Hotel Reviews

Art of Animation Resort Review

Art of Animation is a hotel at Walt Disney World that falls under the value category.  Opening in 2012, the resort celebrates a few of Disney’s greatest animated achievements.  While being the newest value resort, Art of Animation is known for their family suite rooms and larger than life statues.  We recently stayed for a couple of nights at Art of Animation and this review will cover that stay as well as our thoughts on the resort as a whole.

Prince Eric AoA

Art of Animation is separated into several wings, each based around a different Disney movie.  These four sections are modeled after Cars, Finding Nemo (which is also where the main pool, restaurant and lobby are), The Lion King and Little Mermaid.  Every section is largely the aforementioned family suite rooms aside from the Little Mermaid wing.  Because just Melissa and I were staying, we opted for a standard room in that Little Mermaid wing.

The rooms follow the theme of their assigned sections.  Here’s a look at ours.

AoA room

While the carpet really pops out in this photo, I didn’t think it looked quite as obnoxious in person.  The soft blue walls were nice and I enjoyed the bed frame and headboard.  While the room could be seen as slightly cheesy, I thought the theming was all pretty well done.  Like all the other value resorts, the footprint of this room is fairly small.  Moderate and deluxe resorts offer bigger footprints.

The mattress was fairly comfortable.  I liked it far more than the Pop Century Resort mattress but this was still pretty firm.  As you can see in the corner of this photo, there is a little table with chairs.  I did not put these to use aside from resting my backpack on them.  They look nice enough though.

AoA bathroom

Here’s a look inside the bathroom, which might be the most heavily themed area of the room.  Ariel staring at you is either exciting or frightening.  The flooring is nicer than most hotel bathrooms.  Here’s the inside of the shower…

AoA shower

This may be over the top but it didn’t bother me any.  I think most kids would love it and there was plenty of lighting in the room so the dark painting didn’t have much effect.

AoA mirror

As with most Disney rooms, the sink was outside of the room with the toilet and shower.  There is a curtain to block off this sink section from the rest of the room.  This is a nice touch if someone wants to get ready in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping.

AoA bed

All in all, I enjoyed the room.  I thought the theme was playful and fun.  While the size and the bed are far from Disney’s best, they are also better than any other value resort.

AoA wall lobby

The rest of the resort is where Art of Animation excels.  The lobby isn’t extravagant like some moderate or deluxe resorts but I did enjoy the artwork spread throughout the walls.  There’s a little arcade connected to the lobby and it seemed fine.

AoA outside

The Landscape of Flavors food court and gift shop are also connected to the lobby.  The counter-service restaurant is surprisingly good with a nice mix of options.  We only had one meal there (which was pretty solid) but there were plenty of other options on the menu that were intriguing.

AoA pool

The main pool is pretty impressive looking.  There isn’t a slide here but plenty of room to float around.  They also play music under the water which is pretty fun.  There is also a pool over by Cars section.  This one is surrounded by the Cozy Cones and looks fun, albeit a smaller size.

Cozy Cone AoA

Probably my favorite aspect of Art of Animation is just how inviting some of the areas are.  The Cars section looks great, especially at night.  There is a nice path that leads throughout the resort and I recommend taking a leisurely stroll after night in the parks.  The resort is pretty quiet in those hours and there are plenty of sights to soak in.

For runners, there is a path around Hourglass Lake.  This leads to and from Pop Century, and is a nice walk if the weather isn’t too extreme.

King Triton AoA

As you can tell, I’m a fan of Art of Animation but does the value hold up?  For those that are looking for a family suite, I’d say yes.  The only in terms of price and space may a a 1-bedroom villa at Old Key West or Saratoga Springs.  With kids, I think a family suite is a great idea.  As far as standard bedrooms go, the prices are anywhere from $25-$75 more than Pop Century.  I think Art of Animation is superior to Pop but not if the price is over $40 more.  That’s if you really like Disney animation, if you don’t then just save the money and stay at Pop.  As I mentioned, the walk to and from Pop Century is easy and you can enjoy both resorts by doing a little walking.

Melissa and I really enjoyed resort hopping between here and a couple of resorts with more intricate themes.  We came to Art of Animation from the Yacht Club and left it for Wilderness Lodge.  The contrasts between these resorts made each seem even more interesting.  If you’re interested in this approach, check out this post.

Scar AoA

With that said, Art of Animation is absolutely the best value resort at Walt Disney World when you aren’t looking at price.  Between the slightly nicer rooms, the interesting landscaping, the quality counter-service restaurant and fun pools, Art of Animation is a great place to spend a trip.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10

Have you stayed at Art of Animation?  What are your thoughts and questions on the resort?  Let us know in the comments!  Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney, if you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages.  You can do both of those things on the right side of this page.  Have a great day!

– Andrew

14 replies »

  1. We haven’t stayed at Art of Animation, but walked around it while staying at Pop. It’s a pleasant walk between the hotels, and my then-fiance and I spent a nice morning taking “just engaged” photos around Art of Animation! The Finding Nemo pool looked VERY impressive. And of course we just love the oversized statues. I was totally in love with the Lion King section, with Finding Nemo being a close second.

    We checked out the food court but didn’t eat there. It looked really nice and I made a mental note that there were lots of options that I would enjoy if we stayed there in the future.

    We are heading back to Disney in September 2018 and it’s a toss-up between splurging on a Lion King Suite or saving literally $1000 and staying at All Star Movies….We’re going with another couple, so I don’t have a whole lot of say…but man I really don’t want to stay at an All Star resort….but then again….$1000…ahhh!!

    • Yeah, that’d be a tough choice. If I was you I’d push for the All-Stars and then stay at a nicer place for 2 or 3 nights at the end of your stay. That way it’d still be a decent amount cheaper and you could see more. Even though I liked Art of Animation, I’d put almost every moderate and deluxe above it.

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