Over the few last years, I’ve stayed at several Walt Disney World properties and they’re not all the same. From the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, the flagship property at Walt Disney World, to the Pop Century Resort, a value option, I found the Walt Disney World properties came at a premium. Though the Magical Express, the complimentary Orlando airport transfer, is a nice perk for staying at a Walt Disney World property.
New for 2018, the official Disney hotels near the Disney Springs area offer more perks. Now guests can enjoy the Extra Magic Hours, additional time before or after the official opening and closing of the parks’ day. Additionally, hotel guests can make Fast Pass reservations 60 days before their arrival.
I like to explore the Disney Springs area since it offers numerous dining and shopping options. And it takes a while to get to Disney Springs from the Walt Disney World resorts. So that makes staying steps away from Disney Springs at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort a plus for me.
I’m a member of the Best Western loyalty program. And I redeemed points for a room for my last two Walt Disney World trips. Both times the point value has been 20,000 points, a good value for the location and perks.
What I Loved at Best Western Lake Buena Vista
- The location is convenient. You can walk or take the complimentary bus to Disney Springs.
- Getting to the Walt Disney World parks couldn’t be easier either, the complimentary bus dropped me off at the Transportation and Ticketing Center.
- The trip back to the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort from Magic Kingdom took about an hour after the Magic Kingdom Electrical Parade–gate to my door.
What I wanted at Best Western Lake Buena Vista
- You can’t take the Magical Express, the complimentary Orlando airport shuttle.
- I would like to see the airport transportation an easier process, made at the time of the hotel reservation.
- I would like to see the $14 per night resort fee rolled into the nightly room rate.
- The amenities and facilities are not as nice as some of the other hotel properties on the same street.
Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort ($-$$) offers 325 rooms, steps away from Disney Springs. Located at 2000 Hotel Plaza Boulevard along with seven other official Disney hotel properties, like the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista.
Though the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort is consistent with other Best Western’s across the country. I felt it lacked the amenities and services that other hotel properties offer in the Disney Springs area, like a true resort pool, character breakfasts and kids activities. Guests have come to expect these in a hotel that caters to Walt Disney World vacationers.
The lobby was small though I found the staff helpful. I found a concierge desk where guests could buy last minute tickets. An official Disney souvenir shop along with a sundry shop are located in the lobby area.
The lobby featured Marketplace, a grab-and-go section to pick up some snacks or drinks for your room. The restaurant, Trader’s Island Grill, featured a full breakfast with Mickey Waffles along with dinner in the evening.
The pool area was nice but lacked the resort pool experience that family vacationers have come to expect in Orlando. Kids will like the arcade and game room.
Guest laundry is available. To self-park, it’s $8 a day and for valet it’s $12 a day.
My Room at Best Western Lake Buena Vista
During my visit, I stayed in a double queen room. I entered my room from an interior corridor, a nice feature than my room at the Caribbean Beach Resort ($$) lacked.
Along with a pair of beds, my room featured a mini-refrigerator, a charging station, coffee maker and a small table with a pairs of chairs.The beds featured updated white linens with pumpkin coverlets that matched the furnishings in the room.
The Best Western Lake Buena Vista is the only hotel on Hotel Plaza Boulevard to feature a private furnished balconies.
My Bathroom at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista
The bathroom is rather small but features granite countertops and a standard tile-surround tub with a shower head. It’s adequate for bathing the kids just not luxurious.
Outside of the standard hotel bathroom, I found a vanity area outfitted with a hair dryer, mirror and in-room coffee. A nice feature when traveling with kids since I know this Mom never has time to put on make-up before one of my kids needs to use the bathroom.
Dining at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista
The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort offers several dining options to fit a family’s needs. For a sit-down breakfast, dine atTrader’s Island Grill.Trader’s Island Grill offers a hot breakfast including the must-have Disney breakfast item, Mickey Waffles.
Though most Best Western’s include a complimentary breakfast, the Best Western Lake Buena Vista features an expanded breakfast buffet. Kids 10 and younger enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet when accompanied by a paying adult during a hotel stay. Open for breakfast and dinner.
The Flamingo Cove Lounge offers poolside snacks and beverages along with an indoor bar area. Order salads, sandwiches, Pizza Hut express along with cocktails. Open for lunch and dinner.
For park days, grab a bite to eat and coffee at theMarketplace for grab-and-go snacks and drinks.During my stay, I opted to get to Magic Kingdom as early as possible and bought some yogurt and a cup of coffee to eat while I waited for the bus.
Activities at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista:
The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort has an arcade for the kids. Find a 24-hour fitness room for a quick workout.
The pool is nice and features a kids pool.I found a gazebo in the pool area as well.
Walt Disney World tickets can be purchased in the lobby and complimentary transportation is right outside the lobby. The bus picks up every 30 minutes.
Disney Springs for Family Fun
Disney Springs offers shopping, dining and entertainment. I plan a Disney Springs day I arrive in Orlando. Or explore Disney Springs after playing at Typhoon Lagoon water park.
The kids loved the integrated splash pads, Marketplace carousel and Marketplace train express. Even the complimentary boat transportation across the Lake Buena Vista gets the kids excited.
Teens can shop for days, with Kipling, Lilly Pulitzer and Sperry. Then follow-up with a movie at the AMC 24 dine-in theater or Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. Help recover Imperial intelligence in a hyper-reality with a team of four.
Or adult at one of the several venues, like Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, Raglan Road Irish Pub or the House of Blues. Orhang out with friends, trySplitsville for bowling and dinner.
For table service, trySTK Steakhouse or The Boathouse. Both exceeded my expectations though be prepared for lines during their peak periods.
Find quick-servicedining options galore, like Earl of Sandwich, Wolfgang Puck’s Express, Bongos Cuban Cafe Express and Disney food trucks.
Dessert lovers rejoice with Sprinkles for cupcakes, The Ganachery, Goofy’s Candy Company and Vivoli il Gelato.
Looking for Resorts and More Information?
I’ve stayed at the following resorts.
If looking for off-property resorts, I’ve stayed at the following resorts.
If this is your first visit, don’t try to do everything.
Know before you go:
- The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort has a $13.99 per night resort fee.
- Parking is $8 a day for self-park and $12 a day for valet.
- The complimentary bus is shared with several hotel properties and take a picture of the stop when you get to the park, just in case.
- There’s a separate bus for Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Ask the bus driver for additional park stops.
- Research airport shuttles before getting to Orlando. Cabs and Uber can cost $60 to $70.
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