Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Photo Walk from 2020 (220+ Photos)

Hi everyone –

I photographed Disney’s Art of Animation Resort in early 2020 for this photo walk, with about 220 photos in a tour of the resort. There are four sections to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: Cars, The Lion King, Finding Nemo (all three are family suite sections) and then The Little Mermaid, which features standard rooms.

Prior to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, I posted photo walks in 2020 from Epcot to Disney’s Hollywood Studios via the Walt Disney World Boardwalk as well as Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

Here is my photo walk of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

Artwork outside Animation Hall at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort features the four distinct sections of the resort. Cars, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Finding Nemo.

The bus stop is just outside of Animation Hall.

Animation Hall offers shopping, dining and the check-in area.

Walking into Animation Hall, there is artwork everywhere that encompasses all four stories.

Ahead is also a special chandelier that offers a variety of artwork.

Looking up at the chandelier.

Many of the pieces of artwork here are now signed by artists, filmmakers and actors. Jodi Benson (Ariel) signed this one.

The artwork on this wall spans the check-in area and runs from concept to fully realized artwork from the four stories.

Do you notice anything different here? Until recently I had not. Lightning McQueen is #95 in the Cars films. But originally, McQueen was to be #57, the year of John Lasseter’s birth. Instead, it is #95 for for the year Toy Story came out.

Here is one last look down the wall. It is worth spending some time looking at.

On the opposite side is the guest check-in area. There were very few guest check-ins on this day as the parks were about to close.

The reflection of the chandelier looks nice in this photo. And in front of us in the Ink & Paint Shop, which is the one store for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Here is more of the colorful artwork on the walls that flank the Ink & Paint Shop.

These shelves are themed to the ink & paint theme. Also, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has had terrific resort specific merchandise since it opened.

Walking through the shop, you can see the food court Landscape of Flavors.

There are four themed sections to the seating area – the same stories that make up the resort. To the left is The Lion King section.

Being a value resort, there is no table service option here – just the food court. But there is a decent variety of items to choose from.

You can see little hidden Mickeys in the blueberries at the gelato case.

Also in Animation Hall is the Pixel Play Arcade.

Outside of Animation Hall in the back, there are a number of Directory signs to help you find your way.

The Big Blue Pool is in front of us.

The pool is supposed to go under refurbishment in fall, but I don’t know what the current situation is on that. I will be showing most of the Finding Nemo section last.

First, we will be walking to the Cars section.

While walking, we will have Animation Hall on the right and the pool area to the left.

The Drop Off is the pool bar here. There are no other pool bars (even though there are three pools).

There are tons of fun details at the resort, including the small fish that make up the sign.

Each section is very distinct, and that includes the landscaping as well.

The Cars section is coming into view.

An Ornament Valley Radiator Springs sign is to the right.

Another Radiator Springs billboard is still in the distance a bit.

To the left, the Finding Nemo buildings include seagulls.

You can sometimes hear the seagulls saying “Mine, mine, mine!”

The billboard ahead says, “Radiator Springs: A Happy Place”.

By far, the Cars section is my favorite at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Guests can walk around and take photos with their favorite cars – and there are like 11 to choose from. Plus the atmosphere is just fun. Sheriff is underneath the sign.

Behind Sheriff, you can see the seagulls as part of the Finding Nemo section.

I have a lot more detailed photos especially from this section to share, so I’ll do at least a Cars section photo tour soon. My total photo count on this day was over 800 and I used about 1/4 of them, and really had to whittle this area down.

We are walking along Route 66.

There are signs along the way, just like in Radiator Springs at Disney California Adventure.

This “rock” looks like a car.

The signs continue.

Flo is in the distance.

She was being worked on the last time I photographed a walk. It was nice to see all the cars here.

Her license plate says “SHO GRL”.

Ramone is on the other side, with the Cozy Cone Motel in view.

Ramone’s license tag says “LOW N SLO”. Of course, all say Carburetor County.

The Cozy Cone Motel is the entrance to the Cozy Cone Pool.

Here it looks like an office.

I think this was mean to be a hidden Oswald.

This cone says 1909 and Radiator Springs.

