By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Review: The Little Mermaid Area and Rooms 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.


(Note 10/17: Art of Animation is now part of a dog-friendly pilot program.)

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has two very different types of rooms.

One room type, Family Suites, fills the seven most convenient buildings at Art of Animation.

These spaces sleep six in over 500 square feet, and cost (2017 Fall season weeknight) $358 a night including tax. See this for more on these Family Suites.

The other room type, standard rooms in the Little Mermaid, is the subject of this page.
Review - Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

Standard rooms at Art of Animation are found in its three least convenient Little Mermaid buildings, and sleep 4 in full beds in about 260 square feet. On the same 2017 fall season weeknight, these rooms cost $161 a night including tax—less than half of what the Family Suites are going for.

These two room types are profoundly different—anyone reserving one but expecting the other is in for a shock.

And you can’t really compare them to each other.  The relevant comparison for standard rooms at Art of Animation is standard rooms at the other four Value Resorts: Pop Century, All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports, and All-Star Music.

Based on this comparison, standard rooms at Art of Animation outshine the alternatives, and are this site’s most highly recommended value resort standard rooms.  They have the highest kid appeal of any value resort—for both boys and girls—and this kid appeal outweighs for almost all families their slight deficits in convenience.

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 at at or 980-429-4499.


Resorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their kid appeal, and then on their convenience.

On this basis, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the best value resort for first time family visitors.

Kid Appeal. Several of the deluxe resorts–notably, the Wilderness LodgeAnimal Kingdom Lodge, and Polynesian Resort–have spectacular kid appeal. None of the moderates do.

All of the value resorts–Disney’s All-Star SportsAll-Star Music, and All-Star Movies,  its Pop Century Resort, and Art of Animation–have terrific kid appeal.

This appeal comes from the approach to theming they all share: bright and vibrant exteriors, framing much larger than life objects of interest to kids. These objects reinforce that these resorts were designed for the sake of kids…and not necessarily for adults!

While Art of Animation has taken this theming to a whole new level, both in exteriors and interiors, the exterior theming in the Little Mermaid area is similar in scope and scale to what you will find at the other value resorts.

Prince Eric Little Mermaid Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

As you walk into the Little Mermaid area, you are greeted by Prince Eric.

Little Mermaid Pool Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

Then you’ll find three large accommodation buildings surrounding a pool.

Outside of each of the three buildings there’s a four-story statue of a character from the movie:

Building 9 Little Mermaid Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

Triton outside of Building 9…

Building 7 Little Mermaid Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

…Ursula outside Building 7…

Building 8 Little Mermaid Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

…and Ariel herself outside of Building 8.

Little Mermaid Area at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from

As at the other value resorts, attached to the facades of the buildings are other reminders of the theming.

What distinguishes the Little Mermaid area form the other vlaue resort standard room areas is the pervasive theming inside the rooms themselves.

For example, the Little Mermaid Standard rooms are meant to be “under the sea.”

Sea Floor Little Mermaid Room Art of Animation from

So the carpet mimics the sea floor, and the window curtain extends the sea floor and brings undersea plants to it…

As a result, Art of Animation has the deepest level of Disney theming ever created in a hotel. If your kids like the movies it represents–Nemo, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Cars–they are going to love this place.

Convenience.  Convenience on this site means transportation convenience in carrying out its itineraries. By that standard, Art of Animation overall is tied with Pop Century Resort for being the most convenient value resort.

However, the standard rooms at Art of Animation are the least convenient of all this hotel’s offerings.

The Little Mermaid Section of Disney's Art of Animation Resort

See the map.  The standard rooms at Art of Animation are all in the Little Mermaid section, highlighted with the orange circle.

These rooms are by far the least convenient offerings at Art of Animation, at their worst being five minutes further away from the central pool, food court and bus stop than other (Family Suite) Art of Animation options.

For most families, this extra few minutes won’t matter; but those with mobility issues might want to consider Pop Century, the next most highly ranked value resort, especially if they are targeting a summer visit.

At Pop, as at the other value resorts, rooms with similar layouts (but not nearly as rich theming) can be found that are much more convenient to the central resort services.


Little Mermaid room layouts at Art of Animation are pretty much identical to standard rooms in the other value resorts.

Little Mermaid Floor Plan from

See the floor plan. As in the other value resorts, these rooms have two full beds, a table and chairs, a dresser with a TV on top and a mini-fridge inside, and a divided bath. And no coffee-maker (Family Suites do have a coffeemaker.)

Little Mermaid Room at Art of Animation from

And as in the other value resorts, this room is about as small as it can be and still fit two full-sized beds.

Note that some says that these rooms are slightly larger than other value resort rooms, at 277 square feet, rather than 260.

In fact, these rooms are no bigger than those at the other value resorts.  

My tape measure got all the major dimensions as within an inch or so of those at Pop Century.   For this room to have 17 more square feet, it would need to have been a foot and a half longer, or nine inches wider, or 6 inches more in both dimensions, or some such, than All-Star Music.

My measuring isn’t perfect, but I would have noticed that big a dimensional difference…so I’ve got it as 260 square feet, same as the other value resorts.


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.

Distance. Building 8 is furthest from the central services and bus stop, Buildings 7 and 9 closer.

Quiet Pool in Little Mermaid Area at Art of ANimation from

Noise.  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 is walled on all sides, none is 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 Lake Disney's Art of Animation Resort from (3)

All 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.

Online Check-In Art of Animation Resort from

On the online check-in form, click “Lake View” and “Near Transportation.”

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 at at or 980-429-4499.


This review continues here.


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1 Janet { 09.23.12 at 1:52 pm }

In your previous review of the resort you noted that there were not many grocery options for the rooms in the resort store. Has this changed at all now that it is fully open?

