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By: Nick the Disney Devo

On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World we stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

It is certainly the most Disneyesque of all the WDW resorts, featuring sections based on Cars, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.

The homage to Disney/Pixar animation begins in the fabulous lobby, Animation Hall, which features a very colorful check in area.

Animation sketches from the movies represented in the different sections of the resort adorn the walls.

Tip: This is a great spot to entertain the kids during check in! You can play guess the Disney character while you wait.

Even the chandelier features sketch art.

Buses to the parks are located just outside of the Hall. We thought the bus service was fine, perhaps better than at Pop Century. At no point did we feel we waited too long for service, and, as this is a large resort, there are no other stops.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort opened in phases through 2012, starting with the Finding Nemo family suites, which are located directly behind Animation Hall.

Tip: This is the best area to be in to be close to the amenities, so if you want to save a long walk at the end of a long day, you may want to request a suite in this area.

Family suites include a bedroom with one queen-size bed, one double-size convertible Table/Bed, one double-size sleeper sofa, living room, 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette.

There are large character sculptures located throughout each area, similar to the Pop and All Star resorts.

This is also where you’ll find the main pool. We loved this pool, which has underwater speakers. You can actually hear the fun soundtrack, which features appropriately aquatic themed music, which can be heard better while submerged! There is also an interactive water play area for kids.

There is also a bridge connecting Art of Animation to the Pop Century resort at the back of this section.

The building exteriors also feature animation art from the film being represented in that section.

Trivia and fun facts are strewn throughout the resort.

The next section that opened was Cars family suites, which is where we stayed. I’ll have a full report in a future post, but I will say they are fantastic.

Each building in each area has a theme. This building is themed around Tow Maters towing and salvage yard, for instance.

There is a quite pool themed around the Cozy Cone located here, with cones as cabanas.

There are sketchbooks at the ends of buildings, adding to the already wonderful theming.

Next to open were The Lion King family suites. This is the only area not to have a pool of it’s own.

Finally, The Little Mermaid standard rooms opened in late 2012. This is located at the far end, and many have complained about the long walk from Animation Hall, but if you are looking for a standard room, this is your only option.

The pool is called the Flippin’ Fins Pool, featuring the “Under the Sea Orchestra” conducted by Sebastian.

Back at Animation Hall is where you can find the excellent counter service restaurant, Landscape of Flavors…

…and the Ink and Paint gift shop.

This is a very strong contender to be our favorite resort, and we look forward to staying here again in the future.

Portions of this article were originally posted on the Disney Musings Blog, which Nick the Disney Devo co-writes with his wife Barbie.