So there you are, you left home at some weird hour and have been driving for what seems like days.  Or maybe you fought through the check-in line and security line at your local airport and have spent a few hours on a plane with two kids both wanting to sleep on you to ensure you don’t sleep only to change planes and then spend a few more hours with w plane load of children now well rested.  You arrive at your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and the bellman or valet says “Welcome” and all of a sudden all is ok.

Weather you arrive on Disney’s Magical Express from the Orlando Airport or drive up in your car once you arrive at one of the resort hotels, the magic starts right away.  From the time you unload you are the center and star of your own story at Walt Disney World.  From the valet to the desk clerk check in simply a pleasure. On our last trip my daughter and I went to the desk while my wife and boys headed to explore the lobby of the Art of Animation.  While we were at the desk, my daughter (who’s life ambition is to be a Disney cast member) was busy asking questions about being a cast member the cast member checking us is was gladly answering them.  The she ask me if we were celebrating anything on this trip, as it was just a week away from our anniversary, I said 22 years of marriage.  The cast member quickly produced big buttons for both my wife and I stating “Celebrating 22 Ears”.  That just made our day.  It really made the vacation more fun, every cast member that saw the buttons told us congratulations or happy anniversary.

Check in and the amazing theming of all the Walt Disney World resort hotels are just the first reason to stay on the Disney property.  The biggest reason for me, is I don’t have to drive for the length of our stay. For me, the family long distance driver, this is the best thing about being on property. The buses, boats and monorails that make up the Walt Disney Transportation System are clean and for the most part run on time.  Now they may not be the most efficient way to get from place to place, but they are the least stressful way.

All of the above are the reasons almost anyone will give for why you should stay on property when you go to Walt Disney World, but the real reason is even more important, it is the reason you are there, it is the most important thing Walt Disney designed into every inch of Disney Land and Disney World.  It is story.  Most people know the story of Walt sitting on a bench in Griffiths Park while his children were on the Merry-go-round and deciding there needed to be a park where everyone could have fun together.  The instrument Walt used to guide the design of Walt Disney World is story.  Let’s look at the 26th resort opened on the Walt Disney World property Disney’s Art of Animation.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort Entrance
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort  value property, consisting primarily of family suites, that immerses guests into the magical worlds of classic Disney and Disney Pixar films.  (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

This resort brings you in to the animation process from the first concept drawings through the final close up and the credits of a finished film. Walking through the resort, look around, and over your head.  Here you will see the process of animation being brought to life. This all starts at check-in, pencil drawings on the walls and the desk set the stage as the creative process begins.  Moving through Animation Hall, the sketches are more detailed as the animators figure out more of the personality of their characters.  A chandelier hanging from the ceiling is filled with storyboards.

Further along in the story you get to the color script wall at the ink and paint shop (the resort gift shop). For the backgrounds of or the story animation cell head to the Landscape of Flavors food court. As you step outside and head for you room you come to the middle shots.  Finally, as you walk into your room you are in the close up.

While the Art of Animation is a ‘value’ resorts, it defies comparison to other resorts in the value category. Art of Animation is mostly of Family suites.   This makes the price for a room higher than what you would find at Pop Century next door. However, all aspects of this resort is several notches above the other value properties at Walt Disney World.

 

Staying on property at Walt Disney World really is the best way to enjoy the magic.  The time you will save driving back and forth is reason enough.  When you add in the ability to be immersed in story the way Walt Disney envisioned his guest would be at Disney World you really have no reason not to stay on property.

Photos courtesy of Walt Disney World News.

 

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