Edited to correct a couple of mistakes I inadvertently made about ares of the resort I did not visit.
Visiting Disney World in Orlando is one of our family’s favorite vacations. Rarely a week goes by that Evan doesn’t ask “When are we going back to Disney World?” He loves and so do I. I’m pretty sure Dewey likes it too though I think he might like it if Evan and I weren’t *quite* so gung ho.
Since Dewey was in Orlando attending a conference, it was the perfect time to plan a visit to WDW. Since we weren’t doing a long trip, I decided that we shouldn’t break the bank. While we love the Animal Kingdom Lodge, I wanted to try something different (and cheaper). Based on recommendations from my favorite travel website (aka my friends on Facebook), we decided to give the Art of Animation a try. I loved that they have family suites that are perfect for families at a price that is much more affordable than booking two rooms while still having a bit of privacy for mom & dad.
The Art of Animation has four room themes: Finding Nemo, Cars, Little Mermaid and The Lion King. We chose the Cars section of the resort. It was Cars themed in every way. The buildings were painted in tones reminiscent of the desert with various Cars characters scattered around the resort for photo ops. There are both standard rooms and family suites.
Art of Animation Facilities:
When you walk in to the Art of Animation, you are surrounded by light and fun Disney characters in various stages of completion. I have always found animation interesting so this was very appealing for me.
The one low spot of the Art of Animation resort for me was the onsite restaurant. While it had a few different areas offering a variety of options, the layout is very confusing and hard to navigate. Especially in the mornings when there were tons of people trying to get breakfast before heading to the part, chaos reigned. Tempers flared often. We chose to avoid the fray during most of our trip and eat elsewhere inside the parks. Tip: If you want to buy coffee but do not want to buy an unlimited drink cup, there are single use coffee cups that you can buy. They keep these behind the cashier’s counter, though, so you have to ask for them.
Art of Animation Resort Family Suites:
Many of the rooms at the Art of Animation Resort are family suites. Each one has a queen size bed in a private room, a convertable table/bed, a pull out sofa, a sitting room, a kitchenette and two bathrooms. You can fit up to 6 people in each room and it is nice and spacious. The two bathrooms is a real life saver when you have an entire family staying in one suite. The kitchenette’s toaster, microwave and fridge came in really handy as well.
Disney shows their amazing attention to detail yet again at this resort. You can see a picture of the queen size bed at the beginning of the post. The rooms were done in shades of traffic cone orange with accents of diamond plate, red and light blue. Evan really enjoyed having places to hang out in the room without having to sit on the bed. We really enjoyed being able to watch TV after Evan went to bed without having to disturb him. We just shut the door.
The table bed is very cool. It folds down easily in to a full size bed. Evan loved sleeping on his “cool” bed. The only thing we found a bit wonky was where to put all the chairs when the table was a bed.
We found these suites to be some of the nicest and most family friendly of any we’ve stayed in. The standard suites are in the Little Mermaid area and have a standard two double bed/one bathroom layout.
Art of Animation Resort Pools:
Even the small pool in the Cars area got in to the action. It was set up to look like the Cozy Cone Motel. This pool was often less crowded than the main Finding Nemo themed pool. Perfect for an evening dip before bed.
While we are on the topic of pools, the Finding Nemo themed pool is awesome. Evan loved it. There are lots of parts that are shallow enough for kids to explore without feeling out of their depth. In fact, it is the largest pool at a Walt Disney World resort. Pretty cool! There is one additional pool that is Little Mermaid themed but we did not get a chance to check it out.
Overall Opinion of Art of Animation:
When we were looking for a resort, one of my friends called Art of Animation “Cheap and Cheerful”. I would totally agree. We loved the rooms, the pools and the price. The only low point was the restaurant in the resort. We would definitely stay here again. Evan loved it and the over the top Disney theming. It is definitely kid focused and knocks the theming out of the park.