My goal is to stay at as many on-site Disney World properties as possible. Doing so allows me to share my real life experiences with you. We have stayed at several deluxe resorts and villas, but I wanted to see how a value resort would compare. I decided the top choice for our value resort experience would be an Art of Animation family suite. This decision was based on the family suite room layout and overall appeal of the resort decor.
Art of Animation is a large value resort located on-property at Disney World. There are two types of rooms at Art of Animation: Little Mermaid standard rooms or themed family suites. There are 3 types of Art of Animation family suites: Cars, Nemo, or Lion King. We opted for a stay in an Art of Animation Cars family suite for a one night stay prior to embarking on a Disney Cruise.
Art of Animation is considered to be an ESPN area resort.
Art of Animation has several hotel buildings located on-site and a central amenities building called Animation Hall. The food court, the Ink And Paint gift shop, and bus access are all in or near Animation Hall.
Animation Hall is located right in front of the Nemo family suites, and the location makes the Nemo suites a popular choice. The Cars suites are a little further from Animation Hall, but even the furthest building was not more than a few minutes walk. The Lion King suites are a similar walk, on the opposite side of Animation Hall as the Cars buildings. The Little Mermaid rooms are the furthest away from Animation Hall and take several minutes to walk from the furthest Little Mermaid building to Animation Hall.
No matter which building you are in you will enjoy the large Disney characters and movie scenes found along the walkways. I loved the chance to take pictures with our favorite Cars characters and the Cozy Cone Motel on our walks.
Each themed section at Art of Animation has its own pool, making four pools total at the resort. The Big Blue Pool in front of the Nemo family suites is the largest of all of the pools.
Landscape of Flavors
Landscape of Flavors is a large, multi-segment food court that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Art of Animation. We ate breakfast and a light lunch there. The food options are nice, but the food quality we experienced was mediocre. I really missed having my grocery delivery from Garden Grocer this trip, but it didn’t make sense for a one-night stay before the cruise.
Art of Animation offers a limited pizza menu that can be delivered to your room.
Ink and Paint Shop
Ink and Paint Shop is the large gift shop at Art of Animation, offering the usual souvenir items and also pre-packaged foods (some of which count as snacks on the Disney Dining Plan).
Cars Family Suite
This was our first stay at a Disney value resort. We’ve stayed at several deluxe resorts and villas, and I was interested in how an Art of Animation family suite would compare to a deluxe villa.
When entering the suite there is a dinette table with four chairs available for meals.
The table also doubles as a murphy bed. Just pull down on the handles on the wall attached to the table and voila you have a double sized-bed.
The next thing I noticed was the kitchenette and living area. The kitchenette has a microwave, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and small sink. There are some basic supplies like coffee pods, paper plates, plastic utensils, and disposable cups on the shelf above the sink.
The double-size fold-out couch provides an additional bed option for larger families.
A full bathroom is also located near the living/dining area. This bathroom has one of my favorite features: the bathroom is split into two usable areas. The toilet and shower area are separated by a door from the sink. This allows privacy while two different people are using the same bathroom.
The bedroom area contains a queen-size bed, TV, dresser, in-room safe and an en suite bathroom.
My only real disappointment with our Cars family suite was that it was located directly next to the elevators which meant some late-night and early-morning noise. I would try to request a room away from the elevators for a future stay.
The room had the following features:
- A dinette table with 4 chairs that pulls down into a double-size murphy bed
- Double-size fold-out couch
- Small kitchenette with mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker
- Separate bedroom with queen-size bed and en suite bathroom
- Second full bathroom located in the living area with pocket door to separate shower area and sink area
- In-room safe
In Room WiFi
Free in-room WiFi is available at Art of Animation. This WiFi will not allow you to stream video via Netflix or similar services, but it does work to check email, the My Disney Experience App, or social media.
Art of Animation provides free parking to all overnight resort guests.
Transportation To Parks
Access to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and all water parks is currently by Disney World bus on-site transportation. Bus transportation generally has longer waits (and feels slower) than other forms of transportation, but is the most common system across Disney World property.
There is a new gondola transportation project currently in progress for Art of Animation, but it will not be operational for quite some time. When completed this gondola system will provide access to Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and Epcot for hotel guests.
We have stayed at several places on-site at Disney World over the last few months (Beach Club, Bay Lake Towers, and Copper Creek Villas) which are all in the deluxe category at Disney World. I was intrigued by the look and layout of the family suites at Art of Animation, so we decided to see what this value resort had to offer.
Our family loved the room setup, and I felt like it was a great value. The Art of Animation family suite provides plenty of room, sleeping options, and two bathrooms. Even the one-bedroom deluxe villas usually have only one bathroom!
The main drawbacks of the Art of Animation family suite versus my preferred deluxe villas were mediocre food options at Art of Animation and bus transportation to all parks. Many of the deluxe villas are within walking distance or a quick monorail trip to the parks, and buses at Disney are my least favorite mode of transportation on-site.
I can absolutely see myself staying at an Art of Animation family suite again. I felt that the room quality, size, and sleeping options were all great. This paired with the lower price tag than many other Disney World resort options makes Art of Animation a great option especially for larger families.
More Disney World Planning Resources
Do you need more help planning your Disney World trip? Check out other Disney World tips and tricks in my Disney World Guides.
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