Orlando Hotel Tips by starship Top 5 Page for this destination

Orlando Hotels: 194,805 reviews and 435 photos

The pool and waterfall at Wilderness Lodge - Orlando

The pool and waterfall at Wilderness Lodge

"Wilderness Lodge Villas": One of My Favorite Resorts at Disney World

As members of the Disney Vacation Club we love the Wilderness Lodge Villas. We have stayed there several times and I am sure we will return there again after trying some of the new "on-property" lodgings.

At the Wilderness Lodge Villas, we reserve a one-bedroom suite which is perfect for a family of 4. It contains a fully stocked kitchen with all dishes and utensils which allows you to fix any or all of your meals if you so choose. All you need to do is buy the food---a fact not lost on Disney so you will find the mini-grocery store in the gift shop in the main lodge very convenient! The kitchen has a breakfast bar which my children loved, and there is also a dining spot with table with chairs for the adults. The living area comes with a TV/VCR and has pull-out sleeper. Don't forget to borrow/rent movies at the gift shop in the lodge too!!

There is a separate bedroom with king-size bed, bedside tables and chair and its own TV enclosed in an armoire. A separate room contains a whirlpool tub room, a large vanity with mirror, plenty of storage and sink. Additionally, there is a separate shower room, sink and closed toilet area. Closet space is plentiful. An excellent and most appreciated feature is the washer and dryer which gives you the option to pack less clothes or just keep up with dirty laundry!!

There is a small balcony, nice for sunbathing or sitting out in the evening. Some one-bedroom suites actually have 2 balconies with the second balcony off the bedroom which is also fabulous for sitting out in the evening!!

The attractive decor takes its inspiration from the hotels and lodges found in the great national parks out West such as Yellowstone! Lots of warm wood, earthy, fall colors, and great details such as a stenciled leaf border just beneath the ceiling molding, and titles in forest green and cream with varying leaf imprints add a special touch. The framed art in the living area and bedroom whisk you into a world of lush mountain landscapes and nature. The decor is not over done, but is tasteful, comfortable and cozy.


Unique Qualities: The Villas are attached to the enormous main Wilderness Lodge which is quite beautiful and is reminescent of the great national park lodges of the West as well. A variety of eating venues include 2 full-service restaurants, 1 quick-service restaurant, 2 nice outdoor pools, and hot-tubs are set on a lovely lake. Don't miss the geyser, just beyond the main pool and hot tub, spouting a steam and watery blast each hour. Don't miss the floating electric light parade on the lake at 9 p.m. every evening!!

Comparison: more expensive than average

Directions: Just a boatride away from the Magic Kingdom, and accessible by the Disney buses found in at all the resorts.

Price: US$180 and up

Theme: Other

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jan 26, 2014
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse
4 more images
The Paddock at Saratoga Springs - Orlando

The Paddock at Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Saratoga Springs ~ My New Favorite Disney Resort


Being a member of the Disney Vacation Club has been a wonderful investment for us because we love Disney World and are able to use our DVC points for stays around the world. During this visit (October, 2006) we used our DVC points to stay at the newest Disney resort hotel, "Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa." Located where the the Villas of the Disney Institute used to be, the Saratoga Springs is a brand new resort complex with new a new theme, new buildings, new landscape and geographical features, new restaurants, etc. The complex is similar to "Port Orleans," & "Old Key West"
resorts in that there are many lodging buildings spread out over several acres, but the building containing the registration desk, lobby, & restaurants requires walking or driving to reach it.

This new resort is based on the theme of Saratoga Springs, New York, and includes art and references throughout to the Saratoga Springs horseracing course there. The beautifully new Victorian buildings generally are 4 stories each, with elevator and are painted in pastel hues with gorgeous architectural details. There is a large central lake with fountains, landscaping and walkways, and lighting. Our building was called the "Paddock" and our room looked directly over the lake -- we had a beautiful balcony on which to enjoy all the sights.

Disney bus service to all the parks is available at Saratoga Springs!


Unique Qualities: We were staying only one night at Saratoga Springs but I would have been happy to spend more nights there! We had a "Studio" room which included one queen size bed and a double pull-out sofa bed. (I can attest to the fact that the pull-out bed was extremely comfortable because I tried it!) When the sofa was not pulled out, it made a very nice sitting area with coffee table, TV, lounge chair, etc.

The room also had a well-thought out small "kitchenette" with granite countertop, sink, microwave, small refrigerator, coffee pot, and cabinet stocked with paper plates, plasticware, and extra coffee. This was perfect for fixing morning coffee and small breakfast to sit out on the balcony with!! We didn't need anymore than this because we purchased the meal plan during this trip.

