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“Excellent resort filled with character and close to parks”

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Disney's Old Key West Resort
Ranked #70 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 29, 2010

Let's get a few things straight. Walt Disney World is about a famous rodent and celebrates a famous castle that's made out of fiberglass for the purposes of making money.

Another corollary: If you don't already live on a budget at home, you won't know how to have a budget when on vacation. Therefore, you will *always* worry about money regardless of your situation.

If you understand what I've just written, then you can let yourself have a fantastic time on any vacation to Walt Disney World. And my family did.

Old Key West is (I think) the oldest property in the World. Yet, when you think, "old," you should think "character," because that's exactly what this property has -- and lots of it.

We stayed in a 1-bedroom villa (for close to 1,000 square feet, it passes as a small apartment). Since we paid cash, we received laundry service every day (there is actually a card in the room that describes this entire process, for all those who've read previous reviews with people whining and complaining about the lack of such service when on Disney Vacation Club points).

We *drove* everywhere. While I did request -- and got -- a second-story villa near a bus stop, we never used the bus. We wanted the freedom to come and go as we pleased, and that's exactly what we got. We were never more than 25 minutes from the furthest park (Animal Kingdom) and getting around the World is easy *if you follow the following three keys to getting around*:

1. Know what area your resort is located (e.g.: OKW is a Downtown Disney-located resort);
2. Know the inverse of the direction of where you want to go;
3. Know the Park you want to go to.

If you know the above three things, then you will never get lost in the World, as the signage is abundant -- assuming you pay attention as you drive.

We would recommend this resort over Saratoga Springs (where we had a quick-serve dinner one evening) simply over the fact that Saratoga Springs is abundantly sprawling. No, really: the first time you enter that resort (and it is pretty), you absolutely *must* pay attention to where you go because you will get lost otherwise. It's flat-out enormous.

Old Key West resort is truly a "hidden jem" of the Disney Resort properties. We were able to secure it at 40% off, so we went with it. Next trip to Disney will likely include this resort.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank maestro7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 28, 2010

I have heard awesome things about the Disney experience. But I feel let down. First our rooms were not near our friends rooms as had been promised with our reservations. Then when we tried to rectify the situation the OKW staff didn't at first care, it didn't seem like a problem to them. We had to repeatedly state our case and then we found one caring person who helped. Our first room (we changed after 3 days to be closer to our friends) was not properly stocked with the little amentities. The beds were so uncomfortable, the A/C was either freezing or not cool enough and we had to climb three flights of stairs (no elevator!). Our second room was nicer, had most of the little amentities (they didn't leave coffee for the room, ugh.) Then when eating at Olivia's Cafe ($90 for a family of 5!) My husband chicken was raw and they offered him a "Hunk of prime rib". He had already eaten my daughters dinner (20 minutes before our waitress came by to see how everything was) and he wasn't hungry anymore. They offered nothing else. DON'T EAT THERE, NOT WORTH IT. And now, after the chaos of leaving, we accidentally left something behind and trying to get someone from lost and found to get back with us is terribly painful.
On a positive note, I did think the rooms were nice, with a decent amount of space.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank smshunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
713
Reviewed June 23, 2010

We stayed at OKW for 10 nights in May 2010, with our twin 5 year old girls. This was the first time using our Disney Vacation Club membership, and OKW was the only resort we could get into that had all the nights available. So we booked and hoped for the best.

From the moment we arrived I got a good feeling...in typical Disney fashion, everyone was wonderful and welcoming. We stayed in a one bedroom suite, which was really a fair-sized one bedroom apartment. There was a spacious separate bedroom, then a queen pull-out in the living room. We also had a full kitchen, a walk-out to a patio with table & chairs, a jacuzzi tub (which the kids loved!), laundry facilities...the list goes on! There was nothing that we wanted that hadn't been included. We did a run to Walmart shortly after we arrived and picked up some very basic groceries that allowed us to start our days as leisurely as we wanted without having to worry about where to feed the girls.

The grounds of the resort were very nice as well, clean, of course, and really quite lovely in that pastel Key West motif. We tried 3 different pools - the main one with a waterslide was the big attraction, but the two "neighbourhood" pools we visited (closer to our suite) were great too. We also tried the community hall one evening - there were family games that we did with the kids for a couple of hours and it was a nice diversion from the one evening of rain we experienced.

Dining at OKW was very limited; we didn't try the full-service restaurant as the reviews hadn't been great, but the two counter service places were fine. We were on the dining plan so we had ample choices for meals, and as we were out at the parks or Downtown Disney most of the time, this worked out just fine.

The one thing I would note, is that we defintiely had an easier time of things because we had a car. We took full advantage of the complimentary parking at the parks and other resorts (very grateful for the GPS!) and avoided many hours of waiting for buses etc. You can certainly manage without a vehicle, but because OKW is more remote to some of the parks it did make it easier to be able to drive.

Much as we plan to try several of the DVC resorts over the years, OKW is defintiely on our list for a return visit! Apparently the rooms are a bit bigger at OKW than the other DVC properties, so it may just end up a favourite.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2010

The rooms were dark and small. The beds were extremely hard! The grounds were very noisy during the night. Housekeeping knocked on our door at 7:15 am on the morning we were leaving (check out is at 11 am). The resort had one restaurant on site and one snack bar on site. The room was warm and we could not lower the A/C below 70 degrees. It was about 95 degrees out, with a feels like temp of over 100.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank teachertraveler0166
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2010

This was a wonderful trip! The check-in and out were very easy. Our room was ready by noon. The rooms are beautiful and large. The employees are all very friendly. The grounds are very pretty and peaceful. We loved the pool and waterslide. Also enjoyed the boat ride to Downtown Disney. The only downside to our stay is that the bus ride to the parks takes a while since there are several stops to make inside the resort.
As long as you aren't in a hurry and like a laid-back vacation, this is the place to be!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank dlann03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2010

I went to Disneyworld with my three grown children (21 to 26) and my son in law. This was my first time staying at a DVC as it's fairly recent that Disney switched to RCI and I used my timeshare to swap for a week at Old Key West. I'd read that the resort was in need of updating and showing it's age but it was the only DVC that was available when I was searching for accomodation at Disneyworld.

