My husband and I stayed here last January in a Little Mermaid king bed room. The theming is fantastic and it really is larger than life. Check-in was a breeze, the food court delicious and they had a great gift shop. The room was clean and a good size.
The only complaint I have is that the Little Mermaid rooms are a far walk from the main building and buses.
We recently stayed here on our honeymoon with our grandchildren ages 12, 11, and 6 & we had a wonderful time. The walk from our cars suite was a tad bit long but with all the scenery it was nice. Every morning we would look out the window to see the Mickey Mouse drawn in the rocks, when I asked about this the concierge merely replied with a smile "that's the magic of Disney". The only thing I would like to see added is to better clarify which food were quick service meals and which were snacks, other than this I couldn't find anything wrong with this resort, I would definitely stay there again!
My 1st stay right after it opened was with 6 staying in Finding Nemo. We love nemo and the room everything about the experience was great. My 2nd stay was with 12, staying in 2 lion king rooms. Again I cannot think of one thing to complain about. Even though the walk to to pool, dining, and busses was a little further, still really wasn't a problem for us, I mean really, do you not expect to walk a little at disney, especially at lower rate resorts? While on that trip another brother and his wife got a Little Mermaid room while we were there. I loved the room and was glad they were there with the other 12. Knowing all that, we are returning June 2015, with a group of 6 and loved the suits so much we are staying there again. Lion King here we come.
We stayed in the little mermaid room. The room was nothing special but the worse thing was the walk to get to the main pool,the restaurant and the shuttle buses. It was ridiculous to have to walk that far for a cup of coffee in the morning and the exhausting walk back at night after getting off the shuttle. The pool was nice but again the long walk to go back to our room just ruined it. We spent more time walking than enjoying. Would not stay there again unless the room was in a closer building.
First time in this hotel absolutely loved it. Friendly staff, great environment, kids can be kids and adults can also enjoy the Magic of Disney. Can't wait to go back.
I find most of everything good, like the rooms, the pool, (ect). The only flaws that I find, is that the food in the food court isn't too "kid friendly", and that the rooms are not big enough for groups of more than 4 or 5. Other than that, it is perfect for a great stay at Walt Disney World!
I spent alot of money to take my 2 granddaughters to Disney. booked the little mermaid room expecting everything that i was told and read to be a magical time. It was anything but that. The room was closer to pop century than the front of aoa. No joke, the walk was very far, especially after a day in the park. My luggage was sent to the wrong room which caused us to be late for dinner that night. When we called we were told that they were short handed and it would be 45 min before they could help us. R u kidding me! The food court was hectic and the food wasn't anything special. I really can't say anything positive about this resort. Big dissapointment. Do your homework when u plan your next trip. Reviews mean alot. I don't usually write negative reviews, but that was before i stayed @ aoa.
Stayed in little mermaid room, which was very small, and not clean. It was a very far walk from entrance. We had to go outside to make calls. Our bags were sent to the wrong room. It would take too long to write the problems we had. Considering the money, it would pay to stay at Pop century. We were closer. Do your homework when you plan. Don't take the word of your travel agent.
Stayed in the Little Mermaid rooms with my wife. Thought the overall theming of the resort was excellent. If you are not doing a Family Suite I would probably stay at Pop Century just due to the proximity of the rooms from the main building. Everything else was great though.
Just returned from our 6 night 7 day stay ( August 1-August 7) the resort was BEAUTIFUL. The check in and check out was quick and easy. We stayed in the Little Mermaid rooms, the walk was not bad at all the theme scenery was beautiful. I have had longer walks in other resorts. The food was good and reasonably priced. The two pools were nice but the Big Blue Pool is more kid friendly. Every one who worked there was helpful and courteous, they were really attentive to my 4 year old grandaughter she is the type that asks lots of questions. The Disney bus wait was not long at all, the longest we ever waited was 10 minutes and the drivers were great. I even forgot something in the safe called them this morning and it is being sent by UPS. I would stay here again in a heartbeat !!
