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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the newest of the Value Resort and probably the most popular.
Have you ever wished that you could catch a wave with Nemo, sing “Hakuna Matata” in a jungle oasis, celebrate “Under the Sea”, or race through Radiator Springs?
Check this out.
Dad really likes the Art of Animation Resort. In fact, I’ve named it one of my 5 Dad picks for Disney Hotels.
As you explore the four highly themed resort areas based on Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid, your family can live the magic of their favorite films in a larger than life setting! The themes extend to impressively decorated rooms and family suites at this revolutionary resort which features an attention to detail usually reserved for the theme parks at Walt Disney World.
What to Expect
Animation Hall is the center of the Art of Animation, both literally and figuratively. It’s where you check in, where you eat, drink, play video games, and most important – it’s where you catch your bus to the parks!
The check-in counter here is really something special – it’s a huge illuminated rainbow with little kiosks for cast members to serve you instead of one giant counter. The opposite wall features original artist sketches from the featured movies and shows the progression from concept to completion in the animation process.
Another cool feature? Cast members here wear a black and white costume with vests. When you enter at check in you’ll notice the vests are black and white and as you move through Animation Hall the cast member’s vests get more and more colorful!
The Art of Animation resort has one of the biggest capacities at Disney world, 1120 family suites and 864 standard rooms for a total of 1980 rooms, and the ability to house around 10,000 guests! Whether you’re a couple, a small family, a large family, or you’re traveling with a group, you should be able to find a room or combination of rooms to help you have the perfect vacation (yes, it is possible at a value resort!)
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a great place to relax before or after a long day at the park, or just on a nice relaxing day at the hotel. There’s more than enough to keep everyone occupied on your perfect Disney World vacation.
You have two room options at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: Standard rooms which sleep up to four and Family Suites, which sleep up to six.
The Standard rooms measure 260 square feet and there is not a lot of wasted space. They are the same size as the rooms at the Pop Century and All Star Resorts. They are reasonably comfortable for a family of 4, but not 4 adults. Disney hotel rules allow 4 guests per standard room. You can add 1 infant that can sleep in a crib.
If you have more than 2 adults, Disney charges an additional fee per additional adult per night. If you’d like a Standard room, you’ll be staying in The Little Mermaid buildings.
The Family Suites are roomier, measuring 565 square feet, and can fit up to 6 guests. The suites include 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette. Each area is themed to bring to life scenes from the movies: Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King.
Guest buildings are grouped by film and you also have choices of Preferred or Standard rooms (the difference is how close you are to Animation Hall or a pool). In the center of each cluster of buildings you’ll find a courtyard to play and relax where you can explore what it’s like to be a character in the films!
Guest rooms in each area pull you even further into the movie with painting, props, furniture, and fun surprises at every turn!
Buildings by Film
Each group of guest room buildings at the Art of Animation is themed to immerse you in a classic Disney or Pixar movie. Here’s what you can expect:
Finding Nemo: The exterior of the buildings are painted like they’re out in the ocean, teaming with fish and sea life. The courtyard in the middle of the buildings is adjacent to Animation Hall, and features The Big Blue – the biggest pool at any Walt Disney World hotel with 12,000 square feet to swim in.
Inside the guest rooms, you’ll find mellow sea green walls with colorful pops of curvy orange furniture. Silver accents on the walls and a bright pink reef headboard add to the look. You’ll also find jellyfish lamps, coral themed chairs, and a cozy picture of Marlin and Nemo napping in one of the 3 sleeping areas. One of the coolest features is the shark-infested bathroom decorated like a sunken ship!
Cars: The exterior of the buildings are decorated like the beautiful and rocky desert outside Radiator Springs. The courtyard in the middle of the buildings is full of cacti, life size characters like Mater, and highway signage – perfect for family photo ops.
Inside the guest rooms you’ll feel surprisingly calm with light brown walls accented by pylon themed carpet and drapes, with blue, red, black, and silver accents that remind you of what you’d find in a garage. Pylon lampshades, stickers, and highway signage complete the mood – and the relaxing blue car wash themed bathroom is outstanding!
