Disney's ART OF ANIMATION RESORT Information & Questions

SarahC97

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2016
Thanks!! What time did you get in line? Epcot opens at 11 our park day, I planned to be walking to the bus area around 10am
That should give you plenty of time. They've been letting people in early from what I hear, but we didn't get there until right about open so I'm not sure ow early they were letting people in.
 

Tink3815

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2006
Arriving 1/24 for a LM room.. Curious with the big blue pool closing if the Little Mermaid pool is swamped? Thanks for any reports...
Have the other pools been busy since the main pool is closed. Do theses pools also have the tables and chairs rather than just reclining chairs.
Thanks
 

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jessrose18

ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!!
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
I’m here now staying in little mermaid room. During the day the pool has been quiet and there are not a lot of kids here.during the day the pool activity team is at the flipping fins pool. and a few kids were playing Trivia. Tonight the pool was busy so we didn’t go in. But overall the hotel is very quiet. I never thought the little mermaid rooms were far before but for some reason this trip it’s been a hike. I’ll stay at pop or movies next time, my 6 year old picked this and that’s fine but prob never again.
 

Tink3815

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2006
I’m here now staying in little mermaid room. During the day the pool has been quiet and there are not a lot of kids here.during the day the pool activity team is at the flipping fins pool. and a few kids were playing Trivia. Tonight the pool was busy so we didn’t go in. But overall the hotel is very quiet. I never thought the little mermaid rooms were far before but for some reason this trip it’s been a hike. I’ll stay at pop or movies next time, my 6 year old picked this and that’s fine but prob never again.
Thank you for the information, does the pool near these rooms also have tables and normal chairs like the pool at movies does. About how many minute walk is it from the rooms to the building with the counter service ?
 

Keira1387

Married at Disney August 2, 2008
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Hi, I heard the little mermaid rooms have received a much needed refurbishment. I’m just wondering if they are completely finished. TIA!
 
  • JoelB

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 18, 2016
    Just returned from a wonderful 10-night stay in the Little Mermaid section. As we've also spent 10 nights at Pop Century in spring 2019, I'll be providing some comparisons along the way to help those trying to decide between the two.

    The Motivation

    Ever since it first opened, I always thought Art of Animation would be a fun place to stay. The combination of a lovely WDW experience in October (seven nights at Jambo), the return of park hopping, and the chance to stay at AoA for $123/night (taxes included) with the Disney Visa discount was too much to resist.

    The Room

    We were assigned room 7764, on the third floor overlooking the Flippin' Fins Pool. The view was lovely, especially at night. Increased pool activity (due to construction happening at the Big Blue Pool) made things a little noisy at times during our afternoon breaks. I didn't really mind, as I go back to the room in the afternoon just to give my feet a rest more than to sleep. Afternoon nappers may want to consider requesting a room on the opposite side of building 7 instead, which would also give you a chance of having a really nice view of the Skyliner.

    We absolutely loved the newly refurbished, and highly themed, Little Mermaid room. I really wish Disney did more fun theming with their other value refurbs, although I'm sure the extra effort put into these rooms is at least partly to justify their usually higher price.

    That said, for us as a couple with no children, the Pop rooms are a better fit for purely functional reasons. As much as I joke that I'd prefer having a bed to myself, we don't really need two. Having a table bed that we can just keep in table mode gives us a perfect table-for-two for any delivery meals and snacks as well as more space in rooms that obviously were not originally designed to accommodate two queen size beds. It can be a little awkward (but also funny) getting in/out of the room with the bed so close to the door.

    I also think the Pop rooms had a decent amount more drawer space (someone correct me if I'm wrong), which is nice for someone like me that prefers to unpack as much as possible.

    Housekeeping was as-advertised: every other day light cleaning, trash removal, fresh towels, and refilled amenities. We also received an unexpected, but appreciated, bedding change after our eighth night.

    The only slight issue we had was that the room safe wouldn't lock when we first arrived. I called the resort the next morning from Hollywood Studios, and it was fixed when we got back in the afternoon!

    The Resort

    Again, the theming is spectacular and as pure Disney as you can get. The larger than life figures and props (which are impossible to fully appreciate from YouTube videos) along with beautiful landscaping made the long (even compared to staying in the 80s/90s section at Pop) walk to/from our room much more bearable.

    I think the LM section is the most beautiful, day or night, although the Cars area is pretty awesome too. I would avoid staying in the Nemo section until the pool construction is done.

    Even though we didn't buy anything, the size and selection of the Ink & Paint Shop was pretty impressive. We ate a couple of meals (and picked up a couple delicious Cookies & Cream Sundae cupcakes!) at Landscape of Flavors and were overall satisfied there. The pizza makes PizzeRizzo look like Via Napoli, though. Get the grilled chicken sandwich, or literally anything else, instead.

    Cast members throughout the resort were universally friendly and provided excellent service.

