by Daisy Diva
I’m not sure how it happened, but I have a bit of a “relationship” with the Wyndham corporation. Very early in my marriage, my husband and I got one of those “timeshare phone calls.” You know the ones… the come-listen-to-our-two-hour-long-sales-pitch-and-we-will-give-you-a-cheap-room-and-a-free-gift-card phone calls. So we did it. All those years ago, we went for a weekend to Destin and got sucked in…kind of. We paid for a trial program of points to use within a year and a half. Long story short, I got pregnant, we never could find a time to use the points, and both my parents and his parents got a week-long vacation to the destination of their choice as a Christmas gift from us. BUT since then, we have sporadically gotten “the call” from them with a great offer and cheap room. And we’ve used our cheap room to go to Disney World! In September, our family stayed three nights in a standard room at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Resort at Disney Springs.
This resort, like all resorts, had its pros and cons. I’ll start with the pros. The location is pretty great! The Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Resort is literally right across the street from Disney Springs in the Disney Springs Resort Area along with B Resort and Spa, Best Western, Double Tree Suites, Hilton Orland Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, and Holiday Inn. There is a very convenient pedestrian bridge that takes you right over the highway and down a long flight of steps (or elevator ride) to the Disney Springs Marketplace. My husband really liked the location because, even though we were close enough to Disney Springs to feel like we were in “The World,” we were also really close to lots of other restaurants, shops and stores which made it easy for us to get quick meals at McDonalds or catch the college football games at Buffalo Wild Wings.
The lobby is gorgeous, and had a small area for purchasing coffee, fruit, etc. They offer a character breakfast with Goofy and Pluto three days a week for a comparable cost to a character breakfast on Disney property. The resort itself was not as large and spread out as the Disney resorts which made navigating, getting to the lobby/pool/bus stop quick and easy. And speaking of the pool, the pool area was great with a large main pool with a zero-entry splash pad area, a smaller pool, a hot tub, and plenty of chairs. The water was freezing cold the first weekend of September, so it is clearly not a heated pool, but the kids loved it nonetheless.
The Wyndham Garden also offers a shuttle service to and from the parks. They have two bus lines with each bus having a route to two different parks. And the bus route is shared among several other Disney Springs Resort Area hotels. So we did not have a direct ride to Animal Kingdom that morning…we stopped at one additional hotel to pick people up, and stopped at Epcot before reaching our final destination. And we waited for what felt like FOREVER for the bus to arrive to pick us up after midnight at the Magic Kingdom. But the buses were very clean and well-run. It was nice not to have to pay to park.
Now for the cons. The room was nothing to write home about. It was clean and fairly comfortable, but it was much smaller than I expected. It contained two double beds, a small table with two chairs, a mini-fridge under the tv, and a small vanity area with sink and some storage outside the bathroom. It was very similar to a Value Resort on Disney property without the theming.
The lobby area was also reminiscent of a Disney Value Resort with a small coffee shop, a gift shop, arcade, and fitness center. It’s worth noting that the employees working the desk were wearing lanyard with trading pins. I didn’t ask if they would trade, but I imagine they would. They also had a couple of desks set up in the lobby for purchasing park tickets which is pretty typical of Orlando-area hotels.
For me personally, the cons outweigh the pros at Wyndham Garden. If I’m going to stay in a tiny room with double beds, I’m going to do it on Disney property with a nicer pool and better transportation options. I know that’s not the case for everyone, but it is for me. Having stayed in a gorgeous two-bedroom condo at one other Wyndham location right outside of Orlando in Davenport and having visited the exquisite Bonnet Creek Resort, I found the Wyndham Garden Resort to be lacking in a lot of the amenities I have come to rely on at a Wyndham hotel. But if you are a Disney guest on a budget (and come on, who isn’t these days) then a Disney Springs Resort Area hotel might be right up your alley.
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