The Big Blue Loo
Greetings, friends, and welcome back to another week of toilet-tripping fun! I won't belabor the usual platitudes and thanks to you for visiting our site and supporting our obsession (but, hey -- platitude, gratitude and thanks to you for your continued enthusiasm for our little blog!), because this week, we're featuring a guest loo review!
What's that? A guest review? Absolutely! We here at WDW Loo Review love the sense of community amongst fellow Disney fanatics, and we're consistently honored when someone offers to submit a review of an on-property loo. By the way, if you haven't yet, be sure to check out Donna Loo-Who's top-notch guest review of the loo at the Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas pool loo: you can find it right here.
This week, the blog proudly welcomes Josiah Bisceglia. Josiah, along with brothers Jesse and Jaime, co-hosts one of the most unique and entertaining WDW Podcasts to which we here at the blog have yet listened: The WDW Big Q! This is truly a needle in a haystack kind of podcast -- it sits distinctly alone on an island surrounded by an ocean full of copycat podcasts which are very similar to one-another. The Big Q's premise which sets it aside from the rest? Each episode begins with the host submitting a thought-provoking, uniquely-specific and often hilarious WDW-related question, which the brothers Bisceglia then spend the podcast's remaining minutes answering. What inevitably follows are innumerable laugh out loud moments (and you'll definitely come up with your own answers as well). Trust us, once you start listening, you'll be hooked.
And, if you'd like to wet your podcast beak on any one particular WDW Big Q episode, allow us to recommend Episode 19: "The Bathroom Episode", which features the blog's very own Loo Review Matt.
We were so honored to be invited on The WDW Big Q, we asked Josiah if he would like to submit a feature review on our site. Let me assure you: not only did he submit a loo review, but it's one of the best we've ever read.
So, without further ado, let's welcome Josiah Bisceglia, of The WDW Big Q fame, to the blog for his most-excellent loo review! Take it away, Josiah!
First and foremost, it is truly a breath-taking honor to be invited onto a blog of such dignified and prestigious nobility. My heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes out to Matt for bringing the joy of WDW Loo review into the homes and hearts of many across the world, and for partnering with The WDW Big Q in discussing all things unique, weird, gross and Disney. This blog is proof that there are indeed others out there like us, so if you (like Loo Review Matt and ourselves) consider a bathroom an attraction in and of itself, take solace that you, my friend, are truly not alone.
Enough already, on with the poo!
Today’s adventure takes us out of the parks and to a bathroom at one of Disney’s newer resorts. Perhaps you’re a Little Mermaid maniac? Or you’re a bit Cars crazed? Or a Lion King loon? Or a Finding Nemo nut? In any case, you’ll probably find yourself eventually checking into…
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort! It’s been a long journey, hours on a plane, multiple layovers, waiting for Disney’s Magical Express, a 30 minute bus ride, but breathe easy! You’ve arrived! And what’s the first must-do on your list? You guessed it! Contrary to what Stacey from ‘Must Do Disney’ says, your first stop has to be the nearest loo (your bladder is probably the size of a watermelon at this point after all right?)! Like all resorts, Art of Animation has several bathrooms to choose from, but we’ll be reviewing the one nearest to the check in desk in the lobby, which is most central and accessible to all patrons. Our trek begins as we enter either side of the auto-magic sliding doors into animation hall:
Door number 1, or door number 2? (I guess that depends on what type of bathroom trip you’re making). Make your way down the well carpeted path through the set of 2 sliding doors and we come to the first stop on our pre-poo pilgrimage. Take a look to your left and soak up the beauty of this wall full of art stills from the various movies represented at this resort.
But don’t stay too long, or you’ll be soaking up more than that!
One more quick stop you have to make before we actually enter the abode. Take a look upward and notice the unique chandelier placed just outside this loo!
Its prongs are each finished with a unique sketch of various scenes from these four movies. This under-appreciated chandelier is personally one of my favorite aspects of this lobby and perhaps just might get a reference on a future WDW Big Q episode. Anyway, nature continues to call, and we must answer that call. What’s that I see in the distance? Land hoooo!!!!
There are 3 water fountains just around the corner here, but who could possibly think about drinking water at a time like this?? I’m sad to say the entry to this bathroom was definitely the low point of my loo experience. The floor tiling in the entryway is extremely underwhelming, and sadly was even a bit faded and dirty. This was likely due to the frequent travel as this is the most central bathroom in the entire resort.
The pale yellowish-greenish color is no joyride either, as it conjures up images of what may potentially be jettisoned into the commode in mere moments. The men’s room sign itself however was a bit of relief to this disappointing start, as it exuded from it an almost soothing, calming sensation.
With its bland off-white plaster walls and overbearing lighting, the entrance had the feel of a neglected, sterile mall bathroom. That is… until I stepped inside:
To this day I still distinctly remember the moment I stepped through the pearly gates into this haven of bliss, and the change of attitude that took place. All concerns, doubts, and discomfort I carried with me suddenly dissolved into nothingness as I simply stood and became one with the big blue loo. Clearly the dominant theme here is BLUE!
