Bright, fun, playful and inspiring the artist in all of us Disney’s Art of Animation resort hotel is a value resort that makes a great vacation.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Review
Quintessential Disney with animated scenes all around this hotel is enjoyable for Disney lovers of all ages. The rooms are clean and comfortable.
The themes are fun and recognizable while offering a getaway on a budget. My first visit was on a girls trip with a couple kids and I would love to bring my family back again. Our group highly recommends this hotel and it is personally one of my favorites!
There are four main movies represented at this resort including The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, The Lion King and Cars.
Also known as AofA as an online abbreviation Art of Animation makes a great vacation destination whether you visit a park or not.
No matter where your room is the entire resort is fun to explore as there are larger than life characters and movie scenes around every turn.
Pop Century is a sister resort to Disney’s Art of Animation and shares a stop on the skyliner as well as the layout of rooms and three pools.
Art of Animation is unique in that there are several family suites where Pop Century and the All-Stars value resorts have standard rooms.
Being very popular they often sell out early and fully sell out. This means that early checkin may be logistically difficult to accommodate even if they are willing to be flexible on the 3 p.m. checkin policy.
A True Disney Experience
Aesthetics are fun and very well thought out. The Disney attention to detail is notable!
Just walking in the lobby and seeing the beginning of sketches is fun.
As you walk toward the desk you notice the progression of drawing and being colored in.
The details are stunning and oh so fun to take in.
Keep going and you’ll see the hotel specific gift shop that leads into the cafeteria.
This is a huge resort that can easily take 10 to 15 minutes to walk from one side to another.
Be sure to check the map and take in the different sections of the hotel.
Little Mermaid Rooms at Art of Animation
Art of Animation has two queen beds in each room unless you book a suite which has room for 6 guests. The suites have one queen bed, one double bed that converts to a table and one double sized fold out sleeper sofa.
While the theme is wonderful in each room at this hotel we appreciate that there are two queen sized beds making it easy to sleep four people.
My daughter chose her bed because one has a mermaid tale by the headboard.
The art on the wall does vary a bit from room to room.
There is a curtain to separate the sink area from the sleeping area. A decent sized closet and a few hangers are next to the sink with a shelf over head.
The bathroom is separated by a door with a super cute Aerial shower curtain and themed tiles surround the bathtub and shower combination.
I appreciate the extra space in a queen bed over the full size beds in the All Stars value resorts.
While pricing changes based on demand at different times of the year most of the time it is cheaper to get two adjoining rooms than one suite. But each party should evaluate their own needs and goals before making a decision.
Pools At the Art of Animation
The main pool is themed like Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. There are even seagulls that squawk on occasion.
Each afternoon Disney cast members come out and do pool games as part of recreation. The tone of this large pool is busy, loud, full of music, action and lots of people.
In the Cars wing is a rainbow shaped small pool that is calm and quiet with a low capacity. There is plenty of seating if you like to sunbathe by this pool.
A medium sized pool in the Little Mermaid section is also more quiet as there is not music always playing.
Typically the crowd is lower allowing for a more calm and relaxing atmosphere.
Be sure to keep an eye out for fun details around the pools We spotted these cute towel figures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Next to each pool is a restroom, shower, changing area and laundry area.
I like to swim and relax and casually do some laundry which costs around $8 – $9 per load. You will need a cell phone and credit card or Apple Pay to get the machines to work.
I was surprised that magic bands didn’t do anything to help in the laundry area.
Art Of Animation Refrigerator
Hidden in the chest of drawers under the television the mini fridge is fun to get into.
The mini fridge is for keeping drinks cool and I would not recommend putting raw meat or other highly perishable items in this fridge.
This is the first mini fridge I’ve had a Disney that didn’t have a freezer in the upper corner.
Cafeteria style food is available for all meals and for extended hours. There is very good food including gluten free options.
We enjoy the mickey waffles for breakfast. My daughter and I can also easily split this breakfast to save money.
I’m impressed that there is always a dessert case with theme specific items that fit the season or
Some adults will order a kids meal to save money. I find sharing meals and adding snacks that we packed is a better fit for our family portion size and budget.
My daughter enjoyed getting the soft pretzels to take out and enjoy pool side.
The pizza is actually a super slice cut in half and packaged to go outside and enjoy.
Note that there are sensors on the cups and you’re only allowed 3 refills in a 2 to 4 hour period of time. After that the fountain drink machine will not work.
Is This A Skyliner Resort?
Art of Animation is a sister resort to Disney’s Pop Century. These two hotels flank the starting point of the sky liner.
On a Monday in late September it took our party 20 minutes to get on the skyliner as the lines were very long at 7:30 a.m.
To get to EPCOT or Hollywood Studios you ride to Caribbean Beach Resort then transfer.
We left our room at 7:30 a.m. and got off the skyliner at Epcot at 8:23 a.m.
In an effort to go in the International Gateway for early entry there was already a very long line for Ratatouille. We waited in a long line and didn’t get off the ride until 9:27 a.m.
The Cars Movie Wing
A true Disney special the sidewalk is a road complete with jokes on signs along the road.
Different sections in the Cars wing create lots of photo opportunities.
How To Get From Art of Animation to Magic Kingdom
There is free bus transportation from Art of Animation to the Magic Kingdom, but it can take 45 minutes to an hour, especially at busy times.
I would consider using a ride share service to get to park opening sooner if waiting in long bus lines is difficult. Know that Uber and Lyft have surge pricing around park opening and closing, so be sure that it fits in your budget.
The cost of the buses is included in your room charge. Plan to wait in lengthy lines while scooters and wheel chairs are loaded first prior to other guests to ensure space is available for them.
In late September 2023 there were 3 buses loading at the same time to get to the Magic Kingdom on a Wednesday and we still waited 20 to 30 minutes to board around 7:30 a.m.
How To Get to Disney Springs
The internal Disney bus system works well, but check the screens at the bus stop ahead of time. Especially at slower points in the day you may have to wait 30 minutes on a bus, so taking a ride share may make more sense.
The bus times are also available in the app.
Are The Pools Heated?
All Disney pools are heated to around 80°F, but the air temperature will play a big factor in whether you want to get in the pool or not.
The air temp was around 70°F the first day of our visit in late September making the pool feel pretty cold. As the sun came out later in the trip the pool was more enjoyable.
Recreation and Drawing Classes
There are a variety of recreation activities that change on a monthly basis. Some are free and some have an additional cost.
Free drawing or sketching classes are no longer available at Art of Animation as they have been in the past.
More Articles About Our Disney Vacations
Port Orleans Riverside is a moderate resort that adds a third fold-out bed in the room that’s great for little kids and a party of 5.
It took us over an hour to get to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue from AofA, but we had an enjoyable show.