To be honest, I was not looking forward to my 30th birthday. Frankly, it was hard for me to even believe that I was going to be 30 years old! But, looking back, I don’t feel 30 and I reflect on the past as a stepping stone towards my future, one built on experiences, both good and bad, amazing blessings and knowledge gained. I feel confident in where I am at in my life and look forward to the next chapter with great anticipation, joy and excitement.
So, when I was thinking of how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year, I new that it had to include Walt Disney World and to celebrate it with the love of my life. I wanted it to be a celebration for sure, but also one that was relaxing, being able to sit back and relish the moment. Which is why Disney’s Old Key West Resort was the perfect place.
The quaint little town of Key West in southern Florida is known for its pastel architecture, shingled siding, boardwalks and boat docks. Cobblestoned streets shadowed by immense trees that sway in the breeze, brushing pure relaxation over your entire body. This is what Disney’s Old Key West Resort is modeled after.
From the moment that we checked into our villa, we breathed in the smell of the beach (honestly, they must pipe it in the air conditioning vents) and entered our home away from home for the next few days. The villa was very spacious, with an entry way that opened up to the large living area and amazing kitchen. Needless to say, the view was spectacular, as our villa was right next to the walk over bridge and on the lake. We could walk past the dining area and step out onto the very large patio, which was nestled in what seemed like the woods and then out onto the lake which showcased a large fountain in the middle.
The living room was furnished with a loveseat and sofa, which opened up to a queen size bed and a very large and comfy chair and ottoman. We loved the coffee table which looked like something straight out of Ernest Hemingway’s house. It has windows all around and wooden blinds that gave that beach cottage feel again while we could be reminded by the buses wrapped with the Lion King and Cinderella that we were in the middle of the magic. If you want to see our exact room, go check out my story on Instagram at Spokesmayne.
There was a hallway to the left when you came in that led to the laundry room (that’s right) with a modern washer and dryer, ironing board, iron, laundry basket and laundry supplies. Then there was the bathroom! As you walked in there was a huge jacuzzi tub and plenty of space for towels, candles and even a seat. Next to it was a vanity area with a sink. Then you could walk into the other part of the bathroom where there was a larger vanity and sink area, a shower/bathtub combo and the toilet. There was plenty of space and given the fact that most women need a vanity area all to themselves, it was very nice.
Right outside of the bathroom was the master bedroom, complete with king size bed, dresser, two nightstands, and another comfy chair and ottoman. There were large windows in here as well that looked out to the wooded area and the lake. We also liked the fact that there was a door that opened up onto the patio area here as well, which was very nice in the morning.
It was also a great place to celebrate the birthday, as Alessa went all out with the decorations for the Big 30. Getting a HUGE 30 and gold and black balloons and stars, sparklers and a strawberry cheesecake birthday cake, being able to be here at this beautiful place with the most beautiful woman in the world was all that I could have asked for. Waking up to an amazing breakfast the morning of my birthday was another treat and enjoying that with her on the patio overlooking the lake, the trees and the boardwalk was surreal.
I do have to be completely transparent here, check in was very easy as you can do it through your My Disney Experience app, however, we did not get into our villa till late. Usually, when I stay at a Disney resort (or any other for that matter) they tell you check in is at 4pm. Many times, if you get there earlier, they can get you into your room then as long as it is ready. Now, I realize that it was spring break and busy so this may have been what was going on. But, I have never waited that long before. So, we decided to grab a drink at the Gurgling Suitcase, which is there bar on the boardwalk. They have quite a few picnic tables with umbrellas along the boardwalk so that you can sit, relax, look out over the boat docks (the boats were not running due to the pandemic at this writing) as well as some high top tables and chairs further down. We went and checked out the pool area which is quite large and there is also a hot tub which we were super happy about. There is a sauna in the lighthouse as well, but that to was not operating during this visit. The pool has a sandcastle slide as a very cool water feature and a walk over bridge where dolphins are playing in the fountains. There was plenty of seating with both tables and chairs and loungers and during our time there, everyone was wearing their masks while walking around and social distancing. The hot tube was a different matter however, so we ended up only going in one evening very late before it closed as that was the only time that there was not a bunch of people in it.
There is a golf course at the resort, for those of you that like the sport, and we could even watch people play from the patio, which at times was quite entertaining. Having a full kitchen was a great plus, especially when you don’t feel like going out and getting something to eat or even walking down to pick up a mobile order. We did order from Olivia’s one morning and it was super easy, just order on the mobile order app and go pick it up next to Goody’s which is a quick service place on the boardwalk. But, having the option to cook or make something in your room, was very nice and frankly saved us some money. We just stopped by Publix, picked up what we wanted and took it back to the room. We also used Instacart one of the days and that was very convenient as well. I am sure for a family, having the kitchen could be a game changer and with the villa able to sleep up to 6 people, could be a money saver for sure.
There is a lot to see around Disney’s Old Key West Resort and so we decided to rent bikes during our stay. Now, again, to be fully transparent, it was not the best of experiences. First, as a PSA, they will not let you ride a bike with flip flops. Now, I understand that someone must have had an issue with their flip flopping at one point, but I live my life in flip flops. So, after changing the footwear, were set off on our adventure. Now, the positives of having the bikes are that you can take them all around the resort, taking in all of the beauty that Old Key West offers. You can also ride down to Saratoga Springs and check out that resort as well. If you are more adventurous, you can ride them to Disney Springs, which was about 15 minutes from the resort. The ride was amazing and there is even a spot that you can stop and take a break by the lake. You can lock up your bikes (they give you a lock) and then roam around Disney Springs if you like. Now, the most important thing that was a thorn in the paw, was that when they tell you that you can rent the bike for the day, their day ends at 5:30pm. We were not aware of this and after speaking with management when we brought the bikes back, all they would say is “the times are on the signage”. So, to keep anyone from the rather irritating and frustrating experience that we had, I am just letting you know, make sure that you are back by 5:30pm. For reference, it is $10/hour or $20 for the “day” so even for a few hours it was worth the price. Would I do it again? Yes, although it was a not so lovely experience, I look at it as gaining experience.
The pool is very nice, large and clean and lifeguards are plentiful, just like in any Disney resort. They were also very busy in cleaning all around the pool area, wiping down loungers when people left, wiping tables, cleaning handrails getting in and out of the pool, etc which made us feel safe and comfortable. They do supply towels as well and life vests for the little ones. The recreation room has all sorts of crafts and activities as well which follow safety protocols and are socially distanced. There is a gift shop on property but not as large as some and of course, Olivia’s Restaurant which boasts the best fried chicken on property. I was disappointed that I was not able to try. By the time we got back to the resort from the birthday stream, it was closed. However, we will be back and it will be first on the list of things to do that trip!
If you would like to see more of our stay at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, go to the link below and watch the stream. There are time stamps so if you are interested in the room tour, sites around the resort, etc. they are easy to find.
If you are looking at staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort or any other resort at Walt Disney World be sure and visit our official travel sponsors at: https://mousevacationplanning.com. They will get you the best possible pricing, help plan your trip from travel tips to dining and all at no extra cost to you.
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Spokesmayne; wdwinfo.com (pc credit)