Art of Animation — Little Mermaid Section

Jack Spence Masthead

Once again I visited the Art of Animation Resort, this time for the grand opening of the final phase of this Disney property, The Little Mermaid section. I toured the grounds and stayed in a standard room during my visit. Let’s start with the room.

To begin with, the Little Mermaid section of the Art of Animation Resort contains rooms of the same type and configuration as the other value resorts like the Pop Century and the All Stars. These are NOT suites as found in the Finding Nemo, Cars, and Lion King sections of the resort. To read a brief history of how these three wings of the resort came into being, check out an earlier article of mine by clicking here.

The Little Mermaid rooms open up onto an outside balcony. This balcony is decorated with a number of colorful fish found in the movie.

Little Mermaid Balcony

Balcony Fish

Balcony Fish

Balcony Fish

Balcony Fish

Little Mermaid Balcony

The three buildings that make up the Little Mermaid section of the resort are each four stories high. Ice and drink vending machines can be found on each floor near the elevators.

The guest rooms feature two double beds covered in turquoise bedspreads with several sea flowers as accents. The edge of the bedspread displays a design of coral. Each bed has two reasonably sized pillows.

Double Beds

Double Beds


The headboards look like giant clamshells and feature small bubbles floating upwards. The light above each bed is a giant bubble and is surrounded by curious seahorses. Convenient light switches are located above the nightstand.


Bubble Light

Between the headboards we find Sebastian and Flounder giving a fin-claw-high-five.

Sebastian and Flounder

On the nightstand are a telephone and a clock-radio. A single drawer contains a phone book and a Gideon Bible.


On the sidewall we find a portrait of Eric captaining his ship with his trusty companion Max.

Prince Eric Portrait

The carpet continues the “under the sea” theme with a sandy look and various seashells, starfish, and sand dollars.

Sea Floor Carpet

The window has both sheers and blackout curtains. The curtains feature a seascape minus any Little Mermaid characters.

Window Covering

Window Covering

Each room has its own air conditioner which is nicely concealed behind a wall. The electronic thermostat is motion sensitive to help reduce energy use.

Air Conditioning


The room has a small table and two plastic “clam” chairs. An electrical outlet is conveniently located on the wall behind the table for laptop use. Embedded into the table’s surface is the sheet music for “Under the Sea.”

Table and Chairs

Table and Chairs

Sheet Music

Above the table is a brightly colored “fish” lamp/mirror. The switch for this fixture can be found next to the door.

Lamp - Mirror

The chest contains three drawers and a refrigerator. A “hidden” compartment houses electronic hookups for audio-visual connections to the flat-screen TV. There is NO coffee maker in the room.

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers

On the wall next to the chest is an octopus coatrack.


The bedroom is separated from the vanity area by a somewhat light-resistant curtain. It displays a scene right out of the “Under the Sea” section of the movie.

Vanity Curtain

The vanity only has one sink. The countertop is made out of a material that looks like the sandy sea floor. It’s a wonderful accent that really adds to the personality of this room. In addition, Disney has added a handy cubbyhole beneath the sink for the storage of odds and ends. The mirror is framed in a sea coral design. A hairdryer hangs on the side wall.

Vanity Sink

Vanity Sink


Hair Dryer

Next to the sink is the open closet. Besides hanging space and a shelf you’ll find a luggage rack, iron and board, and an electronic safe.

Open Closet


The water closet is small, but efficient. A motion sensor detects movement and activates the exhaust fan whenever someone enters. The Little Mermaid shower curtain is especially appealing. If you must have one for your own home, it is for sale at the Ink & Paint Shop located in Animation Hall. The bath is stocked with four, adequate towels. If you’re looking for fluffy, you’ll have to book a deluxe property.


Shower Curtain

For me, one of the highlights of the Little Mermaid room is the tile work behind the tub/shower. Here, you bathe in Ariel’s grotto which is chalked full of bric-à-brac. It’s stunning and my picture does not do it justice.

Shower Tile

Obviously, this room can’t compare to the value suites found in the Finding Nemo, Cars, and Lion King Sections of the resort. But how does it stack up against the rooms at the Pop Century and All Stars? Quite well. The theming in the Little Mermaid rooms is far more pronounced than at its sister resorts. Enough so that I would definitely lean toward this resort if I was searching for a standard, value room. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of the value resorts. But these new rooms get the edge in my book.

That’s it for the Little Mermaid room. To see a three minute movie of this newest addition to Disney’s lineup of sleeping quarters, check out my video below.