2 Dave { 09.23.12 at 2:16 pm }

Hi Janet, there’s still very little in the shop. In the food court, there’s some offerings, but still a disappointment…

3 Karen { 09.24.12 at 12:52 pm }

Is there any one of the three little mermaid buildings any better to stay at??

4 Dave { 09.24.12 at 1:27 pm }

Hi Karen, I’ll be putting this into one of the next pages of the review, but here’s the scoop: based on noise, distance, and views, what you want is a room in building 7 with a view of hourglass lake and close to the Lion King section…

5 Janet { 09.25.12 at 11:27 am }

Are there handicap accessible rooms in the Little Mermaid section? My husband is in a wheelchair.

6 Dave { 09.25.12 at 5:12 pm }

Janet, there are. Typically they are king rooms and sleep two.

7 Todd { 09.29.12 at 11:10 am }

Do any of the rooms at Art of animation (suites and/or standard) have connecting rooms? We are a family of 4 and want to bring grandparents. Would be nice to have connecting rooms.

Ps,,,, great website and very helpful!

8 Dave { 09.29.12 at 1:47 pm }

Hey Todd, a bunch of the standard rooms have connecting doors, but I don’t think any of the suites do….and thanks for the kind words about the site!

9 Beth { 09.30.12 at 5:40 pm }

About how long would you estimate the walking distance from the LM buildings to the buses? About 10m? We are staying in a LM room in April and now I’m a bit concerned.

FYI – this is absolutely my favorite Disney “planning” site. It is so informative.

10 Dave { 09.30.12 at 6:02 pm }

Hi Beth and thanks! Yes, ten minutes is a good number if you end up in one of the far LM rooms. If you are in one of the closer rooms it’ll be nearer to 6 mins…

11 Annette { 10.05.12 at 2:53 pm }

We are staying in the Nemo family suites and want to be as close to bus transportation as our twins are Autistic. Are there preferred rooms that are convenient to both the activities and transportation. Given a choice transportation is the most important.

12 Dave { 10.05.12 at 4:26 pm }

Hi Annette, I don’t think there are preferred rooms, but you can call the front desk of Art of ANimation a few days before and note your request, and why you are making it.

13 Carrie { 10.19.12 at 2:54 pm }

Love this site. Planned first trip for 2013 and staying in Cars room (because that is kids favorite theme). Have you ever tried having groceries delivered to the hotel from an offsite local store the day your arrive? We would like to have breakfast and snacks for the room during our stay.

14 Dave { 10.19.12 at 3:16 pm }

Hey Carrie thanks! I personally haven’t, but tons of people do–see this:

15 Charlotte { 11.01.12 at 1:24 pm }

Hi Dave,
About how long does the bus ride take from Art of Animation to each: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom & Epcot? -Thanks

16 Dave { 11.01.12 at 2:00 pm }

Charlotte, I timed the MK trip door close to door open at ~14 minutes. AK should be about the same, Epcot a little less. For planning, I’d round up to 20 mins for MK and AK, and 15 for Epcot. Note that this excludes waiting for the bus time!

17 Tom { 11.01.12 at 2:03 pm }

Haven’t been to AoA yet, but considering that is next door to POP and based on previous experience I’d say that MK would be a 20′ ride and the rest of the parks less than that. Cheers!

18 maggie { 11.15.12 at 1:18 pm }

We are planning to go with our doughter (she will be only 1.5year old) Is it a good idea? What places we should visit? (I was thinking sea world maybe?) Any sugesstions?

19 Dave { 11.15.12 at 3:16 pm }

Maggie, honestly I have no suggestions for someone that young…see this:

20 Beth { 01.27.13 at 2:31 am }

I have noticed in some reviews that people have gotten free upgrades to suites at check in. Is there anything I can do to make this more likely to happen on our Oct 7-11 stay there or is it just luck?

21 Dave { 01.27.13 at 6:06 am }

Hi Beth the short version is I dunno. Right now, Little Mermaid rooms are the hottest rooms on property. Hotels normally overbook to get a full house after non-shows, so my guess is that the upgrades are coming because the Little Mermaid rooms are full. If so, then this is luck–it’s a result of how good the forecasts are on which the over-booking is based…

22 Beth { 01.27.13 at 9:16 am }

Thanks! Hoping for good luck, but know it will be a great trip regardless!

23 Dave { 01.28.13 at 5:53 am }


24 Kay { 01.29.13 at 9:26 am }

Even though I”m not a first time visiter at Disney, I am enjoying your site. My husband and I have stayed in a standard room at the All Stars Sports in the Homerun section building #8. The walk to the lobby was not bad at all. In comparison is the walk to the lobby from the standard room at Art of Animation in the Little Mermaid Section building #7 alot worse especially with 2 small children, who will be 4 & 1. I have considered the All Star Movies for them in a preferred room, but wonder if I would be making a big mistake in not staying at Art of Animation. We have stayed at Pop and loved it. I also considered this again. Also, when you catch the bus back from the theme parks, where is the bus stop for Art of Animation located. It probably wasn’t, but seems like the bus stop for Pop Century was always the last one to walk to. Any comments will be very appreciated. Thank-you

25 Dave { 01.29.13 at 10:59 am }

Hi Kay, I don’t think there’s that much difference between Lil Mermaid and Homerun.

See the image (click it to enlarge it), where the red line is the same size, and goes from the center of the main building towards each…Lil Mermaid is about one building, or 5 minutes, further…And I’m sorry, but I don’t remember where the bus stops are!

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26 Kay { 01.30.13 at 1:13 am }

Thank-you so much for your time! I don’t think it looks like it would be that big of a problem for us!

27 Dave { 01.30.13 at 6:22 am }

You bet, Kay!

