By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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



By Dave Shute

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

Review - The Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.netResorts 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

Review Family Suites Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

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 Cars Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Building 1 has Mater…

Building 3 Cars Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…Building 3 Luigi…

Building 2 Cars Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and Building 2 is fronted by stars Lightning McQueen and Sally Carerra.

Cars Family Suite at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The Cars Family Suites themselves are also deeply themed to Cars (there’s many more room photos later in this review)…

Cars Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Cars Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (5)

…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.

Crush Finding Nemo Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Building 4 is fronted by Mr. Ray, and Building 5 by Crush. I love to take pictures of him, day…

Crush at Night Finding Nemo Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…or night.

Finding Nemo Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

The stairs are themed to the seagulls…

Night Finding Nemo Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…also fun at night…

Finding Nemo Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (3)

…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.

Living Room Finding Nemo Family Suite Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

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.

Lion King Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The courtyard between has parts themed to a savanna…

Lion King Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

…and parts themed to a jungle.

You’ll also find all the key Lion King characters here:

Rafiki Lion King Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Scar Lion King Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Simba Timon and Pumbaa Lion King Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Rooms continue the African theming. Many more Lion King room photos are here.

Lion King Suite Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

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.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE FAMILY SUITES

This review continues here.

MATERIAL IN THIS REVIEW OF DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION RESORT

OTHER KEY PAGES FOR WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD

 

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100 comments

1 Tina { 06.13.12 at 2:35 pm }

Dave, I very much enjoyed your review. I have read many and this was by far the most helpful! Great photos and detail. 🙂 Thank you again!!

2 Rachelle { 09.13.15 at 10:04 am }

I would recommend asking when you make your reservation to be placed in a room closest to the main area. They will try their best to accommodate. We ended up in Cars building 1 (Nemo wasn’t available) which didn’t seem too far of a walk from all of the main areas and when headed to the buses we avoided the main building altogether and walked around front. I’m not sure about the Lion King area, but it may be similar. I just wish there were elevators at each end of the “wings” of the building as we had to walk to the center of the building for the elevator.

3 Dave { 09.14.15 at 6:50 am }

Thanks, Rachelle

4 Anonymous { 07.11.12 at 4:52 pm }

Just got back on Sunday. Amazing resort! Staff is top notch too! Highly recommend!!

5 DEIDRA { 07.19.12 at 1:44 pm }

is all star music suites the same size with a mini kitchen or just a fridge? this is somthing to look at

6 Dave { 07.20.12 at 2:41 pm }

Deidra, see this for floor plans of both: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/06/24/review-the-family-suites-disneys-art-animation-resort-p3/ Music is a little smaller, doesn’t have the table. Both have the same kitchen gear–a mini-fridge and microwave…

7 Tom { 07.24.12 at 4:48 pm }

Ok, here we go! The little mermaid room, February 2013. We are Pop Goer’s but I wanted to give this new hotel a try…

8 Carrie { 09.04.12 at 11:37 am }

I love Disney and we have stayed mostly off site, but also at a moderate, and the Contemporary, but I have always wanted to stay at the polynesian. Our kids are just 3, 6, and 8 1/2, and we are going after Thanksgiving and have reservations at the Polynesian. I am torn with all the added space here that we should try the art of animation. What would you recommend? What about the pools? We live in Birmingham so I know I won’t be swimming, but the kids would like to have at least a day or two warm enough to swim. Also, do you know what temperature Disney heats the pools to?
Any advice to help me decide.

9 Dave { 09.04.12 at 11:57 am }

Carrie…that’s a tough call. On the theory that this won’t be your last trip…maybe you should save the Poly til your youngest is a coupla of years older and thus more able to appreciate it?

I’ve read–e.g. on this great site here: http://www.portorleans.org/ol-man-island.php –that Disney heats its pools to 82…

Temps then can be all over the place–see this: https://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/pool-days-november-through-february/

10 Lily from Destinations in Florida { 09.06.12 at 10:33 pm }

Carrie, I agree with Dave. I think your children will love the Art of Animation there will be plenty of time to go back and enjoy the Poly!

11 Crystal { 09.09.12 at 12:49 am }

Hello Dave
We will be going to Disney for the first time December 10th-16th. I had a couple of questions that I hope you can help me with. We are going friends staying at All Star Music in a basic room. My daughter loves Nemo and we would prefer staying at the Animation Studio. Do you think this could cause big problems with scheduling meetings together? Also they opted for the free meal plan option. I was looking at current specials, is the quick meal dining plan option worth it in your option for 2 adults and a 3 year old or would you opt to get the 30% off your room ,or go a different way completely? I just do not know what our best options are for booking and savings.

12 Dave { 09.09.12 at 9:18 am }

Hi Crystal, on the issue of free dining vs room discounts, you have to do the math yourself to see which saves you the most money…however, there’s no deal out there that will get you 30% of the room rate at a value resort (15-20% is what’s on offer), so my guess is you’ll do better on free dining…

On being in two hotels, if neither of you has a car, it will be an enormous pain to meet at the hotels themselves, but you should have no real issues connecting in the parks…

13 Lily from Destinations in Florida { 09.11.12 at 9:43 am }

Crystal,
Sometimes the room discount is better than the Free dining, this is usually the case on Deluxe Resorts. I would have a Travel Agent take a look at it and do the math for you,

14 Nina { 09.20.12 at 11:38 pm }

Hello, I’m going crazy tonight. I have reservations at the Grand Floridian for 1200$ for 3 nights. But I’m not ready to pay for expensive meals /valet parking etc. I’m Traveling with my husband and 16 year old daughter. my question is , I just got off the phone with reservation cause I’m looking to change hotels to art of animation, and the lady who I spoke to said that there is a weigh limit for the Murphy bed in the finding nemo suits. Is that the case? My daughter is 130lb /5’6. Help!

