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Disney's Old Key West Resort Overview
The Victorian styling of the resort combined with cool pastel colors and lush vegetation that has had some time to mature really makes Old Key West a great resort to call home. Within the complex of the resort, there’s a lot to love. This was the first Disney Vacation Club Resort that Disney built, and was actually known for a few years simply as “Disney’s Vacation Club Resort.” Obviously with the proliferation of DVC, this name had to change. First, the resort is huge and sprawling. So large that it’s one of the resorts with an internal transportation system. Depending upon your perspective, this could be bad or good.
The check-in desk at Disney’s Old Key West Resort is located in the Hospitality House, which is set along a dockside strip that contains the fitness center, arcade, Olivia’s Cafe table service restaurant, the Conch Flats General Store, Good’s Food To Go quick service restaurant, the main pool (featuring one of the best slides on property!), the Gurgling Suitcase bar, and the marina. Even though the resort is spread out, it’s nice to have all these locations in one cluster. From here, you can also take a boat to Downtown Disney or catch a bus to the parks. All of these little shops reminded us of a real quaint seaside dock, which really completed the theme.
Old Key West offers some of the roomiest accommodations at Walt Disney World. Studios are 376 square feet; one-bedroom villas, 942; and two-bedroom villas, 1,333. Studios contain two queen-size beds, a table and two chairs, and an extra vanity outside the bathroom. One-bedroom villas have a king-size bed in the master bedroom, a queen-size sleeper sofa and fold-out chair in the living room, a laundry room, and a full kitchen. Two-bedroom villas feature a king-size bed in the master bedroom, a queen-size sleeper sofa and fold-out chair in the living room, and two queen beds in the second bedroom. All villas have enough closet space to contain your entire wardrobe. Studios and villas are tastefully decorated with wicker and upholstered furniture and peach and light-green color schemes. Each villa has a private balcony that opens onto a delightfully landscaped private courtyard.
An Erie, Pennsylvania, reader thinks Old Key West is Walt Disney World's most well-kept secret:
We've been coming to WDW for 14 years and have stayed at all the DDV resorts except the new one at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Old Key West has the most spacious rooms and villas and the easiest access to your car (right outside your door!). It's in a great location and built around a gorgeous golf course. There are a number of small, almost private pools, so you don't have to go to the main pool to swim. You don't hear much about Old Key West, but if you go there you won't want to stay anywhere else.
How Disney's Old Key West Resort Compares to Other Disney Deluxe Resorts
Old Key West is different because of its location. The resort is located downstream from Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs), and can be accessed via a short boat ride. If you like larger rooms, you’ll probably be a fan of Old Key West. Likely due to it being the first Disney Vacation Club resort, rooms here are larger than at all other Disney Vacation Club resorts.
Where To Check-In, Get Theme Park Tickets, and Make Dining Reservations
A security gate guards the entrance to Old Key West's grounds. If you arrive by car, you'll need to provide photo ID at the gate; it's not necessary to provide your reservation number or paperwork. A dedicated parking lot across from the lobby serves as temporary parking for those who need it while checking in.
Check-in time at Old Key West is 4:00 PM, and check-out time is 11:00 AM. Old Key West participates in Disney's Online Check-In program, which allows you to you provide name, address, and credit card information up to 60 days before your arrival. If you've done this, look for an Online Check-In sign near the Registration Desk. You'll be routed to one of the Online Check-in staff and should be on the way to your room in a few minutes.
If you've not registered online, look for signs pointing you to the Registration/Check-In area. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID and credit/debit card when you register. While parents are completing the paperwork, kids can unwind in a nearby play area decorated with child-sized furniture, and a television showing classic Disney animated films.
Disney's Old Key West Resort's registration staff can provide MagicBands for your stay, if you don't already have them. Get theme park tickets and dining reservations at the Concierge Desk, to the right of the Registration Desk. If you need to check in and obtain theme park tickets, you can save some time in line if one adult gets in line for tickets just after another adult starts the registration process. The Concierge Desk can also make Disney dining reservations, and you can avoid a wait there by making them online prior to arrival.
Disney's Old Key West Resort's Rooms
Old Key West Studios: Studios sleep up to four people and include one queen-size bed and one double sleeper sofa. The total Studio room size is 376 square feet.
