Thursday, 8 December 2016

Disney's Art of Animation Resort // Our trip to Walt Disney World, 2016

When it came to booking our accommodation for our Walt Disney World holiday, we only had one real 'must' and that was that it must be an onsite hotel. Still being fully immersed in the Disney experience when we head back to our room each night is just something that neither a villa or any other offsite accommodation could give us and to be honest, I really don't want to miss a second of that Disney magic!

With so many Disney hotels to choose from, we honestly had a tough time deciding where to stay but in the end we settled on the Art of Animation resort because, well look at it, you couldn't get any more Disney if you tried. It also suited our budget nicely!

Disney's Art of Animation resort pays homage to four well loved films; The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo. It's a wonderland for animation lovers complete with incredible theming, stunning rooms, amazing dining options and family friendly swimming pools. We really had the best time there and I am so happy that this was the Disney hotel we chose for our first time in Florida.... it really didn't let us down!

I wanted to share some of my personal highlights because we found it offered such excellent family friendly accommodation. I won't type up a proper review because there are so many well written ones out there already but instead here are five reasons we loved Disney's Art of Animation Resort!

Theming

The theming is really what makes this resort special. It's colourful, it's fun and from the moment you step foot into Art of Animation you are completely surrounded by the magic and artistry of Walt Disney and Disney Pixar movies. As a guest, you are shrunk down and completely immersed in four of the finest animated movies. I can't tell you how positively overwhelmed my child was being able to walk through the Lion King area each day. It is her absolute favourite movie at the moment and spotting these larger than life characters was incredible for her! 

The attention to detail is absolutely everywhere you look, from the beautifully designed bedrooms to the outdoor areas and from the resort lobby to the swimming pool. No detail has been left out, there is so much to explore and see that even after a few weeks we felt like we still hadn't seen it all! 

The food

You know, I love my food. And the restaurant at this resort really did not let me down. The Landscape of Flavors offers an absolutely huge and varied menu which changes depending on the time of day. The restaurant is in a food court/cafeteria style setting which we found really easy to navigate.

We loved the create your own options which included everything from pasta and salads to smoothies. It's your chance to get creative with food and oh my goodness, everything we tried was amazing. I must point out that so much of the menu is made fresh.... watching our pasta being made was such a good experience. Portion sizes are super generous. And dessert options are plentiful..... so. much. choice!

The fact that most of the food is made fresh in front of you combined with the food court style layout meant that queues consistently super long and were slow moving. This is my one and only negative of this resort. So my only tip if you are visiting is divide and conquer; split your group up, join the different queues to collect your food and meet up again before you pay! It'll make things a whole lot more speedy. 

PS, the pizza is amazing. You need to try it if you ever visit!

The pools and entertainment

Disney's Art of Animation resort boasts the largest resort pool in Walt Disney World. Not only this, there are three swimming pools to choose from along with a Finding Nemo themed Schoolyard Sprayground which is suitable for younger children. We loved the Little Mermaid pool which is complete with an underwater sound system conducted by Sebastian! I told you, no detail left out! We certainly had some quality pool time, which was always complete with yummy cocktails from the Drop Off Pool Bar which can be found just by the main pool. Perfection!

Entertainment options at the resort are abundant. From daily pool parties to drawing lessons and even getting the chance to watch Disney movies outside under the stars. We were never short of things to do when we were not in the parks! 

The bedroom

We stayed in a Little Mermaid room and even though this is the budget option at this resort, I have absolutely no regrets. Once again, it's the little details that made our stay really special. From the shell print carpet and shell shaped chairs to the picture of Prince Eric on the wall and my favourite, the bathroom which was Ariel's cave complete with all her gadgets and gizmo's printed on the tiles. So cute!

We enjoyed the walk each day to the main lobby (here is where you catch the buses to the parks). We had read a fair few reviews that the walk from Little Mermaid to the lobby was a long one but honestly, it is less than 10 minutes. And we have a 3 year old who loved stopping to look at all the Lion King bits on the way. 

The room was more than adequate for the three of us and we had a full dining plan with our holiday so didn't require the use of a kitchen area. We had a little fridge though which was great for keeping drinks in! The other themed rooms might be better though in terms of size and equipment if you have a larger family, do bear this in mind. 

Housekeeping (mousekeeping!) kept us entertained each day by rearranging kiddo's collection of soft toys, positioning them in a variety of funny poses. Another highlight here, the staff. All so friendly, welcoming and efficient! Nothing too much effort for them, just wonderful.   

Agh, I miss our little room and the walk to it from the bus so much! It's was all so cute and just so magical! 

Ink & Paint Shop

Finally, we seemed to spend a lot of time in the gift shop at the Art of Animation so I should probably mention it as a highlight! We found the shop really well stocked, pretty much everything that I wanted to buy in the parks could be found in here too. A lot of the stock is really well matched to the theming of the resort too, kiddo got a lot of Lion King stuff here. We also loved the resorts own range of merchandise which is super varied with something for everyone. 

We also made use of the shopping service where you could get goods purchased at other shops sent to the hotel.... there's a desk at the back of Ink & Paint where you can collect your shopping. A really efficient service, we loved it!

What can I say? I like buying stuff! And Ink & Paint certainly offers a wonderful shopping experience, other resort shops we experienced were not as colourful, interactive or as well stocked! 

What is your favourite Walt Disney World resort hotel? & have you ever visited Disney's Art of Animation Resort? Let me know in a comment below!










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1 comment

  1. Im always torn between loving the idea of staying on site and preferring to have a little respite from 'Disney' by staying off site. I'm looking forward to experiencing the on site magic when we visit Disneyland Paris in September so I'll be keen to see how it compares although appreciate there is no doubt a different between Paris and Florida!

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

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