Stay at ART OF ANIMATION - Lion King Suite (Feb 2021)

We had booked a ROOM ONLY (due to our AP discount) at the LITTLE MERMAID rooms to save $$$. Figured we would save our dough for the TASTE OF THE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS event, which is smaller than usual, but most booths will give you up to 30% with your AP, which can REALLY add up if you like to buy swag.

NOTE - don’t know if this helps or not - I didn’t pay for the room in advance (just the 20% deposit), and I did the TP fax request (quiet lake room), AND we checked in via the App. Our room wasn’t ready when we got there, but after 3pm, we realized that they had given us a FREE UPGRADE (the same cost we were going to pay for the Little Mermaid room) to a LION KING FAMILY SUITE. I was celebrating like it was 1999! :partying_face: :champagne: :partying_face: :dizzy::partying_face: :partying_face: :heart_eyes_cat::purple_heart:

Stayed here (Lion King, building 6, room 6623) from January 30 - February 6, 2021. Queen bed in bedroom with door that closes, shower with soap/shampoo/conditioner on wall, single sink in bathroom with closing door, with wall vanity mirror with light. As noted in TOURING PLANS review of this hotel, the bathrooms are not lit very well, but beautiful / fun decor. If you need brighter light for make-up, you might bring a mirror and do it in a common room area.

Room has second bathroom in common area with door that closes to the full size tub/toilet, and a sink with no door that is exposed to the common area. The kitchenette has a mini-fridge that is larger than the ones at POP, where you could store a full-sized half gallon of milk, no problem. Has microwave and mini-sink, Cuisinart coffee maker (teabag type of joffrey’s coffee) with disposable cups, plates, and bowls. Also has a mini-bar sink at the area. ORDER from Walmart delivery, and it’s food delivered to bell services ($6 fee plus tip if you have them deliver to your room), or you can arrange to meet them at the lobby circle. YOU MUST MEET THE DELIVERY GUY/GAL IF YOU ARE ORDERING ALCOHOL FROM ANY DELIVERY SERVICE - or they take the ENTIRE ORDER back to Walmart - oops!

There are PLENTY of places to store clothing (2 full sized dressers, side tables by master queen bedsides and the table that turns into a full size murphy bed has two as well), and the lamps that look like flowers are adorable and can serve as a night light for little ones that might sleep on the pull out couch or on the murphy bed convertible table.

Don’t forget that you’re not too far from the lobby and transportation via bus or skyliner. It’s a bit of a pain to be at the end of the line, but if you are going to Epcot, staying on a skyliner hotel and entering via the INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY is really amazing. You will get to DHS faster (or Epcot if you’re doing the FUTURE WORLD area first) via bus sometimes, so check your app to catch the closest / fastest one.

Laundry room near the BIG BLUE POOL, which was under construction when we were there, close to the bar (oh, yes…) which opens regardless of the pool being open. Frozen coke zero? Yes please.

They have MOBILE ORDERING for the food court, with limited sweets (where did all the choices go?) and a limited menu. We purchased a refillable cup, but because they are filling up paper cups FOR you due to the pandemic, SAVE YOUR MONEY and don’t bother buying a $20 - $30 refillable cup. Kids meals COME with a drink, and most of the time if you’re asking for coffee (non-fancy), tea, or soda, they don’t even ask for the receipt. People were just walking up asking for drinks, and they got them.

This room is QUIET, it’s got a textured floor without carpet (so wear socks, pool shoes, or bring your slippers), and a trash/recycle can in the main space. Two little tree stumps that can be used for beverages or an extra seat at the couch.

Plenty of plugs for you to charge devices, including USB ones on the dressers.

Due to COVID, they don’t come to do the regular housekeeping that you’re used to on a regular basis. You can ask via a note (leave it on the table with a cash tip… they need the $$$) for extra towels, or you can call via the room phone to housekeeping for extra towels, pillows, blankets, whatever you need.

If you have a LARGE amount of trash, either let them know (so they can empty it) or grab the bag, tie a knot in the top, and leave it outside of your room. They are happy to leave you extra garbage bags if you ask… we liked making meals in our little kitchen and watching TV after a day on our feet in the parks.

NOTE - UBER EATS will actually deliver to your room food from all kinds of restaurants. I signed up for a free week trial of UBER / UBER EATS, (which you can cancel even after a month if you’re there more than 6-days and the monthly payment kicks in), which saved us a bunch of money.

We had BUCCA DE BEPPA delivered (twice), and a cool breakfast place called HASH HOUSE A GO-GO… omg, you have to eat their breakfast food just ONCE. The brown sugar banana pancake was excellent!

NOTE - UBER EATS CANNOT LEAVE RESTAURANT DELIVERIES WITH BELL SERVICES.
Uber eats will deliver to your door, you just need to communicate with your driver the resort name, your building number, and your room number. PLEASE TIP THESE PEOPLE, using these services helps the local community.

