Walking into the Art of Animation, you would never think that it was a value resort. The theme is evident in the parking lot, lobby, pool area, and throughout every section of the resort. The cost of the rooms, during the summer, range from $139 to $400 depending on if you get a single room for just a couple of people or a family suite with an inova table bed and room for six. When it is all said and done, the resort will have ten buildings, three pools, and two playgrounds. An animator even sits in the lobby at certain times so guests to see the magic behind animation! Landscape of Flavors, the pool and play area, and the different sections of the resort make it my top resort choice.
Most quick service options are fairly similar at the resorts. There might be a few unique items, but the typical hamburger, pizza, and peanut butter and jelly are the common items. Walking into Landscape of Flavors, I quickly realized that it was NOT like other quick service places. There are five distinctive food shops with choices from Mongolian beef stir-fry with naan bread to a child’s create your own salad. There is a myriad of dessert options in both the bakery and in the cooler. I highly recommend the cheesecake bites and the Mickey fruit tart. There is even real silverware and washable plates. The cast member did warn us to NOT microwave the plates since they tend to explode. Interesting but useful tip. The decorations in Landscape of Flavors represented a variety of Disney animated films with their own cozy areas, equipped with the best part of the place…their own beverage stations! Five beverage stations and three TVs in total! That is a dramatic difference between other resorts and Art of Animation.
The center of the resort serves as a gated play area for children and adults alike. The Big Blue Pool, the Schoolyard wet play area, Squirt’s Righteous Reef, and the Drop Off bar provide a place for guests of all ages to hang out, play, and swim. The entire area is gated with card readers at the entrances. At this point, you can simply turn the handle and go inside. I have a sneaking suspicion that eventually only registered guests will be able to enter that area. Mr. Ray, Crush, and a sea anemone with Marlin and Nemo overlook the entire area.
Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid will all be sections of the resort where guests can stay and play. At this point, Finding Nemo is the only section that is available for guests. The ocean theme continues into the hallways with the lights, paintings, carpet, and starfish room numbers and into the resort rooms with bedspreads, wallpaper, and furniture. Life-size cars, equipped with lit headlights, and the spinning Cozy Cone Motel sign stand in front of the Cars section. For now, guests can only take pictures over the fence since the area will not be ready until June 18th. The Lion King section will open on August 10th and The Little Mermaid will open on September 15th.
Details and service are what make a Disney resort different from other places around the parks. Art of Animation falls nothing short of spectacular on both items. We plan on spending most of our resort time here, especially as it opens up new sections, and so we can try every item on the incredible menu. (Of course, don’t forget about the desserts!) The fact that all of these details and service are at a value resort just reinforces my belief that Disney is the best place in the world to vacation, unwind, or simply eat dinner. See you at the Big Blue Pool!
More photos of the Art of Animation can be found at: http://bit.ly/Krul59.