For the first page of this review of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, see this.
FAMILY SUITES AT DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION RESORT
Note: guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are eligible for Disney World’s Early Entry program, and for early access to its paid individual system for access to certain rides, but NOT for its Extended Evening Hours.
Resorts are ranked on this site based first on kid appeal, and then on convenience in carrying out the site’s recommended itineraries.
Based on that, the 6 person Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation resort rocket ahead of their only comparable rooms, the Family Suites at All-Star Music.
That said, the Music suites are much less costly (on average in 2020, $160 less per night), and are currently in a refurb that looks likely to eliminate one of their biggest negatives–uncomfortable beds.
REVIEW: DISNEY WORLD’S FAMILY SUITES AT THE ART OF ANIMATION RESORT FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS
Art of Animation accommodation buildings are in four different areas, each themed to one beloved Disney movie.
Family suites are found in the Cars, Lion King, and Finding Nemo areas. The Nemo suites are a little more central, and a little more expensive than the Cars and Lion King suites.
(Standard four person rooms are in the fourth area, the Little Mermaid-themed section; there’s no family suites in the Little Mermaid area, and no standard rooms in the Cars, Lion King, or Finding Nemo areas.)
Note that the long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly B., can help you book your Disney World vacation at Art of Animation or anywhere else–contact her using the form at the bottom of the page.
THE CARS AREA AT ART OF ANIMATION
On the map, the Cars area is at the far right.
Here’s you’ll find three buildings, each with a major depiction at its entry.
Building 1 has Mater…
…Building 3 Luigi…
…and Building 2 is fronted by stars Lightning McQueen and Sally Carerra.
The Cars Family Suites themselves are also deeply themed to Cars (there’s many more room photos later in this review)…
…as is the general environment in the courtyard created in the middle of the three buildings.
THE FINDING NEMO AREA AT ART OF ANIMATION
On the map, the two Finding Nemo buildings are just above the central services buildings and surround the largest pool at the resort.
Building 4 is fronted by Mr. Ray, and Building 5 by Crush. I love to take pictures of him, day…
The stairs are themed to the seagulls…
…also fun at night…
…and the courtyard created between the two buildings, besides holding the main pool (more on the pools later), is themed to make you feel like you are underwater with Nemo and Friends.
The rooms continue the Finding Nemo theme (many more room shots are later in this review).
THE LION KING AREA AT ART OF ANIMATION
The two buildings just to the left of the Finding Nemo area on the map, numbers 6 and 10, are the Lion King Buildings.
The courtyard between has parts themed to a savanna…
…and parts themed to a jungle.
You’ll also find all the key Lion King characters here:
Rooms continue the African theming. Many more Lion King room photos are here.
THE BEST AREAS TO STAY
Although the Nemo rooms are a bit more expensive, choices as to which group of buildings to book will, in many families, simply be guided by which of Cars, the Lion King, and Finding Nemo is their favorite film.
For those open to any of the three, go for Lion King. You can book the Lion King, Cars, or Nemo suites directly on Disney’s site.
More specifically, go for a 2nd floor or higher Hourglass Lake view room on the Finding Nemo side of Building 6 in the Lion King area. This will yield the least noise, best view, and relative closeness to the main services and bus stop.
The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly B., can help you book your Disney World vacation at Art of Animation or anywhere else–contact her using the form below.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE FAMILY SUITES
This review continues here.
MATERIAL IN THIS REVIEW OF DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION RESORT
- Overview of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- The Little Mermaid Area and Rooms
- Photo Tour of a Little Mermaid Room
- Overview of the Family Suites Areas
- Accommodations in the Family Suites
- Photo Tour of a Finding Nemo Family Suite (plus bed dimensions, storage, etc)
- Photo Tour of a Lion King Family Suite
- Photo Tour of a Cars Family Suite
- Amenities at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- The Pools at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
OTHER KEY PAGES FOR WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD
- Where to stay–the Basics
- Where first-timers should stay
- Reviews of all the Disney World resorts, based on my 150+ stays in them
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Hi Dave, I am truly stumped, and usually I’m not. We are staying in a Cars family suite at AOA starting in 2.5 weeks and our friend whom we’re traveling with is in a Little Mermaid room. Of course, we knew going in that we’d be very far apart, but we wanted the military discount and that family suite (the Cars one) was the only thing available. If Mermaid rooms had been part of the discount we would have done 2 adjoining ones and asked to be near our friend; in the past this has worked very well in two of the All Star resorts. The Q is, what should I ask for as far as room requests? When I did online check in I asked for “close to transportation” b/c I figured that would get me as close to the center of the resort as possible. I am thinking about calling the AOA front desk and asking their advice, but wanted to run it by you first. I know that whatever we do we will be far apart but I’m hoping to close the distance as much as possible. And, we have been looking forward to the Cars theming so we don’t really want to change to another type of suite even if one is available. Thank you for any advice.
