First phase of Art of Animation resort at Walt Disney World opens next week

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Opening on May 31, the 87-acre Art of Animation resort was originally intended as an extension of the adjacent Pop Century. Themed around four classic flicks — 1989's The Little Mermaid, 1994's The Lion King, 2003's Finding Nemo and 2006's Cars — Art of Animation uses filmmaking as an architectural thread.

Read more from The Tampa Bay Times.

Jeff's avatar

I'm not sure that the article is correct. My understanding is that they stopped construction of Pop Century simply because the economy was starting to tank and they weren't confident that they could fill the rooms. I doubt the theme had anything to do with it.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Agreed Jeff. It didn't have anything to do with the theme and everything to do with the sudden onset of the recession.

That said, I think they made lemonade out of a lemon because I believe it will be far more popular now for the kids. I would have hated spending the whole day trying to explain to the kids what an 8-track was, or black and white television, or platform shoes.

You can't go wrong with the themes they chose.

Vater's avatar

Yeah, telling the kids about history is such a burden.

Jeff's avatar

I like Pop Century. As much as I'm a hotel snob, I still haven't plopped down the dollars for a better resort at WDW. I've stayed there I think five times now. As I've spent so little time in the rooms, and most waking moments in parks, I couldn't justify it.

Now, with a child, I'm certain that will change. We'll probably wait until he's 3 before we bring him there (when it's easier for him to tell us he's hungry/tired/whatever), and I've mostly thought about staying closer to the parks. Or Animal Kingdom Lodge, because they apparently have a great little splash park. This new place makes the list, because of the suite rooms and relative affordability. It definitely opens up more choices.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Vater...I have more fun when they tell me least on vacation. I certainly don't oppose history.

As the kids have aged the 'suite' room has become a higher priority. Keeping them up late almost always backfires the next day and I'm not that interested in going to bed at 8pm.

Throw in a kitchen and then I'm really happy because I can save money on food. We are doing the Nick hotel in a few weeks and we are making sure to get the suites with the kitchens for that very reason.

Jeff's avatar

What on-property locations have kitchens? Or for that matter, I'm generally pretty happy with a fridge and a microwave.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

because of the suite rooms

I know people with kids stay in single hotel rooms on vacation, but I can't for the life of me figure out how. We can get through one night, maybe two, in a regular hotel before it's Just Not Vacation.

What on-property locations have kitchens? 

Any of the DVC resorts, (in 1BR or larger units), or the Ft. Wilderness cabins. The DVC studios have a dorm fridge and a microwave, but are only one room.

If you are renting the stay from a DVC owner, the DVC units can be surprisingly affordable. We only stay in DVC resorts---2BR with the kids, 1BR without---and it's a really comfortable way to fly. Our next trip is just my better half and I in late October/early November, and we've scored a 1BR at Beach Club Villas for easy stumbling distance to the Food & Wine festival.

Last edited by Brian Noble,
Jeff's avatar

So there are DVC locations mixed in with the regular resorts, right? I thought the entire extension to Contemporary was, but I guess I haven't really paid close attention.

Not having a fridge is annoying. I generally only use it to store beverages, but particularly at Universal, I almost always end up taking part of dinner home after eating at City Walk.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Beach, Boardwalk, Wilderness, Animal Kingdom and the tower added on to the Comtemporary have DVC suites.

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