28 Sharon { 02.04.13 at 7:51 pm }

Hi Dave, I just have a question, we are planning a trip to Disney soon (beginning like the 2nd week of March)for 7 nights we ave been there 4 times and stayed at Pop, All Stars, and a moderate, but it has always been in January, is March any warmer? Bigger crowds? I havent yet checked for dining but I was wondering what you think of “Be our Guest?” Does it take 2 dining vouchers like The Royal Table? Thanks

29 Dave { 02.05.13 at 8:39 am }

Sharon see this for March crowds, weather, etc:

Be Our Guest’s table service dinner has been booked up for March for months…It offers first come first served counter service lunch, but lines for it can be 30 minutes or more…The setting is very cool!!

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30 Scott { 02.08.13 at 1:07 pm }

Hi Dave,

I have a quick question.

Would you recommend the Art of Animation Little Mermaid room over the preferred pool view room at Pop Century? This would be for my wife, our seven year old son and me. We stayed at Art of Animation in December in a Cars suite and a Lion King suite and really liked this hotel a lot.

31 Dave { 02.09.13 at 1:55 pm }

Scott, if you have ANY mobility issues, I’d go with Pop, and otherwise with Little Mermaid…

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32 Scott { 02.09.13 at 4:54 pm }

Thanks Dave. We are going with The Little Mermaid.

33 Tom { 02.09.13 at 10:37 pm }

Scott, right now I am at AofA and if mobility is not an issue for you I would definetely stay here instead of Pop

34 Scott { 02.10.13 at 12:12 am }


Mobility is not an issue with us so we will go with Art of Animation. There were five of us there in December and we stayed in a Lion King suite for two nights and five nights in a Cars suite. This time it will only be three of us so the standard rooms will work.

There really is nothing not to like about the Art of Animation.

35 Scott { 02.10.13 at 12:12 am }

Tom…..I forgot to says thanks!!

36 jeff { 02.10.13 at 4:09 pm }

hey Dave Love the site, super informative!

planning my first trip with my gf in the middle of may and was wondering if AofA has package pick up for items bought in the parks from gift shops?

also we made a special request for a king size bed when we booked in early november. i heard you say that they are normally reserved for the handicapable, does that mean we dont have a good chance of getting the king size bed?

thanks in advance!

37 Tom { 02.10.13 at 10:29 pm }

You’re welcome Scott! Right now I am staying on building #7 and it is quite a walk to the lobby or food court, but I don’t complain. I like AoA very much!

38 Dave { 02.11.13 at 7:55 am }

Hi Jeff and thanks! Yes, AofA does have the package pick-up service! And if there’s a king available when you check in, you’ll get it!

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39 jeff { 02.11.13 at 12:10 pm }

awsome! thanks for the help dave!

40 Scott { 02.11.13 at 2:46 pm }


The walk will not bother us either. When we were there in December we took the Pop Century bus back on at least one occasion and walked over the bridge back to the Art of Animation.

41 Dave { 02.11.13 at 2:56 pm }

You bet Jeff, good luck with the king!

42 Towana { 02.11.13 at 8:02 pm }

Grandma need help. I will be at AoA June 2013 with 9year old Granddaughter. What building/ room request should I request? I have no mobility issues, but I would like a good view.

43 Towana { 02.11.13 at 8:02 pm }

PS We will be in Mermaid room

44 Dave { 02.12.13 at 7:20 am }

Hi Towana! My recommendations are at the top of this page:

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45 Greg { 03.05.13 at 10:04 am }

Im staying in the Little Mermaid Rooms with family in 24 days!! Approximately, how long is the walk from the room to the transportation area? My dad has a torn meniscus so I’m trying to figure out how much time it will take to get from the room to transportation area each day. Thanks!

46 Dave { 03.05.13 at 10:32 am }
47 Greg { 03.05.13 at 10:55 am }

Thanks Dave! That definitely helps with planning!

48 Jocelyn { 03.09.13 at 5:21 pm }

Hi Dave,
I was wondering if the Little Mermaid Standard rooms at AoA would be too “girly” for my 2 boys (7 and 5). It is only the 4 of us, so we don’t really need the family suite that the Cars suites offer. Also, if we stay at the Little Mermaid, can we wander over to Cars to take a look at Route 66? And, do you think the dining plan is really worth it? Thanks.

49 Dave { 03.10.13 at 8:14 am }

Hi Jocelyn! No, I don;t think they are too girly at all—see this: And yes, you can walk around and explore all parts of the resort, including the Cars section!

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50 Matt { 03.16.13 at 6:17 am }

Can I buy a microwave from Walmart for my standard room in art of animation little mermaid when I come in August . Thank you Matt

51 Dave { 03.16.13 at 7:33 am }

Matt, factually I don’t know, but I’d guess that deep within Disney’s room contract with you it says no. This would be for fire code reasons. So if you do do it, there’s a chance a kind Disney message will tell you to take it out of your room…

Note that the minifridge in your room has no freezer compartment, but also that there’s a microwave in the food court seating area that you can use…

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52 Mike from Chicago { 03.18.13 at 12:15 am }

First of all: Great, great site Dave. I’d like your advice please: i’m traveling in October with my wife, mom, and 3 kids (7,4,1). We’ve booked a Cars Suite for 8 nights. I realized that, alternatively, I can pay the same price that week for a one-bedroom at Old Key West. My kids have been to WDW before (AKL, WL) and will again, so I’m trying to balance their excitement with our own relaxation/appreciation for amenities. Which would you suggest I choose: AoA (Cars) or OKW?

53 Dave { 03.18.13 at 7:50 am }

Mike, first thanks, and second that’s a bit of a tough call!

OKW has everything going for it but kid appeal, convenience, elevators, and the second bath. Given where you’ve stayed before, you’ll miss the kid appeal if at OKW but love the space itself, but with your mom along, the second bath at AofA might come in handy. If it were me I’d do OKW in a heartbeat, while worrying about the baths.

For an OKW floor plan, see this:

Hope this helps, and if so…

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54 Mr. Tom { 03.23.13 at 7:45 pm }

Do any of these rooms have 3 beds for adults?

