First, let me say that I LOVE Disney World and its vast array of rides, shopping, dining, and, of course, its resorts and their amenities. Recently, as part of a pre- and post-cruise resort, we stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, located conveniently by Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, and Epcot.
This was our first time at this resort, although we have stayed at Disney’s Pop Century resort, which is just on the other side of Hourglass Lake. There is a walking /running path that separates the two properties. For a bit of trivia, Disney’s Art of Animation wasn’t originally slated to be themed as it is, but was to be a second resort with building clustered by decades similar to that of Pop Century. However, the building of the second half of the project was put on hold during the aftermath of September 11th, and, as business picked up, new plans were made to adjust the theming of the resort to some of the more popular animated movies. (As another side note, the bridge that cuts through the center of Hourglass Lake, was to be named The Generation Gap Bridge.)
Our rooms were ready for check in when we got to the resort. The Cast Member at the front desk checked us in and gave us yet another set of Magic Bands. She suggested that we take the car we had rented to the parking lot nearest our room which she said was waaayyy on the other side–like it was a gift to us. We followed her advice, got into the car, and drove to our building. Our room didn’t face a pool, but it did face the parking lot and was on the 4th floor. We were within steps of the walking /running path but about a ten minute walk to the lobby.
There is a set of elevators located in the center of the building. Imagine, if you will, a T with all of the sides being equal. All the buildings have 4 floors. With our luggage in tow, we had no problem in getting an elevator to make it easier to haul up our suitcases. Once we found our room, my husband tapped his Magic Band, and we were in the room.
For just the two of us, for one night, we found the room comfortable. We weren’t in a family suite, but in a regular room that was 277 sq.ft. There were two full size beds, two chairs, a small table, flat screen television, a single sink vanity, and a bathroom with a shower/tub and toilet. There is a privacy curtain that can be pulled to separate the vanity and bedroom area.
Theming is huge at this resort. On the walls there was a cutout of Flounder and Sebastian, two of Ariel’s friends in the movie. There were two mirrors in the room– one with seashells around the edges, the other having fish. The walls were painted an aqua blue. On yet another wall was a painting of Prince Eric and Max, his trusted canine companion, at the steering wheel of a ship.
The two beds were small compared to our queen size bed at home, but it was comfortable. The room is designed to fit 4 adults and an infant in a playpen, but I think this would be a little tight. The sheets on the beds are a bit different; if you look really closely you can see a white on white pattern of bubbles.
As far as the other amenities go, there is an in-wall safe and about a 4-foot clothes bar near the vanity. The hairdryer that is in the room is actually snuggled away in a cubby in the vanity. One thing to be aware of is that the shampoo bottle is very small, and is a two-in-one which means that even though it is H2O+, it is from their very basic line. There are no pool towels at any of the pools, so your room towel is your pool towel if you didn’t bring one of your own.
We had about 10 minute walk to get from the dining hall or to the bus stop. Because we didn’t have park admission tickets, we took the bus to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) and were glad that we did. It took only 20 minutes to get from the resort to Disney Springs. There is a lot of construction going on between the two points, and I was very happy to have Disney bus driver navigate it for us.
One special feature I forgot to mention was that when we stepped into our room, there was a can of mosquito repellant in our room. I thought maybe it was left behind by a former guest. It appears, that I guessed wrong, and that it is actually mousekeeping leaving the cans in the room to mitigate the possibility of spreading the Zika virus. For our post- cruise stay mousekeeping dropped off a can of spray for us as we were repacking from our cruise.
Because we like to walk, I didn’t find the hike to the dining hall that cumbersome, but I could see how it would be tough for people to navigate as it was really hot and humid. The walking/running path was a nice path, approximately 1.29 miles, and it gave us a chance to unwind, as there are no fitness centers at the value resorts. The path has trivia about the movies on placards as you go around the lake, and we actually saw a small snake on the path which quickly slithered into the bushes and out of sight as we approached it.
All in all, I would recommend the Little Mermaid room for a couple and for older kids. The walk from the buses might be a bit of a hassle for a sleepy toddler. The rooms were clean, and the theming was cute. I would stay there again, but then when we go, we typically don’t spend much time in our room.
Debbie Walden has years of travel planning experience and over 40 trips to Disney under her belt! Contact Debbie to plan your next Disney vacation and maybe discuss more secrets for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom!