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Old 09-21-2020, 01:03 PM   #1
CarolA
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Default Short off-site hotel reviews

Looks like we have a new forum and since a lot of people on here apparently haven't ventured outside the bubble in a while I thought I would post a couple of options

1. Luxury JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. Very nice hotels, with a lazy river. Food prices are high as you might expect but comparable to Disney. Food was excellent. THey have a bus to Disney but I found it an easy drive. At one point they had a deal where you could reserve a room at the Ritz that came with use of a Mercedes while you were there (not sure that's still an option). Pricing generally less than Disney unless there's a convention.


2. Gaylord hotel Great theme, but HUGE place. Rooms are nice but not outstanding. EASY commute to Disney but honestly I would only stay there if I was in the area for a meeting taking place there.


3. Waldorf Bonnet Creek. Another lazy river hotel. Great service, great food. If you go for one of the RunDIsney events they run great service to and from the race. Basically on Disney

4. Marriott Village. I like these hotels, but the fact that they now charge for parking has made me move on. I understand it's the norm at 'deluxe' hotels but Courtyard, Fairfield and SpringHill suites while nice are hardly 'deluxe" Great location for outlet mall, but a little longer commute to Disney.

5. Sheraton Lake Buena Vista - Give this a pass. Nice pool, but it used to be a Days Inn and the upgrade wasn't impressive. Subpar rooms and service. Decent location however.

5. Portofino at Universal. Very nice resort. Service was better than Disney Deluxe, pricing slightly lower and you can't beat the Express Pass perk for staying onsite. Boat or walk to parks.

6. Orlando World Center Marriott - This one is on my "never again" list. Bad service, paying to park so far away you have to take a shuttle and so so rooms.

7. Town Place Suites Flamingo Crossing. Good location for park access, kitchenette, can have two bedrooms. It's been a few years, but there were limited food options close by.

8. Boheminan Hotel Celebration Great location in Celebration. LOUSY service. Good rooms. Probably won't stay there again, but it's a great location to explore Celebration and there are lots of good food options.


You can tell we have a lot of Marriott options, I collect their points for European vacations
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Old 09-21-2020, 02:13 PM   #2
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I知 planning on a non-Disney trip at some point to focus on Universal and Sea World. I値l probably book one of the Universal resorts for that trip so that I知 still mostly in a bubble.
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:36 PM   #3
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Very helpful list! Thank you.

I forget about the Bonnet Creek resorts, but I've seen good prices there in the past.

Like Bonnet Creek, Flamingo Crossing is basically "on property" since it was (still is?) Disney property so the infrastructure is all Disney. Further out but an easy run. Probably not much further than the run from MK to Osceaoa, IMO.

I'm discovering there are more "sorta in the bubble" non-Disney options than I realized.

Dirk
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:51 PM   #4
ermindy1133
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CarolA, can you check out the Margaritaville resort and review it? It looks like a fun place, and is close to AK.

Or if another MO has already tried it out, tell us what you think, please and thank you!
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermindy1133 View Post
I知 planning on a non-Disney trip at some point to focus on Universal and Sea World. I値l probably book one of the Universal resorts for that trip so that I知 still mostly in a bubble.
A friend and I stayed at the Hard Rock a few years ago so our daughters who are BFF could check out Harry Potter. It was a 電ifferent bubble than Disney but very nice and the tickets in the package included the front of the line (or whatever it痴 called) saved a ton of time waiting in lines! Only certain hotels offered this as part of their package, if I remember correctly Hard Rock was the 田heapest of the hotels on the list.
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:48 PM   #6
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Hilton Orlando Disney Springs - the best!! Walk to DS, great pools. Beautiful rooms. Great food choices.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolA View Post
5. Portofino at Universal. Very nice resort. Service was better than Disney Deluxe, pricing slightly lower and you can't beat the Express Pass perk for staying onsite. Boat or walk to parks.
I can verify that this is an excellent resort. AND... at least when I was there, they had a gelato shop! ("gelateria" I think they call it)

In the "just barely offsite" category there is the Hilton hotel on Hotel Plaza Blvd that is literally right across the street from Disney Springs. It's quite nice, and if you haven't noticed, there is now a pedestrian bridge across Buena Vista. It is closer to DS than anywhere else you can stay, except possibly the closest Congress Park rooms at Saratoga Springs.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:13 PM   #8
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I like the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. Has a Disney shuttle. Reasonably priced and great accommodations.

Have also enjoyed the Swan and Dolphin.

Shades of Green is OK if you're a military veteran. Not my favorite.

Stayed at a timeshare looong ago at Orange Lake; think it's the Holiday Inn Orange Lake Resort now. It was very nice (2BR unit). Close by. Current reviews still look good.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:32 PM   #9
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I like Vistana which is pretty close . Most are two-bedrooms and it's close to Disney!
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:00 PM   #10
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When we go to Universal we stay at one of the deluxe hotels Royal Pacific, Hard Rock and Portofino Bay. These are the only 3 on site hotels that get you unlimited express passes. For one night stay, you get express passes day of check in and day of check out. Have booked one night just to get the express passes for both days while saying at our DVC room.

Our preferred hotel is Portofino Bay since we started staying at Universal about 20 years ago. Portofino was closed when we went in June so got moved to Hard Rock. Over the years, we have stayed at all 3 deluxe hotels and walked to the parks from all 3. The closest walk is Hard Rock, the walk to Universal is closer than BLT to MK. I think even the walk from Portofino to Universal studios is shorter than BLT to MK.

Usually the cheapest hotel is Royal Pacific and most expensive is Portofino Bay. The price follows the size of the rooms meaning the smallest std rooms are at Royal(335 square feet) and largest is at Portofino(450 ft) with Hard Rock in between(375 ft).
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