Whew! What a resort! And there are 2 more sections to visit… The Lion King suites are open now, but I didn’t have time to visit 🙁 The Little Mermaid section will be standard rooms, and opening soon. We have reservations there in December, but I have to say that I am seriously considering switching to back to POP or another resort. Even though it would be fun to stay in those old shells across the lake (and the rooms look adorable!), they are very far away from Animation Hall. The walkways were closed, so I couldn’t measure, but… the Mermaid rooms look to be farther away than any of the POP rooms. And I have stayed in a POP room that was actually outside the gates of Disney (seriously – you could see the Mickey arches from the room). We stayed in the 50’s section of POP, which is pretty remote itself, and the walk across Hourglass Lake, through the Nemo section to Animation Hall was closer than the Mermaid rooms appear to be. We’ll see…
I’ll get more pics of all the sections for you soon. In the meantime, here are a few more:
The bus stops are very nice with the shelters. Over at POP standing out in the beating sun and pouring rain can be miserable. I’ve seen reports that POP and AoA are sharing buses, but that was not my experience. Each destination has individual stops for each and while we were there in August, there was no sharing. We did, however, use the AoA buses a few times as the room we were staying at in POP was about equidistant between the 2 halls.
The closest guest room section to Animation Hall is themed after Finding Nemo. Coming out of Animation Hall, you will find yourself looking right at the Big Blue Pool.
(I just noticed that a couple captions are linking to the wrong pictures – sorry for the confusion. Will fix that ASAP)
Just to the right is the Drop Off Pool Bar, featuring these tasty items, as well as your favorite beverages:
I’ve heard rumors that this mug refill station is open 24 hours – or at least really late. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten back to the resorts after the food courts are closed – this would be so handy.
Some more pool pics…
It wouldn’t be Finding Nemo without these guys
You never know who’s hanging around
Most of AoA is made up of family suites. The doors are inside, rather than outside like the other value resorts.
All of the buildings have adorable sketches
And a couple night shots…
And that’s the Finding Nemo section – buildings 4 & 5 – of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Let’s head inside Animation Hall and see what’s in there!
As you would expect, since the building already existed, the check in area, shop and food court are all laid out in a very similar fashion to Classic Hall over at POP Century. Everything seemed just a little bit smaller to me – which could be an optical illusion, but I wonder if they have more going on backstage. I’ll do more research on that…
AoA has a ton of themed merchandise – I’d love to see more of that at the resorts.
All that shopping can make you hungry. Good thing the Landscape of Flavors food court is right through that arch…
The set up is similar to POP, but the menu is definitely different, featuring more international flair along with the usual pizza & burgers. I only ate there once this trip and will post my review soon.
Wanna see the rest of the resort? Coming right up…
For years, I’ve looked across Hourglass Lake at the creepy remains of what was meant to be the other half of Disney’s POP Century Resort – The Legendary Years…
POP Century represents the 1950’s through the 1990’s. The Legendary Years would have been the 1900’s through the 1940’s, but the project was abandoned around 2001. I’ve read conflicting reports about why the resort was never completed, with most saying that it was due to the reduction of visitors after 9/11. Whatever the reason, there has been a mirror image resort sitting there for over 10 years – the main building and a few shells of guest rooms way over yonder. The bridge over Hourglass Lake (Generation Gap) ended in a wall.
Then… the rumors started and the construction crews arrived…
The Legendary Years were scrapped, and the new family resort, Disney’s art of ANIMATION was born.
I have to tell you, it’s really weird standing on the “other side” of the bridge looking back at POP.
And in a few months, we are scheduled to stay in those creepy empty shells that are now the single rooms of the Little Mermaid section.
And now for what you’ve been waiting for: pics of the resort! I will review the food court in another post soon. The Cars and Finding Nemo sections have been open for a month or so and the Lion King just opened – I’ll get pictures of that for you next month. Enjoy!