In May of 2012, Art of Animation opened at Walt Disney World Resort. This super cute resort has a total of 1,120 family suites with Disney cartoon themes, including Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King. There are also 864 standard guest rooms in the Little Mermaid building making it a great choice for families of all sizes.
Originally planned to be an addition to Walt Disney World’s Pop Century resort where the “legendary years” of 1910-1940 would have been located, this project was shelved in 2022. It was then decided that this would be the location of a completely new resort and this section became the Little Mermaid Building. Of course, a bridge between the two needed to be built and so the Generation Gap bridge was built across hourglass lake.
Despite Its status as a ‘value’ resort, Art of Animation at Walt Disney World dazzles beyond comparison with other hotels of its type. The thumbing here is a thing of dreams! Kids of all ages love the larger than life scenes in each section. A majority of the rooms at this resort are family suites which makes this an awesome option for larger families, with one section consisting of standard rooms, which makes the average price for a room higher than at Pop Century.
Map of Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is just a short walk over the bridge from Art Of Animation, set on beautiful hourglass lake. The easiest park to get to from here is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A huge bonus of staying at Art of Animation or Pop Century is that the Skyliner system has a station on the bridge between these two Disney resort hotels. This makes it so much easier than other resorts to get around! You can take the Skyliner directly to Hollywood Studios or EPCOT and can transfer to Magic Kingdom via monorail from EPCOT. Disney bus transportation is also available to take guests to all the Disney Parks and attractions.
From left to right on the map, you can see where the resort has been divided into different themed sections. The Undersea World of the Little Mermaid is on the far left. In this section you can take pictures with larger than life scenes including Ariel, Flounder, Ursula, King Triton and more! Then there’s the Lion King area. This is a section of two buildings with great photo spots with Rafiki, MufassaSimba, Timon and Pumba! You may even see some Hyenas. There is also the largest pool in Walt Disney World Resort at the Center, the Big Blue Pool! This is in the Finding Nemo section of the resort so you can guess what the pool theme is here. You can find lots of fun scenes with Nemo and friends throughout this section. Last but not least, there are Radiator Springs and Cars rooms. Here you see a bug billboard welcoming you to Radiator Springs! You can visit with Lightning McQueen, Doc Hudson and even visit the Cozy Cone. The main lobby, food court, shops, and arcade are located in the big white area marked Animation Hall on the map.
Some of Disney’s most loved characters and films have been honored by Art of Animation. The hotel’s character-themed rooms and landscape will delight guests of all ages as if they were walking into a Disney cartoon. While the resort is full of kid-friendly attractions, parents will appreciate the conveniences it offers.
Whenever you confirm a room, you guarantee that you’ll be in a certain themed area. The availability of Ariel sleeping with your princess will naturally be determined by the season, so if your princess is looking forward to sleeping with her, book early. Pools, courtyards, and parking lots are all visible from rooms in these areas. It is possible to request specific views or locations within themed areas, but these are not guaranteed and are subject to availability.
The four different room types at Art of Animation are…
- Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
- Lion King Suites
- Finding Nemo Suites
- Cars Suites
Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
The Little Mermaid rooms are inspired by Disney’s classic 1989 movie. Guests enter an underwater lobby where they are greeted by Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian. The rooms have two queen-size beds and one bathroom. These rooms will accommodate up to four people. The theming in these rooms is absolutely adorable and any Little Mermaid fan will be in heaven staying in these rooms!
Lion King Family Suites
The Lion King Family Suites at Art of Animation are decorated with iconic images from Disney’s classic 1994 film. The suites have a separate bedroom with one queen-size bed and it’s own bathroom. The living area has a dinging table that puts down into a double bed and a sleeper sofa you can pull out for another double bed! There is also a kitchenette area and a second bathroom. These suites will accommodate up to six people. These rooms are beautiful if not just because of the showers!! When you open the curtain it reveals the most beautiful savannah sunrise! Thats enough for me to want to stay here alone.
Finding Nemo Suites
The Finding Nemo Family Suites at Art of Animation Resort are decorated with images from Disney•Pixar’s classic 2003 film. The suites have a separate bedroom with one queen-size bed with a separate bathroom as well as the pull down bed and sleeper sofa in the Lion King Suites. There is also a dining table and chairs, as well as a kitchenette area. These suites will accommodate up to six people. These rooms are identical to the Lion King Suites just with Finding Nemo theming and in my onion not as much detail as the Lion King rooms, although still very cute!
The Cars Family Suites are decorated with images from Disney Pixar’s classic 2006 film. The suites have a separate bedroom with one queen-size bed and a living room with a double-size sleeper sofa and dining table that pulls down to a double bed. There is also a kitchenette area. These suites will accommodate up to six people.
Check-in for all room types at Art of Animation Resort is at 3:00 PM. Check-out time is at 11:00 AM.
