If you plan to be up and out the door at the crack of dawn in your pursuit of theme park fun, and only return after midnight to crawl into bed, then a Magic Kingdom or Epcot Area resort may be the best option for you. But for those looking to enjoy a more varied vacation experience, staying at a Disney Springs Area hotel has some terrific advantages.
If you consider the other resort areas to be the peaceful residential neighborhoods of Disney World, then Disney Springs is the bustling business and entertainment center.
While most resorts offer a handful of restaurants, Disney Springs has another dozen dining opportunities available to resort guests as well as non-guests. These nearby restaurants include the House of Blues, the Rainforest Café, and Planet Hollywood. Disney Springs also offers many shopping opportunities, a movie theater, and other entertainment options including Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba, which is permanently in residence on the West Side. Many resorts are within walking or boating distance of these restaurants and attractions. service is also available to take visitors from Disney Springs to all other resort areas and the theme parks in the Disney World complex.
Saratoga is a picturesque Victorian-era and equestrian themed deluxe villa resort at the center of Disney Springs. With all the swankiness of a deluxe resort, the Saratoga villas provide luxury accommodation for families and larger groups, including in-room full service kitchens and washer/dryers. The three-bedroom grand villas can house up to twelve guests, the Treehouse villas up to nine. There are three restaurants on the resort grounds, and Saratoga is in walking distance of the dining and shopping of Disney Springs. Other amenities for villa guests include the Health Club, babysitting services, as well as the full service salon and spa. If a morning round of golf is as important to you as a morning cup of coffee, the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is walking distance from Saratoga.
Old Key West Resort
Old Key West is another deluxe villa resort within the Disney Springs Resort Area. This resort wants you to relax and feel at home, if your home were a luxurious Key West estate that is. It doesn’t have the overwhelming opulence of other deluxe resorts; instead, it surrounds you with quiet and attractive comforts that can be a pleasant retreat from the larger-than-life themes and amusements of Disney World. Accommodations range from studios that offer similar amenities to those of a standard hotel room, to the three-bedroom villas that can sleep twelve people and come equipped with full service kitchens as well as dining and living areas. Taking a Disney bus is the only way to get from Key West to most Disney World attractions, but Disney Springs is a relaxing boat ride away for those who want to take the scenic route to enjoy the downtown nightlife. Old Key West, like Saratoga, is directly adjacent to the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.
Port Orleans French Quarter
At the Port Orleans French Quarter, it’s Mardi Gras all year-round. This hotel features the distinctive storm windows, curling wrought-iron railings and antique lampposts for which New Orleans’ French Quarter is famous. Of course, the French Quarter is also famous for being the center of the party on Fat Tuesday, and Port Orleans brings that party to Florida with jazz music constantly piping through the resort’s common areas, the impressive pool area with its towering dragon slide and alligator marching band, and live entertainment at the Scat Cat Lounge. The hotel also features a food court serving American and Creole style food. The glass-sided and sun-roofed lobby at this hotel is one of its loveliest and most impressive features. Taking a boat or bus is the way to get from Port Orleans to Disney Springs or other Disney world locations.
The Riverside option of the two Port Orleans hotels leaves behind the bustling urban French Quarter and settles its guest into the rustic aesthetic of rural Louisiana. Riverside has two distinct sections, and guests can opt for the opulent plantation-feel of Magnolia Bend, or the quaint feel of a cottage along the Mississippi River in Alligator Bayou. The river that runs through this rambling hotel is the Sassagoula, and guests can dive, slide, or swing their way into an old-fashioned swimming hole on Ol’ Man Island, or take a 30-minute horse-drawn carriage ride along the banks of the peaceful river. Riverside has two informal dining areas, the Riverside Mill food court and Boatwright’s Dining Hall, both of which serve typical American and Southern-style cuisine. Travel by boat or bus to get to Disney Springs or the Disney theme parks.
Other resorts and hotels
The attractions at Disney Springs draw a number of visitors who do not have plans to visit the rest of the Disney World resort. As a result, several non-Disney run hotels and resorts exist within the Disney Springs Resort Area. The resorts are the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort, the DoubleTree Guest Suites Resort, the Regal Sun Resort, and the Hilton Resort. The hotels are the Courtyard by Marriott, the Hotel Royal Plaza, and the Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa. If you are a Disney World vacationer, two main factors might tempt you to forgo a Disney resort in favor of non-affiliated accommodations. Travelers enrolled in a Hilton Honors, Marriott Rewards, or similar program may prefer to continue earning frequent-visitor points, or even cash in their points to make the rest of their Disney World experience more affordable. Other visitors may simply be looking for a place to get away from the non-stop Disney experience of the official resorts and theme parks. If 24/7 Disney is a bit too rich for your blood, but you still want to be as close as possible to all the action, then these alternatives can allow you to enjoy the same convenient location of the Disney resorts in a non-themed atmosphere.