LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.
Disney's new Art of Animation Resort opened its doors on May 31 with Finding Nemo, the first phase of the brand-new resort offering at Walt Disney World Resort.
Opening in phases, each of four distinctly designed wings celebrates rich storytelling, spirited characters, original sketches and playfulness with colorful icons and whimsical theming inspired by classic Disney and Disney Pixar films.
Family suite wings will showcase "Finding Nemo" opening today with 320 suites, "Cars" opening June 18 with 480 suites, and "The Lion King" opening Aug. 10 with 320 suites. All the themed areas offer elaborate storytelling both inside and out, from each beloved film depicted. Standard guest rooms will make up "The Little Mermaid" wing, the final phase set to open Sept. 15 with 864 rooms.
The three-story, value-priced resort tells the story of the animation process in phases from pencil drawings to close ups. It will immediately transport guests into the worlds of favorite Disney characters and animated films beginning at check-in as pixilated patterns and wavy ribbons of bold colors decorate the resort's exterior. Pencil drawings of Ariel, Lightning McQueen, Nemo and Simba adorn the entryway, and a whimsical chandelier composed of 77 animation storyboards enhances the lively and modern Animation Hall lobby.
Giant sketchbooks filled with favorite characters seem to come to life as they pave the way to each storyline revealed. Scenic settings, icons—including a brightly-colored coral landscape, a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, a towering Mufasa and more—immerse guests into the playful world of animation. from the human world fill Ariel's grotto in an under- the-sea kingdom in Little Mermaid courtyard.
From linens and carpeting to fixtures and furniture, all details of the guestrooms tie to the storyline. In ‘Finding Nemo,’ there are coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights; and rusty metallic tiles in the bathroom make guests feel as though they are in the submarine.
Kids of all ages can make a splash at the "Big Blue" pool, the largest resort swimming pool at Walt Disney World Resort measuring 11,859 square feet. Guests will feel like they are swimming with Dory and Nemo as underwater speakers periodically pipe in music and messages from film characters. Guests will enter scenes from the animated world and can explore the colorful reef and East Australian Current with a giant-sized Mr. Ray whose wings span 27 feet, pose for a picture with Crush or frolic with Squirt in the Righteous Reef, a children's play area. And the character sketches become three dimensional with some 2,500 sculpted figures decorating the resort's exterior and interior.
The Pixel Play Arcade, Drop Off pool bar, and Ink and Paint gift shop round out the offerings.
Dining options include a poolside snack bar, pizza delivery and Landscape of Flavors food court.