The Magic Behind Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

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I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am to be discussing one of my favorite resorts on property – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Everything about it is absolutely stunning, down to the last detail. The rooms are immaculate, making sure you feel a part of a magical story every single second during your vacation. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new character, a new view, a new aesthetic, and a new piece of magic.

So, what is the secret to this amazing resort? What is the story behind it? Personally, this is one of my favorite stories about Walt Disney World, so let’s dive in immediately! The entire resort embodies the process of creating an animated feature! From walking into the lobby to walking to your  room, you’re physically traveling through the process of animation. How, you ask? Let me tell you!

Your Walk Through Animation

When you first walk into the lobby of the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you are created with a backdrop of the most beautiful color wheel you have ever seen. Behind the check-in counter stands a rainbow of bright colors that immediately catch the eye. Honestly, the first time I saw it, it was a little hard to pull my eyes away from it.

On the other side of the check-in counter, actual Disney animation concept sketches line the wall. The animated feature films that are represented are Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars. Concept sketches from the animators that worked on these films have been blown up in order to decorate the wall for guests to enjoy! So, we have the concept sketches, and the entire color wheel! Now those colors have to be added to the concept sketches! Where do we see this step done?

As you travel from the check-in counter to the gift shop, you notice the entire shop is lined with art supplies up on the shelves and the walls. Paint brushes, colored pencils, and paper all represent the tools animation artists use in order to create a feature film. If you continue walking from the gift shop into the immaculate food court, the walls are decorated with colored sketches of different scenery that appears in these animated features that are represented at the resort. For instance, the scene of Ariel’s grotto can be found in a light fixture about some seating, and the African Savannah lines part of the walls, representing The Lion King.

The Finished Product

Now, after you’ve had the most amazing mac n’ cheese you’ve ever had in your life, you head out the door towards the rooms. What beholds you represents the finished product of a Disney Animated Feature Film! The Big Blue Pool surrounded by your favorite characters from Finding Nemo greets you, presenting a colorful array of scenery, characters, and aesthetics as if you just stepped into the movie.

If you continue to the right, all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself in Radiator Springs. This is one of my favorite parts the hotel, because the detailing is so stunning, it is unreal. You actually feel as if you are in Radiator Springs itself, because all the residents of the tiny town greet you as you walk down a “road” into the building your room might be located in.

If you come out of the main building and head to the left, you walk into the grasslands of Africa, where Mufasa stands body on pride rock. As beautiful as this scene is, keep an eye out. Scar might be lurking on a rock beyond the grass…hopefully you run into Timon and Pumba instead!

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Keep walking, and you travel from Africa to under the sea! Characters from The Little Mermaid, such as Ariel, Sebastian, Triton, and Ursula all loom over you as you walk on the path that is lined with some of Ariel’s treasures that she has collected. This is my other favorite part of the resort because The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie, and why wouldn’t someone want to travel under the sea with their favorite mermaid?

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

The Magic of Animation

Walt Disney himself always experimented with different types of filmmaking and animation, always coming up with new ideas and taking risks. Today, his legacy still lives on as animation keeps souring to new heights thanks to places like Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. We never forget where it all started though. To have a resort that represents the process and magic of animation is truly special, because it brings guests into the story of, not just their favorite characters, but how those characters were created. It is a resort that represents the heart of Disney.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort


What are your favorite parts about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter!

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