Need help, having second thoughts on Art of Animation

We’re leaving in less than 2 weeks, and I’m starting to have buyers remorse. One week trip, staying at Art of Animation (Little Mermaid section). Most things are booked, so limited options if I switch, but I can still do Port Orleans French Quarter, or the pirate rooms at the Caribbean Beach resort.

When I first planned the trip, I found the theming at AoA appealing, but the novelty is sort of wearing off. Watching a walkthrough on Youtube, the lobby seems noisy, like a cross between an airport and mall. Same with the foodcourt. I swear, I’d make the switch right now to FQ, except I’d have to pay a difference of $600USD ($800 Canadian, I think), which is tough to swallow. A bit less than that for the Caribbean pirate room, but my problem there is that they are apparently a million miles from everything, and DW is iffy on the room theming.

We have one full “stay at resort” day planned, btw.

Help! Talk to me. Tell me every little thing. Switch, or stay put?

Well… that’s a tough decision that only you can make lol. French Quarter is one of most popular resorts on property. That’s also why it’s frequently blacked out from promo’s. It’s small and compact so the walking distance from your room to the main building, the boat dock to Disney Springs, or the buses / parking lot is pretty negligible compared to most of the resorts that are spread out. Plus you have the boat to Disney Springs, a lounge on site, and bigger queen beds that will be a lot more comfortable.

AoA is popular for a reason though, the over the top Disney themeing is probably some of the best on site. The LM rooms are the furthest from the main buildings so that is something to remember. The food court gets a lot of love but is also usually very busy and chaotic.

The CBR pirate rooms are generally only for those that really like the pirate theme. The beds are small and often reported as uncomfortable and they are all located in the buildings furthest away from the main building. For me personally upgrading to a mod would mostly be for the bed so I don’t think I would consider this one.

If I were within two weeks I’m not sure I could justify losing the 800 unless I had that available outside of the money I was already taking for the trip. That would eat up a lot of our food and fun budget. Will you spend any time at the resort or are you mainly planning to sleep there? Are you travelling with kids that would really appreciate all the cool themes at AoA? I think for me this close to the trip I’d probably just go with what I had booked, but it was a bit longer out or I had the money I would always pick a moderate over a value anyday. We’ve stayed at POR, Pop, and AKL and I don’t think we’ll stay at value resorts again.

1 Like

We are planning one full lazy resort day, where we do nothing.

DD8 I think would like the theming somewhat better at AoA, though I think she’d like the FQ pool slide over no slide at AoA (never mind that you can use the Riverside pool and slide too when staying at FQ)… she likes the look of the Caribbean most of all (especially pool), but tbh she’s pretty ok with whatever we pick.

DW was completely onboard with switching to FQ, but fully deflated when she saw the price difference. It’s not that price is a killer… just last year we did Wilderness Lodge in the most expensive rooms… but that big a $ jump she doesn’t feel is justified by the difference in quality, which is hard to argue. We’d be happier at FQ, but $800CDN happier? Arrgh.

Keep in mind they just put in a new kids splash area at POFQ as well. I get blinded by thinking about values though because we’re not the smallest people and two of us in one twin bed means no one is going to get any good sleep lol. But I also have to confess we’re kind of hotel snobs and we did not enjoy the one value we stayed at. I think a concrete slab would have been more comfortable than that twin bed…

But I also think you’ll have a great time regardless of where you’re staying. It’s Disney after all…

1 Like

1st off I’ve never stayed at AoA. Thousands do , & I’ve only seen minimal complaints, mostly disney transportation. (Trip adviser ).You are talking a decent amount of $. I gather you will spend most of your time at the parks . Not in the lobby. Food courts are always busy, at any disney resort around standard meal times. You could always eat a little early or late, to miss the heavy crowds.sorry not much help, just some thoughts. Any way it goes you are still at Disney! !!!

1 Like

I’ve stayed at both AoA and POFQ so I’ll give my thoughts on both of those

Little Mermaid Pros:
Great theming in the room and throughout the resort -more appealing than POFQ to kids with familiarity with those movies
Multiple pools
IMO food court at AoA is better than POFQ
Dedicated bus service

Little Mermaid Cons:
Smaller room than POFQ
Double beds
Single basin sink
Rooms can be far from the main building and bus stop

POFQ Pros:
Larger room
Queen beds
Double basin with two mirrors helps with AM prep time
Pool has slide
New splash pad just open for small children
Beautiful grounds (but might be more adult appealing)
Smallest moderate resort -tends to be quiet
Boat transportation to Disney Springs

POFQ cons:
More expensive than AoA LM rooms
Food court isn’t as good IMO
Shares buses with POR (although POFQ is the first stop)

1 Like

This also depends on the time of year though. When we stayed at POR we never shared buses with POFQ. This tends to happen in slower months.

