Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is not only one of the most vibrant and well-themed resorts at Walt Disney World, but it’s also one of the most family-friendly.
The resort is located in the Wide World of Sports area and celebrates the animation of Disney and Pixar movies. There are different suites themed after select movies, including Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and Cars. There are also standard rooms, which are all inspired by The Little Mermaid.
While it is considered a value resort, the family suites are far from cheap for the average family. But, we’ll get into that in a bit.
We stayed in a Finding Nemo family suite at the beginning of May 2023. We checked in on April 30, 2023 and checked out on May 6, 2023. So, we were in a suite for a total of 6 nights.
We’ve stayed at Art of Animation before, but for some of us (myself included), this was the first time staying in a Finding Nemo-themed suite.
Here, we go over our stay, the suite, the pros, the cons, and everything in between. Let’s keep swimming into our Finding Nemo family suite review.
Why did we choose to stay at Art of Animation?
On April 30, 2023, Heather, Felicia, and I, flew to Disney World for a week-long trip.
We had two main priorities for this particular visit: test touring plans at all 4 theme parks with and without Genie+ and write dining reviews for multiple restaurants, including 5 character meals.
Because this was a lengthier and heavy-loaded work trip, we didn’t want to be cramped or feel as if we were living on top of one another.
We all enjoy working together very much, but it was of utmost importance that we had our own respective work areas to type away on our computers. Plus, our own beds to crash in after long days.
So… we settled on a Finding Nemo family suite at Art of Animation.
After going through a checklist of what we wanted (and didn’t want), it seemed like the perfect fit.
Arrival and checking in
Heather arrived in Orlando first. She had a very early flight (with a layover) that got her to MCO (the Orlando International Airport) just before noon.
As for Felicia and myself, we flew together. I was lucky enough to have Felicia stay with me the week prior to this trip, so we were able to travel to the most magical place on earth together. It was really nice to have the company, especially since I have about an hour and 40 minute drive to the airport anytime I travel.
Luckily, as soon as Heather landed (about 11:50 a.m.), our room was ready! It was a Disney Resort hotel miracle! If you’ve traveled to Disney World before, your room typically isn’t ready until after check-in time at 3 p.m. To have it ready this early was a huge win.
Heather checked in via the My Disney Experience app before our trip, which we always recommend. It saves you time rather than going to the front desk upon your arrival.
Felicia and I landed in Orlando a couple hours after Heather, around 2 p.m. By the time we got to Art of Animation (a little after 3 p.m.), Heather had already had a tasty lunch at the food court and put away all of the groceries we had delivered from Walmart.
Speaking of groceries, Heather called Bell Services to bring our groceries to our room, since they had been delivered before she arrived to the hotel.
Now, it’s important to note that sometimes the hotel will tack on a fee for Bell Services to bring groceries to your room. We were charged $6. When calling Bell Services, they usually tell you if there is a fee. If not, simply ask.
And, if you don’t want to pay that extra charge, you can go to Bell Services yourself and they will give you a cart to carry your groceries to your room. You will have to return the cart once you’re finished.
For us, the $6 wasn’t a big deal and made it much easier for Heather since we had a bigger grocery order and Felicia and I hadn’t arrived yet to assist.
How was our stay in a Finding Nemo family suite?
Art of Animation as a whole is extremely well-themed. Our Finding Nemo rooms was no different. There are so many touches from the movie that little ones and Finding Nemo fans will especially love.
One of the things that we wish was different in the rooms are the ceiling light fixtures that resemble bubbles. While super cute, we love a good ceiling fan in a hotel room. A few of the hotels on Disney World property have them, like French Quarter and Saratoga Springs.
Some of us like to sleep with a fan on or it’s just nice to have a fan to move some extra air around on a hot day. While this isn’t a hotel room dealbreaker, it certainly would be an added bonus.
Thankfully, the rooms don’t have carpet, but the same can’t be said for the hallways. The only time this was an issue was on our arrival and departure days. Have you ever tried to pull multiple suitcases, albeit heavier ones, on a long, carpeted hallway? It’s basically a workout.
