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Topping Out Ceremony Held at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on July 21st, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Have any of you been clamoring for details on the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which is set to open at the Walt Disney World Resort next year? If so, we’ve got an exciting update to share today on the progress of this highly anticipated guest offering.

Topping Out Ceremony at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which will bring to life famous Disney and Disney•Pixar films, including Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, hit a major construction milestone earlier today when Walt Disney Imagineers and various crews working on the project held a “topping out” ceremony for the resort. This special moment is a tradition in the construction and engineering fields and takes place when the highest piece of steel is placed on a building’s frame. The tradition dates back to the Vikings, who would place an evergreen tree on the top of a building to celebrate and wish for good luck.

Today’s ceremony took place atop a wing of the resort that will be themed after The Lion King.

Disney Parks Blog author Tom Smith previously shared a look inside this resort, which will feature elaborately themed building exteriors and room interiors.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is set to open in early Summer 2012 and is already available for booking. Standard rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort start at $94 per night and family suites start at $248 per night.

For more information on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, visit or call 407-W-DISNEY (407-934-7639).

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort



Theresa from TX on July 21st, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Thanks sooo much for a real picture. I am so exited to see it taking shape!!


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on July 22nd, 2011 at 8:53 am

Happy you like it!


Betsy from IL on July 21st, 2011 at 6:08 pm

This is around and/or will be part of the Pop Century resort, correct?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on July 22nd, 2011 at 8:53 am



Tiffany from AL on July 21st, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Betsy from IL, the new Art of Animation Resort is across the lake from Pop Century, it is not part of the Pop Century Resort. The area where the new AOA Resort is located was originally supposed to be part of POP, but that was abandoned and they created an entirely different resort.


Shawn on July 21st, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Yes, this is the portion of POP that was to be for 1900-1940 across the lake.


Jeannie from FL on July 21st, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Yeah, right now there is a bridge to nowhere which would have led to another phase of the Pop Century, I think it was going to be called the Golden Eras (or something like that). That contruction was stopped some time ago and now its becomming the Art of Animations, I have pictures of the buildings with the years 00, 10, 20, 30. It would have been fun, but I think this will be more geared to the kiddies!! Cant wait to see it all done!!


Brigid on July 21st, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Jennifer, Is there any word on how the family suites will be laid out?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on July 22nd, 2011 at 9:28 am

I don’t have any information on this, other than the 1,120 family suites will be located in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings of the hotel.


Eric on July 22nd, 2011 at 1:49 am

Are the pics on the web, Jeannie?
Think it was meant to be the relaxed-atmospheric “adult” complement to the kids’ 50’s-90’s, like French Quarter vs. Riverside…But, also like the underappreciated French Quarter, it probably wouldn’t have gotten as much attention from family guests.

As for me, it’s official–Save me a Lion King (or Mermaid, or Toy Story) room, I’m going in ’13. All I need is a date. And money. And a completed room. :)


JEANY on July 22nd, 2011 at 8:07 am

this is awesome celebration I can’t wait for next year to stay in Art of Animation Resort! I hope to stay in Cars wing!


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on July 22nd, 2011 at 9:29 am

I hope you took a look at the renderings of the Cars wing. Looks like you won’t stay in a “Cars wing,” but in Radiator Springs itself!


Kymberli on July 22nd, 2011 at 1:07 pm

This resort looks great! I was looking into making a reservation online but it only offers suites. I’m looking for a standard room will they be available too?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on July 22nd, 2011 at 4:47 pm

They should be, unless the regular rooms are sold out for the date you’re looking for. Try calling 407-WDW-DISNEY if you can’t get it to work online.


Skip from FL on July 22nd, 2011 at 7:27 pm

The huge, promising looking, construction site can be easily seen from Victory Way.


Belinda on July 23rd, 2011 at 11:33 am

Is the new resort going to have their own Disney bus lines or will they be sharing with Pop Century?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on July 25th, 2011 at 9:23 am

Not sure at this time.


Alexa on July 24th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Disney’s Art of Animation hotel looks like much fun! I won’t lie though, I’m a bit bummed there are two underwater themes. It makes it feel as if there are only 3 full themes instead of 4. Did the creators have other ideas in mind besides the 4 that have been picked out? I’m very curious! Keep up the great work.


frances on July 24th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I love the picture with the ‘very large American flag’. The tree is a very nice tradition. I am happy that you are keeping it going.


Charles from PA on July 24th, 2011 at 8:44 pm

@ Kymberli From what I understand the standard room will be available at the end of 2012. It is the last phase to be done and it will be The Little Mermaid section. Hope that helps.