Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Review

From enviable locations and complimentary transportation to extravagant designs and even Disney character dining, staying in one of the Disney World hotels can be downright magical. Depending on your budget, what kind of atmosphere you’re looking for, and how big of a space you need, there really is a Disney resort for everyone. 

The Disney Art of Animation Resort is Walt Disney World’s newest value resort, with over-the-top theming based around popular Disney movies in eye-popping colors, both rooms and suites, and some of the more wallet-friendly rates on property. In other words, it’s a Disney hotel match made in heaven for families with children. 

So, how does the Disney Art of Animation Hotel stack up to other Disney World value resorts (and moderate resorts too, as we’ll discuss in a bit)? What are the best Art of Animation family suites? Keep reading for our guide to everything you need to know about this colorful, larger-than-life resort. 

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort During COVID-19

For over a year, the Covid-19 pandemic brought life as we knew it to a screeching halt. Disney World felt the sting, scaling back typical offerings or canceling them altogether to enforce safety guidelines and to help ensure the health of both guests and cast members. Fortunately, as vaccination numbers increase, some of those changes are steadily going away. That being said, there are still some things you need to be aware of before your upcoming stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  

In general, aside from the Pixel Play Arcade and some other special resort activities, basically all of the resort-specific amenities are open and available at Art of Animation. This includes the pools, restaurant, pool bar, and store. Aside from that, however, there are some amenities and services across Walt Disney World property that are either temporarily altered or on hiatus. They include:

  • No Disney’s Magical Express luggage delivery
  • No airline check-in service
  • No FastPass+
  • No Extra Magic Hours
  • No Minnie Vans
  • No in-room dining
  • No in-room celebrations
  • No arcades
  • No campfires
  • No marina rentals
  • No club-level amenities
  • No dry cleaning & valet laundry services
  • Increased housekeeping
  • Decreased bell services
  • Decreased package deliveries

As things continue to go back to normal (fingers crossed!), things around Disney World should follow as well. The situation is still changing quite frequently, so we recommend you take a look at the My Disney Experience app or Disney’s website, or speak to an Art of Animation cast member during or after check-in, for the most up-to-date information. 

Staying at the Disney Art of Animation Resort 

Two race cars outside motel structure

Opened in May 2012, the Art of Animation Resort at Disney World is the newest of the Disney value resorts to open its doors to guests. Although technically part of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Resort Area, the hotel also sits along the Disney Skyliner route, making it just a short, convenient, and fun bird’s-eye-view ride away from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, as well as Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment area. 

Unlike most of the other value resorts at Disney World, Art of Animation offers a range of rooms, including sizeable Art of Animation family suites that can fit up to 6 adults. You’ll also find standard rooms for those traveling with a smaller group. Disney’s Art of Animation boasts a 4.5 on TripAdvisor.

Theme parks may have become part of Disney’s bread and butter, but none of this vacation magic would be possible without Disney’s animated films. From hand-drawn to CGI, Disney animated movies are beloved by people around the world of all generations. So, it’s only right that there’s an entire Disney animation resort to celebrate a few of them. 

With supersized nods to popular animated Disney movies like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo, Art of Animation is an over-saturated, larger-than-life fever dream of a hotel. Stories-high scenes plaster the sides of the buildings and characters from the films are dotted throughout like a permanent character meet-and-greet without the interactive bits.

Even the lobby inside Animation Hall is lined with a kaleidoscope of sketches and animation cels. Will it be sensory overload for guests looking for a more serene and subdued stay? You betcha, but we guarantee that the kiddos will be enthralled with the overly much-ness of it all, as will die-hard fans Disney fans and those looking for some lighthearted nostalgia.  

Art of Animation Rooms & Family Suites

Although they vary in size and theme, each of the Art of Animation guestrooms is as vibrant and playful as the theming spread throughout the resort. Keep in mind that if you’re booking a family suite and you absolutely need it to be themed around a specific movie, you’ll need to reserve that specific style of family suite when making your reservation. And for all you pet lovers out there, there are even some rooms here that are dog-friendly. 

In general, all standard rooms at Art of Animation come with the following amenities: a hairdryer, iron, ironing board, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, in-room safe, telephone with voicemail, and free Wi-Fi. All Art of Animation family suites, in contrast, come with the same homey comforts as those listed above as well as a kitchenette and 2 bathrooms. 

