Greetings from the Art of Animation resort at Disney World. I have to admit I’m here for you, not me. I’ve stayed at just about every other Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe property and readers rave so much about AOA that I’ve run out of excuses to check it out.
Why did I keep making excuses? Because of my…
True Deal Mommy Confession
I detest The Little Mermaid. Abhor. Loathe. Ariel is easily the most vapid role model in a generation that should have known better. Let’s review her message to little girls, shall we?
- Collect Shiny Trinkets
- Shut Up
- Seduce an older Prince because only then can you leave your father’s house
- Live Happily Ever After
Yes, I know as Disney Princesses go needing a Prince’s kiss to wake up is worse but Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are at least products of their time. The Little Mermaid premiered in 1989: As the Berlin Wall came down Ariel sent girls back to the Stone Age.
I was very fortunate (IMHO) to have a girl who even at 3 took a look at Ariel, Aurora, Cindy et al. and basically asked “WTH?” Give her a Tiana, Merida or Mulan and she could hang.
Which Leads to My Art of Animation Dilemma: I Love My Little Mermaid Room
All standard rooms are The Little Mermaid at Art of Animation so I had to face my nemesis, and the room charmed me. It really shouldn’t have. It’s about the same size as the rooms at All-Stars, which I don’t recommend with the same tacky Motel 6 plastic cups. The room has no fridge and lacks even the cruddy coffeemaker you get at the other Disney properties. (Note to Disney: you do so much food right. What’s up with the coffee?)
Rooms are motel style so you don’t really have a patio or balcony. Using my $12 hack I did get a 4th floor lake view in building 7. I was able to MacGyver a chair in the hallway into an almost as good as a balcony sunrise:
However I count that as a bonus, not a feature. Bottom line is I was in a hallway shared with maid carts and other guests walking by. Almost as good as a balcony is not a balcony.
What it’s not all about
I could tell you here that it’s all about the property and not the room but here’s the deal: anyone can show up at any Disney resort and walk the property. I encourage an early morning walk here because who couldn’t smile walking by these guys?
I could tell you it’s about the pools and partly it is- reviews everywhere rave about the Nemo pool and it is large, and colorful, and crowded. I actually preferred (ugh) The Little Mermaid “Flippin Fins” pool as it was much quieter and because the buildings all around you are so elaborately themed, you actually can imagine you’re under the sea. I blame this guy, who you can see from the pool:
Steel drums will be stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.
It certainly isn’t about the food court. I have read countless reviews about this “ah-mah-zing’ Art of Animation food court and how people would make a special trip just to eat here. Not seeing it, folks. It’s a food court with some nice artwork and a heck of an echo chamber. It is LOUD in here. I’m only here because (like all Disney resorts) checkout is 11AM and (unlike Moderate and Deluxe resorts) the only air-conditioned place to sit is the food court.
It’s not about the value: Pop Century across the bridge has the same features at a lower price and somehow feels slightly less tacky then all stars. Last night All Stars would have been $40 and Pop Century $25 cheaper for the same room. I’m paying $144 (all in) using Orbitz with a coupon which is about as low as AOA goes if you’re not in a special category (pass holder, DVC, FL resident, etc.)
Nope. I loved my Little Mermaid room.
I loved the seahorses on the headboards. Loved the octopus curtain separating the bathroom from the beds (which I should have hated on principle because it’s proof the room is tiny). Even loved the coral reef carpeting. Loved all of it.
At least they keep Ariel confined to the shower curtain.
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