Now let’s take a look at the exterior of this newest addition to the Art of Animation.

First, let me say, the Little Mermaid section of the resort is the furthest away from Animation Hall which houses the shop, restaurant, check-in area, and bus stop. If you have a mobility issue, you might want to think twice before booking a room here. Most people will be okay with the walk, but not everyone.

The end staircases of the various wings are hidden behind multiple layers of giant, colorful coral. The effect works quite nicely.

Coral Stair Coverings

You enter the Little Mermaid section along a winding path that is lined and illuminated by ships lanterns. At the moment, the foliage is a little thin, but give it time. In six months it will feel like the ocean floor.

Pathway into the Little Mermaid Section


To give you an idea of how detail oriented Disney can be, some of the flower beds use crushed seashells as ground cover.

Seashell Ground Covering

Along this pathway we find a number of Ariel’s treasures including a fork (dinglehopper), pipe (snarfblat), treasure chest, and stein.



Treasure Chest


At the end of the pathway we discover the statue of Prince Eric that fell overboard during the storm at sea.

Prince Eric Statue

Prince Eric Statue

I will take this moment to chide Disney just a little. Flanking every one of Ariel’s treasures are at least two signs warning us not to climb on the structures. Really? Has Disney forgotten their audience? They have placed pieces of art that are absolutely irresistible to children along a pathway and expect the kids not to climb on them.

I really don’t know what the answer is. Should they put a fence around these pieces like they did the Casey Jr. engine in Storybook Circus? Or are these signs just Disney’s way of getting out of any legal entanglements should someone’s child hurt themselves while climbing into the treasure chest to see what can be discovered.

Bottom line, I understand the reasoning for the signs. But for me, it takes away a little of the magic.

No Climbing Sign

Okay, back to the resort”¦

Each of the three buildings of the Little Mermaid section is anchored by a giant character from the movie. We have King Triton, Ursula, and Ariel & Flounder.

On the building to the left as we enter this area we discover King Triton and his trumpeting entourage.

King Trident

King Trident

Trumpeting Entourage

Facing Triton across the courtyard is his sister and nemesis, Ursula with her companions in evil, Flotsam and Jetsam.





On the furthest building we find everyone is swimming to greet their friend Ariel and her best buddy Flounder.

Swimming to Ariel





In the center of the three buildings we encounter Sebastian in all his glory.




The Flippin’ Fins Pool is large and offers a number of lounge chairs and tables for enjoying the outdoors. However, this pool lacks the imaginative theming of the Big Blue Pool located at the Finding Nemo section and the Cozy Cone Pool found in the Cars section. Don’t get me wrong. The Flippin’ Fins Pool offers everything you need for a good time. But in my opinion, it isn’t anything that will knock your socks off. Disney has raised the bar to a new level and now they must compete with themselves. The Flippin’ Fins pool is great, but kids will have more fun at the Big Blue Pool and adults will enjoy the cabanas found at the Cozy Cone Pool.

Flippin' Fins Pool

Flippin' Fins Pool

Flippin' Fins Pool

Flippin' Fins Pool

In the pool area are restrooms and a laundromat.



To see a three minute movie of the Little Mermaid exterior grounds, check out my video below.

That’s it for my four-part review of the new Art of Animation resort. Overall, I really think Disney has done an outstanding job. People come to Walt Disney World to be immersed in the magic and this spot does it in spades. Even if the Grand Floridian is more to your liking, you should definitely stop by the Art of Animation on your next trip for a look around. You’ll be glad you did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

60 Replies to “Art of Animation — Little Mermaid Section”

  1. Hi Jack!
    This was so helpful! I am planning an April 2015 trip for my husband, my (then) 7 year old son and myself. Do you think the Little Mermaid room would be a “let-down” for a boy? The suites aren’t in our price range. Would we be better off going with the Caribbean Beach instead? I just love the decor of the entire AoA resort!


    Jack’s Answer:

    I just took a look at my pictures of a “Little Mermaid” room. There is nothing feminine about it. In fact, Ariel is not present. All of the decorations are of the movie’s fish and of Prince Eric. Ariel can be seen out in the courtyard, but the room is gender-neutral

  2. Thanks for the info. We are planning a March 2015 visit and I was wondering if there were any connecting rooms in the Little Mermaid buildings?

    Jack’s Answer: I’m sorry. I really don’t know. You’ll have to check with Disney. They’re general information number is: 407-824-1234.

  3. I am going next March and staying at the art of’s a shame about the coffee maker,but you can either use the resort mugs or bring a travel kettle and instant coffee sachets, will need to check if I can bring instant coffee into the USA.milk should be available in the food court or in the parks.

