Disney's Old Key West (logo) May 2015
5 Nights
Pre-trip report:

We’re so happy to be returning to Walt Disney World resort after an almost 4 year hiatus! A LOT has changed since we’ve last been…including a whole new Fantasyland a new Test Track and some major technology leaps (MDE & MagicBands).

First, I admit it. I’m a planner…specifically I’m a WDW Vacation planner. I thoroughly enjoy the process of planning for our WDW vacations…it’s part of the process for me. It “keeps me going” for months on end looking forward to each important step of the way. That’s why I LOVE the new “My Disney Experience” and the new Fastpass+ system. I know many people don’t like to have to plan it all out and I know many people who don’t the technology side of it (they’re the ones that pick up the phone to do all their planning still.) Personally, I’ve found the last 9 months of planning to be fun.

Typically, it begins with me waiting for Southwest to “release their dates/flights”. I prowled their website and App everyday last fall waiting for them to release the dates during our planned vacation period. Much to my agony, Southwest delayed that release by 2 weeks, and the 2 weeks again! Finally, I was able to book the perfect flights at the best prices (which makes a huge difference when you’re booking for 6 people) on the very day they released the dates! (Take this to heart folks…our friends who are travelling the week before us were later complaining to us about how expensive the flights were because they waited too long to book them!)

After that we booked our DVC rental at OKW and waitlisted for Beach Club knowing that it was a long-shot due to the Flower & Garden festival (and later because they began renovating rooms there.) We held out hope…but, alas we’ll have to be content with our OKW choice (which, of course we will be!)

I made several ADRs at the 6 month point, but later added more when we decided that we were going to add the DDP to our reservation. We’re saving up all of our snack points for Epcot’s F&G festival with all the added booths with new sampling choices! I made some minor tweaks when I decided to add the Memory Maker package as well (to increase some of our photo opportunities). I even booked the limited breakfast QS at “Be Our Guest” in MK which we had fun placing our dining order for the week before we left for our trip! (I love technology! Our order will be waiting for us when we arrive…several days from now!)

Old Key West review (As I posted on DisneyWorld.com)

With a family of six, we've stayed at 7 (2 BR) DVC resorts over the years and they all have feel large and luxurious. However, Disney's Old Key West is unique from all the others in that you feel like you're staying in a luxurious "vacation home" rather than a hotel. With it's enormous size, unique layout, large secluded lanai and no long hallways of doors it's an entirely different "feel". All six of us could easily spread out in the main common area of the unit during the evenings, and each beautiful morning several of us enjoyed breakfast on the lanai overlooking the quiet golf course. The fairly recent renovations of the unit was evident and the decor and furnishings were all very nice and representative of that "Florida" feel. The beds were all very comfortable and the unit was very clean upon arrival. The staff at OKW was friendly and courteous from the moment we arrived and right through to the moment we sadly departed! When we booked our room we requested the "close to the hospitality house" option and they were able to accommodate. This was a huge bonus to be a short walking distance from all the activities, pool, shop and restaurants.

The pool was large and never too crowded and we all enjoyed the slide. The shop is one of the smaller DVC stores we've experienced and didn't stock the spring water by the gallon that some of the other DVC shops carried. Unfortunately, we didn't experience Olivia's on our trip but, I've heard good things and it smelled wonderful every evening when we walked past the outside dining area. Good's To Go had limited offerings and mediocre results. The Gurgling Suitcase (bar) was small, but had that Key West feel. The area around Good's and the Suitcase offered several tables for eating and the area was kept clean. Overall theming and cleanliness of the resort was excellent, with a little bit of the same feel as the Beach Club / Boardwalk resorts. Several nights they provided evening activities for families including campfires and movies by the pool.

We never seemed to wait very long for buses when leaving the resort. However, it always seemed that we had to wait 20 - 30 minutes for buses returning to the resort.

Overall I would say that the resort had a relaxed feel to it. It certainly was not as quiet as Villas at Wilderness Lodge or even Saratoga Springs. But, it was not as active as Beach Club Villas and Boardwalk Villas which both offer up many more activities and things to do while away from the parks. However, there was plenty of Jimmy Buffet music to be heard while relaxing by the pool!

(Check back for my review of our park & dining experiences)