I have to say I was satisfied and fairly happy we stayed at the Old Key West. The two bedroom unit was quite large with lots of living space and a full kitchen. The units here are larger than the newer DVC's. We were on the ground floor with a covered patio looking out over a pond and the golf course. We had coffee out there a couple of mornings and it was quite peaceful. Is the unit getting a bit dated? Sure but it gets a lot of traffic and it was very clean. Does it need updating with new furniture? Oh you bet it does, but none of the furniture was broken, torn or worn badly. The buildings and grounds are very well maintained so we were satisfied with our unit. Not thrilled but satisfied.

I asked for and was given a ground floor unit because I had to rent an electric cart as I need a new hip. (Please don't hate me if I was the one who ran into you or cut you off or stopped in front of you suddenly. I'm a rookie!) I also asked for and received a building close to the main building and pool because I can walk short distances and didn't want to bring a cart to the pool area. The resort is very spread out so if you are staying anywhere but very close to the main buildings you need to hop a bus to get to get there. Buses are frequent so you won't wait long but still it's just one more time you're standing in line waiting. Not sure I'd want to wait for a bus back to the condo in a wet bathing suit and sandals.

We used the snack shack for a quick take out breakfast one morning and we had a couple of drinks at the bar one night and a snack at Olivia's while we were waiting for the bus to the airport. Other than that we didn't spend much time at the main lobby or pool area, we spent all our time at the parks. Even so I'm very glad we got a building close to the lobby. I have to say the bar tender was really great and very funny. He knew several guests by name which is talent all it's own, and made everyone feel very welcome. He also kept us laughing. The bar is VERY SMALL so if it's a busy time you're not going to be able to sit down.

Bus service to the parks was ok but not great. They are supposed to come every twenty minutes but we had to wait over a half hour many times before the bus we needed arrived. The resort was not busy when we were there. I can imagine it would be a bigger problem when the resort is full and the number of people start to pile up at the bus stops. One day it was taking close to an hour and we decided to take the next bus no matter where it was headed. Luckily it was going where we wanted in the first place. The travel time to the parks is reasonable, except for the Magic Kingdom. That ride did seem particularly long.

My only complaints are fairly minor.
The resort "theme" is not very distinct and not very Disney.
Waits for bus a bit long
Too spread out if you're not close to the main building
Kitchen could use a couple more utensils
Store on site only had very few items so if you want to use the kitchen for meals you need to go shopping somewhere off property or arrange to have it delivered.
The coffee machine needs filters but you can't get any from housekeeping or from the store, altough they sell ground coffee which we couldn't use without filters.
Bell services lost one of our bags and we missed the scheduled bus to the airport, but eventually my daughter got one of the bellmen to take her to where they stored the baggage and located it herself. The bag storage was moved because of the construction. They offered to send us in a taxi but the next bus arrived before the taxi and we made it to the airport with no problems at all.

If we go back I'll try to get a unit at the Beach Club or the Boardwalk, if they are available. If not, I'd be willing to return to Old Key West. Hey, anywhere in Disneyworld is better than somewhere else!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank kahuna1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2010

We just returned from a 6 night stay at Old Key West and I have nothing but good comments about this property. Well, except for the construction going on at Hospitality House but that was a minor convenience.

I had requested a 2 bedroom villa on the first floor near a bus stop and I got exactly that. Our room was not ready when we arrived but they offered to text me when it was and I got that text within an hour or so.

We had a two bedroom villa and I was truly impressed with the sheer size and the appointments. I especially appreciated the full sized washer and dryer and the Jacuzzi tub. It was also nice to have a TV in each bedroom as well as in the living area. I cannot think of a single ammenity that was lacking.

The villa was also very clean and well maintained. The daily housekeeping service was wonderful. Our patio looked out onto a lush garden area.

I also cannot say enough about the cast members at the resort. Everyone went out of their way to accommodate our needs. The Bell Desk held our bags when we arrived and then delivered them to our villa at 2am when we requested it. They also helped us to ship a large package home when we checked out.

I especially appreciated the bright "Welcome Home" we received from each cast member we met during our stay. They were very friendly.

I will agree that the restaurant, Olivia's, was less than wonderful but the general store was very handy. I will also agree that the resort is sprawling but once we learned we could hop on any Disney bus inside the resort and be dropped off at Hospitality House we had no problems.

The average commute to any park was about 15 minutes but the buses came frequently. We did see a great deal of the property as the buses stopped at each of the bus stops but that is a small price to pay in my opinion. The property is quite lovely.

All in all, I think Old Key West is a wonderful property and it certainly met our needs. I was able to get an excellent rate even though I am not a DVC member. I would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank QOE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Old Key West Resort

Address: 1510 North Cove Road, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8421
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#57 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#66 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $334 - $1,055 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Disney's Old Key West Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 761
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the romance of the Florida Keys at this tranquil community of Conch Flats-a sprawling island hamlet with shimmering waterways, swaying palm trees and manicured golf-course fairways. Delight in sun-soaked pools, casual dining and such amenities as fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes. A peaceful tropical paradise, Disney's Old Key West Resort is also just a boat ride away from the excitement of the Downtown Disney area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney`s Old Key West Hotel Orlando
Old Key West Resort
Disneys Old Key West Hotel
Disney Old Key West Resort
Key West Disney
Disneys Old Key West Resort

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