To kick off the summer vacation season, Walt Disney World Resort is opening its newest resort hotel with Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a value property consisting primarily of family suites that immerse guests into the magical worlds of classic Disney and Disney•Pixar films.
Opening in phases, each of the four wings celebrates rich storytelling, spirited characters and playfulness with colorful icons and whimsical themes inspired by each beloved film depicted. Three family suite wings will showcase Finding Nemo opening today, Cars opening June 18 and The Lion King opening August 10, with elaborate storytelling both inside and out. Standard guest rooms make up The Little Mermaid wing, the final phase to open on September 15.
The three-story resort will immediately put guests into the worlds of favorite Disney characters and animated films beginning at check-in as pixilated patterns and wavy ribbons of color decorate the resort’s exterior. Pencil drawings of Ariel, Lightning McQueen, Nemo and Simba adorn the entryway, and a cleverly created chandelier composed of animation storyboards enhances the lively and modern lobby.
“Our goal is to make guests feel like they have been immersed in the artistry and enchantment of Walt Disney and Disney•Pixar animated classics,” said Walt Disney Imagineer Frank Paris.
Giant sketchbooks filled with favorite characters seem to come to life as they pave the way to each storyline revealed. Scenic settings, icons—including a brightly-colored coral landscape, a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, a towering Mufasa and more—immerse guests into the playful world of animation. At the Cars wing, a freshly paved road leads to the Cozy Cone Motel complete with a Cozy Cone pool and cone-shaped cabanas. It’s a journey through an African landscape in The Lion King complete with an elephant graveyard play area that invites youngsters to seek hakuna matata time. Treasures from the human world fill Ariel’s grotto in an under-the-sea kingdom in Little Mermaid courtyard.
From linens and carpeting to fixtures and furniture, all details of the guestrooms tie to the storyline. In Finding Nemo, there’s coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights; Zazu takes center stage on the headboards in The Lion King, while Pumbaa and Timon decorate the shower curtain.
Kids of all ages can make a splash at the “Big Blue” pool, the largest resort swimming pool at Walt Disney World Resort, which measures 11,859 square feet. Guests enter scenes from the animated world and can explore the colorful reef with a giant-sized Mr. Ray, pose for a picture with Crush or frolic with Squirt in the Righteous Reef, a children’s play area. An arcade and two additional pools round out the fun.
Dining options include a poolside snack bar and pizza delivery. The Landscape of Flavors food court will feature items such as fresh smoothies, hand-scooped gelato and Mongolian barbecue. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.