The Old Key West Resort is a Deluxe Villa Resort located within the Disney Springs Area of the Walt Disney World Resort property. Deluxe Villas are the flagship of the Walt Disney World hotels and resorts program.  Being a deluxe villa means that you receive the highest quality of service and magic that Disney can possibly offer. 

2008 OKW (51)” by Flickr mjurn licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Old Key West Resort is a quiet, peaceful walk into the mystical Conch Flats based in the Florida Keys.  The grounds are immaculately manicured and the overall theme is spot on.  It is a world away from Orlando while still being easily accessible to the Disney property. This may indeed be one of the best Disney World hotels.

Old Key West and Disney Vacation Club

Before we get any farther with our resort overview it is important to note that Old Key West is a Disney Vacation Club Resort.  The Disney Vacation Club is vacation ownership program much like a timeshare.  In order to become a member, you basically have to make a real estate purchase just any other timeshare program.  Instead of a physical real estate property you would visit, you would receive points that you would use to book vacations.

When you make your purchase for your Vacation Club Membership, you will buy into a home resort, but do not fear, you are not locked into staying at just that one resort.  You will have perks if you choose to stay at your home resort such as booking and using your points 11 months in advance but you can also use them at different resorts all over the world as well. If you are an avid fan of Disney this may be one of the best way to do Disney World for adults.

If you are frequent Disney vacationers or think you may be become ones in the near future, it is definitely worth signing up for the information session once you are on the Disney property.  They will provide the transportation and once you are done with the preview, you receive free ice cream to cap off the event.

ARRIVAL AND ATMOSPHERE

When you make you original reservations for the Old Key West Resort it is important to also remember what mode of transportation you may want to use to originally get to the property.  If you are driving a car, it is a given that you and your automobile will arrive together through the grand landscape and be transported immediately to the Florida Keys.  Now keep in mind whether your bring your own vehicle or rent a car, the Walt Disney World Resorts now charge a parking fee at each of the resorts for each night you stay.  Make sure you budget $24 a night for parking at the hotel. 

If you are flying into Orlando on an airplane, you have two options.  Before your arrival at the Disney property you may select the Magical Express.  This is an exclusive service provided by Disney World that will pick you and your luggage and bring it directly to the front of the resort you are staying at.  This is a free service and only goes directly to the Disney World Resorts. You do have to select this service before you arrive and the Disney magic will begin from the moment you step off the plane. 

Maybe you want to spend some time around Orlando or do not relying solely on the Disney Transportation, then you may rent a car.  You will make the drive to the Disney property and feel that magic from the first time you see that Walt DIsney World sign.  Make sure you also keep in mind that you will also have to pay a parking fee while you are at the resort but can still always utilize the Disney transportation.

NOTE: Remember that the Old Key West Resort does have valet parking for a fee so you do not have to always park yourself either. Talk about a convenience!

Once you enter the grounds you will be immersed in a Florida Keys home away from home settled on a beautiful waterfront with sun soaking in from every available space. The Old Key West Resort is known for its island vibe so don’t ever miss a chance to walk around the resort and take in the spectacular view.

ROOM ACCOMMODATIONS

The Old Key West Resort is considered a deluxe villa resort so when you are budgeting and booking your vacation, it is key to be aware that the prices will reflect the accommodations.  If this is your first time visiting Disney or even a return guest who has never stayed at a deluxe resort before but is considering it now, you probably are wondering what you are in for.  Disney’s Deluxe Resorts are the flagship of their entire resort operations. 

While it is more expensive than many other Disney resorts you are paying for an entire experience including much larger rooms, concierge specialized services for planning your vacation, multiple dining experiences, a vast array of activities daily and you can valet park for a fee.

Now the Old Key West Resort is even in a smaller class of its own because it is considered a Deluxe Villa meaning that the minimum the rooms sleep is four guests and they can come with a small kitchenette or a kitchen itself.  These are much larger than many of the other resorts so you will have more space. If you are coming with a large party you can even find a room that can fit up to 12 people.

Keep in mind that the Old Key West Resort is a deluxe resort and the prices do reflect that.  The rooms begin at $352 for the deluxe studio and increase from there.  A one bedroom villa begins at $483 and a two bedroom villa begins at $682.  Depending on the time of year you are staying the prices can be much higher so make sure you are looking within your budget.

If you are looking for an alternative option for renting a deluxe villa, there are options such as DVC rentals where current Members have points available that you can rent to stay with their membership. David’s Vacation Club Rentals is one of the most recommended and trusted, so if you are looking for an alternative for renting a deluxe villa within the Walt Disney World resort area, this should definitely be on your list while working in a budget.

DINING

Now if you are looking for the best dining at Disney World then the Old Key West Resort may not be the resort for you.  It has nothing to do with the quality of food because there is a secret treasure of dining but there are not very many options. 

If dining is not really a concern of yours then you will not be let down by the Old Key West Resort but if you are looking for a fantastic various multicultural dining experience then it is best to look at the other resorts such as the Polynesian or Grand Floridian Resort. But for the few dining options at the Old Key West Resort, they are fantastic and all serve their purpose.

If you are looking for a hidden treasure on the Disney World property for a fantastic meal then your first stop is going to be Olivia’s Cafe. The menu is classic American Key West cuisine but they are known for the some fantastic breakfast dishes including the Sombrero Beach Omlet and the Banana Bread French Toast.  If you are coming in for lunch or dinner do not miss any of the conch dishes including the Conch Chowder and Conch Fritters. 

