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We’ve come to have the same general expectations out of the rooms at a value Disney resort – two queen beds or one king, living and sleeping space in one, split bathroom area with a door for the toilet and shower and a privacy curtain separating it from the rest of the room. You might have a murphy bed or a bit of hanging space, but for the most part it’s a standard hotel type situation.
One of the things of Disney’s Art of Animation that sets it apart from the other value resorts is the rooms.
While one section of the resort does have that standard value style room, the rest follow a model Disney calls family suites.
Originally at Disney’s All-Star Music resort, family suites provide extra space for those travelling with kids or a larger group, but at a more affordable price than some of the deluxe resorts or villas.
Now, that doesn’t make these rooms cheap, but it does cut the cost in half compared to a one-bedroom suite at a deluxe resort. You are also giving up some of the amenities of the deluxe resorts, and the rooms reflect that.
However, if you’re travelling with kids or not spending a ton of time in the rooms, Art of Animation is a perfect fit!
Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation
Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
If you know the history of Disney’s Art of Animation, you know that originally was supposed to be the second section of Disney’s Pop Century Resort across the lake. However, with the attacks on September 11, the tourism industry in Florida took a hit. As a result, the project stalled out, leaving the partially completed buildings sitting there like a ghost town.
Around a decade later, after the success of the family suites at All-Star Music, Disney decided to revisit this area and convert it into a new resort – Disney’s Art of Animation.
However, since a section of the resort had already been built in the same value-room style over at Pop Century, rather than gut those buildings and begin again they keep a block of standard rooms. These rooms make up the Little Mermaid area over at Art of Animation.
Standard Room Amenities
Much like Pop Century, the buildings of rooms at Art of Animation have a T-shape, with the flat part of the T facing in towards one another. These rooms also have the exterior hallway seen at other Disney resorts, rather than entering a building and then coming to the door of your room. Because of this, the decoration on the outside of the buildings is a bit different, and again is similar to the Pop Century and All-Star buildings.
The Little Mermaid area has its own pool, the Flippin’ Fins pool, with a larger-than-life Ariel and all her friends surrounding the space. You feel like another fish or sea creature, splashing around and having fun under the sea! Some of the rooms do face the pool, with others facing the courtyards or parking lots. Unlike other resorts, Art of Animation does not have the choice of pool or preferred rooms when booking. If you want to request a particular room location, you will need to call 407-934-7639.
In the rooms themselves, you’ll find the following:
- Internet – Free WiFi Service
- Coffee Maker
- Telephone with voicemail
- In-Room Safe
- Iron & Ironing Board
These amenities are standard for Disney’s value resorts, providing easy conveniences for the morning in terms of making a quick meal or coffee to get you out the door. You can also store items in the safe you don’t want to leave out or unattended – I know I’ve left my wedding rings off and in the safe while at a water park.
Again, in a value room at a value resort, you’re going to get what you pay for. However, that doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing comfort or quality.
Art of Animation Standard Rooms Layout
In the Little Mermaid standard rooms, you have the option between one king bed or two queen beds, sleeping a maximum of four adults. If you’re travelling as a single or a couple, I always recommend going with the king bed option. You get more living space and more bed space, so where’s the downside? Also in the living area you have a small table and chair set, your dresser with flat-screen TV, and a multi-peg hanging space (usually in the shape of a helpful octopus!).
We’re staying at Art of Animation, got the Little Mermaid room pic.twitter.com/b9XDGJiK91— Nick (@Nick_HBS) June 7, 2021
In the bathroom, you’ll see the typical split-bath setup. The sink and vanity are in one area, separated from the beds by a privacy curtain. The bathroom mirror has plenty of light, and an attached backlit makeup mirror if needed. This is also where you’ll find the hairdryer should you need it, along with some small drawer space for your toiletries. Through the bathroom door you’ll find the shower and bathtub combo, as well as the toilet.
Fitting with the style of the rooms at Art of Animation, every aspect of the space fits with the Little Mermaid theme. The walls and floor have a beautiful blue tone to mimic the sea, while the other decorations incorporate seashells and marine life. A coral motif surrounds the bathroom mirror, and the furniture in the room has a vintage look as though they were found by Ariel in a shipwreck. Ariel herself is on the shower curtain, before revealing her grotto on the shower walls. If you have mermaid-lovers in your group, you might want to consider these rooms!