There was also a vanity & dressing area, and a nice large bathroom. Everything was extremely new, comfortable, and attractive. I really loved the balcony at night because it was a great place to watch the fireworks!

Comparison: more expensive than average

Directions: On Disney property near the "Old Key West" resort and fairly close to the Magic Kingdom. Mickey Express Bus service is now available to all Disney resorts from the Orlando airport!

Price: US$180 and up

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Apr 24, 2011
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse
4 more images
Postcard of Old Key West Resort - Orlando

Postcard of Old Key West Resort

Old Key West Resort: Old Key West ~ One of My Favorites!

We have stayed at Old Key West twice with the first time being in a standard, 2 double-bed room. Even in the "standard" room, you will have a "kitchenette" of sorts with a sink, apartment-size refrigerator, a microwave, and table with 2 chairs. We also had a small terrace/balcony with the standard room. The room was clean, comfortable and decorated nicely, but with 4 people it was a little small.

Flash Forward!! Our second stay at Old Key West was in a one-bedroom suite that could be described as "gigantic." With two teenage children, the size made a world of difference. Old Key West probably has some of the largest rooms in Disney World.

This "apartment" had a greatroom with large living area with cozy seating and a queen-size sofa pull out bed, a large screen TV, a full kitchen completely equipped, dining area with credenza and cabinets, a laundryroom (YES!!), very large bathroom and separate garden-tub room.

The master bedroom contained a king-size bed, its own TV and also had a door to the balcony. We had a second-floor "apartment" and the living area opened onto a very large covered balcony overlooking one of the many lakes. The decor truly brought out the easy-living, Key West atmosphere. The pastel blues and greens were cool and soothing after a sunny, hot day in the Disney World parks.

While the resort's main pool is away from the building our "apartment" was located, it is within walking distance. It also has a nice beachy section, ice-cream shop, restaurant and gift shop nearby.

We thought it was fabulous and one of the nicest accommodations we have ever been in!


Unique Qualities: The view from our second-floor 1-bedroom suite/apartment couldn't have been nicer. It overlooked a quiet lake and we enjoyed feeding the ducks from our balcony.

As with anything that Disney is involved in, the Imagineers go to great lengths to think of every detail which enhances the atmosphere, whether it is inside the parks, or restaurants, or their very special resorts and hotel accommodations. At Old Key West, every detail of the property is designed to make you feel that you really are in Key West---the design of buildings, the decor, the landscape, the artwork, absolutely everything. It's got to be seen to be believed.

Address: Off of Rt. 536 and Community Drive in the Disney World Resort Area

Comparison: most expensive

Directions: West of Downtown Disney which is about 5 minutes away.

Price: US$180 and up

Theme: Other

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Apr 24, 2011
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse
2 more images
Interior view of Animal Kingdom Lodge - Orlando

Interior view of Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ A Small Taste of Africa Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Review
Show Prices

NOTE: (February, 2007) Disney has announced that construction is in the works on the Animal Kingdom Villas which will be part of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). Accommodations will be similar to the 4 or so floor plans in other Disney Vacation Club properties, however, floor plans will be even larger and the one-bedroom suites will now accommodate 5 people instead of 4. this will be a great benefit to families. The new DVC resort will include a new restaurant, water play area, and savannah. It is certain that the rooms will be decorated with an African theme. The Animal Kingdom Villas are scheduled to open late in 2008. Exactly where the villas will be located in relation to the original Animal Kingdom Lodge has not been revealed but it is likely to be somewhat close.

One of the newer Disney resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge is another good choice if you desire to stay close to the parks on Disney property and have some spectacular scenery at the same time. Built into a brushy, dry area, Animal Kingdom Lodge seems to fit into its surrounding.

The interior of the lodge is unique and a striking feature are the large, suspended chandeliers which are made from colorful, African war shields! As you will see from the accompanying picture, the furnishing and accessories have been designed to give you the feeling of being inside of an African-type, lodge.


Unique Qualities: Animal Kingdom Lodge has a beautifully designed outdoor pool flanked by rocks and foliage. A large gift store can be found in the lodge and features many items made in Africa. At least 2 restaurants are also located in the lodge, Boma (a buffet-style eatery) and Jiko which features "new" African cuisine and serves South African wines. In fact Jiko recently received an award its extensive array of fine wines (2006).

The real highlight of the Lodge is that it borders the Animal Kingdom park where animals from Africa can be seen. It is expensive, but getting a room overlooking the svelt and savannah is a top prize and you will possibly be rewarded by the sight of elephants, giraffe, rhinos or zebras within close view of your balcony. It may not be the real Africa, but it maybe as close as you'll ever get without crossing the Atlantic.

Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830

Comparison: more expensive than average

Directions: On Disney property next to Animal Kingdom Park.

Price: US$180 and up

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated May 5, 2009
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse
3 more images
Master Bedroom in Wilderness Villas - Orlando

Master Bedroom in Wilderness Villas

Wilderness Lodge Villas: Western Lodge Feeling Though Not So Rustic

We consider The Wilderness Lodge%to be one of the best resort lodges in Disney World and our favorite "in-park" place to stay. Be sure to pick up one of the fact sheets about the lodge. You will definitely be amazed to learn that the lodge which was completed in May, 1994, is constructed of 85 loads of lodge pole pine from Oregon and Montana. The soaring 7-story atrium features two 55-ft. totem poles!!

There are a wide variety of rooms available which should suit most families and the kids will love it!! Some rooms have views overlooking the green areas, pools and geyser, others overlook the beautiful lake at the rear of the property. As you might guess, the decor is reminescent of the the old national park lodges but with all the creature comforts. Don't forget the pool!!

There are also two very good restaurants here. Artist's Point"
is one of the Disney Signature restaurants which means that the restaurant and the food served is on a level with any of the best restaurants in the country. It also means that the menu prices will reflect that. The Whispering Canyon Cafe is alot of fun and serves some very good food too! Waiters & waitresses are dressed in Western duds and make you laugh, but worse, may make others laugh at you! The Whispering Canyon serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a rustic but tasteful decor---you will think you are "out West" and certainly not in Florida thanks to those Disney Imagineers!

Beyond the hotel, the fast-running brook and large pool, a geyser erupts every half hour -- you might imagine you were at Yellowstone Park but without the bears. Every evening about 9pm there is an "electric light" parade on the lake which neither you nor the kids will want to miss.

The Lodge has a nice gift shop too with items that relate to the Lodge itself, clothing,souvenirs, jewelry, toys and stuffed animals, picture frames, Disney pins, etc. Here you will also find a small grocery store section with an amazing variety of items which will come in handy if you are staying at the Wilderness Lodge Villas, connected by a covered pathway to the Main Lodge. A game room is located just next to the gift shop, but entrance is through an outside door.

You'll love the piped music which will put you right in the mood for where you feel you are -- the western Rockies!


Unique Qualities: Since there are four of us and we sometimes like to economize by fixing our own meals or late night snacks, we usually reserve a one-bedroom suite in the Wilderness Lodge Villas because we are Disney Vacation Club members. (See previous tip for more details.) But rooms at the Main Lodge have the added advantage of sometimes facing on a wild variety of scenery and many of the room doors face into the spectacle of soaring lodge atrium inside. You have to see it to appreciate the scene!

Comparison: most expensive

Price: US$180 and up

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated May 5, 2009
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse
2 more images
Not too shabby! - Orlando

Not too shabby!

Old Key West Resort: Bigger Than Most New York City Apartments

Unique Qualities: From the accompanying picture you can see some of the one-bedroom "apartment" we stayed in in October, 2003. What you see in the first picture is the dining area with the balcony in the background. You will also notice the quality of the furnishings which is excellent. In the other picture I have added to this tip, you can see the main part of the kitchen which is very spacious and has all modern appliances, conveniences, dishes and silverware for guests. It has everything you could possibly need to prepare meals here which helps to stretch your budget, but is also a matter of comfort for families.

I have also added pictures of the master bedroom and even the balcony. The Master bedroom had a king-size bed, an armoir with a large screen TV, a comfy chair, night tables and its own door to the balcony! The master bedroom also has a garden tub, and separate vanity cabinet and mirror and a super walk-in closet. The large windows in the bedroom in this particular "apartment" looks out over the winding river which runs through the property.

Finally, there is a nice set of tables and chairs on this second floor balcony. The picture I have added doesn't do a very good job of showing just how nice it was. This very large, covered balcony was fabulous for having your morning coffee while overlooking the daily activity on the river, and so great for having meals and conversation here. Disney thinks of everything!

Address: Old Key West Resort, Disney World

Comparison: most expensive

Directions: Off of Rt. 536 and Community Drive in Disney World Resort area.

Price: US$180 and up

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jul 24, 2006
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse

starship

“Any day spent traveling is a good day!”

Online Now

Female

Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 2 4
Forum Rank:
0 0 7 0 1

Badges & Stats in Orlando

  • 31 Reviews
  • 73 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 35 Comments
  • 12,976PageViews

Have you been to Orlando?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Orlando

Visiting Orlando?
Read real reviews about Orlando Hotels!

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)

Top 10 Orlando Things to Do

See All Orlando Things to Do