Old Key West one-Bedroom Villa: The one-bedroom villa sleeps 4 and provides a formal kitchen, a second bathroom and a living room in addition to the studio bedroom. The living room's sofa folds out to provide beds for 2 more people. One-Bedrooms Villas are 942 square feet.
Old Key West Two-bedroom villas: Two-bedroom villas sleep eight and include all of the kitchen amenities found in a one-bedroom, plus an extra bathroom. One of the baths is attached to a second bedroom with two queen beds or a queen bed plus a sleeper-sized sofa. As with the one-bedrooms, a sofa bed in the living room provide extra places to snooze. Two-Bedroom Villas are 1,333 square feet.
Old Key West Grand Villas: The two-story Grand Villas sleep 12 and include four bathrooms, the same master-bedroom layout, and two bedrooms with two queen beds apiece. An upstairs seating area overlooking the main floor provides a sleeper sofa and chair. Grand Villas are 2,202 square feet.
Handicap-Accessible Room Options
Disney's Old Key West Resort has around 64 handicap-accessible rooms. Some feature roll-in showers, while others include assistive hearing devices. A subset of these rooms have been converted to comply with Florida's Accessibility Code, with changes to everything from bed, counter-top, and dresser drawer height, to door widths, wheelchair ramps, and more. Use our hotel room finder to see which rooms have which feature
Old Key West Pools
Old Key West has four pools. The largest sits sits near the outside of the resort's lobby, Hospitality House. There is also a hot tub, kiddie pool and water player area.
The other smaller pools are located in near buildings 19 and 20, buildings 39, 40 and 41, and another one near building 55.. These pools are basic concrete pools and are considered "quiet pools," meaning that loud play and splashing around are discouraged.
Old Key West's pools range in depth from around 3 feet 6 inches/1.1m to 4 feet 9 inches/1.4m. Pool are open every day, including during winter. The pools are heated to 82°F/28°C throughout the year. We've swum in temperatures as cold as 40°F/4°C; the water was fine, but getting out was a shock. Old Key West also has a hot tubs located near the main pool.
The main pool has one water slide that all ages are free to use. Guests can find showers, storage lockers, restrooms, and laundry facilities. Pool hours are at least 10AM to 10 PM, extending to as much as 8 AM to 12 AM during busy times. The main pool will have lifeguards during the pools' operating hours.
Infants and children in diapers are welcome in all of Old Key West's pools, as long as they're wearing swim diapers. Water wings are allowed at all Disney pools, and every pool has free life vests in a variety of sizes:
- Infant/child: Weight less than 30 lbs.
- Child: Weight 30-50 lbs.
- Youth: Weight 50-90 lbs.
- Adult XS: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 31-34 in.
- Adult S: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 34-37 in.
- Adult M: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 37-40 in.
- Adult L: Weight more than 90 lbs. Chest size 40-43 in.
- Adult XL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 43-46 in.
- Adult XXL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 46-48 in.
- Additionally, there may be a small supply of even larger vests. Inquire at your resort.
You may need to bring your towels from your room to use at the pool - Disney sometimes stocks extra towels poolside, and sometimes they don't. Our advice is to send someone down to the pool to check the towel situation before you go. If you end up using your room towels at the pool, just call Housekeeping when you get back and request more.
Pool toys are permitted in Old Key West' pools, including "pool noodles," and basic toys that would be appropriate for water use such as rubber duckies and bucket & shovel sets. Some of us will occasionally bring something like a whiffle ball for playing catch in the pool. As long as you’re not disturbing other guests, you’ll be fine. Also note that kids with pool toys become very popular with other kids in the pool who want to play too. If you’re traveling with an only child and want him to have some age cohort interaction during your vacation, a nice strategy is to bring some extra toys. Chances are he’ll make a buddy.
Wheelchair Accessibility at Old Key West's Pool
Old Key West's main pool has a chair-lift device that can lower guests in wheelchairs into the shallow end of the pool. Check with any lifeguard for assistance on using the lift.
Playgrounds at Disney's Old Key West Resort
A small playground set is located near the pool in the Hospitality House. The set has a small plastic slide and a couple of sections with a few steps for toddlers to go up and down. Safety seems to be Disney's concern here - there are no swings, and the entire area is covered in sand.
Restaurants and Dining
Old Key West has one table service and two counter service restaurants. If these don't fit your needs you can hop on a boat near the Hospitality House and ride over to Downtown Disney.
