18 FACTS About Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

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Art of Animation has an interesting history and tons of unique facts to learn!

art of animation facts

Whether you’re planning a stay or just seeking additional Disney knowledge to add to your impressive repertoire, you can discover more details about the Art of Animation Resort below.

18 Art of Animation Facts:

Fact #1: It’s themed after 4 of Disney’s most beloved movies!

Art of Animation pays tribute to four of Disney’s classic animated movies.

  • The Lion King:

  • The Little Mermaid:

  • Finding Nemo:

  • Cars:

You will find statues, decorations, and other theming around the entire resort.

In fact, each of the four sections of Art of Animation is themed to one of the four movies. Check out the map below to see where each one is located in relation to the lobby – Animation Hall.

Fact #2: The images in the lobby take you through the animation process

art of animation facts

Animation Hall (the main lobby building) showcases the exciting process of taking original ideas and sketches and turning them into full-fledged characters and films. As you walk down the hall from the front drop-off loop, the images on your right become more and more complete, eventually turning into finished products from rough black-and-white sketches!

This includes images of characters early on in the design process that were changed significantly before they made it to the big screen.

For example, you can find a picture of Lightning McQueen looking a little more boxy and sporting the number 57 instead of his eventual number 95!

His final depiction is located just a little way down the wall towards the Pixel Play Arcade.

Fact #3: The Chandelier is full of authentic imagineer and artist signatures

art of animation facts

The chandelier in the lobby features images and sketches from all different films ranging from The Lion King to The Little Mermaid. Many of these sketches have signatures from their creators or voice actors, so you may be able to spot some of your Disney favorites if you take a minute to explore the chandelier images.

A couple of favorites are Andrew Stanton and John Lasseter of the Pixar Brain Trust, Disney directors and writers John Musker and Ron Clements, Pat Carroll (voiced Ursula), and Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel. )

Fact #4: The resort has lots of activities to fill your free time

Art of Animation offers lots of things you can do right at the resort. Here are just a few options:

  • They feature trivia at the Drop Off poolside bar
  • A campfire and s’mores in the Lion King section of the resort
  • Watching a movie by the pool every night
  • Ask the front desk for a resort scavenger hunt.

Look for the posted activity schedule for a full schedule of each day.

activity schedule at art of animation

Art of Animation also has fun facts posted around the resort of the four movies it’s themed after: The Little Mermaid, Cars, Finding Nemo, and the Lion King.

art of animation facts

Fact #5: The Landscape of Flavors uses real plates and silverware

The Art of Animation Resort is the only value resort at Disney World to offer reusable silverware and flatware!

It may seem like a little thing, but eating off of a real plate instead of a paper plate makes your experience just a little bit better. The entire flooring in the Landscape of Flavors restaurant is also made of recycled materials!

Disney is not always the best when it comes to waste, but it’s nice to see them taking some steps in the right direction that benefit guests.

Fact #6: The Cars section has lots of hidden details to explore

The Cars section of the resort has tons of allusions to the movie, including a few neat Easter eggs. For starters, be sure to check out the clouds on the side of the buildings. Some of these are shaped like cars!

art of animation facts

You will also come across all of the main characters from the film, including Lightning McQueen and Sally.

One of my favorite tidbits added into the area is a bumper sticker on the back of Fillmore, the “hippie” Volkswagen van featured in the films. It reads “save 2D animation,” an interesting ploy for Disney to maintain a focus on the animation style.

art of animation facts

Interestingly enough, Disney has not made a hand-drawn animated film since The Princess and the Frog (where all of the backgrounds are hand-drawn).

Fact #7: The FREE Cozy Cones

art of animation facts

While you are still in the Cars section of the resort, feel free to explore the pool area. It’s themed around Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel and has large construction cones surrounding the pool.

These serve as cabanas and are completely free to use! Other resorts charge for daily cabana reservations, and although you can’t reserve one, they’re often available to use throughout the day.

It’s a little detail, but something that can definitely add some value to your pool day!

Fact #8: The Big Blue Pool holds 310,000 gallons of water

Art of Animation is home to Disney’s largest resort pool in terms of volume!

art of animation facts

While it may not be quite as impressive as some of the pool areas from Disney’s deluxe resorts, it’s a great spot to spend a relaxing day at the resort. The splash pad area is just steps away from the main pool area, too!

Fact #9: The Big Blue Pool used to feature underwater music

One of Disney’s most interesting and unique pool elements was the addition of underwater speakers to play music for swimming guests.

art of animation facts

The music used to play all day at the Big Blue Pool, until Disney reevaluated the idea after safety concerns were raised from guests holding their heads under the water to listen to the music. Though the pool no longer plays the music, it is still a really cool fact!

