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“Nice alternative; a nearly Disney hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista

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Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1805 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
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Ranked #17 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersSilver level
Los
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nice alternative; a nearly Disney hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

We (a group of 2 families) stayed at the Holiday Inn for 6 nights on a trip to WDW. The hotel was overall very nice. The room was on the 9th floor and very well kept each day. Our room faced Downtown Disney (DD) on the 9th floor. Far in the distance we could see Expedition Everest as well as the Swan and Dolphin hotels. Closer, we had a view of the hustle and bustle of DD. The Wyndham across the street blocked our view of Epcot and beyond. The staff was genuinely caring, from the greetings at the breakfast buffet to the welcome in the Disney operated store and to the front desk.

The mini-fridge was a welcome part of the room. The coffee maker not so much. There is no in-room or kiosk checkout; I hope management will add those options.

We tried the breakfast buffet on the first morning. There was a nice selection of bacon, scrambled eggs, waffles, grits, etc., plus an omelette station (OJ is an extra buck); a bit pricey but definitely give it a try, and kids do get to eat free with a paying adult. They also offer a continental breakfast buffet (no meat items) for a lower price. We would then walk to Earl of Sandwich in DD to pick up food to bring into the park. Being close to DD is a distinct advantage of the Holiday Inn.

The walk isn't bad, except for the summer humidity. It was really hot. Sweat in the morning. Don't go in the summer if you can't stand to sweat. To get to DD, the walk will go by the Hilton (which is a block closer to DD). Consider walking through the Hilton to cool off and admire the Mickey bronze in the lobby, and to get Starbucks-logo coffee.

After picking up sandwiches from the Earl, we would wait for the free bus at the Hilton. No need to walk back to the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn bus is part of the DD transportation system which is separate from the WDW Transportation system. The bus stops at 4 hotels in the following order (all on the same side of the street): Hilton, Holiday Inn, Royal Plaza, and Double Tree. There are 2 buses; one goes to (in order) Epcot and the Studios, and the other goes to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. The buses are on a 30 minute schedule, so if getting quickly to and from the parks is important, then a car may work better.

As for how this compares to other hotels, this is of course not the same as one of the premium Disney hotels or the Swan/Dolphin (for reference, we've stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and the Dolphin on previous trips); none of the DD hotels are on the same par. However, if you don't mind the lack of theming, and if you are looking for a hotel with all the amenities and care of an upper-tier hotel at a reasonable price, and still 'within' the Disney sphere, then consider this property. Especially consider this Holiday Inn over the Disney value resorts, and even the intermediate resorts.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,840 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (476)
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English first
Good Hope, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We usually stay at a Disney Resort on Disney grounds but since we were only there for 2 nights we decided to try an off property hotel and I'm glad we did. This hotel is amazing and has all the benefits of a Disney hotel except for the Extra Magic Hours. It provides bus trasportation to all parks and picks you up when you are done. The only thing is when you want to got to the Magic Kingdom, the bus drops you off and picks you up at the TTC, but that is not a big deal. From the first time you pull onto the property of this hotel you will be amazed. The valet parking attendants ant the bellmen are all so nice and helpfull as well as the front desk people. The pool is wonderful. We didn't get a chance to eat at the restaurant but the food looked and smelled wonderfull. The rooms were very spacious and comfortable. The bathroom was also a good size. The only problem we had during our stay was the water pressure in the shower. Sometimes it would go completely down to nothing and sometimes it would only be hot water or cold water. But that will not stop us from staying at this property again. We also had a balcony and it was nice to go and sit outside and watch the rain and everything else around us. You can choose to get a view of Downtown Disney or a view of the Magic Kingdom but they do charge more. Our view was still good, we could actually the coasters at Universal and of course all the traffic on I-4, but we never heard any traffic while we were sleeping. If you are looking for a hotel near Disney but son't want to pay Disney prices then I highly recommend this hotel. We will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask to stay in the Tower rooms if you don't mind not having a Disney views.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Austin, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

I took my family to DisneyWorld and we spent a week at the Holiday Inn near Downtown Disney. We had a great time and the hotel was very nice. The beds were comfortable and the room had extra outlets for cell phone chargers and iPads. This is our second stay at this location and the staff was very friendly, especially in the restaurant. The room rate was very reasonable (less than I've paid at some HI Express locations).

