Tag Archives: Resort
There are a ton of amazing Walt Disney World Resorts to choose from, so many that Disney had to divide them into categories, with Value Resorts being the cheapest with the smallest rooms and fewest ameneties, and the Moderate Resorts have larger rooms and more on site ameneties, and then there’s the Deluxe Resorts, which are the largest, fanciest Resorts with – you guessed it – the largest price tag too. So why would you pick a Deluxe Resort over WDW’s cheaper Resorts?
Well, here are some reasons:
More Space: The rooms at WDW Deluxe Resorts are biggest and most luxurious on WDW property – some of them are so beautiful that you may never want to leave (which would be ok, because room service and concierge service is also available at several of these resorts). All standard Deluxe rooms come with two queen or 1 king size bed, and ample sink and bathroom space for you and your family to spread out. Plus, there are plenty of different room choices as many Resorts offer Garden or Water views with balconies, and some also have suites available. If you’re traveling with your family, the larger rooms and suite options that the Deluxe Resorts offer would be perfect for you.
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)
One of the best things about staying on Disney property is that each resort features some wonderfully themed pools. These elaborate swimming holes are far from run of the mill. Whether you are staying value or deluxe you will get some wonderful on property swimming options. I am going to highlight a few of my favorites for you!
The most popular pool on property is Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club resorts. I agree that this pool is amazing. It is really a huge aquatic play area complete with sand bottom, lazy river, an insanely cool water slide in the mast of a ship, hot tubs, and you can even rent tubes to float about on! This pool (like every pool on property) is for the exclusive use of Yacht and Beach guests. However, where most other resorts have no way of knowing if you are swimming without a room key, You cannot enter Stormalong Bay without showing resort ID and receiving a wrist band.
What is a Garden Grocer and why are we so in love with it? Garden Grocer is a local supermarket outside the Disney World properties in Orlando. There are many grocery stores in the area that will make your deliveries but Garden Grocer does the best job by far!
5 Reasons why we love Garden Grocer:
- Online ordering. It’s so much easier to peruse the selections online than try to explain something over the phone. Their system is very user-friendly and their selection complete. Coming from “up North” some of the brands were unfamiliar, but they had everything I was looking for.
- Delivery. Right to your Disney Resort or place off property. With a delivery to our Disney Resort we didn’t even need to be in our room. Your groceries are left with luggage/bell services and the cold items in refrigerated storage. At most of the moderate or deluxe grade resorts you may have the groceries then delivered by bell services upon your return. Otherwise you can pick them up at the luggage rooms. Check with your resort ahead of time if you think there may be an issue.
- Selection. Garden Grocer has a huge selection of products. They have baby items, snacks and even alcoholic beverages. The online ordering section is divided into “aisles” just like your grocery store at home. My favorite section…”Park Essentials”.
- Savings. Buying these same items are a fortune at Disney’s gift shops. If all you want is a half-gallon of milk you can go into any Disney gift shop and get one. We even found we were able to use snack credits for boxes of crackers and cookies. However, if you are looking to save on snacks to bring to the park or have breakfast items on hand you will not save any money by going to the food courts.
- Time. We don’t rent a car while at Disney. If we did, the LAST thing we would want to do is running to the grocery store. We would rather be relaxing by our resort pool or enjoying the parks. You are on vacation, for a small delivery fee and a little planning ahead you really can enjoy it!
I know most people would look at this and think ” Why in the world would someone want to collect Disney World Resort Soap and Shampoo“.
Honestly I would have thought the same thing a few years ago myself, before I became a full-blown Disney addict. When I first saw the Disney resort soaps and shampoo I thought they were so cute, I love mini versions of everything, I decided to hide them the next day to see if I could get more. Well needless to say the Mousekeeper left more, so that was it I was hooked. Many people consider these a “Free” souvenir but I don’t see it as free because I pay dearly for my room and these are included in any hotel rate so in my mind I paid for them.
When I got home from my first Disney resort stay I did some research about the topic online and there quite a few other people who actually did the same thing and had strategies as to how to collect and get the most that you can. I found out that if you ask Mousekeeping for more soap and shampoo they will actually bring you a BAG FULL OF SOAP AND SHAMPOO. If you leave a note asking very nicely for your mousekeeper to leave you more she will leave, or may, leave you ANOTHER BIG BAG OF SOAP AND SHAMPOO. I know it there are a few of you shaking your head thinking that the Disney addiction has gone to far and I should be committed.