The Lion King: The exterior of the buildings will make you feel right at home on the savanna as you explore the picturesque courtyard, which features an elephant graveyard, lions perched on rocks, and Simba, Timon, and Pumba strolling about the oasis with no worries.
Inside the guest rooms, the colors and shapes you’ll remember from “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” will make you feel like bursting into song as you relax in your little oasis. Bright yellow walls with splashes of green, leaf theme chairs and lighting, a sunset savanna scene in the shower, and the image of Simba swaying sleepily in the vines complete the look.
The Little Mermaid: The exterior of the buildings are painted to help draw you under the sea into a magical garden courtyard with aquatic looking topiaries and amazing sculptures that will have you believing you’re on the ocean floor. King Triton stands proudly in command as dolphins and crustaceans frolic about.
Inside the Rooms
Inside the guest rooms serene blue walls and wavy carpet make your stay under the sea very cozy as you fall asleep in a bed with a clamshell headboard complete with a “pearl” reading lamp! Pink seashell chairs and a beautiful purple coral bathroom motif will have you feeling like princess Ariel herself!
The accommodations at the Art of Animation are equipped with everything most travelers need for a great Disney World vacation. Below is a list of the furnishings in the Standard rooms:
- Two full size beds or
- One king bed, which can be requested at least 5 days before arrival (a request is not a guarantee)
- A TV
- One table and 2 chairs
- Free Wi-Fi
- A nightstand between the full size beds
- An alarm clock<
- An armoire that has drawers for storage
- A keyed safe
- Bathroom with a shower tub, or a walk in shower in the handicapped rooms
- Refrigerator (now standard in all Disney hotel rooms)
- AND A HAIR DRYER
Below is a list of the furnishings in the Family Suites:
- 3 separate sleeping areas (including a master bedroom with a queen sized bed, a double-size sleeper sofa in the living room, and a convertible double-size TableBed in the dining area)
- 2 TVs
- A generously sized table with 4 chairs (which converts into a bed for sleeping)
- 2 telephones
- Night stands in the master bedroom
- A kitchenette with mini fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker
- An alarm clock
- An armoire that has drawers for storage
- A keyed safe
- 2 bathrooms with a shower tub, or a walk in shower in the handicapped rooms
- AND A HAIR DRYER
All Disney rooms include some nice extras, Disney soap, shampoo, and hand lotion. Sometimes Mousekeeping even makes towel animals to amuse children.
Dining and more
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort features a food court similar to those at the other Value Resorts. It’s called Landscape of Flavors and has several different stations, which serve fresh, customized meals from Quick Service counters for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The market section allows you to grab snacks and beverages on the go!
Landscape of Flavors has so many options to suit any taste, and is conveniently located in the middle of the resort so guests have convenient access. Plus it’s where you’ll arrive and depart from each day if you use Disney’s Luxury Motor Coach service to get to and from the parks, so you can pop in for a quick bite any time! Make sure you get one of those nifty refillable mugs. Dad loves those things.
The seating at Landscape of Flavors sprawls out through a huge portion of Animation Hall – there’s lots of room for everyone, which is important at a resort with a capacity for around 10,000 guests!
There are 5 stations to choose from Landscape of Flavors, which focus on “better for you” options like fruit smoothies, fresh made items, gluten free options, and lots of organic beverages. You can even explore wines paired to your food!
This restaurant is considered a Quick Service Restaurant for the Disney Dining Plan.
Landscape of Flavors shares a space with the Ink and Paint Shop, the resort’s gift shop. Here you will find the typical Disney character merchandise as well as toiletries and other necessary items you may have forgotten at home.
The Drop Off Pool Bar is available for liquid refreshments and light snacks.
Room Service Pizza has delivery available from 4:00pm until midnight.
The Big Blue Pool on a blue day – Photo by Brett Svenson
Disney’s Art of Animation has three heated pools. The main pool is The Big Blue Pool in the Finding Nemo section just outside Animation Hall, which is the largest pool at a Disney resort at 12,000 square feet! Not only is it the biggest, but it’s the coolest! You can listen to your favorite Disney songs underwater!