55 Dave { 03.24.13 at 1:47 pm }

Tom, no not in these rooms.

56 Dianna Maria { 04.11.13 at 5:34 pm }

Great site thankyou .how big are the suites we are staying in LM in november.

57 Dave { 04.12.13 at 8:01 am }

Hi if by LM you mean Little Mermaid, those rooms aren’t suites–they are tiny standard rooms. The suites are twice as big–see this

58 Stephanie { 04.18.13 at 10:30 am }

I just got home from a 4 night stay at this hotel. My 5 yr old daughter loved it and so did I . My only issue I had with this hotel was the walk to the front of the hotel to get the shuttle. I really feel they catered more to the families in the suites with location on this one. After walking the parks for 12 hours the last thing you want to do is another long walk to your room. Other than that the staff was awesome especially Cam at check in she really was FANTASTIC with my little girl. When we checked in my daughter was terrified of the electric toilets and Cam told her they were magical from Mickey and Minnie and that if she got brave the princesses would bring her a surprise to the room. This worked like a charm and when we got back are 2nd night we had signed pics and balloons from the princesses and a coloring book. Thank you again Cam you saved us on are trip. 🙂 Stephanie and Katelyn

59 Dave { 04.19.13 at 7:21 am }

Hi Stephanie, and thanks for the great story, and calling out Cam!

The history of this hotel is not that it was desinged to cater to the suite families. It’s that two of the three Little Mermaid buildings were built for standard rooms more than a decade ago, and then Disney stopped working on this location. When attention to it returned, Disney decided it need a deeper offering of suites, so 7 of the 8 added buildings–all more convenient–were built as suites…

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60 Heather { 05.20.13 at 2:52 pm }

Hi Dave!
I tried to get into Art of animation for the first week of December and the Standard rooms are already booked. So we are going for the Pop Century. My son has mobility issues and it will be just he and I. Any suggestions on the building? I saw you recommend building 2 & 5, but is this convenient when you have a wheelchair? Also, I can’t seem to find much information on hot tubs – are there any? We’re going in December and he loves the water… Thanks!

61 Dave { 05.21.13 at 8:12 am }

Hi Heather! You want to pay for a preferred room, and request a 60s building near transportation…And none of the values have hot tubs…

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62 Kevin { 05.29.13 at 11:32 pm }

Hi! I’ll be staying in the Little Mermaid room this June. I’ve been searching for any info on if the rooms have a small coffee maker in them or not. Also, when I originally booked my room I was told the rooms didn’t have any fridge, and that I could rent one for $10 a day. I’m glad to see that you say they have one but now I’m confused. Thanks for all of the great info!

63 Dave { 05.30.13 at 7:21 am }

Hi Kevin, all the rooms at WDW now comes with a fridge at no extra charge. There is no coffeemaker in the Little Mermaid rooms…

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64 Steve n Anna { 06.09.13 at 8:33 pm }

Hey I seen a lot of bad comments about people complaining how far it is from main building to Littel mermaid room,
Well me and my partner have booked up to go here in August 2013 we both think how can people complain your gonna be walking round disney the full day everyday what the hell is a extra 5/10min gonna do walking to your room ??

am looking forward to my visit can’t wait and see you all soon 🙂

65 Dave { 06.10.13 at 12:36 pm }

🙂 Steve. Let me know what you think after you’ve stayed there! I’m with used to walking that another long walk doesn’t matter much. But families with mobility challenges–or even pushing a bunch of strollers–may well be looking to avoid another hike…

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66 Lily { 06.27.13 at 4:53 am }

Hi Dave,
I am booked to arrive at AoA with my two kids this Sunday 30th June ’13. I have mobility issues ( renting an ECV) which won’t arrive at hotel til the morning of 1st July ( Monday). I understand from my travel agent we will be staying in a Little Mermaid room, which I can see from the comments is a bit of a distance from everything. I won’t be able to manage the walking. The other issue I am worried about is the fact the ECV will need to charge overnight. Will there be space in the room?

67 Dave { 06.27.13 at 7:29 am }

Scooter in a Little Mermaid roomLily, there’s space to charge a scooter between the dresser and the bath. See the image, where the space is marked by a red box.

If you haven’t done online check in yet, do it now, and request a room “Near Transportation.” Then call the front desk at AofA and explain your situation and request a room in buildings 7 or building 9 as close to Animation Hall as possible…

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68 Lily { 06.27.13 at 2:31 pm }

Hi again Dave,

Thanks for that. I will do the online check in and will give them a ring. I will let you know how it goes. Xxx

69 Dave { 06.28.13 at 6:56 am }

Have a great trip, Lily!!

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70 Lily { 06.28.13 at 9:56 am }

How wonderfully helpful you are Dave !, Apparently I don’t need to do the online checkn as its all been done with my travel agent. Would you know if the rooms have a bath or only showers?

Sorry for such trivialities xx

71 Dave { 06.29.13 at 9:54 am }

Lily, I’m sorry but I don’t know!

72 linda barretta { 07.09.13 at 1:56 pm }

I will be staying at the lion king room with my 2 grandchildren and my daughter and son-in-law. we will be arriving on Dc 22 – Dec 28. any suggestions

73 Dave { 07.10.13 at 8:51 am }

Linda, that’s one of the two most crowded weeks of the year. I would reschedule in a heartbeat–your will be facing in the afternoons three hour waits for the most popular rides…If you can’t reschedule, then take a look at this It’s from last year, so doesn’t directly apply, but the basic principles are still true…

74 karen thomas { 07.13.13 at 5:53 am }

We r traveling to disney in july 2014 wit a group of twenty want to stay at one of value resorts wit connecting rooms , near pool and near transportion

75 Dave { 07.13.13 at 11:18 am }

Hi Karen! The standard rooms at the values only fit 4 to a room, and charge more for more than two adults per room.

