Even though I came back from Florida almost six months ago, I’m still slowly working my way through all of the posts that I’ve got planned. Today I thought I would review the resort we stayed in, as there’s so many different ones both in Disneyworld and outside so maybe this could help somebody who is looking to book a Disneyworld holiday to make a decision. As I’d never been to Disneyworld before, I had no idea about any of the resorts and hotels and the pricing, so I just went along with what I was told was good. Unfortunately, I was a bit of an idiot and hardly took any photos of the resort so I have Kariss to thank for most of the images in this post, at least she was organised!
Old Key West is one of the larger resorts, with several buildings housing the 761 rooms spread out across the resort along with four pools (one main one with a water slide and three ‘quiet pools’ located near some of the buildings), a reception area, Olivia’s restaurant and a convenience store. There are several bus stops throughout the resort which are in operation from 7am to midnight and offer buses to each of the parks and Disney Springs. Disney Springs can also be reached by boat which is a lovely journey both during the day and at night.
The room we stayed in was a studio with two queen beds, a kitchenette and a bathroom although when we booked, we were told that we were going to be getting a one bedroom apartment which would have been ideal as there were four of us sharing and Kariss and I often wanted to stay up late at night and have a bit of a lie in in the mornings (we were on holiday after all!) but it was difficult when we were all sleeping in the same room. I think if you stay in a room like this, it’s ideal if you share with people who will be on the same kind of schedule as you so you’re not disturbing each others sleep.
There were two chest of drawers which we shared out between us (two drawers each) but there was only one closet which was annoying as I would have liked to have hung up a couple of my dresses and skirts instead of folding them into a drawer and having to iron them before I wore them but luckily they did supply an iron in the room so it wasn’t the end of the world.
As well as the two queen beds, we also had a table with a couple of chairs inside the room and a balcony with some outdoor furniture on it. We ended up bringing the outdoor furniture inside on our second day because of Hurricane Matthew, we were advised to as there was a risk of it being blown into the glass doors, so I ended up using the outdoor table as a bedside table for the rest of the two weeks.
During Hurricane Matthew, all of the parks were closed and there was a countywide curfew which meant that we had to stay inside our rooms for around twenty hours. I was really glad that we had a kitchenette and that we had stocked up on food as soon as we heard about there being a possibility of a curfew, so we were able to keep ourselves fed! During this time, we received several messages from reception on the telephone keeping us updated of the situation and as soon as it was safe to leave, they let us know and we were able to go to the reception area and Olivia’s restaurant.
The whole of the resort is based on the Caribbean style residences and guest houses of the Florida Keys. Everything is painted in a gorgeous bright colour, our building (1920) was green but there were also pink and blue buildings and there were some hidden mickeys dotted around too. One of my favourite parts of the resort was the marina where you can catch the boat over to Disney Springs. It’s right next to the Good’s Food To Go counter which offers snacks and meals, I went there at least once a day to fill my Disney cup up with pomegranate lemonade (which was the best drink ever and I’m so sad that it’s only available at Disney!) at the refillable mug station.
I only visited the pool just behind our building which was one of the ‘quiet pools’ and I must say that it definitely was quiet. I managed to read a book whilst lying on one of the sun loungers and then fell asleep for a couple of hours before having a bit of a swim. There was no need to take your own towel as they are provided at each pool which is very handy. Both the pool and the hot tub were really clean and I definitely recommend spending some time relaxing next to a pool when you’re on a Disney holiday.
The transport links from Old Key West were brilliant. Our building was located right next to the Millers Road bus stop which was the last one on the route through the resort. Although we were so close, we never had any problems with the buses being too loud in the mornings or at night and it was really convenient. The buses to the parks and Disney Springs all run regularly from around 7am to around 11pm. We also ordered an Uber a few times to take us to Universal Studios and Walmart and they were able to pick us up from right outside our building.
One of my favourite things about Old Key West was the fact that everywhere smelt like pineapple Dole Whip, especially the shop and the main reception area. I enjoyed this so much that I’ve had to order some wax melts in the same scent from Maple and Whisky! The staff were also so friendly and helpful, I ordered several parcels to the hotel (Colourpop, Hot Topic and Anastasia Beverley Hills!) and they always gave me a call whenever they arrived, the reception area was manned 24/7, so there was always someone there to give you advice if you needed directions or help with anything. I also managed to trade a couple of pins with the guys on reception and ended up with some really cool ones in my collection.
Overall, I think that Old Key West is such a beautiful resort and while I would like to stay there again, it was very pricy and I think it would have been better if we had stayed somewhere a little cheaper. Of course it helps that you get a $200 Disney giftcard when you stay at a Walt Disney World resort and book through a lot of travel agents but we didn’t get to have a share in that unfortunately. Next time I go to Walt Disney World, I’ll be staying somewhere more budget friendly as at the end of the day, you’re only spending time in your room to sleep and wash (unless of course there’s a hurricane!) so somewhere a lot more basic would be fine.