Thinking about staying at Disney’s Art of Animation resort? Here’s everything you need to know!
Posts about Art of Animation:
Resort category: value
Theme: Disney and Pixar films (Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Cars, The Little Mermaid)
Opening Date: May 31, 2012
Room types: standard, family suites
Room capacity: 4 adults (standard), 6 adults (suites)
Number of rooms: 984
Price range: $150-600/night
Transportation: bus, skyliner
Location: Wide World of Sports resort area
Address: 1850 Animation Way, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8400
Phone number: (407) 938-7000
Location of Art of Animation
Disney’s Art of Animation resort is located in what is called the “Wide World of Sports” area. It is very close to the ESPN wide world of sports, which is where many youth sports competitions happen as well as other events, including RunDisney race expo/bib pick-up. In terms of theme parks, Art of Animation is closest to Hollywood Studios and then Epcot, both of which are accessible by Skyliner. Magic Kingdom is the furthest theme park.
Art of Animation resort map
Rooms at Art of Animation
There are 3 different room categories available at Art of Animation:
- Standard room (Little Mermaid theme)
- Preferred family suites (Finding Nemo theme)
- Family suites (Lion King or Cars theme)
Amenities include hairdryer, free wifi, in-room safe, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, mini fridge.
Art of Animation dining
Landscape of Flavors
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
American food court – waffles, breakfast platters, burgers, chicken, pizza, pasta, salad
Fan favorite food items at Landscape of Flavors: shrimp and grits, burgers, s’mores cookie
The Drop-Off Pool Bar
Price of Art of Animation
Pricing varies based on the season. Disney’s Art of Animation is considered a value resort, but a standard room at the rack rate can range anywhere from $185-370/night. Family suites are priced higher. Lower prices may be found is a discount is available (generally when Disney releases resort discounts, we see a lot of savings for the family suites at Art of Animation but not the standard rooms). Here is some sample pricing for 2024 for a standard room and a family suite (cost listed is per night):
Standard Little Mermaid Room:
- Early February 2024: $185
- Early May 2024: $250
- Late July 2024: $270
- Early September 2024: $215
- Early December 2024: $275
- Late December 2024: $370
- Early February 2024: $450
- Early May 2024: $525
- Late July 2024: $550
- Early September 2024: $450
- Early December 2024: $555
- Late December 2024: $780
Pools, recreation, and activities
Art of Animation resort has 3 pools. The feature pool, called “The Big Blue Pool,” is the single largest pool at Walt Disney World. It’s Finding Nemo themed, and be sure to listen carefully if you go underwater – you just might hear from your favorite Nemo characters! This area also has a Schoolyard Sprayground with some jets and fun water features. There is a Nemo-themed playground nearby as well.
In the Cars area you’ll find the Cozy Cone pool, and over by the Little Mermaid rooms you can make use of the Flippin’ Fins pool.
Righteous Reef playground – a small, fun playground area by the Finding Nemo Big Blue Pool with slides, climbing, and more.
Jogging trail – walk or jog using the loop around Hourglass Lake for a 1.38 mile trail. Be sure to keep a look out for the fun facts posted about The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Little Mermaid!
Things to do at Art of Animation resort:
Poolside activities – offered daily, these may include things like trivia, games, pool parties, and more!
Pixel Play Arcade – inside the main Animation Hall building you’ll find an arcade with classic and new video games to play.
Campfire Activities – head to a campfire by Pride Rock happening most nights. Bring your own s’mores ingredients or purchase a s’mores making kit there.
Movies Under the Stars – almost every evening a different Disney movie is shown on a large screen by the Big Blue pool. An activity schedule is provided at the resort to let you know what movies will be playing and what other activities may be happening.
Transportation options from Art of Animation
There are two main forms of Disney included transportation at Art of Animation– the Disney buses or the Skyliner gondolas. Buses go to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom regularly throughout the day. The Skyliner runs continuously to Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Buses also run to Hollywood Studios and Epcot on a reduced schedule (usually once per hour).
Pros and Cons of Art of Animation
- Has family suites that sleep up to 6 people
- The most “Disney” themeing of any resort
- Skyliner transportation
- More affordable than moderate or deluxe
- More compact than moderate resorts and easier to walk around
- Pools don’t have extras like water slides, hot tubs, etc.
- Most expensive of the value resorts
- standard rooms usually don’t qualify for any discounts or promos
- further way from Magic Kingdom than many other resorts
Benefits to staying at Art of Animation resort
- Theme park early entry
- included Disney transportation to/from the parks
- Magic bands available at discounted prices
- Disney dining plan can be added
- Book individual lightning lanes on Genie+ at 7am, before off-property guests
- More park pass reservation availability for Disney resort guests
- Fun Disney themeing
- Family suites provide more space
Is Art of Animation a good resort?
