Disney's Art of Animation Review

I realise I haven't actually blogged about Disney World for some time. I am actually coming up to my annual visit so I thought to get myself all excited I would return to Disney World posts! This time I am staying at the Caribbean Beach resort (slowly but surely making my way through them all!) but I have a feeling Art of Animation has stolen my heart! 

Me and my best friend stayed in Art of Animation last summer. I'll admit, I was pretty darn excited to stay here. Previously I had been a deluxe stayer, having stayed in deluxe rooms at Saratoga and Old Key West, the prospect of booking a value resort didn't put me off in the slightest, in fact I was MORE excited about the prospect of AoA.

Art of Animation is Disney's newest resort, having opened in 2012. The resort is heavily themed, inspired by some of Disney's best films - Finding Nemo, Cars, Little Mermaid and The Lion King. And this is what prompted us to book AoA - its built for big kids with larger than life characters at every turn and music from some of your favourites blaring out at every corner. We booked into the Little Mermaid themed rooms (because they were the cheapest but... come on THE LITTLE MERMAID) but AoA also offers suites for bigger families also.

First Impressions
I'm not even going to lie to you, when I stepped foot into the lobby (which in my opinion is one of the most exciting parts of the trip) I shed a tear. It was beautiful. Original artwork and sketches line the walls, "in the jungle" was subtly playing in the background and it was that very moment I knew I had found my "home" resort. People talked on Disney websites and forums about their home resorts (and I always thought mine would be the animal kingdom lodges) but I just knew this would never be topped. The atmosphere is alive and electric, everyone is happy and excited and every wall is lined with something fabulous to look at. The staff (as with every Disney resort) are amazingly helpful and made checking in (and out which was a huge huge problem as our transfer was 2 hours late picking us up on the way home!!) a breeze.

To get to our room, we had to walk through the other "areas" - Finding Nemo and Lion King. Its the best walk, I'm sure others will agree, with so much to look at. The Nemo pool area is incredible and by far the best pool at WDW. The Lion King area not only blares out songs from the movie (which I'm sure we can all agree on has the best songs) but has larger than life characters to take photos with and even an elephant graveyard to walk through. We loved it as mid 20 year old adults, so kids would go crazy I imagine. The Little Mermaid area is broken up into 4 parts, with a GIANT character on display to signify which area you are staying in. We were in King Tritons (sadly not Ursulas) on the ground floor, which suited us fine. It only took 10 minutes to walk to the buses so we were pretty made up!

The room
Our room while basic, was beautiful. We each had a double bed, which may I add was the comfiest damn bed I have stayed in on resort. The room was adorned with amazing theming, by far the best I have seen. Everything from our mirrors, to the bed spreads to the carpet to the darn shower curtain was perfectly themed, with added artwork of Prince Eric on the wall. It was love. We had everything we needed, a little fridge which fitted all our bottles of water, a little area to hang our clothes, we were pretty happy. I honestly had no complaints.

I was over the moon with the dining options at the resorts quick service restuarant Landscape of Flavours and am sad I didn't take any pictures. Everyday we had an amazing array of options, from salads and burgers to pizzas and curry! We had a crazy amount of choice and the eating area itself was a sight to behold. You could sit in any of the 4 areas, all themed like the resort itself (we always found ourselves in the Nemo area) It was a beautiful work of art, with so much to look at on the walls, ceilings and even the lights. Disney did a grand job (and can I say, the pizza was to DIE for).

Bus Service
I feel like the one thing that let AoA down was the bus service. Out of all of the resorts I had stayed at, AoA bus service always left us hanging. It felt like there just wasn't enough buses running both to and from the parks to accommodate the amount of people and when you did eventually get on one, you were packed like sardines. It was pretty annoying, so much so that one day me and Rose got a bus back to Pop Century (a walk away from AoA) so that we could just sit down! I think it needs some work, but upon coming back I did discover AoA is always at full capacity, so even in low season in September, its gonna be packed. I guess its something to keep in mind!

The two main pools are the Little Mermaid one and of course the legendary Finding Nemo one (I heard reports of guests from other resorts sneaking into AoA to use the Finding Nemo pool, THATS how good it is!). Rose and myself found ourselves just too busy to actually enjoy some pool time, but on the rare occasions we took a dip, we did find it overwhelmingly busy and full of children. I would say having stayed at other resorts like Saratoga and Old Key West, generally the pools were very quiet and full of lazy adults taking a casual dip. AoA was crazy, with children occupying every square inch, it definitely wasn't for the relaxing adult! Having said that, we were aware the resort was mainly aimed at children so it didn't bother us, but something to bare in mind for example if you are looking for some lazy pool action. I know my step-dad, who loves a bit of holiday pool time would have hated the AoA pools. However they ARE fun, with giant jelly-fish fountains and even an underwater sound system so you can hear Disney songs whilst swimming underwater!! Amazing!

Overall: Art of Animation stole my heart. I think its "newness" definitely helps, as everything is so shiny, bright and advanced. The beds are comfier, the pools are more technologically ahead, the design, the layout, everything is so much more advanced than other resorts seem. It makes me excited to see what Disney do next because they did such an amazing job with AoA. If you have children its a must and if you are two adults who are kids at heart, you'll fall in love with the finer details just as I did!

Are there any other Disney posts you would like to see as we head up to holiday season??


  1. This is beyond cool! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I really want to stay here! I stayed at Caribbean Beach last year, and while its a nice resort, I don't think it will match up to the theming of AoA. I've done a review of CB on my blog if you fancy a read, and if you have any questions, you know how to get hold of me!
    Lottie :) xx

  3. It looks so cool! I'm a villa person when staying near Disney, but I really want to do a resort one day! Tania xx taniamichele.blogspot.co.uk

  4. I am away to stay at the AoA for a few nights during my WDW holiday next month (32 days!!) and this has made me so excited to stay! I love the over the top Disney theme of this hotel compared to the others, and all the statues of characters are perfect photo ops.

    Louise x x

  5. I'd love to stay here one day, but it always works out better value for us to book a moderate/deluxe with the dining plan instead. One day, AOA, one day!

    Also, I've never had to walk more than a minute to a bus stop in Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans French Quarter. I guess Art of Animation has fewer bus stops? xx


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