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Opening Dates Now Set for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 22nd, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


Great news to share today. The teams creating Disney’s Art of Animation Resort tell us that the wings dedicated to popular films “Cars,” “The Lion King,” and “The Little Mermaid” will now be opening sooner than you can imagine after the grand opening of the “Finding Nemo”-themed wing on May 31. Here’s the official schedule:

  • Finding Nemo (Grand opening) – Opens May 31
  • Cars – Opens June 18
  • Lion King – Opens August 10
  • Little Mermaid – Opens September 15

And guests can begin booking rooms March 23! It seems like just yesterday when we shared the first image of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) putting the finishing touches on the new resort’s marquee and Nemo icons. Now, we’re closing in on the big day – May 31. Let us know which wing you’re most looking forward to.

See the posts below for more about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort:

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort



Elizabeth from FL on March 22nd, 2012 at 11:09 am

Will all wings be available for booking on March 23? Am I remembering correctly that only the Little Mermaid wing will have standard rooms as opposed to suites?


Thomas Smith on March 22nd, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hi Elizabeth, all wings will be booking tomorrow. And yes, Little Mermaid is made up of Standard Rooms only. The other three courtyards are all family suites.


Linda from GA on March 22nd, 2012 at 11:38 am

Are these different themed areas connected to each other like the All Star Resorts so we can walk through all of them?


Thomas Smith on March 23rd, 2012 at 11:22 am

Yes. Regardless of which courtyard you stay in, you can use any of the pools/playgrounds in the other courtyards as a resort guest.


Linda from GA on March 22nd, 2012 at 11:41 am

I found this on the website:

“With 1,120 suites designed after Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King, and 864 rooms inspired by The Little Mermaid, you’ll feel like you’re staying in the middle of a Disney story with all of your favorite characters. Family suites are scheduled to open in May 2012 and standard rooms are scheduled to open December 31, 2012.”

It does sound like The Little Mermaid is the only resort with standard rooms and also they will not be open until December.


Erin from NY on March 22nd, 2012 at 11:52 am

I’m confused. Guests have been able to make AoA reservations for several months now. I already have an AoA reservation myself. What’s different about the March 23 date?


Elizabeth from FL on March 22nd, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Thanks for the quick response!


Jacqueline from IL on March 22nd, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Will photos be posted anytime soon of the resorts and of the rooms?


JoAnne on March 22nd, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I also have an AoA reservation. Does this mean I’ll have to cancel my current reservation and book it again?


Gustavo on March 22nd, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Same here! Do we have to do anything or if we’ve got our reservations in place then all’s fine? I’m guessing the difference is that we didn’t need to pay yet, but now they will start taking payments… If I’m wrong, correct me!


Sarah from OH on March 22nd, 2012 at 1:54 pm

@Linda from GA- The Little Mermaid rooms are opening ahead of schedule.

@Thomas Smith– Any word yet if the standard rooms at AoA will be included in the free dining promotions. I know the suites were excluded. Also, any word if a room only PIN will work for the standard rooms at AoA? I am currently booked at POP with 30% off for October. I might switch to AoA if possible. Any thoughts on this?


Jamie on March 22nd, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I’m guessing they mean the sooner dates will now be available to book tomorrow…


LISA on March 22nd, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I too have a reservation booked for May 2013. We booked in the Nemo building. I sure hope they offer free dining packages otherwise we will be cancelling and booking elsewhere. The suites are more money so I hope they consider that when offering free dining.


michelle on March 22nd, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Is there a reason why the standard rooms are only done with The Little Mermaid theme? I can’t see many little boys being too excited to stay in a Little Mermaid room – wouldn’t (maybe) The Lion King or Nemo been a better choice?


Kristy from NY on March 23rd, 2012 at 7:07 am

I booked 2 rooms this morning!!! Trying to not get too excited cause if free dining comes along we will switch but it’s hard not to be excited!!!!


Gage on March 23rd, 2012 at 8:13 am

May 31? That’s my birthday!


Christy on March 23rd, 2012 at 8:32 am

I just booked my Little Mermaid room for myself and my own little mermaid!! She is super excited! Ok, fine, I’m pretty excited as well. I can’t wait to see this new resort. I like the new key card concept and the food court sounds amazing!!!
Just curious, does anyone know approximate distance between The Little Mermaid room and central lobby?
Come on October!!!!


Dave from NY on March 23rd, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Anyone know if the bridge from Pop Century will be open at this time? We are staying at the Pop for five nights starting May 31 and it would be convenient to walk over to check it out.


Erin on March 23rd, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I also had a AOA reservation before the March 23 date. I was assured today that the pools would be functional for the opening, but was still left with questions about whether we could use the meal plan at the counter service areas.


Kyra on March 24th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Yay! The rooms look beautiful.


Jennifer on March 24th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Coming for Thanksging this year and can’t wait!!!!! I changed my reservation yesterday from POP to AoA as soon as I heard that The
Little Mermaid standard rooms was available sooner than planned. My Little Mermaid is super excited!!!!


Chandra from WA on March 26th, 2012 at 7:17 am

So excited!! Booked my Cars room for August!! We all couldn’t decide between the three choices, but in the end the boys won the vote with cars! Looks like so much fun. And as a family of 6, I LOVE the family suite idea! Thank you


Lisa on March 28th, 2012 at 9:29 am

I am booked at Pop in Sept. w/free dining. Wanted to switch to AOA but, they aren’t offering free dining there. I suppose it’s because the resort is new and they don’t want everybody switching their reservations.


Amanda on April 4th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Booked the Cars resort for November! How will I know if they ever offer a dining room discount or if it’s free or is it only a certain time of year that the dining plan is offered cheap or free!?


Maryl from FL on April 12th, 2012 at 12:12 am

Just booked for December. Can’t wait to see the finished resort. Stayed at POP last December and saw the shells of buildings being worked on. Looked so cool!!!


Laura on April 16th, 2012 at 12:30 am

I just booked the Little Mermaid room for opening night! Super excited! They must have changed the dining option, because I was able to get the free dining with the package today.