Monday, August 24, 2015

An Overview of Disney's Art of Animation Resort

By Nick

Today we'll look at my favorite Value, actually, one of my favorite resorts in general, Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

Art of Animation (AoA) is an homage to Disney/Pixar animation, and the theme begins in the fabulous lobby of the main building, Animation Hall, which features a very colorful check in area.

Animation sketches from the movies represented in the different sections of the resort adorn the walls.

Even the chandelier features sketch art.

Buses to the parks are located just outside of the Hall. We thought the bus service was fine, perhaps better than at Pop Century.
AoA opened in phases through 2012, starting with the Finding Nemo family suites, which are located directly behind Animation Hall.
There are large character sculptures located throughout each area, similar to the Pop and All Star resorts.

This is also where you'll find the main pool. We loved this pool, which has underwater speakers. You can actually hear the fun soundtrack, which features appropriately aquatic themed music, which can be heard better while submerged! There is also an interactive water play area for kids.

There is a bridge connecting AoA to the Pop Century resort at the back of this section.

The building exteriors also feature animation art from the film being represented in that section.

There are also trivia and fun facts strewn throughout the resort.

The next section that opened was Cars family suites, which is where we stayed.
It is AMAZING! It's like staying in Radiator Springs!
As you approach, you are greeted by billboards, and the Sheriff, to let you know to keep your speed down.

You then travel up Route 66, to one of 3 themed buildings, or the Cozy Cone pool area.

The building to the left is themed after Luigi's Tires, where you'll find the proprietor and Guido.

To the right is Tow Mater's Towing and Salvage.

At the far end is The Wheel Well Motel, where Sally and Lightning McQueen can be found. This is where we stayed!

The theme extends inside as Red welcomes us.

On to the room. The family suites can easily sleep 6. There is a dining /sleeping area (yes, you read that right, more on that in a bit), small kitchen area, 2 bathrooms, a living room, and a bedroom.

The bathroom to the right is a full bath with a tub.

The bedroom has a queen size bed. The mattress was a bit on the firm side for me.

It has a flat screen TV.

The bath off the bedroom has a shower and no tub. Water pressure was great, and this was easily my favorite shower of all the resorts we've stayed in at Walt Disney World.

The cars theme is everywhere in the suites, with cone lamps, a fold out sofa bed that looks like a car seat, a table with a map of Radiator Springs, etc.

The kitchenette has a small refrigerator, sink, coffee maker, and microwave.

Our view was terrific as well, but of course, this is not a guarantee.

I mentioned the dining/sleeping area earlier. Here we see a table. There are usually 4 chairs around it, we are in the process of moving them here.

Why are we moving the chairs? To pull the murphy bed down of course! We actually found this bed more comfortable than the the one in the bedroom, and slept here a couple of nights!

Overall, the room was fantastic. The one and only complaint I have is that you cannot lower the temperature below 68 degrees.

The pool is themed after the Cozy Cone.

The cones, are cabanas, which is first come, first serve. Also, bring towels. We were not aware you needed to do this, and I had to run back to the room on our first swim.

It's well lit at night.

Speaking of night, the place is really magical in the evening.

This is easily the best themed resort on Disney Property.
Don't forget to get your pictures taken with some of the citizens of Radiator Springs!

 Barbie with Flo.
Me and Mater.

The next section to open were The Lion King family suites. This is the only area not to have a pool of it's own.

Finally, The Little Mermaid standard rooms opened in late 2012.

The pool is called the Flippin’ Fins Pool, featuring the “Under the Sea Orchestra” conducted by Sebastian.

Back at Animation Hall is where you can find the excellent counter service restaurant, Landscape of Flavors.
We ate breakfast several mornings at Landscape.

Landscape is a food court with several food stations.
As you enter, you can get an overview of some of what they have to offer.

There are plenty of choices for breakfast, including smoothies, create your own fruit bowls, and one of my favorites, create your own yogurt parfait.

Choose from a selection of  fresh fruit, berries, dried fruits, grains, nuts and seeds.

There are several cereals.

Plenty of pastry items to tempt you.

One morning, Barbie had an egg white omelet from the Create Your Own Omelet station, which features a choice of ham, sausage, tomato, mushroom, onions, green bell peppers, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese and turkey bacon served with biscuit.

We also had several other entrees, including the Bounty Platter: scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, biscuit and pancakes.
The bacon is typical Disney bacon, a bit thin and not very flavorful. I suggest the breakfast sausage if given a choice.

I had Chocolate Chip Pancakes with fresh fruit topping and choice of bacon or sausage.
The Portuguese sausage is very tasty, but a bit overpowering for breakfast.

Another morning I had the Waffles with Fresh Fruit Topping and Bacon.

Landscape also serves lunch and dinner.
The seating sections represent the movies that are featured throughout the resort, Cars, Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King.

Landscape of Flavors is a great spot for either a quick snack or a sit down meal, but be warned, it can get very crowded, so try to arrive before too late in the morning, or eat at "off" times.
There is also a really great store, the Ink and Paint gift shop.

For more on resort categories, please listen to Episode 20 of The Disney Exchange Podcast.

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