15 Dave { 09.21.12 at 8:02 am }

Hi Nina, I haven’t heard about weight restrictions on the Innova bed at Art of Animation. I slept on it and am more than 180 pounds…

16 Nina { 09.20.12 at 11:46 pm }

One more thing, I’ve stayed at music/movie/ Coronado /pop century/animal kingdom. I really don’t want to pay 2 much, but after experiencing “better” rooms I’m not sure if art of animation compares. I jut don’t want to leave dissapointed or broke .

17 Dave { 09.21.12 at 8:03 am }

Nina, everyone is different on this issue. My advice is go to the Family Suite, treat it as an adventure, and see if you like it! The extra space is what creates the luxury…

18 Nina { 09.21.12 at 10:58 am }

Thanks so much. Wow! I just got off the phone with WDW reservations and they made it almost impossible for me to make the changes from the Grand Floridian due to the fact that when I made my first reservation I got a “great deal”(flex) 500$ off the original price. I went ahead and got us into the Finding Nemo. They couldnt understand why I gave up such a great deal , as she said ( do you understand that you are going from Deluxe to Value?). I’ve been to the grand Floridian and yes it might be pretty , but I think my two kids ( my husband and daughter ) will have more fun at the Value resort !
The agent who I spoke to said that her daughter and friend slept on the innova bed and weigh was over 200 lb and they had no problem. Wonder why the agent who I spoke last night said that there was a weigh restriction, wonder if she said that to me so I wouldnt give up my “great deal”

19 Dave { 09.21.12 at 1:08 pm }

Wow, Nina, you are getting the hard sell…

20 Joy { 09.25.12 at 10:12 am }

Hi, Dave,
We are looking at a Disney trip next August. My husband says this will be the last — he won’t go again. I have a daughter who will be 15 then and son who will be 9. We will likely do more Epcot, & AK than MK or HS (though I want to check out some of the new Fantasyland), as we will also do Universal and Sea World. I am torn between Wildnerness Woods View Bunk Beds, or AOA Lion King. We need 3 beds because of aforementioned kids. We typically try to cheap out on breakfast (something quick in the room if possible), so AOA would be better for that, but would my 15 year old think that AOA is just *way* too little kid-ish? Part of me really wants to “do it right” for Wildnerness (I’m hoping for a good room-only discount). We can’t afford the Polynesian. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

21 Dave { 09.25.12 at 10:27 am }

Joy, my recollection–and I may be wrong on this–is that you can’t directly reserve the bunk beds, but only request them…if that’s so, (and I’ll try to find out) a family suite may be the right choice. (Never mind, see below) The WL bunk beds are also short–5’9″ as I measured them. The Family Suites at All-Star Music aren’t nearly as “little-kid-ish” as those at Art of Animation –see this https://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/09/05/review-the-family-suites-disneys-all-star-music-resort/

22 Dave { 09.25.12 at 10:30 am }

Joy–I’m wrong again! You can reserve bunk bed rooms at WL! Still with a 5’9″ mattress tho…

23 Joy { 09.25.12 at 11:13 am }

Hi, Dave,
Thanks for the info; my daughter is 5’3″ and my son much less than that, so the bunk bed length shouldn’t be a problem. Tripadvisor reviews say that All-Star Music is starting to get run down — can you comment on that?

Joy

24 Dave { 09.25.12 at 5:12 pm }

Hi Joy–I stayed there in late August, and thought it was fine!

25 Sammie { 09.28.12 at 10:01 pm }

My sons, 21 and 23 and a one of their girlfriends and I (4 total) have a Lion King suit reserved for Dec. Since you have measured the rooms, is there room for a twin size air bed in the Master? With 4 of us in the room we really want 4 beds.

26 Dave { 09.29.12 at 1:31 pm }

Sammie, I can’t find my notes on the measurements, but my recollection (and photos) suggest the master is too tight for an air mattress. There’s room near the fold-down bed in the dining room, however…

27 Sammie { 09.29.12 at 3:13 pm }

Thanks. I may need to do a load of laundry while there, is the laundry at the Big Blue pool the only one?

28 Dave { 09.30.12 at 5:53 pm }

Sammie–each of the other pools also has a laundry, too…

29 Sammie { 10.01.12 at 8:49 am }

Thanks!

30 solomani { 10.10.12 at 9:09 am }

Hi Dave, are the quick-meal dining plans accepted at the “Landscape of Flavors” do you know?

31 Dave { 10.10.12 at 9:44 am }

Yes they are!

32 Solomani { 10.10.12 at 9:10 pm }

Thanks again!

33 Troy { 10.13.12 at 9:02 pm }

Hey Dave–

Staying in Art of Animation suites. Do you know when the food court opens for breakfast generally? I think we plan to eat in our rooms most days, but I know that my mother will not settle for this every day. 🙂 I don’t want to “waste” time eating there on the early mornings, but wanted to get an idea on how early we’d get to attack it before we go. Thanks…

34 Dave { 10.14.12 at 8:32 am }

Troy, I believe it opens at 6a…

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