No Disney hotel will guarantee either connecting rooms, or rooms close to each other. When you book, you can request all this–plus close to pools and transport–but no guarantees. Then 60 days before, you can do online check in, and at that time request specific areas (which will put you closer) and near transport. (Note that none of the standard rooms at Art of ANimation are convenient to transport.)

The “family suites” at All-Star Music and Art of Animation fit six to a room, but have the same adult issues, and have no connecting rooms. They are also much more expensive.

For rankings of the value resorts, see this:

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76 LeAnn { 07.25.13 at 8:48 pm }

LOVE your website! My family and I are planning to attend Disney and stay in the LM rooms in June 2014. We are planning on having breakfast in Cinderella’s Castle at 8 am, what times do the buses start running to MK from the A OF A resort and what time do you recommend being at the bus stops to get to MK as early as possible. We also will be having breakfast at Chef Mickey’s one morning, what time should be arrive at the bus stop to make it there on time. Thank-you so much!

77 Dave { 07.26.13 at 8:03 am }

Planning ahead a bit LeAnn? 🙂

For in park early breakfast, DIsney runs special buses. Check with the concierge at AofA the day before to arrange this, and they’ll tell you when to get the bus.

Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary is an easy five minute walk from the Magic Kingdom, so unless you have an early morning reservation (i’d pick the latest breakfast available, spend the first hour or so at MK, then walk over) you just need to be at the MK bus stop 45 minutes to an hour befroe your time. If your have an 8a at Chef Mickey’s the buses may not be running at 7.15a. Again check with the concierge, this time for when the MK buses start, but you may need to take a cab…

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78 DEE { 08.01.13 at 3:41 pm }

Hello Dave. planning a may 2014 visit to art of animation – the little mermaid rooms. we have 3 adults & a 5 yr old. do you think the room will be too cramped? also- would there be room for 4 suitcases ? thanks!

79 Dave { 08.01.13 at 3:50 pm }

Well, Dee, I wouldn’t…it’s really tiny, and the beds are full sized. There’s room under the clothes rod in the closet to stick the suitcases…

80 Katie { 08.23.13 at 3:47 pm }

Thank you so much for your efforts and amazing website, so helpful! My questions: Are the rooms at Lil’ Mermaid built like a Motel 6, where you can hear your neighbors conversation or someone walking passed your door? We have really light sleepers.Second: We already booked our package for October 2014, but received an email to get 30% off at the Port Orleans (where we booked) for this October. I called and asked if they could apply that discount to next year and they said no, but that this deal always comes out in August for fall bookings and to call back next August for the deal and we would get the discount then. Do know if that is true? The reason we booked the Royal Guest rooms is because they told us that it would be the same price as the Lil’ Mermaid with the 30%. Thanks again!

81 Dave { 08.24.13 at 9:41 am }

Hi Katie! Frankly, all the rooms at WDW are kinda loud. Little mermaid rooms are actually quieter than many, because the room door–since it leads outside–is heavily insulated to save Disney heating and cooling costs.

On the discount point…I have mixed feelings. Yes, I do think there will be a room discount for some resorts during some weeks in October 2014. But I would never plan a trip assuming I would get one… there’s just too much base uncertainty–and prospect for disappointment–in planning on a deal…

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82 maria evans { 01.10.14 at 9:37 am }

Im having a hard time choosing aoa standerd room or allstar movies standerd room. Will be 2 adults 2 children (1 girl & 2 boys) Is aoa that much better than movies?? I like that movies has toy story appeals to all children and well aoa seems to appeal more to my dd!!!

83 Dave { 01.11.14 at 8:46 am }

Maria, part of the charm of each is walking around and seeing the OTHER movies highlighted. So I’d pick between the two based on the overall appeal of all the movies at each. That leads most to AofA…

Movies: Toy Story, Mighty Ducks, Love Bug, Fantasia, 101 Dalmations
AofA: Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Cars, Lion King

84 maria evans { 01.11.14 at 2:45 pm }

Thank you so much!!! We picked AoA!!!! I love your site it helped me so much in making all my choices!!

85 Dave { 01.12.14 at 9:15 am }

Great, Maria!!!

86 Krista { 02.02.14 at 7:00 pm }

I totally appreciate this web site I have just found. I am planning on a early February 2015 trip and have found your tips to be unbelievably helpful in my meticulous planning for the next year. Thank you so much!

87 Dave { 02.03.14 at 7:16 am }

Thanks, Krista!!

88 Lisa { 03.17.14 at 3:30 pm }

I saw someone said something on here a while ago about free upgrades. Well just thought i would tell you what happened to me. We came in Sept. was booked for the little mermaid room. Drove 16 hours straight to get there and my ankle was very swollen. Asked how far is the mermaid room from the buses and it is rather a far walk (note if you have small children and are coming back late) . The staff member looked at my ankle had someone get me ice and i said is there anyway you give free upgrades to a room closer to the buses. She said sure and there we were going to the lion king room the closest to the buses!! So free upgrades really do happen!!

89 Dave { 03.17.14 at 4:36 pm }

Thanks, Lisa! I’ve gotten two upgrades in the last month without even asking! In late Feb an upgrade from a Little Mermaid room to a family suite (I turned it down, because I wanted better photos of a Little Mermaid room than I got my last visit) and last week an upgrade from a studio to a one bedroom at BoardWalk Villas!

90 Lisa { 03.18.14 at 1:38 pm }

Nice when good things happen unexpected! Good for you!!! I have read on other sites that people say that Disney never does upgrades and they have never heard of that. Oh boy does that eerk me!! I love your site lots of great information and positive talk!

91 Dave { 03.19.14 at 7:18 am }

Thanks, Lisa!!

92 Christina { 04.19.14 at 4:33 pm }

Hey Dave!

