The Art of Animation Resort is a whimsical new place to stay on Walt Disney World property beginning Summer of 2012 with the opening of the Finding Nemo themed rooms. The family suites start at $249 and sleep up to six with two bathrooms and a kitchenette. Opening at later dates will be Cars (June 18), The Lion King (August 10) and The Little Mermaid (September 15) themed sections.
The theming of the resort is similar to the progression of the making of an animated film. In the lobby you are first presented with the Ink and Paint Shop, a merchandise store, and the character sketch wall which has renderings of some of your favorite pals from the resort’s featured movies. Then as you continue out to the pool area and guest room buildings you are rewarded with fabulous landscapes and backgrounds. Here in this video you’ll have a tour of the resort with interviews and commentary from Disney Imagineers like Gary Hoffman, who was the Senior Project Manager over design and architecture for the resort and offers a personal greeting for Zannaland readers below!
I can not get over the wondrous colors displayed here. It was a whole lot of fun to photograph, especially the pool area which was rich in tropical and undersea inspired hues. Check out this gallery and tell us what you think of the design!
It’s just like walking (driving?) into Radiator Springs.
Sneak peek into the Cars area.
Map of the Art of Animation Resort property shows the future buildings.
Hidden Mickey within the Ariel’s Grotto lighting at the food court.
Lion King section of the Landscape of Flavors food court. So pretty.
Sunset over the lobby area. The colors and design are gorgeous!
Mine! birds at night. Nicely lit.
Master bath area features a nice walk-in shower.
Fun new Mickey toiletries inside the Finding Nemo rooms.
Hopefully no one in your party will have a fear of sharks! I do like the brick-looking tile in this shower area.
Fish are friends…not food! Nicole and Suzannah showing the cute mirrors in the Nemo bathrooms.
TV and dresser area in the master bath.
Master bedroom in the Nemo family suite.
Sleep sofa/living area of the Finding Nemo family suite.
Finding Nemo family suite kitchenette
Pull-down Murphy bed in the Nemo family suite.
With the Murphy bed up in the family suite, it’s a table!
New touch-key system for secure entry into the rooms. Just touch your Key to the World to gain access to your suite.
Hidden Mickey in the hallway carpet at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Finding Nemo building, the stairs are topped with “Mine!” seagulls.
Duuude! Squirt hanging out by the Big Blue Pool.
We all remember these goggles from Finding Nemo right?
Shark Bait – hoo ha ha! Outside at the Big Blue Pool.
The Big Blue Pool showcases the most popular parts of the Finding Nemo movie.
Collage of the lobby elements.
The ladies room in the lobby is pretty in pink with Ariel.
Sample merchandise from Ink & Paint shop.
Ink and Paint merchandise shop waiting for souvenirs!
Info for the merchandise shop and food court.
Stylized animation scenes as you make your way to the Big Blue Pool.
Unique chandelier focal point in the Art of Animation lobby with artwork signed by John Lasseter.
Lobby area featuring the animation process from sketch to finished design.
Gorgeous check-in area fashioned after color swatches.
Animation Hall, as you enter from parking or the bus.
I think this will quickly be the most popular value resort upon opening. Would you like to stay here with your family? Which themed section are you most drawn to?
[Notes from Suzannah: I was also able to preview Art of Animation last weekend during Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration and was blown away with the level of detail incorporated into this value resort. I think it sets the bar much, much higher for a value resort and with a family of five, I know the family suites here are now an option I will actually look forward to using.
In the Finding Nemo area, the landscaping around the pool and buildings look as though they are undersea plants, specifically chosen to make it look like you are in the Big Blue World. Brilliant. The design and details within the rooms are just breathtaking. They are bright and fun for families with young children, but the design palate is cool and mod; adults will appreciate and enjoy staying there as well. I also love that the family suite rooms are accessed by an interior hallway vs. the usual outdoor access value resorts offer. I asked about this decreasing noise level and was told that yes, sounds are reduced with the interior entry as are the instances of bugs getting into rooms (this is Florida after all, home to prehistoric armies of insects!).
After peeking through the construction fence into the Cars section, I can see the level of detail does not stop with Nemo. You truly feel as if you are walking into Radiator Springs. I’m excited to see the lush jungle-feel of the Lion King area as well, after getting a little taste of it in the food court – Landscape of Flavors. Be sure to check out all the photos and let us know what you think of this amazing new resort! Big thanks to Nicole for her wonderful video and photos! ~Suzannah]
Author: Suzannah Otis
Boston girl living and blogging in Walt Disney World's backyard. Wife, Mom of 3, coffee addict, lover of travel and adventure.