By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Review: The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Disney Springs Resort Area



By Dave Shute

THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA

Guests at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, like those at the other six hotels in the Disney Springs Resort Area, became eligible for FastPass+ at 60 days and Extra Magic Hours—the two most valued Disney World perks—in 2018, eligibility that will extend at least until 12/31/2019.

The extension of these perks to these hotels, owned by third parties but located on the far southeast corner of Disney property, made them much more interesting options for Disney World visitors.

(Note that there’s three Hilton-flagged properties among the seven Disney Springs Resort Area hotels– the Hilton Orlando, and also the Hilton Buena Vista Palace and the Doubletree Suites by Hilton.)

The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista offer rooms with a king bed, or with two queen beds, in a long mid-rise block.

The best features of the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista are its family-friendly baths, nearness to Disney Springs, and the broad range of strong amenities it offers.

Weaknesses include the absence of balconies–a few rooms by the pool have patios–and, for Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, relatively high prices. It shares with all the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels weak park transportation.

I’ve stayed at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista four times, most recently in July, and my full review has four pages:

ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA

Rooms with a king bed and rooms with two queens are available in the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista.

There are also some bookable views–e.g. a Disney Springs view (about a third of rooms here face the freeway, half the Wyndham, and a sixth Disney Springs). The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is a major convention hotel, and as in all such hotels, multiple suite options are also available.

The bed side of Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista two queen room.

The divided bath includes a sink and closet area off the main entry hall, and then beyond them a full bath with another sink. This makes the room much more family-friendly than many other Disney Springs Resort Area options.  Among standard rooms in the rest, you’ll find divided baths only in the Hilton Place Lake Buena Vista and in Wyndham Garden rooms.

A photo tour of a two queen room at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is here.

DINING AT THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA

The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is distinct among the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels in having three table service venues.

Covington Mill is the most family friendly, and serves breakfast and lunch–including a character breakfast on Sundays.

Available for dinner are two other restaurants, Andiamo and Benihana.

There’s bars both indoors and by the pool, and snacks, drinks, and grab and go items are available in a shop near Covington Mill that is open 24 hours a day.

There’s also a Disney gift shop offering souvenirs, park tickets and such off the lobby, and a resort-wear shop near it.

There’s more on dining and the other amenities at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista here.

THE POOLS AT THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA

The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista pool complex is in the top rank among the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels.

It has two principal pools, a kids wading pool, a couple of hot tubs, and a pool bar. It perhaps is not quite as fun or interesting for kids as the pools at the Hilton Buena Vista Palace and the Wyndham, but is more comparable to those than any of the other Disney Springs Resort Area pool hotel pool offerings.

For more on the pools at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, see this.

THEME PARK TRANSPORTATION AT THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA

The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista participates in a transportation program sponsored by all the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels. One group of buses serves the Hilton, Holiday Inn, B Resort, and Doubletree Suites, and another the other three hotels here.

Buses run about every thirty minutes, each serving two parks–so, for example, to get to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may have travel to the Magic Kingdom first.  Moreover, unlike the buses from Disney-owned resorts, Magic Kingdom buses drop off at the Transportation and Ticket Center, not the park itself, necessitating another transit, via monorail or ferry, to get to that park.

In addition to the theme park buses, buses to and from Disney Springs run through the evening.

On the important dimensions–frequency, and the time it takes to get to and return from the parks–the transportation system at the Disney Springs Resort Area is much worse than that at the Disney-owned resorts, but better than that at most off-site hotels.

Having your own car or a rental is a much better option. Self-parking at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is $18/night and valet parking is $24/night. Parking at the theme parks is $25/day.

For more on transportation at the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, see this.

PRICING AT THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA

Pricing at the Disney Springs Resort Hotels is much less visible than that at the Disney-owned resorts, and multiple prices for the same room e.g. for non-refundable stays, stays by folk with AAA, etc. are common.  Discounts and deals are also common, and these hotels commonly show up on the various hotel deal sites.

Pricing for most of them is also obscured by mandatory “resort fees.”  Resort fees are a mandatory extra cost added every night of your stay, whether you like or not. I personally find mandatory resort fees a misleading and unethical practice.  A fee that is mandatory, and charged each night, should simply be rolled into the nightly room price.

The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista resort fee is (after tax) $39.38 per night–tied with the Hilton Buena Vista Palace as the highest among the Disney Springs Resort Area fees.

Prices at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista (before any discounts you might find, but including resort fees and taxes) are generally higher than the average among the seven Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, and are typically comparable to those for a Disney-owned moderate resort.

For families looking for queen beds, lots of dining options, a nice pool complex, and other strong amenities, the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista can be a reasonable option, offering amenities somewhere between those of a Disney moderate and a Disney deluxe at a price commonly closer to that of a Disney moderate.

Kelly, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can book your Disney World vacation at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista–or at any other Disney World hotel!  Contact here using the form below.

PHOTO TOUR OF A ROOM AT THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA 

This review continues here.

MORE ON THE HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA

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