Review: Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Continued



By Dave Shute

This is the second page of this review of the Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. For the first page, click here.

A PHOTO TOUR OF THE FAMILY SUITES AT DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION RESORT

Family Suite Floor Plan Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net
This is the basic floor plan of the Art of Animation Family Suites.  The entrance is from an enclosed hallway, and while the windows are large, there’s no balcony.

(Images are from Finding Nemo; for a Lion King photo tour, see this, and for the Cars Suites, see this.)

(Note that you can click any of these images and they’ll open to a bigger view.)

You enter directly in to the dining area, with the master bedroom area on one side and the mini-kitchen/living room on the other.

The dining table is large–note the props I’ve put on it, purely for scaling purposes.

It comes with four chairs, but despite the fact that this is a six-person room, that’s all that comfortably fits.  There’s a couple of round tables in the living room that double as stools–a very clever idea.  You can pull them up to the end of the table, but there’s no room for knees. And knees often are important…

The dining table is replaced by a bed that folds down from the wall.

I measured this bed as 54 by 74 inches, but for some it will sleep a little shorter than that.  The head of the bed is within the framing that supports it when it’s up, and this may feel a little claustrophobic to some, causing them to skooch towards the foot.

The single cushion is 8 inches deep, and I found it easy to sleep on though a little short.

It includes overhead reading lights on a dimmer switch, and two end tables.

The bed is easy to set up–clear the dining table, take away the chairs (which don’t stack–kind of an odd choice), and pull it down.  The bed is already made, so all you need to do is add the pillows (stored in drawers in the living room) and you are set!

The kids’ bath opens off the dining room. It has two doors–a pocket door to the sink area, and a hinged door to the tub/toilet area–making it quite flexible.

There’s a couple of ways in which finishes and furnishings at Art of Animation are a major upgrade over not just other value resorts, but even moderate resorts.  Most notable of these is the bath–see the sink furniture in the above photo, and note the tiling in the tub surround, which looks even better in real life than in my photo.

Your kids likely will be more impressed by the shower curtain than the tiling…

The dining area also opens to the living room. On one side you’ll find the mini-kitchen (below) and large, comfy sofa, at the end a cute easy chair, and in the middle the two tables/stools I mentioned above. Using the stools, the room easily seats 6.

The other side has a flat-screen TV, good-sized dresser, and a clothes area with a shelf at the top, closet rod and hangers, another shelf, and a big drawer below.

There’s a little less storage here than meets the eye, as two of the largest drawers are stuffed with pillows and blankets for the sofa bed.  You can get storage space back by creating a tippy stack of pillows on the shelf above the closet rod.

The living room sofa opens up into a bed. Unlike the dining table, it has sheets but not a blanket when you open it (grab the blanket from the storage area on the TV side).

I measured it at 54″ by 78″–4″ longer than the dining table bed. Although the mattress is only 4 inches thick, I had no trouble sleeping on it.  But then I’m not picky…

The other item in this space is the mini-kitchen.

There’s a sink, mini-fridge, microwave, and a coffee maker.

There’s also some supplies–not just cups and coffee, but also paper plates and bowls, plastic utensils, a can opener and a corkscrew/bottle opener.  This is a very nice touch.

For an image of the inside of the fridge, see this (and thanks, Hayden, for sending it to me!).

However, at least on my visit, there was nothing in the shop you could buy that would make this kitchen really helpful–no bread, no lunch-meat, neither PB nor J, no breakfast cereals other than what’s in the food court.  I really hope Disney fixes this…

The master bedroom opens from the dining room.

One side has a flat screen and a dresser–the same size as the equivalents in the living room–and a closet space with safe, iron and ironing board, suitcase rack (which you will probably fold up so that you can stack a bunch of roller bags here) and hanging rack with a shelf above.

The other side has a colorful queen bed and a couple of bed tables.  Note that my phone (almost all the photos on this site are from my iPhone) didn’t get the green on the bedspread right–it’s prettier and more cheery than the image suggests.

The master bath opens from the master bedroom. It’s not divided, which creates space that enables a longer sink counter than in the kids’ bath.  The shower has a glass door, and the same lovely tiling as the kids’ bath. (Sorry about the lack of focus in the image, but that makes it more romantic, no?)

Like the kids’ bath, the furniture and finishing are at a much higher level than the other values.

(FYI, An e-mailer asked how I make floor plans like the one at the top of the page–here’s the answer: a lot of measurements, and some home design software that I barely understand!)

THE LIVABILITY OF THE FAMILY SUITES AT DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION RESORT

This review continues here.

