I have a reservation booked to stay at Art of Animation, in a Little Mermaid Room, with my family, in June. With the current Disney promo, I could stay at the moderate resort, Caribbean Beach, in a preferred room, for not much more money.
My question: should I upgrade from AoA? I have read many reviews of both, can’t decide, but I am trying to factor in walking distance, pools/slides, and the general transportation between both. It would be great to get an honest opinion from someone who has stayed at both fairly recently.
It’s hard to know what the right hotel for any family is at Walt Disney World – there are so many options of where to stay, and when you throw special discounts into the mix, even when your mind is made up it can easily be persuaded to change. The best thing to do in a situation like this is to decide what matters most to your family.
To be clear, I myself have not stayed at the Art of Animation, but I did take a wander through the property on my last trip (I was staying at the Pop Century). But, the Art of Animation is the shiniest, newest hotel on property and people are falling over themselves to get a reservation there. I stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort years ago and wasn’t a fan – but that’s more likely the weather’s fault than the resort’s.
So, what’s your family like? That is the question that will influence your decision here. The rooms the same beds. Moderate resort rooms do have coffeemakers and two sinks, if this is important to you.
If you have smaller kids, the theme at Art of Animation is hard to beat and they’ll get much more out of the experience there. If you have teens, they’ll probably prefer the less gaudy theming at the Caribbean Beach resort.
The Little Mermaid rooms at the Art of Animation are the furthest from Animation Hall, but really it’s only a couple minutes of walking. The Caribbean Beach Resort, on the other hand, is much more spread out and even with a preferred room you could be in for a hike to Old Port Royale.
At the Art of Animation, transportation leaves from one location only – at Animation Hall. At the Caribbean Beach Resort, you’ll find multiple bus stops at each “island” – which sounds convenient, but it can take a long time to circle the property to pick up everyone and get on the road to the parks!
When it comes to food, the Art of Animation has an upgraded food court with lots of healthy and exotic options you won’t find elsewhere (plus pizza, burgers, and fries if you’re not as adventurous). You can also walk across the Generation Gap bridge and get to the Pop Century food court for a change of pace. At the Caribbean Beach Resort the food court is more limited, but there is a table service restaurant.
Dad's Bottom Line
Dana, before you pull the ol’ switcheroo, consider which decision will help your family have the most magical vacation possible!