A sign says Route 66 and offers directions to the laundry, different resort sections and Animation Hall.

Luigi and Guido are here at one of the buildings, themed to Luigi’s Casa Della Tires.

This area reminds me of Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters.

The “window” here says Fettucini Alfredo.

Now we are heading to the next building.

The entrance to Building #1 features Tow Mater and is themed to him.

The entrance includes a Tow Mater sign with fun details (which I will share in another article).

On the back of Tow Mater is the license tag with A-113, which is the classroom used by animation students like Brad Bird and John Lasseter at Cal Arts.

The Cozy Cone Motel can be seen in the distance.

We are heading toward the third and last building in the Cars section.

Before that is Sarge’s Surplus Hut, which isn’t a public building but includes Sarge as a character to take photos with.

Sarge sits outside of the building.

The license tag for Sarge says 41WW2, which is a reference to World War II.

The Cozy Cone Pool is on the opposite side of the fence. When I share a dedicated article for the Cars section, I will show more of the pool from previous years. The cones are cabanas, they don’t cost extra and they really add to the theming of the pool area.

We are passing Sarge’s Surplus Hut on the right, and the Cozy Cone Pool on the left.

Building #2 is themed to the Wheel Well Motel and features Lightning McQueen and Sally.

We do have a current video (from January) of a refurbished Cars suite. It retains the theming from before but there have been some changes (no bedspreads, carpet, etc.)

We will also have an outdoor Cars area walk-through in the coming few weeks, and I will embed it when it is posted.

Lightning McQueen has his Lightyear tires as well as stickers.

There is another entrance to the Cozy Cone Pool ahead.

Looking up at the Wheel Well Motel and Butte Gas.

Fillmore is a 1960 VW Bus and can be found next to the Wheel Well Motel.

His license tag 51237 is the birthdate of George Carlin, who voiced him.

There are a lot of fun bumper stickers on the back of Fillmore.

“Save 2D Animation” has been the most notable one.

We are heading out of the Cars section.

Turning right, we’ll be heading toward Hourglass Lake.

There is another Route 66 sign ahead.

Hourglass Lake is ahead.

We will be turning left.

Signage points to Animation Hall, The Big Blue Pool and more. The Generation Gap Bridge is where the Disney Skyliner can be found, and we will see that in a bit. I wasn’t sure if the bridge would continue with that name but it has. Originally it would have bridged the Pop Century Legendary Years and the Pop Century Classic Years – literally bridging the generation gap between the two.

I thought this cloud looked like Mickey Mouse.

We are walking past the Cars section on the left and Hourglass Lake on the right.

There are interesting facts about the various films when you walk this way. On this one, it says that everything in the world of the film was inspired by cars – including flowers made of tail lights and insects being Volkswagen Beetles.

In the distance is also Disney’s Pop Century Resort. I like that the two resorts are connected, which gives a large area to walk around.

Buildings have artwork on them based on the theme of the section.

There are a nice amount of benches along the way for resting or just enjoying the view.

A large Yo-Yo can be seen at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

We are still walking along the lake.

To the left, you can see the Finding Nemo section coming into view.

Here is one more sign in the Cars section, telling how Lightning McQueen’s Lightyear tires are a nod to Buzz Lightyear.

Pearl and Nemo are on the side of one building.

There is a lot of signage around the resort in case you get misdirected.

Generation Gap Bridge is close now.

We are walking past another Finding Nemo building.

Generation Gap Bridge is to the right.

There weren’t running trail signs when I first started posting photo walks in 2007. Then a number of years ago, signs went up with a New Balance sponsorship (the sponsorship eventually ended).

New restrooms were added in this location near the Disney Skyliner last year.

The Disney Skyliner station is between Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

The sign gives information about where it goes.

The Disney Skyliner station is ahead.

This is my favorite form of transporation at Walt Disney World now.

A sign points to either Disney’s Pop Century Resort or Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

We are heading back and then to the right, walking toward The Little Mermaid section.

The restroom building is ahead.

We are passing a building from Finding Nemo on our way to The Little Mermaid.

There are some fun facts about Finding Nemo along the way, including about the boats in Sydney Harbor being named after Pixar employees.