You could easily get away with eating in your room the entire trip if you wanted to do so. HEADS UP - the couch is comfortable for short periods of time. If you’re planning on sitting in the room for hours on end, it might be a little rough on your buttocks… lol.

DECOR is fantastic, your kid (or the kid in you) will love it. Quiet enough, but the rooms are as loud as being at POP (aka - if you are sensitive to sound, bring earplugs like I do)

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Thank you for this review, we are staying in a Lion King Suite in June. I was just about to search the refillable cups. So, after reading this, my assumption is they are not including those in the packages any longer, since they are handing out drinks in paper cups. Correct?
Did you have family sleep on the table/murphy bed or the couch pull-out? There will be 6 of us and I am worried about the comfort of sleeping.

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Thank you for your thorough review! I’m currently deciding where to stay for our upcoming trip, and this was super helpful. :slight_smile:

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I love AOA. Its one of my favorite resorts. It has a great location to the skyliner and we always stay in the CARS suites. I love the theming, and we love the cafeteria options (during non-covid times)

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They still sell the refillable cups, but because of COVID, they WILL NOT fill them… they just give you a paper cup like you would get if you bought a coffee or soda in the park. I only mentioned it because I had buyers remorse, seeing as anyone and everyone just walked up with a tray or empty handed asking for a soda or a hot coffee. I guess if you buy one (souvenir factor), you could just take a photo of your receipt and show it to them if they ask? My point - they probably won’t ask… but don’t quote me :wink:

We didn’t sleep on it, but we slept on a similar one at POP, and it was very comfy… far more comfy than the couch.

If you are pooh sized, DO NOT sleep on the couch. LOL

They have blankets and pillows sealed up in containers that have a plastic tie that lets them know you opened it - because COVID. It’s simply easier to ask for pillows and blankets when you get into your room than to mess with all of that nonsense.

I make the beds at home, and I made the beds on this trip too. They don’t come do that anymore to reduce contact.

OH, AND WITH THAT MANY PEOPLE - may I suggest lots of hand sanitizer (you can carry up to 8oz on the plane with you, check TSA guidelines, but that is a lot more than 3oz)
AND
Those wacky neck fans (pictured below, you recharge them in the room at night). With masks on, when it gets warm, this is a LIFESAVER. Just having air moving around your neck and face somehow makes the heat and funk associated with wearing a mask that much easier to bear.

IF YOU HAVE LONG HAIR LIKE ME keep it up in a braid, bun, or in some way to keep it away from the fan blades. Don’t want to break it bending over to tie your shoe, getting your hair tangled in the fan blade at the park. Not painful, just a product that wasn’t built for that kind of wear and tear.

People WILL ask you on hot days WHERE DID YOU BUY THAT FAN?
(using the LED lights is fun at night, but will drain your battery… lol, now how did I discover that?)

Thanks for your questions, hope the BIG BLUE POOL is open when you get there to enjoy! Any other questions, let me know. I have been soaking in the Disney pool for many years. The water is nice :wink::partying_face:
Neck Fan link - via AMAZON.COM - shop around, this type works best for me

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Becky, our next Disney Adventure where we want to stay in a resort on property OR stay off in a disney springs neighbor hotel will be up in the air. The skyliners get crowded in the morning, and while helpful to get to DHS (one quick stop over), there are times of day when one line is better at a certain time than the other. In other words, sometimes it’s faster and less walking needed to take a bus. Play with the app, you can figure out your options from there. Windy times in the Skyliner are NO FUN… lol.

NEXT TIME I’m debating over Old Key West and Saratoga Springs for size of rooms alone. PLUS they come with a whirlpool tub, don’t they, and much BIGGER (which one, can’t remember) because it was the first DISNEY CLUB VACATION spot that they built. The rooms are HUGE!

Having all that space seems like a great option, and the bus line goes to both, and they’re quiet, and ONE OF THEM is really close to Disney Springs. Disney is remodeling it, because they have figured that out… so you MIGHT be able to snag a GREAT ROOM DEAL now before the smoke and construction dust clear, getting a new room at a great rate!

Not to be too data analyst here, but I compared room rates with our AP discount for room only VS. Hotwire VS. Priceline. I included on my spreadsheet the cost of the room (rack), current room rate (w/discount and some blocked dates), and the comfort factor (do they have a hot tub or jacuzzi tub in the room, since there are no Disney Spas currently in operation?

One of these considered resorts has this GIANT KITCHEN in their rooms, and lots of space to hang out. They have multiple pools (both), food options (AoA only has the food court), and one has OLIVIAS, which I hear is very good. Also, you can hop on a boat OR walk to Disney Springs, which is fun for us shopping people looking for a special something for a special someone.

We’re kinda trying all over the resorts while we have the AP when we are able to get away from work and the family for a few days. COVID or not, that time is GOLDEN. If you go, please enjoy yourself… and PACK YOUR PATIENCE.