  4. I just looked at your photo blog of the Little Mermaid section at AoA, and I just want to thank you for providing so much information. We are planning a trip for summer, 2015, and my son really wants to stay at AoA. We’ll very likely stay LM, unless by some miracle we get upgraded (I have heard that it happens occasionally). This blog gave me great info. Thanks Jack.

  5. We just upgraded to AoA little mermaid for an upcoming June trip. We’ve been really wanting to try this resort, having stayed at pop century and movies in the past.
    If staying in the Little Murmaid section, since I’m at the AoA resort will I have access to the other pools at AoA?
    Great post, awesome descriptions & photos.

    Jack’s Answer:

    No worries. You have access to all three pools at AoA.

  6. This is great, I completely missed the closet space in the pictures I’ve found.
    I’m curious if anyone can tell me if there is room under the beds to slide a container in? Or are the bottoms blocked with panelling?
    Since we’re driving down, if there’d be enough room, I thought maybe I’d pack some clothes in a rollaway storage bin. I think it would have been better to put the mini fridge in a corner and leave you more drawer space.
    I’m also thinking one of those shoe storage things that hang over a door for shoes for a family of four, with a princess and a “queen”…a girl has to have options!
    Thank you for this post! Very informative (;

    Jack’s Comment:

    Sorry, but I don’t remember if the beds are on platforms or open underneath. Maybe someone else will read you comment and respond. In the meantime, you might want to call Disney General Information and ask: 407-824-4321.

  7. Just made our reservation for Food and Wine for this October. Was going to make reservations for Pop Century, but decided to try AoA Little Mermaid, since we haven’t stayed at the resort before. Heard really good things about their food court, and the fact that it will also have a dedicated bus stop. The rooms are very pretty and whimsical. Looking forward to it~

  8. Thanks for another great tour! We are staying at Pop for our arrival day, but I really wanted to stay at AoA Mermaid room. However, WDW has priced it almost to Moderate resort pricing. Almost! I got a BB for Pop, for $90 for our night, and no offer for AoA which would be $35 more. So guess I’ll just have to enjoy AoA with walking around.

    Last summer we did a day trip over to look, and try out food court for lunch. Mermaid section was still under construction.

    The rooms look really cute, if a bit small. Sink could use a shelf underneath, that cubby won’t hold much stuff, esp with all the hair products & toiletries for my daughter & I, lol!!

  9. Thank you, loved the tour, we are booked for September and can hardly wait. Glad to see there is a fridge and safe in every Mermaid room,pity about the coffee maker, but we will survive that.

  10. Hi Jack looking to go in October and your blog has been so useful – if we went for building 7 nearest the lion king area but did not have a lake view what is the other view of, I see part of the building 7 looks over the pool which has been commented as potentially a bit noisy but wanted to be as near to the main section as possible.

    Thanks Lynn UK

    Jack’s Answer:

    Building 7 has three views, Lake View, Pool View, and Courtyard View. However, I do not know if Disney recognizes the difference between Pool and Courtyard View when it comes to pricing. Disney does not guarantee room placement within a category, but they do try to honor requests. When making your reservation, request building 7 closest to the Lion King Section. When checking in, ask again. They will do their best to give you want you want.

  11. Hey Jack!

    I will be staying in the Little Mermaid section at the end of February/ beginning of March this year. Are the beds pretty comfortable? Also, I requested a king size bed with my travel agent. Do they even offer this option in the standard rooms?

    Thanks a bunch!!

    Jack’s Answer:

    I have never had a problem with any of the regular beds at any of the Disney resorts. They have always been adequately comfortable. I don’t like the fold-out beds, but the standard beds are fine.

    To my knowledge, the Little Mermaid rooms do NOT have a king-bed option.

    I did some further checking and according to the official Disney page, they do offer a king option. Best of luck.

  12. Compare the walk from the Little Mermaid section to the Hall to the walk from the 90s section of Pop Century to the main building. We stayed at Pop and was booked in the 90s building and the walk was easy. Just wondering how much less/more it is. Thanks.

  13. Hi Jack,
    This was so helpful! Our travel agent recommended Polynesian or Wilderness but we have a 6 year old and the room decor looked a bit boring to us! We know this is ‘value’ but love the theme.
    Just one question – what are your thoughts on a mid-January visit? We are from South Dakota so ‘warm’ for us is 60’s, 70’s.
    Thank you!