Another bench is ahead on the left.

Artwork from Finding Nemo can be seen on the building to the left.

To the right is Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Squirt and Dory are artwork on the building.

We also are passing by The Lion King section on the way to The Little Mermaid. We will walk through the section lower in the article.

Timon can be seen in drawings on the building.

Pumba and Timon are on the end.

Pumba is on this side.

We are continuing past The Lion King.

This is a fun tidbit though I wish they would capitalize “Scar”, it has been wrong since opening day.

Also, not everyone knows that Walt Disney Animation used to be in Florida as well. That ended with Brother Bear. The coolest memory for me was viewing Lilo and Stitch at Downtown Disney and watching animators clapping for each other during the end credits.

The Little Mermaid is coming into view. It actually has a similar feel to the Finding Nemo section.

We are turning to the left.

And then we will be turning to the right into The Little Mermaid.

Ahead of us are some palm and other trees that separate The Lion King from The Little Mermaid.


This is the one area of the resort with standard rooms, all other rooms are family suites.

The plants here and in the Finding Nemo area look like sea plants and this walk is pretty lush, in contrast to the Cars section.

There are a variety of props from the film, including a dinglehopper (fork).

Also a snarfblatt (pipe).

A treasure chest is on the left.

Prince Eric is at the end of the walkway.

To the left, King Triton is one of three larger-than-life icons.

King Triton is at Building 9.

We are heading to Building 7, where Ariel is.

The fish sculptures are always fun to take photos with.

There is a pool here. Only The Lion King has no pool at the resort.

We are still walking ahead.

There is a long themed bench here.

Colorful fish and sealife can be seen on the buildings.

Ariel and Flounder are in the center of an arch of fish.

Here is a closer look.

Building 8 is on the left side and the pool is to the right.

Ursula will be the large icon here.

More fish sculptures can be found here.

Ursula holds her hands high.

Flotsam and Jetsam flank her.

Sebastian with King Triton in the background.

Here is a closer look on Sebastian.

We are starting to walk out of The Little Mermaid section.

Prince Eric with King Triton in the background.

As we head out from under the sea, we will be seeing the plants and elements change significantly in the distance as we walk toward The Lion King.

The palm trees I showed earlier are the separation.

There is a directory in numerous areas of the resort and we pass one here.

On the end of the buildings, there are decorative rock formations.

There is one more tree here before heading into The Lion King.

Signage points this way to Animation Hall and The Big Blue Pool, we are only about a 5 minute walk from them.

Zazu is the first character we will find.

Zazu is on top of the rocks.

Scar also sits on top of a rock.

There is no pool, but there is a play area here.

The theme is the elephant graveyard, featuring the hyenas Shenzi, Benzai and Ed.

The foliage here is much more lush than any other location at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Mufasa can be seen ahead on Pride Rock.

Timon, Pumba and Simba are on top of a log.

Mufasa is seen ahead.

Giraffes can be seen on this building.

King Mufasa.

Rafiki is on the other side of Pride Rock.

The blue buildings of the Finding Nemo section can be seen ahead.

Animation Hall is on the right hand side, but we will be heading into Finding Nemo.

Dory and seagulls are visible here.

The plants are themed to the sea.

We made a left and are passing the Big Blue Pool on the right and one of two buildings for Finding Nemo.

Fish and turtles are among the icons here, with Crush and Dory ahead.

Marlin and Nemo are in the anemones (which always look like french fries to me) in the pool area.

Crush and Dory hang out in front of the entrance to Building #5.

Ray is outside of Building #4.

There were guests in the pool so I didn’t photograph it this time around. The water play area is cute though and this is where Marlin and Nemo are.

Pearl is among the characters here.

We are walking ahead toward the Righteous Reef Playground.

The Righteous Reef Playground is for kids age 5-12.

Squirt tops the play area, which is mostly a slide.

Walking ahead takes us to the Disney Skyliner, where we were earlier.

There are benches along the way.

On the other side of this palm tree is the restroom we saw earlier that was built with the Disney Skyliner station.

And here is one look at the Disney Skyliner gondolas.

I hope you enjoyed this photo walk of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!