We are a family of 5. Kids ages range from 13 yrs, 9 yrs, and 23 months. We stayed in the Finding Nemo family suite . We went down to celebrate our almost 2 year olds birthday. Everyone was soo attentive to her. After reading some reviews I was afraid of what we might get. We stayed July 12th -July 19th 2013. Check in was easy, everyone was really nice and helpful with any questions we had. The Resort was soo kid friendly and all 3 of my girls loved it. The was plenty of food choices and the food was good. The only thing we had a problem with was that we had to call the front desk a few times to get a refill on coffee and little things like that. But our overall stay was wonderful and would soo consider coming back.
We stayed at AoA from May 3- May 5 as we're local so this was just a staycation but we had a blast! The theming was exceptional especially for a value! We stayed in the Little Mermaid section and having our own personal quiet pool was great during the busier times for the Nemo pool! Maintenance was exceptional as one lamppost had gone out during our stay but the next night it was fixed! Landscaping was second to none as all garden areas were kept trimmed and mulch/crushed shell off the sidewalks. The room was large enough and every piece of furniture was themed. Nice new flat screen TV and a fridge in the dresser. (Especially loved the print on the curtain to cut off the bathroom!) The food court served fresh food, but we did wish it stayed open a little later. The first night we made it into the pool I ducked my head under water and was surprised to hear music at 12:30 AM and it was at that point I realized they played music under water! Awesome touch! (Heard the soundtrack for Finding Nemo the musical playing!) The courtyard for Cars was really cool at night but Lion King stood out in the day! The caves under the Elephant Graveyard were a pleasant surprise as well as the constant mist it provided. Bus service to and from the Resort was exceptional and I would for sure recommend this resort! Oh and be sure to bring your camera plenty of photo ops!
I can't wait to stay in the Art of Animation in Feb 2013! This is great place to relax in the pool. and Watch Movies by the stars! I love it and enjoy it! Disney You did a wonderful Job to build this resort! We will love Cars Wing on Feb 2013!
We recently stayed at AOA for 5 nights. There were 6 of us (me, DW, MIL, DD5, DS2, DS1). We had a Finding Nemo room.
* Resort layout. The Finding Nemo Rooms are very close to the main pool, food court, and Disney Buses. It is nice to have a value resort with all doors on the interior of buildings. The Cars rooms are also close to the main building, but if you want a quieter section of the Resort then I would try Lion King or Little Mermaid- these have somewhat longer walks to the main building but not nearly as far as some of the other resorts.
* Theming. Very fun especially for kids. The outdoor characters are huge and look great. The Finding Nemo and Lion King Section have a lot to look at and interact with. The Cars section however, really steals the show. There is a nice tribute to radiator springs and the Cozy Cone Motel. Several (replicas) of the cars from the original movie are also displayed and look amazing- they had no visible wear or tear even after some months of the Resort being opened.
Inside the rooms the great theming continued; from fish pictures made from smaller fish, to bubbles in the chairs, to ocean themed paint schemes, you could almost forget that this is a value resort. The picture of Nemo and his dad sleeping in the hideaway bed was the kids' favorite.
*Room layouts. AOA manages to get a lot of amenities/accommodations in their rooms without it feeling cramped. The separate bedroom was nice to split the kids up. The kitchenette is enough to get by- the sink could be a little bigger as we had sippy cups to wash. We had no problem sleeping six- DS1 was in a crib in master bedroom and the adults took turns sleeping with the other kids in the couch bed and hideaway bed. The kids especially liked the hideaway/table bed and called it the "magic" bed. Having two bathrooms is also very nice- something that some of the Deluxe villas lack.
*Dining. Great for families with young kids. The "Landscape of Flavors" has a great variety of foods from standard burgers and fries to tandoori infused options. We thought this food court is second only to the Pepper Market at CSR.
*Misc good stuff. The queues for the buses have overhangs which provides some shade while waiting. The souvenir store is large with many options for gifts or treats. The poolside bar serves great Sangria and is open late! The poolside games looked like fun, probably best for ages 4+
Overall, this resort was quiet for a value resort- the pool is not crowded during the day while most guests are at the parks, however the food court can get crowded at dinner time.
