Pop Century vs. Art of Animation Little Mermaid Rooms

Giant Ursula statue outside of Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation

The Value resorts at Disney World are incredibly popular among travelers with families with young kids or those looking to save a few bucks on accommodations (and spend those bucks elsewhere on property—we see you…no, we are you!).

The two most well-known Value resorts are probably Pop Century and Disney’s Art of Animation, and they are widely appreciated for several reasons.

If you belong to the family/young children group of visitors, chances are you’ve heard of Disney’s Art of Animation—or, more specifically, the Little Mermaid rooms—as an accommodation option.

Note: The Little Mermaid rooms are a collection of themed rooms in dedicated buildings on AoA property. These are not to be confused with the AoA Family Suites (a roomier option priced differently). 

Pop and AoA offer similar things to do, dining, and amenities, including dedicated bus lines (perk!) and access to the Skyliner (our personal favorite perk). 

There are a couple of key differences between the two resorts we’ll mention, but to help you decide, we’ll mostly discuss the Little Mermaid room option at AoA versus a similar room option at Pop Century. 

Pop Century vs. Art of Animation

Outside entrance of Pop Century resort in Disney World

While Disney World is the friendliest of family-friendly places, there are natural aspects of the parks and property that will appeal to different ages.

Anytime you make a booking-style decision in your trip planning, consider the ages within your group as one factor and group preference as the other. 

We’ll run through both resorts’ highlights (and lowlights) to help you narrow it down.

Little Mermaid Rooms (AoA)

  • Perfect for young ones (or young at heart) enchanted by heavy Disney theming.*

  • Great for Little Mermaid diehards (even those born when the movie first came out)

  • AoA is home to the Big Blue Pool, the largest pool on Disney property (yes, really!).

  • The food court at AoA is one of the better options among the Value resorts.
  • IMHO, these specific buildings and hotel rooms are a little drab, dark, and underwhelming.

  • Little Mermaid rooms are limited to a small group of buildings located the furthest from the Skyliner hub and bus stop, making the end-of-night walk one to remember.

    *This applies to AoA as a whole since the entire resort is full-on Disney-themed.
Disney's Skyliner entrance at Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts

Pop Century

  • Themed to the decades and popular Disney movies at those times, less exciting than AoA but still great for young kids.

  • Updated rooms with a little more space and modern design.

  • Though smaller than the pool at AoA, Pop has multiple pool options that we enjoy. And a great pool bar!

  • While the buildings can be a bit spread out, there is the possibility of requesting a building closer to a specific amenity like the Skyliner or bus stop as long as it’s within the same room category (i.e., preferred, standard, etc.). 

Our Take

Large animated Disney photos outside of the Art of Animation resort entrance

We recommend the Little Mermaid rooms at AoA mostly to groups with little ones who will love the theme or those who would especially like to take advantage of the Big Blue Pool during their stay.

But we tend to prefer Pop Century for the atmosphere and the flexibility when booking a specific type of room or requesting a certain building. Plus, despite them being smaller, we find the pools really fun and the perfect opportunity for that midday break from the parks.

Overall, we think you can get more bang for your buck when staying at Pop Century (or even upgrading to the suites at AoA). 

Budget Pro Tip
: If room pricing is extra important to you, we recommend doing the math (or running it by an expert Disney Travel Agent, our favorite “hack” for helping us save big on our Disney trips). Rack rates between a Standard Room at Pop might be comparable to AoA’s Little Mermaid rooms, but when you factor in seasonal differences or upgrades, AoA tends to run a tad more on the pricey side.

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