Location - excellent if you want to do Disney and not have to rent a car. Having stayed at 1/ Grand Floridian, 2/ a large townhouse condo w/ car 3/ a Disney value hotel for previous "Disney" vacations, this was the best value by far. It's right across from Downtown Disney, 5 minute walk. I was on my own with the kids and the only thing I wasn't crazy about was walking at night in the dark without my husband, as there is about a 2-3 minute stretch of walking where you are not visible to anyone (on their grounds). I would recommend the hotel gets some cameras installed so ladies feel safe with their young children at night. Disney Downtown is great at night, lots of shops. There is a great Lego store, and all the best Disney stores you can imagine. They also have a Couture store for women that has some really pretty (and unseen at the parks) merchandise.
Service - Check in was fine. However, they did not accommodate us on our last day after staying 6 days there. I asked them for a late check-out at 1pm, as I had a 1-year old and she naps at noon and I had to leave the hotel by 2pm for our flight. They told me it was $80.00 for the extra 2 hours. (I was really upset by this at the time espec. knowing the hotel was not even fully booked).
Our phone was broken the entire time in the room. Thank God I had my own cell phone. I couldn't even make local calls as there was so much static you couldn't hear anything. I kept requesting it be fixed and they sent someone 3 times but it was never fixed at all.
The room smelled very badly of mold or dampness. I asked for a diff. room but it smelled too. It was pretty gross but it was something I just learned to live with.
Business portal - I had to use the business area as I had shipped something there from Amazon. It was fine, one gentleman there working. Charges were reasonable.
Food - the "Cafe" at the bottom floor is so overpriced. Around $3.00 for a 500 ml bottle of water, It was crazy. If I did it again I would probably rent a cab and get some groceries, or maybe even get a car as I believe their parking is free. I must have spent $100.00 on water alone. The food is overpriced too but not as bad as the drinks.
The restaurant there called Outback is NOT the chain one. However, it was incredible. Better than the Outback franchise. A cute fish pond for the children to enjoy while waiting for our table. The steaks were delicious and the breads too. Our experience there was fantastic. It was the best food we had all week. Disney is not known for their food! :)
Shuttles - pretty good but don't expect the driver to be kind or patient when you have little ones to carry. I had to lean on strangers to help me get my 2 kids (under 5) on the shuttle. The driver was pretty rude to me too, as I took more than 20 seconds to get on the bus. One very positive thing about the shuttle system is that, being at this hotel, you can use the shuttles from the hotel, or go across the street (highway-type street) to Disney Downtown. This way, you have a whole lot of options available for going to the diff. parks. etc. But pay attention because the routes are always changing and when you're busy (as you will be at Disney!) you will be tired and might get on the wrong bus! This happened to a few people I know.
Rooms - like I said, they smell musty but the size is generous and the beds are comfy. The bathrooms are clean, with a separate door for toilet/bath. We had a room up high, I think 26th floor and we could see Epcot from our room. Broken phone. Quiet, didn't hear the neighbours at all.
Overall it was a great hotel and I would probably stay there again. But I would figure out somewhere else to get water. :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa offers 1,014 guest rooms and suites. Amenities include 3 pools, lighted tennis court, basketball and sand volleyball courts, 6 restaurants/lounges and a full-service spa. Located inside Walt Disney World, next to Downtown Disney, featuring over 75 specialty shops/restaurants. Guests enjoy access to 4 Disney golf courses and complimentary transportation to all Disney theme parks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Buena Vista Palace Hotel And Spa
- Buena Vista Palace Orlando
- Lake Buena Vista Palace