We have stayed at all of the moderates plus AOA in a Lion King Suite. The suites are great, tons of room and 2 bathrooms. I loved the layout. The themes inside the suites are very well done and I assume they are in the LM sections as well. It was fun to see all the sections, they really did a good job with the theming.
However…here’s what I did not like about AOA. It is very crowded, tons of small screaming children everywhere, which is fine when you have small screaming children, but not so great when you are past that stage and are looking for a more quiet experience. My kids were 10 & 12 when we stayed there, and they disliked the pools (as compared to the moderates), they just felt they were too old for them. It doesn’t help that we moved there from the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal which is a tween/teens dream. Another big complaint…the food court. My friend described it best by saying she would need a Xanax to ever go in there again. It was just very loud and chaotic. One time there was enough, we avoided it the rest of the trip. Another thing, the toilet paper is horrid at the Values. Bring your own if you stay there, you will thank me! I can’t comment on transportation as we always drive to the parks. My husband also wanted to know why we were staying in what is basically military barracks covered in Disney figures. He was not a fan, POFQ is his favorite place to stay.
I am not sure switching is worth the $800 to me though, as much as I enjoy the moderates. Did you look on Orbitz? You can often find a better deal there, plus they tend to have more options available. Good luck deciding!


Oh, no. We stayed at POFQ last year and this year we’ll be at AoA. We were trying to save a little money, plus I tend to love over-the-top Disney theming. The screaming kids, though, I could do without.

Oh well. It’s mainly going to be just a place to crash at night. I don’t expect we’ll spend a lot of time at the hotel. We didn’t spend much time at POFQ.

sorry to hijack, but Cars or Lion King?? I can’t decide! I like Cars because there is a pool, but maybe Lion King is a little quieter because no pool and they do have a playground. Kids will be 5 and 7.

We choose Lion King due to the lack of pool. I figured it would be quieter, and it was. I also am a big fan of the Lion King so it was an easy choice. Cars would be my second choice, it is very similar to Cars Land in Disneyland. The pool there was the favorite of my kids.

1 Like

that’s what I am thinking too. We can walk to either pool if we want to, but won’t have the constant pool noise. Thanks :slight_smile:

1 Like

Reading through all the advice, my thoughts changed a few times. My first instinct is to stick with the reservation that you have since it’s so close to travel time. AoA is pretty cool, overall. The LM rooms are furthest away from the main building. There will be a ton of people there (I think at capacity, it can accommodate almost 10,000 people. Don’t quote me). I think you just have to go into it thinking you’ll have a great time. It will be a big change from WL. Had you not mentioned that you stayed there last, I wouldn’t hesitate to endorse AoA. The values are very different from the deluxes. Different, not worse necessarily. Your 8 year old will like it very much. It’s bright and colorful.

So, is it worth switching to POFQ? Only if you are seriously concerned that you will hate it. Good luck!!

@nevahuddleston pick Lion King because it is a better movie :grinning:
There’s an area in the Lion King section for kids to run around and burn off energy but I wouldn’t call it an actual playground. There is a playground in the Nemo area if I remember right. The Nemo pool was pretty quiet when we stayed there.
I think you should pick whichever you think that your kids will enjoy the most.

We made the switch to French Quarter!


For my part, unless you NEED the added space of AoA (and admittedly, having never stayed there) I think that place is SO overrated – and over priced! I would switch

I’m at CBR right now. First time staying here. It will be a long walk from Trinidad South to the food court and feature pool. We’ve been pleased with the bus service. There are lots of internal bus stops, which means it can take a while to get out of the resort and off to the parks.
We didn’t swim but the feature pool looks great. We liked the food court. Standard offerings with lots of seats inside and out.
I’d be happy to stay here again, with a rental car. Good luck with your decision.

Cars. The Cars pool is beautiful but often quiet because everyone flocks to the Nemo pool. The theming is unbelievable. We stayed in Nemo and retreated to Cars area to get away. And Mater building (1?) is super close to everything.

You will love POFQ. We stayed last June, and plan on returning next April. We love the size of the resort, theming, and proximity to the parks. Enjoy your vacation!!

1 Like

So how did you like pofq