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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went to Disney World for a destination wedding of a relative. I have not been there since I was a child. Disney World through the starry eyes of a child is wondrous, but as an adult reality sets in. We stayed in a Little Mermaid room in the Art of Animation complex.
I called the resort well in advance to request a few accommodations for our room. One in particular was for 1 King bed. Instead we got 2 double beds - not ideal for couples. I selected their Magical Express service to avoid baggage claim and hauling bags thru the airport. Our luggage did not arrive to our room until 5 hours (after midnight) after we arrived at the airport and only after I called to complain about the delay. Our room was in the building furthest from the front desk - a long walk. I thought prices were high (but expected) in Bermuda but food prices at this on site cafeteria style restaurant were outrageous ($3.19 for a cup of yogurt and $2.37 for a single banana). On the good side the mattress was comfortable, the room size was adequate, and the landscape was lush and subtropical. A small frig, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and a safe were in the room. Drawer space was adequate for a few days' stay but dicey for staying a week or more. There was a guest laundry near our room but we did not use it on our short stay. Using their Magic Band made food and other purchases easy. It was also convenient to check-in for most airlines return flights from the hotel.
The sheer enormity of Disney World and the logistics necessary just getting from point A to point B are challenging and often frustrating for a first-timer. I will probably never return unless I had children and even then I would have some doubts.

  • Stayed: October 2018, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ginals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

AofA is a nice hotel and a good value for your money if you are looking to spend less on your Disney resort. We booked because it was our girls (6&8) first Disney trip and we wanted a location that was “Disney in your face,” which AofA did deliver on. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this resort, however I would not book again when staying on Disney grounds, as it is quite far away from any of the parks, which require you to use bus service which is extremely dissatisfying and uncomfortable - comparable to a Tokyo subway. Alternate transportation (other than your own vehicle or rental) includes the use of Uber/Lyft @ about $8-10 after tip one way to and from the parks, or Lyft Minnie Vans for about $32 after tip. Hopefully the gondola system being installed between AofA and Pop Century will improve transportation, but it’s would still be a long shot. Room was good - no issue at all. Fridge in room and housekeeping did a great job. Stayed in Nemo suites. Plenty of room for family of 4. Pool was good and large, however entertainment seemed lack-luster. Food offering on site is cafeteria-like, so if you’re on the Disney Dining plan (especially deluxe), you’ll need to plan a restaurant at another resort or hotel. Less than thrilled with how the Disney Dining plan does not keep you updated on # points remaining through the app, however receipts do show balances. Food at AofA is actually pretty good, but atmosphere is cafeteria-like and noisy. In the future, I would likely choose a resort that is connected to Magic Kingdom since that is where the majority of time is spent. I’d gladly pay a higher rate for nicer accommodations and improved transportation from a place like Grand Floridian and the Contemporary even if that meant downsizing our room size, as well as the Polynesian and even Fort Wilderness since they are ferry connected to MK. Next time I would also choose the Standard Dining Plan, as Deluxe did not fit well with a busy week at the parks, and we would have preferred a good burger over eccentric chef prepared meals most nights anyway. Pro Tip: Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue dinner was one of our favorite experiences during the entire trip - highly recommended with great food and entertainment for the entire family! Other restaurant experiences... Character dining we liked: Tusker House @ AK, Cinderella Royal Table. “Just okay” character dining: Hollywood & Vine @ HS. SUB-par character dining: Akershus @ EC - characters great, food meh. We really liked Hollywood Brown Derby for dinner and severely disliked dinner at Tiffin’s and lunch @ Be Our Guest (food fine, but clearly chaotic service). Had reservations at Citricos but cancelled due to busy schedule and transportation/timing issues (would have liked to go myself, but the kids wouldn’t care for it much). Also cancelled California Grill, although we were all really looking forward to this as I booked it with the expectation that we would see the fireworks show in the patio, but the Not So Scary Halloween Party was scheduled for that evening and that pushes the show back to 10pm - not a good plan for the kids, especially since we didn’t choose to pay for the Halloween Party. Biggest recommendation for first time families: Choose your resort based on location and grab the standard dining plan to book a couple of reservations throughout your trip.

Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
5  Thank Evan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hello, Evan! I was glad to read Disney’s Art of Animation Resort was a great fit for family and had all the Disney magic your daughters were looking for. This Resort is nestled away from most of our Theme Parks, so using our complimentary transportation can take a bit longer to arrive at your final destination. However, I’m truly sorry this took away from overall experience. I would agree that if you are looking for quick travel times, a Resort that is more central located will save some extra time when utilizing our transportation. Despite this, I am happy to hear this vibrant Resort offered your family some great amenities, such as Landscape of Flavors and the extra space in your Family Suite.

Thank you for taking a moment to review your recent stay with us. While this wasn’t the ideal location for your family, we can’t wait to see where you’ll stay for your next visit.

Jessie
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is definitely a resort for kids to be kids; for adults who enjoy a quieter atmosphere not so much. My cousins loved the resort (they loved playing in the Outlands in the Lion King section). As an adult I thought concept was really cool as well, but felt that it was almost overcrowded. Also, not a fan that the in-room wifi was not working as well as it could have (although to be fair I did not inquire if there were any resort issues, or look for a business center- which I discovered on my last day, there was one).

  • Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 504to593
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thanks for swimming on over to leave your review! I like to think of Disney's Art of Animation Resort as a realm that brings out everyone's inner kid, and I hope that you had just as much fun as your cousins. I'm glad to read that you enjoyed your overall stay, but I'm sorry that you had some difficulty with crowds and WiFi. Should you ever have any concerns with your room, please don't hesitate to stop by the Front Desk for assistance, or even call from your in-room phone.

The Lion King Family Suites are great since they are so close to Animation Hall, but it can feel a little overwhelming with so many people. During your next visit, maybe the Cars Family Suites would be more comfortable as they are a little further on their own side of the Resort.

We’re glad you were here and can’t wait for you to join us on Route 66 or the Pridelands real soon!

Jordan
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My family of five just returned from AOA yesterday, and my kids will not stop talking about it. We originally wanted to book the little mermaid room, but our family is too big, so we had to book one of the family suites. We went with the Nemo suite and couldn't be happier. When we arrived, it was around 10 am and we knew we were early, but we were eager to just get to the parks and start our vacation. They took down our information, and said they would call to let us know when our room was ready. No problem. We went on our way and as the day went forward, we hadn't heard anything on our room. It was approaching 5:00 pm and we still hadn't heard anything. My husband called the resort from MK, and they seemed as if they couldn't find our reservation. My husband was put on hold, and the cast member came back and asked "are you sure you're booked here in a nemo suite?" I started to get worried. After about a 15 minute hold, she came back and stated we would get a text on our room number right now and that our room was ready. What was all of that hassle for? Why couldn't they find our room or our information? What if we hadn't called? Would we had been SOL? Seemed very unorganized to me. Later that night we got to the room, and they accommodated us with a first floor as we requested. We were extremely grateful, it's just they put us right next to the elevator. It was extremely noisy early in the mornings, and late in the evening when people were leaving and coming back from the parks. The room was gorgeous. It was completely nemoed out and my toddler was in LOVE. There was plenty of space for the five of us, and the kitchenette was nice to have as well.

We opted out of Mousekeeping to receive the $10/day credit. We stayed five days and four nights and only received a $30 gift card. I didn't understand why when it was explained to me that we were getting $10/night when we stayed four nights... Even though we opted out MK was still very helpful! They came and gave us towels as we needed, and they picked up our trash that we left at the door. The gift card was nice to use towards the parking fee.

The pool scene was awesome. My kids won't stop talking about the big blue pool. They played fun music, have movies in the evening, and had games/activities at certain times of the day. The drop off pool bar was nice for a quick snack or to socialize as well.

The buses came frequently, but with how big this resort is, I felt like more buses needed to come, especially for HS and MK. Those lines seemed to always be full whenever I passed by. We also had an issue with getting a bus back from Epcot. We waited nearly 45 minutes while all of the other resorts around us had multiple buses to pick them up. There was even a girl on the verge of having a heat stroke for being out there so long. I felt so bad for her. I called the resort and the cast member was not only unfriendly, but she stated we were at the wrong bus station. She said a bus was there right now. I told her there in fact was not. She was trying to direct me to All Stars transportation ramp. This just tells me she wasn't listening when I told her we were waiting for an AOA bus. I just hung up on her. 10 minutes later a bus finally arrived, and unfortunately LOTS of people that had been waiting for almost an hour got left behind because there was no room for them. There is no reason why a bus was not at the pick up for almost an hour at Epcot. It was 4 in the afternoon, so it wasn't late or anything. Terrible.

Overall we had a great stay at AOA. I agree with most when they say this is definitely a moderate priced resort listed as a value. A cast member proceeded to tell me that AOA is considered a Value plus resort, that is why it is priced higher. Value plus? *insert eye roll* We signed up for DVC while we were there, so I don't think I will be staying here again only because of that. If you're looking for the Disney of all Disney resorts as far as music, themes, and activities go, this is definitely it!

Still would like answers as to why it took so long for our room to get ready and how come we were never notified. Also, why'd did they stiff us $10 for opting out of mousekeeping? Is it not $10/night?

Room Tip: Ask to be away from the elevators!!
  • Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank itsmearielt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hello, Ariel! It’s great that you enjoyed your recent stay. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a unique work of art, with lots of character! I am so glad that your family found joy in our larger-than-life icons. There is also a lot of activity that takes place all over the Resort including our pool areas, dining locations and resort activities and it was great to learn that you enjoyed all of these amazing offerings.

I am happy to hear that you took advantage of the Service Your Way program and opted for the Disney Gift Card in place of housekeeping. This program allows to receive $10 per night (minus your last night) to be added to a Disney Gift Card for you to use during your stay. For example, as in your case, if you are staying 4 nights you will receive a $30 Disney Gift Card. I also wanted to apologize for any frustrations that you experienced regarding you not being notified when your room was ready. This was an oversight on our part and you should have been notified once the room was clean and ready for you.

Thank you for letting us know about your experiences during your visit. We appreciate our Guests taking the time to review their stays to help others plan their perfect vacation and allow us to learn where we can improve our services. We hope that we will get the opportunity to welcome you back soon!

Jessica
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

My 3 year old who is obsessed with Cars adored this hotel. It is very spread out which can be exhausting after a long day. The theming is perfect and the pools are nice. This resort does not share a park but with any other hotel which is great.

Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
Thank Brandilee12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thanks for driving on by to leave us with your short, sweet review of Disney's Art of Animation Resort! I'm so glad to see you and your little one enjoyed the theming. There's nothing like driving down Route 66, swimming through the oceans, or exploring the wild, all in one place! Whenever you're ready for your next speedy adventure, we can't wait to have you back!

Nathan
Disney Social Reviews

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