PAGES:  Previous |   1  | 2  | 3  | Next

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69 comments

1 margot king { 06.19.12 at 9:13 pm }

hello,
how deep is the pool at the disney resort. my daughter is only four so this is a concern for me in planning where to stay.
thank you,
margot king

2 Dave { 06.20.12 at 6:51 am }

Margot, there are more than 20 hotels, all with different pool layouts. In general you will find at every hotel either a kid’s pool that’s just a few inches or a water play area. At least one of the pools at each hotel has lifeguardss

3 Lynn { 06.21.12 at 2:02 pm }

Can you tell me what the room rates are for the Little Mermaid rooms? I found $249 for the suites but can’t find rates for Little Mermaid. Also, this was suggested for us with 3 adults, 2 children (ages 3 & 5). Would this work?

4 Dave { 06.22.12 at 2:37 pm }

Hi Lynn!

For room rates, find your dates on this page: http://www.mousesavers.com/artanimation2012.html

These rooms are tiny and Disney will book only 4 people 3 and older into them…

5 Susan { 06.26.12 at 12:52 am }

Have you been back to see if they have more food stock to use in the mini kitchen?!

Also, any idea about the Lion King Suites?

Great site!!

6 Dave { 06.26.12 at 6:42 am }

Hi Susan and thanks! I haven’t been back since my visit to Nemo, so don’t know about either…

7 Tom { 07.13.12 at 6:02 pm }

Dave,

I was quoting a room at this hotel for us 4 (2 kids 2 grown ups) and I found a huge difference between The little mermaid room and TheLion King family suite.
Is it worth it?

8 Dave { 07.14.12 at 7:07 am }

Tom the standard rooms in Lil Mermaid are so different from the family suites in the Cars, Lion King, and Nemo sections that there’s no comparison. They are tiny 4 person rooms like those in the other value resorts–see this for example. http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/03/22/review-disneys-pop-century-resort/

9 kelly { 08.20.12 at 7:44 pm }

Can those of us staying off property gain access to public areas of Art of Animation? I have seen outside shots of Disney Cars characters and would like to bring my kids to see them (since there isn’t anything else at the 4 theme parks Cars) but we aren’t staying on site. Will the new security measures prevent us from visiting the public areas? (ps we are only staying off-site because we missed Art of Animation booking by a few hours! )

10 Dave { 08.21.12 at 4:38 am }

Hi Kelly, yes you can–most easily by taking a bus form a theme park. You will not be able to get inside the lodging buildings, and the pools may or may not be locked, but you’ll be able to see all the rest of the landscaping and decoration!

11 Mommy J { 08.21.12 at 8:37 pm }

I think there is a meet n greet Cars at Hollywood

12 Dave { 08.22.12 at 7:40 am }
13 Patricia { 10.01.12 at 11:40 am }

Do you know how far a walk it is from cars suites to nemo pool?

14 Dave { 10.01.12 at 3:07 pm }

Hi Patricia, I did not clock this, but it’ll be around one minute for the closest rooms to 5 minutes for the furthest ones…

15 rhonda macdonald { 10.06.12 at 10:58 am }

i am planning a trip to stay at pop or art – little mermaid standard room. which would be the best room to request for both? my preference is – little mermaid standard room when i book – which will be soon? my son will be 4 at the time and i would like quiet and conveinence to the bus pick up/food court if possible. a view other than the parking lot would be nice too? thanks!

16 rhonda macdonald { 10.06.12 at 11:00 am }

i forgot to mention in the above ? that we will be coming the first week of December 2013
thank Rhonda

17 Dave { 10.06.12 at 12:46 pm }

Hi Rhonda, no Little Mermaid rooms are convenient. For the best of them, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/09/23/review-standard-little-mermaid-rooms-disneys-art-animation-resort/#comment-59449

18 Carmella { 10.25.12 at 11:04 am }

I am planning a vacation during Jan 10-14th 2013 with my two children (3 and 5) and my husband. We currently have the Art of Animation Family Suite booked. This is their first visit to Disney, my husband and I have been before. We are looking to stay somewhere that has a separate sleeping area for the children. Are there any other resorts, deluxe or moderate as well, that you would recommend to be our best bet if available? Thanks so much for your help – love the website!

19 Troy { 10.26.12 at 12:24 am }

Hey Dave–

We’re booked in the Finding Nemo suites. I saw that you put up some recommendations on what buildings to request in the Little Mermaid rooms. Would you have any for the Finding Nemo suites, whether for convenience or more quiet or both?