Everyone’s definition of “good” is different, and I’ll get into who I think Disney’s Art of Animation resort is best for in the section below. However, I think Art of Animation is a really good resort overall for a number of reasons: a major one being that it is an official, on property Disney resort. That means it has extra benefits non-Disney hotels won’t have, like early entry, and transportation constantly running to and from the theme parks. That’s a big one – many off-site resorts advertise free shuttles but they only run once or twice a day. Art of Animation has buses and/or the Skyliner running to all 4 parks continuously. It has fun Disney themeing, it’s bright and colorful, and very kid-friendly.
Who is Art of Animation best for?
In general I recommend Disney’s Art of Animation resort for a few different kinds of people:
- Those with younger kids (or big kids/adults!) who really love Disney characters and will be in awe of the themeing
- Families who might want the family suite option
- People on a budget who don’t necessarily want the cheapest option, but aren’t looking to spend deluxe level money
There are two things which make Art of Animation stand out against most other Disney resorts – the theme and the family suites. It is the most Disney out of any of the resorts, and if you and/or your kids love Disney movies, it’s beautiful and immersive. It kind of feels like you are still in the theme parks both walking around the resort and even back in your room! I really love all of the details they included here.
It also has the family suite option, which sleeps up to 6 people. This is huge for those who won’t fit in a standard 4 person room! The suites have the advantage of a separate bedroom and two bathrooms so you’ll have more space. Even for families of 4 who may have older kids and want a little more space, or groups of 3-4 adult friends will love the extra space you have here.
If you’re looking to save money Art of Animation can be a good option for larger families. The suites often qualify for discounts and promos, so you may even be able to save after booking. The standard rooms are the most expensive out of the standard value resorts, so unless you really love the themeing and the Little Mermaid you might want to look at Pop Century if you’re on a budget, or a moderate resort for a small amount more.
Compared to other Disney resorts
In terms of the other value resorts, Art of Animation is definitely a standout. It edges out the All-Star resorts of a number of reasons – the Disney themes, it has the skyliner access, and it doesn’t share its bus transportation with any other resorts. Since it is walkable to Pop Century and has access to those perks as well, like the food court, that also provides more value. It is very “Disney” and it’s done well. The price is slightly higher than the other value resorts, but this may be worth it for many. Compared to a standard room at Pop Century, Art of Animation is more expensive. The main reasons why someone might want to stay in a standard room at Art of Animation is if they are really big Little Mermaid fans, or they don’t like the set-up at Pop Century with the murphy bed (Art of Animation still has the standard 2 bed setup to sleep up to 4).
Compared to the moderate and deluxe resorts, Disney’s Art of Animation resort doesn’t have near the amount of amenities those other resorts have. Just a few of the differences include bigger rooms, access to pools with hot tubs, slides, and more activities, more restaurants and bars on location, (sometimes) better transportation options, and more nuanced themeing. However, the prices are also higher compared to Art of Animation.
If you’re looking at a time period where a standard room at Art of Animation costs around $225/night, expect the All Star resorts to be around $170/night and the standard rooms at Pop Century near $200/night. To compare, a moderate like Caribbean Beach may sit around $300/night, while deluxe resorts range from $420-700/night (for more affordable deluxe resorts like Old Key West up to the super popular ones such as the Contemporary). Family suites typically are around $400/night.
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Best room numbers to request
Keep in mind that the type of room you book will affect where you are located in the resort. The standard rooms are all in The Little Mermaid section, which is the furthest from the main building. The Finding Nemo suites are closest and as a result they have the highest prices. When you book your room you can make all sorts of requests, including which floor you’d prefer to be on, what sort of view you might like, if you want to be near the elevators, etc. These requests are not guaranteed but Disney will do their best to honor them if possible.
A few suggestions:
- If you are booked in a standard room, request building 7 to be closest to the main hall.
- If you want it to be as quiet as possible, request a high floor and non-pool view facing.
- The Finding Nemo suites (preferred suites) are closest to the Skyliner and the main building. You can indicate during online check-in if you want to be near the Skyliner or main building.
- If you have several preferences, note which one is most important: a ground floor lake view room in the Lion King section may not have many options and may not be accommodated, but if you note that being on the ground floor is more important than the view or the building then that request will be more likely to be met.
- If you are traveling in a group and want connecting rooms, make that your #1 priority.
- Keep in mind that all requests are just that – requests. Nothing is guaranteed (unless it’s something like a preferred room that you paid more for).
Have you stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation resort? How do you like it?