Olivia's is a fun out-of-the-way dining spot if you have a little extra time to navigate out to Old Key West Resort. Service is excellent and the theme is a Disneyfied Key West: lots of pastels, mosaic-tile floors, potted palms, tropical trees in the center of the room. There is some outside seating, which looks out over the waterway. Tile, wood siding, and no tablecloths add up to a very noisy dining room that's getting a little worn around the edges. Disney Vacation Club member photos decorate the walls - Disney's Old Key West Resort was one of the first DVC resorts, so members consider Olivia's their home kitchen.
At breakfast, try the eggs with shrimp and conch cakes; banana-bread French toast; and Cuban sandwich with scrambled eggs, ham, Swiss cheese, and pork loin. At lunch, try the Key West burger topped with grilled shrimp and pepper-jack cheese. At dinner, prime rib, sustainable fish with black beans and rice, and coconut-encrusted mahimahi.
Turtle Shack has a small menu made up of hot dogs, pizza, and sandwiches. There is also a small selection of beers and cocktails.
Good's Food to Go
Good's Food to Go offers a selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and sides like french fries and onion rings. For breakfast Good's sells a breakfast platter and a selection of pastries.
Good's Food to Go participates in Disney's Rapid Fill refillable mug program, where you purchase a souvenir plastic mug once, and get free refills for the remainder of your stay. The cost varies depending on how long you're staying at the resort:
- $8.99 for 1 day
- $11.99 for 2 days
- $14.99 for 3 days
- $17.99 for length of stay (4 or more days)
The break-even point for the refillable mug program seems to be around 3 visits on the 1-day plan; 4 visits on the 2-day plan; 5 on the 3- day plan; and 6 visits for stays of 4 or more days. Keep in mind that if you buy a regular $3 fountain soda at any meal, you get unlimited refills during that meal. So for the refillable mug program to make sense, you'll need to drink soda with at least 3 separate meals on the 1-day plan, or 5 separate meals on the 2-day plan. In those cases, it would be hard to get too far from a bathroom, let alone all the way to the parks.
Pizza delivery is available to your room from Disney's own delivery service. Besides pizza, chicken wings, desserts, beer, wine, and sodas are also available. However, delivery can take up to 90 minutes, and the food quality is often below average. You're probably better off either walking to the food court or calling Domino's. Pizza delivery hours are 4 PM to midnight daily. A medium (16") cheese pizza costs around $14 and a pepperoni around $16. Minimum order is $15, and Disney will tack on an 18% tip, $3 delivery charge, and 7% sales tax. Thus, a $30 pizza order will cost you $40.50 delivered.
Transportation to and from Disney's Old Key West Resort
Driving Your Own Car Disney's Old Key West Resort is just off of I-4 in Lake Buena Vista. Take I-4 Exit 67 Epcot Center Dr. Take the exit toward Downtown Disney Resort Area. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Port Orleans/Eagle Pines/Ospray Ridge and merge onto Disney Vacation Club Way. Old Key West will be on your right.
Disney's Old Key West Resort's GPS address and location are:
Disney's Old Key West Resort
1510 North Cove Road
Orlando, FL 32830
Latitude: 28.375585 North, Longitude: 81.533714 West
From Orlando International Airport If you're arriving at Orlando International Airport, Disney's free Magical Express bus service will take you and your luggage directly from the airport to Disney's Old Key West Resort, then back to the airport when it's time for your flight home.
From Sanford International Airport It's about a 40-minute drive from Sanford to Disney's Old Key West Resort. If you're not renting a car, be aware that Sanford's airport offers fewer transportation options than Orlando's, and Sanford's options are generally much more expensive. A taxi from Sanford International Airport to Disney's Old Key West Resort will cost between $120 and $150, depending on traffic. Mears Transportation offers 3-passenger towncar service to Disney's Old Key West Resort for around $140 each way, plus tip; 5-passenger SUV service or 10 -passenger van is around $190 each way. That means round-trip transportation will run you somewhere between $240 and $380, plus tip, between Sanford and Disney's Old Key West Resort. At those prices, it may be less expensive to rent a car and park it at the hotel.
Getting to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney Disney provides free bus service from Disney's Old Key West Resort to Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Disney's Old Key West Resort's bus stops sit along the front wall of the lobby, between the lobby and check-in parking lot. Each theme park has its own bus stop somewhere along the wall. Animal Kingdom's bus service is shared with Blizzard Beach. Downtown Disney/Disney Springs is accessed via a boat that can be loaded near the Carriage House.
