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“Good, if you're on a budget”

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Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Ranked #6 of 152 Hotels in Kissimmee
Certificate of Excellence
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Good, if you're on a budget”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

We went back in February and stayed 3-4 days at the AoA. It's the first time in 15+ years since I've been to Disney. Travelled with a 3 year old and while 6 months pregnant with my second. We picked the AoA hotel because it seemed to be very geared towards kids, visually stimulating. Was a bit disappointed, but have to keep in mind it's a value hotel. -Supposedly the nicest of the value hotels. What I loved and hated: 1. Chose the hotel because it had the largest hotel pool at Disney and was supposed to be very cool looking. -Bit disappointed, thought it was going to have more interesting things in the pool like the jellyfish. Bright side, there are two other small pools and there is a small water play area. 2. Loved the themes online when looking. We stayed at the Nemo Suites. I loved that the room had two bathrooms. That was the highlight for me. I ended up with food poisoning either from the hotel or the park, not sure, and was sick all night. -I ended up puking all over the floor, so it was nice having the second bathroom. -And that the fridge, microwave and sink were clean. It was kept after. -However, the floor for some reason was soaking wet when we checked in, and we all had wet socks. 3. Point of note, don't love that the murphy bed for kids is by the front door. Just as a safety issue, I don't like that. 4. The thing I hated about AoA, it felt like you were walking into public housing buildings if it weren't for the paint on the cell block buildings. 5. The main hotel is separate from all the sleeping areas, so it can be a bit of a walk, be prepared, I didn't particularly enjoy that with my pregnancy and with a 3 year old. It was just too much for me, I wanted more comfort. The Nemo suites were the closest and I was still not loving it. 6. The Food Court was okay. Actually I would have loved it if they also had a place for table service. The food wasn't always really hot, b/c it's food court, and I having to go through a couple of different lines for the food you want is not that easy when you have to watch your kid, make sure he's not getting intro trouble, carry all this food and you're pregnant. So for me it was not ideal, especially after a long day of walking. The food was decent though, and I thought there were definitely enough options. However, if I knew the hotel had no table service at all (no other restaurant), I wouldn't have chosen to stay here. Sometimes you just need to sit and enjoy a meal peacefully. 7. You can buy reusable mugs for your stay. Beware, we weren't told that you can only use that at the resort, not at the parks. You have to buy a separate mug for the parks. So we spent all the extra cash and weren't able to use our mug. 8. The main part of the hotel was nice, very spacious and visually stimulating, I think I was hoping for more stuff for kids to climb on and sit on and explore, but it's not really meant for that. I do wish they had more places to sit in the main part of the hotel, especially by the transportation or arcade. It was rough for me. 9. I love that the hotel did have a place for you to check in for your flights and had a display for your departing flights. 10. The hotel had room service, which we tried to take advantage of at 5pm on one of the rainy days. We couldn't even get through on the phone line to order a pizza the whole night. And keep that in mind, if it's raining and pouring, you have to walk from your building to the main hotel to get food, so be prepared for the outside elements. -Not really the kind of vacation I was planning for. 11. Magic bands, the bands were actually nice in the sense you didn't need to bring your wallet anywhere. Use it to open your hotel room, charge food, gifts, etc. Just remember the pin #. 12. I really didn't like how long it took to get to the main park, Magic Kingdom. -It's not bad, but it takes 15-20 minutes travel time, and you can wait 20 minutes for a bus. -Also, already having issues walking, I didn't love that the AoA bus is the farthest at the bus station at Magic Kingdom from the entrance. You do really need to plan almost an hour. -Also it super inconvenient if you've planned a meal experience at one of the other hotels. You have to go to the magic kingdom by bus and then you have to either take the monorail or the bus to the resort you're having your meal. -Plan for 60-90 minutes. It was nice that from the airport, , the AoA magic shuttle/express, goes there first. just a tip, on your last day at Disney, if you don't have a car, pick a park that's closest to the hotel so you don't to worry about making your flight time. -Like Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Would I stay here again? Probably not, my budget is a little more flexible, so I think next time we'll choose a hotel more centrally located and with a few more amenities. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't for me. I want more comfort. -My opinion might change if we had been staying there for a week vs 3-4 days.

