The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace in the Walt Disney Springs area is a hidden gem. This review will cover my recent stay at the hotel in December 2017.
** 2018 UPDATE ** The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is now an Official Walt Disney World Hotel! This means guests staying here with valid park admission are able to book their Fastpass+ selections 60 days in advance and can stay in the parks for Extra Magic Hours.
I honestly don't know how this resort received bad ratings on Yelp and Tripadvisor because my husband and I had such a great time at the Orlando Buena Vista Palace. This was our first stay here and first stay off Disney property. I'll admit that I was nervous at first because I absolutely LOVE living in the Disney bubble, but I'm happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised with our 3 nights here. Honestly, I would stay here again in a heart beat! Here's why:
My initial thoughts as we arrived to the hotel:
- WOW! This is really close to Disney Springs!
- Thank you kind valet man for opening my door :)
- Looooove the openness of the lobby ::heart eyes::
- Wait.. where's the front desk? ... oh, there it is!
Quick and easy. I checked in on the Hilton App when we landed at the airport around 10am. I chose a room in the Island Tower (the closest building to Disney Springs.). We arrived a few hours before check in and lucked out with a super early check in! Thank you Front Desk Lady (I'm sorry I don't remember your name). Much appreciation to you after a long morning of travel :)
The Island Tower is a short walk away from the main building. This is a much smaller building that's the closest building to Disney Springs. We literally hopped, skipped and jumped right over to Disney Springs. From the Island Tower, you can walk 5 mins down the road and take the sky bridge over to Disney Springs. This leads you right into the Marketplace area right next to Earl of Sandwich. PRIMO LOCATION!
Queen Resort View Room
We stayed in a Queen Resort View Room on the 4th floor overlooking the grounds/an obstructed view of Disney Springs. Our room wasn't perfect and YES, there's room for improvement but OVERALL, we had a nice stay.
+ Two Sinks
- The room was spacious enough for the two of us to spread out and not feel so cramped.
- I LOVED having two sinks. Such a great perk when getting ready in the morning before heading out to the parks.
- The mini fridge and coffee maker were life savers! Every morning, I enjoyed a morning cup of coffee while journaling on the balcony. Heaven!
- Plentiful amount of outlets for all of our electronics.
- It was very nice having a balcony. Every morning, I would wake up and enjoy my coffee there while journaling. It was absolutely divine!
- Mini fridge and safe are always needed no matter how long or short a stay. We put the fridge to good use with our Amazon Prime Now order and it was just the right size for everything we needed.
- The bathroom shower curtain had a sour rag smell and the smell was heightened when you turn on the shower.
- The balcony and balcony furniture were FILTHY. Like filthy when you sit down on the chair and get up, there's a black ring on your bum when you get up. Filthy like no one had touched any of it since it was placed out there. Yuck.
- The AC in our room was a little finicky. No matter what temperature we would set, it wouldn't change the room temperature. It wasn't a big deal since we visited in December, but I can see this as a problem in the hotter months.
View of Disney Springs from Our Balcony
The Hotel + Common Areas
- The pool and float lagoon (lazy river) were phenomenal! Always clean and never crowded. We went two early afternoons and it always felt like we had the pool and lazy river to ourselves.
- I used the drink voucher at the pool bar. While it was nice that our drinks were "free," I felt like they were super watered down and not a great value.
** Note: we didn't spend much time in the main building as we would just go to Disney Springs for meals.
From housekeeping to the front desk to pool attendants, every person we came across was super nice and helpful. The bell man kindly handled my Amazon Prime Now order very well and delivered the items to our room. An employee even sent me a text to follow up and make sure our stay was good. When I expressed an issue, they were quick to help and get on it right away. Amazing!
Things to Keep In Mind While Staying Here
- There were no food options past 12am. We arrived back to the hotel from Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party at 1:30am and were STARVING. The restaurants at Disney Springs and our hotel were closed. Note to self: Plan to have snacks in your room or uber to a nearby 24 hour spot like Dennys.
- Resort Fee: The resort fee was a whopping $30/night and we rarely used the "perks" associated with it. These fees are such a deterrent to customers when choosing a hotel to stay at.
- If you're planning on driving to this resort, there is a parking fee of $10/night on top of the resort fee
Stuff We Did Not Use But Would've Loved To If We Had More Time
- Complimentary Shuttle (okay okay, to be fair - we mostly used uber and the Disney Buses from Disney Springs)
- Onsite Convenience Store and Food Court
- Room Service
- Fitness Center
- Sunday Morning Character Breakfast
Overall, we had a great stay and would totally recommend this resort to anyone looking to stay in an Official Walt Disney World and reap the benefits of Fastpass+ and Extra Magic Hours and is a part of the Hilton Honors Rewards Program. Looks like a WIN WIN in my book!
Let us know your thoughts! Would love to hear about your experiences and if they differ from ours. :)