Downtown Disney Hotels
You want to spend less on your hotel for this year’s family vacation to Orlando and Walt Disney World, and you want to stay inside Disney World…what’s the answer? If you will look there are a number of exceptional first-class hotels and resorts that are referred to as Downtown Disney Hotels.
With this article we will investigate each property and determine which might be the best value for your dollar. However, it is good to note that if you are inside the gates of Walt Disney World, you get certain advantages that are not found with properties at the entrance to the Main Gate.
First advantage and one that you can’t take lightly is the Quality Standards. Disney World is a stickler for maintaining exceptional top quality standards in their own hotels. You can rest assured they are just as tough on maintaining these lofty standards on “all” properties inside their park. They will inspect and they do so regularly said one general manager. If they find something amiss or not up to their standards, they will request that you correct the problem. If you choose to ignore their suggestion, they will put it in writing and now you are on notice. The upshot is that you will lose huge business if you choose not to keep the standards.
The second advantage you will notice with Downtown Disney Hotels is that amenities are more prevalent at these properties. For instance, all hotels inside Disney World are required to have a Disney Store. Here guests can purchase their Disney World tickets just off the lobby without having to go to the gate and stand in a long line.
Another advantage to Downtown Disney Hotels is the requirement that all hotels inside the park must provide shuttle service to all theme parks as well as water parks every 30 minutes. They run a continuous loop around the confines of Walt Disney World. Let’s say you have a young family and your three year old needs his afternoon nap. There is nothing more convenient than looking for your shuttle bus at Magic Kingdom where you have spent the morning.
Most hotels outside Disney World provide very limited shuttle service to the theme parks. Yes, they have the service, but note the keyword “limited”. They will run a bus on a schedule usually two or three times in the morning and two or three times in the evening. There are some hotels that run once in the morning and once in the evening…so if you need shuttle service check with the hotel of choice as to their schedule.
The nightly rates which we will go into more detail further in this article are by an large some 30% cheaper than what you will find in comparable properties inside the park.
There are seven properties that make up the Downtown Disney Hotels…they are Buena vista Palace, Doubletree Hotel, Hilton inside Disney World, Regal Sun, Holiday Inn, Royal Plaza and Best Western Lake Buena Vista. We will take each of these and give a thumbnail description of what they offer.
Buena Vista Palace…This first class Hotel and Spa has just completed a full renovation across from the Downtown Disney neighborhood. This hotel boasts plush surroundings that only discriminating travelers would seek. The baths have all been redone. All rooms offer larger flat panel televisions. There is almost 100,000 sq ft of meeting space. There is a 10,000 sq ft spa area and if you desire wonderful cuisine there is not one but seven restaurants on site. This property is deemed to be an Official Walt Disney World Hotel carrying the exceptional high standards found only in Hotels and Resorts inside Walt Disney World.
Other amenities of interest at Buena Vista Palace and Spa are: High Speed Internet Access, Business Services, State of the art Fitness Center, a Disney Gift Shop, mini fridge, in-room safe, children’s playground, car rental service on site, 24 hour room service on site, seven onsite restaurants, Tropical Recreation Island complete with 3 pools, whirlpool and concierge. They also have tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.
Doubletree Guest Suites…If you haven’t stayed at a Doubletree Guest Suites, you are in for a real treat. This is not just a hotel this is a suite hotel that offers twice the space of a normal hotel room.
The Doubletree Suites offers 229 suites most of which are one bedroom but there are some two bedroom units. Each suite has a living room complete with a wet bar, and an exquisite bedroom. They provide shuttle service to all the Disney Theme Parks that depart the hotel every 3o minutes. In the living room, there is a sofa that folds out to make a queen bed for the larger families. There is an on-site restaurant and lounge.
Some of the other amenities found at the Doubletree Guest Suites are: room service, high speed internet access, a business center, a fitness center, heated pool with kid pool, game room for the kids, of course a Disney Gift Shop, and a Budget Car Rental Agency in the lobby.
Holiday Inn…Right across the street from
Downtown Disney is one of the most attractive properties in the market. It
was closed for three and half years while it went through total renovation.
You will find that this property like so many of its neighbors is a cut above
any Holiday Inn in the central Florida market. The service standards are impeccable
and the location is hard to beat.
The guest rooms are quite elegant decorated in rich Florida hues. The bath areas are in granite and many have walk-in showers rather than tubs. The amenities are endless what with high speed internet access, balconies with many rooms, room service and of course the wide screen television.
If you are looking to schedule a meeting there is over 11,000 sq ft of meeting space hallmarked by a staff that understands exceptional service.
Other amenities at the 323 room Holiday Inn Resort inside Disney World are: a work desk in each room, high speed internet in each room, pillow top mattress bedding, large 32 inch LCV wide screen TV, heated zero gravity pool, whirlpool spa, 24 hour fitness center, multilingual staff, concierge and iron and ironing board. Also there is a Disney Store on the premises.
Hilton Resort inside Disney World…This property is actually referred to as the Hilton Orlando Resort for as of this year, there is a brand new Hilton also located inside Walt Disney World.
