Earlier this morning, Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. & France, officially dedicated this new resort while surrounded by a cast of colorful characters from the films that inspired the resort’s animation theme. The big blue world of Nemo and friends comes to life just in time for the summer vacation season as Disney’s Art of Animation Resort opens its doors today with “Finding Nemo,” the first phase of the new resort offering at Walt Disney World Resort. The three-story, value-priced resort tells the story of the animation process in phases from pencil drawings to close ups. It will immediately transport guests into the worlds of favorite Disney characters and animated films beginning at check-in as pixilated patterns and wavy ribbons of bold colors decorate the resort’s exterior. Pencil drawings of Nemo and adorn the entryway, and a whimsical chandelier composed of 77 animation storyboards enhances the lively and modern Animation Hall lobby. “Our goal was to make guests feel like they have been immersed in the artistry and enchantment of Walt Disney and Disney•Pixar animated classics,” said Walt Disney Imagineer Frank Paris. From linens and carpeting to fixtures and furniture, all details of the guestrooms tie to the storyline. In “Finding Nemo,” there’s coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights; rusty metallic tiles in the bathroom make guests feel as though they are in the submarine. Kids of all ages can make a splash at the “Big Blue” pool, the largest resort swimming pool at Walt Disney World Resort measuring 11,859 square feet. Guests will feel like they are swimming with Dory and Nemo as underwater speakers periodically pipe in music and messages from film characters. Guests will enter scenes from the animated world and can explore the colorful reef and East Australian Current with a giant-sized Mr. Ray whose wings span 27 feet, pose for a picture with Crush or frolic with Squirt in the Righteous Reef, a children’s play area. And the character sketches become three dimensional with some 2,500 sculpted figures decorating the resort’s exterior and interior. The Pixel Play Arcade, Drop Off pool bar, and Ink and Paint gift shop round out the offerings. Kids will enjoy the daily character artist in the “Finding Nemo” lobby, and nighttime movies poolside. Dining options include a poolside snack bar, pizza delivery and Landscape of Flavors food court. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food court features items such as fresh smoothies, hand-scooped gelato and Mongolian barbecue. Original backgrounds from featured films decorate the walls in the dining area, adding to the attention to detail and sense of immersion. The whimsical property, situated adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, will open in phases with rates from $248 per night. The family suites include two bathrooms, a kitchenette and three separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to six.