A couple of weeks ago, my family stayed in a Cars Suite at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. I’d been wanting to try it ever since it had opened, but it had been a long time since I’d stayed in a value resort at Walt Disney World. It seemed like a great option, though, when we needed a place to stay a couple of nights before our Disney Cruise. I really wanted a suite because my son, as he’s gotten older, wants a place to “call his own” rather than sharing a room with mom and dad. Knowing there was a living room with a sleeper sofa, a Murphy bed in the dining area, and a separate bedroom, it seemed like a good option.
My first impression of the resort, “This is soooo cute!” I loved all the bright colors and seeing all the Disney characters. It’s just truly a darling resort and you definitely know you’ve arrived at Walt Disney World Resort. In addition, at check in, I was very glad to receive the same level of customer service I’ve received at even the deluxe resorts. Someone greeted me in the lobby to find out what I needed and escorted me to an open spot at the registration desk where the Cast Member was extremely friendly and helpful. I mentioned that a couple of packages should have been delivered for me and the Cast Member told that they had and that someone would deliver them to my room. After that, my son and I made our way to our room.
Like many Disney resorts, it was a long walk to our suite. That being said, it had a couple of things going for it. First, there was a parking lot near our building. Since we had a car, this was convenient. Yes, it was still a long walk to the main building but unless we needed to go there, it was just a short walk to our car to go anywhere else. In addition, even though it was long, it was an enjoyable walk. Since we were in a Cars Suite, we were transported into the Cars movie. We could take photos with characters like Luigi or Ramone or Fillmore or enjoy the view of the Cozy Cone Motel which surrounded our pool. In other words, we had plenty of scenery to enjoy along the way!
After getting settled in our suite, we headed to the Landscape of Flavors Food Court. There were plenty of options. My son had a meatball sub and I did the create-your-own pasta, but there was so much more to choose from. There was create-your-own salad, create-your-own pizza, create-your-own omelet (which we also did and saved to be reheated the next morning for breakfast), plus sandwiches and an assortment of desserts. I couldn’t resist a scoop of gelato that I took back to our suite with me.
Each section of the resort has its own pool. The front desk Cast Member recommended that we use the main Finding Nemo pool. It was the largest and had the most amenities, but we preferred the pool in the Cars area. There were cabanas all around it shaped like the cones for the Cozy Cone Motel. It was a smaller pool, but it was also quieter and less crowded, which made it more enjoyable for us.
As far as our suite, it was themed really well and included everything as pictured. Upon entering, there was a dining table for four that folded down very easily into a Murphy bed. That opened into a living room with a chair, television, and sleeper sofa plus a kitchenette that had a small refrigerator, microwave and sink. There was a full bath in that area as well that had a bathtub/shower unit. The bedroom which was separated by a door from the dining room had a Queen size bed, television, and its own bathroom with a shower, but no bathtub.
The suite was smaller than I had anticipated even though I’d seen photos. I guess I’ve gotten used to the deluxe resorts where standard rooms average about 450sf. With that, I expected a suite to be larger, but these suites are only about 565 sf. That’s only 100 more sf with an extra bathroom, a living room, and a kitchenette. Because of that, it felt quite crowded, especially when the sofa sleeper was converted into a bed and the Murphy bed was pulled down. I was very grateful we only had three people so one of the beds could stay put away. It also meant there wasn’t as much storage. There were plenty of drawers between the dressers under each of the televisions, but no closets, although there was a small place with hangers in the living room. I can’t even imagine the room with six people in it plus six people worth of luggage.
My other disappointment, albeit minor, was the beds. I tried all of them and found them all to be a little on the hard side, but I still slept OK. That’s the one thing about a typical Orlando trip for us. I’m so tired at night, I can sleep on almost anything! As such, the beds are not a major complaint but more of a side note for those for whom that makes a difference.
One thing that we didn’t have time to enjoy, but I wish we would have were some of the activities at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. During the afternoon, there were poolside activities such as bingo, arts and crafts, and a trivia challenge. In addition, select evenings including an evening we were there, they do Movies Under the Stars, each evening featuring a different Disney or Pixar film. We we did do, though, was watch the Symphony in the Stars fireworks from our room. Apparently, we were facing Hollywood Studios and they were high enough to be seen above the resort. That was an unexpected bonus.
All in all, I think it can be a good choice for families who need the price of a value resort. The suite is nearly twice the size of a standard value room and since it’s all one suite, it comes without the worries of booking two rooms and keeping one’s fingers crossed that adjoining will be available. Of course, it also comes with the Disney service, other benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort such as early FastPass+ reservations, and it’s super cute!!!