Disney World’s Old Key West. Resort Review.
Old Key West is a Disney Vacation Club resort found in the Disney Springs resort area. The design of this resort puts guests in the heart of Siesta Key, Florida. The buildings are all very colourful and there’s a lot of nautical decorations to make you feel like you’re on the coast of Florida. The resort is on a golf course, making the grounds immaculate. The resort has four areas, each has its own pool and many look over the different holes. The resort is home to Deluxe, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom villas. With so many things to do at this resort you’ll want to be sure to plan a non-park to just discover all the nooks and crannies.
Old Key West is found in the Disney Spring resort area. It’s a boat ride away from Disney Springs. To get to all the four theme parks it requires a bus ride. It is connect to Saratoga Spring Resort & Spa by a walking pathway. Other than that it is on its own.
Even though a bus is required to get to all the theme parks, a couple of the parks have a very quick bus ride. Because the resort is so big there are 5 separate bus stops, this means you’ll either have to wait a very long time on the bus when you are on your way out of the resort or when you’re getting back. Some guests choose to walk to their room from the first bus stop or walk to the last bus stop.
The Magic Kingdom is one of the longest bus rides. The park is no only far from where the resort is, but the roads the bus travels to the Magic Kingdom from Old Key West have lights. So if you hit a lot of red lights the ride will be longer. Old Key West has one of the best bus pick up locations at Magic Kingdom. The bus will be at the number 3 spot, which means you won’t have to walk very far from the Magic Kingdom to the bus at the end of the day.
Old Key West is very close to Epcot so the bus ride is very quick. This is the shortest bus ride we’ve had to Epcot from any of the many resorts we’ve stayed at. The only closer places are connected via the pathway or skyline.
In theory this park shouldn’t be all that much further than Epcot but there are more lights on the road heading to Hollywood Studios. And with so many buses heading to Hollywood Studios the traffic is heavy. Making the bus ride quite long despite the short distance.
Animal Kingdom is very far from Old Key West. We left Old Key West and it took us about 25 minutes to get to Animal Kingdom and this was an hour before the park had even opened. So if you’re heading to Animal Kingdom for park open make sure to leave with plenty of time to accommodate for traffic.
Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon
The transportation for Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon is actually located at Disney Springs. So you have to grab a bus or the boat to Disney Springs and grab transportation from there. But you can always grab the Minnie Van, Taxi or an Uber. Which is certainly more appealing than waiting for a transfer bus at Disney Springs soaking wet. Or bring yourself a change of clothes so you’re not catching a chill.
Being at a Disney Springs resort area you get to simply hop on a boat to Disney Springs. You can also grab a bus or you can take the long walk. The walk to Disney Springs is 2.5km, so I would skip the walk and the other offered transportation.
Old Key West has 4 pools at the resort. One of these is the feature pool and the rest are leisure pools. Each of these pools are surrounded by playgrounds giving you lots of things to do during your pool day. This puts Old Key West on our list of resorts with the most pools at Walt Disney World. Old Key West is quite close to Saratoga Springs which has a fantastic selection of pools, so if you’re looking for a special pool day without forking out the extra funds for the water parks head over there. But here are the details on the pools found at Old Key West.
This Feature Pool is found at the Hospitality House and has something for each group visiting Old Key West. There’s a waterslide, a playground, a toddler pool, a sand area where kids can play and build sandcastles. The pool has lifeguards manning throughout the day and evening. There’s a couple food options steps aways, both quick-service and table service and a bar. With plenty of tables and chairs you can bring your meal pool side. This pool area also features shuffleboard and foosball. There’s a sand volleyball court also a stone throw away. The bathrooms here also have showers and changing rooms, which works out great because if you’re travelling to the other side of the resort you can get cleaned up a bit before the hike. The waterslide is 125-footlong and is found inside a larger than life sandcastle. The sandcastle pool is the home to the recreation activities at Old Key West. These happen throughout the afternoon and include Trivia and Dance Parties.
Millers Road Pool
This is a leisure pool, which means no lifeguard, no activities. This is a supposed to be a quiet pool, a pool where you can swim and relax. This pool does have a whirlpool and a playground nearby.
Old Turtle Pond Pool
This is the best out of the leisure pools. Here you’ll find a quick-service restaurant during peak season, offering you a choice for lunch during your pool day. There’s also an arcade here for you to have a break from the sun. A large playground is within the gated area and shuffleboard. It’s a great hidden spot, when lots of people are heading to the Sandcastle pool for their pool time you can head here for a relief from the warm day without the crowd. Just be aware there are no lifeguards here. As always there’s a whirlpool.
