Review: Standard Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Continued



By Dave Shute

For the first page of this review, see this.

A PHOTO TOUR OF A STANDARD LITTLE MERMAID ROOM

Little Mermaid Floor Plan from yourfirstvisit.netStandard 4-person Little Mermaid rooms have the same layout and size as the other value resorts. What’s different is the specific decor, and the deep Disney theming that you won’t find in the other values.

Sea Floor Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net
You are “Under the Sea” in this room, a position that the carpet and how it works with curtains  and the beds is meant to reinforce.

Seafloor Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

Closing your eyes and saying “I believe in orange as an undersea color!  I do!!” helps a bit in getting this.


Little Mermaid Room at Art of Animation from yourfirstvisit.net

The room has two full beds, with Sebastian and Flounder and Sebastian between them. The “pearls” on the headboards are reading lights.

Headboard Detail Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net
Here”s a closer shot of the headboards…

Flounder and Sebastian Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

…and of Sebastian and Flounder.

Prince Eric Wall Art Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

Towards the end of the beds, there’s a painting of Prince Eric.

TV Side Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net
On the other side of the room, you’ll find a table and chairs with a fun light fixture and mirror above, and a dresser with a TV above and a fridge inside.

Table and Chairs Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

The chairs are fun for kids, but cheap looking…

Table Detail Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net…while the table has these sheets from a musical score embedded.

Dresser Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

The dresser has the TV above, drawers on one side, and a mini-fridge on the other.

Drawers and Mini-Fridge Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net
Here’s the drawers and mini-fridge. Note only three drawers. There’s a shelf above the hanging rack in the bath with more storage, and also room for suitcases used for storage on the floor between the fridge and the bath.

The fridge itself has pretty good capacity.  The photo above, from an earlier visit, shows it with 17 beers (guess where the 18th one was?). The shelves inside are movable, and removable.

Room Dividing Curtain Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net
The bath is separated from the main living/sleeping area by a curtain.

Wall Space Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net
There’s also coat hooks in this area.  The wall where the coats hooks are is where the door would be in a room outfitted with connecting doors.

Coat Rack Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

Here’s a closer view of the coat hooks.


Bath Sink Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

The bath has a single sink…

Clothes Hanging Area Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

…and a large hanging area to its side, with a shelf above it, and an ironing board, iron, and safe.

Shower Curtain Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net

The toilet and tub are closed off into their own space.  The shower curtain presents the first appearance of Ariel in the room–see this.

Shower Little Mermaid Art of Animation Room from yourfirstvisit.net


The tub surround is themed to Ariel’s lair.

BEST AND WORST PLACES TO STAY IN THE LITTLE MERMAID AREA OF ART OF ANIMATION

This review continues here.

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45 comments

1 Tom { 10.17.12 at 10:50 am }

Dave,
Just taking a look at the pics and the room looks awesome! Yes, I know how value resort rooms are, and the distribution of furniture looks familiar, but it’s so different from other value resorts such as POP.
Eagerly waiting for next February to arrive and enjoy a week there, and more tips to be provided next week! :-)

2 Dave { 10.17.12 at 11:08 am }

Thanks Tom! And I really like it too! I’ve gotten behind on that “next week” post but I will have more soon!

3 Joanne { 10.17.12 at 3:33 pm }

Hi Dave! It has been almost a month since we arrived at AoA Little Mermaid for our First WDW trip. The rooms and facility were incredible! I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of this Resort (AoA) and this specific area within. I would highly recommend it to smaller families or those looking for connecting rooms for more than 6 (we had 7 in our party). It was a distance from the main building – keeping us from grabbling quick snacks or going to the Big Blue after a long day at the parks. You certainly hated to bring your mugs back to the room after breakfast if you didn’t want to take them to the parks with you! My mom ended up needing a wheelchair (if only we knew ahead of time!) and it was a bit of an issue for her. I found it odd that complementary wheelchairs or golfcart shuttles within the resorts were not available for people needing it. At the parks you can rent wheelchairs and they even have them complementary outside the parks to assist with getting from the gate to the bus or monorail. I realize that WDW is a ‘walking’ vacation and you need to be prepared to do A LOT of walking but the resorts were less accommodating. Please advise people who may need a wheelchair in the parks to consider renting one from an outside source for use both at the parks and at their resort. Or take Dave’s advice and stay at one of the monorail resorts (Polynesian was so nice – we stopped there on our way to DTD from MK) where getting around isn’t quite as much of an issue! We hope to take our second WDW trip and will probably stay at the Cars section of AoA, which would be my #1 choice for a value hands down! And someday maybe we will stay at the Polynesian (maybe tie it in with a Disney cruise!). Dave – you are welcome to edit or shorten this in any way you see fit.