Again, not a big issue, but just something to take into account if you are staying here.
The room also doesn’t have enough hooks to hang bags, swimsuits, clothes, makeup bags, etc. While there are hooks in the bathroom for towels and two other spaces with hangars for clothing, it would’ve been nice to have a few more hooks for organizational purposes.
Now, we must discuss the shower in the bathroom off of the main living area. If you stay in room 5834, beware! Heather and I shared this bathroom and the shower was absolutely terrible.
We love good water pressure, but this was too much pressure. It was so strong, we thought we were going to be knocked to the ground every time we encountered the water.
To make matters worse, in the one corner of the shower, you could feel this warm current of air that was misty and gross. Oh, and the shower curtain would blow and get stuck to us no matter how hard we tried to avoid it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean every shower in the Finding Nemo rooms are like this, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
As for Felicia’s shower, she had zero issues and said it was lovely. Heather did shower here once and agreed. I was a brave human and stuck with the monster shower.
Moving onto the beds. They were all extremely comfy. I slept on the pull-out couch, Heather had the pull-down table bed, and Felicia was in the queen bed. While it did get a little tiring towards the end of the trip to make up my bed each day, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.
You technically don’t have to make up your bed each day, but we wanted the couch and table for work and sitting purposes. Plus, it gives you more space.
Speaking of working, Wi-Fi is always important and we didn’t have issues. It never seemed to be slow. Thank goodness for decent service, because you never know!
Overall, our room was in good condition and clean. Housekeeping came every other day. If you place the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door, make sure to remove it so they can enter to tidy up.
Our room was in a great location. Because we booked a Finding Nemo room, we were in a “preferred” building, meaning we were in close proximity to the lobby, food court, buses, main feature pool (The Big Blue Pool), and the Disney Skyliner.
We stayed in Building 5 on the top floor (the 4th floor).
To walk to the buses, Skyliner, and main building, it took about 2 to 3 minutes. This was a huge perk, especially after all of the walking at the parks.
To access the pool, all we had to do was take the elevator to the first floor, walk out the doors and — bam — it was right there. So convenient!
We took advantage of The Big Blue pool twice. Because this is the main feature pool, it is usually on the busier side. Though, it wasn’t too bad during our visit.
We were able to easily find lounge chairs both times we went to the pool.
Keep in mind that there are moments during the day where they clean the pool and nobody is allowed to swim. This happened to us once as soon as we got to the pool, but we didn’t have to wait too long, nor did we mind hanging, chatting, and enjoying our beverages.
There are two other pools that are considered “leisure pools” — the Cozy Cone Pool in the Cars area and the Flippin’ Fins Pool by The Little Mermaid standard rooms.
The Finding Nemo pool also has an adorable splash pad called the “Schoolyard Sprayground.” This is great for little ones. There is even a playground nearby, Squirt’s Righteous Reef.
Tip: If you bring beverages to the pool and want them to stay cold, you can turn a Finding Nemo pail into a makeshift cooler. Fill it with ice and you’re good to go!
We purchased this (and applied our Annual Passholder discount) at the Ink & Paint Shop for about $8! Talk about a deal.
We didn’t have any issues with noise. We couldn’t hear the pool, but we were also on the opposite of the building away from that area. We also never really heard anyone next to us.
The only time we could hear people was in the mornings right outside the main living area window. I peeked out one day and discovered the noise was coming from a group of Cast Members. It appeared that they were all chatting prior to starting their work day.
This really wasn’t a problem, because the noise never lasted too long. Plus, we were out of the room pretty early each day.
Art of Animation has one main dining location: the Landscape of Flavors food court. Overall, it’s a decent Quick Service spot.
We ate here one day for lunch. Felicia had a salad, Heather ordered a kids’ hamburger, and I got the Impossible burger.
A couple mornings I also tried the egg and cheese bagel breakfast sandwich, which is usually my go-to breakfast choice at Disney World hotels. They are typically very good and the same can be said for Landscape of Flavors’ breakfast sammie.
