With the addition of the Skyliner, the already popular Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has become an even better destination for families – especially large families looking for a little more space. Read on to find out why we think Disney’s Art of Animation Resort deserves your strong consideration.
Disney technically classifies the Art of Animation Resort as a value resort, but the majority of Art of Animation rooms are family suites. Aside from the extra room in the suites which we’ll discuss later, you can expect the same level of quality at Art of Animation as you can at other value hotels.
Practically, that means things like longer bus wait times and busier food courts which aren’t great, but to compensate – like most value hotels the Disney theming is wonderful. Although the hotel feels more budget overall, for many families with young kids or young at heart adults, the theming will more than compensate.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is all about Disney’s animation from the 90s and 2000s and the theming is great. Four main movies dominate the resort with the Little Mermaid, Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars all having dedicated buildings. Each set of buildings has art and statues inspired by the films – your kids will love taking pictures with Lightning McQueen, Nemo, and all their favorites.
It’s worth wandering to all of the different areas of the hotel to just enjoy the theming. In the lobby and in other areas of the resort there are tributes to Disney animation throughout – from things like a chandelier inspired by movie stills to an entire wall of concept art.
If you love Disney animation, the appropriately named Art of Animation Resort will not disappoint in the theming department.
Location and Transportation
Disney’s Art of Animation is located on Hourglass Lake with views of sister resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, on the other side. The two resorts are connected by a bridge and most importantly there is brand new Skyliner station in the middle of that bridge!
The value of the Disney Skyliner as a transportation option, in our opinion, cannot be understated. You can travel to Epcot and Hollywood Studios without having to rely on buses which not only saves time but also saves stress. Not only is the Disney Skyliner a wonderful way to travel – it’s a big hit with our kids – there are also small hidden benefits like not having to break down strollers and feeling less cramped.
There are some negatives, if you are afraid of heights and don’t want to ride the Disney Skyliner, Art of Animation has reduced bus operations to once per hour for Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Also, like most value resorts, there are long lines for the buses to the other parks (Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom) early in the day. To compensate for this we definitely saw more buses than we normally do on average at moderate or deluxe resorts.
Room & Room Types
Art of Animation only has a limited number of standard value rooms – these are the Little Mermaid rooms which are probably the most expensive value rooms at Disney World. They seem fine, but like all value rooms they are essentially motel rooms. The extra price you pay is for the Little Mermaid theming, which may or may not be worth it to you. The cheapest we’ve seen for these rooms is $140/night
The rest of Art of Animation’s rooms are family suites. This is the room type we stayed in and we highly recommend them. We stayed in the Cars suites but the Finding Nemo and Lion King suites look great as well.
Let’s start with theming. Like the rest of the resort, Disney has done a great job with theming in the rooms. The Cars suite felt like we were staying in the Cozy Cone Motel from the movie. While the room felt no frills and basic, the theming went a long way to making it feel more comfortable.
The great thing about the suites, especially for larger families, is the space. There are two full bathrooms, a dining table, a couch, and a separate bedroom with a door. The couch folds out into a sofa bed and there is a full sized murphy bed that pulls down onto the dining table – you could fit six small adults in the room and can definitely fit a family of six without issue.
The one drawback is that the master bed is only a full bed, but other than that, it’s tough to complain about the suites at Art of Animation. At $325/night at the lowest and up to $500/night at the peak, the suites aren’t cheap, but they can still be cheaper than two rooms at a moderate like Coronado Springs for families that need the space.
Food Options and Amenities
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has the Landscape of Flavors, your typical Disney World value resort food court. There are some hints of adventurous flavors but for the most part you’re looking at standard food court fare. If you’re staying in any of the suites, the food court is a pretty short walk so filling up your refillable mugs is pretty easy – a nice plus.
If you’re looking to kill some time, Art of Animation has a very nice and big store plus an arcade with a ton of cabinets inside. And of course, you can always take a ride on the Skyliner for fun.
But the real highlight of the resort amenities is the Big Blue Pool, appropriately located in the Finding Nemo area. Despite the lack of a slide, the pool is big, beautifully themed, and a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. The hotel also features a splash area for younger kids and a nice little playground – all three of these features are in close proximity to one another which is also very convenient.
Tips for Enjoying Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Unlike most value resorts, Art of Animation feels like a resort that we could happily spend some time at. Especially if you’re staying in the suites, it means you can happily spend both longer and shorter stays at the Art of Animation.
We recommend spending some time just soaking in the theming of the resort. Especially with younger kids you’ll have a ton of picture opportunities.
If you’re exercise oriented, Hourglass Lake has a perfect path for runners and walkers alike. Art of Animation is also very close to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports if you’re visiting for a runDisney event.
Finally, it bears repeating – give the Disney Skyliner a chance. Or on the flip side, if you’re not going to ride the Disney Skyliner consider a different resort. If you enjoy it, riding the Skyliner and resort hopping is a great way to spend a non park day.
All in all, we were big fans of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and look forward to staying there again. Have you stayed at Art of Animation? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
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