The Little Mermaid Standard Room

Take a trip under the sea in one of the Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms to see if the seaweed really is always greener in someone else’s lake. You’re immersed in Ariel’s world from the moment you step inside. Ocean-blue walls, clamshell headboards, scallop-backed chairs, and whimsical touches like mirrors and lights that look as if they’re made of coral or a chorus line of a fish make this a playful stay from check-in to check-out. Even the shower is made to look like Ariel’s grotto with whozits and whatzits galore lining its trompe l’oeil nooks and crannies.   

  • Comes with 1 king bed or 2 queen beds
  • Sleeps up to 4 adults 
  • Views of the parking area, pool, or courtyard

Family Suite

Theming for this room type is luck of the draw – or check-in, as it were. Pick the generic Art of Animation Family Suite if you’d be happy with a room inspired by any of the movies, or if you need the space but you’d like to save some extra cash. 

  • Comes with 1 queen bed, 1 double-sized table bed, and 1 double-sized sofa sleeper
  • Sleeps up to 6 adults 
  • Views of the parking area, pool, or courtyard

The Lion King Family Suite

Bathroom vanity with sunset tile bath

In Art of Animation Lion King Suites, everything the room light touches is your kingdom. Luckily, this is the lush pridelands before Scar took over and turned the place all dark and gray, complete with giraffes on parade. In the bedroom, jungle touches abound, like an explosion of leaves and Simba sleeping on a hammock of vines on the table bed. The bathroom also gets its day in the sun, with the shower covered by that iconic opening scene of the sun rising over the African savanna.  

  • Comes with 1 queen bed, 1 double-sized table bed, and 1 double-sized sofa sleeper
  • Sleeps up to 6 adults 
  • Views of the parking area, pool, or courtyard

Cars Family Suite

It’s no Cozy Cone Motel, but Art of Animation Cars Suites are every bit as imaginative. While the other Art of Animation rooms are filled with the relaxing hues of blue and green, Cars Family Suites are as warm and welcoming as the desert landscape that surrounds Radiator Springs. Just like the other rooms on property, Art of Animation Cars Family Suites are chock full of quirky, clever details such as traffic cone lamps, a pullout sofa that looks like it could have been pulled out of the backseat of a classic car, and furniture with diamond-plate accents. 

  • Comes with 1 queen bed, 1 double-sized table bed, and 1 double-sized sofa sleeper
  • Sleeps up to 6 adults 
  • Views of the parking area, pool, or courtyard

Finding Nemo Family Suite

Bath with brick wall tile and curtain

From the big, blue walls and coral-inspired furniture to stylized art themed after the movie and a bathroom mirror that looks like a ship’s porthole, Art of Animation Finding Nemo Suites are oozing with charm. There’s even a note on said mirror reminding any sharks that may pass by that “fish are friends…”, not a tasty snack. During your stay, be sure to keep an eye out for that slippery little clownfish – he’s always swimming off somewhere. 

  • Comes with 1 queen bed, 1 double-sized table bed, and 1 double-sized sofa sleeper
  • Sleeps up to 6 adults 
  • Views of the parking area, pool, or courtyard

Disney Art of Animation Hotel Prices

Although value resorts at Disney World are known for being the most affordable of the bunch, the Art of Animation hotel is an exception. As the newest Disney value resort, even the standard rooms are more expensive than some of the rooms at the All-Stars or Pop Century, and an Art of Animation family suite can even cost you more than a stay in some of the rooms at one of the moderate Disney resorts. For example, one of The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms can run you as low as $188 per night during the low season, whereas a stay in a Finding Nemo Suite at Art of Animation can cost upwards of $800 around Christmas and New Year’s. 

In other words, if you’re looking to save the most money possible, this isn’t the Disney hotel for you. However, if you’re ok with sending a little more in the name of more space or better theming, then Art of Animation can be an excellent value. 

Tow truck Mater smiling with two buck teeth

Just like any other hotel stay, your room rate will depend on how many people you need to fit and when you choose to visit. More popular dates like over spring break or the winter holidays will cost the most while less busy dates will equal lower rates. Unlike most of the other Disney World hotels, however, rather than paying for what kind of view you want, there are specific room types you can choose if you’d like to lock in a specific room theme.   

