When we travel as a family, I do like to have lots of space for us in the hotel room. Having a suite is optimal for our comfort, but isn’t always possible on our budget. So when Walt Disney World announced that they were building a brand-new hotel in the value category that was going to offer a large number of suites, I thought it would definitely fill a huge void at the resort. This past weekend, as part of the New Fantasyland reveal media event, I had the opportunity to stay at the Art of Animation with my family, and it’s now our new favorite Disney hotel.
Theming at the Art of Animation
The Art of Animation celebrates Disney and Pixar animated films the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Cars, and Finding Nemo. Each of the four sections of the hotel are specific to each theme. All of the themed areas, with the exception of the Little Mermaid, offer all family suites (the Little Mermaid section has standard hotel rooms). The theming is fantastic, especially in the Cars section where you’ll really believe you are in Radiator Springs.
Our room was in the Lion King section, and the kids especially loved the bright colors and fun accents located throughout the suite. Their favorite was these adorable little tree trunk stools, which included the lyrics to two popular songs from the Lion King.
Amenities at the Art of Animation
Most of the action at the Art of Animation happens in Animation Hall, where you’ll find the hotel lobby, concierge, gift shop, and food court. Short animation classes are taught in an alcove off the lobby several times per day. The hotel also offers three pools, including the main pool – the Big Blue Pool – where you can actually hear music and sounds underwater. There’s also several guest laundry locations, and in-room pizza delivery is also available. There are kids activities throughout the day at the resort, and movies are shown nightly in the Lion King section of the hotel.
The Suites at the Art of Animation
Family suites at the Art of Animation include a main room with a pull-out couch and a pull-out murphy bed (that also doubles as a table). The main room also has a television, sink, microwave, and coffee maker. The bedroom offers a queen bed with a second television set. There are also two bathrooms, which definitely makes things easier for getting ready in the mornings.
The only downside to the Art of Animation is the location. It’s not particularly close to any of the four parks, which means you’ll need to take a Disney bus to each park. In our experience though, the buses did run frequently and are exclusive to the Art of Animation, so the wait isn’t too bad.
Check rates online at Hotels.com.
Disclosure: We received two nights’ complimentary accommodations at the Art of Animation (and a media rate for an additional two nights).
Article and photos by Jodi Grundig of Family Travel Magazine.