Even though it only opened in late May of this year, Disney’s Art of Animation resort is fast becoming one of the most popular resorts on property, and with good reason! Excellent theming, rooms that sleep up to six people, and the best food court on property all combine to make this an ideal resort.
Art of Animation is divided into four sections: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo suites are 565 square feet and sleep up to six people. As you walk into your room, you’ll find a table and four chairs, as pictured above, which turns into a bed. I was skeptical at first of the “Innova” bed, thinking that it would be difficult to turn into a bed. But, all it requires for you to do is pull on the upper portion of the bed and the table collapses underneath, revealing a surprisingly comfortable double bed. The chairs stack so you can store them easily.
In the “living room” portion of the outer room, you’ll find an entertainment center with a plasma TV, a chest of drawers, a sofa that converts into a double bed, a coffee table, and a side table. It’s fairly roomy until you fold out the bed and pull the cushions off the sofa, so make sure you keep that area tidy or you’ll be tripping over shoes and pillows. This bed does come with a word of warning: the mattress on this is very firm and probably more suitable for children than adults. If it’s a toss up between the Innova bad and this one, pick the Innova bed!
Right next to the bed you’ll find a refrigerator, microwave, sink, and coffeemaker. There’s also paper towels, paper plates, bowls, and plastic cutlery. Keeping in mind that this is a “green” resort, you’ll also find a recycling bin.
Of course, one bonus of the suites is that there are two bathrooms. The one in the outer area has a tub/shower combo, which is nice if you have younger children who aren’t yet ready for showers. The bathroom in the “master” bedroom has a large walk-in shower.
The cute theming continues into the bedroom, where you’ll find a comfy queen-sized bed. Here, you see the Cars suites with orange cones for lamps. This theme is carried over onto the drapes, carpet, and bedspread. There’s also a large dresser with a plasma TV.
In addition the suites, you can book a standard room in The Little Mermaid section of the resort. These rooms, which will open in mid-September, will have two double beds, just like other Disney value resorts, and are 277 square feet. They’re still putting up drywall in certain buildings so I wasn’t able to get any inside photos, but the outside looks great so far. I love how everything looks slightly wind-blown.
Art of Animation easily has the best food quick-service on property, with specialty burgers, made-to-order pastas, pizza, healthy sandwiches and salads, and even a tan door oven. The variety, especially for adults, is welcomed, but kids might want something a little more familiar.
Because this is a green resort, your meals are served on real plates with stainless flat wear. For takeout, the resort uses mostly earth-friendly packaging.
There are three pools at Art of Animation, one in each section except for the Lion King, which has a large play area instead.
At just under 12,000 square feet, the Finding Nemo pool is the largest on property. It is a salt water pool, thus eliminating harmful chemicals. It’s also a zero entry pool, which makes it ideal for young children. There’s also a water play area and a full-service bar where you can get an adult beverage or just refill your drink mug.
The Cars pool is a semi-circle pool. It’s not a zero entry pool, so it’s not ideal for younger children, but if you’re watching multiple older kids, this is a great area to keep them all contained in. You can even grab some lunch at the food court and head into the “cones” for a break.
Everywhere you go at Art of Animation, you’ll be charmed by the life-sized icons and elaborate theming.
At full capacity, the Art of Animation Resort sleeps almost 10,000 people. That’s a lot of guests! While it’s unlikely to ever reach capacity, I do wonder how the resort will “feel” at 85 or 90 percent full. During my stay, the Finding Nemo and Cars section appeared to be full, whereas the Lion King section was a ghost town and, of course, the Little Mermaid section is not open yet. It was blissfully uncrowded, from the bus stops to the pools and food court, but that will change in the next few months I suspect.
I think that Art of Animation is one of the smartest things to come out of Disney in a long time. The company clearly listened to parents who want more space but aren’t up for the budget-busting Disney Vacation Club properties. It’s hard to get a feeling from the pictures, but the theming is extraordinary; you could easily spend a day just taking it all in. Cast members are clearly proud of the effort it took to take this abandoned section of Pop Century and turn it into something very special. I would recommend Art of Animation to any family without hesitation.