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Hakuna Matata: ‘Lion King’ Finds a Home at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

The theming of the latest wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is so detailed and fun that its impossible to walk through the area without humming a song – any song – from Disney’s “The Lion King.”

Step Into the Adventure with Simba in the Lion King Courtyard at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

The new Lion King courtyard, which officially opens today, allows guests to step into the adventure of Simba the lion cub, with landscapes and theming that reflect the fun scenes from the film.

Pumbaa and Timon Dance with Young Simba in the Lion King Courtyard at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Here, Pumbaa and Timon dance with a young Simba across a log bridge. King Mufasa towers atop Pride Rock while his evil brother Scar slinks in the shadows and his hyenas friends gaurd the elephant graveyard.

The fun continues inside each of the 320 family suites. Here, a figure of Zazu decorates the headboard, and Pumba and Timon appear on the shower curtain.

Previous wings of the resort, themed after “Cars” and “Finding Nemo,” opened earlier this year. The final wing of the resort, which is themed after “The Little Mermaid” and offers 864 rooms, will open September 15.

Which area sounds most appealing to you?


  • What an amazing display of artistry and talent! I cannot wait to see all the different themed areas. My husband, my 4 year old daughter and I will be there Oct 22-27 and will be staying in The Little Mermaid rooms. My daughter is a red head, and makes me check your blog everyday to see if there are any new pics of her “best friend Ariel!” I’m a little disapointed we won’t be there for the Enchanted Forest opening, but there’s always next time. Thanks for the updates!

  • So exciting! We are bringing our Lion King obsessed daughter for her birthday in September. She has no idea we’re staying there (I’ve convinced her it’s not open yet). Your pictures have me wanting Sept. 7 to get here now! :o) Thanks for posting.

  • This is so exciting!! I’m going to reblog this to my followers and they are going to be so excited!

    • 🙂

  • Cannot wait to bring my family to AOA in October were staying in the cars wing.

  • I can not wait to be there in December with my children. I think WE all gonna love it!!

  • PS: We’re very anxious to stay there in November!!!!!

  • What happened to the Boneyard Playground? There isn’t anything there for kids to really play on. Isn’t there going to be any slides or climbers or anything? We’ve been looking forward to seeing that. Thanks. 🙂

  • My husband and I will be checking in at Art of Animation, Lillte Memaid when that opens on September 15th. We will also be celebrating our 30th anniversary that week. We can not wait to see all AOA in it full magical way.

  • Going to be there September 21, October 30, and December 2!!! Stayed at Pop Century over 10 times in the past 2 years and enjoyed watching the construction of Art of Animation. We have the Little Mermaid room reserved. This resort looks beautiful!

  • I could never pick just one! They’re all absolutely magical.

    • They are all so wonderful in their own ways!

  • I cannot wait to go check this out when I get a chance to go over to Art! The Lion King is my favorite Disney movie and I love that it gets some attention almost 20 years after it was released. 🙂

  • WOW!!! A big thumbs up to the Disney Imagineers that worked on this amazing resort. They really hit a home run on this one!! It is amazing! We will be there on Sept. 6th to see it first hand and can’t wait!!

  • This wing is lovely. Can’t wait to stay the Lion King wing this December. So looking forward to it.

    • Have a great trip!

  • The Lion King addition looks great! I cannot wait to plan my next trip to WDW and stay at this resort!

  • All of these look fantastic! It is impossible to choose a favorite. I can’t wait to take my kids. Thanks for all the great updates!

    • You’re welcome. This resort really is amazing!

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