How much do the rooms cost?
The rates vary, but the current rack rates for Disney’s Art of Animation can be checked at this handy chart on mousesavers.com .
Children can be cared for one-to-one by Kid’s Nite Out, which is a trusted independent childcare provider promoted by both Walt Disney Company and Loews hotels.
Basically, they offer Walt Disney World Resort hotel room babysitting services with a wide range of activities for children 6 months to 12 years old, including arts and crafts, reading, and games.
This might be worth the extra money if you just need an evening out for dinner with your spouse.
They are affordably priced and you can check out their current pricing on their website.
The Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World has three amazing pools that are all just as themed as their room counterparts.
Big Blue Pool
The largest pool is the “Big Blue Pool”, inspired by Finding Nemo. But this is not your typical backyard swimming pool! It features a zero-depth entry, waterslides, splash area for little ones, the Righteous Reef playground, an underwater sound system, and fun Nemo sculptures. This pool even features the Drop Off pool bar.
Cozy Cone Pool
The “Cozy Cone Pool” is shaped and themed after the traffic cones from Cars. It has a fun 95-foot long waterslide that spirals around a giant cone, and kids can play in the spray fountains nearby.
Flippin Fins Pool
The “Flippin Fins Pool” is inspired by The Little Mermaid. It has a fun waterslide that goes through Ariel’s Grotto, and kids can play in the spray fountains nearby.
There is also a kiddie pool near the main building, which is perfect for little ones who just want to splash around.
There are also two quiet pools located in the Lion King and Little Mermaid sections of the resort.
Within the Little Mermaid, buildings is a large pool.
Between the two Lion King buildings, there is no pool. This is actually a unique feature for these suites because they don’t have noise from the pool areas, but are still just a short walk from them.
For dining options, there really are only a couple of options outside of having pizza delivered to your room.
The Landscape of Flavors
Value Resorts has redefined the food court experience with Landscape of Flavors, offering both globally inspired menu items as well as classic American favorites.
The Drop Off Pool Bar
The Drop Off Pool Bar is located next to the Big Blue Pool, the largest swimming pool on Walt Disney World property. You will absolutely love the bartenders here. You can get snacks like chips or a soft pretzel as well as a greek salad or simple sandwich if you get hungry while hangin out at the pool.
Is There Free Breakfast Included?
Breakfast is not provided for free. Food is available for purchase at the onsite Restaurant, Landscape of Flavors. There are snacks and items for sale as well as they are open until pretty late.
Do They Have Room Service?
In-room dining is available for pizza and some basic entrees and desserts. Value Disney resort hotels typically offer only pizza delivery, but this is a nice upgrade.
Located outside the main lobby are airport pickups and bus transportation to all the Disney Parks. As stated above, the Walt Disney World Skyliner system has a station on the bridge between Art of Animation and Pop Century that can take you to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We have found that this is by far faster than taking the Disney busses, and you get great views. And don’t forget you can transfer easily to Magic Kingdom via monorail from Epcot!
During your stay there are tons of activities to keep your family entertained. While immersed in their animated world, guests will get to meet some of their favorite characters. You will feel like you are walking right into these cartoons because everything is built to scale.
Three character-themed heated pools are available. Cozy Cone Pool plays homage to Radiator Springs in the Cars section. The Flippin Fins pool sits right under Ariel and is a long jaunt from the main pool, so we found that it came in quite handy when we were staying in the Little Mermaid rooms.
“Finding Nemo” is the inspiration for the huge “Big Blue” Pool at the Art of Animation. A spacious underwater sound system completes the refreshing experience of 11,859 square feet. A wet play area called the School Yard is available for children, and the Drop Off Pool Bar provides adults with a little adult fun.
You can also find themed playgrounds, such as ones themed after the characters and movies your kids love. Everything is better with some Disney theming right?!
The pool area can be used as a place to watch movies during the evening hours. An inflatable screen by the pool plays a different Disney movie classic each night. Check the movie schedule in the main lobby of the resort as well as by the pool area.
Along Hourglass lake and throughout the resort, there is also a 1.38-mile jogging trail for those of you wanting to keep your workout routine on track.
Pixel Play Arcade can be found inside Animation Hall. Children of all ages will enjoy playing classic video games here. A Game Card must be purchased at the arcade’s kiosk before guests can play. Games Cards can be used at other Walt Disney World Resort arcades as well as being rechargeable. There is a possibility of collecting and redeeming winning points as well. This is fun to do on your “off day”. Nice laid back activity your kids will enjoy and you can even sit in a massage chair while they play!
Disney Figures and Sculptures
You can get an up-close and personal look at your favorite Disney and Pixar characters. Here you’ll find all kinds of Disney sculptures, fountains, and figures around this Disney resort hotel.