4 Dave { 10.17.12 at 4:04 pm }

Joanne, thanks a million for the update and feedback. Your point about wheelchairs is an especially great one!

5 JK { 10.18.12 at 12:05 pm }

Hi, I have booked a full vacation package in AoA with Standard Rooms at the Little Mermaid section. And I did it before reading your outstanding review so I have to congratulate myself on doing it. My little kids (3 and 6) will for sure be absolutely delighted on the theming as you point out. I will be looking forward to reading the rest of the review as I would love to know what specific recommendations you have around the best and worst locations and other tips withing this section. This will be my first family visit to WDW and I am so excited. I would also know if you have any recommendations on how to make the most of the dining plan I added to my reservation. Kind and warm regards. JK

6 Dave { 10.18.12 at 12:14 pm }

Hi JK! The next part of this review, with best and worst rooms, will come out early next week–and on dining, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-eat/

7 erin { 10.19.12 at 10:03 am }

i want one of the curtains in the room the little mermaid or the one with all the singing fish on it for my house. are they for sale? if so where and how much?

8 Tom { 10.19.12 at 1:38 pm }

@erin

perhaps if you go to Disney’s memorabilia store at Downtown Disney (I can’t recall the name right now, but it’s a huge outlet) you may find them there. It has LOTS of things

9 Dave { 10.19.12 at 2:39 pm }

Hi Erin, I don’t know, but did not notice them on sale anywhere–they may be…

10 Nicole { 10.21.12 at 5:16 pm }

Hi Dave! Love your site! (wish I’d seen it before our most recent trip!)
Wondering what you think of AoA for a family with a teen and tween? (son 13 & daughter 10) Too childish? Just right? I’m considering a possible split-stay w/ a deluxe & value for Oct 2013.
Thanks!

11 Dave { 10.22.12 at 6:52 am }

Hi Nicole…that’s a tough call as it’ll vary by kid…Have they been to WDW before?

12 Nicole { 10.25.12 at 9:55 pm }

Yes they’ve been before. We’ve only stayed at Coronado Springs. (which I wasn’t happy with, but that’s another story…)

13 Dave { 10.26.12 at 9:51 am }

Nicole, Art of Animation is much more garish than CS. But you’ll like the room itself much more…

14 Jenn { 01.15.13 at 2:45 pm }

Has anyone stayed in the LIttle Mermaid room and can vouch if there is underbed storage or is it a platform?

15 Dave { 01.15.13 at 3:49 pm }

I have, Jenn, and they have no underbed storage–solid sides to the floor.

16 Yolanda { 02.02.13 at 8:43 pm }

Hi Dave,
I am planning our first family trip to WDW with two daughters (3 and 6 yrs old). Should we stay at AoA or Port Orleans Riverside? (is Ariels’s room to small or should we go else where) We are going in May for 4 nights and 5 day. Should we include the dining plan and the hopper too? There at so many places to stay, but can be very expensive too. Thanks for your help.

17 Dave { 02.03.13 at 7:02 am }

Hi Yolanda, the choice between the two is stark. The little mermaid rooms are tiny, have full beds, but wonderful kid appeal. Your kids will love Riverside, but compared to AofA it is dull. The rooms, there, however, are much nicer–larger, and with queen beds. Riverside is also a good bit more expensive. With kids that age I’d go for Little Mermaid at AofA

Skip the hopper–with kids that age, you should focus on MK, and don’t need to hop away from or to it.

The dining plan used to save a lot of money, but now is close to a wash–for sure see if you can book fun restaurants before signing up for it, as otherwise you’ll be stuck with dull ones, and the best and most fun restaurants book out 6 months ahead! See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-eat/

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18 Yolanda { 02.03.13 at 4:21 pm }

Thanks so much for the info Dave! AoA seems great for the kids. Is the bus stop too far from the Ariel room? Also, I know the Polynesian costs more. Do you think I should consider it…or save the money and use it for our spending money while we are there?

