Reviews of Art of Animation Resort (Value Resort)
Disney's Art of Animation Resort offers family suites.
For full details, Fact Sheet, Photos and Videos visit: http://allears.net/acc/faq_artan.htm
Video Tour of Rooms and Resort:
Reviewer: nkwyatt Review Date: 09/27/2018
Rating: (1) Would Recommend:
I've stayed at this resort twice -- I did not enjoy either stay. The first visit was shortly after the resort opened and we stayed in a standard room (there is no preferred room option) in the Little Mermaid area of the resort. The walk to/from these buildings was excruciatingly long -- seemed like about 15 minutes which may not be that long to some but......if you forget something and have to return to your room it makes for a very bad experience. Also, the resort refillable mugs are basically useless because there is no quick trip to the foodcourt for a refill -- it's a 15 minute walk minimum. The same is true for a trip to the gift shop. Therefore, when I went back for my second trip, I paid the higher price and stayed in a suite -- again, not a good experience. The design of these rooms can only be described as cluttered. The sofa was not a full-size sofa so it accommodates seating for only 2 guests. The "side chair" is more like a chair you would find at the dining table and is not conducive for watching TV or resting. The table and chairs take up most of the entry way and cannot be used if the Murphy bed is down. The "kitchenette" is tiny and right in the middle of the living area. Guests who will be sleeping on the pullouts have no place to store their luggage other than right in the middle of the living area. The side tables in the living area were tiny and useless. To put it mildly, we hated this resort and hope never to stay there again.
Pros:Sadly, I can't find much that is positive to say about Art of Animation. The airline check-in personnel were friendly and efficient.
Cons:Everything -- crowded rooms; long walks to/from the foodcourt, buses, gift shops. Poor selections/not much variety in the foodcourt.
Reviewer: mamandragon Review Date: 01/03/2016
Rating: (4) Would Recommend:
Stayed here Dec 13 to 18 in the Nemo Suites. We were right behind animation hall by the pool. Rooms are just ok - nothing to get all excited about - my son-in law felt he was staying in a concrete bunker. We found it was a bit tight space wise for 4 adults and 3 kids 13, 6 and 2. Check in was good - however.....we were heading to Hollywood Studios and were told that we would receive a text message when our room was ready. My daughter finally called the hotel at 9 pm to see what our room number was. I think the only big draw at this resort is the pool. When we were there the pool hours were 9 am to 10 pm so it was difficult to get a swim in before we went to the parks or after we got back from the parks. We have stayed at many other Disney Resorts and would never choose this one again.....it certainly is a "value resort".
Cons:Room and Decor
Reviewer: annat856 Review Date: 12/04/2015
Rating: (4) Would Recommend:
With so many options for staying at a Disney resort nobody in my family of six ever wants to return here! In theory this would be a good resort for families with young children and large families. I couldn't get a Ft Wilderness Cabin when I called to book a free dining package so we decided to give this a try. I see now why we couldn't get a cabin, they were being refurbished. We had no wait to check-in. Very nice cast member checked us in. We were stuck on the 4th floor of a Cars building. It took forever from the parking lot to get to it. The smell was horrible and I couldn't figure out why they used such horrible smelling cleaning products. We came back very late one night from Epcot after a late dinner. And when I opened the fridge to put a drink in it I found some bugs. In the fridge! My DH went down to the lobby to tell/complain. They moved us immediately! The smell when we arrived was a pest treatment smell. So there was a known problem with this room. Our new location was on the 2nd floor with a pool view. We also got a credit to our account and the manager met with us and had refillable mugs that had been in the fridge replaced for us. So the management did do their best with a bad situation. We were just so grossed out and especially my DD who is the picky one anyway.
This was the first time I've been to a Disney resort and found the decor to be ugly. We've stayed at: All-Star Music Broadway standard rooms, Jazz and Calypso Family suites, Ft Wilderness Cabin, Wilderness Lodge standard room, and Bay Lake Tower 2 bedroom villa. All of them were nicely decorated. My teens thought it was like getting stuck in kindergarten at Art of Animation. So it looks like we'll be staying at a cabin when we go again.
Pros:The family suites have a lot of room
Cons:looked like a kindergarten room and pest problem
Reviewer: tinkw Review Date: 08/10/2013
Rating: (2) Would Recommend:
The theming of this resort is fabulous with so much attention to detail, it's an animation fan's heaven. Check in was swift and the cast member who checked us in noticed my birthday fell whilst we were there and gave me a birthday button during check in. By the time we got to our room she had forwarded a call from Mickey and Minnie wishing me a happy birthday and sent a card to the room the day before my birthday. That made for a good start but unfortunately that's where the praise ends.
Little Mermaid Rooms -
As previous visitors to Disney Value resorts we are no strangers to the 'long walk' from some parts of the resort to the food hall, although I have to say the walk from Little Mermaid rooms with small children would be complete torture particularly after a day in the parks.
