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If you haven’t already stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Walt Disney World’s newest hotel, then I think you should book a stay ASAP because you will love it! Art of Animation is considered a “value resort” by Disney World, along the lines of one of the All Star Resorts or Pop Century, but I personally would rate the hotel a cut above the other value resorts. I think you will like it a lot, and here are 7 reasons why I think you’ll love Art of Animation:
Art of Animation is perhaps the most child friendly of all Disney resorts, with its focus on Disney’s timeless animated movies (Cars, Little Mermaid, Lion King & Finding Nemo). But don’t let that fool you into thinking that this is a hotel that only kids would enjoy. After all, being able to mix pleasure for both children and adults is one of the areas where Disney really excels. I have stayed here before without any children as part of a “girl’s trip” with my mother and sister and we all had a great time. The bright & colorful decorations are enjoyable for all ages, plus the movies Disney picked are so timeless that they have an appeal for adults. Plus, Disney also has a neat feature where there are signs up giving you interesting facts about the Disney animated movies, which I enjoyed reading.
If you want some privacy at a Disney resort, then you’ll love the suites at Art of Animation. The suites are found in the Finding Nemo, Cars and Lion King sections. The family suites have a separate bedroom with a queen bed which can give you a lot of privacy. Then the living room has a double-size convertible TableBed and a double-size sleeper sofa, which makes this hotel perfect for families with more than two kids. The best part of the suites to me, though, is the fact that it has two bathrooms!
If your family is not as large, or the two bedrooms and privacy of suite is not a deal breaker for you, then I personally would recommend the Little Mermaid standard rooms. While the space & extra bathroom is nice, the Little Mermaid room is often priced about $200 less than the suites. Because of this, it’s often harder to find available Little Mermaid rooms, but I’ve had good looking finding available, affordable Little Mermaid rooms on Hotels.com. The beds in the Little Mermaid room are comfortable and the room is spacious enough for a comfortable stay. I like the privacy curtain for the bathroom and I like the Little Mermaid decorations; they are cute without being overbearing.
One thing I really like about the Art of Animation is how different all the decorations are. Case in point: last time I stayed here, I had a room near a huge replica of King Triton. I could see King Triton from far away, so I was able to find my room with (relative) ease. The last time I stayed at Pop Century, by contrast, I had a room in the 1980s section with stairs that was themed like a Rubix Cube but because there were multiple Rubix Cubed theme stairs throughout the 1980s section, it made finding my room about as difficult for me as…well, a Rubix Cube. Another great thing about Art of Animation too is that each section is very different from the one next to it, so you can easily tell when you’ve left one section and entered another one.
The pools at Art of Animation are great. There are 3 pools: the Cozy Cone Pool in the Cars section, the Flippin’ Fins Pool at the Little Mermaid section, and The Big Blue Pool in the Finding Nemo section, which has one of the coolest features available at any of the Disney resorts: there are underwater speakers letting you listen to great Disney songs while you swim underwater! How cool is that?
Art of Animation may have my very favorite food court, the Landscape of Flavors. The artwork up from the different Disney movies are so beautiful, I just love staring at the colors. Also, the food is really good; to me, some of the best of the Disney resorts.
Art of Animation has one of the easiest, least complex bus systems available at the Disney resorts. Right outside the lobby you can easily get to the busses, and they are divided up by wherever you’re going (Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, etc.). This I much prefer to how they do it at other Disney resorts, such as Old Key West or Port Orleans Riverside, where everyone sits or stands around and waits and then when you realize which bus has just driven up, everyone runs to get in line. Also, I cannot guarantee you will have my luck, but I have never had to wait too long for a bus while I waited at Art of Animation Resort (can’t say the same for other Disney hotels). Also, the hotel is close enough to Pop Century that if you’re waiting for an Art of Animation bus at the parks at the end of the night like I did last time I stayed here, you can get on the Pop Century bus if it comes first and then take the Generation Gap Bridge back to the Art of Animation Resort.
Even though Art of Animation is considered a “value resort”, the prices are higher than other Disney value resorts; however, for a Little Mermaid room, you can get a great price through Hotels.com, much lower than what you would pay for a moderate resort at Disney World. Also, because it is a value resort, if you are driving to Disney World, the parking fee is $13/night as opposed to the $19/night charge you would get for a Moderate Resort, which can add up if you stay at Disney World long enough.