This past December, for our annual Christmas vacation, we decided to do a split stay between Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. I’m not sure why I’ve waited this long to do a review of Art of Animation but better late than never, right? As soon as we pulled in, we were instantly greeted with bright colors and pictures of some of our favorite Disney characters. The outside of the buildings really put you in the Disney spirit. As soon as we got out of the car it went a little something like this –
Checking in was a breeze, thanks to early check in using MyDisneyExperience and the Cast Members were super friendly from the second we hit the entrance door. My husband and I were actually so impressed with the friendliness we both made comments about it to each other later in the day. My daughter, Addie, loved looking at all of the drawings that lined the walls while we checked in. She’s interested in art and kept calling out to me every 20 seconds, “Mom, look at this one!”. After checking in we headed to the Landscape of Flavors food court to get our refillable mugs. The food court is quite large and offers a lot of seating, which is nice especially in the mornings when the food courts tend to be the busiest. We scoped out some of the menus which looked great, filled up our mugs and headed off to find our room.
The Little Mermaid Rooms are the furthest from the main building, bus stop and the Big Blue Pool. I had known this prior to our stay so I was mentally prepared. I’m guessing if you weren’t aware of this prior to check in you might be a little surprised. It is a far walk, in fact, the block of buildings used for the Little Mermaid rooms were actually supposed to be an addition on to Pop Century. However, I don’t mind walking and my family didn’t complain once. It’s actually kind of fun getting there because you walk through the Lion King themed areas and there are a lot of fun places to take pictures.
Once we found our room (parking lot view no less) we were very surprised how cute it was inside. Staying in our room was my husband, our daughter, myself and my mother. I was pleasantly surprised how spacious the room was for the 4 of us considering it’s a value resort. It wasn’t huge but it fit us all and all of the luggage we brought with us on vacation including a small Christmas tree. The theme of the room was right in tune with the outsides of the building. Clam shell beds with Flounder floating overhead, a picture of Prince Eric on the wall, treasure chest drawers, shell like table and chairs and ,of course, Ariel herself on the shower curtain. My little girl was just thrilled. Everything about the rooms embodies Little Mermaid to a T. The only complaint I have about the room itself is that the beds are harder than I typically like. It seemed uncomfortable at first, but after a long day at the parks I was really too tired to care anyway.
There is one bus stop for the resort, which mean if you are in the Little Mermaid rooms, it can be quite a bit of a walk. However, the bus for Art of Animation isn’t shared with other resorts which means straight to the parks and straight home – which I like. At nights, I noticed that the buses did tend to fill up (especially after the fireworks) but there were several running and we never had to wait that long.
The main pool, Big Blue Pool, is very cool and was always crowded even when we went in December. It’s the largest resort pool on property and while there are no water slides or hot tubs it does have some pretty neat features. It’s a zero entry pool which I think is fantastic for families with smaller children which this resort always seems to have a lot of. Another feature is if you stick your head underwater, you can hear Nemo and friends splashing around having a great time. Isn’t that neat? The Pool Bar, the Drop Off, is also located near by and serves up some really great adult beverages like the Pina ColAVA.
We only stayed at Art of Animation for 2 nights before continuing our vacation at the Polynesian but we had a fabulous time and would choose to stay here again sometime in the future. If you do plan on staying here, I suggest taking a morning or afternoon to really explore this resort. We took so many fun pictures around the resort the day we checked in, I love going back and looking at them. If you’re a smaller family looking to have some big fun, Art of Animation just might be where you should stay!