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

Our family spent the week in Orlando visiting the various parks and couldn't have been happier with our experience at this hotel. Rooms were comfy, clean, and quiet. Beds are so comfortable with most Holiday Inn's - this was no exception, with your choice of pillow type (soft or hard).

We requested at time of reservation to have a top floor and it was waiting for us. Breakfasts were outstanding and plenty of variety. They were generous with the coffee and gave us to-go cups. Everyone on the staff was extremely friendly and service-oriented. The restaurant and the grill both offered up excellent foods and happily provided substitutions when asked.

The location was perfect for the parks, too! It was no more than a 10 minute drive to Discovery Cove, Seaworld and Aquatica and there was the free shuttle to Epcot / other parks.

My only complaint is that you have to pay for parking. It's a hassle. Just up the price of the room $10 if you want the money and let me come and go when I want. Parking should be something included, not an extra. But, I know many hotels in bigger cities are doing this now ... I just don't care for the practice.

Room Tip: I always request top floor away from the elevator when traveling. Usually my request is honored.
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Green Features: They have the standard practices of not replacing towels / changing linens unless you request it. They also used glass vs. throw-away cups for the room.
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DC area
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

The reviews were correct - this hotel does a wonderful job with making you feel at home, relaxed, and problem free. The managers are informative and caring. The food was better than reviewed (actually some of it was excellent - the breakfast as written in other reviews and the appetizers - capresse flat was superb).. only disappointment had nothing to do with the hotel - the Disney shuttles took much longer than expected (45-60 minutes on a crowded bus with multiple stops and then dropping us off at the transportation center where we needed to shuttle or monorail elsewhere) … we ended up taking a cab on some days to the tune of 25 dollars each way with tip directly to Epcot or Animal Kingdom -taking 10 minutes total and feeling the air conditioned luxury (still less expensive than car rental and parking, gas). With the money you save staying and eating at the Holiday Inn (Kids free for us for food) it was worth the extra luxury on the cab rides. Be aware that only Checkers Cab and Miers Cabs (they are in the same company) have the highway toll passes.. some cab drivers do not tell you this and it costs you more or they try and drop you off at the Transportation Centers … hope this helps and we would absolutely return to this hotel (usually I am a 4-5 star hotel type of gal and this hotel was really right up there in terms of service, quietness, and comfort)..

Room Tip: You will enjoy the rooms with a fireworks view. 9 pm in one direction and 10 pm in another without...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServices1805, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
Dear Elisa G.,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us feedback on your stay with us.

I am happy that we were able to make you feel at home and relaxed during your vacation.

I am sorry about about your experiences with the theme park shuttles. I will definitely pass your feedback on.

On behalf of the entire hotel staff, thank you for choosing our hotel. We hope that you come back and visit us again.

Sincerely,
Leslie
Guest Services Representative
Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Downtown
Located in the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort
2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

We booked our vacation in Feb for June and got an amazing rate through Southwest airlines vacations. Under $80/night!! The bus service to the parks was prompt and run by the same service as the Disney ones. The maid service was great and the housekeeping manager was especially helpful when one of our group left an item at dinner. In fact, the whole staff went out of their way and seemed overjoyed when the item was found. I cannot say enough about the staff. They were friendly and went out of their way to make sure we had everything that we needed. We stayed a week and by the 2nd day they knew my son's name and asked about his day in the park. My son hugged Crissy the hostess when we went to dinner. Amelia served us both breakfast and dinner and she felt like part of the family. The dinner menu is a bit limited, but the nightly specials are reasonable and just that "special." Jesus made us a seared chicken with avocado salsa,sour cream mash and asparagus that was crazy good. When I told the manager, he made sure I could have it again the next night. The breakfast buffet is pricey, but kids eat free. For my son and I, we could do the whole thing with tip for around $20. The more kids the better the price, but you can order from the menu and kids still eat free. Get used to it EVERYTHING at Disney is expensive. I found this hotel very reasonable. I liked having the Disney gift shop on property. I could tell my son we would get this or that when we returned to the hotel, if he behaved. Great pool, nice after a long day. This was a great vacation and the staff at the hotel were a huge part of the experience!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServices1805, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
Dear Bguffee,

Thank you for taking time to post such a wonderful review about our property.

We pride ourselves on trying to get to know our guests. We know it is the small things that make a vacation truly memorable.