I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of Disney upgrading a family from a Little Mermaid room to a Family Suite? We are planning a February 2015 visit and I’m wondering if it would be crazy to ask for an upgrade to a suite when we check in. Just curious if you’ve ever heard or known of it to happen. Thanks! Love the site!!

93 Dave { 04.20.14 at 9:51 am }

Christina, it happened to me in February! I turned it down as I wanted better photos of the LM rooms than you see here (I haven’t posted them yet)…but they offered!

94 Nicole { 07.07.14 at 4:36 am }

Hi- amazing site!!!! We are staying at Art animation resort and have booked lm room. Is it possible to upgrade by paying the extra, either before we go or when we arrive? Thanks

95 Dave { 07.07.14 at 9:04 am }

Thanks Nicole! I’ve been upgraded for free before from LM to a suite, but the easiest way to do it is just to call and re-book!

96 Pat { 08.31.14 at 9:18 pm }

I am planning a trip to WDW June 6th thru the 13th. There will be 11 of us. (7 over 18 and 4 under 18) think 3 rooms ( each sleeping 4) will be cheaper than two suites??? think about the Little Mermaid Resort but seeing all the questions and comments – it seems the Lion King rooms are closer to the transportation to the parks???? and it seems we might not get rooms close to each other- even if I book now???

97 Dave { 09.03.14 at 7:55 am }

Pat, yes, three rooms will be less expensive than two suites. Disney will try to put you close together, but there’s no guarantees…

98 Troy { 10.01.14 at 11:37 pm }

Just wondering if my two 8yr olds are not going to be into the little mermaid rooms. We have a boy & girl??? Your thoughts

99 Dave { 10.03.14 at 6:51 am }

Troy, while I think they will be fine–see this –you cna do Pop Century instead if you remain concerned!

100 jordyn { 10.07.14 at 12:06 pm }

i think that it would be cool to have a hotel with the walls out of fishtanks with glow in the dark fish:)

101 Dave { 10.08.14 at 4:50 pm }


102 Megan { 02.14.15 at 1:11 pm }

Hi Dave-
I just have to say thank you so much for all the great advice. I’m so happy I stumbled across the site, it’s been a HUGE help! Your review on the Art of Animation made me change my reservation I had with the All Stars Movie Resort. I saw the Little Mermaid rooms and couldn’t resist! My girls are LM fanatics and are going to absolutely love it. Thanks to your page regarding the resort transportation I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of relying completely on the buses we will just plan on driving our own car. That was one of my biggest worries as far as how to get around in order to be on time for reservations. I am NOT a planner and being on time is not one of my families strong suites.
We are arriving on March 1st through March 6th. I’m happy to see the crowd predictor say it’s going to be a good time for low crowds.
Although is this way fairly last minute trip for us I was still able to snag some good reservations.
Sunday night we have dinner at rainforest in down town Disney at 5. I’ve been advised its best to drive our own car.
The only other day I have concerns about is Monday …I have our morning planned at Hollywood Studios and a late dinner around 8 at the garden grill in Epcot. I was originally planning on bus transportation but to avoid risking a delay we will drive our own car.
Tuesday is our MK day. That day is my daughters 5th birthday so I’m very excited. I have no reservations for that day as I’m taking more of a play it by ear approach for the day.
Wednesday is our rest day, I managed to get dinner at Ohana as it was recommended to me by many people. I was surprised I got in at all to be honest! It took a lot of checking back to get an opening.
Thursday we have animal kingdom during the day and a lunch at Tusker house. I’d like to try and make it back to HS that night for the Fantasmic show, per everyone’s recommendations.
Friday we check out and I got us a reservation at Chef Mickeys. I’ve heard that’s a big one.
This will be our first visit to Orlando so I’m hoping I’ve made good choices so far. We have the Dining Plan so I hope that will help save us money as well.
We were at Disneyland last year in April and it was so busy it was hardly even worth it,especially with the little ones. This year my oldest is 5 and our youngest is 2. I realize that still may be a little young for the kids but I’m expecting a third in May and know that it’ll be many years before we will be able to plan another trip like this, so we are taking advantage of it now.
Any advice or further recommendations for me?
Thanks again for all your candid reviews. The site as been so valuable to me. I’ve already spent so much time here! It’s absolutely the best site I’ve seen as far as preparing me, I feel so much better about the choices I’ve made so far thanks to you!!
Keep up the good work

103 Dave { 02.15.15 at 9:50 am }

Hi Megan and I’m so glad to have been able to help!

You have all your FastPass+ set, right? If not, see this now:

Parking is horrible at DTD on evenings in general and weekends in particular, so I’d do the bus for that. Also for sure use the buses on your MK days.

Your itinerary is short on MK days…at those ages skip either AK or HS and add MK. You are also, frankly, a little over-scheduled. Skipping Garden Grill won’t hurt and may help a lot…

104 Megan { 02.15.15 at 12:42 pm }

Thanks, Dave!
I have arranged our FP already, yes. Well as many as they allow at least.
Good to know about parking at DD.
I managed to get in at Akershus so I’m swapping out dinner at Garden Grill for a princess Lunch at Epcot.
I think if we don’t get enough of MK on Tuesday we can always skip AK on Thursday and go back to MK.
We also may skip out on Chef Mickey on Friday as we might get to meet him at one of our other character dinings and we might just be exhausted.
Thank you again for all your advice! I can honestly say I’d be lost without it!

105 Dave { 02.16.15 at 8:08 am }

Megan so glad to help!!

106 Amy { 03.05.15 at 12:02 am }

Hi Dave,
I noted on MDE that I can check-in online now for our April 10-18th trip. We are staying in a Nemo room because having a son and a daughter this is what they could agree on! I do prefer quieter though, so I am noticing to request the non-pool side…is there anything else I should request to get a “quieter” room in the Nemo section? thanks for your help!