South Point Pool
The last of the leisure pools is found at the very edge of the resort. So you know no one else is going here because this is so far from the majority of the resort. For those that are staying around here you’ll find a quiet pool, whirlpool, playground. All the necessities.
The first time we came to Old Key West was to try Olivia’s Cafe. I’d heard through the grapevine that it was a hidden gem so we made our way over here during our Deluxe Dining Plan babymoon while we were staying at the neighbouring Saratoga Springs. It’s the only table service restaurant at Old Key West, there’s so many choices at Disney Springs that it’s not reasonable for Old Key West to host a selection of restaurants. So when you’re staying here you’ll be limited to Olivia’s Cafe, and the other two quick -service choices. Get the specifics here.
Olivia’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is extremely casual and offers booth seats, outdoor and indoor seating. You can accommodate large and small groups here. On our most recent vacation we ate here and the restaurant was full of large groups. The food is seafood heavy, with a couple meat options for the meat lovers. I strongly recommend going here for breakfast, the breakfast cocktails are delicious and the choices are unlike any of the other restaurants found on property. Crab Cake Eggs Benedict anyone? For a full review of the restaurant click here.
Good’s Food To Go
It’s all there in the name of the restaurant, your go to restaurant for food. You can grab a meal here any time of day. Whether you’re looking to grab a meal before your day at the parks, a burger while spending time at the Sandcastle Pool or a late night snack at the end of the day. There’s actually quite a bit of a variety for a quick-service resort restaurant. With a selection of greasy goods, sandwiches and salads.
Turtle Shake Poolside Snacks
For a small pool quick service restaurant, Turtle Shake has a very large menu. With sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and kids meals, you’ll have no reason to go to the main building. Turtle Shake also serves a multitude of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There’s slushies for kids, blended alcoholic drinks, wine and beer. The only thing to be aware of is the hours of the spot. It’s only open for lunch, so you’ll be able to grab an early supper here if you’re quick about it.
Located right beside Good’s Food To Go, Gurgling Suitcase serves food and drinks. You’ll find a similar offerings here including some late night snacks like loaded nachos. The cocktails here are elaborate with so many choices you’ll have to spend a few minutes nailing down the right choice for you. Long island iced tea, two kinds of lemonade, and the bloody mary are strong for a poolside drink so make sure to grab a soft pretzel to go along with it.
As mentioned above, Old Key West is a Disney Vacation Club resort, which means there are no standard hotel rooms here. These rooms can be book straight through Disney World with dollars, vacation club members can use points and you can also book these villas through DVC rental companies. Each of the villas has an outdoor entrance. Old Key West is a sprawling resort that has large building made up of these different units. There are outdoor staircase gaining you access to the second level villas. Here are the villas available at Old Key West.
These studios are as close as you’ll get to your standard room. Upon entering the room, you’ll have two queen size beds raised from the floor to give you lots of room to put your luggage underneath the bed. The room has a bureau with a TV screen on the top. The room has a table with two chairs, giving you a spot to eat breakfast before beginning your day. There’s a little kitchenette area before entering the bathroom. This is where you’ll find a sink, coffee maker, plates, cups, utensils, toaster and other kitchen essentials. There’s also a small fridge. The bathroom is a large size, with a large mirror and ample drawer space for all your toothbrushes, hairbrushes and so on. The room also has a patio, giving you place to watch the sunset, or outlook the golf greens.
Average $441 per night.
The 1-bedroom villas at Disney’s Old Key West are spacious with enough room for a larger family. We stayed in one on our most recent vacation with our family of 5 and my husband’s mom. There was more than enough room for all of us. When first entering the room you walk into a spacious hallway. Where you’ll find a mirror to check yourself before leaving for the day. The space opens up to a big main room. This main room has a love seat, couch, lounge chair, round dining table, an island and a full kitchen. The kitchen includes a dishwasher, oven, full size fridge and double sink. This gives you the space you may want to prepare meals during your stay. The table is big and round, giving enough space for lots of people to sit around and enjoy a meal. The main room has patio doors which lead out to a patio that is shared with the master bedroom. The room has lots of windows, ours was looking out onto the golf course. The sofa is a sleeper sofa, large enough for two. The lounger chair is a sleeper chair, the perfect size for a child. Off of the entry way is a hallway leading to the master bedroom. Halfway down the hall is the laundry room with a washer, dryer, iron and ironing board. The master bedroom has a king size bed, bureau with a TV on top. The room has a patio door to the shared patio. The master bedroom is where the bathroom for the whole villa is. There’s a vanity and whirlpool tub that is open with the master bedroom. But the master bedroom does have a door closing off from the main room and hallway. The bathroom has a stand up shower, toilet, and another vanity. This gives you two separate places to get ready for the day.
Average $583 per night.
