Art of Animation resort is located in Walt Disney World, across Hour Glass lake and POP Century resort.
We were previously booked in to Allstar Music resort for our September 2018 trip, however about a month or so before we were due to leave, I was reading some pretty poor reviews on the Allstar Music and it had really put me off. So I searched on the Walt Disney World website for resorts available during our trip. I wasn’t holding out to much hope as we were due to leave in around four weeks time, however there was plenty of room availability across the Disney property. We decided on the Art of Animation as it only cost £200 more for the whole trip. So I called up Disney and asked to switch resorts. I paid the money for the difference on the phone there and then. The process took less that 5 minutes and My Disney Experience app updated within the hour to reflect our new resort under ‘my plans’.
I spent the next few weeks, reading great reviews on this resort and I was extremely happy we switched.
Disney’s Art of Animation resort opened in 2012. It is a mix of value rooms and family suites, it has 4 themes areas. The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars, which are home to the 2 bed family suites and The Little Mermaid rooms are the value rooms where we stayed. Each area was extremely well designed.
As you arrive and check in you are greeted by giant ‘sketches’ of Disney characters at different stages of the animation process and amazing chandeliers filled with sketches. Our check in was an easy process. It is worth noting that whilst Disney still offer the gift card in exchange for mousekeeping, however, you have to ask for it, they won’t offer it to you.
From check in, you can either walk through the gift shop and food court m or through the back to the pool area to get to your room. We preferred going through the gift shop and food court each time as it was closest to our room and closer to the air con.
Each character area of the resort should be explored, don’t just restrict yourself to your area. We loved finding the characters from The Lion King. The Finding Nemo area has the biggest pool, the big blue pool, in the resort and on Disney resort property. If you are able to swim well and can swim under water, go for it, you will hear the Nemo characters talking. The Finding Nemo suites are the closest the the main building a with a couple of minutes walk and The Little Mermaid rooms are around an 8-10 minute walk.
The food court, Landscape of Flavours, is also the biggest food court out of all the resorts on property. There are plenty of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also plenty of cakes, pastries and snacks if you want to grab something quick and easy too. There are themed seating areas that match the different characters represented in the resort.
Walking out of the food court takes you to the gift shop, the Ink and Paint shop. Here you can exit to either the bus stops or to the front desk. Ubers/Lyft and Minnie Vans will pick you up from out the front past check in, not by the bus stops.
The buses arrive around every 20 minutes and start running 60 minutes before the open of each park. To get to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach you must take the bus to Animal Kingdom or Disney Springs. During low seasons Disney buses share with other resorts, we saw this a few times to the Allstars resorts. So we were both glad we switched resorts. There is never any resort shares with AoA.
Across from Hour Glass Lake is Disney’s POP Century resort, it is a five minutes walk from The Little Mermaid area. A couple of times we caught the bus back to POP Century and walked to our room. (Resort hack).
(A photo of Art of Animation from POP Century, Hour Glass Lake separates the two resorts and here is some early Skyliner construction).
Opening Fall 2019 are the Gondola Skyliners. They will take you from POP Century to Hollywood Studios/ EPCOT, so I can see popularity in both resorts increasing when the system opens.
When booking bare in mind that Art of Animation is never included in any room discounts. The Little Mermaid rooms can range for $120-$160 per night depending on the season and the suites can range from $300-$500 per night depending on the season. The suites rarely sell out because of this.
Overall I loved this resort and I enjoyed staying here, I would not say it was well themed, there are over sized characters and fake buildings but it is cute. The Cars areas is probably the best designed, there are road markings on the walkways. Such a nice little touch. Anyone who says it is ‘too loud’ ‘over the top’ or ‘too much Disney’ is wrong. You heard it here first.
Have you stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.