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Review: Disney’s Old Key West Resort

By Dave Shute


Review - Disney's Old Key West Resort from

Disney’s Old Key West Resort (a Disney Vacation Club (“DVC”) Resort) is a wonderful place for returning visitors to Walt Disney World to stay.

Review Disney's Old Key West Resort from yourfirstvisit.netIt’s the most spacious, most livable, and least expensive of the DVC resorts, and is my personal favorite among them.

For typical first-time visitors, I don’t recommend the Disney Vacation Club resorts.

That said, these “DVC” resorts can be a great choice for first time visitors with large families, needing extra sleeping spaces, or looking for a more comfortable place to stay.

Among the Disney Vacation Club Resorts, Disney’s Old Key West Resort ranks eleventh overall for first time visitors, with its particular strengths being livability and value for money.


You can have a spectacular visit at any Walt Disney World resort.

However, this site recommends that first time visitors to Walt Disney World avoid the Disney Vacation Club resorts, while noting that these resorts are wonderful for visits after the first.

Kitchen Disney's Old Key West Resort from

The recommendation comes from the simple fact that the distinguishing feature of these resorts–extra space and full kitchens–will not be of much value to first-time visitors following one of the itineraries on this site, as they won’t be used much.

Living Room Disney's Old Key West Resort from

That said, the Disney Vacation Club resorts represent more than 10% of Walt Disney World’s total rooms, and are very appropriate for first time visitors with large families, needing extra sleeping spaces, or looking for a more comfortable place to stay–especially if you have a car, as Old Key West is pretty spread out.

Because of this, I always provide of up-to-date reviews of these options. This Old Key West review is based on our five stays at Old Key West since this site opened.


Disney's Old Key West Resort from

Resorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their kid appeal, and then on their convenience.

On this basis, Disney’s Old Key West Resort comes in near the bottom of the Disney Vacation Club resorts. (See this for resort rankings.)

Old Key West Kid Appeal.

Pool Disney's Old Key West Resort from

While quite charming to adults, Old Key West has no real kid appeal compared to spectacularly-appealing alternatives like the Polynesian (Studios only), Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the Villas at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Old Key West Convenience.

Bus Stop Disney's Old Key West Resort from

Old Key West is not as isolated as it is sometimes described to be–it’s not far from Epcot, for example.

That said, its distance, sprawling layout–with many services far from most rooms–and five bus stops make it among the least convenient of the Walt Disney World resorts.


One Bedroom Villa Floor Plan Disney's Old Key West Resort from

Old Key West has a number of very strong positives.

Old Key West Resort presents far and away the best value for money among the Disney Vacation Club resorts.

It has the lowest prices of the DVC resorts (other than a few spaces I wouldn’t recommend to anyone), and, in its one and two-bedroom villas, the largest and most livable spaces. 

Compare the One-Bedroom Villa floor plan (above) with that of a similar villa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (below).

One Bedroom Villa Floor Plan Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort from

The One and Two-Bedroom Villa living/kitchen/dining area space is much larger at Old Key West than at any other DVC resort, as is the balcony.

The practical effect is that One and Two-Bedroom villas are much more livable in general, and in particular when the pullout beds in the living room are unfolded.

Fairway Disney's Old Key West Resort from

A second positive of Old Key West–one that it share with Saratoga Springs–is that because of the “single-sided” building layout that both of these resorts have, there are no bad views.  Views at Old Key West can be of water, trees, or golf courses–but not parking lots or the backs of buildings.

Sleeper Sofa Disney's Old Key West Resort from

A third positive is that it is one of the DVC resorts that offer 5 person one bedroom villas, and 9 person two bedroom ones. (Many smaller-roomed resorts sleep 4 and 8.)

Finally, the sprawling layout with its multiple smaller guest room buildings makes the resort feel much less like a hotel, and more like a small town.  The casual architecture supports this look and feel.

Old Key West Resort also has some distinctive negatives.

As noted, it is sprawling. As a result, only a few buildings–specifically 11-16, 23-26, and 62-63–are a quick walk to the main pool, shops, and restaurant, and many–specifically buildings 30 through 56–are quite a hike. (See below for a map.)

Only three of its 49 three-story buildings have elevators–Buildings 62, 63, and 64.

For One-Bedroom villas, only buildings numbered 30 and above have an entrance to the (only) bath from both the master bedroom and also from the kitchen/dining/living area.