20 Dave { 10.26.12 at 9:41 am }

Hi Carmella! Art of ANimation is at the low end of the price options for a two sleeping space place to stay. For some other options, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/22/bed-types-and-sleeping-space-layouts-at-walt-disney-world-resort-hotels/

21 Dave { 10.26.12 at 10:00 am }

Troy–ask for an Hourglass Lake view, 2nd floor or higher. This will give you a slightly longer walk, but a better view and less noise.

22 Michelle P { 11.06.12 at 3:48 pm }

How big would you say the refrigerators are? I am ordering groceries from an outside source to be delivered and wanted to know if I could fit a couple gallons of milk, a bottle of juice and a few other things in there as well. I am SO happy to know that they stock the room with dishes and utensils, I can take those off my shopping list :) Thank you for your awesome review!!

23 Michelle P { 11.06.12 at 3:49 pm }

Oh, we are also staying in a Nemo suite!

24 Dave { 11.06.12 at 4:06 pm }

Hi Michelle–the maximum width is 7″ from the back to the fixtures built into the door, and the interior width is 20″ or so… and the shelves are movable and removable! You should be able to fit a gallon of milk and a juice bottle, but maybe not two gallons plus the juice…

25 Dave { 11.06.12 at 4:06 pm }

:)

26 Michelle P { 11.06.12 at 4:23 pm }

Awesome!! Thank you so much!

27 Troy { 11.15.12 at 12:55 am }

Hey Dave–

Just over a week ’til we leave, so get ready for a barrage of tiny little questions over the next few days. :-)

Can you give a little more info as to what’s available in the general store (or whatever) at the A of A? Since dishes and utensils are in the rooms, we’d be needing milk, cereal and fruit. Is that findable easily, or do we need to work out some type of delivery? And if the latter, how would we go about that? Can that be worked out with the resort?

As always, much thanks.
Troy

28 Dave { 11.15.12 at 7:25 am }

Troy, you can find milk cereal and fruit, but it will be in the food court area, not the gift shop (unless things have changed since I was last there in September…)

29 Troy { 11.15.12 at 8:00 am }

But the stuff at the food court – wouldn’t that be individual sizes? Or are you saying we could get a big box of cereal, a gallon of milk, etc. I’m wanting to buy things to store in the room.

30 Dave { 11.15.12 at 8:06 am }

The fruit and cereal would be individual sizes. The milk–if I’m recalling correctly–is as big as half a gallon…

31 Dave { 11.15.12 at 8:26 am }

Troy: if you are going to Hoop Dee Doo, the store at Fort Wilderness–quite close to Hoop–has a much better selection. I wouldn’t buy milk there–as you’ll likely have to buy first and bring your bags into Hoop–but cereal options should be better! Your other option is something like Garden Grocer–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/08/30/the-tightwads-guide-to-how-to-eat-at-walt-disney-world/

32 Troy { 11.15.12 at 11:53 pm }

Dave: great suggestions – thanks! We’ll probably have it delivered. I’m assuming they’d drop it off at the front desk, and we’d get it from there. Yet again, a page that contained the info that I hadn’t seen… :-)

33 Hayden Davis { 11.30.12 at 2:23 pm }

I have found your blog so helpful and want to thank you for posting such detailed information and pictures on the room floor plan for Art of Animation family suites. My family will be staying here in April 2013. We have chosen the Finding Nemo suites after seeing your great pictures! Thanks again!

34 Hayden Davis { 11.30.12 at 2:27 pm }

Michelle–Here is a picture of an actual mini fridge in the Finding Nemo suites–I am also staying there and had the same question. My friend went and took this picture for me.

35 Dave { 11.30.12 at 4:22 pm }

Hayden, two things;

One I’m glad you found the site helpful, and come back here when you complete your visit!

Two, your link did not work for your image. If you email me the photo, I’ll post it and credit you. I’m at davidhobartyfv@gmail.com

36 Hayden Davis { 11.30.12 at 6:03 pm }

Dave-
I emailed you the picture of the mini fridge in the Finding Nemo Suite. Thanks!

37 Dave { 12.01.12 at 10:50 am }

Thanks, Hayden, here it is:

38 Alexandria { 01.15.13 at 12:51 pm }

My husband and I are planning a trip for October 2013. Are there any rooms available that have a view of illuminations at epoct available at the Art of Animation resort

39 Dave { 01.15.13 at 3:45 pm }

Hi Alexandria, I don’t think so. You are pretty south of Epcot at AofA, with a mini-forest intervening. It could be that a few upper floor parking lot view rooms in the Little Mermaid section have such views, but that’s exactly where I stayed, and I didn’t notice that I could see Illuminations…

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40 Melissa { 01.21.13 at 9:09 am }

Hi Dave! Great site! I’m finding conflicting info on exercise facilities at AoA. Do they have facilities, and if not, where would you suggest would be the best place to access facilities? Thanks so much! Btw, we will be staying in AoA lion king. :)

41 Dave { 01.21.13 at 9:39 am }

Hi Melissa, and thanks!