Room Tip: Pick a room that faces the lake if you want quiet. If you want to be able to look out and see inter...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank gjks07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Halifax, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Last time we stayed in the Little Mermaid section, this year we stayed in one of the Lion King Suites. Much better room two bathrooms great with smaller children. Great location not far from the central building, Great pool spent a lot of time here nice gradual entry pool for the smaller children. The food has improved since our last visit in 2012. A better selection, lot of meals prepared while you waited not precooked and were still warm and fresh when you eat them.
Thank you Disney for the listing

Room Tip: A lot more room then the Mermaid rooms, more expensive, but well worth every penny.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank Dave H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grande Prairie, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014 via mobile

My family and I stayed here before our cruise and had a mostly positive experience here. The design of the resort was very colorful and beautiful to look at. My kids thought it was very "cool." There were different sections at the resort to stay: Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.
We stayed in the Little Mermaid section which was the furthest area from the lobby so it is a bit of a walk to get there from your hotel room. This was kind of annoying after a long, tiring day but we did not mind too much.
Our room was cute but I was not wowed by it. My main complaint was that it was dirty. There were smears on the walls, a dried booger on the bathroom door, dried up calcium build up on the sink... It just was not what I would have expected of a newer WDW hotel. However, I like to think not all of the hotel rooms were dirty; we had the misfortune of having one cleaning staff member not doing a proper cleaning. The grounds of the hotel (including the pools) were immaculately clean.The lobby itself was very nice, as well as the gift shop, and arcade.
Although check in was somewhat quick, the hotel messed up our transportation arrangements to connect to our cruise; which costs extra. Upon talking to other people going on the same cruise we learned the hotel had messed up other customers transportation as well.
Despite my issues my kids enjoyed staying at the hotel. It is one of the cheaper resorts to stay at in WDW so I would recommend this resort to families on a budget that would like to stay in WDW.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Tara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Augusta, Maine
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

Art of Animation is a good place to stay on the Disney Campus, with good quiet rooms, that are clean and well taken care of. The busses were prompt and clean and took us everywhere we needed to go. The refill cups were well worth the money. The staff there is fantastic like all Disney places. The only downside is that my Wife-to-be had a busted ankle, and where we stayed in the Little Mermaid room it was quite a walk from the bus to the room. After a long day at the parks my little one and Wife-to-be had a hard time walking that far.

Room Tip: Little Mermaid rooms are the farthest from the resort, with little ones not the best choice.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We stayed for the first time at Disney’s Art of Animation resort in September, 2013 and we were extremely pleased with our accommodations. Since it was just the two of us, we stayed in The Little Mermaid room, and it was really cool, very comfortable, really cute. It was a little far from the bus transportation and food court… the family suites are a little close. The scenery is just fantastic! I absolutely loved the Lion King figures along the pathway, and the enormous Ursula and Triton at the entrance to our wing were fantastic. My favorite part by far was the Cars section… they replicated all the characters from the movie, including the Cozy Cone motel. The cabanas around the pool were actually Cozy Cones – it was really cool. The Nemo pool was extremely large and very well done: lots of characters and scenery from the movie, so fun. We really enjoyed the food at the Landscape of Flavors, it was always fresh, hot, and the tables were clean. The Disney magic bands are the bomb. They got us into our room, into the park, we charged our meals to them, we used them, along with the iPhone app, to get our fast passes, as well as change our fast pass selections on the fly. I cannot wait to return to Art of Animation!

Room Tip: Little Mermaid rooms are a bit further from the food and bus pickup.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CB-Hernandez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey City
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We stayed here with a 3-year old for 2 nights (after 3 nights at the Boardwalk Inn). It was interesting to compare how a Deluxe Resort Hotel compares to a Value Resort Hotel. While most the most notable difference for us were how much thinner the walls were @Art of Animation and that there was only one dining option on property (vs many @Boardwalk)- I can honestly say that my toddler enjoyed Art of Animation tremendously more, being familiar with Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Cars and Lion King movies- each of which they devoted sections of the hotel that you could walk through and enjoy. Of course it wasn't as luxurious as the Boardwalk Inn, but it was so much fun for our little one. There were three pools to choose from, one Little Mermaid pool, one Cars pool, and the largest one- the Big Blue Pool- which had a Finding Nemo theme. Attached the the Big Blue pool also were the Finding Nemo splashground and playground. The resort is actually like an amusement park in itself with all the movie themes. And like all Disney resorts, there is free transportation to all the parks available as well as the free Magical Express transport to the airport and flight check-in option at front desk. And we didn't mind eating at the Flavors cafeteria-style restaurant every night and morning. There were a range of options for food for kids and adults alike. All in all we absolutely loved it here and would stay again. We stayed in the standard room which is Little Mermaid themed. Very cute.

Room Tip: The Finding Nemo suites are most central, closest to the restaurant, big pool and entrance. But if y...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank pado84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

Stayed at Art of Animation from 2/22 to 3/1
We checked in online prior to arriving and found a packet ready when we arrived. Multiple lines were available even if you didn’t check in online. Found this process to be very efficient. There is a pass to put in your car that was readily apparent until we saw it the next day so be on the lookout for that. We drove and had a lot of luggage and a porter unloaded and brought to room with us there and showed us to room.