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This was our first stay, but I have a feeling we’ll be back! They had the sweetest Bell Hop / Luggage stand attendants, please tip handsomely. I would suggest a dollar a bag. Worth every penny to walk around not holding on to everything you dragged with you across country on a plane as you explore the resort,

The CARS suites looked very good to me too! I think they are more spacious from the video that I remembered, but I really did enjoy the review here on TP, as well as on YouTube.

I wish it wasn’t during COVID - I would have loved to see the resort alive with people in the pool near the food court, and the food being more varied (as it was in previous visits). Even ordering crappy overpriced pizza delivered to your room… I miss that!

The magic is there, and you get to play a part. Tip these hard-working people, mention them on twitter with the hashtag #castcompliment to ensure that the right people hear about all the GOOD, MAGICAL, and downright PIXIE DUST moments. Stash the bad attitudes you encounter in the trash bin in your head instead on dwelling on sad, angry people who want it to be perfect and magical and fireworks and parades NOW!

Sorry you didn’t get enough attention as a child, because you’re kinda acting like a jerk to this cast member… I heard that in my head so many times over the weeklong adventure. But cooler heads prevailed, EXECPT ON THE WAY from Epcot to MK 3-hrs before closing.

We had a full bus cue waiting for the bus transfer. We were ALL tired. At the end of the cue, an older couple sat down, still in line, but crossing the sidewalk a smidge just to sit down. They were social distancing, because there was no were else to go, might as well sit and enjoy.

We asked if they were in line, and when they answered yes, we got social distanced ourselves and sat in the next bench. No problem. Same with the other family behind us.

A random young millennial aged couple walked up in front of all of us and stood in line… not social distancing, and pretending that we didn’t all exist in their little world. The older couple tried to get their attention, but they wouldn’t turn around. I got ready to say something, but my DH said “hey, I’m the fighter in this family, it isn’t worth it”. Well, Momma’s in Disney now, and Mini Karen and Mini Kevin need a lesson in observation and manners.

“Excuse me, but everyone here (I said, motioning to the three couples in line) are waiting in this line for our turn. The line ends back there.” (I pointed, and they looked at each other, then they turned around and hurried their faces in their phones, as if to say, yeah… whatever.

“Madam, miss, mister, I don’t know what to call you, but if you and the gentleman wouldn’t mind, could you please go to the end of the cue? It’s back their, we’ve all been here, earlier, waiting for the same bus in line”

They shot me a nasty, snarky look, and huffed down the line at all of us. As they shared unpleasant words about injustice and being asked to move - how DARE they - when they weren’t even standing?!?, they got louder anger-spraining to us as they went down the line.

“I mean, how lazy do you have to be to sit on you fat ass rather than waiting in line? I can wait, you can wait, if they want to go so badly they should get up and wait in line like a normal person. What the hell, just rude and…”

And, well, she didn’t get to finish that statement

My husband looks at me, deep in my eyes, and says “I thought we weren’t going to pick fights or get under people’s skins, no matter what?”

I said “…did you hear what they were saying?..”

They snarled down the line, and I stared into their snarky souls. It must have been pretty dark, because they shut up and found a spot to sit down in just the same and WAIT like the rest of us.

A random couple, who was sitting near us, reached across the aisle when we finally DID get onto the bus. They smiled and said “Gosh, I hope you don’t think that WE had tried to cut in line while here at Disney, we would never!”

Of course we knew it wasn’t them… so we just smiled and engaged with them. It felt weird to talk to people not in your pod, or not in the service industry. Just random strangers looking to explore the worlds like we were, and understanding basic civility and kindness.

Wow, I went on for a spell. I guess what I meant to say was I’m glad I could help, and if you are looking, there are GREAT rates to be had, and amazing travel agents that will help you (for FREE!) to navigate the confusing world with the COVID protocols in place at Disney MK, AK, DHS, Disney Springs, and EP, my favorite kingdom of them all.

Let me know if you need any other info, I would be happy to help.

Happy Adventuring!
~ Imaginette ~

I actually worry about this very thing. Cutting into line unintentionally and people not being as kind as you the first time of notice. I envision yucky comments and being so humiliated that I will never want to go back to the parks. It actually is one of my fears this trip, me spending so much time looking for the end of a line and asking so many people, that I don’t enjoy the moment, the view, the conversation, or just plain irritating people by asking “Are you in line?”, “Is this the end of the line?”
Typing this, I realize, over the top crazy anxiety, but it’s an honest struggle for me.

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@sunsecret - I feel the same struggle at the parks… lol.

So many people try to rush and cut, during COVID, that most of the time I just let it go. I’m not in a rush, I’ve seen and done it all. But sometimes you get a feeling that they are just being jerks. I have a hard time with people being mean in the face of all the kindness and happiness happening in the parks.

When you go, I hope it’s super magical, super fun, and you have all the pixie dust you and your family could handle. :fairy: :woman_mage: :dizzy: