My family and I began a 7 night stay at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, which is located in the Downtown Disney area. I had always stayed in a Disney resort or Vacation Club villa so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I can say that I was very impressed.
We arrived very late in the evening and the friendly staff greeted us and told us we could go right up to the room. Needless to say, after being in an airplane most of the evening, we were very excited to see our room and freshen up. We walked through the festive lobby to one of 4 elevators. Our room was on the 17th floor so we listened to the island tunes on the way up. When we entered the room we were immediately drawn to the view. We could see the Characters in Flight balloon at Downtown Disney, Epcot, the Contemporary, and the new Bay Lake Tower. It really gave a great perspective of how spread out the Disney area truly is. The room was large with 2 queen beds, a couch, two tables, a sink and a counter outside of the bathroom, and a good size bathroom. The size of the room would be similar to a moderate or deluxe at Disney.
After getting situated in the room we went and checked out the pool. The kids loved it for the deep end while we loved it for the peaceful atmosphere. The pool is a good size to keep an eye on the kids while still relaxing on the lounge chairs. After taking in the pool we called it a night.
One of the perks of staying at the Lake Buena Vista Best Western is that it utilizes the Downtown Disney Area Hotel bus service. The Downtown Disney bus system was very prompt and reliable. The bus route began at 8 am, but we caught the 8:30 bus. We stopped at 2 other Downtown Disney hotels before being dropped off in the main bus area at Epcot. The bus then continued on to Hollywood Studios. The driver told us the bus would pick up from Epcot at 25 and 55 after the hour. It came right on time. In fact, we have waited longer for a Disney bus. The ride was just what we needed after a long day at the park, again prompt and efficient service. We ended the evening eating in the hotel’s dining area which featured a buffet courtesy of Pizza Hut. Pizza, Pasta, and Salads were available for our choosing.
As someone who has only stayed in a Disney resort on all my previous trips I was a bit intrigued about staying at a Downtown Disney resort. What you need to know though is that while the Downtown Disney Resorts are not technically Disney run resorts, Disney is more like their landlords. Everything they do has to gain approval from Disney, thus making these resorts top notch for your dollar.
When I was trying to find a place outside of a Disney resort, I was looking for one that offered the same perks that you would get from a Disney resort without having to pay the Disney price. The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort offers the same exact perks that you get by staying at a Disney resort. You get complimentary bus service to all the parks in Walt Disney World. Please note that you may see other local hotels claim that they are “minutes from Disney” and “provide free transportation to and from Disney”, but don’t be fooled. The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort is on the Disney property while others just claim to be close.
You also receive the ability to purchase your tickets at the resort, make tee times at any of the five Disney golf courses, a Disney gift shop in the lobby, the ability to make priority seating at any Walt Disney World restaurant, and free parking, which no other Downtown Disney area resorts offer. Another plus is the Resort is a mere 15 minutes of from Downtown Disney, if you walk at a leisurely pace. In fact, my father in law used a cane and that was how long it took him, so actually a normal walking pace would put it at about 10 minutes.
You don’t get those things at other resorts “minutes from Disney”. The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel had everything we needed in a vacation location. If you are looking for a resort for the family, a romantic getaway, a weekend with friends, or a place for the team to stay during an AAU tournament, you can’t go wrong with the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel.