Disney’s Hilton Head Island: A Different Kind of Disney Magic

We are all, of course, Walt Disney World “fans”, but did you know there is a very special kind of Disney magic that is located far outside of the World…..inSouth Carolina? It’s called Disney’s Hilton Head resort, and if you have never visited this lovely, peaceful and relaxing resort, you owe it to yourself to plan a trip. Just be warned, you may not want to leave!!

Located within an easy drive of bothCharleston, South Caroline, andSavannah,Georgia,  Disney’s Hilton Head resort is a Disney Vacation Club property. But if you’re not a DVC member, no worries, as non-DVC members can stay there too, either by paying the standard room rate, or probably a more economical way, by “renting” points from a DVC member.

Disney’s Hilton Head resort offers, as is typical with most DVC properties, three “sizes” of accommodations: studios (think large hotel room with mini-kitchenette), one bedroom (living/dining space, full kitchen, 1 bedroom and 1 ¾ shared bathroom space: double sink/whirlpool tub on one side, and sink, toilet and shower stall on the other) and two bedroom villas, which adds a second bedroom and full bath to the one bedroom. And if you need even more space than that, you can rent a grand villa.

Most if not all rooms have a small deck with picnic table and two rocking chairs for spending time outside and enjoying the peacefulness of the resort. While it can get pretty hot in the summer, the enormous and wonderful old oak trees and Spanish moss provide more than just a sense of picturesque stateliness: they provide lots of much-needed shade!

Disney’s Hilton Head Island resort is one of the best places I know to relax. Located right next to the Shelter Cove harbor and marina, on a small island, the resort property looks out on Broad Creek, a marshy area that is perfect for small boats, kayakers, crabbing, fishing…and dolphin watching. And relaxing. Lots and lots of relaxing. 🙂


But there is also lots to do! Miles of bike/walking paths wind throughout the resort, as well as outside of Disney’s resort. We have brought bikes in the past, but you can rent them too. Biking is a great way to get around on Hilton Head, and you will find that many folks use that as their main method of transportation while there.

It should be said that this resort is not located on the beach, and many folks find that to be a negative…but frankly, for me it’s a positive. I found that I kind of like the sense of being “away from it all”…and the beach is only a mile away, so it is easy to drive to, bike to, or take Disney’s convenient shuttle. At the actual Hilton Head beach, the Disney property there has a lovely beach house with a snack bar, game area, shower facilities and pool. And then, back at the “main resort”, there is another, larger that features a great slide, baby pool, hot tub, and is the site for a number of events and games throughout the entire week.

In fact, Disney, being Disney, not surprisingly, has a full schedule of activities every day! Campfires, s’mores, singalongs, ghost stories, tours, boat trips, kids night out, teens night out, beach parties, karaoke, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts….well you get the picture. 🙂 The cast members in the recreation department do an awesome job of providing a wide variety of fun and family friendly activities. The main house (where you check in) even has a game room with a pool table, checkerboard and fireplace that would be awesome to experience if you visit during the cooler months.

And if there is not enough for you to do at the resort, there are plenty of great activities all around Hilton Head Island. A special event each Tuesday night during the summer months is actually held in the Shelter Cove area right next to Disney’s property: Harborfest, where thousands arrive for great food, fun music and activities….and fireworks on Broad Creek, right behind Disney’s property. Since it was all literally right there, there was no driving or parking necessary as we were right there…. Plus we had a front row seat for the fireworks. (Important note: don’t expect Wishes…..but it was nice nevertheless 🙂  )

It’s a very different experience from vacationing at Walt Disney World…which is part of what makes this place so special. That Disney “magic” is all around you nevertheless, in the attention to detail, beautiful accommodations, superb service and wonderful cast members….so you really do get that “Disney experience”…..but without the crowds, noise, lines, and dare-I-say-it, stress.

And just in case you forget, Disney offers little “reminders” all around the resort, that the magic isn’t far at all.

In fact, they make it perfectly clear, just in case you are wondering, exactly how close you are to your next Disney vacation. 🙂


 While she and her family currently live in the Baltimore, MD area, Nancy considers Walt Disney World to be a “second home”. A Disney travel agent, Nancy started her blog, The Affordable Mouse in 2009, as a way to help people plan affordable Disney vacations.  Nancy’s motto is, “If you can’t be at Disney World, the next best thing is helping others get there!” To find out how affordable your next Disney vacation can be, contact her at nancy@theaffordablemouse.com

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2 thoughts on “Disney’s Hilton Head Island: A Different Kind of Disney Magic

    • April 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      You totally should Kathy! It is such a beautiful place…you won’t want to leave! 🙂


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