    Jack’s Answer:

    January is a great time to visit. The crowds are practically nonexistent. However, weather can be an issue. At this time of year, it is very unpredictable. One day the high can be 75, the next, 45 (with lows in the 30’s). If you’re from South Dakota, this shouldn’t be an issue. But you need to be aware, it still gets cold in Florida.

  14. Jack – Thank you for the detail and information on the Art of Animation. We are doing a girls trip this summer and thought about staying at the Art of Animation since it is brand new. We’ve visted the Yacht Club, Coronado and Beach Club and Animal Kingdom before. After some of the reviews, I’m quite hesistant in booking a value resort. Any recommendations on the “best resort for your buck?” We’re willing to pay a few extra dollars but wouldn’t mind saving also. Thanks for your help, we’re extremely excited about your advice!

    Jack’s Answer:

    I really like the value resorts. Really. But you have to be realistic in your expectation. The rooms are smaller. Four people would feel crowded. There are no table-service restaurants. There is only one bus stop — which can be busy with people waiting.

    Now that Disney has added value suites into the mix, you have more to consider. I especially like the Cars section of Art of Animation.

    If I wasn’t staying in suite, then I’d probably pick the Pop Century if you’re looking for a value resort.

    I would stay away from the All Star Sports and All Star Music. Not because they’re inferior, but because Disney often promotes these resorts to youth sports and music groups. This can make the resorts very boisterous.

    I would also consider the moderate resorts. I especially like the French Quarter at Port Orleans. The theming is wonderful but it’s small enough to be manageable.

  15. Jack, how far is the Little Mermaid section from the Animation hall? I will be renting stroller at the theme parks for my toddler, would I need a stroller to go to the bus stop from the room?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I would say a fast walker could do it in five minutes (that’s me). A medium walker in 8 to 10 minutes. A slow walker up to 15. However, it is a pleasant walk with a lot to look at along the way.

    I hope this helps.

  16. Jack, I think you answered my prior question on a previous post. What are your thoughts on pool noise in feb — non existent, right?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Disney keeps their pools at 82 degrees year round. That means that on nice days, even in February, some people will use the hotels pools. Not many, but some. Will the noise be non-existent? Probably not. But it shouldn’t be a problem.

  17. Jack, love this informative article which makes me feel like I have visited though my trip isn’t until next year! Trying to decide what building to stay in and on what side (pool, lake, or lawn facing). What do you think? Plan for a feb stay so pool facing may not be as noisy as it would be in warmer months? Trying to minimize disruption with the outer walkways. Also think an upper floor may minimize noise if pool facing. Thanks!

  18. Jack – we leave next Friday for our annual mother/daughter Food & Wine Festival trip, and we are staying here! Quick question: did you find the rooms to be a little sensory overload? From the pictures, I feel like I will be in constant under water world and not as “relaxed”…what did you think?

    Jack’s Answer:

    This is such a subjective question. The rooms are meant to be enjoyed by the whole family, but they are certainly geared toward children. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with the Little Mermaid rooms. They aren’t as “over the top” as the Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. Are the rooms “relaxed.” No. But they didn’t make me “nervous” either. LOL

    I hope this helps.

  19. Great Blog Jack, i have 2 questions

    1) is teh walk from Building 7 & 9 really 10min for a slow walker? my concern is not going but coming back from the parks.

    2) the maps shows 5 bus stops in front of AOA Hall, are the stops for all the parks or is 1 stop fro each park?

    thank you

    Jack’s Answer:

    1. Yes. It really is a 10 minute walk for a slow walker.

    2. There is one bus stop for each park.

  20. Hi, thank you for the review, it helped me a lot. I just have one question. With all sections open, is the service at the counter very slow?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I have visited this resort so often lately that I avoided the Landscape of Flavors restaurant this last trip. It’s a good restaurant, I just got tired of eating here. But here is a realistic answer.

    Breakfast is ALWAYS busy and crowded at all Disney resorts. The only way to avoid breakfast crowds is to eat early — 7ish.

    Lunch is never busy because everyone is at the parks.

    Dinner can be busy, but not as busy as breakfast.

    Remember, this restaurant was designed to handle crowds. But you still will have to stand in lines to get your food and another line to pay — allowing your food to get cold. It’s the nature of the beast.

    I hope that helps.

  21. Dear Jack,
    As usual, I learn more from your comments than any others I see. Since we are ALWAYS on a strict budget at WDW, and stay at Fort Wilderness Campground(during a value season, at that) I may never make it to actually STAY at AofA. But, we always visit different resorts and look around (hey, a girl can dream, right?). Thanks again for the great pictures, and videos. I do love the carpet in the Little Mermaid rooms and those showers are great. Can’t wait for another blog about YOUR personal Disney abode!!!!! Thanks again!!!!!

