Disney World’s Art of Animation hotel suites well-planned for families



Walt Disney World has taken its focus on multi-generational travel a step farther with the addition of more family suites to its hotel inventory. On May 31, Disney’s Art of Animation, the newest resort in the value category, officially opened its first wing with 320 family suites.

And there are more to come. By mid-August, Art of Animation will have two more wings open for a total of 1,120 suites. Although the theming for each wing will be based on a different animated movie — “Finding Nemo,” “Cars” or “The Lion King” — the suites will offer the same amenities.

Each family suite can sleep up to six people, and the functional and innovative furnishings ensure everyone has adequate space. The suites are essentially two single rooms put together and divided into three living areas.


When you enter the suite, you’ll first see a dining table with four chairs — perfect for eating a meal that was prepared in the kitchenette or for use as a workspace. (Outlets are located above the side tables.) No need to balance a plate or computer on your lap! At night, the chairs — which are quite sturdy despite being plastic — are easy to stack and tuck in a corner when the Inova Table Bed is opened. This invention is similar to a Murphy bed, and it comes down easily as the table collapses underneath it. The Inova Table Bed fascinated my kids when we stayed in one of the Nemo suites recently and they couldn’t wait to sleep in it.


The second area of the suite houses a kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, sink and coffee-maker. For families, having the equipment to easily prepare breakfast and even some other meals in the room can greatly enhance their Disney World vacation. Not only does eating in save money, but it also may save time when family members don’t have to get cleaned up and travel to other locations for reservations. Also, Pop Art Pizza delivers the Italian pies and other popular entrees, along with sodas, beer and wine, to guest rooms, and the kitchenette is useful for saving leftovers and reheating them.



Next to the kitchenette in the family room is a sleeper sofa, a lamp table, two small coffee tables, an upholstered chair that spins, a television, chest of drawers and an area to hang clothes. This space is a comfortable place to hang out that converts into a second sleeping area at night. One cool feature here (and in the master bedroom) is that guests can plug in their videocameras and watch what they’ve recorded so far on the television. If that special experience wasn’t taped properly, you’ll know and have time to try again. Jacks for gaming devices and other electronics are also available.


The third area of the suite is the master bedroom, which has a queen bed, two nightstands, a chest of drawers with a television and DVD player, and a place to hang clothes. There are no closets in the family suites, but the master bedroom has several places to stash your suitcases. I usually am a heavy packer, and even with all my bags and suitcases, we had ample room to move around the suite.

In the Nemo suites, the decor of the rooms is coordinated with bright colors and an under-the-sea motif that kids and parents both are sure to love. Everywhere they look, they will find new details — from the lamps shaped like sea urchins to the coral design in the backs of the plastic chairs to the wavy pattern in the carpet.


Guests also have two full bathrooms at their disposal, and they are designed to make you feel as though you are in the movie’s submarine. The master bath incorporates the brown tones and offers a more upscale feel with a large, glassed-in rain shower and a vanity that looks like a piece of furniture. The second bathroom has a tub with a Bruce the shark shower curtain and toilet that are separate from the sink. On mirrors in both is etched the saying, “Fish are friends.”

The family suites at Art of Animation are priced from $248 to $415, depending on the view and season. Guests soon can choose to stay in the “Cars” wing, which opens June 18, and “The Lion King” wing, which opens Aug. 10. The Little Mermaid wing — the only part of the hotel with single rooms — opens Sept. 15. Those rooms start at $95 per night.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Walt Disney World Resort during my stay at Art of Animation. This did not influence my story, and my opinions are my own.

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5 Replies to “Disney World’s Art of Animation hotel suites well-planned for families”

  1. I have been scowering the web since I first made my reservations at AOA Lion King Suite 8 months ago. This by far the most thurough review. Thank you!
    Two questions.
    1) Does the coffee pot pod system take standard size K-cups?
    2) Would the DVD player easily be moved to hook up to the TV in the main living space? We plan to take afternoon breaks with our littles each day and would love to watch our favorite Disney movies in the living area.

    AllEars: Disney Coffee makers do not take K-cups. I don’t know for sure but would doubt you can move the DVD player.

  2. Hello there and I would also like to say thank you so much for your review! We are going to stay in the Lion King Suite on 8/12/12 and we can’t wait! I was wondering if the coffee pot in the room was a regular pot or if it takes those pod things?? LOL call me crazy but I have to have my coffee in the morning! Thanks again!

    KRISTIN: It is a pod system that makes two cups of coffee.

  3. Mike,

    We stayed there last week and didn’t use the transportation system at all, instead opting to use our own vehicle. Call me crazy, but we drove anyway, you get free parking, and we got there early enough every day to part as close as possible.

    I guess the Magic Kingdom is the one place we couldn’t get that close, but we just rode the monorail from the TTC into the park, and the kids enjoyed the ride anyway.

    Our travel times to AK and HS were about 10 minutes and for MK we allowed 30 minutes.

  4. Everything sounds great, thanks for the quick review of your stay!!!
    How about the other “issues” some encounter at “value resorts” being the transportation?
    I have stayed at all types of Disney property and do believe that the Values transportation is sometimes not the same.
    How is the travel time to and from the parks?
    We are currently debating this place with another so I am curious of your thoughts.
    Thanks so much!

  5. We are going the end of summer next year and plan to stay here with our grand daughter an two daughters. I was so excited when I heard it opened and this helps to get me more worked up, it looks amazing. We stayed at Coronado last time we stayed, and it was beautiful and we had a great stay, but it was a lot less kid friendly. I cannot wait to get inundated with all this next time.