Connected to Disney Springs by a pedestrian sky-way bridge, this large, multi-tower resort dominates the view. An official Walt Disney World® Hotel, the resort caters to business and leisure guests and gets kudos as much for its on-site amenities as for its location. The resort, pools, and recreation areas were redesigned in 2016, and offer lots of family fun, with a variety of water features and outdoor dining. Panoramic views from some of the guest-room balconies on higher floors reveal the scope of Disney World, including nightly fireworks. The lobby's tasteful decor is echoed in the rooms, which have deluxe linens, flat-screen TVs, work desks, ergonomic chairs, and beautifully tiled bathrooms. Transportation to all Disney parks, Disney-character breakfasts at the hotel, and access to Disney golf courses are available.
The daily resort fee covers internet access, float lagoon access; a couple of beers or glasses of wine or non-alcoholic drinks daily; Disney park shuttle; daily sun-care product; some local or domestic long distance calls. Self-parking is $10 per night, valet is $20-$24 per night.
The recently renovated rooms feature deluxe linens, flat-screen TVs, and work desks with ergonomic chairs. Most have balconies with two chairs and a table. The views from some of the guest-room balconies on higher floors reveal the scope of Disney World, some with views of the resort's vast pool complex, some with views of Disney Springs, and others with views of nearby Epcot, including nightly fireworks.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While the rooms with a view of Epcot deliver the fireworks as advertised, air-conditioning units on the roof of a lower building are noisy if you open the balcony doors. Since you will be paying a premium for a room with a fireworks view, it's worth asking whether you will have to put up with roaring A/C units too.
Elegant, modern, sleek lines, with glass doors on the large showers. Bath products are by skin care mogul Peter Thomas Roth, whose hair and skin care products are used in high-profile spas around the country.
The several story lobby offers access to the lobby bar, the restaurants, along with plenty of places to sit and people watch. But most guests are busy heading to the parks or the pools.
The resort has three heated, zero-entry pools, one of them reserved for adults to swim peaceful laps. The float lagoon lazy river provides a gentle float experience for all ages. Guests can also rent private pool-side cabanas for the day or the duration, with food and drink delivery.
There is no longer a spa at this hotel.
The hotel fitness center is open 24 hours a day and offers the latest equipment.
Plenty of options for food at this resort, from Sunnies, a casual lobby bar and outside terrace where local craft beers are king, or Citrus 28, a quick-stop snack bar, to a sophisticated and sleek poolside restaurant, Shades, with fresh American fare, including burgers and fries. But the main restaurant, Letterpress, located by the float lagoon and designed with a print shop motif, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and features classic American fare, using local, seasonal ingredients. This is also the spot for the kids to meet some of their favorite Disney characters at brunch on Sundays.
Character breakfasts come with an additional fee.
Sunnies, in the lobby, and Shades by the pool both offer substantial cocktail, beer, and wine menus.
Between the pedestrian walkway to Disney Springs, and the complimentary shuttles to the Disney parks that run every 10 minutes, a car is not really necessary for guests to have a very busy, event-filled holiday. The shuttle buses can be very busy at peak times, and guests may have to wait a while for the next one, so, if further exploration or the convenience of on-demand transportation is desired, a car or a ride-share service is necessary.
Disney Springs is a serious contender in the "most world class restaurants gathered in one spot" competition. Celebrity chefs have flocked to the area to vie for a spot in the entertainment and eating complex. Restaurants at the near end of Disney Springs include the three-story PaddleFish, a modern take on the American traditional paddle boat, 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 winning Chef Rick Bayless’ has opened Frontera Cocina. Further afield is House of Blues, where barbecue and blues reign.
From a pint of Guinness at Chef Kevin Dundon's Raglan Road, to a sip of sake on the outdoor terrace at Morimoto Asia, or a local bourbon at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin', visitors are spoiled for choice at Disney Springs. A favorite spot for people watching is the 3rd-floor terrace bar at Paddlefish, where cocktails can be enjoyed under the stars, while fireworks explode on the horizon. Ah, Disney. You spoil us!
WHY WE LIKE IT
Location is king in this palace, which gives easy access to the delights at Disney Springs, and shuttle transportation to the parks, in addition to lots of onsite amenities for non-park amusement.