Hi Jane, you want to call and explain your situation, requesting that both rooms (have both reservation numbers) be as near each other as possible.
I did have major doubts about the ASMu pullouts. I heard about the refurb but would never count on a refurbished room. I would love 2 rooms at Pop or All Stars but there’s nothing available there(with or without the free dining) We can make the bed configuration work at AoA so with your help. my decision is made. Thank so much for your valuable input!
To amend my previous comment, I wouldn’t want FP for both reservations even if I could.
Beth, FP+ are governed by the number of tickets, nt the number of rooms.
My son, daughter, and her children(15,9) are traveling to Disneyworld December 8-15. I currently have a free dining package booked in a LK suite and also an ASMu suite. I’m trying to decide whether AoA suite is worth $1100 more. I’m concerned about Pop Warner groups,the buses,and the comfort of the beds at ASMu. Do the AoA suites feel much bigger? Any input comparing the 2 would be helpful! My date to pick FP+ is Oct 8-can I choose FP for both reservations while I decide?
Hey Beth, I dig pretty deeply into the pros and cons of those choices towards the bottom of this page.
But here’s my quick reaction, based on what I know now: I would not put your son and daughter on the couch bed in the Music Suites, nor a 15 year old on either of the smaller beds in them. However, the AofA suite has just three beds, so the two kids would have to share a bed. That said, Music has just kicked off a room refurb, some (but likely not all) of its family suites will be refurbed by then, and I have no real good guess as to what might change in the rooms with the refurb. I would not count on much improvement, as not only do we not know what it will be, but we also don’t know when they will be done.
Have you considered just getting two regular rooms, e.g. at Pop or Movies, where the rooms now have two queen beds each?
Hi! We need to stay in the Little Mermaid rooms for affordability. Can you recommend the best possible room in those buildings – close as possible to the main hub? My kids will be 5 and 2 at the time of our trip. Also, does Disney ever offer affordable upgrades to suites at AoA? Thanks so much! Enjoying your site. 🙂
Hi Ann, request “close to transportation” to be a close as possible (note that at Disney, it’s only a request). The only times you might get upgraded would be if the Little Mermaid rooms were inadvertently sold out, which is rare, but happens.
We are planning a visit to Disney Oct 29-Nov 5, 2017. We normally stay at a moderate resort but do not like all the stops within the resorts. How is the bussing at AOA? Also noticed they do not have a preferred room option (which is what we get at moderate) any certain suggestion on choice of building to be close to bus and pool? Thanks!
Megan, are you thinking a standard room or a family suite?
All the standard rooms are a bit distant from the bus stops and pool, with building 8 the worst. Building 9 is closest, but building 7 is almost as close and offers lake views from many of its rooms, so I recommend a lake view room there.
Among the family suites, the slightly more expensive Nemo rooms are closest, but can be noisy. The Lion King rooms are just a little further, and quieter. Among them, many suites in building 6 offer lake views.
There’s one bus stop, which makes getting on and off property much faster.
Our first trip to Disney…Father n law (He is Military) and mother n law…my husband and I…and 3 kids …2,7, and 10. Going the week after Thanksgiving … I am struggling! Going back and forth between 2 rooms in the Polynesian Villas and then the Lion King Suite. The hard part is deciding between the two thousand dollar difference …. are there any other options that I am missing? Would you say that two rooms in Polynesian is totally worth the $ difference?
Sarah is your father in law aware of the Disney Armed Forces Salute? Big savings on rooms, and also–for short trips–on tickets. See this.
It’s hard to comment on the value difference. First, it’s your money, not mine…second is how you plan to spend your time. Will you be in the rooms much? Is napping an issue (for either the kids or father in law)? You will have more privacy in two rooms versus the suite.