There’s no exercise facilities at AofA. I believe that the Disney hotels that have them offer them only to their own guests…but will check on this…

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42 Melissa { 01.21.13 at 3:35 pm }

Thank you!

43 Kristy { 02.26.13 at 10:36 pm }

This site was so helpful. We are booked for June. I am wondering if I could call and ask for specific room. We are staying with 4 kids in a Nemo Family Suite. So what rooms should I ask for?

44 Dave { 02.27.13 at 8:31 am }

Hi Kristy, you want an upper-floor room with a view of hourglass lake. This will limit the pool and corridor noise–plus give you a nice view!

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45 KJ { 03.19.13 at 2:36 pm }

Hi!!
I am so into this site. We are planning to stay in a Family Suite when we travel in October 2013. What rooms shouls we try to get. I still torn between the NEMO and CARS rooms …. decisions decisions

46 Dave { 03.19.13 at 5:15 pm }

Hi KJ and thanks!! I recommend the Lion King lake-facing rooms! Quieter, better view, but still close to the main services and bus stops. I’d put Cars next, then Nemo…

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47 Janet { 04.10.13 at 11:10 pm }

We are looking to book a suite at AOA in Dec 2014. I heard the big blue pool is huge but only 4 ft deep. Is there nowhere at the resort with a deeper pool? I have a 12&8 yr old that love to swim.
Ty

48 Tiffany W { 04.11.13 at 9:10 am }

I was wondering about the size of the refrigerator in the Little Mermaid room. I saw the early post about the Family suites, just wondering if the refrigerators are the same size . Thank you.

49 Dave { 04.11.13 at 10:07 am }

Hi Janet, over the years Disney as it has opened hotels has made pools shallower and shallower to discourage diving. I always see hundreds of kids swimming and in the pools playing anyway so they should be fine!

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50 Dave { 04.11.13 at 10:10 am }

Hi Tiffany, see the Little Mermaid review that begins here—there’s a couple of shots of the refrigerators on the second page http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/09/23/review-standard-little-mermaid-rooms-disneys-art-animation-resort/

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51 Jolanta { 04.22.13 at 12:40 am }

Hello Dave!
Where to start well, this is the first time my family will be going to Disney, and were planning on going late April 2014 to early May 2014; hope that’s a good date. I have 2 adults and my children are 2 girls 16 & 13. I’m wondering if the Nemo or Lion King Family Suite will be suitable for them for a 1st time visit. We’re staying 9 days & 8 nights with the park hopper and water park option, but without the Dining Plan and I’m hoping a budget of $4,000 will suffice if not can you please give me a more reasonable one? And when I buy the tickets should I buy 4 adult ones or would giving them 2 child ones entitle them to adult courses?? Thank you for your time.

52 Jolanta { 04.22.13 at 12:59 am }

Oh and pardon me, I didn’t mention that both of my girls still adore Disney and while both want to see it; my oldest one especially wants to because she’s heading to college in less than 2 years and still hasn’t been to Disney. Hopefully this will turn out as a wonderful trip. Thank you again for your time.

53 Dave { 04.22.13 at 8:29 am }

Hi Jolanta! First, the girls will have to buy adult tickets–the kid tickets are only for <10 year olds. And the family suites are expensive--so I don't see you being able to do all that for $4000. I suspect you are a grand low...

To how to figure out your budget, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/what-to-budget/estimating-budgets/

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54 Jolanta { 04.22.13 at 11:05 pm }

Thank you Dave!
So $4,ooo isn’t enough, hmm would then the Little Mermaid Room suffice or is there another hotel besides Pop Century and AofA?What would you think would be a more suitable budget besides the ones you’ve stated on the link you gave me? This is the 1st site I went to recommended to me by a friend and it has worked extremely well. Thank you again!

55 Dave { 04.23.13 at 8:11 am }

Hi Jolanta, on what to budget see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/what-to-budget/ and the links there.

There are three hotels a little less expensive than Pop and AofA–All-Star Music, Movies, and Sports. See the links here http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/08/04/the-value-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

56 Jolanta { 04.24.13 at 12:20 am }

Thank you so much Dave! Your site made my trip a 100x less stressful and more organized than before. I will certainly recommend this site to all of my family and friends! Thank you once again!

