Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens Lion King Wing Today

Walt Disney World has been unveiling their new resort, Disney’s Art of Animation, in segments.

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Today, the third wing, themed for fans of the hit film, The Lion King, opens at the resort. Like the previously opened wings – one Finding Nemo themed and one Cars themed – the nods to the Lion King are present both inside and outside.

Large displays outside recreate moments from the movie, including Pride Rock and the Hakuna Matata scene. Inside, it’s a jungle for guests, with plenty of Lion King-themed decor. I particularly like the Timon and Pumba shower curtain in the bathroom.

Like the other two wings, this Lion King section has family suites, not regular guest rooms. The 320 suites in this wing feature two bathrooms, a kitchenette, and three separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to six guests.

Rates start at $248 per night.

The Little Mermaid-themed final wing will open September 15, 2012. It will feature 864 standard guest rooms that sleep four, with rates starting at $94.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Here are some more photos courtesy of Walt Disney World:

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More Photos of Finding Nemo Wing at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

As we mentioned in an earlier story, Walt Disney World’s newest resort, Disney’s Art of Animation, is already accepting reservations and plans to open up for guests as of May 31, 2012.

The first wing to open to guests will be the Finding Nemo wing of family suites and WDW has been kind enough to release these photos of the external decor for the wing.

The first thing to notice is that unlike other value Disney resorts, there is no exterior hallway. This allows the themed decor to include huge murals on the side of the building, as you can see in the next photo.

The next photo is of the main “Big Blue” pool area, which is not only zero-entry, but is the largest pool on Disneyworld property.

I think the whole external decor looks great and very whimsical. Even if you aren’t a guest, head over for some great photo ops with the family.

The next section to open will be the Cars family wing, which Disney says will be open for reservations starting June 18. Here, a freshly paved road leads to the Cozy Cone Motel complete with a Cozy Cone pool and cone-shaped cabanas.

The Lion King wing is the last family suites wing to open, and that should start accepting reservations for dates around August 10. Its decor is a journey through an African landscape complete with an elephant graveyard play area that invites youngsters to seek hakuna matata time.

Finally, the Little Mermaid standard room wing will open for reservations starting September 15, which is decorated like an under-the-sea kingdom, complete with a 35-ft-tall model of King Triton.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the Finding Nemo wing:

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Walt Disney World to Open Art of Animation Resort May 31, 2012

It’s been a while since Walt Disney World opened a new resort on property. The last completely new resort was Pop Century back in 2003.

There was supposed to be a companion resort that covered the first half of Disney’s history by the decades, but it never came to fruition and the shell of the resort lay dormant until Disney’s imagineers got the bright idea to turn it into a value resort comprising mostly of family suites.

As with the other value properties, Disney’s Art of Animation resort has blocks of rooms, known as wings, and each of these wings have specific themes to the decor. The resort has three family suite wings, themed after the movies Finding Nemo, Lion King, and Cars. The fourth and final wing is made up of standard rooms and is themed after The Little Mermaid.

Image courtesy of Walt Disney World

Each wing’s decor includes interior theming to the respective films. In the Finding Nemo wing, there are coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights. In The Lion King wing, Zazu features in the headboard design and Pumbaa and Timon are on the shower curtain.

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