Disney's Old Key West Resort's Bus Schedule
Ask a Disney Castmember about Old Key West's bus schedule, and they'll tell you that buses run about every 20 minutes. In reality, Old Key West's bus schedule varies considerably depending on the time of day and where you're headed.
For example, if you're headed to the Magic Kingdom between 8 AM and 11 AM, you'll wait around 15 minutes, on average, for a bus to arrive. The bus schedules for Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios are about the same early in the day, with a bus arriving every 15-20 minutes, on average. Bus schedules to the water parks are a little less frequent, and you could wait anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for a ride.
Buses run a little slower from around 11 AM to around 4 PM, when most people are already in a park. Disney's evening buses are scheduled around the theme parks' closing times, where most of the fleet is deployed to get guests back to their hotels. Your waits to return to your hotel from a theme park should average out to around 30 minutes under most circumstances.
If you've got your own car, it's faster to drive yourself to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks. Disney's bus service is faster to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. We evaluate Disney's Old Key West Resort's bus service annually, and the latest transportation times can be found below.
Getting to another hotel from Disney's Old Key West Resort If you've got dining plans at another Disney hotel, the cheapest option is to take a Disney bus from Disney's Old Key West Resort an open theme park (or ride the boat to Downtown Disney), then take another bus from there to your destination hotel. Do the reverse to get back to Disney's Old Key West Resort. While that's free, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours each way. If your destination is one of the Magic Kingdom monorail resorts, and the Magic Kingdom is still open, you could take a bus to the Magic Kingdom, then either walk (to the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower), hop on the monorail (to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian), or take a boat (to Fort Animal Kingdom, the Old Key West, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian). We suggest you still allow at least an hour for that.
The fastest option, however, is almost always a taxi from Old Key West to wherever you're going; it's generally not more than a $20, 15-minute cab ride to get to most Disney hotels from Old Key West, and often less. Taxis are available outside the lobby; if a taxi is not already sitting out front, the bell services desk also serves as a taxi stand, and they'll call one for you.
To Universal Orlando If you're staying at Walt Disney World and don't have a car, Mears Transportation will shuttle you from your hotel to Universal and back for $18 per person. Pickup and return times are at your convenience. A one-way taxi ride is around $36, and may be the cheapest option if you have three to five people.
Shopping, Recreation and Things to Do
Old Key West's gift shop is Conch Flats General Store. It is located in the Hospitality House near the lobby. As you'd expect from a Disney gift shop, Conch Flats has a decent collection of souvenirs ranging from small trinkets such as keychains and pens, to embroidered jackets and Disney princess dresses. Prices for these items are about what you'd pay in the theme parks or Downtown Disney.
Conch Flats also sells basic pharmacy items such as sunscreen, aspirin, allergy and cold medicine, baby diapers and formula, shampoo, and the like. And Conch Flats has Disney-branded cookies, chocolate, coffee tins, and similar items, if that's what you're looking for. Prices for these items are considerably higher - about double - than what you'd probably pay at home.
Located near the lobby is the Electric Eal Gameroom, which has a decent collection of relatively recent video and arcade games. Most games cost $0.50 to $2.00 per play, which can add up quickly. It's helpful to set a budget with your kids before they go in.
Walkers, joggers and runners can find a jogging trail. The trail is a 1.37-mile path along the golf greens and water canals.
Disney's Old Key West Resort Babysitting and In-Room Child Care
Disney doesn't offer on-site child care at Old Key West, but you've got some options. If you've got a car and you're headed to the theme parks, you can drop off your little ones at one of the child-care clubs at a resort nearby. Services vary, but children generally can be left between 4:30 PM and midnight. Milk and cookies and blankets and pillows are provided at all centers, and dinner is provided at most. Play is supervised but not organized, and toys, videos, and games are plentiful. Guests at any Disney resort or campground may use the services.
The most elaborate of the child-care centers (variously called "clubs" or "camps") is Never Land Club at the Polynesian Resort. The rate for ages 3-12 is $12 per hour, per child (2-hour minimum).
