When you’re bringing your family to Walt Disney World, Disney’s Art of Animation is the perfect resort with its family suites and budget friendly rates. This is Disney’s newest resort, with configurations including standard rooms and family suites. The kid-friendly room themes are Finding Nemo, the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, and Cars, and the resort is in the “value” category. Last month, I combined a multigenerational family vacation with a business retreat at Walt Disney World, with a one night stay at a family suite at the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Our flight landed in the wee hours of the morning in Orlando. After picking up our luggage, our entourage of 4 (me, 2 grandkids and my stepdaughter – her boyfriend had arrived earlier) trekked to the complimentary Disney’s Magical Express. Although our wait to board the bus was brief, we were the last drop off at about 1:30 am (one hour after we boarded the bus!). My exhausted grandkids quickly perked up with the fun lobby with animated characters from Disney Pixar movies lining the walls.
Prior to my arrival, I had downloaded the MyDisneyExperience app, added the names and birthdates of the hotel guests, as well as my credit card information. This process made my stepdaughter’s boyfriend’s earlier check-in and our late arrival quick and painless. Rather than a bellboy, the boyfriend escorted us to our room. A guide is definitely needed to get you to the right building in this sprawling landscaped courtyards and pool-lined resort.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Accommodations
Our Finding Nemo Family Suite was the perfect set-up for our family of 5, spacious accommodations for up to 6, and perhaps the best Disney resort for families.
We were able to spread out with the grandkids bunking out on the double-size sleeper sofa in the living room; the stepdaughter and her boyfriend on the double-sized convertible Table Bed; and me hunkering down in the queen-sized bedroom.
We had 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette. Our room overlooked one of the pools. After our late night, the kids somehow managed to sleep through the sound of children playing in the pool just outside our windows.
Amenities: Pools and more
My grandchildren are little fishies, and all I have to do is mention a pool and they are all in. This pool is actually the largest resort pool in Walt Disney World Resort, and the pools are village pods of waters, featuring the theme of Finding Nemo.
Our resort room was located next the interactive play area for little ones, with fun water features and the area also included a pool for “big kids.” In addition to complimentary life vests, lifeguards diligently policed all the pools, including ours, a great safety feature for the kids of all ages. Within minutes of jumping into the pool on our first day, the grandkids excitedly informed me that the pool featured underwater speakers, apparently a first for Disney Resort hotels — and a much different concept than when I stayed at Disney’s Boardwalk last year
In addition to the pool near our room, there are two more pools: Cozy Cone Pool, inspired by the Disney Pixar film Cars, and Flippin’ Fins Pool, featuring the “Under the Sea Orchestra” conducted by Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. My daughter and her boyfriend also took off to explore the other pools, discovering an adult area with a pool bar.
The budget friendly Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is amenity packed, from complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort to on-site laundry services. Three pools, a lively food court, an arcade, and a food court round out the amenities. In-room pizza delivery is also an option. The resort also offers animation classes with easels and instruction, and my entire family lined up for a chance to draw Nemo.
Transportation to Walt Disney World Parks
You will need to take a complimentary bus to all four parks. We were moving on to a stay at Disney’s Coronado Resort, which was near Hollywood Studios. Timing is everything as apparently we had just missed the bus to that theme park, and waited nearly 30 minutes for the next one.
I knew the grandkids would love the storybook landscapes of their favorite Disney movies, but surprisingly, my 20 year old stepdaughter and her boyfriend were equally enamored. The extra space for the 5 of us combined with the themed family suites, expansive pools, and magical service created the perfect first night’s stay. In my opinion, the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the best Disney Resort at Walt Disney World and A Magical Multigenerational Hotel.
Room Rates: From $115 USD per night for Little Mermaid Standard Room. Our Nemo Family Suite from $270 per night. Book directly online with Disney or try for a better rate at one of the booking sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com or Priceline.
Walt Disney World provided accommodations for my review; opinions expressed are my own. Photos Courtesy of Walt Disney World and Diana Rowe.