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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Little Mermaid Rooms at Art of Animation: Not “Girly,” and Not Far

By Dave Shute


Prior to the opening of the Little Mermaid sections at Disney World’s new Art of Animation resort, there were a couple of concerns about these standard value resort rooms:

  • Are they too far from the main services in and near Animation Hall–the main pool, bus stops, dining, and shops?
  • Is their Little Mermaid theme too “girly” for little boys to find them fun?

Well, these rooms opened over the weekend of September 15 and I stayed in one starting the Tuesday after opening. A full review begins here, but I can tell you now that the walk to Animation Hall is 7 minutes or so, and that these rooms aren’t remotely “girly.”

Here’s the scoop on these two concerns.


My room–I didn’t ask for this, my readers are just lucky that way–was about as far as you can get from the main services in Animation Hall.

See the image–the Little Mermaid section, where all of Art of Animation’s standard rooms are (see this for its Family Suites, a different room type), is in the orange circle.

My room, on the 4th floor in the area indicated by the red arrow, is just about as far as you can get from the main services, in the lower middle of the map.

I timed multiple trips back and forth, and they ranged from 6.5 minutes to 7.5 minutes.  Now, I walk a little faster than most, but regardless, that’s not a hardship.

The distance is, in fact, about as far as it is from the entrance of the Magic Kingdom to the Carrousel in Fantasyland.  See the images–they are at the same scale, and in each the orange line is the same length.


There’s been some concern that the theming of this area and its rooms would be all Ariel and her loot and combs and such, and that this might be off-putting to little boys.

Not so; in fact, you could even argue that it’s thin on Ariel.

The theming of the buildings and grounds of this section is meant to recall the settings and characters of the film, not Ariel.  The first character you see is not Ariel, but rather Prince Eric, in a heroic pose.

There is a three-story (!) depiction of Ariel deeper in the area, but not only is she no more prominent than, for example, Triton, but also the initial view of her is occluded by the Prince Eric statue.

By the way, it’s not that Ariel is charmless for little (and big) boys; the concern was that this area and its rooms might be all Ariel all the time…but it isn’t, by a long shot…

In the rooms themselves, you see Ariel only on the shower curtain.

The only other direct reference to her is the tub surround, which mimics her lair.

In the main sleeping and living area of the room, you don’t see Ariel; rather, you’ve got another heroic pose for Prince Eric and his teeth…

…Flounder and Sebastian…

…and lots of nicely done work meant to indicate the you are indeed “under the sea,” and walking on the sea floor–note the carpet and how sea plants “grow out of it” on the window curtain…

..and on the bedspread.

The Little Mermaid section of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is themed around the movie, not the character.  It doesn’t overdo Ariel, and if anything is a little short on her and long on a heroic vision of Prince Eric.  As a result, little boys will like it just fine, and some little girls will miss Ariel a bit.



1 Mouse Fan Diane { 09.20.12 at 9:56 am }

awesome pics, I can’t wait to stay here. I like that they included other characters beside Ariel 😉

2 Dave { 09.21.12 at 7:42 am }

Thanks, Diane!

3 Joanne { 09.21.12 at 11:31 am }

24 hours ’till flight & FIRST Walt Disney World visit…I can hardly wait! Glad to hear the room isn’t too “Girly” since there will be 3 guys in our group (including a 5 y/o). It still seems unreal that I am going to the most Magical Place on Earth in one day.

How was the bedding? Lots of reviews have said that the comforters were noisy and the sheets were rough. I am a sheet snob and converted everyone in the family to high thread count 100% cotton sheets. I almost considered packing my own but I don’t own any full sized sheets, only King and Queen! I think that I have ruined my kids since they have only slept on 100% cotton hight thread count~! I know we aren’t staying at the Waldorf Astoria…if only all hotels knew the draw of comfortable beds and linens they would convert too! A good nights rest is a must for a day in the Kingdom!

4 Dave { 09.21.12 at 1:09 pm }

Hey Joanne, the comforter was a bit springy and noisy. Can’t comment on the sheets other than I thought they were fine, but I am not picky! Make sure you let me know what you think!

5 Jessica { 09.22.12 at 3:11 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks for letting us know the Little mermaids rooms are not too girly since i was concerned about whether it will be too much for my hubby 🙂 How’s the soundproof quality between rooms/hallway? How long is the bus ride from AoA to Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, and downtown Disney? Thank yoy & Look forward to your full review soon!

6 Dave { 09.23.12 at 7:58 am }

Hi Jessica, I had no noise issues at all. Sorry–I didn’t measure bus time to anywhere but MK (about 17 minutes there, 20 minutes back.)

7 Sherry { 07.21.13 at 8:12 am }

Are we making the right decision to stay at Art of Animation ? We are first time visitors and we reserved a Lion King suite (because of our 4 year old grandchild). We are grandparents and need a good night’s rest. Will you help us out and tell us what you know. We can reserve another location.

8 Dave { 07.21.13 at 8:42 am }

Sherry, what are your concerns and alternatives?

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9 Beth { 07.27.13 at 11:25 pm }

What is the size of the mermaid room? Would we be able to stay in this room with an infant ie a crib and 2 other children and 2 adults?

10 Dave { 07.28.13 at 7:10 am }

Hi Beth! See this for a complete review of the Little Mermaid rooms that answers all your questions:

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