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New hotel on property: Disney's Art of Disney Animation Resort

#1 User is offline   surfpark 

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:15 AM

Read all about it...

http://thedailydisney.com/blog/2010/05/dis...imation-resort/

Quote

Walt Disney World is about to begin building its first new hotel in seven years, a 2,000-room resort that will open in 2012.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will feature 1,120 suites with room for as many as six people each and another 864 traditional hotel rooms, with a design theme based on four of the company’s most popular animated movies.

The complex will be priced as a “value” hotel, at the low end of Disney World’s scale, similar to Disney’s Pop Century and All-Star resorts, where standard rates begin at $82 a night.

The announcement is one of the strongest signals yet from Disney that it thinks a sustained recovery is under way from the long travel slump brought on by the global recession. Disney executives, who have been weighing construction of a family-suites hotel for several years, finally approved the project in January.
But in deciding to add another lower-priced hotel, Disney also appears to be betting that travelers will continue the frugal spending habits many adopted during the downturn. Disney has been relying on discounts to sustain attendance during the past year, and executives acknowledged Tuesday that consumers are still searching for deals even as Disney attempts to return to pre-recession prices.

“Quite honestly, we’re in a bit of waiting for each other to blink,” Walt Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo told analysts during a conference call to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings.

The Art of Animation Resort will be built on a 65-acre plot across a lake from Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The location will allow Disney to use a pair of long-neglected, unfinished buildings that Disney originally constructed as a second phase of Pop Century but which it abandoned amid the 2001 recession. Pop Century’s first phase was completed in 2003.

Plans for the new resort show 10 wings of rooms and a separate building housing the check-in lobby and restaurants. The hotel wings will be separated into four distinct groups, each with a theme from a different animated movie: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars.

Each section will have separate courtyards anchored by icons from the movies — such as a 35-foot-tall King Triton presiding over the Mermaid section — and the entire resort will use bright-color palettes evocative of the lush scenery of animated movies. Hotel designers say they have been soliciting input from artists at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios on everything from building elevations to which scenes to depict at the swimming pools.

“The hope is you walk into this courtyard and you’re kind of like seeing it as a character in the movie,” said Frank Paris, a senior project manager with Walt Disney Imagineering, the company’s in-house attraction-design unit.

Because the majority of its rooms will be six-person suites, the Art of Animation Resort will have roughly the same capacity as Pop Century, which has 2,800 conventional rooms.

With the project, Disney is placing an aggressive bet on what it says is a growing market for affordable suites aimed at families traveling with several children or extended families. Disney World has been testing the concept with about 215 suites at its All-Star Music hotel that were converted out of about 430 ordinary rooms about three years ago.
Jim Durham, vice president for resort projects at Disney Imagineering, said demand for such accommodations has risen in recent years as families have taken to traveling in larger groups. The trend became particularly pronounced following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he said.
“Ever since 9-11, we just see a lot more family unity,” Durham said.

In Orlando, the family-suites market is led by the 777-room Nickelodeon Suites Resort, which has proven immensely popular since it opened in 2005 just to the east of Disney World. The resort pairs family suites with Nickelodeon cartoon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants.

By adding more than 1,000 new suites to its lineup, Disney hopes to pull more of those travelers onto its property. The conventional hotel rooms to be built as part of the Art of Animation Resort will also allow Disney to restore the room capacity it lost as part of the suites conversion at All-Star Music.

Disney executives said the popularity of those All-Star Music suites convinced them that there is a substantial market for family suites.

“We’re feeling very positive about the demand that is interested in both the value product and the family-suite product,” said Mark Rucker, vice president for lodging for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The research for us is showing that the Central Florida marketplace is going to more than capably handle some inventory in this category.”

Disney declined to say how much it will spend to build the hotel. It expects to break ground this summer and open it in phases throughout 2012.

Disney said the project will generate approximately 800 construction jobs.


I guess they've finally decided to build out those "early years" in Pop Century. So they're breaking the resort into 4 films... The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars. That's two aquatic themes, one African theme, and one western Route 66-ish theme. I imagine they'll be done well, but I'm interested to see what theses offer. Since they're mostly suites, I think this will become a default location for the families with LOTS of kids or reunions.

