On our recent trip to Walt Disney World we stayed at the Art of Animation Resort property. I had previewed and written about this property back in May before it opened, it brings to life many characters and vistas from 4 favorite Disney movies:
- Finding Nemo Family Suites
- Cars Family Suites
- The Lion King Family Suites
- The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
As you can see from above, we stayed on the Lion King family suite part of the resort. It was like walking into the movie. Many of us have some or all of the above movies on DVD, it is absolutely wonderful to walk onto the various properties and see your favorite characters as they greet you while you walk to your room. My friend’s description of the awe her 3 year old son felt every morning when he had the whole family walk over to the Cars area was exactly the feeling of Disney magic one comes to expect as de rigueur at Disney:
And the outside of the buildings also reflect the motif of your area, as does the pool. Per Kevin Myers, VP, Walt Disney World Resort Operations, shared with me that this is Disney’s first effort at a total immersive resort experience. In the past, you were able to book a room with a pirate or princess motif, now the whole resort, inside and out, is a Disney movie set! From the happy faces I had seen all around, I am going to say this will be a new trend, as this new property is hugely successful, and not to forget to mention, totally gorgeous!
And the rooms! This is a value property and our 1 bedroom suite could have slept 6. There is a master bedroom, a fold out couch in the living room, and this in the dining room:
Your table and chairs quickly become a Murphy bed:
There are also 2 bathrooms in these suites. We live in an apartment in NYC with 1 bathroom, that was a huge luxury for the 3 of us every morning as we rushed to get ready!
All suites come with a full kitchenette. coffee maker, mini fridge, microwave, and all the accouterments to make your stay less expensive if you want to bring in food to save money, although I personally loved the main dining hall which was huge, had several food stations, and was not unreasonably expensive as I had feared it might be.
Throughout the years I have done my own Disney research to find out the value of staying on the property vs. staying off property. I discovered that the only time it is financially feasible to stay off property is when you stay somewhere else for free. Staying on the Walt Disney World property offers you hotel rooms at all price points. You are eligible for free shuttle service to your hotel. You get the very valuable fast pass and early park hours. Lastly, you can get your airline boarding passes delivered to your room and check your bags with actual TSA agents, yes I checked, on property. Convenience and cost savings. I originally did the research because I thought there was no way you could stay on Walt Disney World property on a budget. Now I do not see how you could afford to not stay on the properties!
Lastly, I would stay on this property again in a minute. Even with the greed I heard shouting above my head every hour:
I love those seagulls!
Disclosure: We stayed at the Art of Animation Resort for 4 nights, 2 of those were paid for by Disney. All opinions are 100% my own and honest.