If your family loves animation, then get ready to dive in! Disney's brand-new Art of Animation Resort has opened its doors at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The "Finding Nemo" family suites section is the first wing ready for visitors.
And that's not all; on June 18 the "Cars" wing will begin taking guests, too; on August 10 "The Lion King" section will roar to life; and finally, on September 15 "The Little Mermaid" will make her debut. Each wing is completely devoted to the corresponding animated movie, so much so that your children may just believe they have become a part of the action.
Parents will like it because the Art of Animation Resort is part of Disney's Value Resort line, places to stay that the company describes as "big on fun but small on cost."
Here are five things to know about the resort before you go:
Location: Situated very close to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park, Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park, ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex and Epcot, there's plenty to do nearby the resort. Guests enjoy complimentary transportation to and from all the theme and water parks.
Suites: During the summer of 2012, only suites will be available, with standard rooms (located in the Little Mermaid wing) opening in September. Each suite has a master bedroom, two bathrooms, a kitchenette, plus two flat-screen televisions. Enjoy three sleeping areas within the main living room space that are designed to accommodate up to six guests.
Design: The Art of Animation Resort is an eye-popping collection of both Pixar and Walt Disney's best animated characters, from the massive chandelier made of animation storyboards that illuminates the check-in area to giant sketchbooks that lead the way into the suites. Inside, the carpets, linens, fixtures and even the shower curtains feature your favorites. In the "Finding Nemo" suites, for example, there are coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights, and even a few hidden underwater motifs that kids will love to discover.
Swim: Disney's architects have outdone themselves with the "Big Blue" pool at the Art of Animation Resort. It's the largest swimming pool at Walt Disney World, measuring 11,859 square feet, created to make you feel that you are frolicking in the middle of Nemo's underwater home. Giant sculptures of Nemo and friends help spark imaginative water play in this incredible pool.
Eat: Feeding the family is simple at the Art of Animation Resort, with everything from create-your-own burgers to more exotic fare, like Mongolian beef, tandoori chicken or a caprese salad. Catering to those who want healthier fare as well, there will be plenty of "better-for-you" options at this large family restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mickey: Like the rest of Walt Disney's empire, the Art of Animation Resort is built on a mouse - Mickey Mouse, the animated character that started it all back in 1928. So naturally the clever animators and designers responsible for this whimsical place have hidden Mickeys all over the resort. Be sure to look closely wherever you go, as Mickey will turn up in the darndest places!