Don’t call reservations – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort doesn’t open for almost two years in summer 2012. But this hotel takes on-site Disney hotel options in a slightly new direction.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort ranks down there with the other value properties – meaning on par with the Pop resorts, All-Star, Century, etc. – but for the first time, a low-price resort will offer suites as well as rooms. That means visitors can book mini-apartments with living rooms and bedrooms for a bargain-basement price – or at least as “bargain basement” as Disney goes at an on-site property.
Animation Resort’s layout should be similar to other value Disney properties, which roughly resemble a giant “X”. Each value resort has a central theme – in this case, Disney movies. Each arm of the X then focuses on a specific subgroup of that theme – in this case, four popular Disney movies: The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Pinocchio must not appeal to today’s younger generation.)
A 35-foot King Triton (the little mermaid’s dad) will anchor the resort and add an appropriate water-based accent to the swimming pool. As a value resort, expect bigger-than-life statues and décor, bright colors, and modest furnishings. Expect a food court and no top-tier restaurant. Expect a huge pool but not necessarily a slide. The complex will also be big – nearly 2,000 units.
Beyond cheap suites, Disney’s decision to build says something positive about the U.S. economy. If execs think it’s time to build a new resort, they also think the recession is over – or at least it will be by summer 2012.
To preview the park on Disney’s website, go to: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/art-of-animation-resort/?int_cmp=SOC-intDPFY10Q3ArtOfAnimationResort16-09-10@0002