And it is done so well, and so perfectly, and so relevant to where it’s placed in the resort. The Finding Nemo themed big blue pool is just outside the door and around the corner, and that blue / underwater aesthetic spills over into the bathroom (I just wish they would have done the same with the entryway). The theming is also applicable to the Little Mermaid aspect of this resort, though it drifts a bit from both Cars and Lion King (even though there is a Cars reference within -- as seen at the end of this post). As you can see, the bathroom is prepared to accommodate a high volume of latrine lovers as it's furnished with 5 sinks (1 of them is even installed at a lower position for easier child access). Loo love starts early nowadays! We see a mirror image of this concept directly across the bathroom with 5 urinals and one lowered for wee little children (yes, that was a purposeful pun).
Imagine standing in front of one of those beauties, getting lost in the blue abyss of tiles before you. You can keep your pina coladas and beach chairs, I’ll just come here to get away from it all.
These tiles are exquisite in nature. Just like snowflakes, people, and bathrooms, no two are exactly the same. Meaning, you can visit this loo dozens of times and get a completely different tile experience each time depending on which one you choose to look at. Take a minute to focus on just one for a second, and let the complexities of life melt away. Ahhhhhh…. Peeing has never been so easy.
Here’s a shot of the paper towel-dispensing station located on either side of the sinks:
It’s back to the 20th century of hand drying, no automatic dryers here! And, if I may say so myself (at the risk of offending the eco-conscious fan-base here at Loo Review): Hallelujah! I know I know, paper towels are not as environmentally friendly as electronic dryers, but there’s just something about that brown papery feeling, and the crumply sound that screams authentic bathroom to me -- especially in a bathroom like this where the theming is a serene and relaxing ocean feel. The last thing I would want to interrupt my poop siesta would be the constant whirring and blowing of an electronic dryer. There are a few other fixtures of note attached to the wall that deserve mention, one being this often overlooked friend…
...which has a life mission only to out power the smell of your poo. Kudos to you little guy, you are the true unsung hero.
Secondly, there’s this unusual looking receptacle:
This was the first time I’ve ever noticed one of these in a bathroom and wasn’t even sure what it was at first, perhaps because I’m not this observant at other times, or perhaps because they’re simply rare sightings. At any rate, after some brief research, it seems these are part of an FDA harm minimization movement, to provide sanitary and safe disposal of syringes for diabetics, primarily placed in high volume locations. Once I realized it was not a candy or toy dispenser of some sort I quickly moved on, let’s check out the stalls offered here.
5 seems to be the number of choice for this bathroom, again we find 5 stalls, one of those being our much loved and preferred ADA compliant stall. Let’s take a visit:
Oohh la la. I had the good pleasure of resting upon this throne more than once on my most recent trip. Fully furnished with all the necessities for a stay here: the pre-cut toilet seat covers, the separate sink, paper towel dispenser and trash, and take a look at that toilet paper holder, talk about easy access! You don’t have to worry about blindly reaching into one of those silver cylindrical bowling ball returners, hoping to come out with a ply or two, just roll and tear. And, of course, no trip to a bathroom is complete without stopping at the diaper change station. Don’t mind the phantom hands in the mirror (check out those guns, folks -- that's 100% pure Bisceglia muscle ... ed):
Not one of those fancy retractable stations that folds into the wall, but there’s enough room here for you to have your own little cubby space providing adequate privacy for your little ones needs. There’s even a mirror directly in front of you so you can see yourself getting peed on when attempting to make the swap!
And that concludes our tour of the Art of Animation bathroom… what’s that? Where is the Cars reference I promised would appear at the end of this review? Well.. thanks for reminding me.!
The only bit of artwork or wall art of any kind that disturbs the placid tilework is this beauty here. A bit cheesy you say? I disagree. Its location is not obtrusive, tucked away in an alcove across from the ADA stall, and its incorporation of water into the art is consistent with the theme throughout this bathroom. If only they involved the Lion King and water somehow, we’d have a perfect score.
One last comment before wrapping things up. This is typically a high volume bathroom due to its location, but to experience it the way it’s meant to be experienced, you must tap into one of its features that very few public WDW bathrooms hold, and that is its status as a 24 hour bathroom. We know all in-park bathrooms are not 24 hour, and most resort fringe bathrooms are locked by a certain time. Generally it’s only these lobby bathrooms that remain open throughout the night, which is the best time to visit. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep or find yourself woken up in the middle of the night, take a stroll to your lobby bathroom, and you’re guaranteed a trip of solitude and peace in your big blue loo.
WDW Loo Review Recap of The Art of Animation Lobby Loo:
Cleanliness: Spotless inside, a bit grimy outside
Theming: good to very good
Traffic: High during peak times
Chanigng station: Yes
Companion restroom: No
Overall rating: 4/5 urinal wafers (if done at the right time)
Thank you, once again, Josiah, for a decidedly entertaining review! Folks, if you enjoyed Josiah's review, please, hit up The WDW Big Q for a listen. Moreover, submit a review of the Podcast on iTunes, toss these guys 5 stars. One listen and you'll immediately hear just how much the Bisceglia's love WDW, even down to the tiniest of details. That's why we have this blog, and it's why Josiah and brothers host The Big Q (and I bet it's why you find yourself here each week as well).
Thanks, again, to all of you for your support. We look forward to seeing you here again next week. Until then, thumbs up and bottoms down, everyone!
Loo Review Matt