Disney's New "Art of Animation" Resort

The first phase of Disney’s new Art of Animation Resort (the “Finding Nemo” Family Suites) is opening May 31, 2012! When completed, this incredible resort will feature 1,120 spacious family suites specially designed to accommodate up to six guests as well as 864 rooms. The resort will reflect the artistry from “Finding Nemo”, “Cars”, “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid”.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is adjacent to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Guests can enjoy complimentary transportation throughout Walt Disney World. The family suites are designed to comfortably accommodate up to six guests and will include two separate bathrooms, a master bedroom and three separate sleeping areas within living space that also includes a large dining/work table that transforms into a comfortable bed!
Three sparkling swimming pools and four playful courtyards – one for each of the films featured at this resort – will complete your Resort experience!
The “Cars” Family Suites are slated to open June 18, 2012; “The Lion King” Family Suites on August 12, 2012; and “The Little Mermaid” Standard Rooms on September 15, 2012. All rooms and suites are available for booking now! Let Witte Travel help you be one of the first guests to experience the magic of Disney’s Art of Animation!

Sandals Emerald Bay – Great Exuma Island, Bahamas

We did not have the opportunity to stay the evening at this resort, but we viewed many of the rooms, restaurants, common areas and entertainment areas. This is a great resort/destination for golfers, divers, honeymooners and for people who want a quiet, laid-back atmosphere. The overall look is classy, with a very elegant beach theme throughout.

Luxury features:
Sandals Emerald Bay is the world’s first all butler-serviced luxury included resort.
They offer a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course with 6 Oceanside holes.
24-hour room service
Sits on a mile of powdery white-sand beach with a view of Emerald Bay, which is some of the most beautiful turquoise water we have ever seen.
17-spa treatment rooms.
Caribbean’s largest zero-entry pool with a central fire pit.

There are 22 room categories to choose from at this resort, ranging from a standard hotel room to a two-story, one-bedroom beachfront suite. We were fortunate enough to view many room choices and we are happy to discuss them with you to find the right fit for your vacation.

There are 6 options for dining at the resort, with influences ranging from Italy, France, U.K. and the Caribbean. We sampled options from a lunch buffet and thoroughly enjoyed all the high-end presentations and tastes.

Entertainment and Activities:
We met one of the entertainment coordinators for the resort and, as we were walking around the resort with her, she was addressing guests by their first name. It was nice to see the personal connection and to see that the guests were obviously engaging in the resort activities and entertainment. Their offered dance lessons, golf and tennis lessons, live music, jazz performances, Appleton Reserve rum-tasting classes, bocce ball, volleyball, and snorkeling.

Photo Courtesy of Sandals Resorts.

Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos – Grace Bay, Providenciales
Accommodations: We were fortunate enough to spend 2 evenings here and to be assigned a Piazza Pool Front Walkout Family Suite with Separate Kids Room, in the Italian Village, which is the newest section of this complex. The room was very spacious and comfortable with a king size bed, large overstuffed sofa/trundle bed and a separate bedroom with bunk beds and a trundle that pulled from that. The décor was very rich looking, with a classy Caribbean feel.
There are 3 sections to this resort. The Caribbean Village, which is 11 years old, the French Village, which is 9 years old and the Italian Village, which is 2 years old. I liked each area for different reasons.
We viewed several different room categories in each section of the entire complex, which we would be happy to discuss with clients to find the right fit for their family.
The French Village offered an intimate, quiet feel. I think that this area would be nice for honeymoon couples, even though it is a family-friendly resort, as it is tucked away from most of the family activities. A drawback to the French Village is the balcony. Rooms on the ground level have a walkout patio. The 2nd floors and higher offer a French balcony, with a sliding glass door to the outside, but no room to sit or stand.
The Caribbean Village is older in style, more of a motor inn look, but spread out. I liked this area because the common areas were lively and the foliage was very mature and beautiful.
The Italian Village is more of a high rise complex but flows nicely with the rest of the complex. It is very rich looking with poolside cabanas, richly decorated rooms, and classy common areas.
Dining: There are over 16 specialty dining options, which is sure to satisfy any guest. In our short time at the resort, we were able to experience The Cricketer’s Pub, Mario’s Italian Restaurant for a buffet style lunch, Sushi Bar and Le Petit Chateau. We thoroughly enjoyed each dining experience. Everything was perfect from the professional, friendly staff to the perfectly presented entrees.
We did not experience the food at the following restaurants but thought they were very unique to the resort. Bobby D’s, which is a 50’s style diner, that we thought children would love, as they serve ice cream, hot dogs, and burgers all day long and at certain times during the day they made cotton candy. Also, Café de Paris, which offers an assortment of French pastries, but they had a cupcake bar where children could frost their own cupcakes to eat.
Entertainment and daily activities: I cannot imagine that any guest visiting this resort would ever run out of things to do. There is a 7000sq ft retail village, X-Box Games Garage, participate in activities with Sesame Street characters, Pirate Island water park with 9 slides, lazy river, surf simulator and water cannons. There are also options for volleyball, soccer, tennis, pool tables, board games, kayaking, windsurfing, aqua trikes and snorkeling. The 12 miles of Grace Bay Beach is enough to keep you occupied all day long with walking.

Photo by Britt Reints