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“Making Memories at the Little Mermaid 09-15-12/09-21-12”

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Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Ranked #9 of 154 Hotels in Kissimmee
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 10, 2012

We arrived Opening Day for our stay in the Little Mermaid section of AOA from the Amtrak station in Kiss. I had already done ON-LINE check in the night before. We arrived around 11:30 am on 09-15-12. The lobby was VERY crowded. When I walked up to the on-line check in lane, a AOA staff member met me before I entered the line, took my name then came back with our package. Total wait...5 minutes. AWESOME job AOA STAFF !
The walk to the LM section is roughly 5 to 8 minutes, depending on how tired you are. It is the section farthest from the Lobby & Bus lanes. We notticed a Golf cart type vehicle carrying people on our way to our room & thought thats AWESOME, we should have waited on that(it really is a long walk) then realized that it was transporting STAFF not GUEST!. THIS type of transportation would be a great perk for those staying at the LM section as it is sooo far from the important resort features... JUST SAYING AOA !
LM has over the top decorations all around this phase( attached to the buildings & stand alones for posing with). There is a small pool in the middle of this phase with a laundry next to it, so you can do laundry while the kids swim ($2.00 per load).
Our room was in the URSELLA building, 2nd floor overlooking the pond with a view of POP in the distance. The room was a standard value room, it slept my family of 4 comfortably (2 adults, an 8 & 12 year old). The kids loved looking for hidden mickeys, they even found a full miniture mickey in the shower wallpaper and I LOVED finding a hidden refrigerator in the dresser ! I expected to have to go get a cooler to hold cold drinks in our room as it was TOOOO far to walk to use our FREE REFILL MUGS .(they were a waste for us, only used them once after checking in on way to room for the 1st time) The beds were very comfortable. Nice flat screen TV and a small table with 2 chairs for snacking at. The noise level from other rooms was noticably lower compared to our previous stays at POP &.Music.
The pool staff at Big Blue, played games with the smaller children, which my kids loved & each night they set up a large screen in the Lion King section for movies.
While staying here, my husband had to be taken to hospital for an unexpected emergency and had to stay there for 2 days. AOA arranged a cab to the hospital for us & paid the fare. When my husband was discharged. AOA credit my CC for ALL the cab rides to & from hospital for me & my kids ($20 each trip). LOVE AOA STAFF!! They really did try to make a difficult time memorable for kids.
PROS: very nice room, loved having a refrig. in room..GREAT STAFF very helpful in every way.
CONS: Refillable mugs were useless, because of the distance to the Cafe or Big BLue's pool side dispenser. really need one at LM. Really LONG walk to lobby & buses. (Because of the walking distance, we would probably stay at POP or Music in the future..same money, shorter walking, even when not in a preferred room.

Still RESORT overall was AWESOME.

Room Tip: pull up resort map to make room request when possible. Remember little Mermaid is the FARTHEST from...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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9  Thank BurgessFamily4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,916 - 4,922 of 7,108 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2012

The Art of Animation resort is a new property in the Epcot area near the Pop Century resort and I've stayed the Pop Century and I'd say they are comparable. I stayed in a single room and did not get a chance to see the suites of which there are many. The decoration of the room deserves mention, if you have a 9 year old girl she's going to love these rooms, seahorses on the shell shaped headboards and other character's pictures in the art work in the room. Hey, it's the Art of Animation. There are 3 pools, 1 main pool with a play area, and 2 small pools. All pools are gated and well staffed by lifeguards. I'd have to say that a fair amount of thought went into this resort planning for children. Bottom line it's a.value.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Jack6dollar6and8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

We made our annual jaunt down to Disney's Food & Wine festival and decided, for economic reasons, to try out the value family suite at the new Art of Animation.

We stayed in the Lion King section and were happily immersed in the jungle.

Because we went earlier than usual this year, the weather was hot and humid EVERY DAY (how do Floridians stand it?) so I spent more time in our suite than I normally would, venturing out to EPCOT and other parks only in the evenings which were also hot and humid EVERY NIGHT. : ^ 0

We gave the master bed/bath to my older brother and, after trying out the mattresses on both the sleeper sofa (thin and hard) and the INOVA table bed (thicker and cozy), opted for the Inova bed.

Hubs and I are middle-aged and usually have trouble sleeping in a double bed together (which is why we sadly gave up staying at the Fort Wilderness cabins). I don't know if it was sheer Disney exhaustion every night or TinkerBelle pixie dust, but we sleep like babes every night.

I also think anyone sleeping on the sofa bed will freeze from the angle of the A/C. I had to use a fleece throw whenever I sat there.


I do have a few minor issues with check-in and reservations. I won't go into all the details - my advice is CHECK EVERYTHING. Everyone I spoke to in person or on the phone was very nice and helpful - but mistakes were made before and during our stay.

One issue I will mention because it might help someone else.

We had a split reservation for two 4 night stays. We did this because Disney has gone the way of all hotels in having waaaaaaaay too many pricing seasons and different discounts. I have an Annual Pass that I could only use the last 4 nights and used a AAA discount the first 4 nights. (BTW, I didn't realize that the reservations person who suggested splitting up the reservations was unknowingly opening up a can of worms that cost me many phone calls to WDW before we even got there.)

My brother's and husband's room cards were also their park passes. New room keys were given to them for the second half of the stay - but they hadn't transferred the park passes onto them. Luckily I checked this out before arriving at a park. So be aware!

