Reasons to Love and Those to Skip Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

So, you’re going to visit the Walt Disney World Resort? But where will you choose to stay? With twenty-two Disney Resort hotels to choose from, you have quite a decision to make. Location and theming are things to consider when deciding the Disney Resort hotel to stay in.

Cost can also play a large part in your decision. To help with this, Disney Resort hotels are split into three categories. Value Resorts are the cheapest of the Walt Disney World hotels to stay in; there are five to choose from. Moderate Resorts offer mid-range accommodations to Disney Guests; there are also five Disney hotels in this category. The most expensive Disney Resort hotels are classed as Deluxe Resorts. There are twelve Deluxe Resorts. Most of the Deluxe Resorts have sections that are part of the Disney Vacation Club. These sections offer Studios and Deluxe Villas.

So, you’re considering Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? Then you’ll want the 411. The information, the lowdown on this Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Let’s take a look at all that this Disney Value Resort has to offer. We’ll also share the reasons why we love to stay here, but also the reasons why we’d choose another Disney hotel.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the fifth Disney Value Resort to be opened in Walt Disney World. It opened its doors to Guests in 2012. Located near Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Disney Resort sits on the shores of Hourglass Lake, across from Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Credit: Park Savers

Surprisingly, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort wasn’t originally planned to be what it is now. In fact, the area that it occupies was set to be part of Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The Resort would be made up of ten sections. Each section would celebrate a different decade of the 20th century. The buildings, now themed after Disney movies, were initially meant to be part of the ‘Legendary Years’ of Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The ‘Classic Years’ still feature at the Disney Value Resort.

The September 11, 2011 events paused all work on the development of Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Unfortunately, the economy was in decline, and the tourism industry slowed. The Walt Disney Company continued to work on the ‘Classic Years’, while the ‘Legendary Years’ were left untouched. Disney’s Pop Century Resort – The Classic Years opened in 2003.

In 2010, The Walt Disney Company finally revealed plans for the ‘Legendary Years’ section. This would become a brand-new Disney Resort hotel, Disney’s Art of Animation. One area of the Resort would remain in a similar style to the blocks in Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The Little Mermaid (1989) would offer standard Guest rooms with exterior hallways. Meanwhile, the other blocks would occupy family suites accessed by interior hallways.


Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is designed with families in mind. Four Disney movies feature heavily around the Resort. The Little MermaidThe Lion King (1994), Finding Nemo (2003), and Cars (2006) inspire one of the four sections of the Disney Resort hotel. Giant models of favorite Disney characters from the movies can be found around the Disney hotel, similar to those seen at Disney’s All-Star Resorts and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Art of Animation Characters
Credit: Trip Advisor

Animation Hall is where Guests check in, speak to the concierge, dine, and shop. The interior of Animation Hall is bright and spacious. Guests can sit on cushioned seats while waiting to talk to Cast Members. Alternatively, they can admire the many sketches of Disney characters that cover the walls. The Ink & Paint Shop offers a wide range of Disney merchandise, including Resort-exclusive merchandise. The quick-service dining location is accessed through the gift store and is known as Landscape of Flavors. 


There are 1,984 rooms in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Eight hundred sixty-four of these rooms offer the standard Value Resort layout, located in The Little Mermaid section. Meanwhile, the other 1,120 rooms are family suites that provide enough space for up to six quests. The family suites are themed after CarsThe Lion King, or Finding Nemo, depending on the section the Guest room is in. Family suites include two bathrooms and a small kitchen area with a sink, microwave, fridge, and coffee maker.

Finding Nemo Family Suite
Credit: Flickr


Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is centrally located in the Walt Disney World Resort. Therefore, Guests only have a short journey to any of the Disney Parks, including Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests have access to the Walt Disney World Transportation System buses. The bus stop is located just outside of Animation Hall. If you wish to travel to Disney Springs or a Disney water park, go to the bus stop outside Animation Hall.

Despite being a Disney Value Resort, Guests of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort also have access to another mode of Disney transport. Guests can access the Disney Skyliner from the Disney hotel. The station is located on the bridge that crosses Hourglass Lake and connects the Resort to Disney’s Pop Century Resort. 

The Disney Skyliner provides easy access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. While a change of line is required at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to travel to either theme park, Guests can take a break from the Disney buses.


Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has one dining location, Landscape of Flavors. However, this quick-service restaurant is one of the best on Disney property. This is where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Dishes are inspired by American favorites and other cuisines from around the world. 

Landscape of Flavors
Credit: Trip Advisor

If you need a beverage to keep you hydrated by the pool, stop by The Drop Off Pool Bar. Specialty cocktails, frozen drinks, non-alcohol specialties, and beer are available to order throughout the day. A selection of snacks is available to purchase too. It’s always time for a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, right?


Guests have three pools to choose from when staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Each pool has a lifeguard on duty. There are also plenty of sun loungers and chairs in each pool area.