See a full view of the Little Mermaid rooms with this video!
Art of Animation Family Suites
The remaining three sections of rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation all use the family suite model. This type of room allows for a maximum of six adults all in one space, while providing living spaces that are more distinctive and additional bathroom space. Disney found success with these suites for families with younger children, or even older kids that need a bit more room. Additionally, the incredible theming of each area brings a beloved Disney film to life, perfect for your little Mousketeers.
Family Suite Amenities
All the rooms in the Art of Animation family suite blocks have the same basic amenities:
- Internet – Free WiFi Service
- Telephone with voicemail
- Iron & Ironing Board
- Coffee Maker
- In-Room Safe
You’ll notice that they are similar to the amenities in the standard rooms, with the addition of a microwave and a kitchenette. At the same time, don’t underestimate what that extra sink and microwave can do for you. A microwave means that you can heat up quick meals in your room, leading to a hot breakfast or quick lunch. You can even bring leftovers back from a previous table service meal, and eat those! That is such a money saver, one that I personally have used, and it also cuts down on food waste.
Layout of the Art of Animation Family Suite Rooms
Even though the décor is different in each section, the layout of the family suites follows the same basic floor plan. When you walk in, there is a small eat-at table with chairs, which converts into another bed in the evening. Since it is a murphy bed, there are two bedside cubbies with chargers that you can use, or you can utilize them for extra storage.
To the right is the first of two full bathrooms with a separate sink and bathing area. This has a shower and tub combination, which is great for families with young kids. Both entrances to this bathroom have pocket doors, which helps save space and prevents your kiddos from whacking one another with the door.
Connected to the eating area and the bathroom is the living room, where you’ll find the kitchenette along with your sofa (which unfolds into a queen bed) as well as a TV. Other touches, like chairs and end tables, vary from section to section based on the décor. You also have a hanging space with drawers in the living room, so if this is where one or two people are sleeping they can unpack their things.
Finally, is the bedroom and attached second full bath. The bedroom has the only official bed in the suite, which is queen-sized, as well as its own TV and dresser. You also have a hanging area for clothes, although there isn’t a full closet. Connected to the bedroom is the bathroom, which replicates the decorative style of the first bath. However, instead of a shower and tub combo, you have a walk-in shower. The sink and shower are also all in one space here rather than separated, although the vanity is larger than in the first bathroom.
Lion King Family Suites
What really sets the suites apart from one another is the decoration. Again, the rooms at Art of Animation bring you into the world of the movie. Therefore, in the Lion King section, every aspect of the room is a rich color, using jungle and savanna plants along with your favorite characters. The showers both have gorgeous sunrise murals, an homage to the opening scene of the film, with Timon and Pumbaa on the shower curtain in the first bathroom.
Much of the furniture has a beautiful zebra wood quality, a neutral but fun contrast to the brighter elements of the room. When you fold down the table bed, Simba sleeps peacefully in a jungle hammock, watching over your little ones while they rest. The dresser tops look like leafy green foliage, and the headboard of the bed features a moment from the iconic song, I Just Can’t Wait to be King.
In the courtyard outside the rooms, statues of your favorite characters stand majestically on Pride Rock or skulk amongst the Elephant Graveyard. The Elephant Graveyard is also a play area, with tunnels and areas for your kids to run around. This is the only section without a pool, but the Big Blue Pool in the Nemo section is only a short walk away.
Check out this video to see a full walkthrough of the Lion King family suites!
Cars Family Suites
Over in the Cars section, you walk right into Radiator Springs to meet Lightening McQueen, Mator, and all their friends. Since the family suite buildings have internal hallways, the outside of the building has a flat canvas where the beauties of the Arizona landscape come to life. In the town, you’ll find places like Sarge’s Surplus Hut, Fillmore’s Organic Fuel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires, and even the Wheel Well Motel. In the center, the Cozy Cone Motel serves as the pool area, complete with cone-shaped cabanas where you can lounge in peace.
