough for a small laptop or tablet. For privacy, the bathroom area can be separated from the rest of the room by a curtain.
The bathroom area has one sink. Note the H2O products on the counter. As of this review, The Art of Animation Resort had not yet adopted the large shower-mounted bottles of shampoo and soap that other Disney resorts are using.
The shower has interesting and well-themed tiles. The Ariel shower curtain matches the room theming.
Note that the Little Mermaid section of the resort is the farthest from Animation Hall. To access dining and other resort amenities, you’ll have to walk through the Lion King area.
Disney World Family Suites
Rooms in the Cars, Lion King and Finding Nemo sections are family suites. A family suites at the Art of Animation Resort has a queen bed, a double size table bed and a double sleeper sofa. It can sleep up to six. The table bed is an interesting idea. Similar to a Murphy Bed, the bed folds down from the wall. As it folds down, the room’s table folds into a bed support. Unfortunately, I don’t yet have pictures of the family suites to share. One thing to note is that while most Disney value resorts are motel style with each room having its own outside entry door, the family suite buildings are hotel style.
Dining at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has a food court Landscape of Flavors open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Food presentation isn’t fancy but it is nice to have the food served on real plates with metal silverware rather than the paper & plastic used at some of the other Disney resorts.
Breakfast at the Art of Animation features many of the same items you might find at other Disney resorts, Mickey waffles, pastries, and pancakes. During my visit, the lines and wait times weren’t pleasantly short compared to those at other resorts. My French Toast breakfast was a tasty way to start the day.
At lunch and dinner, selections at the Landscape of Flavors restaurant includes items like burgers, pizza, pasta and chicken nuggets. For updated dining information, I recommend checking the Art of Animation Resort dining site. Note that as of fall 2019, the Landsape of Flavors restaurant had not yet upgraded to Coke Freestyle machines that are appearing at many Disney resorts.
By the Big Blue Pool, you’ll find the Drop Off Pool Bar offering a variety of beverages. You can also order pizza delivery to your room.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Pools
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has three swimming pools.
The main Art of Animation Resort Pool is the Big Blue Pool. This pool is adjacent to Animation Hall and the Finding Nemo buildings. Its a large pool that can get a bit crowded. This area also has a splash pad.
Music from the Disney animated movies is played by the Big Blue Pool. You’ll find songs like Collision of Worlds by Brad Paisley & Robbie Williams, Hakuna Matata by Baja Men and Part of Your World sung by Miley Cyrus.
A second pool is in the Cars area. There are cone-shaped shelters adapted from the Cozy Cone Motel in the movie Cars.
The Little Mermaid area has its own pool. Its a nice pool area. Lighting elements look like ships masts. A statue of Sebastien is visible along with large statues of Ursula, King Triton and Ariel.
Other Art of Animation Resort Amenities
There is a lot to see and do at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Just walking the resort and all of its themed elements is fun. There is also a nice walking or jogging trail around the lake that includes both the Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts.
At night, you can watch a movie under the stars. There is a great selection of G, PG, and sometimes PG-13 movies shown on an outdoor screen near the pool area. You’ll get a movie schedule when you check in.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Transportation and Parking
Resort check in is at Animation Hall. Whether arriving by Disney’s Magical Express or by your car, you’ll stop here first. With the online check-in, you might be able to avoid this step. You can get a text with your room number when it is ready. If you already have a magic band, you can go straight to your room.
If you have your own car, short term parking is available in front of Animation Hall during check-in. There are parking lots available for each of the resort sections. Though you can park near the building with your room, you may still need to walk a bit. If you are driving, note that Disney now charges a daily parking fee.
There are outside stairs and an elevator for each building. The stairs at Art of Animation do a good job of reflecting the theme of the section they are in.
Once parked, you may find it easier to use the resort bus transportation to get to the theme parks.
Busses have been the main transportation provided to the theme and water parks. The bus stop is a sheltered area near Animation Hall. A shaded area with some seating is provided. This resort is located near Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Typhoon Lagoon water park. Expect a short ride to these destinations and a longer ride if you are heading to other Disney World parks. Expected wait times for busses are provided on a monitor in the bus stop area.
Note that the Art of Animation bus stops at the parks are some of the farthest from the park entrances. For many people it isn’t a big deal, just be prepared to walk a bit.
Starting September 29, 2019, the Disney Skyliner will add an additional transportation option. A boarding area has been added to the bridge between Art of Animation and Pop Century. The Skyliner runs to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
Comparing This Disney World Value Resort to Moderate and Deluxe Resorts
A Disney World value resort can be a great vacation option. Rooms are comfortable. The cost is relatively affordable and is competitive with many nearby hotels. You have access to Disney transportation making your stay convenient.
Overall, the value resort rooms feel a bit less fancy than at the moderate or deluxe resorts. Chairs are made of plastic rather than wood. There are fewer pictures on the walls. The lighting, curtains, and bedding are a bit more basic. You’ll find that the value resorts have a single bathroom sink rather than a double. In a value room, you don’t have an in-room coffee maker. The value resort pools are nice and have some themed elements but do not have a water slide or hot tub.
Disney Moderate and Disney Deluxe Resorts have a few amenities that some find important. If you are looking for things like a table service restaurant, bicycle rentals, or craft activities, you might want to consider a more deluxe resort.
The Art of Animation Resort might be a great choice if you plan spend most of your time in the theme parks. It is also a good option for larger families since the Family Suites have the ability to sleep more guests than at many of the other Disney Resorts.
Overall, a value resort is a great choice. However, if you are considering a Disney World moderate resort, check out my review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
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