Opened in 2012, Art of Animation is a value resort located across Hourglass Lake from Pop Century. Similar to Pop, Art of Animation has multiple sections of rooms centered around pools and courtyards. Unlike the other value resorts, Art of Animation is mostly suites, which are double-size rooms with kitchenettes. The suite areas also have interior hallways like Disney’s deluxe resorts, as opposed to the exterior doors featured at other value resorts and in The Little Mermaid section of Art of Animation. All told, there are 864 standard rooms and 1,120 suites.
Theming uses characters from four Disney films: Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. All but the Mermaid-themed rooms are suites. As at Pop Century, large, colorful icons stand in the middle of each group of buildings; here, though, they represent film characters rather than pop-culture touchstones. An interesting departure from the other value resorts is that Disney has decorated the building exteriors with giant murals stretching the length of each structure. Each of the Cars buildings, for example, displays a four-story panoramic vista of the American desert, with the movie’s iconic characters in the middle, while the Lion King buildings capture a single verdant jungle scene.
Slightly larger than comparable rooms at other Value resorts, standard rooms are 277 square feet and include one king or two double beds, a flat-panel TV, a mini-fridge, and a table and chairs.
Art of Animation’s suites are around 565 square feet, about what you’d get by combining two standard rooms into one suite. Each suite has a master bedroom, a living room, two full bathrooms, and a kitchenette with mini-fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker. Sleeping accommodations include a queen bed in the bedroom, a sleeper sofa, and a living-room table that converts into a full-size bed. The bedroom and living room have flat-panel TVs. Microwaves and coffee makers are only found in suites at Art of Animation.
Art of Animation bathrooms are tiny. Almost all feature a tiled tub with shower, while some wheelchair-accessible rooms have a roll-in shower without tub. One nice feature in the standard bathrooms is a shower curtain rod that curves outward, so you’re not elbowing the shower curtain while shampooing. Water pressure in the shower is good—probably less than what you get at home, but still enough to get your hair clean.
A separate dressing area next to the bathroom includes one sink but not much counter space. A 1500-watt, wall-mounted hair dryer is provided, but it’s not very powerful. The dressing area includes a curtain that separates it from the sleeping area. Combined with the bathroom, this means that three people can get dressed at the same time.
Three of the four sets of themed buildings have pools; the Lion King complex has a playground instead. The Big Blue Pool sits directly behind the Animation Hall lobby and food court, between the two buildings dedicated to Finding Nemo.
The pool features sculptures of characters from the film, and underwater speakers play surf music and character voices from the film Finding Nemo. In addition to the pool, kids will also have lots of fun in the adjacent splash zone.
The two buildings of the Cars section contain the Cozy Cone Pool. This pool area is themed after the Cozy Cone Motel from the Cars movies and features giant construction cones. The Cozy Cone Pool is considered a quiet pool, meaning that loud play and splashing around are discouraged.
The third pool is located in the Little Mermaid section of the resort. This pool is also considered a quiet pool and is surrounded by large sculptures of King Triton and Ursula.
Like the other value resorts, Art of Animation has a central building—here called Animation Hall—for check-in and bus transportation; it also holds the resort’s food court, Landscape of Flavors; a gift shop; and a video-game arcade. We think the food court is the best of any value resort.
The food court has five different stations, each selling one set of meals. For example, one station sells pizza and pasta, another sells burgers, another is dedicated to sandwiches, and so on. If your kids each want something different, you’ll have to line up several times. The good news is that some of the food is prepared on demand, so you’ll at least be getting your burger cooked to order. Prices range from $6 to $15 for an entrée, so you won’t break the bank. One of our favorite dishes is the Tandoori Boneless Chicken Thighs served with Naan Bread, Basmati Rice, and Green Beans.
Art of Animation is slightly more expensive—and a little bit better—than Disney’s Pop Century. In terms of layout, architecture, and facilities, Art of Animation is similar to Pop Century and the All-Star Resorts: three- and four-story, motel-style buildings with a central pool, food court, and registration area.
For all there is to see and do at the Kingdom of the Mouse, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for our newsletter here.