Waking Pop Century: Walt Disney World Announces New Art of Animation Resort, Opening 2012

Imagineer Joni Van Buren sculpts a model of King Triton from the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. In its final form, the sculpture will be 35 feet tall and tower over guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a new Disney World hotel that will open in 2012. Photo courtesy Disney via Orlando SentinelFor those wondering whatever will become of Disney’s Pop Century: The Legendary Years — the proposed second phase of the popular value resort –  wonder no more. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the site is now the future home of a brand new resort, Disney’s Art of Animation.

Construction on the second half of the Pop Century resort halted after 9/11 as the travel industry took a huge hit and appeared to keep the resort in limbo since. Some rumors of the structures’ integrity being violated by weather (as well as YouTube videos showing the buildings in disarray) had the buildings eventually being torn-down and re-built should the development go forward while others said construction was simply on hold. One speculation that proved to be true is that the resort will be composed mostly of family suites, following up their roll-out at All Star Music.

Pending specifics, the layout of the new resort appears to be relatively consistent with that of Pop Century except that sections will be divied up between The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars as opposed to decades. As is the tradition with the value resorts, section courtyards will be flanked with giant figures, such as King Triton, helping to re-create iconic scenes from the film.

The 2,000 room resort will break ground this summer and open in phases throughout 2012.

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