A “Palace” right next to the “Kingdom”

I recently went on a quest to learn more about the Disney Springs area hotels. This stemmed from the fact that the Walt Disney World Resorts were getting full, by that, I mean sold out. So where do you stay when that happens? What are your options? I no longer wanted to be “in the dark” when it came to these questions, so off I went to explore. AND I found something unexpected!

I expected to learn about each hotel and be able to recommend a good “alternative” when the Walt Disney Resorts are not available. I did not expect to find resorts that have unbelievable amenities, spacious rooms, and price points that are far lower than Walt Disney World Resorts.

One of the biggest hurdles these resort have is how they are referenced. We should start to call them by their title, “Official Walt Disney World Hotels.” They are not a “Good Neighbor” hotel. This distinction became VERY clear the moment I began looking at their properties. The Official Walt Disney World Hotels have a much higher level of amenities, standards, services, and benefits that other “hotels” don’t. This distinction sets them above the others and it is something the hotels are very proud of, and rightfully so.

I would like to share with you my experience at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Disney Springs Area; to shorten it, I call it the Hilton Palace.

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This complex picture, taken from their website, was the only one to really do the property justice showing the proximity and all the amenities.  

First Impressions: When you drive up to the carport, there are friendly valets to greet you and direct you. The parking fees at this resort are: $10.00 per overnight for self parking and $24.00 per overnight for valet. The lobby is open, airy and very inviting, with Sunnies, the lounge, just steps away.

The main dining venue here is Letterpress, which is decorated with, of course, letters–all sorts. I was here without my kids, but I imagine them having fun trying to find words to spell out and recognize. This overlooks the back nature preserve which makes you forget that you are just steps away from Disney Springs. Sundays have a character breakfast from 8:30 – 11:30 am, and at a cost of only $30.00 per adult, it is one of the better Character Dining values at Disney. Just remember — the Disney Dining Plan is not accepted here, but you won’t miss it!

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At Letterpress, there are letters everywhere! (Notice them on the ceiling!)

There is also room service, and Citrus 28, a little grab and go market, that will meet all your hunger needs.

The hotel rooms are very well appointed and new. Room Types – This is one area to really pay attention to. They have standard rooms with 2 queen beds, but they have Tower Rooms with either a view of Disney Springs, or Epcot. When I say “view” I mean an un obstructed, sweeping view. The hidden gem of room categories here are the Island Suites — you may also see the term used as Family Suites. Depending on the bed configuration in them, they can sleep 4-6 people and are a whopping 800 square feet.

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This is the floor plan of the Island Suite.

Up until now, as impressive as the rooms, restaurants, and lobby are, I have yet to tell you about the item that will put this on your must-do list — the Pool and Float Lagoon. It has a “beach entry” area that is just inviting you to relax and unwind after a day at the theme parks, or a day you just set aside time for relaxation. In addition to the pool area, there are also cabanas for rent, lawn games to play, and Shades (the poolside bar) for the adults to unwind in….

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The Swimming area, an oasis waiting for you.

Some of the benefits I have not yet mentioned are the walkway to Disney Springs, where there is endless dining and entertainment options. (If you have not experienced the benefits of walking verses taking Disney transportation, let me enlighten you, it is wonderful!) Scheduled Disney transportation every 30 minutes to the theme parks, and Extra Magic Hours are included in your resort fee of $28.00 per night .

Here is the best part– the prices. You get “Deluxe” amenities at a “Moderate” hotel price. Standard Rooms in June start at $209.00 per night. Remember that spacious “Island Suite” I mentioned, that starts at $334.00 per night.

The Hilton Palace is truly a place to refresh at the end of the day, so you can get up and do it all again tomorrow!

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