The Little Mermaid rooms are the most cost-effective option at Art Animation as they’re the only standard room type, with rates as low as the high $100s to low-to-mid $200s in the slow season and as high as the mid $300s during the busy season. Family suites, meanwhile, will put a decent-sized dent in your pocket, ranging from the mid $400s to low $500s in the low season up to the mid $700s to low $800s over the winter holidays. 

For the most space with the greatest savings, let the Disney dice fall where they may and take your chances with whatever family suite theme you’re given. Or, pony up a bit more cash and request an Art of Animation Finding Nemo Family Suite for a prime location near The Big Blue Pool, Landscape of Flavors, and Animation Hall. 

Below are rough price ranges for what you can expect to pay at Art of Animation:

  • The Little Mermaid Standard Room: $188 to $353
  • Family Suite: $428 to $764
  • The Lion King Family Suite: $442 to $789
  • Cars Family Suite: $442 to $789
  • Finding Nemo Family Suite: $467 to $826

Disney World Art of Animation Resort Amenities

We won’t lie, Disney’s value resorts are pretty basic. So, if you’re hoping for an opulent resort with all the frills, a different restaurant for every night of your stay, and a full menu of recreational activities, you won’t find any of that here. However, what you will find is a convenient quick-service restaurant to cook you up something tasty from morning to night, a few pools to soak all those steps away, a store to pick up a last-minute souvenir or anything you forgot, and a few other magical touches. 

Art of Animation Dining

Unlike what you’ll find at deluxe resorts like Polynesian Village or moderate resorts like Coronado Springs, restaurants at Disney’s value resorts tend to be solitary affairs, and the same can be said for Art of Animation. Here you’ll find a lone quick service restaurant called Landscape of Flavors, as well as The Drop Off Pool Bar near The Big Blue Pool. 

Fortunately, if you’re looking for some more options, you’re just a short Skyliner ride away from the tastes of the islands at Caribbean Beach or the flavors of southern Europe and the Mediterranean at the Riviera Resort. Plus, with just a bit of walking, all the delicious possibilities around Disney’s BoardWalk and the rest of the Epcot Resort Area are available as well. 

Landscape of Flavors

Whether you’re looking for a filling breakfast to fuel you during your day in the parks or something to please even the pickiest of eaters when you return, Landscape of Flavors has you set with a panorama of American favorites morning, noon, and night. Set up like a food court, you’ll find different items available from the restaurant’s various stations. 

In the AM, nosh on breakfast classics like breakfast sandwiches, omelets, and character-shaped waffles.  Over lunch and dinnertime, tuck into palate-pleasers like pasta, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches, with roasted salmon and turkey dinners available on alternating days. And while the food may not be anything out of the ordinary, you won’t want to miss the fun desserts like the Mermaid Tale Cupcake. 

The Drop Off Pool Bar

Overlooking The Big Blue Pool, The Drop Off Pool Bar is an open-air counter with a lengthy menu of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a handful of snacks. Grab a seat at the bar or one of the surrounding tables as you sip on a glass of wine or something from the long list of beers as you much on some Cheese Curls. Or, for something extra refreshing, try one of their specialty cocktails like the lemonade-y Big Blue Ocean or the Captain’s Pineapple made with spiced rum and pineapple Dole Whip

Art of Animation Pools

It gets hot in Central Florida – we’re talkin’ really hot. And the best way to beat the heat is by taking a dip in the pool. Luckily, there are not one, not two, but three Art of Animation pools: The Big Blue Pool, Cozy Cone Pool, and Flippin’ Fins Pool. In fact, the only part of the resort without a pool is the section themed around The Lion King

The biggest hotel pool at Disney World with a prime location right behind Landscape of Flavors, The Big Blue Pool is a must-swim for all Art of Animation guests. At one point in time, even the music from the movie and snippets of the gang talking about their hunt for the wayward clownfish were piped in underwater, though it has sadly since been removed. Still, older swimmers will enjoy splashing alongside oversized versions of Nemo, Dory, Crush, and other characters from the film in the zero-entry pool, while kiddos sporting water wings can play around the Schoolyard Sprayground. Or, for little ones who’d rather keep both feet on dry land, there’s also Squirt’s Righteous Reef.