Make sure you keep some room for you dessert because the Key Lime Tart and Banana Bread Pudding Sundae is to die for and worth all the extra room in your belly. They are delicious! Prices range from $14.99 to $34.99 per adult. It is worth one table service dining credit and as always we recommend making a reservation but it is possible to get into the restaurant as a walk in as well.

If you are down by the pool and need a quick bite for lunch then Turtle Shack Poolside Snacks would be your go to.  It is incredibly affordable costing around $14.99 and under per adult and some dining plans are accepted.  At the time of this blog, Turtle Shack was currently under refurbishment so make sure you check their status when you arrive at the resort because this may not be an option.  In general, it is important to note that all Disney restaurants and attractions are subject to availability.

Another simple option for a lazy day around the resort is the Gurgling Suitcase: Libations and Spirits.   Located right in the heart of the Old Key West resort there are options to eat right by the pool or inside at a table.  You can grab just a drink or can order from the menu which actually features foods from Olivia’s Cafe bringing the best of both words to you.  The price per adult is $14.99 and less, but dining plans are not allowed at this location. Make sure to try the Turtle Krawl or Sultry Seahorse to really quench your thirst!

One of the secret perks of staying at the Old Key West Resort is the awesome choice for in-room food and pizza delivery.  The hours are from 4p-12a which makes it a fantastic option for a bite to each after one of you late nights at the Disney parks!  The prices range from $34.99 and under per adult and some dining plans are allowed.  There is not just pizza, but also salads, wings and more that can be delivered directly to your room.

During the day if you are looking for a quick bite to eat whether it is because you are having a lazy day around the resort or taking a break from the theme parks you can always stop at Good’s Food to Go.  It is open as early as breakfast and is there for all your needs including snacks.  It is $14.99 and under per adult and some dining plans are accepted.

ENTERTAINMENT

While staying at any resort it is important to note that there is not only the theme parks and Disney Springs that can entertain you but also incredibly activities located right on the resort property that will be able to keep the entire family entertained including:

  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Exercise Rooms
  • Community Hall
  • Pools
  • Campfire Activities
  • Bike and Surrey Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Tennis and Basketball
  • Jogging Trails
  • Multiple Playgrounds – I mean there is 3 playgrounds!
  • Two Gamerooms

If you are looking for a resort with plenty of assets that make it so that you never have to leave property (except for food), then Old Key West should be at the top of your list.  This resort manages to keep their entire family entertained every day that you are on property. 

One amazing, fantastic, awesome feature of Old Key West is the POOLS!  There is the Sandcastle Pool which is their flagship swim area featuring a 125 water slide to enjoy.  If you want a more peaceful swim experience there are three other leisure pools located throughout the resort area.  Towels are provided but keep in mind that the hours can always change so keep an eye out on the posted sides.

And if you are ever looking for a some physical activity that is not running around the theme parks, you can always rent a surrey! This have multiple seats so everyone in your party can get their pedaling on while you zoom around the grounds.  Enjoy the view but make sure you keep an eye out on the weather.  I would always recommend waiting until the earlier morning or evening during the hot summer months because the heat can be a drag and turn your fun pedaling experience into a heat stroke.

TRANSPORTATION

Staying at the Old Key West Resort is not as simple as staying at a resort on the monorail loop, but still is not a total inconvenience.  Remember you can always bring your own vehicle as long as you pay the parking fee, and parking at the theme parks is free for resort guests. 

When going to the theme parks you have ONE option if you are not bringing your own car and that is the Disney bus transportation system.  Now it is not the most glamorous of options but it takes much of the frustration of transporting yourself out of the equation.

If you are making a quick stop the Disney Springs then you do have the option of using the Disney boat system, but keep in mind that this only takes you to Disney Springs and not any of the theme parks.

A new addition to the Walt Disney World family is the Minnie Vans which is basically Disney’s own uber system.

WHY SHOULD I STAY HERE?

Now there are definite perks of staying at the Old Key West resort including the ability to have a villa at your disposable which can be a huge money saver and the fantastic amenities that are available every single day on property. The grounds are absolutely stunning and the environment fosters a perfect family vacation.

But two key components are missing for me at the Old Key West resort.  The first is dining.  I like having the best resort dining at my fingertips while I am staying on the Disney Property and that is missing for me at the Old Key West Resort.  I also do not go on vacation to cook my own food so for me and my small family of husband and two kids, we do not see any immediately benefit but for anyone staying who enjoys the benefit of cooking for their families, this would be a pro instead of a con. 

Also, the transportation.  Man, there is a struggle when it comes to the Disney bus system.  Now, it’s not the worst ever.  We are not talking about cramming into the subway of New York City.  Still, having just one option to get around is a bummer.  You are completely dependent on the bus system unless going to Disney Springs.  I personally enjoying taking the ferry boats and monorail so this is a negative for me.

Overall I would give then resort 4 out of 5 stars.  The dining and transportation issues are a huge downfall for me but the amazing amenities and beauty of the resort is definitely a huge perk.  If you need a villa and this is within your budget, you will not go wrong at the Old Key West resort and enjoy the Florida Keys while never leaving the Walt Disney World resort.

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