Love the deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World? So do we!! Join us for this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop as we share our reviews of the deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.
As a long-time Hilton Honors member, I was looking for a place where I could use my points to stay at or near Walt Disney World. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had enough points for a complimentary regular room and a discounted suite with a Walt Disney World view. With that, my parents, my husband and son and I spent a wonderful three nights there… wonderful as there were many pros to staying there, though with a couple of cons.
First the pros:
Complimentary Disney Transportation – Just like the Disney resorts, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando provides complimentary transportation to the Disney Parks and Disney Springs. I found that it came around about every 30 minutes, but we were there during a slow week in September. It may run more often during the busy season. The front desk let us know the schedule when we checked in.
Fireworks View – As I mentioned, our suite had a Disney view. I expected to see a park and was amazed that we could actually see all four parks. That means that we had a view of all of the fireworks. By far, our best view was of the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but we could also see any of the aerial fireworks and the lasers from Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot and off in the distance, a full view of Cinderella’s Castle surrounded by Wishes at Magic Kingdom.
Unparalleled service – If there’s any resort that can give Disney service a run for its money, it’s the Waldorf Astoria. From the time we checked in until the time we checked out, the staff took care of us. For example, I was at breakfast one morning with my parents. My son was still sleeping in our room. I ordered my breakfast and asked if it was possible just to get a pastry or two to take back to my son, fully expecting to pay for it. The server found out what he liked and completely unexpectedly, the manager showed up at our table with a plate full of pastries, covered with a room service cover, at no charge. He said he’d just count it as part of our buffet.
Amazing Pool Options – The Waldorf Astoria has a very large pool area with two pools as well as a hot tub. One area of the larger pool is zero-entry. For kids, there was a large array of pool toys and floats available. If you’re not happy there, however, Waldorf Astoria guests are allowed to use the pool area at the adjoining Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. The Hilton’s pool area was named #1 of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Fantastic Pools and it’s no wonder that it was. With a zero-entry pool, lazy river, and water slide, there’s fun for everyone.
Supervised Children’s Program – The Waldorf Astoria offers the WA Kids Club where kids can participate in crafts, games, and other activities. In addition, from 10:30am – 2:30pm daily or on Friday and Saturday evenings, the activities are supervised so mom and dad can have a little adults-only time. There is a charge of $75 for the first child and $25 for each additional child, children must be ages 5-12 and reservations must be made in advance.
Fun for Adults – While the kids are enjoying the WA Kids Club, there’s plenty for mom and dad to do. On our trip, my husband enjoyed the on-site golf course, while I got a little “me time” in at the on-site spa. Ahhhh….
Room Price and Hilton Honors – Hilton Honors won’t be a pro for everyone, but as I mentioned, it was for us. As part of the Hilton Hotels, the Waldorf Astoria participates in the Hilton Honors program. This meant that I could use our Hilton Honors points to stay there. Even without that, I found that the cost of the rooms was actually less than comparable Disney Resort rooms. As I wrote this post, I checked the room rate for a week in March, typically a very busy time of year at Walt Disney World. Rooms at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando began at $440. Compare that to rooms at Disney’s Beach Club Resort starting at $718.20 per night, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort starting at $541.50 per night, or Disney’s Contemporary Resort at $751.50 per night.
Now for the cons:
No Disney Perks – While the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is on Walt Disney World Resort property, since it is not a Walt Disney World Resort, it does not have perks such as Magical Express, which is complimentary airport transportation; earlier FastPass+ reservations as Waldorf Astoria Orlando guests can only reserve at the standard 30 days out instead of the 60 days out Disney Resort guests enjoy; and complimentary parking at the parks for those guests who choose to drive instead of utilizing the Waldorf Astoria Orlando transportation.
Prices in the Restaurants – This was the biggest ouch for me. A simple breakfast like a bowl of mixed berries was $16 plus tax and tip at Oscar’s. For children, the options include a la carte items all priced at $10 or the buffet for $20. My child certainly would not eat $20 worth of food from a buffet. One evening, my parents, husband, and I also enjoyed a lovely dinner at Bull & Bear. The food is really great there and the creativity is amazing. My husband’s dessert looked just like a cigar with ashes… however, the cost for the four of us was nearly $600 after tax and tip.
Even with these cons, though, I intend to stay there again and highly recommend it. In fact, I’m guessing it will be one of our go-to places for future trips to Walt Disney World Resort.
For more Walt Disney World deluxe resort reviews,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | WDW Deluxe Resort Reviews Loop:
- 1st Stop – Magical Mickey Tips | Four Seasons Resort Orlando
- 2nd Stop – Trips with Tykes | Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- 3rd Stop – DISTherapy | Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- 4th Stop – Rolling with the Magic | Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- 5th Stop – Dad for Disney | Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- 6th Stop – What’s the Point? | Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- 7th Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek
- 8th Stop – Adventures in Familyhood | Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- 9th Stop – Running on Disney | Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- 10th Stop – The Blogorail | Disney’s Yacht Club Resort