The Hilton is a certified as an Official Walt Disney World Hotel. This means of course that it is located in the parks and carries the high standards so set forth by Disney World. This is a large property with over 814 guest rooms and suites.
One of the most attractive features of this property is that there is a Disney Character Breakfast from 8:30 am to 11:00 am every Sunday. Are you looking for a great photo opportunity this is your chance to get that once in a life time photo?
You will find that each day Disney World opens one of its theme parks an hour early and stays open up to three hours each evening. If you are a guest of the Hilton Orlando Resort, you get to participate in these extended hours without any additional costs.
Other amenities include: 30 minute shuttle service to all theme parks in Disney World, high speed internet access, in-room safe, mini bar in each room, video game room for the kids, babysitting service, and Avis car rental in the lobby.
Best Western Lake Buena Vista…This 325 room
resort hotel is not named properly. First, it is inside Disney World at the
Lake Buena Vista entrance. It also is much nicer than most Best Westerns I
have stayed in however; the standards authored by Disney World set this property
to be one maybe two cuts above its sister properties flying the same Best
This is one of the tallest hotels in the Disney World market. If you are fortunate enough to get a room on the park side of the hotel, you will be able to see the Disney fireworks nightly at about 9 pm from your window…now, that is a treat….an air conditioned fire works show!
This full service property sits on 11 acres of tropical Florida landscape in the Downtown Disney market area. Each room sports a balcony completely furnished to rest after a day at the parks.
The Best Western inside Walt Disney World offers also a 30 minute shuttle to all the theme parks, preferred tee times to the five Disney World Resort Golf Courses, a state of the art fitness center, an interactive game room for kids, valet parking, heated swimming pool, wi-fi access, and a Disney gift shop. All rooms have two queen beds, iron and ironing board, internet access on the television, pay per view movies, electronic safe, hairdryer, coffee and coffee pot as well as a private furnished balcony.
Regal Sun Resort…The Regal Sun Resort is an Official Walt Disney Resort Hotel so designated by its location inside Disney World and meeting the high standards as set forth by Disney for all their lodging properties. This property provides FREE scheduled shuttle service to all theme parks inside the park and it runs every 3o minutes.
If swimming is your thing…the resort boasts two heated swimming pools, as well as an aquatic playground and a lap pool.
If you are looking for that special photo opportunity with the kids or grandkids, the Regal Sun has not one but three scheduled Disney character breakfasts at the hotel.
This 626 room resort situated on 13 acres adjacent to Downtown Disney has been totally renovated and offers unmatched guest comfort from the lobby to the guest rooms. Each room is magnificently detailed in Florida hues and offers a whole host of amenities. Some of these are: Dollar Car rental in the lobby, Video Arcade for the kids, high speed wireless internet, business center, currency exchange, baby sitting services, kids pool and playground, two outdoor pools one heated, full conference center with 19,000 sq ft of meeting space, expansive fitness center and three restaurants along with a lounge.
Royal Plaza Hotel…This is an exceptional world class property that has service standards that all will enjoy. This 394 room hotel carries the distinction of being and Official Walt Disney World Hotel.
One of the neat features of this hotel is the Royal Bed package complete with the pillow-top mattress, the white duvet, and the extremely plush pillows. Are you looking for a restful night sleep, then you are at the right place at the Royal Plaza Hotel.
The Royal Plaza is located across the street from Downtown Disney where you will find Circus Solei, Pleasure Island the night time theme park for adults, the largest Leg O Land store in the country, and Disney Quest the Interactive Theme Park for kids of all ages.
Some of the popular amenities of the Royal Plaza are: complimentary 30 minute Shuttle Service to all Disney World Theme Parks and water parks, discounts as well as preferred tee times on the Disney World Golf Courses, a Disney gift shop, Children 10 and under eat FREE in the restaurant with a paying guest, a video arcade for the kids, a fully equipped business center, valet parking available, wireless high speed internet access, coffee maker in your room, iron and ironing board, ceiling fans, and all rooms feature a pullout sleeper sofa.
The one thing you will notice when you review these properties and their schedule of amenities is that they are all indeed full service hotels. Most have more than one pool and a whole host of fabulous things for the family to do when they are not in the parks. If you desire awesome service then any of the seven properties are a cut above any found outside the Disney gate.
But an article on Downtown Disney Hotels would not be complete without mention of rates. Understand there are seasons in Orlando and with it the rates will adjust either upward or downward. The best way to explain the seasonality of the hotels is to say that when kids are in school, this is generally low season. When the kids are out of school such as Christmas, Easter/Spring Break, or summer vacation the rates are normally quoted as high season.
Here are the rates I found:
|Property name||Low Season||High Season|
|Buena Vista Palace||$89||$149|
|Doubletree Guest Suites||$80||$206|
What you should immediately notice are these rates on the high side are less expensive on a nightly basis that that of most all the resorts in Disney World. Matter of fact, the low season rates are on average some 30% cheaper than those low season rats of the Budget Hotels sponsored by Disney World.
Hence, we started the article by asking the question….are you looking
to spend less this year on your Disney family vacation and you desire not
to sacrifice quality but you want to be inside the confines of Walt Disney
World? T hen the answer to your question is here, you will find huge discounts
on most all Downtown Disney Hotels.