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#2 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:53 AM

I know my daughter would love the Little Mermaid rooms, that's her favorite princess and I love The Lion King. I think it's pretty well balanced.
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#3 User is offline   sarahzy 

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:44 AM

I think it's a very smart move for Disney - especially given the slim pickings for families of 5 at a value rate. Sign me up for The Little Mermaid section! I'm also happy they're finally doing something with the buildings, because they're pretty creepy right now.
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#4 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 10:50 AM

Like that Disney is building this resort. If I may nitpick for a moment, I'm bothered that the theme involves larger-than-life statues again. I mean, they've done that at 3 All Star resorts and Pop Centruy....can't we have a Value resort with a different motif?
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#5 User is offline   surfpark 

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:11 PM

Do you think they're doing to this to tie them all together. I imagine if these didn't have something "big" attached, they'd visually be forgotten or pale in comparison. What is the line of sight with this new resort? Can you see Pop Century across the street or is it secluded?

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#6 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:55 PM

View Postsurfpark, on May 12 2010, 06:11 PM, said:

Do you think they're doing to this to tie them all together. I imagine if these didn't have something "big" attached, they'd visually be forgotten or pale in comparison. What is the line of sight with this new resort? Can you see Pop Century across the street or is it secluded?

Yes, you can easily see Pop and vice versa
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#7 User is offline   IlluminatEpcot 

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 07:37 PM

Im glad to see this as well, and I was hoping something was up after seeing alot (dozen or so) ppl on the buildings in March. Im guessing they were trying to decide if the resort buildings that are constructed are able to be used. I am surprised they are not including Beauty and the Beast into the list of movies to theme with and I am wondering if Art of Disney will share the same buses with Pop like how All Star all share the same bus for 3 resorts. Overall, I think a good move, and good signs.
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#8 User is offline   matthewbritt72 

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:10 PM

I saw this info about a new Animation Resort being built near Pop Century and didn't see where anyone else had posted it yet.


http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010...esort-unveiled/
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#9 User is offline   darthstich 

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:13 PM

Well... It's not really new. look back through some archives and you'll find some stuff on a half-completed addition to Pop century that was canceled after cash flow plummeted in 2001-2002. All the buildings are completed, they just have to do some painting and theming, and build a separate entrance, then Viola a "new" resort
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#10 User is offline   matthewbritt72 

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:29 PM

Oh, is that what they're doing, using the old unfinished Pop Century buildings? That kind of takes some of the excitement out of it all. The way the article read I assumed it was mostly family suites. I pictured something more like Old Key West type rooms, not Pop Century style. If that's the case how will it differ from All Star Movies?
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#11 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 03:07 PM

They're using the unused Pop buildings but in effect, the old buildings are all being gutted anyway so it's a new resort.
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#12 User is offline   IlluminatEpcot 

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 06:35 PM

I believe only the main check-in/lobby is finished (Finished meaning the buildings are constructed, but not finished at all) along with 2 of 3 buildings of one of the "groups" of rooms, with the ground work laid for the other 9 buildings. If you use google maps to take a look, you can see they have not done any of the landscaping, or pool installation. I believe the main lobby building had been in use for housekeeping or maintenance however, all that is rumor.

I did find an interesting video on youtube where someone went in for a closeup look for how that side looks at the moment (it looks like it did when I saw it in March, not sure if they have started anything else over there currently)

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=bSc1fG0ETeY
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#13 User is offline   darthstich 

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 07:34 PM

From what i've read and heard it will be Family Suites mostly. Hey if Nickelodeon can do it just outside of the Disney Gates, why not Disney do it themselves?
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#14 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 10:38 AM

View Postdarthstich, on May 13 2010, 08:34 PM, said:

From what i've read and heard it will be Family Suites mostly. Hey if Nickelodeon can do it just outside of the Disney Gates, why not Disney do it themselves?

The Nick Suite prices are competitive. The All Star Family Suites I've always felt were too expensive and I don't foresee this new resort being different.
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#15 User is offline   The Boxing Guru 

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:20 PM

I guess it will just be a food court for this resort? Too bad they can't offer a sit down restaurant at a value resort. Since it's "mostly" Suites and I'm sure that will cost more than a value "room"... any chance of a restaurant? I think it would be a hit, and the folks from Pop could just walk the bridge over for dinner.
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