The Hidden Community
When I was first looking in to buying a Disney Vacation Club Membership, I talked a lot with a friend of mine at work who is a DVC Member. She let me get into the member area of the DVC website to look around and read all the information that was available, so that I could make an informed decision. She and her family “own” at the Old Key West Resort. Whenever we would talk, she would rave about her home resort and talk about the wonderful things about it.
As I have said before one of my main reasons for joining the DVC was so that I could stay in the Boardwalk Resort. So, our first family trip as DVC members, we stayed at the Boardwalk. The following year, we flew down for a long weekend in early June to enjoy a Star Wars Weekend. On this trip, we stayed in Old Key West on my friend’s recommendation. It was everything she said it was.
The Old Key West Resort was the first Disney Vacation Club Resort. It is situated a little further away from all the Disney parks, but not too far. The actual road it is found on is called Vacation Club Way. As you pull up to the entrance, like all the other Disney Resorts, it has a guardhouse and is gated. This resort was gated long before many of the other ones were though and the way that the trees and all are situated around the entrance, you can’t really see into the resort, making it seem as if the Disney Imagineers who designed the entrance did it on purpose to keep people from seeing what the resort was all about, unless they were staying there. Once you pass the entrance, the resort opens in front of you like a condominium complex. There are clusters of buildings throughout the resort property.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort has seven hundred and sixty one rooms with some sitting among palm trees, others on waterways and still others on the golf course fairways of the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. Since this was the first Vacation Club resort, there are no “hotel” type rooms. All of the rooms are the Villa types rooms found in the DVC Resorts. The main building, called the Hospitality House, has two restaurants, a Bar, a store, an arcade, and a community room. The Hospitality House also is where the lobby is located and a little sitting area called Papa’s Den, aptly named after Ernest Hemmingway is found off the side of the lobby. Connected to the Hospitality House are a swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, a bath house, a fitness club, and the boat dock.
Since this is the condo-community style resort, the property is spread out. There are bus stops throughout the resort with a resort bus that will take you to the Hospitality House and back around to all the different building. Besides the swimming pool at the hospitality House complex, there are three other pools situated near some of the buildings that are further away from the Resort’s entrance.
When we stayed here, we were set in a cluster that was in walking distance of the hospitality house. The room that we stayed in was a one bedroom villa. Compared to the other one bedroom villas we have stayed in, at the Boardwalk or the Wilderness Lodge, it was bigger. It seemed more open and quite a bit larger. We were in a first floor unit, which gave us a small patio off the living room and we were off of a waterway, so that we had the opportunity to see some ducklings whose nest must have been close to where we were. The colors in the rooms are muted pastels and are very calming. The rattan furniture makes you feel as if you are staying in a beach house, in Key West.
Even though the Resort is set off by itself, it doesn’t take long to get to the parks. They consider the resort in the Epcot Resort area, which means that Epcot is close, but the Magic Kingdom is close also, because where the resort is situated is down a back road from the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Because of this Disney transportation takes no time at all to get there either. From the Boat dock at the Hospitality House you can also get a boat to Downtown Disney.
I would highly recommend staying at the Old Key West Resort, especially if you are looking for a relaxing kick back, no need to rush stay. The friend that I mentioned before has told me that she and her husband go to Old Key West and stay without ever going to the parks, except maybe going into Epcot to eat. They treat it as a beach vacation without the sand. I personally don’t think I could be that close to the Disney parks and not go to them, but that shows what kind of relaxing place that Old Key West is. Once you get past that front gate and enter this hidden community, you can’t help but find yourself relaxed.Share