We stayed in the Nemo 2 room suites. We found these to be very reasonable and well apportioned. I would encourage the lake view to POP Century Resort. This was not overlooking the pool which could get loud. The room numbers are 45 (Odd number) 1st floor to 48(odd number) 4th floor. Not sure of the other room facing the lake but the rooms on our wing began with 15 and there were maybe 10 rooms per side. The Nemo was also closest to the pool and main building where you would eat and catch buses to parks out front. Some comments were made about walking. We had probably a 5 min walk with elevator time to main building. Compared to walking in Parks, this is minimal. We averaged 9 to 10 miles a day in parks (I wore a pedometer).

The rooms were comfortable with two bathrooms with tile bath and plenty of room for the 3 of us in our party. There is a queen bed, a fold out couch, and a trundle bed over the 4 chair table. The room came with paper plates and bowls as well as plastic utensils. The coffee pot was single service and they provided 2 packets of caffeinated and decaffeinated as well as a couple of tea bags. It also had a microwave and mini fridge. The only complaint with the kitchen setup was the mini fridge wasn’t really cold enough and it was rather loud when the compressor kicked on at night (I slept in the couch foldout next to it). I solved that problem by using the couch cushions as sound insulation at night.

The food was OK. There was some variety but if you are looking for a nice meal, make reservations and go somewhere else. There are 4 different variety lines, Pizza kids meal (5I pizza, 2 sides and drink) being my daughters favorite. Area was loud and crowded and I went during the off peak hours. You had an option to buy refillable cup/mug. I was surprised to see that the price was according to the length of stay. 4 days or more the price was $17.99.

The TV were nice 40” or so LED. They were hooked up very nicely with cable connectors to a concealed front panel on the TV stands that dropped down. The panel had hookup for VCR cameras, DVD players and other such inputs which was a nice feature to view the days activity. However, the TV remote to change the input selector from TV to the auxiliary inputs was made inoperable (Probably a wise choice to prevent people from screwing up inputs). I called maintenance and various folks around the resort to try to find out how to use them, all of which said maintenance engineering would have to come to the room to set it up. SOLUTION: On the right side of the TV are the manual controls for the TV. Find the one to select input and you can easily change the input feed to the TV yourself to view whatever you need.

We did not find any issues with water pressure, water temperatur or room temperature during our stay in that room.

MEMORY BANDS
Disney is still getting their act together. You really have to be precise when matching your band up to open room or scan other things. We kept hearing band ears to scanner ears. Most of the time we ended up taking our band off to get into the room.

We linked our FastPass+ to our band and that worked well. I would advise taking a lap top and using the free WIF to do that. Although the resort WIFI is slow. I initially had a problem connecting with the WiFI. The resort has a 24 hour help line. I was pleasantly surprise at their response and knowledge.

Be sure and remember your PIN if you want to charge things on it. You can’t if you don’t.

Memory Maker can also be linked to the bands if you purchase it.

Somehow I still believe the bands are a universal tracking device that allows WDW to monitor your every move and spending habits although they say they don’t ……

MEMORY MAKER
We bought it in advance for $149 vs. the $199 you will pay for it at the parks. We found plenty of photographers at Magic Kingdom with fewer at Epcot, Holly Studios, and Animal Kingdom (Almost none here). Ask for the Magic Shots for the kids. This is where they have you pose and edit in a Disney character on the back end. They don’t tell you about it because it involves extra work on their part.

We were able to take over 200 pictures with the memory maker but be prepared to think about how you are going to download them. These are all High resolution photographs. I had about 400meg worth of data.

The MM website is not user friendly. I found it crashed frequently when trying to delete other people’s picture that made their way to my account (Happened more than once). They also do not offer thumbnail views but other types of larger views. Some views I never saw until I downloaded them and some never appeared in view (the downloading icon kept revolving).

If you have kids (particular girls) they usually had a photographer at every princess and character sighting with exception of the private dinners and lunches.

TRANSPORTATION
We took the buses everywhere. Disney has that down pat. With few exception, we rarely waited over 20 minutes. One comment on loading. Scooter folks and their party always load first from the special scooter entrance, regardless of when they came or how many people may have waited longer. When lines are extremely long, this could be bothersome since not only are they loaded first but the scooter takes up 3 seats that need to be folded up that would normally be occupied.

Room Tip: Choose a Lake view looking at Pop Century Resort
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Joe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Property: Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Address: 1850 Animation Way, Lake Buena Vista, Kissimmee, FL 32830-8400
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Kissimmee
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Kissimmee
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kissimmee
#4 Family Hotel in Kissimmee
#12 Business Hotel in Kissimmee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Disney's Art of Animation Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 1984
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Be surrounded in the artistry, enchantment and magic of Walt Disney and Disney•Pixar movies. Stay at a Disney Resort hotel that invites you to explore the storybook landscapes seen in such classics as Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. From delightfully themed family suites to wondrously detailed courtyards, Disney's Art of Animation "draws" you and your family in to become a part of some of your animated favorites. ... more   less 
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Disney's Art Of Animation Resort Kissimmee, Florida

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