The room was kept tidy although bins were not always emptied and the bath wasn't cleaned daily. Bathroom tissue wasn't always replaced and on one occasion I returned early whilst the room was being cleaned, so to be polite waited for the maid to finish- it took 40 minutes. Now why does it take 40 minutes to empty 3 bins, wipe a sink and bath and tuck in a few bed sheets? By the end of the 2 weeks I could write my name in dust on the furniture - so I did!
The food hall -
Where to begin on this one?
The types of food are a little bit strange and probably not to everyone's taste. I'm not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination, but the food was the same every day and really who wants Indian based foods for breakfast? What's wrong with the good old traditional Bounty Platter? The quality of the food is also not what you come to expect from Disney.
The lines were long and the cast members clueless about the products they were selling.
On the first day, the ice machine on the beverage isle was clearly broken and as a result the floor was flooded and coned off whilst it was fixed. Later in the holiday, the same machine began churning out ice and wouldn't stop. I witnessed 3 cast member look at it, do nothing and walk away. What happened to Disney's Safety First policy?
As good resort guests, we bought a refillable cup each and used it with our meals, however other guests clearly don't believe they should do this and walked up to the machines, filled a variety of drinking vessels and walked away. Again this was witnessed by cast members who chose not to challenge them. Surely this is theft?????
Coffee pots were often empty as were the creamer machines, so if your a coffee lover, forget it!
As a traveller from the UK I always bring Travellers Cheques, BIG MISTAKE! I got tired of having to explain to cast members what they were and then having to wait whilst they found out what to do with them - resulting in lots of cold meals!
The pools at AoA are gated and require your Key to the World to access them. On many occasions I witnessed whole groups of people waiting by the gates for guests with keys to open the gates and then followed them in. Were they really AoA guests? I suspect not!
If this is the future of Disney hotels, I think I will keep a foot in the past thank you very much!
All I can say is thank goodness Pop Century was only over the bridge - as a result I didn't starve, my sanity remained in tact and I still believe in Disney customer service!
Reviewer: nikkipoooo Review Date: 07/10/2013
Rating: (4) Would Recommend:
I stayed in a Little Mermaid room (building 9) from 7/4/13 through 7/8/13. I've seen all of the conflicting reviews about the distance to the LM section, some saying "It's sooo far" and others saying "It's not that far", and none of those were helpful to me (I was traveling as the only adult with a nearly 6 year old who was without a stroller at WDW for the first time) so I thought I'd post something a little less subjective. I used my jogging app to see how far it actually is to walk from Animation Hall (the back door that opens out to the Big Blue pool gate) to the far end of building 9 in the LM section. It is 0.31 miles, which might be fine for adults, older children, and those with strollers but after even a half day walking around the parks my niece had trouble making it all the way back to the room under her own steam. I also felt absolutely terrible for the luggage service guy, who had to push our bags all the way back to Animation Hall on a regular luggage cart because for some reason they don't have the golf carts for them to use.
Our Mousekeeping was pretty close to awful. I'm a fairly generous tipper, but stopped tipping completely after 2 days of returning to the room to find the bathtub not cleaned, the main wastebasket just dumped, but left with a sticky liner which had trash stuck to it, and really no sign they had even been there except for the sheets tucked and and bedspreads straightened, and a stack of clean washcloths on the vanity.
I'll finish on the high notes...
We enjoyed the food court, and the multiple beverage stations it offered. We never had to wait in line to fill our cups like we've done at other resorts. We never waited behind more than one other guest to order or pay, even at peak mealtimes. I loved the butter chicken with basmati rice I had for lunch the last day.
The attention to detail was simply amazing (even if they did seem to miss some of the larger problems, like only having 3 drawers and 4 hangers due to the fridge taking up half of the dresser) and my niece couldn't wait to take a shower in "Ariel's human stuff". The room was small, an adequate size for a group of 2 or 3 but it might feel quite tight with anything more than that.
I can't complain about the busses. Transportation at WDW is hit or miss no matter where or when I've stayed, but even during the busy holiday weekend we never waited more than 15 minutes for a bus, and only experienced a line with more than one (full) busload of people twice, once coming back to the hotel after the fireworks on the 4th and then going to Downtown Disney at 5pm on Saturday... both were no more or less than what I expected. The one issue I had with transportation is that the bus stops at the parks were all very close to the furthest walks.
The Big Blue pool area is big enough that even when it was very busy it wasn't super crowded, and we were able to find chairs to put our towels and shoes on. The activities were fun for kids from about 4-10, and nearly constant the afternoon we spent there. It must have been too crowded, however, to hear any music under the water, which disappointed my niece.
Overall, my characterization of the hotel is that it's very cute, but I wouldn't stay there again unless I was staying in a Nemo suite. Despite the age appropriate theming, I couldn't recommend it at all for families with children just out of a stroller, due to the extensive walking.
