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Disney's Art of Animation Resort
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Reviews (7,488)
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5,236 - 5,241 of 7,488 reviews
Reviewed September 30, 2012

This was our first stay in Disney. With 5 kids that love cars this seemed like the place to stay. It was so inconvienant. Each building does not have a front desk so you have to walk to the main building for everything. With 5 kids this got old fast. If you want to fill your drink, get coffee, make a reservation, grab a bite to eat you have to walk. With all the over the top decorations this stroll could take 30 minutes with kids who want to stop and touch everything. When we first arrived our room key did not work. Without a lobby here goes a 30 minute stroll to the front desk to get it fixed. They told us they would restart system. Even the staff doesn't want to walk to your building to fix the problem. This went on 3 more times before I demanded someone come to my room and check it out. After the staff coming to the room swiping the key and finding out it doesn't work he asked for me to come to the front desk to get new ones. I love the idea of the staff being on vacation. If you don't want to keep walking to my room why would I want to keep walking to the front desk? Every time it rains you better hope your not hungry or want to refill that mug otherwise you will get soaked.

The rooms are inconvienant and loud. I could hear word for word everything our neighbors were talking about. Every time they flushed their toilet, when they left their room,and took a shower.The sheets were like plastic. It took 20 minutes every night to clear off table, move chairs around table (which do not stack), pull down Murphy bed,move coffee table, pull out couch, pull out pillows and blankets. Then another 20 minutes in the morning to put it all back together.

I would not stay here again. It is way overpriced and inconvienant.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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26  Thank Katherine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Disclaimer: I am not the kind of person who spends a lot of time at the resort - I spent most of my time in the parks, or out doing other activities. I mostly needed a place to sleep, that was clean and safe. The Art of Animation Resort worked out well for that. I also appreciated the themes and the character statues, it made me feel more a part of Disney World.

I stayed for four nights in September 2012, in the new Little Mermaid Rooms. I'm amazed at the number of people who think they are going to get luxury accommodations for this price - I paid less than $100 per night, I was not expecting the same level as Disney's higher-end resorts. This resort is equivalent with what you get at most other places for this price. When you factor in the hidden "resort fees," parking and other fees that offsite hotels charge, actually this was cheaper than some of the others in the area. Plus, since it is a Disney resort, you have access to Extra Magic Hours, you can charge park purchases to your room, you get free parking at the theme parks, etc.

When I checked in, there was no line and I was greeted by a very friendly staff member who explained everything in detail. I signed up for online checkout, which was nice as there looked to be a long line when I left. I appreciated the lower cost of this resort - I would love to stay at one of the deluxe resorts, but I saved enough to pay for the entire rest of my vacation by staying here instead of one of the more expensive places. Since I didn't plan to spend a lot of time there anyway, that was a big plus.

My room was clean and ready when I arrived. Everything was clean and new and it worked, which is more than I can say for the last couple of places I have stayed. If you hated The Little Mermaid movie, choose a different place to stay, because nearly everything in the room is Little Mermaid themed. Flounder and Prince Eric on the walls, shells around the mirror, Ariel on the shower curtain, treasure chest on the shower tiles, under the sea curtains and bedspread and carpet.

I pretty much got what I expected:
- A clean room with over-the-top Disney theme - if I'm at Disney World, I want to know I am AT Disney World.
- Polite, friendly staff who were helpful. Even the maintenance and housekeeping staff all said hello to me and told me to have a good day.
- New room, everything in order and worked well. It was nice to have a refrigerator in my room. I keep my clothes in my suitcase, so I did not need the drawer space.
- Easy, quick access to the parks and other things at Disney World.
- Poor quality, overpriced food and drinks - aside from the resort mug for drinks, I did not eat at the resort - it was cheaper and better to go elsewhere. Think $5 for a bowl of cereal, and you have to make it yourself. I kept my own breakfast food in my room and ate other meals at other places.
- Distinct Little Mermaid theme. Although I would have preferred the Lion King, those rooms are suites only and out of my price range. But the theme of the Little Mermaid rooms, pool, and courtyard was cute too.
- Plenty of parking, well-lit at night and easy to park closer to your room


Here are a few things I got that I did not expect:
- Even though I made no official room preferences, I was hoping for a room with a king bed (instead of two doubles) that was not on the first floor. I was assigned the room I wanted, even though I never officially requested it.
- Very few happy children. It is Disney World, I expected kids to be happy and smiling. But I saw very few kids under 10 who looked happy to be there, in the parks or at the resort. Lots of pouting and frowns. And most of the children under 3 that I saw were screaming or crying. I saw more happy kids on the day I went to the beach.
- Less noise from the pool. I've heard a lot of people complain the rooms facing the pool are noisy. I had a pool view room and heard very little noise from the pool, except on the last night I was there. I did hear noise from the people in the room above me. Tip for parents: try to make sure your children don't run back and forth constantly late at night, or scream as they walk past other people's rooms at night.
- Shorter walking distances - some people complained about the walking distance from the Little Mermaid rooms to the main part of the resort. I actually didn't think it was that bad (about 5 minutes), plus you get to walk through the very neat Lion King area to get there.

In contrast to some of the other reviews, I actually had great ATT wireless phone coverage in my room and throughout the resort. Wi-fi signal was good too, except on the final night when there were about twice as many people staying there as there had been the nights before. It seems the resort needs to shell out for more bandwidth.

It was fun to walk through the different areas and see all of the themes. I think the CARS area is the best, although The Lion King is my favorite of the movies featured.