    With all that said, can someone please explain to me what the deal is with the music in the Lion King section? Why in the world am I hearing the Golden Girls theme song while I walk past Mustafa and Scarface (names we overheard a family call Mufasa and Scar while heading back to our room one afternoon)? Did Disney lose the rights to their own soundtrack? It's so bizarre.

    The Skyliner

    The Skyliner is really an attraction all to itself. It's especially nice in the winter, when it isn't likely to experience stoppages due to storms. Having a gondola all to yourself is one of the few benefits among the many unfortunate COVID restrictions.

    My one piece of Skyliner advice is to not let long lines at park open/close intimidate you. It's no different than the extended queues for rides in the park: they look much, much longer than they actually are. The lines move quickly as long as the gondolas aren't stopped for some reason.

    The Buses

    Bus service was very good overall. Not as nice as staying at a mostly empty Jambo in October, but we still never waited as long as we sometimes had to pre-COVID.

    MK naturally had the longest line in the mornings, and really the only one we ever saw of any significant length our whole trip. Definitely get to the bus stop 90 minutes before posted park opening time if you want to beat the crowds there. Sleeping in an extra 10-15 minutes can end up costing you at least an additional 30 minutes in line for the bus.

    It was nice having the option of bus service to Epcot depending on where we were starting/ending our day. We never took the bus to Studios, preferring to either ride the Skyliner or Uber to the Swan and then walk. Just from casual observation of queue length and bus frequency in the mornings, though, it seemed like a good alternative.

    The Conclusion

    It was a fantastic stay at a fantastic value resort. Will we stay there again? Most likely not, mainly because I don't foresee getting the same kind of deal in a couple of years when we'll probably be back. Also, the rooms at Pop Century just work better for us, and you have a decent chance at getting a standard view room much closer to the lobby/buses/Skyliner than in the Little Mermaid section at AoA.

    But do I have any regrets? Not at all, and if getting maximum Disney feels is important to you, Art of Animation is hard to beat.
     

    GADisneyDad14

    Disney Resorts Board
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    I enjoyed reading your review @JoelB. If inclined, I’d encourage you to also post your review in its own separate thread. I think many people would benefit from hearing about your recent experience who might not check in to these larger resort threads.

    Regardless, thanks for posting!
     
  • Lisann

    Thank you Walt
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2007
    Is it just me or does it look like the roofs could use a refurb too??
    No one can see those, so I am assuming WDW doesn't mess with them. A lot of Florida roofs (at least in the "old" days of white tile) will get mold/mildew on them. I would assume these roofs are concrete, and appear to have the same type of issue. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
     

    leholcomb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 1, 2014
    Hello all- thinking about a trip down in April. We have some local friends who may want to come visit us. Is Disney allowing visitors to the resorts right now? TIA!
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    No one can see those, so I am assuming WDW doesn't mess with them. A lot of Florida roofs (at least in the "old" days of white tile) will get mold/mildew on them. I would assume these roofs are concrete, and appear to have the same type of issue. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
    Ah, you might be right—it looks all broken up but that might be just be darker and lighter spots.
     

    GADisneyDad14

    Disney Resorts Board
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    Actually flat building roofs like that are typically made of a rubber membrane type surface. There are different kinds/varieties - I can’t say for certain which kind it is based on the pictures, but you can see the “layers” of the rubber membrane side by side that are ‘melted’ together with heat/tar. Florida sun and weather are brutal on roofs as you can see - you can go on Google Earth and go back in time and see how white they were at first.... now the weather staining is evident. Depends on the kind/conditions and other variables and I don’t have experience in FL, but many membrane roofing systems will last 15-20 years (AoA is around 9-10 years old).

    You can see the CR Garden Wing roof very well from the monorail - they replaced it a few years ago and I was noticing on our Dec visit how some of the staining is already back.

    Side note, we stayed at YC once when they were overlaying new membrane strips on the building right below our balcony. That made for some good smells. :sad2:
     

    a-mad

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2018
    I'm not sure if I should post this under the Resorts category, or Dining... but since this is very resort-specific, I thought I'd post it here.

    I wanted to see for those that have visited AoA in the past few months how Landscape of Flavors has been? I hear very little, and even looking for reviews online there isn't much detail. I know sadly that the variety and menu items are greatly limited. That aside, how have the offerings been, and how has mobile order worked? Also - do they allow limited seating, or are you required to get everything to go and eat somewhere else? I'm looking into how often we want to eat here compared to the parks and/or other resorts, DS, etc.
     

    pigletgirl

    Mama to 4 Disney loving kids!
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    My DD and I will be down in May 2022. She originally wanted to stay at POR in a royal room but because it isn't open she says a mermaid room is second best so here we are!

    For the price, is it truly "worth it"? Would we be better off at Pop? Or should we wait and see if other resorts might open?How far is the walk to the skyliner from the mermaid section and to the buses? Would it be wise to rent a car instead?
     


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