Everything we tried was good! But, we certainly couldn’t eat here every day for lunch and dinner. Thankfully, we ate inside the parks and at other hotels.
There is also a pool bar next to The Big Blue Pool and close to the food court — The Drop Off Pool Bar. We didn’t visit the bar during this trip, but we have before and it’s a solid pool bar. In addition to a big drink menu, there are select snacks you can purchase.
The biggest surprise about room was we had a Hey Disney!
What is Hey Disney!? It’s a magical voice assistant available to guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel in Disney World and Disneyland.
Disney partnered with Amazon to create Hey Disney!, which is also the first Alexa Custom Assistant available on Echo devices.
You can request help and more from Hey Disney!, including:
- Ask questions about park hours, dining information, resort transportation, and more
- Make specific guest service request, like asking for extra towels or room service (we did this and it worked!)
- Get the daily weather with Mickey
- Listen to your favorite Disney stories and soundscapes inspired by Disney films and destinations (we listened to The Princess and the Frog soundscape and it was lovely)
- Set daily alarms and timers
- Learn fun facts and trivia
It’s pretty easy to use. There is also a pamphlet that you can read for further assistance.
While we didn’t use it too much during our stay, it’s a fun feature. It’s also nice if you’re in the middle of getting ready for the day and don’t want to check your phone to yell, “Hey Disney! What time does Magic Kingdom open today?”
Hey Disney! is completely optional and a complimentary feature during your stay.
Finding Nemo family suite breakdown
Before diving into our thoughts about the suite (and the resort, itself), we think it’s important to go over what makes up an Art of Animation suite.
When booking a Finding Nemo family suite, you’ll either get a view of the courtyard, pool, or parking lot area.
We had a view of one of The Lion King family suites building, as you can see here:
Like the other family suites, these suites are located inside a hotel-style building. Unlike many of the other hotels on property that are motel-style, here, you enter inside a building with interior hallways to get to your room.
The elevators are also inside.
These suites can sleep up to 6 adults. The sleeping arrangements include:
Here’s what each one looks like:
All of the family suites have one bedroom attached to the main living area. As you can see here, the bedroom contains a queen bed that sleeps 2 adults.
For those traveling with little ones, you can easily fit a crib or a pack ‘n play next to the queen bed.
Double-Size Sleeper Sofa
In the main living area, you’ll find a double-size sleeper sofa. As you can see below, the couch pulls out into a bed.
You will have to remove the ottoman and the couch cushions before pulling out the bed.
It’s easy to fold the bed back into the couch, which we did every morning to make space and so we had more places to sit.
Double-Size Table Bed
Upon entering the family suite, you’ll see there is a table with 4 chairs. This is great to eat meals, work, play games, etc.
This table pulls down into a double-size table bed (there are handles on both sides). Make sure you move the chairs before pulling down the bed. It’s very easy and not heavy at all.
What makes this table bed so nice is that you can fold it back up to allow more space in the main living area and so you can use the table.
The suites also have two bathrooms.
This one is attached to the main living area, with the vanity area separate from the toilet and tub/shower.
The second bathroom is in the bedroom with the queen bed. This one has a walk-in shower (no tub).
The toilet sits between the shower and the sink area.
As you can see, while there is no tub in this bathroom, there is more counter space.
All of the Art of Animation family suites also have a small kitchenette next to the sleeper sofa.
There isn’t a toaster, but there is a small refrigerator, coffee maker (not a Keurig), a sink, and a microwave.
There are also disposable plates, cups, bowls, silverware, and napkins provided.
There are several areas to store your belongings, including:
The following amenities were available in our Finding Nemo family suite:
What makes the Finding Nemo family suites different?
All of the family suites at Art of Animation sleep the same number of guests, have two bathrooms, have a kitchenette, and have the same amenities, but they vary in theme, price, and location.
The Finding Nemo suites are the most expensive, as they are considered the “preferred” rooms of the resort.