107 Dave { 03.05.15 at 10:01 am }

Amy, ask for an upper floor lake view!!

108 Amanda { 03.10.15 at 1:13 pm }


My family and I are going to Disney for the first time in a couple weeks. 2 adults and 2 kids (3 and 4). We booked the little mermaid room, but i am very worried as the size seems very small for 4 people. I looked into upgrading the room to cars or a family suite and it was going to be almost another $2500. Any advice for the little mermaid rooms and has anyone asked for an upgrade to a suite and gotten one? as i mentioned this is our first trip and it is also my daughters birthday just before we go .



109 Dave { 03.10.15 at 3:48 pm }

Well, Amanda, the standard two full bed rooms at the value resorts like Little Mermaid are the smallest 4 person rooms I’ve ever stayed in, excluding some ancient center-city hotels.

Upgrades happen, but I wouldn’t count on it. The least costly way to get more room is to change to a moderate resort. At the end of March they are about $60/night more expensive than your Little Mermaid room. Not nearly as cute, though!!

However you are going at one of the most crowded times of the year, so availability may be an issue…

110 Anonymous { 03.10.15 at 5:22 pm }

Thanks for the info Dave! I did look into upgrading the room to a suite with the travel agent and for 1 week it would have cost approx $2500 and that is not worth it at all! We orginally looked into a moderate resort but the prices were around $7500 also way out of the budget for us. I wanted to have everything booked for us before we left as I did not want to miss anything but maybe booking everything on my own would have been the way to go.

111 Dave { 03.10.15 at 6:06 pm }

Ouch…I bet you’ll still have a great trip!!

112 Jenn { 06.02.15 at 3:45 pm }

We’re staying in The Little Mermaid standard rooms when we go to Disney next week. Do I really have to walk all the way to Food Court for morning coffee???

113 Dave { 06.02.15 at 5:15 pm }

Jenn: yup…

114 Maria { 06.03.15 at 1:21 pm }

Hi Dave,
Great site! I know that this is really far ahead of time but we are planning a huge family vacation that includes 2 grandparents, 6 parents and 4 kids for March or April 2017. We need to plan this far ahead to give some the chance to get their money together.
Do you have any recommendations regarding whether March or April would be better? I heard that March means less people, but a chance that some attractions would be shut down for repairs/maintenance. I also don’t want to take the chance that the LM rooms would be booked. I don’t really have it in my budget to get a suite for 3 adults and 1 child. I have stayed at ASMovies in the Mighty Ducks section and it was just fine.
Another question I have is if there are senior citizen discounts. My parents want a room to themselves and are each over 65. No mobility issues for either. They are extremely active and love walking.
Thank you so much for all of your extremely helpful information.

115 fosterfamily { 06.04.15 at 12:43 pm }

we are booking our Disney vacation for Oct 2016. I think the boys (6,9) will enjoy the AOA cars suite …but We can get into the Caribbean beach resort cheaper . With that said my husband wants to stay at the contemporary because the monrail is right there and the kids can see fireworks every night (but that is $2000 more for the week)

I am still leaning more towards AOA cars suite because this is all about the kids (right haha) .

Does the AOA have its own bus line ? Any idea how long in between you have to wait for the bus ? ( I did read it takes about 10 min from bus rt to hotel )
Any dinner place your highly recommend with children ?

Thanks for your help
*this is our first time going to Disney *

116 Dave { 06.05.15 at 8:01 am }

Hi Maria and thanks!!

First I would start ignoring whoever told you that “March means less people, but a chance that some attractions would be shut down for repairs/maintenance,” as neither point is true. While rides can be closed for refurb anytime, the ride closure season ends by President’s Day, in February, and March after the first week is very crowded.

2017 has a later Easter, so I’m not seeing many good weeks in March or April. The best will be the weeks beginning February 26, (possibly) April 1, and April 22.

There are no senior citizen discounts…

117 Dave { 06.05.15 at 8:22 am }

Hi Foster family. AofA and CB each have their own bus lines. I always figure 20 minutes for the trip. My dining thought are here.

118 Jane { 06.10.15 at 5:51 pm }

Hi Dave, I’m having a dilemma of deciding whether to keep our AOA little mermaid rooms or switch to a different resort once they announce the military Salute (assuming of course that there is a renewal of the discount). I booked these rooms knowing that little mermaid rooms would probably be excluded from the discount, but my friend and I really like AOA and want to stay there. Getting a family suite for my family wouldn’t save much money, but switching to another value (our 1st choice is All Star Movies) would potentially save a huge amount should they discount it 30% like last time (we are Thanksgiving week–we got the discount for some but not all nights last time b/c of blackout dates). I guess the question is, do you see there being any chance that mermaid rooms would be discounted? I’m guessing not, since it seems that they are excluded from every discount I see. Also, we stayed at Sports last time, and Movies seems really similar. To me, the best way we could get a really different experience for not that much more money would be to be at AOA. Or, is there another resort we should consider? We want kid appeal. Thanks for any advice!

119 Dave { 06.11.15 at 7:34 am }

Jane, I think the Little Mermaid rooms will still be excluded if it is renewed. Movies is a great choice–for most, it is more fun than Sports.

120 Summer Frasier { 07.01.15 at 3:33 pm }

We will be driving our own car to Disney. We are staying in AoA Little Mermaid area. Our plan is to drive our car to whichever park we are going to (since parking is free). MK we will take the monorail in from the main parking area. We have small kids (1&3) and will be using a stroller (bad for buses, but good in our trunk space of our car). My question is this: (1) Do you think my plan for parking is good? (2) If we are driving our own car, do you think staying in building 8 would be the closest to the parking lot (I don’t know where the elevators are in relation to the building). (Lake view side of building 8 maybe?). Or which building would you go with for our situation. Thanks! I tried to find a comment about my issue, but couldn’t find one.

