I previously wrote about my “Pool Day” adventures during our trip where my family enjoyed the pool at our resort and I ran around the entire Walt Disney World property visiting pressed coin machines I needed for my collection. One of the resorts I visited and was really looking forward to spending some time at was the Art of Animation Resort. The last time I had visited this resort was still under construction but now it’s been open and Disney really did a great job on this place.
This resort is located right beside the Pop Century resort. I drove into the check-in parking lot and was greeted by the above resort sign. As I walked towards the entrance the outside of the building was decorated with large animation cell style artwork with images of Lightning McQueen, Ariel, Nemo and Simba.
Once inside I first headed over to the Landscape of Flavors Food Court to use the two penny machines located here. This was first and foremost the reason I had visited this resort. Just to review both machines are electronic 3 design models.
The first machine has the following designs: Nemo, Lightning McQueen, and the Art of Animation Logo. The second machine had designs of: Ariel, Simba and Mater. Now with those machines checked off my list I was free to wander around the resort and see what the Disney Imagineers had come up with.
As I exited out the back of the main building I headed to the left of the main pool (I’ll talk about this shortly) but was immediately transported into Radiator Springs from the Pixar movie Cars.
The pathways were made to look like roads, and everywhere you looked there were little details that really put you into the movie. Look closely at the above picture and you can see the Sheriff waiting to catch a speeder. Eventually I came across some familiar characters from the movie.
First was Flo from Flo’s V-8 Cafe. Not sure if you can see in the background but there were signs asking that you not climb on the cars. But come on look at these things they are just begging to be played with and climbed on. Oh well don’t want to push my luck.
Next up I met Ramone who runs Ramone’s House of Body Art. After that I ended up at the Cozy Cone Motel.
Here at the resort unfortunately the Cozy Cone Motel wasn’t actually a hotel but a pool. I’m not sure if you had to reserve them in advance or just get there really early but they had cones available for use around the pool for a nice shady spot to relax.
Next I came across one of the actual resort buildings that housed some guest rooms. There were a couple more to come but this first one was designed to look like Luigi’s Casa Della Tires and his sidekick Guido was there too ready to change your tires if needed. In the picture below you can see the doors that lead into the building and to the guest rooms. I was just really amazed at how that was all blended into the scenery.
The next guest room building was the Wheel Well Hotel with Lightning McQueen and Sally greeting everyone out front. This was another great scene from the movie that added to the magic of this area of the resort.
The last building was none other than fan favorite Mator and his Towing & Salvage yard. I know I keep saying it but wow the detail is just amazing. I kept waiting for him to start moving and talking as I walked past but unfortunately they are all stationary, but who knows that would be a really amazing upgrade in the future (hint hint Disney!).
After completing my tour of Radiator Springs I headed back towards the main pool by the food court area. The pool was huge, and was included in the Finding Nemo area of the resort. As soon as you got to this area you immediately felt like you had gone under water to hang out with the aquatic animals from the movie.
I walked around the pool and checked out the buildings I came across. One of them even had the large posts you find in the water near a pier with the famous Seagulls “Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine”.
Similar to the Cars guest room buildings these also had different characters at the entrance. The first building I walked by had Mr. Ray the large spotted Eagle Ray that was the teacher and school bus all in one.
At the far end of the large main pool there was a play structure that was designed to look like a reef with the slide and tunnels are incorporated into the design. Squirt the little turtle was there to look over all the playing children.
Another great piece of design work was that each building had fish attached to the sides like they were swimming above you as your walked around the resort. They were attached to the buildings in a way that made them seem like they were just floating by enjoying the day.
The shrubs and plants that were located along the pathways also looked like they were right at home at the bottom of the ocean. There were other sea creatures located in and among these plants adding to the illusion that you are under the waves with them.
The last guest rooms building had the large Sea Turtle Crush lounging on his shell right outside the main door and Dory was right there with him keeping watch over the pool and resorts guests.
Unfortunately my time was up and I didn’t get a chance to check out the Little Mermaid or Lion King areas but I’m sure they are equally as amazing. I was only able to visit for about a half hour or so but wow I was really impressed. This is listed as a value resort, but from what I saw online the prices are definitely on the higher end of the value resort scale. It’s not as far away from the theme parks as the All-Star Resorts are, but you still do need to use the bus transportation to get to all the parks if you don’t have a car. Since the price of this resort isn’t much different from most of the moderate resorts which usually give some added benefits from the value resorts. But I will say that this resort was really more than I had expected and blows away the All-Star Resorts and even the Pop Century resort. You definitely are paying more for the additional design and themes of each area of the resort, but I think it would be worth it and I know that I had fun myself and would love to see what my family thinks. Since I didn’t stay at this resort this time I didn’t have access to any of the rooms, but after showing my wife the pictures I think I have her convinced we should stay here on our next trip to Orlando. Bravo Disney this is a beautiful resort and I hope all future resorts get this much attention and detail.