Disney’s Art of Animation Resort can be, well, puzzling. It’s not a Moderate Resort, but not technically a Value Resort either. Curiouser still, is that the standard rooms at the Disney Art of Animation Resort are hardly ever eligible for a discount! So if you’re looking to stay under the sea in highly coveted Little Mermaid rooms, plan on paying full price. So what is the hype here? And why is it more expensive than the Value Resorts at Walt Disney World? Here’s our full review of Disney Art of Animation Resort.
- 1 Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- 2 Disney Art of Animation Rooms
- 3 Disney Art of Animation Resort Grounds
- 4 Disney Art of Animation Map and Resort Layout
- 5 Disney Art of Animation Resort Amenities
- 6 Disney Art of Animation Food Court
- 7 Art of Animation Transportation
- 8 Pros and Cons of the Art of Animation Resort?
- 9 Is Art of Animation Worth the Cost?
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
The Disney Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World is themed to some of the most popular Disney movies and as a result one of Walt Disney World’s most popular resorts. Resort Areas featured here are Cars, Lion King, Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo. This resort includes family suites and standard rooms, which are the Little Mermaid rooms. Resort Transportation here includes complimentary Disney Bus service and access to the Disney Skyliner Station that is shared with the Pop Century Resort. This is especially good news for those who hope to have easy access to EPCOT Park and Hollywood Studios as the Skyliner goes to both and offers hassle-free transportation with minimal wait.
If there’s one thing we’ve noticed about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, people either love it or hate it. Its loud, very in-your-face Disney theming is a bit much for some people. But generally, if you have kids who love Disney movies, they’ll likely love this resort. It’s cute and fun. With bright colors and Disney characters everywhere, some say it’s tacky and others think it’s pure magic. You can take a look through the photos and decide for yourself.
Disney Art of Animation Rooms
At Disney Art of Animation Resort, there are two kinds of rooms available; the Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, and Family Suites themed to Cars, Lion King, and Finding Nemo. This resort is sprawling with suites and preferred rooms in the buildings close to the commissary. Take a look at the Disney Resort Rooms at Art of Animation.
Little Mermaid Room Review
The Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation are the only standard rooms here. So unless you want a suite, your room will be Little Mermaid-themed. It’s a bummer for some, and exciting for others. But it’s important to keep in mind. Aside from that, in this resort, these are the ONLY rooms that are set up like a motel rather than a hotel. The door leads you directly outside, just like they do at the Value Resorts. This isn’t a huge deal, but it’s worth mentioning since some people aren’t big fans of that setup. There are two queen beds and a curtain or sliding door that separates the living space from the vanity. Just like at the Disney All-Star Value Resorts.
While the decor of The Little Mermaid Room is adorable, it’s really no different than if you were staying at any of the Disney Value Resorts. It’s a very “Disney” feeling and very fun. The room is also quite small though. Not sure why that is, but if you’re a family of four, take note. We’re three smaller-sized girls (like 5’3 and under) and it was tough to move around in this one without always being in each other’s way. The room itself is super cute, but if you’re not on a tight budget, it might be in your best interest to stay in one of the family suites here. Or even consider a room over at Pop Century, which has most of the same amenities, and is a little larger.
Why is the Little Mermaid Room More Expensive?
Disney prices their resorts not only based on the type of Disney resort but also based on availability. Since the Disney Art of Animation resort fills up pretty quickly, we hardly ever see the Little Mermaid rooms included in deals or priced cheap. This is mostly due to their availability of family suites, which is what makes up most of the resort. But also because for kids, this is one of the most fun rooms you can stay in. While all of the resorts have little Disney touches here and there, aside from the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside, these rooms are by far the most themed standard rooms, especially in the Value Category. That said since you’re going to pay a little more, is it worth it?
Family Suites at Art of Animation
Family suites are what Disney Art of Animation is known for. These sleep 6 and are available in the themes of Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo.
Many parents with smaller children often prefer to have a bedroom for their little ones that can be separated from the main living space. And these suites offer just that. The room opens to a dining area and the first bathroom. And there’s a Murphy bed that pulls down from the wall and actually opens up over the dining table. So at night, just move the chairs and pull down the bed. Super easy. There’s a main bedroom and a second bathroom is located right off of that, with a door that separates it from the rest of the suite. This room has its own TV, along with plenty of drawers for unpacking your suitcases. The bathroom here has a walk-in shower. And at the time of writing this, both bathrooms were stocked with H2O product built-ins. The living room area is where you’ll find the third bed, which is in the form of a pull-out couch. There is another TV in here. And there are plenty of drawers under the TV, and also a small area to hang clothes.
The family suites at Disney, however, can be quite expensive; though you can often find them as part of a discount. So always be on the lookout for deals!