  22. Is there any resort transportation? I have stayed at Coronado and Caribbean Beach and both of those resorts had buses that would bring you from your part of the hotel to the main building. Are the grounds of Caribbean Beach much larger than AOA? I am concerned about the park buses only picking up at the main building.

    Jack’s Answer:

    The Art of Animation Resort offers bus service. However, there is only one stop at Animation Hall. The closest section to Animation Hall is Finding Nemo. Next it Cars followed by Lion King and finally Little Mermaid.

    I hope that helps.

  23. Wow!!! I’m staying there in October. I can’t wait. I’m so happy they have a frig in the room. I bring my own breakfast food and this a a big help. Now I can bring doggie bags back to room for a late night snack :).

  24. Disappointed with the lack of storage space-we are just 2 adults and even we would struggle with just 3 drawers between us. Also around the vanity area-how difficult would it have been to include a shelf below the sinks to put toiletry bags on? (As you can probably guess our Disneymoon last year was to POFQ so we are now acutely aware of the lack of storage in a Value!!)
    thanks for the cpmpariosn in wlk times with Pop-we stayed in the 90s building and didn’t find it a long walk at all-even at the end of an Epcot route march…

  25. Thanks for saving me a trip! I was waiting for the Little Mermaid shower curtain to be available at AOA’s gift shop–now that I’ve seen it I don’t have to make the trip–it isn’t something I’d hang in my house!

  26. Thanks for the great review.

    We stayed at POP in August and walked over the bridge to look at the pools and eat at the new resort. We are looking forward to staying at the Mermaid next year as this area was not available to passholders for the fall.

    Enjoy all of your blogs.

  27. Hi Jack: Are they going for the same price point as the others in this facility currently at 249.00 per day same as the suites. Seems a little pricey compared to Pop Century or the All Star resorts. Doubt if Disney will have any problem filling them though.

    Jack’s Answer:

    The Little Mermaid rooms are the same price (roughly) as the rooms at the Pop Century and the All Stars. You can rent two Little Mermaid rooms for less than one suite. It’s something to think about.

  28. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for some great images and insights. I am thinking of staying here and Dec 2013. The rooms look good, but I am really sorry to see that there is only one sink in the vanity area. Two sinks is so much more convenient unless you are staying by yourself. Personally I will be traveling with 1-2 other adults – the one sink and the size of the vanity are kind of troubling to me.

    Jack’s Answer:

    All of the value resorts only offer one sink (except the suites). If you want two sinks, you must stay at one of the moderate resorts.

  29. Hi Jack!

    Great article, as usual! We’ll be headed to the World in late November and are booked at the Little Mermaid Section of AOA. My question is actually on behalf of my husband, who is a VERY light sleeper! Which of the buildings do you think is the quietest? Do you recommend asking for the top floor?

    When I do the Online Check-In, I’d love to have a specific QUIET room request.

    Thank you so much!

    Jack’s Answer:

    The top floor would be best. I was on the third floor and I heard a few “thuds” from the people above.

    I’m not sure one building is better than another. However, if pool noise is a factor, then ask for Ursula or Triton, south end of the buildings. The pool is located between the north ends.

  30. hi jack.
    I will be staying at the little mermaid AoA
    in Oct. can you tell me if they even have king rooms in the section? I was told they do, but am starting to have doubts.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I can’t find any information specifically talking about the Little Mermaid rooms. However, the Pop Century and the All Stars offer a few rooms with king beds so I would assume so does the Little Mermaid.

    You’ll have to call Disney reservations to confirm this.

  31. Jack,
    Another great article! We stayed in a Nemo Suite in June. While it was nice, I don’t know if we would stay there again. Even my daughters who are 19, 16 and 16 said they would prefer two rooms at a value resort (which is what we usually do).
    I’m surprised with the suite that storage space is still an issue. We had to take the pillows and blankets out of the chest so one of the girls could have drawer space. And I noticed in your video, that half of the dresser in the Ariel room is a fridge!
    We also had issues when it came time to do laundry. There are many many suites, but it seems that the available laundry facilities are the same as at the values.
    We are returning next summer and are debating staying at Pop Century or trying the Little Mermaid rooms. Either way…..can’t wait til next year!!!!

    Jack’s Comment:

    Two rooms at a value resort costs less than one Art of Animation suite. This is something people should consider when debating where two stay. Two rooms will also sleep eight while the suite will only sleep six.