Two quieter pools, Flippin’ Fins Pool and Cozy Cone Pool are located in The Little Mermaid and Cars sections, respectively. The Cozy Cone features actual cone-shaped cabanas!
Schoolyard Sprayground, located near the Big Blue Pool, is perfect for younger kids to splash around in.
The pools are a great place for kids to burn off that last burst of energy before going to bed. Our teenagers loved the freedom of getting away from the parents and going out to the pool, even after a full day in the parks. We parents loved the fact that we could walk out the door and look down and see the kids.
Lifeguards are on duty from approximately 10:00am until 10:00pm.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has lots of things to keep you entertained when you’re not at the parks. In addition to the fabulous courtyards to explore and the fascinating artwork you can find in Animation Hall, you can enjoy:
- Pixel Play Arcade features lots of video games and fun for the whole family (We always give the kids some discretionary money and most of it ends up in the arcade.)
- As you’re swimming, throw a load of laundry in at one of the facilities next to the pool. Bring a lot of quarters and a bathing suit!
- Check out a Movie Under the Stars on select nights at the Big Blue Pool deck.
- Take a brisk jog around the Art of Animation along a 1.38-mile trail.
- In the Finding Nemo courtyard is where you’ll find Squirt’s Righteous Reef, a dry play area for kids, and themed perfectly to the film.
There’s so much fun at Disney’s Art of Animation, you just might need to schedule a park-free day (or two).
- There’s a Big Blue Pool Party followed by a Righteous Dance Party (most days)
- Games, trivia, and a host of other activities are offered on select days by the pool (Be sure to check the activities page you receive when you check-in.)
- Room tours are available. Ask the concierge or front desk for the meeting time in the lobby. It’s a great opportunity to check out the cool Family Suites!
- Teach to Draw classes are held in the playroom next to the front desk. Times and availability may change, so be sure to ask when you check in!
The Art of Animation is located close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is directly across Hourglass Lake from Disney’s Pop Century Resort. You can even take a walk across the Generation Gap Bridge and visit your neighbor resort!
Here’s a map to help.
View Disney’s Art of Animation Resort in a larger map
The address is:
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
1850 Animation Way
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-8400
(407) 938- 7000
If you are a hotel guest at Disney’s Art of Animation, you can park right at the resort free of charge! This is actually true of any Disney Resort Hotel.
Getting around Disney World can be a chore. Dad always recommends having a car at Disney World if you want to conveniently explore other resort areas. But, if you’d like to let someone else do the driving, Disney provides Luxury Motor Coach (bus) service from the resorts free of charge.
Didn’t drive to Florida and don’t want to rent a car? There are many other transportation option. These include:
- Disney’s Magical Express is available if you are coming from MCO, Orlando’s airport. You can take the Magical Express right to your hotel. This is a free, yes FREE, service! Just make reservations for Disney’s Magical Express and let Disney do the driving.
- Use Disney buses to get to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and the water parks. Buses can be found just outside Animation Hall.
- Getting to other resorts can be difficult and the lines to wait for transportation can be daunting at rush times. For example, there’s no easy way to get to Jiko or Boma, two nice restaurants in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. To get there you could take a bus to one of the theme parks where you would then change buses to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Bus service is quick and efficient. Usually.
You Totally Need to Make a Reservation, Dude!
Want to book a room at Disney’s Art of Animation today? Right now? No problem, dude, Dad can totally help. Dad and his partners at Destinations To Travel are pretty much experts on helping you choose the perfect accommodations for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
Someday soon you’ll be swimming in that big blue world. Walt Disney World that is. And you’re going to have a swell time.
Dad’s Bottom Line
The Art of Animation is a really cool addition to the hotels at Walt Disney World. While dad loves the Pop Century and the Polynesian Village Resort, he’s very interested to give this one a try!
Yes, the regular guest rooms are a bit small, but they are cheap (relatively) and a great value especially when traveling with kids who will be over-the-moon with excitement when they see the fun décor. Who am I kidding, I know some adults who would be just as excited. The Family Suites are something special. Check them out.