Review: Standard Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
By Dave Shute
LITTLE MERMAID STANDARD ROOMS AT ART OF ANIMATION
One room type, Family Suites, fills the seven most convenient buildings at Art of Animation. These spaces sleep six in over 500 square feet, and cost (2013 Fall season weeknight) $269 a night plus tax. See this for more on these Family Suites.
The other room type, standard rooms, is the subject of this review.
Standard rooms at Art of Animation are found in its three least convenient Little Mermaid buildings, and sleep 4 in about 260 square feet. On the same 2013 fall season weeknight, these rooms cost $113 a night plus tax—less than half of what the Family Suites are going for.
These two room types are profoundly different—anyone reserving one but expecting the other is in for a shock. And you can’t really compare them to each other. The relevant comparison for standard rooms at Art of Animation is standard rooms at the other four Value Resorts: Pop Century, All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports, and All-Star Music.
Based on this comparison, standard rooms at Art of Animation outshine the alternatives, and are this site’s most highly recommended value resort standard rooms. They have the highest kid appeal of any value resort—for both boys and girls—and this kid appeal outweighs for almost all families their slight deficits in convenience.
REVIEW: LITTLE MERMAID STANDARD ROOMS AT DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION RESORT
On this basis, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the best value resort for first time family visitors.
This appeal comes from the approach to theming they all share: bright and vibrant exteriors, framing much larger than life objects of interest to kids. These objects reinforce that these resorts were designed for the sake of kids…and not necessarily for adults!
Art of Animation has taken this theming to a whole new level, both in exteriors and interiors.
By focusing the four sections of the resort on movies with distinctive settings, Disney imagineers became able to mimic those settings in the physical environment of the hotel sections themselves.
This level of detailed theming has also been brought in to the rooms themselves.
So the carpet mimics the sea floor, and the window curtain extends the sea floor and brings undersea plants to it…
As a result, Art of Animation has the deepest level of Disney theming ever created in a hotel. If your kids like the movies it represents–Nemo, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Cars–they are going to love this place.
Convenience. Convenience on this site means transportation convenience in carrying out its itineraries. By that standard, Art of Animation overall is tied with Pop Century Resort for being the most convenient value resort.
However, the standard rooms at Art of Animation are the least convenient of all this hotel’s offerings.
These rooms are by far the least convenient offerings at Art of Animation, at their worst being five minutes further away from the central pool, food court and bus stop than other (Family Suite) Art of Animation options.
For most families, this extra few minutes won’t matter; but those with mobility issues might want to consider Pop Century, the next most highly ranked value resort, especially if they are targeting a summer visit. At Pop, as at the other value resorts, rooms with similar layouts (but not nearly as rich theming) can be found that are much more convenient to the central resort services.
THE LITTLE MERMAID ROOMS THEMSELVES
Little Mermaid room layouts at Art of Animation are pretty much identical to standard rooms in the other value resorts.
And as in the other value resorts, this room is about as small as it can be and still fit two full-sized beds.
If you trip at the entry door threshold, you could fall into the first bed…romantic, perhaps, but not usually on the agenda for a family visit…
Note that The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2013 says that these rooms are slightly larger than other value resort rooms, at 277 square feet, rather than 260.
Now I’m sure that someone credible told them that, but these rooms are no bigger than those at the other value resorts.
My tape measure got all the major dimensions as within an inch or so of those at All-Star Music, where I stayed a couple of weeks ago. For this room to have 17 more square feet, it would need to have been a foot and a half longer, or nine inches wider, or 6 inches more in both dimensions, or some such, than All-Star Music.
My measuring isn’t perfect, but I would have noticed that big a dimensional difference…so I’ve got it as 260 square feet, same as the other value resorts.
A PHOTO TOUR OF A STANDARD LITTLE MERMAID ROOM
This review continues here.