/ Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Big news… Disney has just announced plans for a new resort at Walt Disney World Resort that will bring to life some of their 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. It will be the first new resort built on property in seven years.


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.

Disney Imagineer Joni Van Buren sculpts a model of King Triton from the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. In its final form, the sculpture will be 35 feet tall and tower over guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a new Disney World hotel that will open in 2012. (WALT DISNEY WORLD)


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. Each section will have separate courtyards anchored by icons from the movies, such as a 35-foot tall version of the King Triton statue pictured above.  “The hope is you walk into this courtyard and you’re kind of like seeing it as a character in the movie,” said Frank Paris, a senior project manager with Walt Disney Imagineering, the company’s in-house attraction-design unit.

Like the nearby Pop Century Resort, it will be a “value” resort with standard rates starting at around $82 per night and is expected to open in 2012. The 65-acre plot was originally designed to be the second phase of Disney’s Pop Century Resort, but was abandoned in 2001.

In addition to bringing new, value-conscious options to its Guests, Disney said the project will generate approximately 800 construction jobs.

What do YOU think of the new resort? Post your comments below.




31 Responses to "Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Coming to Walt Disney World"

  1. Danny Perring says:

    About time we heard something about this. I’m was starting to think cast members were getting annoyed at me asking what going on over there everytime i went to POP. lol.
    anyway it sounds great, prob will look to stay there when it opens. sounds very interesting!

  2. Bev says:

    Cant wait to stay here. If reservations were being taken now I would be calling to be one of the first to stay here :)

  3. Phil W says:

    I think this is a awesome news for 2 reasons –

    1) Disney is finally completing a project started almost 10 years ago
    2) It is nice Disney adding the Family suites in the VALUE price range.

  4. So glad to see something being done with the abandoned resort! We love Pop and it’s always sad to look over and see the sad legendary years resort that never was completed. I love the four films that will be featured at this resort, too. I know our kids will be begging to stay there as soon as it is available. Can’t wait!

  5. Mark Vitek says:

    I like the addition of the Family Suites. Right now there are far too few affordable on-site options for families of 5. My son just turned 10 and we lost our option of PO-Riverside and the trundle bed, so our options have become more expensive and/or limited. So anything that brings more Family Suites on-site is a huge thing for families like ours…and my son will love the Cars theme.

    ~Mark.

  6. Sharon&Randy says:

    So excited about this! It is great that they using that property finally!

  7. Tricia says:

    Wow this sounds so awesome! We have actually never stayed at a value (although we’re looking at doing so next trip). This looks so interesting. I think more movie themed rooms is a great idea. We stayed in a Pirate room last year and the kids loved it.

  8. Justin says:

    Happy the parks are doing well enough to do this, but sad the rest of pop won’t happen.

  9. jon says:

    the theme looks to make great use of recent disney characters, this might be the best-themed value resort yet.
    my question is, since it’s so close to pop century, will they share the same disney magical express bus? one big reason i’d pick pop over the all-stars is that it had its own bus (and you weren’t sharing with 2 other resorts like all-star)

  10. Paul Lalli says:

    Very exciting news. I’ll definitely book it for my first vacation after it opens. I like that it has a bunch of family suites, but is not *all* family suites.

    My only minor concern is – will the bus service at Pop / AoA become similar to what it’s like at All Stars? The dedicated busline is the primary reason I always choose Pop over AS. Probably way too soon to fret about that, of course.

  11. Laurel says:

    Finally, somewhere for us larger family, Disney obsessed, people to stay! It sounds awesome! Can’t wait to see it!

  12. Chris says:

    That’s really cool! I saw something about it early this morning, and I figured it was planned for the area that was planned for expansion of Pop Century but was abandoned. Later on, I saw the satellite pics and was right! I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  13. Scott says:

    It is about time they do something with those buildings. It is a great idea that Disney will pull-off as only they can. By the way, if there are any imagineers reading this. Are there any openings in the architecture department?

  14. Brandon says:

    We’ll be expecting some great video updates from you Lou!

  15. Kory Adams says:

    I think it’s good that they are building a new resort. But the name sounds like a museum and all the resorts have a name that sounds right. And why did they pick those 4 movies to build? And is it gonna take place of the legendary years of pop century? To me it sounds and looks like they could add or do different things to it. I was looking forward to a villian resort or something

  16. Kory Adams says:

    I hate that it’s taking place of the legendary years of Pop Century….it doesn’t clash with the bridge between them…..I’m dissapointed, I was looking forward to the second phase of pop century. The first time I have ever disagreed with Disney :(

  17. Marci says:

    Geez…another value?? Come on! I’d like to see a new Moderate or Deluxe.

