about disney’s art of animation resort
Type of Resort: Value
Types of Rooms: Standard rooms and family suites
Theme: the artwork and animation of beloved Disney and Pixar films
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Area
Transportation Options: Buses
Unique Amenities: Art of Animation is filled to the brim with amazing theming, starting with the buildings and grounds themselves. It’s really a place you have to see to understand the scope of design that Disney delivers here, between the artwork, giant set pieces, and building decor. AOA also has three pools, including the Big Blue Pool (the largest on Disney property, with giant Finding Nemo set pieces surrounding it, zero-entry point, underwater speakers, and “sprayground” that will thrill your kids), Cozy Cone pool (Cars), and Flippin’ Fins pool (Little Mermaid). They also have fine art photography available, if you want to commemorate your trip with family photos.
They also have the standard Disney amenities like merchandise pickup and delivery, laundry services, mail, ATM and bank services, airline check-in, concierge services, Magical Express, online check-in, and complimentary wi-fi. This is also one of the pet friendly resorts on property!
Dining: Landscape of Flavors is this resort’s quick service hub, featuring tons of stations and options for each meal. At breakfast, you can choose from traditional breakfast foods like pancakes, waffles, and eggs, but my personal favorite was the breakfast burger. There is also a wide variety of lunch and dinner options, from salads, soups and sandwiches (I highly suggest the roasted turkey croissant) to burgers, pizzas, and pastas (we loved the make-your-own option) to more exotic flavors at the World of Flavor shop (tandoori chicken and Mongolian fish, for example).
Shopping: The Ink & Paint Shop features a mix of sundries, collectibles, and souvenirs. They also have a large pin and toy selection. We had a lot of fun shopping here.
Activities: Bike rentals, Finding Nemo courtyard playground, Pixel Play Arcade, Movies Under the Stars, jogging trails, and swimming.
About Our StaY
details of our stay
Time of Year: December 2017
Length of Stay: two nights
Room Type: Little Mermaid standard room
Travel Party Size: 4 (2 adults and 2 children), 1 household
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but the theming of these buildings are so incredible! Our girls were blown away by the big set pieces outside our building. It took us forever to usher them to the room, because they wanted to stop and look at everything. In their defense though, so did we! There is just so much detail at this resort. I feel like we noticed something new every time we stepped outside.
Once we made it to our room, we were delighted by the theming there too! It really was adorable.Everything from the chairs to the mirror to the shower curtain were Little Mermaid themed. It was a dream come true for our Ariel lover!
Much like our review of the Port Orleans Riverside Royal Rooms (the rooms actually seemed identical in terms of size and layout, just different theming), our only complaint was space. These rooms are equitable in size to your normal motel room and have doors that open to the outdoor corridor. For a long visit (or in our case, kids with a lot of stuff), you may find yourself a bit cramped. Still, despite the smaller room sizes and more motel feel, we didn’t hear any hall or neighbor noise, except for the occasional toilets flushing.
These rooms are the furthest away from the main building, which isn’t a big problem, unless you’re relying on getting your morning coffee there. At other resorts, one of us usually makes a coffee run while the other gets kids dressed, before we all walk back over for breakfast and more morning fuel. The main building was definitely too far away for us to just make trips back and forth. In fact, we didn’t visit it more than once during this part of the stay.
Because of the long walk (and long bus lines), we ended up not using the internal buses from AOA. We walked out on our first day and saw a few buses worth of people waiting to head to Magic Kingdom. So, we quickly decided to drive our own car instead. We noticed that the lines weren’t bad later in the day, so it was definitely a timing issue. If you plan to use the buses during peak times, definitely plan to be at the buses early. There are a lot of guests at this resort and they’re all going the same places that you are!
We didn’t use the pools during this part of our stay, but we did during our family suites stay. You can read about that experience and the pools here!
Favorite Part: The look of wonder on our kids’ faces and the feeling of really being transported into the Disney bubble.
Least Favorite Part: Tight quarters for all of our stuff, being pretty far out from the main building, and very busy buses.
Would We Stay Again?: It was a major standout for Ruby, so we would definitely consider it. I don’t think we’d stay for a long trip (with a lot of stuff), but it would be one of our first choices for a quick weekend trip!