They are the closest of any buildings to Animation Hall (the main lobby, front desk, Ink & Paint Shop, and Landscape of Flavors food court), the buses, the Disney Skyliner, and the main pool called The Big Blue Pool (which is also themed after Finding Nemo).
While Art of Animation is technically a “value” resort, the suites are quite expensive. The Little Mermaid standard rooms are value price, but they are a typical motel-style room and a far distance from transportation and Animation Hall.
Let’s break down the pricing for Finding Nemo suites…
For 3 adults staying April 30, 2023 through May 6, 2023, a Finding Nemo suite came to $576.67 per night. Without tax, that’s $3,460. With tax, it’s $3,892.53. This is also without any discounts applied.
This doesn’t include park tickets or any additional expenses, including flights. So, yes, staying here isn’t cheap for a value resort. But, you are paying more for a suite that has an additional bathroom, access to a kitchenette, and sleeps more guests than the standard room.
Full disclosure: we booked a special rate, so we saved some money. You should definitely double check to see if there are any Disney World discounts you can apply to your stay.
Let’s compare the same amount of nights over the same dates if you were to book The Lion King or Cars family suite (they cost the exact same):
- The Lion King family suite: $539.17 per night, $3235 total (without tax), $3639.38 total (with tax)
- Cars family suite: $539.17 per night, $3235 total (without tax), $3639.38 total (with tax)
The total difference, including tax?
While a little over a couple hundred bucks may not seem like a big difference, it is at Disney World. This could be used on character dining, an experience, or Genie+.
Finding Nemo family suites pros and cons
Art of Animation pros and cons
We’d be remiss if also didn’t mention the pros and cons of the overall resort. Hopefully the following will give you a better idea of why you should or shouldn’t book a room at Art of Animation.
Be sure to check out our complete guide to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Should you book a Finding Nemo (or any Art of Animation) family suite?
We really enjoy Art of Animation. It’s truly a good value resort. We’ve never had a bad stay here, including this particular trip.
The Finding Nemo suites are great if you want to be in close proximity to the main offerings of the resort.
Being able to walk a short distance from our room to the food court, to transportation, and to the feature pool was really nice — especially after all the walking we did at the parks.
So, should you book one? If you’re not worried about budget and are concerned about having a longer walk to your room, then, yes, a Finding Nemo suite is very much worth it.
If you don’t want to spend as much and don’t care about having a farther walk to your room, then we think the other suites (The Lion King and Cars) are a solid option.
While The Little Mermaid rooms are much more affordable and cutely themed, that walk is a lot after a long park day. If you want access to similar amenities, including staying on the Skyliner, we recommend booking a room at Pop Century instead.
But, this review isn’t about standard rooms, it’s about the suites.
Is an Art of Animation suite worth it? Yes, for the following reasons:
- If you have a bigger family or group
- If you want more space
- If you want access to some type of kitchen area
- If you need more than one bathroom
- If you want a resort that has a fun theme the whole family will love
- If you want to pay less than a deluxe resort, but still have access to multiple forms of transportation and other resorts (via the Skyliner; Pop is also within walking distance)
- If you want to make getting to some of the parks easier (avoid waiting strictly for a bus)
- If you don’t want to book and pay for 2 rooms
If you want the following, do not book here:
- More dining options at your resort, including Table Service and lounges
- Less of a family-friendly vibe and more of a deluxe/adult aesthetic
- To avoid lots of families and littles ones
- Being able to walk to a park
- A resort located in a theme park area, rather than the Wide World of Sports
Again, we really like Art of Animation. But, like with anything at Disney World, there’s a lot to think about when booking a hotel.
We encourage you to do your homework and figure out exactly what you want. Be sure to compare pricing and see what fits your budget or will be worth it in the long run.
It truly depends on your what you’re willing to spend and what you’re hoping to get out of not just your trip, but your resort.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or want help, try making reservations through a qualified Disney travel agent. We recommend Small World Vacations.
VIDEO: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Tour (rooms, pools, dining)
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