Staying on Disney property adds a lot of options to your vacation, or trip. Whether it be near the parks you are planning on visiting most, dining options, Extra Magic Hours, or just things to do in general. However, sometimes overlooked, the Disney Good Neighbor Hotels just slip through the cracks while we are planning the next trip. In this blog, we are going to share some info that we have gathered along the way with a few of our stays in these hotels and how you should consider them as a viable option for your next trip!
Sure, we have had our fair share of stays at Disney owned hotels. From Pop Century to Riviera, and everything in between, we love the craftsmanship and theming that Disney puts into their hotels. It truly is art that you can appreciate. But experiencing Disney magic through everyday hotel chains is something special, as well. Let’s take a look into what it takes to be distinguished as a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel.
A Disney Good Neighbor Hotel receives its designation as it meets certain criteria Disney has put in place_
The hotel must meet Disney’s standards for quality and service.
Have to be AAA approved.
Offer standard rooms, suites, and villa-style accommodations.
Have a Disney vacation service desk to help visiting families get tickets and info needed for their vacation, as well as offering transportation to the parks (fee may apply at some).
Be in close proximity to the parks.
Recently, I had the opportunity to stay at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista in the Disney Springs Resort Area with my 7 year old son on a little getaway to Disney. As it was my first stay at this hotel, I was curious to experience what they had to offer. The location to Disney Springs from the hotel was a short 5-10 minute walk, and is actually the closest hotel to Disney Springs from what I had learned! Upon entering the lobby I was amazed at the cleanliness of the hotel. Everything was sparkling and pristine, something I was not expecting! They even had their own Joffrey’s coffee shop, if you know…you know! I was very impressed with the space and the layout. The service desk was getting guests checked in promptly and didn’t take long at all to get checked in to our room.
After a short walk to the right side of the hotel, we finally made it to our room. I was not ready to be welcomed to possibly the cleanest hotel room I’ve EVER stayed in. Additionally, the room was VERY spacious! Everything was so nice, I can’t stress it enough. For reference, I paid for a 2 double bed, non-smoking room for myself and my 7 year old using the Wyndham Rewards Member flexible rate of $90.80 USD. Per the norm with the area hotels, you do have a parking fee you must pay per night. For my stay, it was a rate of $22 USD per night. Also, the resort fee of $32 USD per night is additional and standard across the Orlando area hotels. After all was said and done, I was out the door $162 USD for my one night stay. This is VERY comparable to a one night stay at Pop Century, but with lots more room and, arguably, a more luxurious taste.
The hotel was quiet and cozy, something you usually don’t hear too often. We had a fantastic view of the back end of Disney Springs, we could see the hot air balloon easily. The proximity to Disney Springs is a huge bonus if you are looking to enjoy dinner or some night life entertainment. Or, if you’re more of the staying in type, it wouldn’t be difficult to use DoorDash or Uber Eats. This particular hotel really blew me away and is definitely on my radar when booking stays going forward!
We woke up the next morning and decided to try the on-site LakeView Restaurant for breakfast. The breakfast was not included with the price of our hotel, so be sure to read the fine print! However, the $38 I paid for my son and I to eat a bountiful buffet breakfast was fair. The food was great and the atmosphere was actually pretty quiet! Another added bonus, they offered big Mickey waffles! After breakfast we had to pack our things for checkout and had some time to spare so we hit up the pool. The pool was really nice and quite large, which was a nice bonus. Water was on the chilly side but it was perfect as the afternoon sun started baking the earth. My son and I spent a few hours swimming after our breakfast and never felt rushed to be checked out of our room.
In closing, my experience at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista was quite exceptional. I am looking forward to checking out more hotel offerings in the Good Neighbor selections to see what they have to offer and see how they all stack up against each other. The fact that you can become a rewards program member for each chain allows you to score bonus perks and the ability to save even more money once you accumulate points to redeem, a perk that everyone should take advantage of! For more information on the Disney Springs Area Hotels, visit https://disneyspringshotels.com/ and have a look around. Also, for the Disney Good Neighbor hotels, visit https://www.wdwgoodneighborhotels.com/ for more information. We hope you find this information helpful and that it guides you to making an informed decision on making a hotel reservation outside of the properties owned and operated by Disney.