  32. Hi Jack! Again, WDW out did themselves. This section looks awesome too, although I do feel the pool is lacking a bit. I wish they would have added some interactive zones, like squirting fish, or a fun zero depth area. I do love all the attention to detail.

  33. Wow. I had decided beforehand that I was NOT going to like the Mermaid themed rooms as the outdoor theming seemed so weak in comparison to the other 3 areas, but WOW! I love the way the rooms’ interiors turned out. The colors are very pretty and it seems to be better decorated and more themed inside the room than Pop or the All Stars resorts are. I really like what I saw and am now really considering a stay there. The under-the-sea blues and greens and corals is a very soothing eye pleasing palette and relaxing. I loved the characters on the headboard and the wall decor! This is absolutely adorable, and not so kid-themed to deter this adult from wanting to book a stay at Disney’s newest resort. Thanks Jack, as always I enjoy your in depth blogs.

  34. Hey! Heard somewhere that the pool(s) @ AoA are going to be ‘key-entry only’…true? What does that mean? Thank you!

    Jack’s Answer:

    The Art of Animation resort uses the new “electronic” card keys. Rather than having to slide your key into a slot on your room door, you just pass it over sensors to open your room door. All of the Disney resorts are converting to these new keys.

    All three pools at the Art of Animation are surrounded by fences, each with several gates. These gates also have the sensors and you must use your room key to open the gates. The keys are coded to your resort. This will discourage those at other resorts from pool-hoping.

  35. Fantastic description! I’m now excited to stay here in November.

    The clam chairs look really uncomfortable – how were they to sit in?

    Jack’s Answer:

    The clam chairs were okay, not great. I sat at my laptop for about an hour and never gave it much thought. It was fine as a desk chair, but I wouldn’t want to watch TV in one while trying to get comfortable.

  36. Great post. My family has stayed at Pop Century on the last 2 trips to Disney and really enjoyed it. We stayed in the 90’s section and found that the walk to the buses was quick because we could cut across the parking lot.

    We are debating about trying Little Mermaid in March but since we really don’t spend much time in the hotel (and the girls are older), we are more concerned about the walks to the buses and/or the gift shop/dining area, as well as bus wait times.

    How would the walk to the buses from Little Mermaid compare to Pop Century and did you notice if the bus wait times were about the same?

    Thanks and keep up the great reporting!

    Jack’s Answer:

    The Art of Animation resort and Pop Century resort are mirror images of one another. The 90’s section of Pop Century is just as far away from the buses and food court as is the Little Mermaid section. If you were fine at the Pop Century, you’ll be fine at the Art of Animation.

    The bus schedules should also be the same. Disney strives to have no wait over twenty minutes at all of their resorts.

  37. Thanks for the post. I’ve been waiting for the opening to get more details on the Mermaid rooms. I was recently offered a Cast Member discount of 40% on room and dining plan. Plan to use discount to afford more but still not spend too much. I’m leaning towards POR Alligator Bayou preferred room, but based on my calculations would only cost about $33 more per night (based on my length of stay) for Art of Animation suite. I like the relaxed looking atmosphere of POR, and my 7 yr old son is excited about the “alligator” pull down bed. Do you think the POR room is a big step down from the Art of Animation suites? So many choices makes it hard to decide!

    Jack’s Answer:

    You’re comparing apple and oranges…

    You are comparing a suite at a value resort to a recently refurbished room at a moderate resort. If you’re only comparing room to room, then I’d probably take one of the suites as they are very roomy and a lot of fun. Although in my opinion, they have a cartoonish feel about them. The Bayou rooms are a little more sophisticated — if you consider the bayou sophisticated.

    I definitely prefer the Riverside “resort” to the Art of Animation “resort.” Once again, there is a difference in sophistication.

    If you’re making the decision strictly to make your 7yo happy, pick Art of Animation. This resort was designed with kids in mind. If you’re looking to please yourself, pick Riverside.

    I hope that helps.

  38. So great! Thank you! Is Ursula really Triton’s sister!? I missed that.

    Jack’s Comment:

    Although not mentioned in the movie, the fact the Ursula is Tritons sister is brought out in the Broadway musical.

  39. Great write up! I had 2 thoughts as I read it. 1) how do they change those light bulbs in the headboards? 🙂 and 2) Look! Disney finally listened to Jack and made the cabinet door and fridge door open the same direction!

