Number of nights: 3
Room type: King, Disney Springs View, Tower
We had options. It was the first time we could afford to stay at a moderately priced hotel, and we were down to two: Gaylord Palms or the Hilton Lake Buena Vista Palace. In the end, we decided that with one being an Official Disney Resort, and the other being a resort I'd just spent years drooling over, we'd go with the one that was both cheaper and affiliated with the purpose of our trip: Disney. While it's not the conventional Disney Resort (more of a partner property), it is one complete with a Sunday character breakfast, an official Disney store, and the beloved Mickey Mouse shaped waffles. It was also located just across the street from Disney Springs (literally a 5 minute walk, guys), which you can't beat. We paid roughly $125/night for a King bed, Disney Springs view room. Included in the price was parking and WiFi (complimentary as a HHonors member--you can sign up for free). This, in my opinion, was a total steal. Especially given the quality was above the value Disney Resort properties, and still cheaper. Our room was on the 21st floor and because I'm used to never being any higher than sea level, my ears popped every time the elevator passed the 10th floor. Online, the room looked the same size as any other, but the first thing I noticed when we got in was how spacious it actually was; it felt more like a suite than a basic room (minus a kitchenette). Through the entire duration of our stay, we used our car twice: at check-in and check-out. The hotel offered complimentary Disney shuttles, which were on a 30-minute cycle. We used Uber once, but only because we were running late as it was (partied too hard at the Very Merry Christmas Party the night before). On average, we waited about 10-15 minutes for the next shuttle to show (both heading to and from the hotel). It made stops at 3 other properties, and because we were the last in line, it took a little longer returning to the hotel in the evenings. If, after a long day at the park, you don't want to spend 30 minutes on a bus full of people, I recommend calling an Uber--it will be much quicker. We didn't mind the wait, so we stuck with the shuttle. Because we were at the parks 95% of the trip, we ordered room service twice, once for a late lunch, the other a farewell breakfast, and grabbed one late night snack at the small market/cafe, Citrus 28 (sadly, no Disney character breakfast for us). Altogether, the room service was quick and tasty (ordered a pizza and continental breakfast foods). The market offered a large array of snacks and drinks--I got some fresh fruit and cereal, Nolan got a salami/pepperoni and cheese plate. The property itself is currently being renovated/updated, but the completed areas are absolutely stunning. The construction was the only con with this hotel, as it made getting to the room a bit more complicated, and getting to our car even worse (thankfully this was only an issue twice). Overall, I give the Hilton Lake Buena Vista Palace 4.5/5 stars. In this case, it was location, location, location. The view left me in awe several times. The food sufficed. The property was luscious and for the most part, updated. Kingdom Hopper highly recommends this resort to anyone looking for a moderately priced, family friendly Disney resort with easy access to theme parks/Disney Springs.