Will your 2 year old be three or older at the time of the visit? That will limit your options, but if not you could get two rooms at any resort–Deluxe, Value or Moderate. If so, there are still many 5 person room options, just not at the values other than the family suites…
Dave – I will be there with my 2, 4, and 6 year old girls. We will be at in a Nemo suite. Question: What would you choose for room preferences. I was thinking highest floor (I hate being on the first floor) and lake view as it may be more pretty and quiet. My husband thinks we should choose close to transportation. But being in the Nemo suites, isn’t even the furthest room still pretty close to transportation?
Cheryl, the most distant Nemo suite is <300 yards to the bus stop, and the closest ~150 yards, so you are right, it does not much matter. First floor near transportation suites are bad as they see a ton of hall traffic. So yes, I would go with lake view/upper floor.
With your help, I planned a great trip for our family in April. Now, I’m planning a quick weekend all girls trip to experience Disney Christmas for the first time. We hadn’t planned to make another trip, but I’ve never seen the Osbourne lights, and I didn’t want to miss them! My 2 girls, mother in law, sister, and niece will be staying in a Nemo room. Do you think there is room for a twin sized air mattress on the floor when all of the beds are pulled out? I just don’t know that everyone will want to share beds. Thanks for all you do!
Andrea, a twin will fit right in front of the mini-kitchen!
Just wanted to say that our Sept. 2014 trip was sensational thanks to you and your amazing site! We are planning another visit this coming Sept. We would like to stay in a Family Suite at AOA this trip (last year we stayed at Pop and loved it, but we want more space this go round). My question is what are the best buildings for Nemo and Cars? We’re not sure which we’ll choose when we make our reservation. I’m leaning toward Nemo, but my hubs is pulling for Cars. Are the Cars suites much further away from transportation than the Nemo suites? What should our request be for online check in for each? Thanks Dave!!
Hi Christina I’m so glad to have helped!! The Nemo buildings are about the same. Building 5 is a teeny bit more convenient, but they are pretty equal.
The Cars buildings are less convenient than the Nemo buildings, but not wildly so. Ask for a Lake view in Building 3. Avoid building 2 (too far) and building 1 (mostly parking lot views)
Thank you! Can I ask your personal opinion on if you think we should keep trying to get a Nemo suite, or keep with our current reservation in the Cars area? Our youngest is 8. I’ve been reading contradicting opinions…I like to hear what you think.
Ian, it can’t hurt to keep trying, especially if its a big deal to the kids…But there’s little difference other than theming
We are in the process of planning our vacation for the last week in January, 2015. I would’ve loved to have more time to plan it, but because of work obligations, this is the only time we can go. We are staying at Art of Animation. Currently, in a Cars family suite, but honestly would like to stay in a Nemo family suite, although none are currently available. My question is, where should we request staying at in the Cars section, that would be the most convenient to buses and food? Yet, still on the quiet side? Please help…we don’t get to vacation often, and want this to be the best that it can be! Thank you so much for your website…it is incredibly informative and helpful!!
Hi Ian and thanks! You want buidling 1, and in on-line check in request “Near Transportation” and “Highest FLoor” (quieter)
We have planned to stay at Beach Club Villas, there are 5 adults and a two year old. I have a breathing handicap and would like to know what is available for access to parks and pools since i cannot walk long distances and also is there a charge for the two year old? She turns 3 the week we are in Disneyworld. Also is there a height restriction for its a small small world and the train and do they still have the pirates of the carribean?
Gail, there’s no charge for the 2 year old so long as she is two when you check in. Pirates of the Caribbean is still in, and there’s no height restriction for small world or the train. For all the height restrictions, see this: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/21/ride-height-requirements-at-walt-disney-world/
Most people bring their own mobility devices, or rent them on site. Wheelchairs and scooters are available for rent at the parks (they can sell out) but not at the hotels. Various companies will rent you such and deliver them.
Can you recommend a building/view in the Cars section? Would like to be in a room that’s relatively quiet, but close to transportation (for the grandparents). Thanks!
MG, request “Lake View” and “Close to Transportation’ This should put you in a quieter room in Building 3, which is the best overall choice in the Cars section.