Pros:excellent theming, large retail shop, very fast check-in process
Cons:size, proximity to everything else, terrible Mousekeeping
Reviewer: mimmy Review Date: 06/23/2013
Rating: (3) Would Recommend:
We booked five nights in the Little Mermaid section of AOA, but lasted only one. The rooms are ridiculously small for two adults and two children, ages 8 and 6. The room is very,very basic and cheap with a few whimsical accessories/touches that make it even more depressing. The resort itself felt very sterile from the lobby to the grounds - a lot of concrete. The oversized plastic characters are just that, nothing special. The next morning we moved to Port Orleans Riverside. For only a few dollars more a night, we stayed in one of the royal rooms w/ 2 queen beds, double sinks and upscale touches. Even if you are just using the room to sleep and shower, I would spend the extra $10 a night to come back to a resort that actually feels like a resort. AOA does not have a resort like feel at all and none of the "magic" that one should expect from a WDW vacation. We honestly couldn't wait to leave. The vacation started once we switched resorts. (See my review for POR.)
We did eat breakfast in the food court, landscape of flavors, and that was fine. The little interaction we had with the staff was fine as well.
Pros:food court, friendly staff
Cons:basic rooms, sterile atmosphere, zero resort like feel
Reviewer: disneymom1012 Review Date: 02/13/2013
Rating: (6) Would Recommend:
My family of 6 and my parents, brother and his family stayed 5 nights recently and were very disappointed in a few things about this resort. Our suites were in the cars section (about as far away from buses and dining as possible). The theming was excellent and my four sons loved seeing their favorite characters from Cars.
We got to the resort about 1:30 and our rooms were not ready yet. About an hour later my mom got a text that their room was ready, so we all went to their room so the kids could get ready to swim while we waited on our room. Mousekeeping was cleaning the room next door. We supposed this would be ours, so we checked frequently to see when they were done. The cm's that were working did not seem to be in a hurry at all and our room was not ready until 3:45. This pushed us quite a bit getting to our 5:15 dinner reservation.
The suite was laid out well and fitted our family. I can see how 6 adults would not be comfortable, though. We absolutely loved the shower in the master! We are even talking about trying to do something similar in our house! One complaint we had about the room is that each evening when we got back to the room with 4 tired kids, the beds would be put back into the table and the couch. So, we would have to lay the kids on the big bed until we could get the beds fixed again. It would be nice if they would just leave them in the bed position once they are out. We didn't use the dining table at all.
Our biggest problems with the resort were the size of the resort and the bus transportation. I will say that we are a little spoiled as far as the size goes, we have stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter the last 3 trips and love how small and quaint it is. No matter where your room is, it is not far to bus stop, dining, or parking lot. This is not the case at AoA, everything is a hike.
The bus transportation was a nightmare. We know that the bus system is not perfect, but it is supposed to be a service not a hindrance. Most every return trip to the resort was an incredible wait, but one night in particular was a nightmare. We had late reservations at Be Our Guest and were leaving an hour after fireworks and park closing. We expected some wait at the bus stop, but when we arrived the line was out of the queue and we waited for 40 minutes to get on a bus with 6 six tired children in our group. While we waited we noticed that the other bus stops were empty or there were only a few people in line. This was unacceptable and my mother complained to management. The manager on duty was kind and apologetic, but confessed that this is a continuing problem and she does not understand why they can not get it resolved.
We really enjoyed the theming of the resort and that we all fit in one room. But the problems are not worth it. We will not stay here again!
Pros:Theme and suites
Cons:Size of resort, transportation, and service
Reviewer: Melanie D Review Date: 10/01/2018
Rating: (9) Would Recommend:
Art of Animation was the second value we have stayed at and we loved it. We stayed in a Cars suite and it was adorable. We will definitely stay here again.
Pros:The theme is awesome. It was so cute seeing the kids with the statues from the films.
Cons:Long walk at the end of the day to Mermaid and Cars rooms.
Reviewer: survivoramy Review Date: 10/01/2018
Rating: (10) Would Recommend:
The best of the value resorts for sure! My middle child adored the Cars area. We took so many great pics there. The Nemo pool where you can hear music underwater is very cool. I do miss the lack of water slides when we choose a value over a moderate. We took a lot of pictures at all the different themed areas. Our room was great. We stayed in a standard Ariel room Our view was just landscape but it was pretty. The room met our needs and we had no issues with bus transportation at all. We weren't using it at the most popular times/parks though. Check in was great and my middle child enjoyed drawing on an easel while we waited. We checked out the shop and arcade area and it was all great - as expected at Disney. Pricey in shop but everything in Disney is.
Pros:One of mine is a CARS fanatic so she loved that area! The Nemo pool was great.
Cons:I can't think of any...well I guess we wish values had a water slide as a pool feature.
Reviewer: vickey t Review Date: 09/30/2018
Rating: (9) Would Recommend:
Haven't been back since it opened as I am a DVC member but we had a blast. My son especially loved pulling down his bed and making the table disappear