Fact #10: The resort has THREE pools!

We have already mentioned the Cozy Cone Pool and Big Blue Pool, so it’s time to mention the Flippin Fins Pool in the Little Mermaid section!

When staying at the resort, you are welcome to visit any of the pools! Many guests decide to pool hop throughout the day, visiting each one.

Unfortunately, the Lion King section of the resort does not have its own pool, but it’s only a short walk to enjoy the Big Blue Pool or the Flippin’ Fins Pool.

Fact #11: Art of Animation features family suites in some of the rooms

While different-sized rooms have become more commonplace at Disney World’s deluxe resorts, Art of Animation is the only Value resort to offer family suites.

The suites can sleep six people instead of the regular four squeezed onto two beds. They also feature doors that can completely separate areas of the room, making it a bit easier to get a good rest before a big park day.

A family suite includes a bedroom with one queen-size bed; one double-size convertible Table Bed; one double-size sleeper sofa; a living room; two bathrooms, and a kitchenette.

Having two bathrooms was great because the adults had their own bathroom, and so did our kids!

Fact #12: Art of Animation is Disney’s most expensive Value Resort

While the resort is in Disney’s Value category, don’t get your hopes up too much on getting a room for cheap!

Art of Animation has a few additional features that make it fancier than other value resorts, including the interior hallway, family suites, and Skyliner access. These features come at a cost, which is why Disney sometimes refers to Art of Animation as a “Value Plus” resort.

All in all, I would argue that it is the best of the Value resorts, though Pop Century is similar and is often less expensive.

Fact #13: Hourglass Lake and the Generation Gap bridge

Speaking of the lake, Art of Animation is located on the western side of Hourglass Lake. On the eastern side is Disney’s Pop Century resort. A bridge connects both resorts, making it easy to traverse to the other side and explore!

The lake is shaped like an hourglass to represent the passage of time explored through Pop Century Resort

Fact #14: Art of Animation has direct access to Disney’s Skyliner

In the center of Hourglass Lake is the only floating Skyliner gondola stop. The stop is shared by Art of Animation and Pop Century, and connects directly to the hub station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

From there, you can access Hollywood Studios and Epcot, in addition to the Riviera Resort.

Fact #15: Art of Animation was originally planned to be an expansion of Pop Century Resort

pop century sign

Pop Century is a resort next door that is themed from the 1950s through the 1990s, but Disney had plans to expand it and add new areas featuring other decades dubbed the “Legendary Years”.

Unfortunately, the construction was called off after the September 11th attacks as tourism came to a screeching halt. Some buildings were already started and eventually became the Little Mermaid section of the Art of Animation Resort.

That’s why the Little Mermaid section is the only buildings that have an outdoor room entry and a layout similar to Pop Century. That’s also why this section is the cheapest to stay in (in addition to its location farthest from the lobby area).

Fact #16: There are Hidden Mickeys to find!

There are a total of 10 hidden Mickeys we could find across the resort, but there may be a lot more!

These hidden images of Mickey Mouse can be found in the lobby areas, food court, and carpets, so be sure to keep an eye out during your stay!

One of my favorites is located in the Landscape of Flavors Little Mermaid dining area, where you can see Mickey in Ariel’s Grotto on the large light above the tables!

Fact #17: Art of Animation has 3 laundry areas

Since the resort is so large, it contains THREE different buildings for laundry! There is one located at each pool at the resort, so you are never too far away from clean clothes.

Unfortunately, laundry is not free, even when you are paying to stay at a Disney Resort.

Fact #18: Art of Animation has a jogging trail around the resort

A walking and jogging path surrounds Hourglass Lake! It’s a great spot to simply enjoy the surrounding resort while getting some exercise for those who do not want to skip out on their daily routines. A single loop around the lake is 1.3 miles (2 km) in total!

But you could make this much longer by first exploring all the interconnected trails at Art of Animation. Then, cross the bridge over Hourglass Lake and do the same at Pop Century Resort.

That’s all the facts we have about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort! As you can tell, there is tons of interesting history and information to learn about all of Disney World!

Do you know any fun facts about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort?

If we missed any of your favorite fun facts, please let us know below. In addition, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, and we will try to answer! 🙂

Scott K
Scott K

Scott is the owner and creator of Resort Rat. He and his family were bitten by the Disney bug in 2017 on their first DW visit with kids. They have been on a Disney bender ever since, visiting the park numerous times per year. He loves writing about Disney, especially the incredible resorts. You can learn more about him on his author page. Or hear more about the Resort Rat story on this page.

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