Our family just returned from our second trip to Disney's HHI Resort; we have four kids under 10 years old. This is our favorite family vacation spot. The location at Hilton Head is ideal and the accommodations are nice and spacious, but the employees make this place very special. As usual, Disney hires and trains the best. Special thanks to Reggie and Joey!
The resort is located among giant live oaks alongside a marsh on one side. We love the layout of the property. At the center of the resort is the Big Dipper swimming pool along with the activity center and a 100 yard fishing pier. It is generally a contained area, which is perfect for smaller kids to have a some freedom to play without constant oversight. The resort is not very big, so any room is close enough to the pool area, but if you have small kids I do not recommend the main building.
The pool area has daily lifeguard/recreation staff from 8am – 10pm. They wear professional Disney lifeguard apparel and they take their jobs very seriously - always standing and pacing with eyes on the water. They rotate every 15-20 minutes which made us feel confident that fresh eyes were on the water. We witnessed their quick instant reaction to a false alarm one day. When they are not on lifeguard rotation, they are having fun hosting activities, crafts, campfires, and anything else that you might ask them to help with. After a couple of days they knew all of our kids by name. Many of them remembered us from last year. On Tuesday nights they have a Pirate Pool Party – games, prizes, freezing cold water balloons, and a pool peninsula dance party. The party ends with fireworks across the water. There are other pool activities on most days, including slide races, contests, and karaoke. They play a great mix of music throughout the day. It is family friendly entertainment, and my wife and I had as much fun as the kids.
Disney has beach property and a beach house across the road by shuttle. The beach property is nice, but our family only went to the beach one time. We had more fun at the pool area. It seemed like a different clientele at the beach house and the beach was very busy since it is shared with another resort. We preferred the intimate atmosphere at the main property.
If you are up early say hello to Mike the pool guy. He is the unofficial tour guide. There is also a man name B'Lou who performs amazing card tricks and other magic tricks. There is also a dog named shadow is supposedly 18 years old...a little Disney magic, too.
I miss the rustic charm of the rooms that existed before the renovations. The renovations were needed, but I only wish they would have preserved some of old-style cabin feel. It is my only complaint. Until next year...