Today In Disney History ~ August 10th
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a resort within Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It is located where construction on the unfinished half of Disney’s Pop Century Resort was started but later abandoned after the September 11 attacks.
The resort is the first to be built in the complex in over seven years and the fifth to be placed in the value-priced category, along with Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, the All-Star Music Resort, the All-Star Movies Resort, and Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Family suites opened on May 31, 2012, and standard rooms opened on September 15, 2012.
Originally, the land the Art of Animation Resort occupies was planned to be part of Disney’s Pop Century Resort as part of the “Legendary Years” section. Several buildings were constructed for these plans, some even to the point of adding decorative details. While one-half of Pop Century (the “Classic Years”) opened in 2003, the other half was left abandoned following the tourism halt after the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Disney started to prepare the land for the resort in January 2010, and construction began in the summer of that year. At the time of this announcement on May 12, 2010, Disney did not say how much construction is expecting to cost, but it was mentioned that approximately 800 jobs would be produced.
When the “Legendary Years” buildings were first being made, a bridge named the Generation Gap Bridge was constructed to connect both parts of Pop Century and made them accessible to each other. The bridge connects Pop Century to the Finding Nemo section of the Art of Animation Resort.
The resort is designed “with families in mind.” It features four of Disney’s popular character themes: Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. Much like the other Disney Value Resorts, giant versions of various items are built around the hotel on each of the ten wings, such as a 35-foot (11 m) model of King Triton. In total, there are 1,984 rooms. of which 1,120 are family suites capable of housing up to six people, featuring living rooms and bedrooms. The remaining 864 sport the standard value layout. The resort has a total of ten buildings, as well as three themed pools.