LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 10, 2011 – The first wing of the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will open to Guests on May 31, 2012, as construction on the 25th resort hotel at Walt Disney World continues on schedule.
In size and scope, the construction of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a major project at Walt Disney World Resort and has created up to 800 construction jobs. Once open in 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also create 750 ongoing resort hotel jobs.
At a media gathering today, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney World Resort Operations released images of new icons arriving at the resort this fall and shared some of the details Guests will see when Disney’s Art of Animation opens next year. For example, Guests exploring The Lion King courtyard will see characters from the film, such as the hyenas and the evil Scar, through the eyes of Simba and in the same size and scale as the young cub would experience them.
“Here at Disney, we are in the Guest experience business,” said Kevin Myers, vice president of resort operations for Walt Disney World Resort. “When we develop a new resort hotel, we draw on Guest feedback about our parks, entertainment, special events and every aspect of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to provide a resort hotel experience that only Disney can deliver.”
Examples of enhancements based on Guest feedback will be evident at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort in the food-and-beverage and recreation offerings. The dining area will feature items such as fresh smoothies, hand-scooped gelato and Mongolian barbecue. The resort also will feature the largest swimming pool outside of Disney’s water parks, as well as an extensive children’s water play area at the larger-than-life icons for the Finding Nemo wings of the resort.
Located adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, the new resort will include 1,120 family suites in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings, and 864 themed rooms in The Little Mermaid wings. Suites will feature both a living room and bedroom, offering added space for families.
The family suites and rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will fit into the “value” category of lodging, with nightly rates similar to Disney’s All-Star Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
The phased opening of the resort will begin when the Finding Nemo wing opens May 31, 2012. Next, the Cars wing of the resort will open near the end of July. The Lion King suites will open a short time later in September, and The Little Mermaid value rooms will open by the end of next year.
Some fun facts about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort -
• With an area of 11,859 square feet, the feature pool at the Finding Nemo wing of the resort will be the largest swimming pool at Walt Disney World Resort outside of the water parks.
• The new resort hotel will feature 9,400 doors, which if stacked flat would be taller than the Empire State Building.
• The 227,000 lineal feet of carpet being used on the project would be enough carpet to stretch from Orlando to the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville.