I recently had the pleasure of staying at the new Art of Animation resort. It is an amazing and beautiful resort. It is considered a “value” resort but it does not look like a “value” resort in anyway. They have mainly suites and some standard rooms.
When you first drive up to the resort you see the huge paintings outside of Animation Hall representing the characters that have suites or rooms in their honor. There is quite a little winding road to get there but then when you see the big reveal it is worth the wait. This resort is very colorful and it will definitely lift your spirits.
When you enter Animation Hall you are greeted by a ton of sketches and drawings on the wall and the ceiling, so don’t forget to look up as you enter. The drawings and sketches are from some of your favorite characters before they became what you know them as today. My daughters favorite sketch is all the way down in the upper right corner, it is a sketch of Ursula, not as we know her today but as a skinny Ursula. After you have checked out the sketches you must check in. The wall behind the check in desks is full of bright colors. As you look down the wall the colors gradually change. In Animation Hall you will also find the Pixel Play Arcade. The Ink and Paint Shop (also known as the gift shop), and Landscape of Flavors Food Court.
Chip’s Tips: When you go into the Ink and Paint shop pay close attention to the walls because the walls are designed to look like big ink wells or big paint jars!
The buildings that are closest to Animation Hall are the suites, which are the Cars, Nemo, and Lion King buildings. The Little Mermaid rooms are the farthest away from Animation Hall, but that may not be a big thing because I found the Little Mermaid building to be the quietest. The Cars Suites have 3 buildings, Nemo and Lion King have 2 buildings and finally The Little Mermaid rooms have 3 buildings.
The courtyards of these buildings are amazing. The suites have the best courtyards in my opinion. The Little Mermaid rooms have the standard “value” resort courtyard feel. I was told that the Little Mermaid rooms are the same size as every other standard value resort room but to me these rooms felt a little bigger. This resort is an attraction in itself. Even if you don’t stay at this resort I would suggest that you take a stroll through the courtyards because they really make you feel like you are in the movie. The music, the feel of the courtyards, the painting on the buildings, everything makes these courtyards incredible. Those of us who are Disney addicts know that Disney pays great attention to detail and these courtyards show that.
I am not much of a pool person but what kind of review would this be if I left out the pools. The pool that stands out to me the most is The Big Blue pool, where you will find Marlin and Nemo peeking out there home. Next to them you will find a larger than life Crush and Dory. There are 2 other pools, The Cozy Cone pool, and the Flippin Fins pool. It seemed like the Flippin Fins pool was the quietest and least used. The Big Blue pool was extremely crowded.
Chip’s Tips: I have been told there is music playing under the water in the Big Blue Pool. I will have to take there word for it because I will not be going under the water to find out.
I would highly recommend this resort. It is the best “value” resort, in my opinion. The food here is very good but it is not some of the typical food court food that you are used to. They have a lot of “Create Your Own” style dishes, so you can get anything pretty much the way you want it. The Cast Members at this resort somehow seem different to me. I know for the most part Cast members are beyond friendly and helpful but they seem extra friendly and extra accommodating at this resort. They all smile at you as you walk by and ask you how you are doing. To be fair I have only stayed at 2 other Disney resorts. Our Mousekeeper was amazing and left my daughter her very first towel animal, not only once but twice. She also left the most adorable window display in every window on our floor. We never had this at any other Value resort.
Have you stayed at Art of Animation? Would you? Tell us your experiences?
Sunshine is a Disney fanatic. You will find her counting down the days until she goes back to Disney, while annoying her daughter with all things Disney.
- Catch an Outdoor Disney Movie at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)