Review: Standard Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, p3

By Dave Shute

This is the third page of this review of the Little Mermaid rooms. For the first page, see this.


The Little Mermaid Section of Art of Animation has three buildings, numbered 7, 8 and 9.

Seven is the best, and 8 the worst.  Specifically, ask for an Hourglass Lake view room in building 7 closer to the Lion King area.  This will give you the shortest walk, least pool noise, and best views.


Map of Art of Animation ResortDistance. All three Little Mermaid buildings are further away from the core Art of Animation services—the main pool, food court, gift shop, concierge desk, and bus stops—than any other buildings at this hotel.

See the map—where the Little Mermaid buildings are on the left, circled in orange.

For most, this distance will matter little, adding five minutes to ten minutes per round trip of walking.  Many more expensive Disney World resorts have even longer walks.

But anyone aimed at a standard-sized value resort room with a mobility issue ought to consider either renting a wheelchair or scooter, or getting a room closer to core services at another value resort.  (Pop Century is the next highest ranked value resort.)

Of the three buildings, rooms in 8 all have longer walks than rooms in 7 and 9. Seven and 9 are tied for distance, and in 7 and 9, rooms closer to the Lion King area will have a shorter walk.

Quiet Pool in Little Mermaid Area at Art of ANimation from yourfirstvisit.netNoise.  Unlike in the Family Suites at Art of Animation, corridor noise is not much of an issue in the Little Mermaid section. This is because there are twice as many corridors, none are walled on all sides, none are air conditioned, and thus none has a real draw as a pathway to  the resort’s central services.

Noise, to the extent it is an issue, comes from the pool.  One-third of rooms in building 8, and one-sixth of rooms in each of 7 and 9, face the pool.

Views. Two thirds of the rooms in both buildings 8 and 9 have parking lot views; there are no bad views in building 7, though as noted above the pool-view rooms in 7 can be noisy.

Art of Animation and Pop Century are the only value resorts on a lake—Hourglass Lake separates the two.  While there may be some obtuse views of Hourglass Lake from a few of the pool-facing rooms of building 8, a third of building 7 rooms have a view of the lake.

Hourglass LakeAll in, building 7 is the best and 8 the worst of the Little Mermaid buildings.  So ask for a lake-facing building 7 room, as near the Lion King area as possible.  This will give you the shortest walk, least noise and best view!

The best rooms specifically are 7513-7524, 7613-7624, 7713-7724, and 7813 to 7824. The image above is taken from outside of 7813.

Art of Animation Online Check-in from yourfirstvisit.netOn the online check-in form, click “Lake View” and “Near Transportation.”

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1 Anonymous { 10.23.12 at 9:04 pm }

It seems (from your description) that your buildings 8 and 9 are opposite of the buildings 8 and 9 in the attached map. Which is the actual building 9–the one furthest from Animation Hall or the the closer to the Lion King section?

2 Dave { 10.24.12 at 5:27 am }

You are right–fixed now!! Thanks. My dyslexia got in the way…8 is the furthest and worst building, 9 is the one closer to LK on the parking lot side…

3 Tom { 10.26.12 at 1:49 pm }

Wow! Thanks for the tips! Can you “select” any building when you check-in in advance using Disney’s website? Can you say “hey, please give me building 7″ or it’s just a matter of luck?

4 Dave { 10.27.12 at 12:35 pm }

Tom, if you book over the phone, you can request then; you should then also call the hotel front desk a day or two before arrival and re-iterate your request.

5 Tom { 10.29.12 at 11:51 am }

Ok, thanks for the tip. I usually handle most of my stuff over the internet but perhaps this time I will do as you suggest.

6 Dave { 10.29.12 at 2:04 pm }

Good luck Tom!

7 Beth { 11.02.12 at 10:07 am }

I’ve just booked online to stay in the Little Mermaid section for 14 days in April 2013 but I have noticed when booking that there was nothing about requests mentioned. I wish to request a king bed room in building 7 but I don’t know how or when to do so. The distance of the walk between the Little Mermaid section and the main building does worry me a little. I’m usually quite a fast walker but after 14 consecutive days in the parks which will consist of a lot of walking, I fear the walk back to the room at the end of the day may be too much. This is also my first visit to WDW and I want to make it as enjoyable as possible. Any advice you could give me would be great!

8 Dave { 11.03.12 at 7:13 am }

Hi Beth, you request rooms over the phone, which is part of all my to-do lists (see e.g. )–both doing your reservation over the phone, and also calling the front desk of AofA a day or two before to make the request again. It’s the second that really matters, so just call a day or two before check-in!

