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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Unveiled

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Big news…we’ve just announced plans for a new resort at Walt Disney World Resort that’ll bring to life some of our most beloved characters and stories. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be one-of-a-kind, featuring family suites designed around four themes: The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

Disney Imagineer Joni Van Buren sculpts a model of King Triton, who, in his final form will be 35 feet tall and tower over guests at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts newest Resort. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be one-of-a-kind, with themed building exteriors and room interiors that bring to life The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is expected to open by the end of 2012.

It’s a resort designed with families in mind. There will be amazing sights at the different themed wings of the resort, including a model of King Triton that’ll eventually be 35 feet tall and tower over guests. And Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also have themed room interiors in its nearly 2,000 new units — 1,120 family suites in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings and 864 themed rooms in The Little Mermaid wings. Suites will have both a living room and a bedroom, offering added space.

All of the themed suites and rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (to be located adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort) are expected to open by the end of 2012. We’ll have more updates in the future but wanted to share this with you first. Please let us know what you think in the comments.


  • Always making visions become reality… Walt would be proud!

  • YESSSS!!!!!! We are arriving next week for a family suite at Music. This is great news! We always stay in value resorts and this extra space for families is wonderful! Will some of the suites have 2 beds or will they all be 1 bed/1 bedroom suites? Any pull outs in living room? Disney has done it again!!! When is it due to open, I’m booking the first room!

  • am so excited about the suites and the theming! Question: are these the vacant buildings that you can see from the boat that runs between Ft. Wilderness and Magic Kingdom? If so, will this resort have boat access to MK?? That would be an awesome added bonus! Can hardly wait to make my reservation!

  • Finally I would love to see the new Resort in 2012 I can’t wait haha, last summer I worked in Pop Century, Magic Kingdom, Coronado Spring and I just….. simply loved it, I would like to work there some day hahah

  • I think this will be a huge home run for Disney. We’re DVC members, but I can totally see us taking a spin in the Cars section on a cash ressie if a good promo code came out. A little surprised by the two underwater themes, as others have mentioned, but as the mom of 2 boys I’m thankful we’re not being “Princessed” out the wazoo here. 😉

  • I love the fact that they are creating a resort in mind for larger families. I am worried the prices will be too much. I have been to Disney more than 12 times. This year is the first time we may be forced to stay out of the park. We have 3 kids. The villas are too much/night and so are the family suites. I hope they offer something else with these new family suites like the dining plan. Excited and worried at the same time.

    P.S. we love Ariel and Nemo!

  • My family will take one of those 6 people rooms for a week when it opens.

  • Sounds awesome!! would be fun to stay there, i will have to add that to the list of places we need to stay!!

  • I LOVE the idea!! Maybe we could get a waterslide?? I know you can’t keep everyone happy, but this is what Disney has needed for a loooong time. It’s expensive as it is but when you have more than 2 children it really got difficult to stay onsite. Now we won’t have to worry. Thanks

  • After staying at ALL of the Value Resorts at least twice, we are soo excited to hear this great news! We are soo excited!

  • I personally think that you should have went with the “Pop Century” Theme form the early 1900’s but such is life.
    I just hope this doesn’t means the bus will be over filled!!

  • I think it’s a fantastic idea! I have been hoping that this idea would be realized since my first stay at WDW back in 2001!

  • WOW!!! So excited about this!! Our family loves Pop, but I know where we will be staying for our next trip!

  • Will Walt Disney World be using the buildings originally intended for The Pop Century: The Legendary Years for The Art of Animation Resort? I’m sure those buildings can still be used. This new resort sounds great.

  • Can’t wait to stay there! Love it~!

  • I love this. I am an avid fan of Pop Century Resort and have always wondered when they were going to finish the classic years. Glad to see that they are going to do something there. Are they going to open the bridge across hour glass lake so you can walk between the two resorts. I can not wait. 2012 is about when I will be able to make another trip to my happy place again, now I have somethig else to lok foreward to. I will definately have to stay there.

  • Good news. Always glad to hear of an addition to my favorite place in the world!

  • Super excited about the new resort. A little disappointed that not one of the themes represents Disney’s classics. I can see Cars appealing to boys, Lion King just because it’s awesome from a decorating standpoint, (although Animal Kingdom Lodge seems to cover that) and maybe even Nemo or Little Mermaid. But two underwater themes seems a bit redundant. Why not choose Beauty and the Beast, which appeals to little girls and boys, plus offers a chance to decorate with a lovely medieval theme? Of course, since I am a huge Beauty and the Beast nut, I might be a bit biased.

  • This sounds awesome! Great idea! Hopefully I’ll be enjoying myself at this new resort in the near future!

  • AWESOME!!!!! I am so excited! We always have to stay in 2 rooms at the Pop or All-Stars, because of our big family, so I hope the suites will accommodate us in one room! I am so very excited…Disney is certainly celebrating their 40th anniversary in style! We’ll definitely be there!

  • How about finishing Pop Century!? Weren’t they going to build a couple more decades?


  • I have to ask, why did they choose the themes that they chose? I would think that an art of animation themed resort would have SOMETHING classic…

  • I am very happy to see these buildings finally being used, I always go look at them when we stay at POP! Me and my family call it the little abandoned building! 🙂 Im very excited to see something being done with this old part of POP, I for certain want to stay in a Finding Nemo room, it being one my favorite Pixar Movies. With all of this though, I still kind of wish they would have kept the Legendary Years theme, because the 30’s and 40’s are my favorite era’s of American culture, but anyways Disney, im proud of your new accomplishment!

