The Lion King Marks Last Section of Family Suites to Open at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Today the first guests will be checking into the Pride Lands of Africa which is the setting for The Lion King, the third phase of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The new Lion King wing celebrates the journey of Simba,…

Behind the Construction Walls at Disney’s Art of Animation Lion King Wing

With this episode of “From the Drawing Board” Disney takes us behind the construction walls to provide a sneak peak of “The Lion King” courtyard at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, set to open August 10th! The new wing celebrates…

Universal Orlando Resort to Build New Hotel

Apparently Universal Orlando Resort has figured out a large untapped audience – Families of Hipsters. They just announced a partnership with Loews Hotels & Resorts to build a new hotel development with a ‘hip’ theme that will add high-quality, high-value options for families wanting an affordable on-site experience. I joke, but I am willing to bet it will be a success for Universal.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will offer two distinct experiences within the development’s multiple buildings: 900 family suites, capable of sleeping six, that include kitchen areas and 900 standard guest rooms – offering both moderate – and value-priced accommodations. It will be operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts and is scheduled to open in 2014.

Think of Cabana Bay Beach Resort like a moderate resort, compared to the more deluxe Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Amenities will be slightly different, and the room rate won’t include the Universal Express Unlimited Pass. That’s fine in my book, since a potential of 5000 more people running around with Express Passes could overwhelm the delicate balance that exists now in the parks.

That said, there is an obvious need for family suites. More extended families are vacationing together. A moderate level price is also something that has been missing from Universal’s deck of cards.

Cars Themed Family Suites Open in Second Phase at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Welcome to Radiator Springs, a Happy Place

The west coast got its Cars Land, an immersive environment that transports the guest into the world of Cars, but the east coast is getting some cars lovin’ too. The second phase of Disney’s Art of Animation just opened and guests are now able to explore the three wings and book a room in the Cars themed hotel rooms. You’ll find Lightning McQueen, Mater, Flo and other characters from the popular Pixar film “Cars” in a larger than life Radiator Springs set design.

In the new Cars wing, featuring 480 family suites, a freshly paved road leads guests on the greatest road trip ever, a cruise down memory lane to small town America — Radiator Springs. Parked at the entryway Sheriff and the infamous Doc Hudson welcome folks into town, along with other car “faces” parked along the road. There’s backdrops of Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, Tow Mater Towing and the Wheel Well Motel, creating an authentic setting lifted from the super-charged adventure.

All roads lead to the 60′s style Cozy Cone Motel where distinctive orange cone-shaped cabanas invite guests to kick back and then take a dip in the Cozy Cone Pool. High-octane theming is full-throttle inside the family suites, with orange cones imprinted in the carpeting and adorning the light fixtures plus animation-inspired artwork. Guests will feel as though they walked into a scene from the blockbuster film as a pull-out bed extends from the living room sofa (whimsically appearing as the back seat of an old hot rod), the tool chest is actually the dresser and the bathroom design is inspired by a car wash.

Below the jump is a gallery of images from the new Cars themed buildings and a teaser image from The Lion King wings that will open soon.