In buildings numbered lower than 30, one has to enter the master bedroom of a One-Bedroom villa to get to the bath.  Since one of the key benefits of the One-Bedroom Villas compared to regular rooms is separation and privacy, this is a big deal for many.


Map Disney's Old Key West Resort

Buildings 62, 63 and 64 are the best buildings at Old Key West. (See the resort map above; click it to enlarge it.) Request a third floor room (better views, quieter) in one of these buildings.

These three are the only buildings at the resort that have each of an elevator, both master bedroom and living room access to the bath in the One-Bedroom villas, and a very short walk to the main pool, shopping, and dining area of the resort.

Buildings 62, 63 and 64 are, in fact, the only buildings that have more than one of these three features! Building 62 is my favorite among these.

All of the other buildings that have the extra door to the bath (30-56) have no elevators, and are distant–often very distant.  30, 31, 45 and 46 are the closest of these.  If you don’t care about elevators and don’t mind a bit of distance, request a second floor room in one of these four buildings. (The second floor because it’s high enough to guarantee a balcony rather than a deck, but avoids the extra stairs to the third floor.)

The other buildings that are a short walk to the main pool and such (11-16 and 23-26) have no elevators and no second door to the bath.  These buildings are great if you do not care about the door or elevator.  Of these, 11-14 are the closest to the main area.  Building 12 is my personal favorite. Request a second floor room (same reasons as above).

Avoid buildings 19-22, 38, 39, 41, 42, and 49-51, because of the traffic noises they can face.


Larger families, families seeking a bit of extra privacy or more beds, families looking for a more comfortable place to stay, families with a car (so they can overcome the inconvenience and sprawl of the resort).  It’s one of my personal favorites.


Families looking for a distinctively kid-appealing or convenient resort; families without a car.


This review continues here!




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1 James Oakman { 04.06.15 at 10:06 am }

My family of 7 is staying in Old Key West for 7 days in October. We are bringing a 5 year old and a 6 months year old. It will be the 6 months first trip and the rest of us are Disney Vets but have never stayed at this resort. Will this resort be accomidating for us bringing an infant? Will their be activities that our family can partake in while down at the resort? What is your opinion of the restaurant at Old Key West?

2 Dave { 04.06.15 at 11:23 am }

James, not sure what you mean by “accommodation to an infant” but folks bring hundreds of thousands of infants a year… The restaurant Olivia’s is fine but not special, a review of it is on this page. OKW has the same guest activities as most WDW resorts–pool games, movies, etc.

3 Maddy { 08.16.15 at 10:56 am }

When do you feel is the perfect time to call and request a specific building? I see you like 62, which would be what I am aiming for, but I am not sure when they would assign buildings (or maybe how far in advanced do they do that?). It’s August now and I’m not going till next July. Thank you!

4 Dave { 08.17.15 at 3:15 pm }

Hi Maddy, see this.

5 Chelsea { 07.26.16 at 12:29 am }

If I’m using the online request would “canal view” and “near transportation” give me a good chance at building 62 do you think? I’m going in January so I’m hoping it won’t be too crowded.

6 Dave { 07.26.16 at 8:42 am }

No, Chelsea, since there are so many bus stops and canal views. The best request will be “near elevator.”

7 Linda { 09.06.16 at 9:17 am }

Hi Dave,
We are going to OKW in 2017, and are thinking of hiring a car for part of our stay, though I can’t find information on the parking situation. Can guests park on site or do we have to park a distance from our designated Villa (wherever that may turn out to be)? Regards,, Linda x

8 Dave { 09.06.16 at 12:22 pm }

Linda, you park right outside your building!

9 tasha { 02.02.17 at 8:01 pm }

Hi, Me and my family, elderly parents, brother and 4 children have book a 2 bed villa. we are hiring a car and my parents intend to spend a lot of time at the villa. my parent can cope with stairs but not loads. what number villa should I book. They love nature, wildlife and peace and quiet. please help! I look forward to hearing from you. Tasha in London

10 Dave { 02.04.17 at 8:39 am }

Tasha, what do you mean by “loads”? And will your parents be in the villa, or wandering about the resort?