19 Yolanda { 02.03.13 at 4:27 pm }

Also for the character break/lunch/dinner….when would be bet to eat with them if we can get a reservation. Looking at Chef Mickey, Cinderella ant MK, and princess one at Norway. LMK. Thanks!

20 Yolanda { 02.03.13 at 4:29 pm }

What meal time breakfast lunch dinner is best to have With the Characters?

21 Dave { 02.04.13 at 10:50 am }

Hi Yolanda, the bus stop is a ten minute walk from the Little Mermaid rooms. I wouldn’t recommend the Poly if I didn’t think it worth it, but the Poly price difference is so high that paying for it is a very personal decision, related to your next best use for the money you save…

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22 Dave { 02.04.13 at 10:51 am }

Yolanda, either lunch or dinner is best. Breakfast can get in the way of riding rides as soon as the Parr opens, which is the best way to avoid lines.

23 Yolanda { 02.05.13 at 1:56 am }

Dave, you are the best. Thanks again, but I have one more question for you…which resort would you preferred between Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter or the Riverside one? (The Royal room is cute for our girls) but other then the room…and why? I need to book by tomorrow and your info is helping. Thanks! (or would you skip both Orleans and stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort)…

24 Yolanda { 02.05.13 at 2:03 am }

I will add as far as the price for all the resorts I listed above including AoA…the deal is pretty much the same price for 4 nights and 5 days. Having said that which is the one you would stay at once you answer my questions on both Orleans. Big thank you. AoA, Port Orleans French or Riverside, Caribbean Beach Reosrt.

25 Yolanda { 02.05.13 at 2:14 am }

And the other one that is being offered for about the same price is Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort…LMK what you think…which would fit best for my family! Good night.

26 Dave { 02.05.13 at 8:40 am }

Yolanda, POFQ is much more compact and easy to navigate, but POR has more amenities (table service restaurant, marina, etc.) So while I personally prefer POFQ, I rank POR higher for the typical family.

27 Dave { 02.05.13 at 8:43 am }

Yolanda, AofA Little Mermmiad rooms have much more kid appeal than any of your other options, but are tiny. CB has the most kid appeal of the moderates, with CS next. My moderate rankings are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/10/28/the-moderate-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/ but there’s pros and cons to each–so read the reviews linked to from there!

28 FRank { 02.05.13 at 8:21 pm }

Hi,
Thanks so much. Your info is stellar. Question: How far away from the Mermaid rooms would parking be???
Much thanks,
Frank

29 Dave { 02.06.13 at 7:07 am }

Hi Frank, and thanks! Parking is right outside the buildings.

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30 Yolanda { 02.06.13 at 2:20 pm }

Dave! You are amazing! Which four character meals are the best for a 4 and 7 year old girls. If we do the Cinderella in the castle…it uses two of our dinners. We have a total of four dinners.. Should we do it or just do others that just take one ticket per dinner? LMK your thoughts. Thank you!

31 Tom { 02.06.13 at 11:24 pm }

We have just crossed the door of our room and I must say that I am speechless! My wife started taking pictures because she kept on saying “unbelievably gorgeous”. The first impression, at 10 pm and exhausted after a long all day long trip, is “this is the best Disney hotel we’ve stayed so far” (and we have been to CB & POP before). Since we have been to Pop Century before, we’re familiar with the building layout and AoA has a very similar one but embellished tenfold. It’s a brand new Pop Century…
Ps: The hotel lobby is breathtaking and the Lion King walkway is A W E S O M E

32 Wendy { 02.07.13 at 2:26 am }

Tom – what type of room is it? How exciting!

33 Dave { 02.07.13 at 7:02 am }

Hey Yolanda, thanks, and great question!

The answer depends a little on whether these are your only table service meals, or if you are also planning to buy more for cash. If you are spending cash, most of the time the two-credit meals are cheaper in cash than if paid for by credits, so you’d be better off it you spend your credits on single credit meals.

My ranking of character meals is here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-eat/dining-alternatives/character-meals-and-dinner-shows-ranked-in-order/ If you do my top 4, you’ll have three princess meals…whihc may be one too many!

