by Disney Magic Diva
If you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful hotel for your Walt Disney World Resort stay, you may want to consider a visit to a spot that doesn’t always top the charts of popular places – Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Themed as Conch Flats, a tranquil community in the Florida Keys, Disney’s Old Key West Resort was the first Disney Vacation Club property (although you do NOT need to be a DVC member to book a room here). The resort is huge and sprawls over what seems like miles. It has over 50 separate complexes, each consisting of a few studio, 1, 2, or 3-bedroom villas. Each building has adjacent parking, so if you have a car you will be able to have easy access to it. The overall look reminded me of an intimate community of townhomes.
Given the size of this resort, it utilizes an internal bus system. Busses to the parks stop at each area within the resort, but if you want to travel to the Hospitality Area (to use the main pool, grab some food, or catch the Magical Express, for instance) you’ll need to catch an internal bus. There are 5 bus stops located throughout the resort, and it takes the bus over 10 minutes just to drive to them all. Add time for passengers to get on and off at each stop.
Diva Tip: Given its size, this resort really lends itself well to guests who have their own car. We never have a car at Disney, but if I were to stay here again, I’d consider renting one.
The rooms at Old Key West are in the process of being refurbished, and it is desperately needed. We were in an older studio room, and the carpet and furniture showed the years of love. The colors were what you’d expect to see in the Keys – soft pastels and white with lots of nautical touches. Even with the older décor, it still had a soothing feel. We had two queen beds and a very small kitchenette. Other than a small sink, microwave, and a few dishes, it really was very similar to any other non-DVC room at a Disney hotel. We had a corner room on the ground level, and our patio overlooked one of the holes (complete with a small pond and fountain as a water hazard) of the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. It was a lovely view and quiet place to relax after a day in the parks.
Diva Tip: We chose Old Key West not only to continue our quest to stay at each Walt Disney World Resort property, but also because we were a group of 3 adults and most DVC studios have only a queen bed and sleep sofa. No one in our group enjoys sleeping on a sleep sofa, so having 2 beds was a welcome alternative.
The main pool, Sandcastle Pool, is located in the Hospitality Area. If you don’t want to take an internal bus to this pool, there are 3 quiet pools scattered throughout the resort. You’ll also find a sauna here, something I haven’t encountered at other deluxe resorts. The pool is smaller than many other deluxe resort pools, but we never found it to be too crowded. Kids will love the sandy play area and children’s pool nearby. With a name like “Sandcastle Pool” it kinda demands that you can have some fun in the sand, right?
The table service restaurant, Olivia’s Cafe, is also in the Hospitality Area. Its quaint atmosphere offers an inviting respite from the Florida sun. There is seating both inside and outside the restaurant, with lovely low hanging ceiling fans to create a relaxed ambiance. We never had an opportunity to dine here, but it is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is 1 Table Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
The main quick service option for food is Good’s Food to Go, an appropriately named restaurant which only offers “grab and go” style burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, etc. There is picnic table seating with overhead umbrellas situated around the pool area so you can enjoy your meal poolside.
There are a couple other alternatives for quick service food – Turtle Shack Poolside Snacks serves pizza, sandwiches, sweets and limited alcoholic beverages each afternoon or you can find your favorite adult beverage at Gurgling Suitcase, where you can also order from Olivia’s lunch and dinner menu!
As with many DVC properties, Disney’s Old Key West has a Community Hall (Read Pixie Hollow Diva’s article on Community Halls) We were staying during Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, (check out our review of the race here) and guests were invited to make Star Wars beverage coasters or a running tutu show your Dark Side! The staff were so accommodating to the runners – greeting them as they arrived back to the resort after each race with special photo props and chEARS of congratulations.
While Old Key West is a nice choice for a relaxing vacation, I would not recommend it as a choice for families with young children. It doesn’t have the same kid-friendly décor or vibe as other resorts. It would be a wonderful choice if you were going to enjoy a lot of time away from the parks, and especially might be appealing for a golf vacation. With boat transporation to Disney Springs, it’s also a fun resort if you plan on spending a lot of time shopping or enjoying the entertainment and dining available at Disney Springs.
If Disney’s Old Key West sounds like a good choice for you, or if you’d like some expert advice on which resort is a good fit for your family, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for a FREE quote on your Walt Disney World Resort vacation.
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We love OKW and have stayed there many times in a 1 bedroom with a king bed, full kitchen. Full washer/dryer and jacuzzi bathtub.
I believe they have completely renovated OKW. It is beautiful, the food is great as well as the store. Love the main pool with food and drinks near by. I don’t feel this pictures do the property justice. It is much nicer in person.