The Unforgettable Art of Animation
One of the first things to consider when planning your next trip to Disney World is where to stay. Value resorts provide many benefits such as their cost and kid friendly themes but also have a few drawbacks. Below you will find some of the pros and cons on Disney’s Art of Animation, one of two neighboring value resorts, that will hopefully help you in your decision-making process.
Pro: It’s a Value Resort
The category says it all! Disney’s Art of Animation is a value resort and one of the best bang for your buck places to stay while at Disney World. From the cost of the room to the food in the Landscape of Flavors, the value resorts help families that are sticking to a budget. Even at a lower price you are also still getting one of the more unique places to stay with themed rooms, access to the Skyliner and dedicated shuttles to each of the Disney parks.
Con: Tight Quarters in Standard Rooms
One downside of staying at Art is the size of its standard rooms. These rooms are in line with other value resorts. However, they do not provide much elbow room for families with older kids or friends traveling together. There’s not much space for groceries you might have ordered, or space to kick back during an off day besides in bed. These rooms also have one bathroom which may cause headaches for families getting ready for the day out at the parks or winding down for bedtime.
Pro: Character Themed Rooms and Grounds
The Art of Animation provides rooms themed after some of Disney’s most popular films; The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. Everything from the furniture to the walls and the carpet blend together to make these rooms some of the most magical in all of Disney World. Not only are the guest rooms themed, but the grounds around the builds are themed as well! You may run into Ariel and Flounder right outside your room.
Outside the buildings for the Lion King rooms you can find Rafiki waiting to greet you or Simba with his pals Timon and Pumba marching across a log. Also, thanks to Finding Nemo, you will find Disney World’s largest resort pool at the Art of Animation with The Big Blue Pool (as well as two other smaller pools located near the Little Mermaid area and Cars area). These added touches help immerse guests in the magic of Disney.
Con: Food Options
The Landscape of Flavors offers multiple choices at each meal, but these options are fairly limited if you are staying for more than a few days. You may find the food at a value resorts is less expensive as compared to Moderate and Deluxe Resorts, but you will also need to temper expectations for what is available. If your family enjoys sit down restaurants with a large menu or more fancy dishes you will want to eat while out at the parks. You could also take a shuttle or Skyliner to another resort for these types of meals. You can expect things such as hamburgers, pizza, pasta and sandwiches to be common findings on the menu while at Art.
Pro: Suites and Standards Rooms
In addition to the rooms being themed they also offer something the other value resorts do not, the option for family suite. The Little Mermaid Rooms are the only rooms at Art that are standard, while the other themed rooms are family suites. Ariel is waiting to greet you if you are lucky enough to snag one of her standard rooms, which include two double beds or one king per your selected preference.
The themed family suites offer two bathrooms, a kitchenette and separate bedroom. The shared space has a sleeper sofa and a hide away bed that pulls down from behind the dining table. Based on availability you can select between The Lion King, Cars or Finding Nemo for your stay. The suites are more expensive, they are the perfect fit for a family traveling with older kids or even a young family that brought the grandparents along for some Disney fun. The added kitchenette is perfect for preparing breakfast and having some space to store any groceries you might have ordered. You may end up saving money on snacks and meals with the added kitchenette, so you may be able to justify the added cost.
Con: Deals Go Quick!
The Art of Animation is a very popular resort, but you can sometimes find special offers. Other value resorts are included in special offers more frequently, and in some cases, the special offers available are only applicable to the family suites and not the standard rooms.
The downside is that unless you are quick to check availability once a new enticing offer starts, it may be hard to find a room during the offered dates. Whether its discounted tickets or free dining, many travelers are waiting for the next best deal to be offered by Disney and ready to book their trip. If you don’t react quick enough you may miss out on the deal or have to settle on unfavorable dates. This is another reason we recommend using a travel agent, as agents are the first to know when deals are available and are already in the system ready to help you update your existing reservation to take advantage of new offers or to let potential travelers know about sweet new deals.
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Pro: Just a Brief Walk from Pop Century
Another benefit of staying at Art is that is neighbors with the Pop Century Resort. If you are looking for a change of scenery or want to turn back time, you and the family can take a leisurely stroll across the walkway connecting these two resorts. Take a swim or check out the gift shop for unique toys and trinkets that can only be found at Pop.
Con: Cell Phone Reception
Cell phone reception at the Art of Animation is spotty at best. Inside your room it may be hard to have any signal, let alone one strong enough to make calls or get online. Reception is better once you are outside but can still be a struggle. If you plan on spending plenty of time at the resort and have the need to be online (whether for work, to keep in touch with family or just to feed your social media habits) it may be something to think about in your decision making process of where to stay. The resort does have Wifi but it is not the fastest or strongest signal you will find.
Disney’s Skyliner is a newly added form of transportation that can take you from the Art of Animation (or Pop Century) to two of Disney’s theme parks (Hollywood Studios and Epcot) or to visit either the Caribbean Beach Resort or Riviera Resort. The Skyliner is located on the walking bridge between Art and Pop. It takes you on a ride through the air in cabins themed after many of Disney’s most famous characters. This new form of transportation did have a few setbacks when it first launched in Fall 2019 but could be considered the most convenient and fun ways to get to these different parks and resorts.
Con: Longer Walks for Non-Preferred Rooms
Disney’s Art of Animation has a wide variety of rooms spread across numerous buildings. This can result in longer walks for those who do not pay a little extra for a preferred room near the pool and lobby. The Finding Nemo rooms are the closest to these amenities, as well as closest to the Skyliner. All of the others require at least a few minutes of walking to get where you need to go. In addition, those standard Little Mermaid rooms are the furthest away from everything leaving, families who are looking to save money with the longest hike throughout the day. If you are traveling with little kids, make sure to bring the stroller even if you are just heading to the Landscape of Flavors for a bite to eat.
Overall, the Art of Animation is one of our favorite resorts as a young family, especially when we bring the grandparents along for a few Disney thrills. Please share your Art of Animation experiences in the comments below! If you have questions or want help planning your next trip to the Art of Animation, please connect with us here.