121 Dave { 07.02.15 at 6:23 pm }

Hi Summer, you’ll see million of strollers on the buses, and the buses are a much faster way to get to MK than driving and the monorail. Driving to the other parks is faster than the bus,but at those ages there’s little of interest for them at the other parks.

The elevator bank is in the center of the building where the three wings come together.

For the buses, 7 or 9 are the better choices. For driving, 9 is the better choice.

122 Nancy { 10.12.15 at 12:43 pm }

This is just a tip for coffee addicts: you’re not only farthest away from Landscape of Flavors in a Mermaid room, but there is no in-room coffee maker on the list of amenities. So, either bring your own coffee maker or expect to trek over to LoF in the morning (or whenever your withdrawal symptoms begin to appear).

123 Dave { 10.13.15 at 9:15 am }

🙂 Nancy

124 lil { 10.27.15 at 2:22 pm }

Are the accesible for wheelchairs rooms closer to the food court or buses or is it all pretty much same? Thank you for your wonderful site.

125 Dave { 10.28.15 at 7:49 am }

Jil, I’m not 100% sure, but I believe you’ll find the disability rooms in all buildings, near and far.

126 Mitz { 01.06.16 at 10:14 pm }

I just had to say that they still did this for us in December 2015. We moved late one evening from All Sports (where we’ve stayed on all our prior visits) as it was kind of loud. Everyone we worked with at the check in was great at AoA. We had been given a room at LM bldg 8. At check-in (it’s now about midnight) my hubby asked if we could get an upgrade to a suite. They were awesome and gave us a suite on 4th floor of Mater’s bldg. We loved it there and plan to go back. The dining area, gift shop and the character designs in the room area all blew our old favorite out of the water.

127 Dave { 01.07.16 at 4:17 pm }

Mitz, that’s great!!

128 Rose { 02.29.16 at 4:30 pm }

Great review and pictures! I booked my AoA reservation through Jet Blue and I am really looking forward to it. When I booked, there was an option for a room with a king bed, instead of two doubles, but I cannot find any pictures or floor plans. Would you happen to know if a single king bed is an option? Thank you!

129 Dave { 03.01.16 at 6:34 am }

Rose, the king bed rooms are also the accessible rooms. You can call in and request one, but they commonly all go to guests with mobility issues.

130 Cindy { 07.02.16 at 1:38 am }

How far in advance can you request building 7 on the online check in? Can you call in this request if we have already booked our stay in october?

131 Dave { 07.03.16 at 8:36 am }

You can call them now Cindy. See this.

132 Anonymous { 09.05.16 at 4:20 pm }

Animal kingdom at night in November

133 MC { 11.10.16 at 11:31 am }

Hi Dave, this page is so helpful! I just did my online check-in, 60 days in advance today- My first time going to Disney so too excited to wait. I want to request your suggestion of the Lake view in building 7 of Little Mermaid as near to the Lion King as possible but when is the best time to call to make this request? Do I call now after I did my online check-in or is that too far in advance? Is is better to call sooner to my arrival date? Thanks!

134 Dave { 11.12.16 at 9:00 am }

MC it can’t hurt to call now, but also call again 3-4 days before check in.

135 Sharon { 02.02.17 at 5:16 am }

What a fab page! I’m a member of a few Orlando sites but you’re information is so much more detailed, thanks very much.

Now, on to my question. I was all ready to request a Little Mermaid room in Building 7 with a Lakeview, closer to the Lion King Area as it sounded like our best option.

But, we’ll be using our car during the stay and you mentioned that Building 9 was better for parking. Can you suggest a room in Building 9 that’s not too noisy?

136 Dave { 02.02.17 at 6:33 am }

Thanks, Sharon! I’ve stayed in 140 different Disney-World owned rooms–the writers of most other sites have stayed in 3-5, hence the difference.

Any room without a pool view in 9 would work. That said, I’d still go for a lake view in building 7 in a heartbeat, as there aren’t that many more steps to the car…

137 Haylie { 04.24.17 at 5:19 pm }

Hiya ! My boyfriend and I are planning a trip together in March. I’ve grown up going to DisneyWorld at least once every year/year and a half with my family, so I know that this is a pretty busy time of the year. This will also be my first solo vacation without any other adults ( I’ll be 20 in August ) which is why im trying to plan ahead as much as possible, to save money, time, and confusion. Being in a family of 6, we’ve never stayed on property because it would just be too expensive, and the only time I’ve stayed on property was a few years ago on a school trip. This being said, I feel a bit overwhelmed at all of the things I need to know , have prepared and the best way to save money. So right now, I have two questions. 1. When doing online check in, is there any way to request that you have 1 king bed instead of the two full beds ? I’ve seen that you can request this , I’m just not sure if you can do this during online check in or if I’d have to call in.
2. Because it’s only late April right now, it is still too early to be allowed to book our room and tickets ( it only allows us to go to decemeber ). I was wondering if you had any estimate of when I’d be able to book the trip when it’s in march.
Any info would be great ! Thanks !

138 Dave { 04.25.17 at 8:49 am }

Haylie, you can buy tix anytime, and can book your room now. You just can’t book your room online–you have to call. See this.

You will be able to book everything online after 2018 prices are released, which will likely be in June or July.

You can’t request a king on online check in.

139 Payal Patel { 11.19.17 at 8:30 pm }

We are booked at LM for Jan. We have a 4y/o and a 18mo who will need a crib. We have never slept in the same room. Do you think space wise, LM should be okay? Also, my little one needs warm milk before bedtime and first thing when awake- no microwave in LM might be an issue, right?

140 Dave { 11.20.17 at 7:21 am }

Payal, it will be tight but do-able. There are microwaves in the food court, so you could walk there to warm the bottle–or just run hot water over it in the sink.

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