  • Just thought why don’t they theme some of the rooms around the Fab 5 or at least around the big cheese himself? Kind of seems like a no brainer…
    After all Walt said “Remember it all began with a mouse”( I hope I have this quote exact?)

    Since Mickey or Steamboat willy is the original animation to Disney it would seem remiss to not do this…or is it me?

  • I’m excited to hear about the newest addition to the value resorts. I’m just wondering if Disney has put any thought to making any of these disabled friendly with King size beds in the suites though? With the disabilities in my family, the only way we can travel is to stay at a value resort (not a hardship at all actually) in a King Wheelchair Accessible room for me and my hubby with the connecting double room for our daughter. I’ve wanted to try out the family suites because of the convenience of the kitchettes and ease of one room/one key instead of two but without king beds, the suites will never be an option for us. Unless this is something that will come to the new Animation resort that is.

  • This sounds FANTASTIC. We love staying at All Star Music Family Suites, so having another option will be great. As the grandkids get bigger we need more room. Can’t wait ti be able to make my reservation!!!

  • Caribbean Beach is Pirates of the Caribbean theme, not Nemo. More value resorts with family suites is exactly what Disney needs. And if my kiddo can sleep in a bed surrounded by his Radiator Springs friends, well, it’ll be a tough call whether to visit WDW for the room or Disneyland for the new CarsLand in 2012.

  • My family loves POP and we’re excited that they’re expanding. It would be nice if these value rooms were to have a double bed and a pair of bunkbeds, instead of 2 doubles. There is only the 4 of us, but my 2 kids (boy and girl) are at the ages where they can’t share a bed.

  • Super thrilled about the Little Mermaid themed rooms! Looking forward to staying in them!

  • Thomas,
    This is so exciting and can’t wait to stay at the new resort hotel. Any chance that at some point monorail service will be extended to this area of the resort? Or will this be bus only for Disney Transportation to the Parks?

  • Is this resort being built where the other pop century extension resort is now?

  • Wonderful news! I cannot wait to see the finished product. Glad that this will be a value resort!

  • I hope you keep the bus transportaion seperate we just got back from Disney and we started out at All star Sports to try something different and having all three all stars with one bus was horrible we had little or no waits for the rides but over two hours for busses the first night anyway since we transfered over to POP right after that and did not run into that problem. so my only suggestion is keep the transportation seperate. We love POP and will stay there again and again but I look forward to something different as long as the transportation is kept seperate.

  • Also, being 31, I like everything from Classic Disney to the newer stuff (like Cars.) Since you have a resort themed to celebrate the greatness of Disney Animation, why don’t you theme the resort according to different eras and styles? Like having one building theme focused on Classic Disney (Mickey Mouse, Goofy, etc. ) and maybe have another one focused on Disney-Pixar movies, etc…

  • A new resort is great news! However I was thinking that the name “Disney’s Art of Animation Resort” doesn’t really flow with the naming style of the others. What about just calling it Disney’s Animation Resort? Or Disney’s Animator’s Resort? Or even Disney’s Art Studio Resort?

  • When can we make our reservations??

  • What about Lilo and Stitch? They are my sons favoite.

  • Great for the unfinished part of Pop Century, and excellent idea of more family suites, if they have two beds or bed and bunk bed
    NO sofa bed….please!

  • Sounds great-can’t wait!

  • This is wonderful news Disney needed to do this for families thanks for filling us in on this development!
    When in 2012 I want to book!

  • Well, I see that suites sleep 6 and rooms sleep 4. So this sounds like an extension of the ASM family suites. As someone with a family of 5, this is not as exciting as I thought. I wanted a more economical option for five people. A room at Riverside with a trundle sounds like it will still beat this on price. Or bump up to a deluxe. By the time you get a suite at ASM, you may as well stay in a deluxe. I had hoped this would fill the gap for families of five who don’t want to break the bank or get two value rooms. Oh well.

  • That is great. As always Disney is working to please us even more. As I read, it will be adjacent to Pop Century, and I have a question, what about the other side of Pop Century (20’s,30’s,40’s and 60’s) Is it done already? Because even thoght I have just arrived from Disney, as I stayed at Saratoga, did not have the chance to take a look at the Pop Century.

  • Hi Tom! I for one am VERY excited about this new resort and am not bothered one bit that there is already a movie themed resort. I know where I will be booking my stay for my 2012 trip. I have to agree with Jacki from ON, if you need a family to test it out, just let me know!

  • Sounds Beuatiful! WDW has needed a new Value Resort in my opinion. I’m glad this one is themed around these AWESOME movies! We usually stay at the moderate resorts but on quick trips we have stayed at the Movies and Sports. Can’t wait to see the new one!

  • I could seriously cry tears of JOY!! NOTHING makes me more depressed on my Disney vacation than staying at the Pop Century and seeing the unfinished buildings looking all gloomy across the way. I wish that the completed Pop Century could have been realized, but anything that is Little Mermaid themed is an ok-by-me replacement!!

  • It sounds wonderful. Now we just need a 5th park…

  • Can’t wait!!!!

  • Very exciting news…already phoned my daughter and told her we are going in late 2012…lol We will be there Feb 2011…too bad the resort won’t be finished yet. Now just to decide which wing to stay in…granddaughters will love Little Mermaid but grandsons would love Cars…oh the decisions that have to be made…lol

  • i am so thrilled about this new resort.. i can’t wait to see it,i love disney so wen are ya going to put up mre pic.. and yes we know were we will be staying..whoohoo!!!

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