  18. Joseph Peter McNamara says:

    We stayed at the Pop Century Resort last May and wondered what was being done to the Legendary Years section. I’m glad that this area is finally being used. Truth be told, although it would have been nice, the Legendary Years resort would have been more effective 30 years ago when more people who had lived through the early 20th century could have visited and enjoyed the nostalgia. Visitors to the new resort will be more fully able to appreciate the animation based theme. We all remember the animated movies we’ve seen no matter what our age. It also may be an effective way in presenting some classics to a new generation of fans.
    I’m impressed at how well this new resort will complement the Pop Century resort’s theme. Animation is already represented in Pop Century. The proposed Disney’s Art of Animation resort should carry the animation theme to a new level. This good example of why the Disney Value Resorts are such an excellent place to stay.

  19. Charlie says:

    I guess the existing resort will have to be renamed; Pop Half-Century?
    It’s about time. As a former cast member, the lack of on property suites was constant gripe (understandably) from guests.

  20. Jeremy Marx says:

    This is a bitter super sweet for me. We will finally have something put up on the other side of the lake and bridge from Pop Century that will be enjoyable to look at. On the other hand, we have heard for so long what would be possible, and we were able to see the start. I think this is a great idea, and gives people more choices for what type of style they want to be around. Can’t wait to see it going up!

  21. Christine says:

    I hope the family suites are a little different….in that, they don’t use pull-out furniture. I’d like to see actual beds. I don’t need a full living room area, just enough guest chairs to put in front of the tv while everyone is getting ready :)

  22. Emily says:

    Sounds very exciting! I hope it doesn’t have a ‘cheesy’ feel to it–Disney animation is the foundation for everything…it deserves the best planning/constructtion/theme-ing. Would also love to see a nicer quick-service and though it doesn’t fit into the ‘value resort’ current design, dare I say a full-service restaurant…? ;)

  23. Shanna says:

    Great, now I wish it was open in time for post and pre cruise nights! :D

  24. DisneyDaddy says:

    It will be interesting to see how this will work for larger families (5+). Currently, it’s pretty challenging to find rooms to accomodate big families without having to go to Villas.

  25. Mike Goodwin says:

    More family suites is always a good idea, and animation is a theme that is long overdue for an on-property hotel. This sounds like Disney was tired of Springfield Suites and similar hotels getting business from families with more than a few children.

  26. Anthony says:

    I think it’s a good addition. Overall, it will welcome more guests to the Parks, especially for the price range. I estimate that the costs will accommodate a lot of people. I also like the fact that it has to do with Disney’s animation features…after all, it is these movies that started it all in my opinion, and a lot of kids will enjoy the environment. Finally, the Pop Century Resort could use a little spice.

  27. Gary says:

    Interesting, especially with the quarter results showing park attendance being flat. I guess Disney must have a strong feeling that things will change. Still I think it is a good idea.

  28. Scott says:

    Sounds like a great idea… also sounds a lot like All Star Movies. HOWEVER, it seems like even better theming. I’m sure today’s kids can relate much more to the Little Murmaid than they can to the Mighty Ducks.

  29. Carl says:

    We really love the Value resorts and their incredible themeing. We always battle every year on whether or not to stay at AS Movies or CBR. Having another Value resort – especially themed like these – will be awesome. Family suites will be very welcome too!

    Really looking forrward to seeing it!

  30. Acacia says:

    I am also disappointed that the land won’t be used for the Legendary Years, I stayed at Pop last July and always found the abandoned buildings to be appealing in a strange way…and the Generation Gap Bridge was also very clever. But as another user said, it would’ve been better 30+ years ago. It would be cool for younger people, like myself, to see artifacts from those time periods, but many of this generation would have no strong attachment or feeling to it. (As I did for the 90s memorabilia in the Pop lobby!)

    I’m also wondering if the bus lines will be conjoined or not. I hope not, for it was always a pain to catch a bus to Pop and it was ALWAYS full. Having two resorts on it will be awful. (Never stayed at any All-Stars…but I can assume it’s just as bad if not worse during peak seasons..)

    Besides that, I find it to be a great resort theme. Certainly different from more recent designs, but it definitely reaches out to large families with younger kids who will appreciate the large statues and references to their favorite films! (I would love to stay in the Little Mermaid wing! She was always my favorite princess growing up!)

    Can’t wait to see the result!

  31. Mallory says:

    I adore the theme, appreciate the utlization of existing property, and agree that it should remain a Value Resort due to its location and size. I would, however, like for Disney to either “reclassify” Moderate Resorts or consider making one or more additions to the collection of Moderate Resorts. I think there are almost too few Moderate options to merit its own classification. In my opinion, some of the Moderates very closely resemble Value resorts.

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