Only 15 minutes' walk or a quick shuttle ride from Disney Springs' growing number of shops and restaurants, this family-friendly resort tower offers many of the amenities of staying in a Disney hotel (including some rooms with fireworks views), but for a bargain price. You can hop a free bus at the front door to get to the parks or to Disney Springs, the nearby shopping and entertainment district. For the retail-minded family members, the factory outlet stores are only 10 minutes’ drive away.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Daily parking ($8) and resort fees ($14) can eat into the budget a bit, but the overall price of a room, including the fees, is still a bargain for a property this close to the parks.
Beds have duvet-style linens, all rooms have 37-inch flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, an iPod docking station, and Wi-Fi. Sliding glass doors frame views of lush Florida greenery, no matter what side of the hotel you are on, and lead to balconies furnished with table and chairs. Many of the rooms on higher floors have views of Disney’s nightly fireworks.
YOU SHOULD KNOW As you might expect, room rates rise along with the floor level, and fireworks views are pricier than rooms overlooking the trees. If you are staying for a week, do you really need to see seven nights of fireworks? On at least one of those nights you will likely be much closer to, perhaps directly under, the fireworks if a visit to Magic Kingdom or Epcot is on the schedule.
Nothing more than standard beige bathrooms, with rather old-fashioned granite counter tops. But you are not here for the bathrooms, are you? They're bathrooms--and they are very functional and clean!
Impressive columns support the high ceilings of this large, airy lobby, giving it the feel of a much more luxurious resort, but the vibe is very laid back, and the guests always seem to be having a good time. The desk staff is available 24 hours a day.
A standard fitness center is available.
Traders Island Grill offers a buffet breakfast and full dinner menu, and, best of all for families, one child 10 and under eats free, adding a little bonus to the budget available for theme-park spending. A Pizza Hut Express in the lobby sells, you guessed it, pizza, along with sandwiches, wine, and beer.
The hotel offers complimentary transportation to and from the Disney parks and Disney Springs. But if you also want to visit Universal or Sea World, your best bet is to rent a car, even with the $8 daily parking fee, or opt for an Uber.
The resort is within a 10-minute walk of Disney Springs, giving guests easy access to the vast shopping and dining area. Restaurants at the near end of Disney Springs include the three-story PaddleFish, a modern take on the American traditional paddleboat, where seafood is king and the outdoor rooftop terrace offers striking views of the lagoon and the entertainment at the Springs. Nearby you’ll find Morimoto’s, an Asian Fusion eatery owned by, and often visited by, famed Japanese chef, Morimoto; and for those who fancy a Mexican experience, James Beard Foundation Award winner Chef Rick Bayless' Frontera Cocina beckons. Further afield is House of Blues, where barbecue and blues reign.
Nearly all the eateries at Disney Springs offer fully stocked bars, so a pub crawl has an international flavor. You can hoist a Guinness at Raglan Road, sip a sake on the roof of Morimoto's; or cool down with an icy, tequila-based cocktail at Frontera Cocina.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you want the Disney experience without paying full Disney hotel prices, this lodging has a lot to offer. It’s closer to Disney Springs than any of Disney's on-property hotels, meaning world-class dining and entertainment is only a 10-minute stroll from the comfort of your balcony. The rooms are spacious, the outdoor balconies are a treat, and complimentary transportation means a car is not required.