Price: We stayed at this Resort partially to save money over a Deluxe Villa, and as nice as this Resort is, no one would mistake it for a Deluxe. However, even with a pin code and staying during Dec. value season, the room still ran @ $250-280 per night. This resort felt more like a $175-200 value- even at Disney prices. As cool as the rooms are, I did sleep on a table bed several nights and the pizza delivery was marginally edible. When I think of the step up we took on the second half of our trip to the Villas @ Kidani Lodge for a price increase of only $120 more it calls into question whether AOA can truly be called a "value" resort.
Overall score: 9/10
We gave this resort 1 less star than perfect due to the high room rates. On future visits we will have to see if the rates come down a little when the Resort isn't so new, otherwise we may book adjoining moderate rooms or bite the bullet and pay for a Villa. Our family is about to grow again, so space for a bigger family will probably take precedent over price.
Hopefully Disney can come up with a happy medium between value family suites and deluxe villas- Moderate villa? Moderate family suites? Hint Hint Disney.
Otherwise the Resort is great, especially for families with little to pre-teen kids.
We stayed in the Little Mermaid section of AoA from Wednesday until Sunday.
The good about AoA: The theming is amazing. Everything inside and out is color coordinated including the lamp posts, garbage cans, outside pipe's and even the flowers. The color scheme is beautiful. The rooms are so very cute. They are directed at children. Even the toilets are the tiny ones you see in kindergartens. I have a pic to show just how short they are in the Resort forum. The toilet only came 2/3's of the way to my knee, and I'm barely 5"4". The chairs are shaped like shells. The mirrors and coat hanger are themed and the picture by the bed is really nice to wake up to early in the morning. The safe is much larger than the ones in the mods and it is digital. The food court is the best I've seen. You can easily eat well there and stay on a good diet; if you have the will power. The main pool is a dream come true for kids. They have all kinds of activities out there for the kids. There's also a themed play area with slides and a cave. The pool in the Mermaid section was also very nice. The theme in the Cars section is even better than it looks in pictures. Every little detail is there. The character cars are sitting on some kind of soft foam. It's fun just walking on it. They have the large cones around the pool as sitting areas. They left nothing out. They even have the metal shed that the military car would come out of in the movie. The cm's are really nice and helpful. Even the cm's in the food court went out of their way to be helpful. Even though I did online check-in, the cm took time to talk to me and see if I had any questions. The lobby is something to see. Once again, they thought of every little detail. They have a very large chandalier in the main hall and every light cover is a drawing like the ones on the walls. They have a nice little computer area for public use.
The bad about AoA: The toilets are short. The sink area is only big enough for one at a time. The curtain between the sink area and the room doesn't close all the way, so there is no privacy for changing if needed or to keep the light from waking others who are sleeping. The beds are only fulls; not queens. My feet were almost over the edge. There's only three small drawers because they used the other side for the fridge.
The ugly about AoA: The bus service is terrible. We had to wait forever going and coming, but particularly coming back to the resort. Heads up -- the bus from AK back to the resort had Blizzard Beach on it when it finally came. The reason for that is that it goes there first. The route assigned from MK back to the resort is an extremely long ride. I suppose that's because they have so many buses on the roads now they had to have different routes. The time we drove, it didn't take us even half the time as it did the bus. The noise in the Mermaid rooms was terrible also. I'm not talking about unruly people. I'm talking about normal noise. You hear the toilet above, beside and behind you. Everytime anyone went in the room beside or above us, we could plainly hear them just as if they were in our bathroom. You could hear people walking, shuting doors, moving chairs, babies crying, etc. all around us. It would be 2 or 3 until the noise finally stopped and then the bathroom noise would start again around 5 or so. My daughter slept right through it, but if you have a problem sleeping through noise, as I did, I recommend earplugs.
It is a really beautiful, fun place, but the bad outweighs the good for us. My daughter is 17, but if I had young children, I would stay there again. But since I don't have young children, we will be going back to the mods or deluxes for our next stay. I have photos of the inside of the rooms and some outside shots in the Resort forum.
you're will love the newest resort Art of Animation Resort and I will love to stay in this newest resort in Dec 2012! you're rock it!