11 tasha { 02.25.17 at 7:26 pm }

Hi Dave, Sorry I wasn’t very clear. The most important issue regarding choosing a Villa is for my Parents. They will be spending most of their time at the Villa. They would like one that is quiet and has a view over the lakes etc. They don’t need to be near the main facilities but not backing on to the noisy roads. One with direct access to outside, I don’t know if this is an option. look foward to hearing from you. Tasha

12 Dave { 02.26.17 at 7:49 am }

Tasha, if your villa ends up on a higher floor, can they walk stairs, or will you need want an elevator?

13 tasha { 02.27.17 at 5:30 am }

Hi Dave not too important, being quiet and having a nice view is more vital

14 Dave { 02.28.17 at 11:35 am }

Tasha, there’s not a large difference among quality of views. The building layouts mean no parking lot views. Otherwise they are mostly of a golf course or of water with a golf course beyond. A few get views of woods, and these tend to be located in the noisier sections. So I think you should request (over the phone) a water view as this would mean a quieter space…

15 tasha { 03.07.17 at 10:24 am }

Thanks for your help


16 Rob G { 03.20.17 at 11:33 am }

We just got back from a week at Old Key West and requested a top floor unit close to the Hospitality House. The top floor units will avoid any loud and late night pounding neighbors you may encounter which worked well for us. The building we had was #28 and it was ideal for the bus stop and a close walk to the main pool and hospitality house area. OKW does a great job of situating almost all buildings with a golf course, water or wooded view and you really cannot go wrong. The units are huge and we loved the theme and feel of the resort depite it’s age!

17 Dave { 03.21.17 at 9:22 am }

Thanks, Rob!

18 Rachel { 11.27.18 at 10:11 am }

Does anyone know which buildings are two-story? IIRC, most are 3 floors but there are some 2 floor buildings. I would be most interested in the Turtle Pond & South Point areas because we need that extra bathroom door.

19 Dave { 11.27.18 at 10:50 am }

Rachel, I don’t know, and some searching has not told me–great question though. Posting your question here might get you an answer!

20 Marvin { 11.15.19 at 5:24 pm }

I just finished talking to Disney about Old Key West Resort, selection of rooms, type of rooms, elevator access and building preference. I was told a number of things that are contrary to many items mentioned in your review. Wondering what is accurate. Have revisions been made to the buildings since your review?
I was told:
1, All buildings have elevators.
2. All room have dual entrance to baths.
3. A full kitchen in a villa
4. A kitchenette in a suite
5. Rooms are assigned 7 days prior to arrival with notification.

21 Dave { 11.16.19 at 9:12 am }

Hi Marvin. My review is in fact of these rooms before a refurb that was just completed. I have a stay planned for 2020, so will get updated photos then. You can see updated photos here on Tom’s site:

That said, the Disney folks on the phone are notorious for getting stuff wrong. On the specific points:

1, All buildings have elevators. Nope
2. All room have dual entrance to baths. Nope
3. A full kitchen in a villa. Nope. Every space is a villa. Among them, Studios have kitchenettes; the rest have full kitchens
4. A kitchenette in a suite Nope–there are no “suites.” As above, there are only villas, among which Studios have kitchenettes, and one bedroom, two bedroom, and grand villas have full kitchens. The dual use of the word villa leads to much confusion. E.g. “Polynesian Villas” have no one bedroom villas, two bedroom villas, or grand villas…
5. Rooms are assigned 7 days prior to arrival with notification. This is true for those renting on DVC points, but not for those booking for cash (since my review is for first-timers, I assume they are renting for cash)

22 Linda { 10.01.20 at 12:55 pm }

We are DVC members. It has been awhile since we’ve stayed at OKW. We are elderly, have difficulty with steps, but do not like accessible rooms. We use canes. We booked a 1 bedroom ground floor. When I’ve talked to member services they have not been very reassuring about our request for a ground floor and said we need to request an accessible room. What do you think are our chances of getting a first floor? Also we like the patios that have a railing all around. Do all ground floor units have it?

23 Dave { 10.02.20 at 11:52 am }

Hi Linda. Most OKW buildings have three stories, a few have two. So just on the raw odds you have a little better than 1/3 chance of getting the ground floor. However, around a quarter of ground floor rooms are accessible rooms, so that lowers your odds. So you have to trade off the uncertainty of getting a ground floor room versus the annoyance of getting an accessible room.

On the patios, so far as I know they are all the same.

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