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Today, we want to focus on one of our favorite ”Value Resorts” at Walt Disney World, Art of Animation. We have had the opportunity in our many visits to stay at a wide variety of resorts and Art of Animation is at the top of our list next to Pop Century for value resorts.
So why do we like Art of Animation so much? There are many factors that have made Art of Animation one of our go-to resorts. In no particular order they are; location, price, recreation, transportation, decor, food and customer service.
Location & Transportation
Disney's Art of Animation is located roughly 8 minutes from Disney's Hollywood Studios and only 11 minutes from Disney's Magic Kingdom. Another great bonus of staying at this resort was free transportation. Typically, many of the value resorts share buses during certain times of the year. This means you could stop at multiple resorts before you finally make it back to your resort. However, Art of Animation and Pop Century have buses that are specific to these resorts. The only minor complaint/inconvenience was the location of the pick-up location at the parks and Disney Springs. Have your walking shoes ready because you will be walking to the last pick-up bay at most of these locations.
We were very pleased with the number of recreational activities that were available for our family. First, the most notable in our opinion is the three different pools. The largest pool is located in the middle of the resort on the opposite side of the entrance. The Big Blue Pool is the largest hotel pool in Walt Disney World. Not only is the pool themed with Finding Nemo, but has also music playing underwater. Also, there are many activities that take place from dance contests to movies at the pool and much more. If the Big Blue Pool is not your cup of tea, there are two smaller pools located by the Cars themed rooms and the other near the Little Mermaid and Lion King rooms.
In addition to pools, there are outdoor playgrounds if your kids are looking for a little something different and of course and arcade where we found ourselves getting sucked into the "Down the Clown" game.
Similar to traditional Disney dining, the food amongst the value resorts is typically pretty consistent. However, we were delightfully surprised by the number of options and the quality of the food at the casual counter service dining area. A couple pro tips. First, if you need to buy milk or water for your room, buy the 1.5 liter bottles. They are roughly the same price as the 20oz water bottle or the 8oz carton of milk. Second, if you are feeding a little one and you are not on the Disney Dining Plan, take a look at the portions of the adult meals. Many times we ended up sharing meals because the portions were large enough for us to share with our daughter.
Also, there is room service available during select hours and you always have the option to order your food to go so that you can bring it back to your room.
When it comes to "Value Resorts" Art of Animation is not going to be your cheapest option. However, when compared to the others in its category, it is worth the little extra. The resort as a whole is very clean and fairly quiet (except in the Big Blue Pool area).
Disney has done an exceptional job with the decor at Art of Animation. From the seagulls that yell out "mine, mine" every fifteen minutes to the Cars, Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Little Mermaid figurines and room decor, you are immediately submerged into the world of animation.
We had to save this one for last because this is where we had a whole new level of respect for the "Art of Animation." We ran into a situation where we had got in late to our resort. The dining area was closed and so was the gift shop. Our 20-month-old daughter still drinks a bottle before bed at night but we had no milk. While checking in, we asked the front desk if they had access to milk that we could purchase or if room service was available to bring some. Unfortunately, the person at the desk said they did not have access to the kitchen and that there weren't many other options.
We finally get to our Cars family suite start getting settled and called housekeeping to bring some additional pillows for our beds. The housekeeper knocked on the door, delivered our pillows and asked if there was anything else we needed. Jokingly we asked if she knew where we could get some milk for a bottle as one of us was getting ready to order an Uber to run to the store.
This is where we were won over. She replied to us, let me see what I can do. Roughly about 5 minutes later we hear a knock on the door. It was our housekeeper but she was empty-handed. She came back to let us know that her manager was going to open up the kitchen and grab a couple cartons of milk for our daughter so we could give her a bottle. This was more than we had anticipated or expected and was far beyond her duty, but Keyla saved our night and helped our little girl who was defeated from a day of travel.
We can say with certainty that we would recommend Disney's Art of Animation to our clients and friends. We will be staying at Art of Animation again coming up this 4th of July. We will make sure to provide another update with more photos and a video of the resort that we are still finishing up.
As always, please let us know how we can help you plan your next vacation. Thanks for reading our post about the Art of Animation.
- Justin and Renee