The only real sour note was the female cast member who was cleaning the pool early the first morning (9/27) we were there and told me I couldn't use the pool - even though I had been told at check-in that the pool was open 24/7. Her attitude was definitely NOT Disney material. I had chatted with her briefly when I first let myself into the pool with my room key and then asked her where the showers were (you have to shower first).

AFTER I was all wet and came out of the showers, THEN she told me I couldn't use the pool.
Just plain mean-spiritedness.

I have no problem with the pool being closed during cleaning - although I wish they had told me that at check-in when I specifically asked if it was open 24 hours.


All in all I think the Art of Animation family suites are a great addition to WDW - offering new choices at reasonable prices (for Disney).

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank Abiextra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

We have been to them all from the Deluxe to the Values and I must say although Visually its was cool it still left much to be desired...The design is awsome (exterior themes) but the rooms and distances from ammenities were not well thought out...The underwater speakers at the Nemo pool are cool and all but the layout is pretty boring...the dining options at this resort must be the worst on the property as far as quick service goes...I must say when it comes to Value Resorts Pop Century is the best Value and as far as the Deluxe go Animal Kingdome Lodge still takes the cake...

PS: One other thing I would like to add is the Staff was not consistantly warm and inviting like all other Disney property resorts but, I'm asuming it had to do with the staff and resort being so new...I guess???...

  • Stayed: October 2012
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3  Thank SRodriguez561
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Let me preface this review by saying this was our 33rd or 34th (lost count) trip to DisneyWorld with all but 2 trips staying "On Property". We spent the first week of Oct 2012 @ this new Disney "Value" resort. In true Disney spirit, it was uber themed with Disney characters. We stayed in the "Cars" section in a family suite. This was our first family suite stay and it worked quite well for us, even with the 6th guest in the room being our oldest sons GF who we required to sleep in a bed by herself. (Just not cool enough to allow co-ed sleeping yet. LOL) Good thing about this resort is that although it didn't "thrill" like some resorts, neither did it "dissappoint". Positives would be that (1.) it seemed to be better sound insulated than other value resorts, (2.) The unique table that folds into a full size bed with great ease is almost worth the stay just to see it. (3.) Guest bathroom, although a bit cheezy, was still very nice with great shower. The only negative I would give the resort would be the lack of commitment on Disney's part to truly theme the resort. Unlike AllStars with it's bigger than life footballs, Coke glasses, Dalmations, and Musical instruments, the buildings @ AoA are all standard rectangular buildings with painted decor and a minimal amount of effort spent on main building facade. I couldn't help but to look around the outside of the "Cars" section and imagine how easy it would be to totally change it's theme with minimal effort if "Cars" theme was to every fall from grace to something new. Not that this effects the beauty and comfort of the resort, it just doesn't have the old commitment by Disney imagineers to permanent and almost unbelievable details. Bottom line is, the resort was all I expected in amenities from a Disney Value resort. The lack of the commitment to the old "over the top" theme details is all that kept me from giving this one a "5" rating.
Final side note: We had 6 in the room but since one of the 3 beds was occupied by the lone teen age GF, we were able to lay the couch cushions in a giant "T" shape and make a 4th bed with linens and blanket provided by housekeeping for our youngest son. Also, be aware that ALL mattressed are SUPER firm and A/C unit in living room area is loud enough to wake even the tiredest of guest.

Room Tip: Little Mermaid section appeared to be closest to resort bus stops while Cars section was the farthes...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Pumpman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Took my two daughters (ages 14 and 16) to the Little Mermaid at Disney's Art of Animation Resort (October 2012) and we loved it! Besides the fact it is new (so clean and not worn), the design of all the AofA resorts is incredibly colorful, detailed, and exciting! The color schemes suit each themed area and the larger than life objects and characters from the stories are wonderful! Check-in and out was easy - concierge service quite good - bus service even pretty good (except for one day) - The meals are good for selection and opportunity to eat healthy - housekeeping good too. Even though the resort is spread over a lot of real estate, the walks aren't so bad with so much to look at on your way around! Girls loved the room with details from the movie - especially the shower walls - really cool idea!

Room Tip: Try to look at the resort layout online and make a room request if you have a preference (near pool...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Heidi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

This is a must stay if you have kids. We decided to not actually go to the Disney parks for this trip and just enjoy the hotel. And we were happy with our decision. The pools are fantastic, especially the Nemo pool. My husband and I got drinks at the outside bar and laid out by the pool while the kids played all day. The arcade is really fun too. The restaurant is pretty good for Disney cafeteria style food. I wish it was less expensive though. It was $280 a night when we went and I have not seen it any cheaper. But it was worth it since we didn't go to the parks and you really feel like you are in Disney, in the movies!

  • Stayed: September 2012
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5  Thank Mom2ZnB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Address: 1850 Animation Way, Lake Buena Vista, Kissimmee, FL 32830-8400
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Kissimmee
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 154 Hotels in Kissimmee
Price Range: $187 - $632 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Disney's Art of Animation Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 1984
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Be surrounded in the artistry, enchantment and magic of Walt Disney and Disney•Pixar movies. Stay at a Disney Resort hotel that invites you to explore the storybook landscapes seen in such classics as Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. From delightfully themed family suites to wondrously detailed courtyards, Disney's Art of Animation "draws" you and your family in to become a part of some of your animated favorites. ... more   less 
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