A few tips for people wanting to stay here:
- This is a VALUE resort. Do not expect what you would get at Disney's moderate or deluxe resorts. If that's what you want and you can afford it, spend the extra money and stay elsewhere. This resort is great for people who want to be on property, but have a lower budget or expect to spend most of their time in the parks or at other places and mostly just need a clean safe place to sleep.
- If you're looking at suites but the kids want the Little Mermaid theme, see if you can get two adjoining rooms in this area. My room had a door that looked like it connected to the next room, so I think they might be available.
- If you are staying on a Thursday-Saturday night, you may want to request a lake view room so there is less noise. The pool area was only loud and full on weekend nights, the rest of the time it was very quiet.
- The Lion King area does not have a pool, so if you want to do a lot of swimming you might want to choose one of the other areas. The largest pool (and only splash area) is in Nemo, the next largest pool is in Little Mermaid, and Cars has a small pool.
- Unless you're on the Disney Dining Plan, it might be better to eat elsewhere. The food is not that great, the lines are long, and it's expensive.
- If you do plan to eat onsite and you don't want a long walk, the Nemo and Cars sections are the closest.
- Try to check in/out at less busy times to avoid lines. If you check in between 10 a.m. and 5 pm. on most days, there will be a line. Especially on weekends. If you check in early in the morning or later in the evening there is a much shorter line. I checked in at 9 p.m. and there was no line. I visited the concierge at 8:30 a.m. to buy tickets and there was only one person ahead of me. When I left the hotel at 11 a.m. one day, the line was easily 30 minutes or longer to check in, so try to plan ahead.
- The resort is right across the street from Wide World of Sports and right next to Pop Century Resort. So if you can't find the "Art of Animation" signs on the highway, follow the "Wide World of Sports" or "Pop Century" signs, and when you get close to the general area you'll see more signs directing you to the resort.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the lake will be quieter, but then you will miss the thematic view of the courtyard or pool. Nemo and Cars are closest to the main part of the resort. Lion King does not have its own pool.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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17  Thank JCZKUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012 via mobile

We just got back from a one night stay in a Little Mermaid standard room. The resort is awesome! We checked in online prior to arrival so when we got there getting our room keys was quick. The room itself is sufficient but they have double beds that are too short for me (I'm 5'9") and the comforter is thick and stiff which was uncomfortable. You can also hear every outside noise made. I've seen a few complaints that the walk from the mermaid rooms to Animation Hall is long and in my family's opinion it wasn't so bad. The pools were great! We thought it was cool that you could hear music playing under water at the Nemo pool. All the areas are done so well with our family's favorite being Cars. The food at Landscape of Flavors was expensive but very tasty. We had a good stay and would stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank Lisamorris1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

I just returned from Art of Animation (Mermaid) Resort, Sept 22nd-27th. I have been to Disney four times in the last seven years with my daughter. We usually stay at the Wilderness Lodge and Love it. I was trying to save money and stay at a fun place for my daughter this time. Well, the theme at the hotel is cute but that is all! I felt like I was in a dorm room. Very small, three drawers for your belongings, limited room to move about or place suitcases, etc. The comforters feel like an extremely thick plastic table cloth. Difficult to fold and get out of your way. The linens were rough. Pillows too tall/thick. Thermostat wouldn't go below 68...and it didn't feel that cool. Then there was the NOISE....exterior doors are a negative, slamming doors, dropping toilet lids, flushing toilets, showers.. You hear it all! Housekeepers Only empty trash. They even called our last night there at 1030 pm to tell us they left linen at the door if we needed it. Really ...1030 at night for a call like that?? It is the farthest on the property from the bus stop and cafe. The employees used golf carts to get around if that tells you anything. After I walk all day in the park, I don't want to hike to my room. Oh, and if you are hungry or thirsty... another hike!! I really wasn't Wow'ed by the employees, the hotel, the service or the "blah" food. Oh, if you have AT&T... No phone signal in the room and about 10% of the time the Wifi actually worked. Not comforting to not be able to use your phone. Bus wait was also much longer than previous visits.
The other areas looked nice and aren't as far as the Mermaid area. The Nemo pool pleased my daughter. However, she said she doesn't want to return to this hotel.
I'll just bite the bullet next time and stay where we know well get exceptional service... The Wilderness Lodge has always exceeded our expectations!

Room Tip: We were in building 9 on the second floor. There are buildings farther away than this. My advice would be take hiking boots or stay in the suites. However, for the money you could change properties!
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank RN4LittleOnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Disney does it again. In September, I stayed 3 nights in the CARS section of the Art of Animation resort. The attention to detail is one of the many things that sets Disney apart from other resort properties. When you enter the courtyard, you are immediately a part of the "film" experience. All the CARS characters are there, the surroundings is Radiator Springs. The room detail is amazing; tool box dressers & nightstands, the sofa is Doc's back seat, the coffee table is a map, lights are traffic cones, the bathrooms are carwashes. Hats off to Disney Interior Designers. The suite sleeps 6. I actually slept 2 nights on the sofa bed and the next night on the pull-down table/murphy bed. They were both firm & very comfortable. There is a small refrigerator with a freezer compartment, a microwave, a coffee pot (with coffee), paper plates & plastic silverware. Having 2 bathrooms is so nice. There is a large shower in one and a tub/shower in the other. As always, it was spotless and cleaned & restocked each day. I didn't get to see the suites in Lion King, Nemo & the rooms in Little Mermaid, but did see all the courtyards & pool areas. You truly felt immersed in the films. I am a travel agent and have stayed in every type of property in many parts of the world and I rate this as one of my favorites. The prices are reasonable, especially for what you get -- it's a real value. I also highly suggest using the Disney Dining plan. If you plan your meals, it is a great value and the food is so good and there are endless offerings. This trip was for 2 adults and we loved it, so I know the kids will too.

Room Tip: check out the map on-line to pick a building. Some of the rooms are quite a walk to the lobby, restaurant & buses.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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6  Thank suzitravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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