9 Suzie { 11.07.12 at 10:08 pm }

Hi Dave, I haven’t been to WDW for 30 years, and look forward to taking my kids there in Oct 2013. Unfortunately, the Polynesian is over our budget. I think the Cars family suite at the AOA would be a good fit for us. My main concern is the time it takes to get to the park. The kids will be 5 and 3 1/2. The price point between your two recommendations is huge… is there a hotel in between these two price points closer to the park that you would suggest? We are taking the kids now while my daughter is obsessed with the princesses, but we do plan to return when the kids are 9-10 years old. One more question, why don’t you have a section on non-Disney hotels? Is it too much to cover, or do you strongly believe staying on property is the best way to go? Thanks! Love the site!!

10 Dave { 11.08.12 at 3:24 pm }

Hi Suzie! A couple of things

–The price point spread I show is not for Family Suites at AoA vs the Poly–it’s for standard rooms at AoA vs the Poly. Family suites are ~2.5x more expensive than standard AoA rooms (though still half the price of Poly!)

–My recommendations on this site are for first time visitors who may never return. For those, I feel strongly that a stay on site is right. Off-site can be much cheaper, especially at higher levels, but is much less fun and less convenient.

–There is an in-between price point set of on-site hotels, which I don’t recommend for first time visitors who may never return. These are the Moderates–see this: None is distinctly more convenient than AoA.

11 Heather { 12.24.12 at 12:39 am }

I am plannng to go the Disney with my sister and her five year old neice in Aug or Oct 2012. We plan to stay at the AoA little mermaid room. You mentioned that building 7 is best for view and distance but your view is of the lake. Would it not be better to see the pool so I can decide when to take a dip? Also and more important, do you have any room location suggestions that will allow me to see the bus coming? We often run late and I want to make sure we can see it beforehand if possible.

12 Heather { 12.24.12 at 12:40 am }

Sorry I meant Aug – Oct of 2013.

13 Dave { 12.24.12 at 8:07 am }

Hi Heather, first there’s some much better and worse times to visit in the months you note–see this:

On rooms, if you find value from being able to see the pool greater than the noise you’ll get from the pool, then go for it!

You can’t see the bus stops from any Art of Animation rooms except some in building 10, and at Little Mermaid it wouldn’t matter if you could, as by the time you could walk to it the bus would be gone anyway…

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14 JK { 12.28.12 at 5:55 pm }

Hi, I am almost sure to have seen somewhere that they charge a fee for parking at Disney’s resorts? I will stay in AoA in late feb 2013.

15 Dave { 12.29.12 at 9:36 am }

JK, parking at the Disney WOrld hotels is free for guests of the hotels. Disney theme park parking is also free if you are a WDW hotel guest!

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16 Nicole Lucas { 01.08.13 at 6:41 pm }

Ok so we booked 2 standard rooms at the Art of Animation for the end of May. I really want to be in building 7. I booked our trip through my local AAA travel agent. Can I call Disney and request that our rooms be in building 7 or do I have to have my agent call. We have a couple toddlers and the shorter the distance to the pools the better. Plus it being more quite never hurts when you are trying to get a fussy baby to sleep.

17 Dave { 01.09.13 at 8:52 am }

Hi Nicole, honestly, I’m not sure. I’d think that with your reservation number in hand you could just call Disney directly, and you’d also want to call the AofA front desk a day or two before you check in…

18 Khay { 01.12.13 at 5:21 pm }

We are staying in Little Mermaid resort this Feb.
Am I correct that there are no coffee / tea making facilities , or microwave in the room ?
But there is a mini fridge?

19 Dave { 01.13.13 at 10:38 am }

Hi Khay, yes you are correct!

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20 Emily { 01.14.13 at 11:59 am }

Are the pools heated at this resort??

21 Dave { 01.14.13 at 12:02 pm }

Yes they are, Emily.

22 Kristin { 01.26.13 at 12:26 pm }

Hi Dave,

The Little Mermaid rooms look wonderful but we are bring our eight year old boy (as well as our five year old girl). Is there a less princessy room that boys would enjoy but have similar value, kid appeal and convenience?