Lion King Family Suites Art of Animation
The Lion King Family Suites at Art of Animation come with touches of the savanna. Including animal-themed elements, curtains, and bedding. Everything you would expect to find in an African-themed room meant for kids.
Cars Family Suites Art of Animation
For the Cars fan, the Cars Family Suites at Art of Animation feature favorite characters of the film, including framed scenes, and traffic cone lamps. By far one of the cutest areas at Art of Animation, the Cars section includes life-sized cars living their best life. Perfect for photos.
Finding Nemo Suites Art of Animation
The Finding Nemo Suites at Art of Animation are the closest to the Disney Skyliner and they are also the closest to the Main Building. Meaning that getting your meals, and refilling your mug are all the easier. They are also the closest to the bridge leading to Disney’s Pop Century Resort. so if you’re looking for an easy walk to the transportation for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, these are great suites to choose.
Disney Art of Animation Resort Grounds
Disney Art of Animation is a large resort! Very large and very spread out. In some ways, this is great. It rarely feels super crowded. But as a result, the Little Mermaid Rooms are pretty far from the food court and main pool. This is because many of the family suite buildings are close to the main building. So, keep this in mind if you don’t want to worry about walking very far at night to get to your room. All of the areas in Art of Animation are themed beautifully, so you can’t really pick a “wrong” area of the resort. But if the distance from the bus stops, Skyliner, food court, or pool is important to you, then booking rooms in Finding Nemo or Lion Building 10 is your best bet. This resort is split into 4 areas.
- Finding Nemo
- The Lion King
- The Little Mermaid
The grounds at Disney Art of Animation are so fun to walk through! There are even little fun facts about the movies scattered throughout the resort and we highly recommend taking the time to explore this resort, especially if you’re an animation fan.
Which Buildings at Art of Animation have Family Suites?
Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars buildings all have family suites. The only building that does not have family suites are the Little Mermaids. And just to clarify, the only building that has standard rooms is the Little Mermaid building.
Disney Art of Animation Map and Resort Layout
The layout of this resort is similar to that of other value resorts. The main building is where you will check-in, catch the bus or grab your morning coffee. It’s also the location of the quick service on property called Landscape of Flavors, aka the food court. The main pool is centrally located at the front in the Finding Nemo area of the resort, the pool is themed to that as well. There is also a small splash area for little kids, and a Coral Reef themed playground. You can also find Guest Laundry and the pool bar, The Drop Off up near this main area as well.
The Little Mermaid and Cars areas both have their own pools as well as laundry. The Lion King area doesn’t have a pool, however you can obviously use any of them if you are a guest at Disney Art of Animation Resort.
Disney Art of Animation Resort Amenities
As with most of the resorts at Walt Disney World, there is a New Balance trail for those who want to get a bit of running or extra walking. We particularly loved this one because it runs next to Hourglass Lake, which is just beautiful and relaxing. Especially, if you’re looking to get away from some of the crowds and noise of the resort. You can also rent bikes at Art of Animation to ride around the resort and POP Century Resort right across the Bay. These are available to guests of both resorts, so take advantage of them if you have a resort day and want the downtime.
Art of Animation Events and activities at the resort
Like other Disney Value Resorts, this one has the standard amenities. Ice machines, laundry facilities in a couple of locations, activities throughout the day for the kiddos, and nighttime movies under the stars by the pool. You can find all of the activities on the activity board in the lobby or out near the main pool. The resort offers nightly trivia, paint and sip and paint type classes for an additional fee on select nights, an evening campfire in the Lion King area, and more. We always recommend spending some time at your resort. There are always lots of fun things to do and it’s a great way to take a break from the chaos of the Parks.
You’ll also find an arcade in the main building, which is fun for times of heavy rain or just whenever you need to take a break from the heat.
Disney Art of Animation Food Court
With so many amazing foods across Disney property, we usually only use the food court at the resort as a Disney Refillable Mug stop. But, Landscape of Flavors, the resort’s food court, is pretty great. And somewhat famous for having amazing new cupcakes in their Disney dessert case. So be on the lookout for new Disney Snacks where you can find them! The Landscape of Flavors offers a lot of the standard fare you’ll find at other resort Food Courts and also a few not-so-standard!
We have been able to get potstickers, veggies, and fried rice, veggie burgers, which is so nice if you’re looking for plant-based dining options. Standard items like cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and pizza are also available, but we love that they offer more exciting choices as well. And they even have a latte counter now! No, you won’t find hand-crafted lattes here, but they’re technically the same machines that Disney has at its deluxe resorts like Beach Club. And considering a regular cup of coffee is not much cheaper than a latte here, we were excited to see it!
Our biggest complaint about the food court here has nothing to do with the food. Frankly, it always seems crowded here! No matter when we went. Luckily, there are several drink stations throughout, so even during busier times, it’s still usually pretty efficient. Check out the Landscape of Flavors Menu.
