One of the best things about living so close to Walt Disney World is the ability to go visit and dine at the many Walt Disney World Resorts. We will quite often travel to the resorts for dinner and a stroll around the grounds of the resort. Whether it be a trip around the monorail resorts to listen to the band play at The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, watch the monorail go through The Contemporary Resort, and relax by the soon to be extinct waterfall at The Polynesian Resort or a trip to a value resort to eat at their food court and walk around, we always enjoy ourselves. One of our favorite resorts to spend time is the Art of Animation Resort.
Once arriving at the Art of Animation Resort we simply drive up to the guard station and let them know that we are visiting to have dinner. I will have my Magic Band on so that they can simply scan it and all of my information will come up for the guard to see. I have had them ask for my ID as well but usually they scan the band and say “Have a great time, Michael.” This is yet another example of why I love the Magic Bands. It is usually no problem finding parking at this resort and it is not a far walk to the main lobby either. We walk into Animation Hall and are met with such a blast of color and happiness that it immediately changes our mood. I absolutely love the chandelier that hangs just as you enter Animation Hall. It is made up of drawings from the four movies that are featured at this resort: Cars, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.
On the left wall are amazing images from the movies. To the right of the chandelier is the front desk area. It is no less spectacular with giant progressing sketches on the left hand wall and a palette of colors behind the front desk itself. It really is breathtaking the first time that you see it. Every time that we visit Art of Animation I have to walk down that way. It just fills me with happiness from all the color. Straight ahead of the chandelier is the arcade and doors to the outside pool area. To the left is where we will be heading next Landscape of Flavors which is just through the Ink and Paint Shop (Merchandise).
Landscape of Flavors has different stations in which you can order different types of food. It is not much different than any other food court with the exception that they use real plates and silverware (not plastic) and the food is quite amazing. It strikes a perfect balance between your typical burgers and pizzas along side other more unique offerings. There is a station with soups and salads that serves an Asian-inspired Pork Sandwhich, a station with meat and seafood dishes like Tandoori Shell-on Shrimp, a Create Your Own Pasta and Pizza station (my favorite as well as my wife’s), and a Burger Station (my son’s favorite). There is also a station with Smoothies and Gelato.
The Dining Room, which is also themed to the four movies, is very spacious. Unlike many places that you eat at Walt Disney World, Landscape of Flavor feels very roomy. We have never had an issue finding somewhere to sit and eat dinner. Breakfast may be a different story but we have never been there for that. Like I said before my wife and I usually come here for the Create Your Own Pasta. You pick the type of noodle and the type of meat/shrimp and any vegetables you may want in your pasta. You also pick the type of sauce. I always go with the bowtie noodle with shrimp and alfredo sauce. That is just what I enjoy. My wife prefers the chicken. That is what is great about this station because the number of possibilities are endless. I should really experiment more but I am a creature of habit. They give you an option for parmesan on the top and serve it with a piece of garlic toast (which neither one of us ever eats, one thing they could change). My son is content with his Bacon Cheeseburger and fries.
My 22 month old loves Cars so after dinner we walk over to the Cars area of the resort and let him walk around and see all of the Cars Characters. He can walk right up to his favorite cars, which is all of them. As you walk along the sidewalks with Cars characters all around you see the Cozy Cone Motel which is actually the pool area. It is a great way to let him run around and for us to walk off some of the calories from dinner. We spend most of our time in the Cars area but we do wander by the feature pool in the Finding Nemo wing and walk through The Lion King and The Little Mermaid wings as well. It is definitely a long walk to go through each area so sometimes we just restrict it to Cars and Finding Nemo, especially if it is crazy hot.
If you find yourself having a free evening while you are at Walt Disney World I definitely recommend giving Landscape of Flavors and the Art of Animation a chance. It is a great relaxing evening. It is also great for locals who are tired of eating at the same old restaurants. You get great food with the great atmosphere that only Disney can provide for not any more than you would pay at a local restaurant.