I am very glad that you and your son were able to enjoy all of your restaurant experiences. I am happy that the seared chicken was delicious enough for you to request it the next evening.

On behalf of Amelia and the entire hotel staff , we would like to thank you for choosing our hotel. We hope that you come back in the future and we are able to create another memorable experience for you.

Sincerely,
Leslie
Guest Services Representative
Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Downtown
Located in the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort
2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Park Ridge, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

We stayed there in April and checked in on a Saturday and left on a Monday. When we arrived there was a big party just leaving the ballrooms and we entered the lobby and heard the "boom, boom, boom" of the music on the way to the elevators and had to battle with people just to walk through. Really not what I needed after hours riding in the car. The people that were coming from the ballroom made their way to the bar, which is actually right next to the front desk and we had to walk through that crowd as well.

Our room was clean, we had a high floor as requested, and paid for the room with a view of downtown disney. The main reason I got the room with a view of downtown disney was so we could see the fireworks and take pictures on the balcony. The balcony actually faced the busy street and the fireworks were sooo far away, it really was not worth the extra money. We did take some pictures the first night we stayed since we arrived late, but the next two days we were at the park all day and didn't even look at the view.

On Sunday night, I went to buy a bottle of water from the little snack shop and there was no attendent but a sign saying to pay at the bar. So then some guy comes up the bar after I had been waiting for the bartender who distinctly saw me but decided to help the guy instead. What the hell! I am in my pj's and you wont let me give you a dollar for this stupid water! So then I put the money on the bar and yelled out to the bartender to told him I was leaving the money and left. Horrible service and why do I have to pay at the bar, get an attendent at your snack stand, wth!?!!?!!!!

Breakfast was very crowded and noisy on Sunday morning, we had to wait for a table. The table was set with silverware and the waitress came up to take our drink order. Good, on to the right start. We come back to our table after going to the buffet and notice that there are 2 more people who joined the table next to us and that our silverware is gone. Really?!?!?!!!! Now I have my food but cannot eat and have to wait for a server to bring me silverware that the table stole from us! I'd rather pay the extra $200 per night to stay in a Disney owned hotel and make sure I get the service I deserve.

Monday's breakfast was better. A lot less crowded and we got a table closer to the buffet.

On the up side, the people who work in the Disney gift shop were very knowledgable and helpful when talking about the parks and our ticket options. I was not surprised to hear that Disney owns that gift shop, therefore, the people working were Disney employees which was the reason why they were so helpful and knowledgeful. The person who checked us in at the front desk was nice as well. But, after our stay I was happy to check out.

Room Tip: The higher the level, the lesser the noise. Do not spend a weekend here during the warmer months...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista, responded to this review, July 7, 2013
Dear Tnmffie,

Thank you for posting a review of our property. We are hospitality professionals who pride ourselves on delivering world class service and we are sorry we did not manage this for your stay. Please accept our sincere apology for the shortcomings you experienced and we regret our hotel service did not live up to your expectations. We have taken note and wish to thank you for all your comments. These are of great importance to us and allow us to monitor and improve our service continually.

Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and I hope that you will consider us again on your future travels.

Sincerely,

Joel B
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista

Address: 1805 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Orlando
#8 Green Hotel in Orlando
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#20 Family Hotel in Orlando
#24 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista 3.5*
Number of rooms: 323
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Holiday Inn Orlando - Lake Buena Vista Downtown. Located in the the Walt Disney World Resort, within walking distance to Downtown Disney we offer the perfect place to stay during your vacation to Walt Disney World. With deluxe rooms, lobby and relaxing pool you are sure to enjoy the comfort and convenience of our charming Orlando hotel. Whether you are in town for a weekend getaway, destination wedding or family vacation, our hotel in Lake Buena Vista puts you in the center of it all. We are conveniently located to several Orlando attractions, golf courses and shopping. If you're in Orlando on business, feel free to utilize our 10 different meeting rooms with space for 18 to 500 guests. During your vacation, enjoy our choice Orlando hotel amenities, which include free high-speed Internet access, a delicious on-site restaurant and lounge, Bath and Body Works bath amenities in every bathroom a zero-entry pool and nightly specials for kids and kids at heart. Check out our J.D. Power & Associates award winning hotel room deals, and make your reservation today. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn - In The Walt Disney World Hotel Orlando
Holiday Inn Orlando
Orlando Holiday Inn

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