The main pool area is The Big Blue Pool. Find this outside of Animation Hall, in the middle of the Finding Nemo section. The Big Blue Pool is the largest pool throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and contains over 308,527 gallons of water. It is zero-entry and is where the daily poolside entertainment takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Little ones can play at the Schoolyard Sprayground, surrounded by their favorite Finding Nemo characters.

Guests of The Little Mermaid section will find the Flippin’ Fins Pool outside their block. It contains 103,642 gallons of water and is surrounded by the ‘Under the Sea Orchestra’. If you’re looking for a pool to relax at, then you’ll want to visit the Cozy Cone Pool. Located in the Cars section, this is a smaller, 74,740-gallon pool area. Guests can take shade in cone-shaped cabanas.

Cozy Cone Pool
Credit: Disney

Complimentary Recreation

Are you looking to relax while having fun? There are plenty of recreational activities at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. 

The Righteous Reef Playground is located in the Finding Nemo courtyard. Younger Guests can climb, slide and play in a themed playground while adults rest. 

Runners can keep working on their fitness when staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Follow a scenic 1.38-mile trail around the edge of the Resort. Alternatively, make your way across the bridge to Disney’s Pop Century to add more miles to your run. If you’re not a runner but want to burn off some of those Disney snacks, Guests can also enjoy a family wellness dance class. Stop by The Lion King section on Friday mornings, starting at 9 a.m.

Guests of Disney Resort hotels will enjoy campfires and Movies under the Stars during their Disney vacation. The nightly Campfire at Pride Rock takes place between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in The Lion King section. Movies under the Stars are shown at 7:30 p.m. each evening at The Big Blue Pool. An additional film is also shown in Animation Hall on a Friday evening. 

Credit: V Mills

Evening entertainment is available at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Put your Disney knowledge to the test at The Drop Off Pool Bar. Nighttime Trivia takes place at 7 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Guests of all ages can also enjoy Bedtime Stories inside Animation Hall. Stop by at 7 p.m. on a Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night.

Other Recreation

The Pixel Play Arcade is open daily to enjoy your favorite arcade games. Find the arcade inside of Animation Hall. All arcade games are available to enjoy for an additional cost. 

Do you enjoy a little craft? Then you’ll want to take part in the following activities at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort:

  • Artists of Animation – You paint your masterpiece by taking guidance from an artist. Coffee and dessert are included. Join in the fun on Tuesdays at 12 p.m. in Animation Hall.
  • Fish are Friends Aquariums – this signature craft is available on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 2:30 p.m.
  • Mickey Tie-Dye – create your own tie-dye masterpiece on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

The craft activities are available at an additional cost. Stop by the front desk to sign up for the activity of your choice.

Up-to-date activities and times are detailed on the Disney Resort activities calendar. Check this out upon arrival at the Walt Disney World Resort. Activities calendars are updated each week of the month.

Reasons Why We Love Staying Here

So why do we love to stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? 

  • Theming – the detail throughout the Resort is truly immersive. This extends into the Guest rooms and the pool areas. We love to stop by the giant Disney characters for photos. The theming also makes the Resort a beautiful place to explore. 
  • Family suites – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is one of two Disney hotels to offer family suites. The other Resort is Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. The family suites are perfect for larger families, offering living space. Additionally, Guests can choose to dine in their hotel room, having access to a small kitchen area.
  • Disney Skyliner – having access to another mode of Disney transport other than the Disney buses is excellent. It offers variety in the way Resort Guests travel around Walt Disney World.
Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney
  • Close proximity to Disney’s Pop Century Resort – Guests can easily access two different quick-service restaurants when staying in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. This can provide a little variety in dining options without having to venture outside your Resort throughout your stay.

Reasons Why We Choose To Stay Elsewhere

There are, however, some reasons we’d choose to stay in another Disney hotel. These include:

  • Price – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the most expensive Disney Value Resort to stay at. Unless you wish to stay in a family suite, we recommend staying in Disney’s Pop Century Resort or Disney’s All-Star Resorts while saving a little money. Alternatively, Guests may find that they can stay in a Disney Moderate Resort for a similar price to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. We’d definitely prefer to stay in a more luxurious Resort if the price is right. Generally, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts can be in the same price range as Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. 
  • The Little Mermaid section is located the furthest away from Animation Hall. As such, Guests staying in the standard Guest rooms will have a fair distance to walk to the restaurant, shop, and bus station.
  • Younger Guests – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort appeals to families because of its theming. As such, there are likely to be a lot of younger Guests around this Disney Resort. So, if you’re traveling with other adults, you may wish to stay elsewhere.

What are your thoughts on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? Will you choose to stay here during a future Disney vacation? Or is this one of your favorite Resorts to stay at when taking a Disney vacation?

Wherever you choose to stay, you’re sure of a magical Disney experience. Should you choose to stay elsewhere, you can still visit Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. You don’t want to miss out on the beautiful theming of this Disney Resort.

Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!

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