If you had to pick your top three Walt Disney World resorts, chances are Disney’s Old Key West Resort wouldn’t be on it (though after reading this article, maybe it will be!). Many WDW guests know little about this hidden resort gem, not even that it was the very first Disney Vacation Club Resort ever built. We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons about this under-rated resort, which just might be the perfect fit for your next Disney vacation.
1. Florida Ambience
An Orlando resort themed after the Florida Keys might seem a little strange when the real thing is so close, but it’s probably safe to say that most guests who stay here aren’t from Florida anyway! And as a vacationer in Florida, the theming here is the ultimate in relaxation. Rooms are bright and airy, and the Victorian architecture is gorgeous. The soft pastel shades immediately put you in a vacation frame of mind, and the numerous palm trees and other lush vegetation along with the resort’s waterside location will have you lying back in a lounge chair with a margarita in no time.
The centrepiece of the main pool complex at Disney’s Old Key West Resort is, fittingly, a gigantic sandcastle – complete with a (not-so-Hidden) Mickey! You’ll be thrilled with the waterslide that emerges from Mickey into the pool, and there are plenty of shallow and deep areas to please all ages and swimming abilities. The whirlpool spa is great for a relaxing soak, and there’s an adorable children’s pool right next to it, featuring frolicking dolphins, so you can keep an eye on the little ones – or splash around a bit yourself! We love finding patches of sand to relax on at Disney resorts, and Disney’s Old Key West allows you to relax on the sandy beach to your heart’s content. If the main pool is too crowded, you can always check out one of the resort’s other three pools, which each have their own whirlpool spa.
3. Room/Villa Size
If room size is a big deal for you, then Disney’s Old Key West Resort could be the resort for you. The studios are noticeably bigger than the studio rooms in any other Disney Vacation Club resort, and the villas are just huge. Perfect for large families or a group of friends, the 2 Bedroom Villa sleeps up to 9 adults, and includes two bathrooms, a large kitchen and dining area, and even a washer and a dryer. The two-floor Grand Villa sleeps up to 12 people, and has three bedrooms, to accommodate even more guests. There’s a ton of room for everyone, plus you’ll be able to cook and prepare your own meals if you want to save a bit of money.
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4. Conch Flats Community Hall
If you’ve never stayed at a Disney resort that has a community hall, you’ll love this perk at Disney’s Old Key West Resort! Conch Flats Community Hall has it all for guests looking for some down time in between theme park visits or on a rainy day. There’s ping-pong, shuffleboard, video games, pool, and foosball. You can make a craft, chill out in the tv area, or relax with a book. Want to take that book back to your room? No problem – and you can sign out DVDs too! There’s also plenty of sporting equipment you can sign out here to enjoy throughout the resort, whether you’re interested in tennis, basketball or volleyball. And only current guests at Old Key West can take advantage of the benefits of Conch Flats Community Hall, so you’ll never have to share with visitors to the resort.
As strange as it may seem, the presence or lack of water taxi or ferry transportation at a Disney resort may make or break our decision to stay there. If you’re like us, you’ll be pleased to know that Disney’s Old Key West Resort has ferry transportation to Disney Springs. There’s nothing like enjoying a relaxing boat ride down river before setting off on an exciting afternoon or evening of shopping, dining and entertainment!
Normally, we’d put the cost of a deluxe resort at Walt Disney World firmly in the “Cons” category. And true enough, if you look at the going rates for rooms at the Old Key West Resort, you’ll probably put it in this category too. But with a little research and work, you can pay much, much less for a vacation at this resort. Of course, if you’re a Disney Vacation Club member, you’ll already be aware that the point chart is all year round, quite favorable for Old Key West as opposed to other resorts – and it’s not nearly as difficult to book, as it remains somewhat under-rated and luckily off the radar for many guests. Even if you’re not a DVC member, you can still often rent DVC points and snag a room here for what you’d pay at a moderate resort.
1. Walking Distance
Disney’s Old Key West Resort is big. Really, really big. And while some guests love staying at sprawling resorts like this so they can spread out and explore, we know that a larger resort also comes with its share of potential problems. One of these is the possibility that you might face a bit of a hike getting wherever it is you want to go. Unless you’re lucky enough to book a room near Hospitality House, you could have a lengthy walk to get to dinner or the lobby.
2. Bus Transportation
Along with the size of a resort like Disney’s Old Key West comes another problem – the inefficiency of bus transportation. There are several bus stops throughout the resort, because it’s so huge, and this can mean a long bus ride if you hopped on at an early stop, only to have to wait through u-turns and several other stops just to get out of the resort. That being said, there are more transportation options than ever before in Walt Disney World, so if you’re not using the buses as your primary mode of transportation, it won’t be an issue.