It has been 6 years since I posted a photo walk of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World, it’s hard for me to believe the resort has been here for 7 years now! Originally this resort was to be Disney’s Pop Century Legendary Years, spanning the 1900s – 1940s and there were buildings already in place for it – that is a story for a different article. I was a reservation agent at the Disney Reservation Center in 2000-2001 and an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner from 2002-2008 and that resort was still expected to materialize. But in the end, Disney ended up with much needed family suites (Disney’s All Star Music Resort already had modified some rooms into suites) and a resort better suited in theme for guests. I enjoy walking Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, there are sculpted icons everywhere including Mater, Lightning McQueen and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
I have about 200 photos in this walking tour over 3 pages, a small amount in Animation Hall and then winding our way through the different sections of the resort. I cut down the photos a lot from my original set – there are so many details to look at, but I wanted to keep it around 200 photos.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort consists of four sections – Cars (my favorite), Finding Nemo, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. Only The Little Mermaid section offers standard rooms, the rest of the resort is all family suites. Back when I was a travel agent, that was probably the biggest request from guests – to have larger families able to stay together in rooms.
Animation Hall includes check-in, shopping and dining.
Walking into Animation Hall, there is artwork everywhere – on the walls and even up above as part of a chandelier.
Looking back, we were very close to bus transportation when we entered the resort.
There is a variety of artwork on the walls.
The Ink & Paint Shop is where merchandise is sold.
The theme is to ink and paint, as you’d expect. This is a really nicely sized shop.
We won’t enter Landscape of Flavors, but it’s a nice food court with some unique offerings. This is the only dining at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, all of the value resorts offer a food court.
Here is a closer look at the chandelier.
Some of the artwork has been signed through the years – including by Jodi Benson.
Josh Cooley signed this Cars artwork. He will be directing Toy Story 4.
This is the check-in area.
On the opposite wall is artwork that runs from early concept to fully fledged characters.
The further down the lobby you go, the earlier in the development process is the animation.
Disney’s Art of Animation has a large game room called Pixel Play Arcade. There was a sign out for Half Point Happy Hour on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Here is a look inside.
Heading outside in the back of Animation Hall is The Big Blue Pool, the largest pool outside of a water park at Walt Disney World.
A couple of the photos here are from 2013, since there were always guests in the pool unless closed when I was there last week. When you book a Disney resort, make sure about pool closures – I just found this on the website for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: Beginning in fall 2020, The Big Blue Pool will be closed for refurbishment. That is a great amount of lead time and there are two more pools – but neither anywhere as big as The Big Blue Pool.
The Big Blue Pool is one of three pools at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. I have stayed at all four sections of the resort (just for a night each) and my preference is the Cozy Cone Pool in the Cars section of the resort.
There is a splash pad here too.
The bar is called The Drop Off – this building also houses a laundry room and restrooms.
Like some of the other signage here, the words consist of small fish.
I am starting the timed portion of the walk. I always photograph the walk first, then time it to see how long it takes at an average speed. I am starting here at 1:14pm.
We are walking toward the Cars section of the resort.
The Cars area of the resort is my favorite of the 4 sections.
We are coming up on the Radiator Springs sign.
There are directories around the resort to help guide you around it.
Sheriff is under the Radiator Springs sign.
What I love about the Cars section is how many different characters from Cars are here. Plus I enjoy the movies and the section reminds me a little of Radiator Springs in Disney California Adventure.
On the right hand side is Doc Hudson.
Behind Doc is building #1 in the resort.
The Hudson Hornet is noted on the car.
We are walking down Route 66.
Signage here again is similar to Radiator Springs.
Ramone is ahead.
The last sign in the group is a Rust-eze sign.
Sometimes one of the cars is being worked on.
On this day, Mater was also getting touched up but without being covered and I photographed around it.
We are heading toward the right, with Ramone closer now.
The Cozy Cone Motel reminds me also of California. This is where the pool is.
There is a sign for the office.
I always wished these postcards would be for sale.
The back of Ramone says “Low N Slo”.
Tow Mater had been having paint touch ups, but they stopped on the front while I was there and went to work on the back. We arrive to Tow Mater at 1:17pm. The Cars section is very close to Animation Hall. The furthest is The Little Mermaid.
There are little cars nearby.
A-113 is a classroom at Cal Arts used by animation students that have included Tim Burton, Brad Bird and John Lasseter.
Mater also has writing on the side.
Now we are heading toward Sarge.
This sign is on one entrance to the pool.
Sarge is at Sarge’s Surplus Hut, which has never been a guest use building (like for shopping).
Here is the front of Sarge.
His license tag is World War II related.
After Sarge is Lightning McQueen and Sally.
Building #3 is themed to the Wheel Well Motel.
Lightning McQueen and Sally sit outside of it.
Lightning McQueen close up. You can also see him in animatronic form at Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy and meet DJ and Cruz!
The side includes a variety of stickers.
And his back mentions Rust-eze. These are full sized (static) characters!
A joke here is the Butte Gas.
Looking up at the Wheel Well Motel sign.
Sally is next.
And in the distance from her, Fillmore is here.
Fillmore has become one of the more popular cars with fans due to one of his bumper stickers.
Here is a look at Fillmore from the front.
He has “Groovy and “Love” on the side.
The bumper sticker on the bottom left says, “Save 2D Animation”.
Looking back, the Fillmore entrance also is very much like California (if you haven’t been to the Disneyland Resort, I recommend it!)
We are walking in a roundabout and will be heading back down Route 66 soon.
But first, this is the Cozy Cone Pool. These two photos are from 2013. I love the cone cabanas, they cost nothing to use and cannot be reserved.
When we stayed at the Cars section, I loved hanging out here. And you can be staying anywhere at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and use any of the three pools.
We are heading past building #2.
The Cozy Cone Hotel facade is on the left.
On the right are our last two cars, Luigi and Guido.
The entrance to the building says Luigi’s Casa Della Tires.
Here is the back of Luigi.
From Luigi and Guido, we are heading back down Route 66. The signs are fun here.
Ramone is on the left.
The signage continues on this side.
In front of us, you can see the building for The Drop Off bar and such – but we will turn before that.
The “rock” formations here even are shaped like cars sometimes.
Keep reading on Page 2!