23 Dave { 01.26.13 at 6:18 pm }

Krisin, I honestly don’t think these rooms are too girly–see this:

But if you don’t believe me :) your next best bet is Pop Century. See

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24 Charity { 03.17.13 at 1:48 am }

Silly question, but do you recommend the Little Mermaid Rooms over the other themes at this Resort or was just the one you stay at recently? I wasn’t sure if there was a reason to choice Little Mermaid rooms over The Cars. Thanks !

25 Dave { 03.17.13 at 7:59 am }

Charity, the only standard rooms at AofA are in the Little Mermaid section. The three other areas are entirely family suites–costing 2.5 times more. See this:

My recommendation is chosen from among the standard rooms at the 5 value resorts–and since there’s none in the other areas of AofA, Little Mermaid is it!

Hope this helps, and if so….

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26 Rachel { 05.31.13 at 11:29 am }

Is there a microwave available in the food court? And from what you’ve seen, would it be awkward to use to heat up bottles/children’s food? Would it be awkward to bring some food with us to the food court and just buy part of our meals? Did you see any families doing this?

27 Dave { 06.02.13 at 7:57 am }

Rachel, there’s a microwave, and honestly I don’t think it’s awkward…I haven’t seen families making say four frozen Stouffer’s meals there one after another…

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28 Cathey { 06.25.13 at 9:42 am }

Holy Cow!!! We stayed at the Cars resort and it was mind blowing. We are a family of 6-2 adults, 8 yr old girl, 6 yyr old girl and 3 1/2 yr old twin boys. We have stayed at many disney hotels before including the polinesian, wilderness lodge and Port Orleans Riverside. and were sceptical about a Value…I will stay at the Art of Animation every year!!! The details are so Disney over the top -details too many to even imagine .This resort is a must stay to understand.

29 Dave { 06.25.13 at 9:50 am }

Thanks for the report and thoughts, Cathey!!

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30 Carrie { 08.20.13 at 4:19 pm }

Hi Dave!
My family of 4 is booked at AofA for Oct 11-18 this year. My sister and her family of 4 are booked at Pop Century. We’d like to be close enough to each other so that we can cross that little bridge and shuttle places together and/or meet at each other’s pools to swim (I know they say you have to swim at your own pool but really, how will they know!?)…any suggestions on where we should both ask to stay in our hotels to be closest to each other, shuttles, pools, etc? Thanks!

31 Dave { 08.21.13 at 9:11 am }

Hi Carrie, in each resort buildings 4 and 5 –the 60s at Pop, the Finding Nemo family suites at AofA–are closest to the bridge and to buses.

The AofA pools have locks which room keys open…

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32 Jaynee { 08.21.13 at 4:09 pm }

Let me say (once again) how much I value this website! I’ve been using it constantly while our trip was planned and booked. We’re coming up on 52 days until we leave, and I think I’m more excited than our kids!

I just did online checkin today since it was open, and have a quick question about that. I’ve requested a lake view, high floor room at Little Mermaid – now that I’ve done online check-in, would it make sense to call and specifically request to be put in Building 7? Is that something Disney will add to my room request (that request could not be made on the Online Check-In form).

33 Jaynee { 08.21.13 at 4:11 pm }

ACK! Ignore my question – I see you answered it (sort of) already for Nicole. Feel free to delete this and the last comment I made!

34 Dave { 08.22.13 at 10:28 am }

Jaynee I’ll leave both since you said something nice lol!!

35 Carrie { 09.18.13 at 12:07 am }

Ok, thanks for the info but I am staying in the Little Mermaid room at A0fA (going to request one of the rooms you recommended-I can see the bridge from your pic!) but any idea where they should request to stay so we are as close as possible? TIA 24 days and counting!

Also, should I call now to request one of the rooms you recommend or wait until like the week before?

36 Dave { 09.18.13 at 6:55 am }

Carrie, if you haven’t done online check-in yet, do it now. You’ll find an “Add Room and Amenity Requests” button. For AofA, hit it and ask for a lake view room, close to transportation. Then call again the day before! For Pop, ask for 60s, lake view (see the bottom of this page for the Pop form:

37 Carrie { 09.18.13 at 11:55 pm }

Thanks SO much for the info! I’m trying to check in online but I keep encountering a problem. Will try to tackle it tomorrow!

38 Kelly { 10.13.13 at 2:27 pm }

HI there!
Just wordering if you would chose first week in December or February for our next trip? I’m interested in nice weather, low crowds and deals! Also so you anticipate AOA being part of the deals that are offered eventually? More specifically for LM rooms?

39 Dave { 10.14.13 at 6:19 am }

Hi Kelly! Those are both great weeks.