All the clubs accept reservations (some six months in advance!) with a credit card guarantee. Call the club directly, or reserve through Disney at 407-WDW-DINE. (If you call before 4 PM, call the club directly using the number shown below.) Most clubs require a 24-hour cancellation notice and levy a hefty penalty of 2 hours' time or $22.50 per call for no- shows. A limited number of walk-ins are usually accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
|Hotel||Name of Program||Ages||Phone|
|Animal Kingdom Lodge||Simba's Clubhouse||3-12||407-938-4785|
|Dolphin and Swan||Camp Dolphin||4-12||407-934-4241|
|Polynesian Resort||Never Land Club||3-12||407-824-1639|
|Yacht and Beach Club Resorts||Sandcastle Club||3-12||407-934-3750|
|Wilderness Lodge and Villas||Cub's Den||3-12||407-824-1083|
Two companies provide in-room sitting in Walt Disney World and surrounding areas. They're Kid's Nite Out and Fairy Godmothers (no kidding). Both provide sitters older than age 18 who are insured, bonded, screened, reference-checked, police-checked, and trained in CPR. In addition to caring for your kids in your room, the sitters will, if you direct (and pay), take your children to the theme parks or other venues. Neither service will transport your children in private vehicles or give baths. Both offer bilingual sitters.
|Kid's Nite Out||Fairy Godmothers|
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
Men and women
Mothers and grandmothers, female college students
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $16
2 children, $18.50
3 children, $21
4 children, $23.50
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $16
2 children, $16
3 children, $16
4 children, $18
Transportation fee, $10; starting before 6:30 AM
or after 9 PM, +$2 per hour; additional fee for holidays
Transportation fee, $14; starting after 10 PM,
+$2 per hour
24 hours before service when reservation is made
3 hours before service
Form of Payment
AE, D, MC, V; gratuity in cash
Form of Payment
Cash or traveler's check for actual payment; gratuity in cash
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children in private vehicles,
take children swimming, give baths
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children, give baths; swimming
is at sitter's discretion
Miscellaneous Old Key West
Coin-operated washers and dryers are in laundry facilities located near each pool. Cost is around $2 per wash, and another $2 per dry cycle. The machines take quarters, and a change machine is provided. A small selection of soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets are also sold, for around $1 each. A typical wash cycle takes 20 to 30 minutes, and a typical dry cycle takes 40 to 50.
If you lose something during your stay, contact Disney's Old Key West Resort's Lost and Found department by calling (407) 827-7700.
Blog Posts About Disney's Old Key West Resort
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Old Key West Resort||66% (-14%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Old Key West Resort||86% (-4%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Disney's Old Key West Resort
Old Key West is huge, with 49 three-story villa buildings. Each contains a mix of studio and multiroom villas. Views are nice from almost all villas. To enhance the view, all multiroom villas and some studios have a large balcony furnished with a table and chairs. Though nice vistas are easy to come by, quiet is more elusive. Because the resort is bordered by busy Bonnet Creek Parkway and even busier Buena Vista Drive, the best villas are those as far from the highway noise as possible. For quiet isolation and a lovely river view, ask for Building 46 or 45, in that order. For a lake and golf-course view away from road noise but closest to restaurants, recreation, the marina, the main swimming complex, and shopping, ask for Building 13. Nearby, Buildings 12 and 11 are likewise quiet and convenient but offer primarily golf-course views. Next-best choices are Buildings 32 and 34. Building 32 looks onto a lake with the golf course in the background, while 34 faces the golf course with tennis courts to the left and a lake to the right. None of the buildings recommended is more than a 2- to 5-minute walk to the nearest bus stop or pool. Avoid Buildings 19-22, 38 and 39, 41 and 42, and 49-51.
Ground-floor villas make lugging in suitcases and groceries less taxing. Though the top floor requires a three-story climb, views from on high are superior. The top floor also ensures that you'll have no noisy neighbors clomping above you.
|Extremely nice studios and villas||Large, confusing layout|
|Full kitchens in villas||Substandard bus service|
|Quiet, lushly landscaped setting||Limited on-site dining|
|Convenient self-parking||No easily accessible off-site dining|
|Small, private swimming pools||Extreme distance of many guest rooms to dining and services|
|Recreation options||No character meals|
|Boat service to Downtown Disney|
|1BR units hold 5 guests|
Old Key West 2015 Rack Rates
Disney's Old Key West Resort Dining
|Park||Commuting Times||Resort Transportation|
|Magic Kingdom||31 min|
|Hollywood Studios||26 min|
|Animal Kingdom||29 min|
|Quietness of Room||B|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|