The Drop-Off Pool Bar at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
The Drop Off Pool bar is located near the main building and main pool. And offers alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages along with a few snacks like soft pretzels and sandwiches. It is the only bar at Disney Art of Animation Resort. But you can also buy canned beverages, beers, and wines inside at the food court.
Art of Animation Transportation
The Disney Art of Animation Resort now shares a Disney Skyliner station with Pop Century. This means you get easy access to the other Disney Skyliner Resorts, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT! Guests at Art of Animation also get access to the buses. We noticed that the buses seemed to come about every 30-40 minutes, which meant a lot of waiting.
It’s also important to note that Art of Animation is the Disney Resort farthest from Magic Kingdom. All of the other Parks were about a 10-15 minute ride from the resort whereas Magic Kingdom took closer to 25-30 minutes depending on traffic. We definitely recommend taking an Uber if you need to be at any of the Parks or other Resorts at a specific time.
Pros and Cons of the Art of Animation Resort?
Let me start by saying we LOVED the theming here. If you’re looking for a fun, Disney-themed resort that will nurture your love of Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Lion King, or Cars, this resort fits the bill perfectly. Especially if you’re an 80’s or 90’s baby. You know these movies well, and it’s so great to see them come to life. This resort is also perfect if you’re traveling with a larger party as almost all of the rooms here are suites. The bright colors and fun designs throughout the entire resort create a very cheerful and fun atmosphere, which we loved.
Why you may not want to stay at Disney Art of Animation Resort
So what didn’t we love? This resort felt so huge at times due to the way it’s laid out. So HUGE, that sometimes it felt like we might never make it to the main building! We actually really enjoy walking, but if you’re traveling with small children or those who tire out easily, that could create a huge inconvenience. Especially at night after a long day at the Parks.
If this sounds like it’s going to be an issue, we recommend against the Little Mermaid rooms. Staying in the Finding Nemo buildings will get you close to the main building and make that midnight runs for snacks or drinks a little easier. The evening movie also takes place on the Finding Nemo building lawn with the seagulls on the top. So if you are traveling with little ones, or taking advantage of those late resort events, be sure to request a room in that building. That way if you have to carry the kiddies to bed, you are close by.
Some people might also find the decor here a little over the top or tacky. We love it, but it might not be your style! And that’s ok too.
Is Art of Animation Worth the Cost?
Is Disney Art of Animation worth the extra cost? We would say that really depends on your family on what they need. If you want the convenience of a suite, want a fully immersive Disney-themed vacation, or want a little less quiet atmosphere than the All-Star resorts can provide, then we vote Yes.
However, if you’re on a tight budget and can’t justify the extra cost, we think POP Century Resort is also a great option. With access to the same walking trail, tranquil bay, and a slightly more centralized layout that makes all buildings a little closer to the food court, this may be a better choice. Read our Disney POP Century Resort Review to find out more.
Is Art of Animation a Value Resort?
The Disney Art of Animation Resort is a “Value Plus” Resort. Let us break it down for you. First of all, Disney’s Art of Animation is in fact in its own class. This is mostly due to the fact that almost all of the rooms available at Art of Animation are family suites. It’s what’s considered a “Value Plus” resort, which is a step up from a Value resort and a step down from a Moderate. Read about all the Disney Resort Tiers and pricing.
Don’t let that fool you though. If you haven’t noticed, Walt Disney World is very good at confusing everyone with their prices. Although this resort is considered “lower” in the resort chain than a moderate hotel, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s cheaper. And sometimes we’ve seen it equally priced with Disney’s Moderate Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort. And with Caribbean Beach’s new Little Mermaid 5th Sleeper rooms, this may be something to consider. They are more of an “inspired by” concept rather than full on animation. But they are larger and also have Skyliner access as well.
Is Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Pet Friendly?
Yep! Guests can bring up to two dogs with them for a cost of $50 each per night. So if you want your pup to come along on your Disney trip, this is a great option especially since you can book a family suite and enjoy the extra room.
Can I watch Disney Plus at Art of Animation?
Kind of! Firstly, you can always bring your own device (like an iPad) and use the Disney+ app on there so you can enjoy Disney Plus in your room. But on the TVs at Art of Animation, they also have a taste of Disney Plus as a channel. So you can always see if they’re playing something you may be interested in.
Disney Art of Animation Resort Review
Art of Animation is definitely a vibe that not everyone will love. But we do! It’s fun, it’s cute, it’s playful. The Skyliner access makes it easy to get to other Skyliner resorts as well as Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Disney has really made this a beautiful space for fans of Disney animation. And even though the rooms may not be the nicest you’ll find, if you get this resort for a great deal, we think it’s well worth it.