Weather is about the same, prices and crowds will be lower in February.

In February, however, you will miss a couple of rides–see

December on the other hand brings a great Christmas program that’s fully in place the Friday after Thanksgiving–see this:

Me–I’d go with December…see

And Little Mermaid rooms will be on deal as soon as they have trouble selling them at rack rates…and I have no idea when that will be!

Was this even remotely helpful?

Well then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

40 Joanna { 01.03.14 at 5:37 pm }

We currently have reservations May 3-10 to stay in the Little Mermaid Rooms at the Art of Animation. However, Disney released the discounts for that time and obviously Art of Animation was not included. So, my question is….do you think we should go ahead and stay at Pop Century and save $300 or is the Art of Animation worth the extra money? We will be traveling with our 5 an 3 yr old daughters.

41 Dave { 01.04.14 at 10:03 am }

Joanna, I guess it kinda depends on what you could use the money for. AofA has better food, better pools, and better theming. But Pop is perfectly fine, and you can walk from Pop to AofA to enjoy the food and look at the theming…

42 Joanna { 01.04.14 at 10:54 pm }

Thank you Dave. We have the meal plan and we don’t really “plan” to eat at the AofA and probably won’t swim. So, I think we will use the $300 to help pay for souvenirs, BBB and the memory maker. We will for sure stop over to look at the theming as I know our girls will love it. Thanks so much.. Love reading your site!!

43 Dave { 01.05.14 at 9:17 am }

OK Joanna!

44 Lori { 01.05.14 at 9:48 am }

My husband and I will be going to WDW in August with 3 kids, ages 15, 14, and 7. We plan to stay at the Art of Animation and I am debating between getting 2 standard rooms vs. a family suite.

For us the advantage of the 2 standard rooms are:
– 4 beds instead of 3 (each kid then gets their own bed – no one ever wants to sleep with the little guy!)
– the teens have their own room to sleep and hang out in instead of sleeping in the living spaces of the suite. On our vacations we tend to split into 2 different schedules – dad & teens stay up late and sleep late, mom and little boy tend to go to bed early and get up early, so I think the separate rooms would accommodate this better than the suite. I’m especially thinking of how the big kids would still be sleeping on the sofa bed and murphy bed in the mornings when the little kid and I would be up and want to eat breakfast (which we plan do have in the room.)
– 2 standard rooms is cheaper by about $50/night than the suite

BUT I’m concerned that the standard rooms at AofA are all in the Little Mermaid section very far away from the main area of the hotel and we would spend a lot of time trekking back and forth between the room and the AofA restaurant, main pool, and bus stop.

What are your thoughts? Would the family suite layout accommodate the varying schedules of our family members? Would the convenience of having 4 beds and 2 separate rooms outweigh the convenience of being closer to main areas of the hotel? Would there be any reason other than price to consider 2 standard rooms at Pop Century (which are a bit cheaper) instead of at AofA?

45 Dave { 01.05.14 at 12:36 pm }

Lori, first I don’t really think the Little Mermaid rooms are that far…but–especially if the teens are boys–two rooms at Pop for all the reasons you indicate may make much more sense for your family. Moreover, preferred rooms at Pop–which will be more convenient–are only it looks like about $5/night more expensive than Little Mermaid rooms in August…

You will lose among other things the coffee maker and the microwave…

46 Kelly { 02.04.14 at 11:42 pm }

The little mermaid rooms don’t have the fridge listed as one of the amminities. I was wondering if something had changed since you first posted the article?

47 Dave { 02.05.14 at 2:53 pm }

No, Kelly, nothing has changed…

48 Jen { 02.14.14 at 12:42 pm }

I have stayed at the Caribbean, all-star movie and Port Orleans. Which resort is AoA most like? I hated the Caribbean because of how large it was and took forever walking to get anywhere but ppl complained about some of the rooms at Movies being far way. When I got to Movies I had no idea what ppl were talking about because it was so compact compared to the Caribbean—we had a Dalmatian room. We are staying in the Mermaid section (requested building 7 thank you!) So how far is it really from everything in terms of other resorts?

49 Dave { 02.15.14 at 9:37 am }

Jen AofA is very comparable to All-Star Movies in size and layout. At AofA you will be one building group further away from the main services/big pool/bus stops than you were in 101 Dalmatians at Movies–so another 3-5 minutes of wlakinng

50 Jen { 02.15.14 at 10:51 am }

Thanks! That’s what I was hoping :) People who complain have never stayed at the Caribbean. I felt silly asking how far away we were when checking into Movies after I walked into the resort.