    Jack’s Answer:

    1. I suspect the plastic covers on the lights just pop off with a little torque.

    2. I suspect if I had gotten the room next door, the refrigerator door would be wrong. But maybe after my PO Riverside blog, Disney has put me into their computer to always give me a room with a “correct” refrigerator door. LOL

  40. Hi Jack,

    I had planned on being there for the opening on Sat. but something came up last minute.
    The pics look great! I really like the addition of the built-in fridge – something I’ve badly needed in the other value resorts. I always have to bring a cooler into the room ’cause I refuse to rent one from Disney.
    You say the thermostats have “motion sensors.” Does the compressor shut down when there is no movement? That won’t go well with me if it shuts down while I’m sleeping. I’m confused….

    Thanks for a great blog series on this magnificent new resort.


    Jack’s Answer:

    As I mentioned in another comment “answer” the room stayed cool all night long. It wasn’t a problem. So either the thermostat had a long “on” time or it can sense someone rolling over in bed. I really don’t know. But I know when I entered the room the first time, thermostat was set to 68 degrees yet the room was a good deal warmer than this. But soon after I arrived, the temperature began to drop.

  41. I just wanted to thank you Jack for your incredibly informative and entertaining blog posts.

    Even though I’m not going to Orlando anytime soon, you’ve done a phenomenal job bringing that magic to my desktop. Thank you for everything you do.

  42. I love how nice Art of Animation looks. I’m definitely going to put it on my ‘Things to see’ list.

    Although it’s not related to Mermaid, I think a pool would’ve made more sense in the Lion King as a watering hole and the playground at Cars.

    Jack’s Comment:

    I found it interesting that Disney chose two “under water” themes with Finding Nemo and Little Mermaid. I would have thought they would have picked a different movie to add variety.

  43. Wow. Just wow. Talk about sensory overload and a mish-mash of elements.

    The decor is so over the top is makes me think about the now-funny-so-very-70s pictures from inside the rooms of pre-renovated Contemporary. I’m tempted to get a room there just so I can have the picture of me and the kids in that room 30 years from now.

    I’ll be fascinated to see how Disney “refreshes” the theme on these rooms as the years goes by. So many of the themes at other resorts are maleable, allowing rooms to be easily updated for changing tastes.

    But a resort so directly tied to the asthetic of a single film? Not sure how you update for that (though I suggest they start with the carpet). Well, I hope that giant, plastic Ursula was built to last.

    As for the pool, it looks very disappointing. I know it’s a value property, but you’d think that the Little Mermaid’s pool would be the most robust of the bunch. Instead it looks pretty bland.

    Jack’s Comment:

    If the pool had had some sort of water feature I wouldn’t have complained. You know, a fountain or waterfall kids could splash beneath. I’m not talking anything elaborate. Something simple would have been great.

  44. If you can’t wait for the ‘Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid’ attraction at the Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion to open, it looks like this section of the AoA resort is just the place to visit.

  45. How long is the walk from the main building with food and Nemo’s pool to the furthest Little Mermaid building?

    I am questioning my stay at the hotel due to the added walking. The theming is great and my son will LOVE it…but I am now thinking I may just stay at the Hyatt and pay the difference for a bit more luxury.

    Just wondering about the real time of the walk to get food, buses, etc. The convenience may be worth the money.

    Appreciate you blog!

    Jack’s Answer:

    I would say a fast walker could do it in five minutes (that’s me). A medium walker in 8 to 10 minutes. A slow walker up to 15. However, it is a pleasant walk with a lot to look at along the way.

    BTW, on this last trip, I drove from the Little Mermaid section to Animation Hall cuz I’m lazy sometimes.

    I hope this helps.

  46. Jack ~ I’m SO glad you wrote about the rooms in the Little Mermaid Section. I’ll be going in December (solo) and the size will fit me perfectly!!! I’m leaning towards Ursula’s section! We usually stay at Pop Century, so I’m used to a standard room. The ONLY fear I have is the shower. I can’t swim and the ocean scares me to death!! I hope I can shower with all of Ariel’s treasures!!! LOL
    Now I’m really getting excited to see this new resort.
    As always….thanks for a wonderful post. 🙂

  47. Thanks for the update Jack! We did a exploration tour of Art of Animation last Friday (the 7th) and the construction fence was still up for the Little Mermaid section (but the cast members were so nice and encouraged us to take pictures using our zoom lens!)