Take a walk among the towering palmettos and you’ll find larger-than-life versions of Finding Nemo characters including Bruce, Crush, Dory, Mr. Ray, Nemo, and Squirt.
The Landscape of Flavors also has several sculptures that were inspired by The Lion King.
If you are staying in the Little Mermaid rooms, you can explore an underwater world where you will find colorful fish as well as familiar friends like Flounder and Sebastian. As you continue on your journey, keep an eye out for Ursula’s Sea Cave.
And if you have a Lightning McQueen and Mater fan you will be able to find them as well!
This kid-friendly resort is divided into four areas check out some of the pictures below. You can become completely immersed in your kiddos favorite movie and get some really awesome family picture you can’t get anywhere else.
Is Art of Animation Worth Your Money?
It is worth every penny if you are taking younger children. It’s a great resort and offers many amenities for families. We rate it as the best value resort you can stay at on Walt Disney World property.
However, if you are taking older children there may be better options you could look into, like Pop Century or All-Star Sports Resorts. It really depends on if your big kid will feel like the larger than life theming is too young for them or if they still love these movies and characters despite being older.
Click here for more information about the best Disney World resorts.
Can I Bring My Pet to Stay With Me?
The only floors that allow pets are designated floors. There is also a $50 additional charge per night for two dogs of any size. You can leave a door hanger on the door of your room if your well-behaved pets are left unattended. They cannot be left for more than seven hours.
Pet-friendly buildings include the cars suites, Finding Nemo suites, and The Little Mermaid suites.
So Which Are The Best Rooms?
The best rooms are typically the family suite rooms depending on your family’s needs. But they definitely give you the most room to move around in and provide a second bathroom for your convenience.
Can you see Disney fireworks?
Art of Animation at Walt Disney World Resort offers guests family suites or standard resort rooms. It is not far from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, making it convenient in many ways. At Epcot, you will be able to see the tops of fireworks, but your view will be limited.
Is Art of Animation On The Monorail?
There is no monorail service at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village, and Disney’s Grand Floridian are the only resorts with monorail service. However, there is a Skyliner station situated between AOA and Pop Century Resorts which can transport you to two Disney Theme Parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Is There A Connection To The Skyliner?
Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation Resort can be reached using the Walt Disney World Resort Skyliner system. The Walt Disney World Skyliner transportation system stops at both Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Is There A Hot Tub?
Walt Disney World has moderate and deluxe resorts that offer hot tubs and jacuzzis, but Art of Animation does not.
Does AOA Have A Gym?
As a value resort hotel, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort does not have a fitness center. However, you could consider using the jogging or walking trail around hourglass lake in the morning.
The pool is always good for swimming laps. You also might be pleasantly surprised to see how many miles you walk each day just in the parks if you have a Fitbit or similar tracking device.
Does AOA Have Microwaves?
Guests who stay at the resort family suites will find a microwave, a coffee maker, and a mini-refrigerator in the kitchenettes. However, the standard rooms do not.
Does Art Of Animation Have Connecting Rooms?
Yes, as with other value resorts at Walt Disney World, the standard rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation do have connecting rooms. The family suites, however, do not have connecting rooms.
Does The Resort Have Elevators?
Yes, all Disney’s Art of Animation Resort buildings have elevators. Family Suites (Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King) are housed in buildings with elevators and interior hallways.
Does The Resort Have Refrigerators?
Yes, all rooms, including standard rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation resort have a mini-fridge.
Are The Pools Heated?
There are 3 heated pools at Art Of Animation that all have their own theme, but the main attraction is the “Big Blue” pool coming in at a whopping 11,859 square feet, an animated recreation of the scenes from the movie “Finding Nemo”.
What Park is The Resort Closest To?
It is closest to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The hotel and parks are about a 15-minute bus ride away from each other via the Walt Disney World bus system.
However, if you are using the Walt Disney World Skyliner system, then Epcot is only about 10 minutes away.
How Do I Get To The Parks?
The best way to get to the parks is by using the Disney bus system. Buses run every 20 minutes and will take you to any of the theme parks or Walt Disney World water parks. If you are headed to Hollywood Studios or Epcot you can take the Skyliner for a slightly shorter trip. You can also transfer to Magic Kingdom via monorail from Epcot after riding the Skyliner.
How Long Does It Take To Get To Disney Springs?
It will take you about 25 minutes to get to Disney Springs via the Disney bus system. You cannot get to Disney Springs by using the Skyliner.
The Art of Animation Resort is absolutely adorable! For families with small children, larger families or just fans of the movies themed at this resort it’s a no brainer!! This is where you want to be! From nice sized rooms, amazing pools and the Skyliner this is the best bang for your buck value resort in Walt Disney World!
Let us know, have you stayed at the Art of Animation resort? What is your favorite section to stay in when you are here?