You can find more pictures of this resort on our blog, and our Facebook page.
Disney Parks are known for their attention to detail and ability to bring guests into their stories. For years, guests have played the part of a rowdy pirate sailing among the seas while riding on Pirates of the Caribbean, or perhaps hang gliding over California on Soarin’. Whatever the attraction, whatever the show, Disney has set themselves high above the rest when it comes to immersing their guests into a storyline. This not only takes place in their theme parks, but in their resort hotels, as well. The latest and greatest example of this is the newest hotel to open at the Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Art of Animation, which brings guests into the worlds of Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.
Upon arriving at Art of Animation, guests will enter Animation Hall. Here is where you can check-in and get assistance from the concierge services. Guests are welcomed by vibrant colors and sketches of favorite Disney films. When entering Animation Hall, there is a wall running the length of the check-in area which displays sketches used in the movies. At the beginning of the wall, sketches are minimal, no color and not much detail. While walking through the lobby, the sketches become more detailed and colored, much like in the actual animation process. In the center of the lobby is the very noticeable Storyboard Chandelier.
This chandelier is highlighted by the skylight it sits under, showing off storyboard sketches from the Disney films the resort is themed around. Take a closer look and try and find the storyboard sketch that is signed by Pixar’s John Lasseter! Before entering the resort’s merchandise store, The Ink & Paint Shop, guests will be pleasantly welcomed by a wall of animation cells. The colors, the scenes and the characters make for a beautiful and visually stunning look at the cells that were actually used in the movies. These make for a great photo background as well! The Pixel Play Arcade, Ink & Paint Shop and Landscape of Flavors food court are all here in Animation Hall. Also, here you will find the first ever business center in a value resort.The Pixel Play Arcade is a very large arcade with a variety of games to choose from. The Ink & Paint Shop provides resort exclusive merchandise such as key chains, hats, shirts and magnets for guests to remember their stay with. You can also find pins, ear hats, apparel and toys as well as toiletries and medicines here.
There are four sections to Art of Animation, each based on a Disney and Disney/Pixar classic movie. Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid each have dedicated buildings in which guests can stay. Due to the popularity of the family suites at Disney’s All Star Music Resorts, Disney made sure there were plenty here. There are 1,120 family suites located in the Finding Nemo, Cars and Lion King areas of the resort and 864 standard rooms located in The Little Mermaid section. Suites include a master bedroom with a queen bed, two bathrooms, a living room area with a sleeper sofa, kitchenette with a microwave, mini-fridge and coffee maker and a dining table which folds out to become additional sleeping space. With three separate sleeping spaces, family suites can accommodate up to 6 guests. The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms feature two double beds and can accommodate up to 4 guests.
Each area of the resort has a courtyard themed to that specific movie. In The Little Mermaid courtyard, guests can splash or sit poolside by the Flippin' Fins Pool. In the Lion King courtyard, kids can go wild at the Bone Yard Playground. Head over to the Cars section and be transported right into Radiator Springs with Tow Mater and the gang. If you feel like cooling off, mosey on over to the Cozy Cone Pool!
While all of these sections have amazing details and lots of fun to be had, guests will love to take a swim in The Big Blue Pool in the Finding Nemo Courtyard, This zero-entry pool is the largest pool of any hotel on property, and holds a whopping 310,000 gallons of water. In true Disney fashion by not leaving any detail over looked, guests can not only hear the music under water, but listen carefully and you may hear Mr. Ray giving a science lesson, or maybe even Dory making her infamous whale noises. The little ones can cool off in The Schoolyard water play area, or have some fun at Squirt's Righteous Reef Playground. Adults looking to kick back and relax can do so at The Drop Off outdoor pool bar.
Guests who wish to enjoy the pool or the water play area will need their room key to do so. The Big Blue Pool is fenced in and requires access via RFID technology room keys. Simply swipe your key across the censor for access. This is also the set up for entering the family suite buildings, which are the first of a value resort to include interior hallways.
Disney's Art of Animation resort has been but into the Value category, some refer to it as a "Value Plus". I, personally, after touring the resort on opening day, would quailify it as a "Value Plus" at least. While all Disney resorts have great detail and theming, Art of Animation is impeccable. Disney has set the bar high with this resort. My husband and I are returning for a week in September and I am so thrilled we are staying here. The resort has something to offer for everyone, young and old. Especially those who are fans of the animated movies. You will truly feel like you are a part of them.
The Finding Nemo buildings were the first to open, on May 31, 2012. The Cars buildings will be open on June 18, 2012, followed by The Lion King buildings on August 10, 2012. The last phase of the resort, The Little Mermaid buildings, will open to guests on September 15, 2012. All rooms are available for booking now.
While visiting the resort on opening day, I took a significant amount of pictures. I will admit, while the pictures don't do the resort full justice, they give a great look at how exceptional and fun the resort is. You can find the photos I took by clicking here, which will bring you to the Art of Animation album on the Kingdom Konsultant Travel Facebook page.
I hope you enjoyed this little review of Art of Animation and will consider for a future stay! Sketch ya later!