HWS Area Hotels

Hi friends, I’m back with more Disney posts! I got away from blogging after a trip through the PNW in August. I then started back at school so I’m still working out time management between school and posts. This post is a continuation of the WDW posts I had in July. There are a couple more and then I will have posts from my most recent travels. Thanks for sticking with me and please comment if you have any questions.

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One of the most visually impressive hotels on the WDW property is Art of Animation. It has four sections with each section devoted to a specific film- The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars.

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The check-in area is absolutely beautiful with bright colors and illustrations.

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They had a pinboard out while we were there!

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Like the other resorts, they had a gorgeous Christmas tree– I think this was my favorite! The colors were so bright and fun.

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They even added animation touches in the tree.

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Passed the check-in and the drawings was this great wall display with cells from the featured movies. It was interesting to walk through the “sketchbook” area of check-in and then see art from the films.

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If you have the time to walk around, I highly recommend checking out the great decoration outside of the lobby. Each building of the hotel had movie-specific features that were great.

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One of my favorite features in the Cars area were these postcards in the window. Unfortunately, they’re display only and not for sale. The cars were to “car” scale so they’re a great feature for photos.

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The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite films, so that building was my favorite. Ariel here is overlooking a pool (check the beach chairs).

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Ursula was the coolest character out there– she’s over three floors high!

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I very much enjoyed wandering around AoA; it’s a vibrant, fun resort that I recommend visiting even if you’re not staying. If you are a guest at another Disney property, it is free to park and check out other hotels, so do it!

Pop Century was another fun theme hotel– it’s not too far from the All-Star resorts, but I thought it was a little nicer.

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Pop Century celebrates pop culture varied by decade, from the 1950s to 1990s. My vintage heart loved the groovy true vintage decor– like this awesome golf cart! Disney does create a lot of cute photo-op areas.

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They did not have full on vintage Christmas decor, but I loved their classic look on the wreaths and tree.

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The check-in area had this large shadowboxes with items from each decade. They were really fun and all true vintage! I wish I could’ve been on the team searching for these treasures. Some were fashion, or music theme, or sports, etc. It’s fun stuff to look at while your group is checking in.

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The polka dot purses! The glitter platforms!

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Pop Century has a quick-serve food area, but no “sit-down” restaurant.

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We didn’t have any ice cream, but a guard recommended we have the tie dye cheesecake. It was pretty and tasty, and if you’re a pin collector there is a Hidden Mickey pin with Chip and Dale snacking on it.
I liked Pop Century for it’s fun theme and its budget friendly. Of course prices vary per reservation date, but this resort seems to be only slightly more expensive than the All-Stars.

We also visited Caribbean Beach, but it’s easy to get lost! This resort has a relaxing island vibe and it is very spread out over a lot of property. This may be a problem if you have someone in your party with mobility issues or have small children with you: the walk back to your room after a long day at the parks may have you wishing for a room closer to the lobby. It’s something to consider when planning your trip!

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All Disney resorts have access to “Magical Express,” which is a pickup and drop off service to and from the hotels to Orlando International Airport. The time can vary, as the bus makes stops at each hotel, but it was convenient.

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I loved the island flair in the Christmas decorations– the flowers were such a great touch!

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Caribbean Beach did have a casual restaurant and some quick serve options (pictured below). I loved the bright colors of the resort.

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I hope these photos give you an idea of what the theme of the resorts are and what “feeling” you can expect. These properties are more on the budget-friendly side if you want to stay at a Disney property (which I recommend if you can!).
If I were visiting with friends I’d probably pick one of these resorts to split a room to help keep prices down (so you can get more souvenirs, of course!).
Have you stayed at any of these hotels? How did you like them? Let me know in the comments, thanks!