57 Dave { 04.24.13 at 7:39 am }

Thanks Jolanta! I’m so glad the site helped you…that’s why I write it!

58 rhonda { 05.27.13 at 10:11 am }

I’m going to book a Cars suite for 2 adults 1 5 yr old. I saw that you put up some recommendations on what buildings to request in the Little Mermaid rooms. But what about the Cars suites – which room numbers are most conveniet and quiet.
Next question we are traveling 12/6/2013 for 1 week – we have a travel agent booking all of our extras (meals/character, etc.) Most meals I have requested to book early to get into some parks early – will this be worth the sleep/stress to get us there early to beat the crowds – this is a very low crowd level and I don’t want to waste sleep getting up at 6:00 for a brkfst buffet at 8:00 when the parks may not be crowded at all….thanks for your help…

59 Dave { 05.27.13 at 5:46 pm }

Hi Rhonda, I’d ask for an upper-floor, lake-view, near-transportation room in Building 3.

On morning dining…yes the parks will be quite crowded, just much less so than other times of the year. So the first 90 minute sin the park after opening is still a critical time.

I’d take a different approach, and schedule breakfast as late as its available–e.g. 10.30a or later, and have some donuts milk juice an dfruit in the room to snack on before you head over to the parks. This limits how early you need to get up while ensuring you both see the parks at the best time and can have some fun breakfasts.

Hope this helps…

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60 Jamie { 06.07.13 at 8:48 am }

Hi Dave,

We have quite a large group going to WDW in Sept. This will be a first trip for all of us and we will be staying in 2 of the cars family suites. My elderly parents will be with us and I was wondering where would you recommend staying to that would be most convenient on them as far as walking etc.. What are the chances of us getting rooms close together and do they have pack and plays that we could use for the smaller kids? How soon can I request all of these things and do I need to keep following up with them as the time gets closer? Sorry for all the questions there will be 13 of us and the planning has all been left up to me so I’m a little stressed and just want to make sure everyone has a wonderful time!
Thank you so much for all your reviews and advice! PRICELESS for us newbies

61 Jamie { 06.07.13 at 8:52 am }

I forgot to mention that we will have our own cars, do you recommend using those to travel to and from the parks instead of the buses?
Thanks!

62 Dave { 06.09.13 at 7:20 am }

Hi Jamie, and thanks for the kind words!

–Yes, you can request Pack and plays! You can do this at on-line check in or when you arrive (see below)
–You want to request a second floor or higher rooms “near transportation” in the Finding Nemo section. You can request this now by calling, and also at 60 days out via on-line check in.
–Disney will try to put your rooms close, but there are no guarantees.

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63 Dave { 06.09.13 at 7:22 am }

Jamie, cars are faster and more convenient for all the parks except Magic Kingdom.

At MK, the buses drop you right off at the park (as they do at the other three) but parking at MK is distant and requires another transportation act–monorail or ferry–and so is much more time-consuming.

So drive everywhere but MK.

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64 Helene { 06.19.13 at 8:54 pm }

I just wanted to Thank You for such a great comprehensive review of the finding nemo suites. We are scheduled to visit from the UK for Christmas and New Year and I’ve found the official resort site lacking in information. Your review and photographs and answers to others questionsbhas answered everything I wanted to know about both the AOA resort and the finding nemo suites so Thank You x

65 Dave { 06.20.13 at 7:41 am }

Hi Helene, and I’m so glad the review was helpful!

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66 Faye Reavis { 06.15.14 at 7:29 pm }

Hi Dave, we are planning a trip during Thanksgiving week. My husband is possibly going to have to have both knees replaced after the trip. We have grandsons with us. Want to stay in the Art of Animation, Cars or Lion King. Can you advise which rooms maybe would be closest to the entrance and buses so he won’t have to do much walking and be on the ground floor?

67 Dave { 06.16.14 at 7:01 am }

Faye, Lion King building 10 is by far the best choice under your circumstances. But the parks have a ton of walking as well…have you thought about renting a scooter?

68 Emily { 09.26.14 at 5:14 pm }

Hi Dave! Like the others already stated, your website is FABULOUS! Thanks for all the tips for us newbies! We are planning our first Disney trip for the end of April 2015 and definitely want to stay in A of A. One thing I have heard from friends is that there is a Publix nearby that will deliver groceries for a reasonable delivery charge. Can you confirm that? Thanks in advance!

69 Dave { 09.28.14 at 7:17 am }

Hiya Emily and thanks!! I can’t confirm that, but you can get deliveries from Garden Grocer and others.

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