Every time I come back from Disney World I utter the same sentence… BEST HOLIDAY EVER! It’s not only down to the content of the holiday but also the accommodation. This year we decided to stay at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Old Key West is one of Disney’s vacation club resorts and is classed as one of their deluxe hotels. If you’re from the UK, you can usually get Old Key West at an excellent price and they normally throw in a free Disney Dining Plan if you book at the right time (usually between April and October for stays the following year!)
Old Key West is split up over numerous buildings across the resort. The main area is ‘Hospitality House’ a small district which includes check in, the gift shop and Olivia’s table service restaurant. It is also home to the main pool area which includes a slide and a sauna (in the lighthouse) and a poolside bar. Good To Go – the quick service counter service also offers some quick service options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The decor theme is ‘Florida’s Key West’ – so two story beach hut’s, palm trees and lighthouses. We really liked the theming and the rooms have recently been renovated to give a seaside feel. They’re still renovating a couple towards the back of the resort and some building have lifts for disabled users.
One thing I was worried about was that I’d miss was a quick service food court which most moderate and value (and a few other deluxes) resorts all have. Not really for lunch or dinner as we’d be out and about but for breakfast – the most important meal of the day. However, as we wanted to use our dining credits elsewhere, we decided to make use of the kitchen area in our room. We found that a small trip to Walmart satisfied our breakfast needs and we didn’t eat breakfast there once although if I could have got a giant Mickey waffle, I’d have been there in seconds – those waffles are good!
We stayed in a deluxe studio which consisted of two queen beds, a small kitchen area and a huge bathroom. One the reasons on the list as to why we chose to stay at Old Key West, was that the deluxe studios are much bigger than the rooms at the moderates. While we didn’t plan to spend much time in the room, we still like our space and comfort. The small kitchen area – and I mean small, consisting of a fridge, microwave and a sink – was useful for storing and preparing breakfast. I believe the one and two bed villas have full kitchen areas for bigger families. We also had a balcony which backed onto the canal and it was lovely to sit out there eating breakfast or watch the boats go up and down later on in the afternoon.
We stayed in building 45 which was located near the ‘South Point’ bus stop and one of the smaller pools. I’d personally say it was just as close to hospitality house and Adam and I would regularly walk down to the main buildings rather than take the car (it was actually more difficult to drive it as there aren’t many car parking spaces at Hospitality House). We also used South Point’s pool more than the main one as we found it quieter. The alternative pools have towel suppliers, water fountains and ours had a separate jacuzzi area.
I’ve stayed in value, moderates and as a deluxe, Old Key West had a far superior transport service. The volume of buses that served Old Key West to and from the parks was greater than all but the other (and more expensive deluxe hotels). We waited no longer than fifteen minutes for a bus; most of the time it was less than 10. It is worth noting though that Old Key West has five bus stops so if you’re picked up at the first stop, it will still be fifteen minutes before you even leave the resort and be on your way to your destination.
It is my plan to stay in every resort that Disney World has to offer but after that, I’ll certainly be coming back to Old Key West. But I’ve got to be honest, I think I preferred Port Orleans Riverside overall. It’s a little bit smaller to navigate and I got to see a lot more of it. But there are ways that Old Key West is more favourable – the transport benefits and the rooms for instance.
If you’re booked in to Old Key West, I think you’ve made a good choice. It was a lovely resort.