    I noticed the “do not climb” signs a lot throughout the resort near the character icons more than other value resorts (possibly because the character icons here are much smaller and easier to climb than say Pongo at All-Star Movies) but also noticed that the surface surrounding the Cars was much spongier (is that word?) than the rest of the area and was more “fall friendly” in case kids DID decide to climb (and fall). I wonder if this kind of surface combined with the precautionary signs is and alternative solution to the Casey Jr fence…

    Jack’s Comment:

    The vehicles in the Cars section are not “protected.” Guests CAN climb on them — at least there are no signs prohibiting it. This is probably why they have the spongy surface.

  48. Hi Jack !

    Nice blog as usual, I always enjoy reading your posts 🙂 Just a small correction in this one, it is King Triton, not Trident 🙂

    Thanks for all your excellent and detailled work !!

    Jack’s Comment:

    Duh. I knew that. That’s what happens when I rush home from a resort and dash out an article. I goof. LOL And my two proof readers also missed this.

    Thanks for letting me know. I have corrected it.

  49. I did not appear that the Flippin’ Fins pool had a zero entry? Or did I miss that in the photo? I thought all new Disney pools would have zero entry?

    Jack’s Answer:

    The Cozy Cone and Flippin’ Fins Pool are:

    ADA accessible — pool lift available — dual handrail

    The Big Blue Pool offers the above features plus a zero (sloped) entry.

  50. Great blog entry Jack!

    It looks like Disney has done it again, with a great value resort experience!

    I can hardly wait until mid-November, when the temperature has cooled off a bit, and all of my out-of-state company has gone home, and I can get back over to Disney with my 3D camera rig.

    I haven’t been to “The World” since I renewed my Annual Pass in April, and I have to admit, lately I’ve been experiencing withdrawal. Thank goodness for your blog entries. They’re like a small Disney fix.

    I’ve had a harder than usual time with the Florida heat this year. I find myself hiding in the air-conditioning.

    When I start collecting Social Security, I hope to start spending one night a month (or every other month) at a Disney Resort Hotel.

    Thanks to your blog entries, I’ll know what to zero in on with my cameras.

  51. Love this post, as always, Jack!

    Just a quick thing – Ariel’s father’s name is Triton. 🙂

    Jack’s Comment:

    As I said to another reader who also pointed out my mistake:

    Duh. I knew that. That’s what happens when I rush home from a resort and dash out an article. I goof. LOL And my two proof readers also missed this.

    Thanks for letting me know. I have corrected it.

  52. How do you control the motion sensor air? Is there a way to override this? I would imagine it gets pretty hot during the night when nobody is moving.

    Jack’s Answer:

    There was no control to override this. However, it was not a problem. The room stayed nice and cool during the night. It either has a very long “on” period or is very sensitive and can sense someone rolling over in bed.

  53. The bathroom area is stunning in this section. All the little details are superb. I love the carpet as well! My only complaint is the lack of storage drawers for clothes. It appears parties of more than 2 will be living out of suitcases. I love the addition of the lil’ fridge so I guess that’s the trade-off. Great job of covering the resort and all your videos have been spot on in conveying the vibe of this resort. Cheers!


  54. hey Jack
    The final section for the resort looks great and I can’t wait to get a chance to try it out. I just wish they had standerd rooms for the lion king or cars so that there was more of a choice for those who wanted to stay in these rooms and only have the little mermaid as a choice. can’t wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

  55. Hello Jack!

    I am debating with myself. My dd’s ages 6 and 12 LOVED the Royal Guest rooms at Riverside. The theming at POR is great and we have become accustomed to taking the boats to DTD. Do you think the Little Mermaid rooms will feel like a “step down” after staying in the moderates for the past several visits? We liked Pop Century but did not care much for the All-Stars.

    Your videos made them squeal and my Disney resistant husband would love to save a few dollars!


    Jack’s Answer:

    I like all three categories of Disney rooms, deluxe, moderate, and value. But you do get what you pay for. The Royal Rooms at PO Riverside and the Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach are definitely nicer than the Little Mermaid Room at the Art of Animation Resort.

    However, you will see less of a difference between the “standard” rooms at the moderate and value resorts. One of the biggest differences between moderate and value is size. Also, the value rooms do not have coffee makers if this is important to you.

    Like you, I prefer Pop Century to the All Stars.

  56. There’s really no coffee maker? I’m not a coffee drinker so I don’t personally care but aren’t coffee makers among the most standard of motel “amenities?” Is this the normal for Disney value resorts and I just never noticed or is this a new trend?

    Jack’s Answer:

    The value rooms at Disney World do not have coffee makers. This included the Pop Century, all three All Stars, and the Little Mermaid section of Art of Animation. The suites at Art of Animation DO have coffee makers as do all other rooms at Disney World.