Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Disney's Art of Animation Resort Review

Welcome Jennifer from Disney's Babies Blog! Jennifer and I have been online Disney friends for quite some time now. We both are members of The Magical Blogorail and have worked on other Disney related blogs together in the past. I feel a kindred spirit to Jennifer as we both are moms to boys, both play the clarinet (she's professional, I was a 6th grade band member) and both SEC Tiger fans! :) Jennifer recently stayed at Disney's Art of Animation Resort (AoA) and was willing to share her experience here on my blog. You can read more about her stay in the Cars suites and her thoughts on the resort here. Thanks Jennifer!!
Disney Babies Blog

Walt Disney World’s newest resort, Disney’s Art of Animation, has taken resorts to the next level.

It stands out, even among the best Disney resorts for 2 reasons:

  1. It is intricately themed to Disney movies (Lion King, Finding Nemo, Cars, and Little Mermaid.
  2. All but the Little Mermaid rooms are family suites – 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchenette, all with only 1 door to the hallway. The suites also have inside room access, as opposed to outside doors in the Little Mermaid Rooms.
image from Disney Babies Blog
Driving into the resort, walking into the Main Building, or simply walking the grounds is laced in pure Disney magic. The colorful signs, the brightly colored buildings, and the animation that is shown all over the resort make it an incredible resort to stay in, or simply to spend an afternoon walking around.

On a trip in November, my family and I stayed in a Cars Suite. We were directed from the cast member to “Follow the EAC, turn right onto Route 66, and head directly towards the Wheel Well Motel.” The trip through the East Australian Current didn’t take very long – the excited part of the Finding Nemo section of the AoA is the pool. But, once we hit Route 66, we stopped every several feet to ‘meet’ the cars that live in Radiator Springs! We met Flo, Ramone, Doc Hudson, Sheriff, Sarge, Fillmore, Mater, Lightning, and Sally.

image from Disney Babies Blog
The interior rooms are beautiful – the hallways fit in with the Route 66 feel with artwork, lamps, and even floor and wall colors. The rooms are not garish with the themes, but vibrant and incredibly fun! I have stayed at many of the pricier resorts (Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Old Key West), and this may have been my favorite!

When you walk in, you enter the ‘living’ area of the suite. There is a table that hides a murphy (fold down) bed and a sofa that folds out into a sleeper sofa. Veering off from the living area is the master bedroom, which has a (very comfortable) queen size bed, and separate bathroom. The kitchenette is very small and basic – a sink, a mini fridge, a small microwave, and is stocked with napkins, paper plates, and utensils.

image from Disney Babies Blog
One of the best perks of the resort is the view – no, you can’t see a theme park, but with the resort so detailed, looking out the windows never seemed to get old. Plus, from where we stayed, we had a great view of the lake and Pop Century.

image from Disney Babies Blog
AoA has several pools – the large, Finding Nemo pool, and smaller and quieter pools by the other sections. We visited both the large and loud Finding Nemo pool and then the smaller and quieter pool in Radiator Springs. For the louder and more outgoing child, the Finding Nemo pool was perfect. Zero entry, splash pad, TONS of room, and tons of people. But, for my smaller, quieter child, he loved the pool in Radiator Springs. It was small, but we were the only people in the pool (of course, it was November).

The main building and the restaurant, the Landscape of Flavors, have the basic standard plan of all value resorts – a check-in lobby, store, arcade, and multi-station cafeteria with an area for checking out, so everyone can choose their own food and pay together. Even the food is plussed up – fresh fruit, create your own salads – and flavors that you can’t find anywhere else.

Considered a value “plus”, this resort costs more than the other values. And, it’s often blacked out from discounts, due to its extreme popularity. But, with that said, just like Walt Disney World costs more than Six Flags, there is a reason that this costs more than All Star Sports. This resort is incredible! If you can’t stay there for a trip, definitely try to take an afternoon to visit! You won’t be disappointed!

2 comments:

  1. It's on our list of places to stay! We stayed off property when we went this past October and again in December, BUT we visited AoA on both vacations, just so my kids could check out the larger than life sculptures from 4 of their favorite movies! It is fantastic!!!!

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    1. We will finally stay there this fall! We can't wait! I've also visited just to gawk at the icons! When will you go back?

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