Though not as large and impressive, the resort’s two other pools are equally charming. The Cozy Cone Pool over in the Cars section is tucked amid the Cozy Cone Hotel with life-sized versions of characters like Lightning McQueen and Mater. As cute as the theming is, however, the main draw is the traffic cone-shaped cabanas, perfect for hiding out from the Florida sunshine.  The Flippin’ Fins Pool near the Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms features similarly supersized icons including an “Under the Sea Orchestra” led by everyone’s favorite crustacean, Sebastian. 

Other Recreation at Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort 

Luigi and Guido outside Cars landscape

While Disney’s moderate and deluxe resorts tend to have an array of unique recreational activities to choose from, Art of Animation and the other value resorts keep things streamlined with only a few family-friendly offerings. That being said, you will still find a couple of unique things here. 

Adults can get in a workout on the 1.38-mile jogging trail, while kids of all ages will have a ball with Movies Under the Stars and the Pixel Play Arcade. Or, for something special, bring Animation Hall’s gallery to life with Stories of the Enchanted Gallery on the Play Disney Parks app, create your own souvenir with a Mickey Tie-Dye class, or pick up the resort’s scavenger hunt from the front desk. 

Art of Animation Hotel Merchandise Locations

Are you on the hunt for something you forgot at home or a special keepsake for your trip? The Ink & Paint Shop at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has got your back. Conveniently located in front of the entrance to Landscape of Flavors, this colorful store is your one-stop shop for souvenirs, snacks, and sundries alike. 

Complimentary Transportation to and from Art of Animation

Free transportation is one of the perks of staying at a Disney resort, and guests staying at the Art of Animation hotel have access to two different options: taking the bus or riding on the Disney Skyliner. The bus picks up outside Animation Hall, with routes running to the different Disney parks as well as Disney Springs. As for the Skyliner, Art of Animation shares a station with Disney’s Pop Century Resort which is located on the Generation Gap Bridge between the two resorts. Your first stop will be the Caribbean Beach Resort. From there, you can then choose to either head over to Hollywood Studios or continue on to the Riviera and Epcot.  

Disney Art of Animation Resort FAQs

Want to know more about Disney’s Art of Animation? Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions. 

Is the Art of Animation a good resort?

We think so! Sure, it isn’t the cheapest resort at Disney World and it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a deluxe resort or the immersive design of the moderates. However, thanks to the riot of colors and over-the-top theming, Art of Animation has oodles of pixie dust and charm. The rooms are simple yet comfortable and downright adorable, although the exuberant details might be too much for some people. Plus, all of the giant characters sprinkled throughout the parks make for ideal backdrops for that perfect family photo. 

Can you see fireworks from Art of Animation?

Actually yes! Although Art of Animation isn’t next door to any of the Disney parks, it isn’t too far away from either Hollywood Studios or Epcot, meaning that you can catch portions of the fireworks depending on where you are. While some of the show is blocked by the tree line, you will be able to see some of the higher fireworks over the hotel’s parking lot. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to see them from your room. For a shot at a fireworks view room on a budget, try to request a Little Mermaid room on an upper floor overlooking the parking area. 

Can you walk from Art of Animation to Hollywood Studios? 

Unfortunately, Art of Animation isn’t within walking distance of any Disney World theme park. 

How long will the Disney Skyliner take from Art of Animation?

Although your actual ride will depend on how busy it is at that time, you can plan on around a 12-minute ride from Art of Animation to Hollywood Studios and roughly a 20-minute ride from Art of Animation to Epcot. 

Well Disney fans, that concludes our visit to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. With its relatively affordable rates, larger-than-life theming filled with Disney magic, and convenient transportation, it’s a winning Disney World resort for families with kids or kids-at-heart with a love of animated Disney movies.  

While you’re there, make the most of your time at the resort’s two closest parks with our 1-day plans for Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Plus, be sure to save some extra cash for your trip with our discounted Walt Disney World tickets

Have you had the chance to stay at Art of Animation at Disney World? What is your favorite section to stay in? Where is a great spot to catch the fireworks?

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