"The Resort Fee"
We chose to stay at this location because of its proximity to the Disney properties, its shuttle service to the parks, and the rates posted on expedia.com. Expedia clearly states that you will pay a $22 resort fee for booking a room in the hotel. However, one must read the fine print to learn that you will be charged $22 for each night of your stay. Moreover, nowhere in the literature does it clarify whether this charge is tacked onto the original transaction or not. As it turns out, this fee is due at check-in, so be prepared to shuck out another $100 or so upon your arrival. The staff at the check-in counter is undoubtedly used to dealing with guests that question the resort fee as evidenced by the quick, breezy, and confusing manner they assume when explaining it. When asked what the fee covers, they explained it goes to provide resort amenities such as a complimentary coffee/bottled water for each night's stay, use of the hotel's wireless internet, and access to the shuttle service to the Disney parks. Now, I must confess that I do not stay in hotels very often, but I have yet to do business a hotel within that last 15 years that does not provide a complimentary pot of coffee in common area along with free internet access. (More on the shuttle service later)
Putting the resort fee aside, we were quite content with our room. The linens were clean and the bed was comfortable. The television, safe, refrigerator, and furniture were more than adequate. Our room was well-serviced, and we slept like babies in our cool haven away from the balmy Orlando nights. We did not used the pool or the exercise facilities, so we cannot comment on them.
As everyone knows, Disney charges exorbitant amounts of money for dining experiences and retail items, and our hotel seems to agree with the practice. There are several dining choices at the hotel, but each charges three times more than you might expect in another area. One can expect to shell out $25 for some cold sandwiches and chips or $9 for a piece of fruit and a granola bar. My travel companion ordered room service: a piece of pie and a glass of juice was $18 plus tip. As a result, we were scared to order a nice meal for fear of how much it might cost. Of course, one expects to pay a higher rate for hotel food, but these prices were shameless. Yes, we know this hotel is adjacent to Downtown Disney and that Disney's prime objective is to part families from their money, but why this hotel takes the fact as license to fleece their guests is conjecture. I bet if this location rejected the Disney inflation model word would spread and its rooms would be full all year round.
"The Shuttle Service"
As stated earlier, this hotel offers a shuttle service to the Disney parks, and this would indeed be a valuable amenity if it were dependable. Upon check-in we were provided with a shuttle schedule that provided information as to how, when, and where to use the shuttle service. More often than not, the schedule was useless. While the buses leaving the hotel in the morning were prompt, it was anyone's guess where or when a shuttle might turn up at any other time in the day. Furthermore, the schedule lists designated areas where the bus is meant to stop. We found these to be mere suggestions. The only way to get back to the hotel was to stand in the vicinity of the non-Disney bus area at each park and keep your eyes pealed for the right vehicle. The schedule states that buses run until 90 minutes after the close of a particular park. Even if you arrive 10 or 15 minutes early to avoid missing the last bus, you still might miss it. We watched several tired and grouchy families at many parks circle the bus lots in a confused attempt to figure out if they missed the buss coming and how they were going to get back to their rooms if they did. It is pointless to ask any Disney employees about these buses or, indeed, the bus drivers themselves because there is so much misinformation. That being said, I suspect the staff at the hotel have no idea what it is like to use the shuttle bus system and, if that is true, they should renegotiate their relationship with the bus company.
"The Extra Magic Hours"
This hotel is not an official Disney resort, but it is one of the few non-Disney properties that offer Extra Magic Hours. This means that resort guest have access to the Disney parks (usually an hour in the morning but sometimes several hours in the evening) when regular park guest do not. This is, in my opinion, the most valuable amenity the hotel had to offer. Disney is overcrowded and chock full of lines. The Extra Magic Hours is an excellent way to take in an attraction before or after the lines get long. We were grateful for this perk and could not have seen every attraction at Disney if we had not taken advantage of this wonderful benefit.
- Also Known As:
- Hilton In Walt Disney World Hotel Orlando
- Hilton In Walt Disney World Hotel
- Hilton Hotel Orlando
- Walt Disney Orlando
- Hilton Orlando
- Orlando Hilton
- Hilton Walt Disney World
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An Extra Magic Hours hotel, guests of the Hilton enjoy an extra hour early or three extra hours in the evening at select WALT DISNEY WORLD theme parks. Relax in two outdoor, heated swimming pools, children's spray pool or tropical outdoor spa. Savor a variety of cuisines at one of the seven restaurants and lounges, including the world famous Benihana's. ... more less
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