So about 1 group away but we have our own pool which 3 themed pools at 1 resort is what I am most looking forward to!!! We never really hung out and just enjoyed our resort before but since this is our 4th time and this one just looks like so much fun—-I totally plan on it! Thanks again!!!

51 Dave { 02.16.14 at 7:57 am }

Cool, Jen–have a ball!

52 Amy { 02.18.14 at 3:23 pm }

Hey Dave – Booked my family and I a stay in the Lion King Suites for May 3-9. Is there any particular rooms you would suggest as the best ?? Myself, my husband, our 2 year old daughters, mother-in-law and father-in-law. We’ve got several 8 am reservations for breakfast, so I don’t want to be far off when it comes to walking to buses but I was thinking the lake view may be worth a few more steps — Opinions there ??


53 Dave { 02.18.14 at 4:21 pm }

Hey Amy! Towards the bottom of this page: you’ll find these words:

“…a 2nd floor or higher Hourglass Lake view room on the Finding Nemo side of Building 6 in the Lion King area will be the best choice.”

54 Nicole { 04.09.14 at 8:05 pm }

I was wondering if the Little Mermaid rooms offer a king sized bed? Some places say a King bed is an option but I have not been able to find much information on this. Any insight would be helpful.
This site is AWESOME!!!!!!!

55 Dave { 04.10.14 at 11:29 am }

Hi Nicole and thanks!! Yup, there are king bed rooms in Little Mermaid. Here’s a video of one:

56 Jana { 06.01.14 at 6:04 pm }

Hi… We are staying at a of a in November, and booked two standard rooms with connecting door, the person who took our reserv. Told us it is in little mermaid area… What building are the connecting rooms in?

57 Dave { 06.02.14 at 7:02 am }

Jana, there’s connecting rooms in all three Little Mermaid buildings

58 Paula { 06.06.14 at 8:49 am }

We are staying in a Cars family suite and was looking for a similar view room from one of the Cars buildings. Any ideas how I could find that information to make a room request?

59 Dave { 06.08.14 at 8:02 am }

Paula, just ask for a lake view when you fill out the online check-in form!

60 Ziporah { 01.11.15 at 10:27 am }

Hello, I have been using your website to help me plan my first trip to Disney for my two children who will 9 and 7 in Dec. 2015 and I want to say thank you as this site is wonderful. My only question is when picking rooms do you recommend a specific level( bottom, middle or top) for building 7? Also when we go I will have an infant (7 mo). I didn’t know if the bottom floor while less walking is noisy because of traffic and I also didn’t know if there were elevators to the top as I might have a stroller. Thank you.

61 Dave { 01.12.15 at 6:58 am }

Hi Ziporah and so glad to be helping! The buildings have elevators, so a higher floor is better–better views, less noise.

62 Libbie { 02.09.15 at 8:00 pm }

Hi Dave. I’m a big fan. I’ve found your site and Facebook page very useful in planing my son’s (and my own) first Disney trip. We are booked at AoA in a little mermaid room from April 20th through the 24th. I was wondering if all the rooms have tub/shower combos. I read a review on another site that mentioned only having a shower in the room and I thought that it would be odd in a resort geared towards small children. Also what should I expect in the way of crowds and weather ? TIA!

63 Dave { 02.10.15 at 7:40 am }

Hi Libby and thanks!!

The vast majority of rooms have the tub/shower combo. There’s always a few rooms optimized for those with mobility issues, though, and these commonly have a shower only, to make access easier…

Late April 2015 is a great time to go, see this

64 Maddie { 02.18.15 at 4:28 pm }

I am using your website to plan our Disney vacation. This is really great information. Very helpful. Thanks!
I wanted to know if they have a microwave and fridge in the Little Mermaid rooms? Or in the buildings. My daughter drinks milk 2 times a day and I was wondering where can I buy milk from. Is there a grocery store nearby?

65 Alex { 02.18.15 at 11:47 pm }

Hello, I found your information to be very helpful. I’ve read reviews about AoA & have seen that people have been complementary upgraded at times to a family suite when booked a standard room. Do you think that happens often enough for myself to bet on that or should I just go with booking a family suite?

66 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:39 am }

Hiya Maddie! Yes the room has a mini-fridge, but no microwave. There’s microwaves in the food court, where you can also buy milk. For other options, see this:

67 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:48 am }

Oh Alex, for sure I would not bet on it.

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