Right now you could venture into any retail store and find an assortment of school uniforms and aisles lined with notebooks and pencil boxes. But isn’t it only mid July? Personally, I hate that stores push school supplies on us when we are buying our grilling goodies for the 4th of July. It’s summer, my kids are out of school and we are enjoying the time we have together and for us,what better way to do that than to check out something new and exciting at Walt Disney World. This summer, Disney opened up a new resort that was at the top of our list so off we went to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The resort, which opened to guests on May 31st, is the newest addition to the “value” resort collection, providing families with spacious accommodations on a budget. Here you will find all the magic you expect from Disney and this resort, in a word, is AMAZING!
The resort is divided into 4 themed areas, Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid (each section will open in phases with Finding Nemo and Cars being the only two currently open). When complete, the resort will be home to 1,120 family suites and 864 themed standard rooms. All of the suites will sleep up to 6 guests and be located in the Finding Nemo, Cars and Lion King buildings. The enormous grounds immerse guests in the theme, making you feel like you are right inside the movies. We were able to spend the night in the Finding Nemo section and immediately fell in love with the resort. Each beautifully decorated suite boasts a separate living and dining area, kitchenette, bedroom and two full baths. The dining area proved to be a favorite since Ryan and Liam used the dining table to color and draw, to eat their snacks, and then to sleep! Yep, they slept on the table!!! No, not on the table but IN the table! With a quick pull on the convenient handles, the table folds into a bed. The Inova bed allows guests to have a convenient dining table during the day and a full size comfortable bed at night. My boys loved this and couldn’t wait to transform their table into a bed.
The focal point of the resort is the outstanding feature pool area, putting you right under the sea with Nemo and friends. The pool was designed to transport guests into the Big Blue World and is the largest resort pool on Walt Disney World property! The palms are leaning, giving the illusion of moving with the water, and the sea creatures are larger than life. Here you can check out Mr. Ray and hang ten with Crush. In between the two buildings you will find the zero-entry pool, with underwater speakers and a pool bar, a children’s splash area featuring Nemo and his fish friends and a dry play area where kids can crawl through caves and slide the day away with Squirt. Throughout the day, cast members play games, do crafts, and interact with guests at the main pool. In the evening, guests can relax in or out of the water to watch the “dive-in” movie. My kids loved feeling like they were under the sea.
The Cars portion of the resort puts your smack dab in the middle of Radiator Springs, with life-size models of the Cars characters. There are three buildings in this area bringing to life different aspects of the Cars world. There is a small pool appropriately named The Cozy Cone Pool, complete with cone-shaped pool cabanas. This Cars area seems perfectly themed for boys who are young, and young at heart. Even the sofas in the suites look like the back seat of a car! Disney really pulled out all the stops in the details, really bringing the world of Cars to life.
When we arrived for check-in, we were greeted by friendly cast members who directed us to the stunning lobby. The walls are full of artist drawings, a colorful ink and paint check-in area, and beautiful storyboards. For us, this is what Disney is all about. Colors, light, characters, artwork; it was awesome. The amazing attention to detail is found everywhere from the artists painting in the hallway of our building, the distinctly decorated food court, to the giant sketchpads adorning the building exteriors. Even though we did not see every area of the resort, we have no doubt that it will all be incredible.
During our stay, we enjoyed exploring the resort, splashing in the pool and play areas, dining at the Landscape of Flavors food court, and playing way too much in the arcade. Most of all, we enjoyed our suite. The artwork and detail were so cool even the kids took a turn at creating some artwork of their own. My husband and I loved relaxing in the room after a fun-filled day and the kids loved “finding Nemo” at bedtime (something they were told about at check-in). The Art of Animation resort really makes you feel like you’re a kid again and gives families the space they need to relax and unwind after a busy day at the parks. If you want a resort stay that really embodies what Walt Disney World is – the magic, the fun, the fantasy – then stay at The Art of Animation Resort!