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34 Dave { 02.07.13 at 7:22 am }

YAYYYYYY!

35 Tom { 02.09.13 at 10:41 pm }

Wendy, standard room at the first floor near the pool. The cheapest available which could accomodate 4 persons

36 Chris { 03.04.13 at 7:28 am }

Hi folks. Do all rooms have the mini-fridge. Currently considering between this and Port Orleans – Riverside, but the company I’m thinking of booking with don’t have it listed that fridges are in the rooms. Think art of animation may be the best one as I have a 6 year old daughter. However the Fridge would be a crucial factor.

37 Dave { 03.04.13 at 9:02 am }

Hi Chris, as of around mid–summer 2012, all Disney World hotel rooms have fridges built in and included in the room rate. This is a new thing for the value resorts, so not all websites have caught up…

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38 Chris { 03.04.13 at 9:29 am }

Hi Dave, many thanks for that. Could well tip the balance for us in favour of Art of Animation. For the two adults amongst us, is there a shop in the A of A to buy a bottle of wine from, and also would you happen to know how long the pool bar stays open? Brilliant website by the way, most informative website I’ve seen on Disney.

39 Dave { 03.04.13 at 10:22 am }

Thanks, Chris!

I ca’nt find anything on the hours of the pool bar. Based on what I’ve seen elsewhere, 11p close would be typical, but if things are dead slow they may close earlier.

You can get wine in the gift shop, and also in the food court. It costs an arm and a leg, though–see this for alternatives: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/08/30/the-tightwads-guide-to-how-to-eat-at-walt-disney-world/

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40 Chris { 03.08.13 at 6:17 am }

Hi Dave, well I’ve booked Art of Animation for August 2014. Can’t wait! Do you know if it is possible to hire tea and coffee making facilities from reception if there aren’t any in the rooms.

41 Dave { 03.08.13 at 8:19 am }

Hi Chris! No you can’t–although its a great idea…

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42 Chanda { 08.08.13 at 1:02 am }

Hi Dave, thinking abt going this Aug into Labor Day weekend. The charts predict low crowds and hurricane season. I have a 5 yo girl. Where should I stay if we are only a party of two! The mermaid rooms look great, but small and the long walk to the hotel might be hard at night when she is sleepy. Help. And can you visit the other hotels to sight see??

43 Dave { 08.08.13 at 7:36 am }

Hi Chanda! Yes you can go see the other hotels to site-see. And what other hotels I’d recommend depends on your budget! A “preferred” room at either All-Star Music or All-Star Movies will make the walks much shorter, and is just a dollar per night (pre-tax) more expensive than Little Mermaid. You are giving up a much more fun environment and room at AofA for an easier walk.

If you have more money to throw around, check out the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside. These are about $100/night (again, pre-tax) more. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/12/30/review-royal-rooms-port-orleans-riverside/

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44 KK { 01.16.14 at 12:32 am }

Hi Dave….we’ve just started planning our first Disney family vacay and this website has been so helpful! Our girls will be 5, 4 and 2 when we go. We will go for 6 nights/5 days. I planned on getting a park hopper, but what do you suggest with children that little? Also, what do you think about doing the dining plan for all of us…..would it be worth it?? We will for sure want to do at least one character breakfast/lunch/dinner…possibly more! I’m not much of a planner…do I need to line up every meal in advance? If we used a travel agent could s/he do that for us so I wouldnt have to worry about it? Thanks in advance! :)

45 Dave { 01.16.14 at 7:51 am }

Hi KK and thanks for the kind words!!

I focus on much older kids (see this for why: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/how-oldtall-your-children-should-be/ so can’t help much on the specifics. Target 2-3 mornings, open afternoon, and one evening at MK, and a morning each at HS and AK.

The dining plan may save you a bit, but only if you would do on average one sit-down preserved meal a day regardless. It’s best to think of it as a way to pre-pay, and a budgeting tool.

The best-loved meals can sell out 6 months in advance, so you definitely need to book them well ahead of time. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-your-plans-need-to-be-firm/

A travel agent can book them for you as part of the overall services they provide in booking your trip–but you still need to decide which, and on which day!

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