Images: Grace Hoyos
Speaking of cone-shaped, cones take on a central theme in the room itself. These rooms have interesting combination of car-themed amenities and nods to the three Cars films. The floor and furniture go with the idea of a car garage, while the bathrooms have a car-wash theme. The idea in these spaces is that you have become a car in this world, and so you would appreciate these components.
On the top of the nightstands and dressers, you might see postcards from Lightening and Mator as they travel around the country and to the World Grand Prix from the second film. Mator also is your sleeping companion in the table bed, snoozing under his towing and salvage sign. Don’t forget to look for artwork of your favorite Cars characters on the walls!
Finding Nemo Family Suites
The last of the Art of Animation rooms are the Finding Nemo family suites, which are the most expensive of the three sections. This is largely because of their central location within the resort and the proximity to the Big Blue Pool, which is the largest pool at Walt Disney World. If you were looking for some sort of preferred option, this would be your best bet.
From an amenity standpoint, the Finding Nemo space has the most to offer your kids. Not only is there an amazing zero-entry pool with fun sea creatures, but also at the one end of the pool complex is the Nemo splash zone. Your littles can stomp, splash, and play in the water and sprayers in this area without being overwhelmed by bigger kids in the pool. On the other end of the complex is Squirt’s Righteous Reef, an interactive playground perfect for an afternoon activity or your non-swimmers.
Finding Nemo Room Décor
These are actually the most subtle of the Art of Animation rooms, taking on a calmer atmosphere than the other two sections. Beautiful cool cools of blue and purple decorate the space, with pops of orange and other bright tones here and there. While you definitely see characters in the artwork, they don’t dominate the room. Predominately, the decorative features are ocean elements like coral and seaweed, although these take on more colorful hues than their real life counterparts.
In the bathroom, you shift into the submarine from the first movie, so it takes on more gray tones with some of the military components. No surprise, in the bathroom you find Bruce and his shark buddies – but remember, fish are friends, not food! Both bathrooms follow this theme, which is like the other suites.
Dozing above the table bed you’ll find Marling and Nemo, cozy in their sea anemone home. All the hard furniture, including the outside of the table bed, has a pretty blue background with coral and stylized versions of the characters in the foreground. Again, this makes you feel like you have become a fish yourself, swimming around in Nemo’s home.
Take a look at this video to get the full Finding Nemo experience!
Which of the Art of Animation Rooms to Choose?
This is always the question – how do I know which of the rooms is right for me? At Disney’s Art of Animation, deciding between rooms boils down to three basic questions.
1 – Am I Travelling with Kids?
If this is a solid yes, we recommend the family suites, unless your kids are little or dying to stay in the Little Mermaid rooms. Growing up, if my parents could have had the ability to get their own room, give my sister and me our own beds, and had a bathroom all to themselves, I’m willing to bet they would have done it.
Family suites, with their incredible decoration, also bring that each bit of magic that kids love. They will only be into this sort of thing for a period of time, so take advantage of it while you can.
2 – How Much Time am I Spending in the Room?
One of the times I recommend a value resort is when you know you aren’t going to be in the room a lot. Whether that’s because you’re going to be out at the pool, shopping and dining in Disney Springs, or going hard at the parks, there’s no reason to spend big bucks on a nice room that you’re primarily using to sleep. Again, the family suites are still the better option if you have kids, but if you’re just going as a couple cut your cost in half and book the standard rooms.
3 – What is My Budget?
Normally I would put this higher on the list, but at Art of Animation, the previous two points rank higher in terms of rooms. However, you don’t want to forget this piece. Even with children, you might find that the family suites are a bit out of budget. We get it – they can get up to $500 a night, which is hefty for a value resort. If that’s the case, go with the standard room and bunk your kids in the same bed. Again, you can only put four people in a standard room, so that might make your decision for you. On the other hand, if you’re trying to save money and everyone is down to share a bed, the standard rooms are the way to go.
What about Theming?
The obvious question in this instance is whether or not it matters which movie you get to “inhabit.” If yes, then let that help make your decision. If no, use these other factors to help narrow down your choice. At the same time, I get it – your daughter is obsessed with Simba, so staying in the Finding Nemo section is not going to work for you. Think about your family and their preferences, use our tips, and you won’t go wrong.
Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer
Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.