The 2 bedroom villas are 1 bedroom villas connected to a deluxe studio. The lock off door between the 1 bedroom villa and the deluxe studio is unlocked. This gives a 2 bedroom villa, two bathrooms, 3 beds, a sleeper sofa, and a sleeper chair. Which means you can have 9 people sleeping in one villa. 10 if you have a child sleeping in a crib or playpen.
Average $906 per night.
A 3-bedroom villa is luxurious, with two floors to accommodate all the rooms. When walking into the villa you’ll enter into the main room which hosts a large kitchen, dining room table, couch, lounge chair, sofa and there’s another table with chairs. The 3 bedroom villa is the only villa that gives guests access to a bathroom without being in a bedroom. There’s a separate bathroom in the main area. On the main floor of the 3 bedroom villa is the master bedroom. The master bedroom has king size bed and a private patio. The master bedroom in a 3-bedroom villa has a double sink vanity, the toilet is in a separate room all on its own and then the stand up shower and soaker tub are in the same room as the vanity. It’s a luxurious space. The other two bedrooms are on the second floor. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and two queen size beds. The bedrooms have separate vanities from the toilets and baths allowing more people to get ready at the same time. Each room has a TV and bureau, and the main room has a TV as well. These villas have enough room for 12 people. A great place to make a memorable vacation.
Each night you can join the Disney activity cast members at the campfire for s’mores and marshmallows. Depending on the time of year, the nightly campfire changes. Typically it’s around sundown, and around the same time as the Movies Under The Stars. The campfire location at Old Key West is past the Sandcastle Pool.
The perfect spot to come on a rainy day at Old Key West. The Old Key West Community Hall is home to games, crafts, and daily trivia. The community hall also has a pool table. Many of the activities found here are free of charge but you can also choose to make some really cool things to take home as a souvenir.
Movies Under the Stars
Every night you can enjoy a Disney favourite. The Movies Under The Stars location is just past the Sandcastle Pool, on the beach. You’ll be nestled between the playground and the sand area. To find out which movie is playing check your package given to you when you checked in or check in with the community hall.
You can rent bicycles for each age and height at Old Key West Resort. You can take these bikes all over the resort and discover every nook and cranny of the resort. They also have tandem bikes and Surrey bikes. The cost ranges depending on what style of bike you rent. You can expect the cost to be around $25.
There are quite a few tennis courts found at Old Key West. There are a couple found near the hospitality house just past the Sandcastle Pool and the other set is found on Old Turtle Pond Rd. You’ll need to head to the Hospitality House to rent your gear.
There are four playgrounds at Old Key West, one for each neighbourhood of buildings. Each of the playgrounds are located in the gated off pool areas. But the playgrounds actually not all the same. The playground guy the Turtle Pond pool is by far the best and the best for older kids. The playground at the Sandcastle pool is for younger children. If you want to hop over to another neighbourhoods playground simply hop on the bus that travels through the resort.
Another way to pass some time during your time at Old Key West is to shoot some hoops at the basketball court. Found behind the tennis court near the hospitality house are the courts. Head to the community hall to grab a ball.
Shuffleboard boards are found at the hospitality house and the old turtle pond pool area. Everything you need is located right there for you to play a game.
You can book at boat to have speciality cruise through the waters surrounding Old Key West. The water connects you to the Port Orleans resorts, Saratoga Springs resort and Disney Springs. You can hire one of the cruises to take you on a ride. The cost of the cruise includes drinks and snacks. To book a cruise call (407) WDW-PLAY
Old Key West has two arcades. This is one way you know the resort is huge. Electric Eel Game Room is found near the hospitality house by the Sandcastle Pool. Right beside the community hall, the Electric Eel Game Room is where you’ll find some fun old arcade games and fun new ones. You can waste some time here while waiting for a reservation at Olivia’s or during a rainy afternoon. The other arcade is found on Old Turtle Pond Road. Giving something for guests to do on that part of the resort without having to travel back to the hospitality house. Unfortunately, it’s only open during peak season.
On Mondays and Fridays, guests of the Old Key West can enjoy sunrise yoga on the tennis court by the Sandcastle Pool. Water is provided as well as yoga mats. There’s a max of 20 participants and you can sign up at the community hall. Yoga is a 7am-7:30am. If it is raining or too cold they will provide and alternate location.
Every Wednesday morning at 7:30am guests can participate in a race at Old Key West. The race is a short 3k run. The race only costs $15 and you receive a medal for participating. Register morning of or before hand at the community hall.
Old Key West Exercise Room is located at the hospitality house beside the Community Hall. Here you’ll find treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes and free weights. The exercise room is only accessible with a MagicBand and is open 24 hours a day.
Old Key West has a dock with boats to rent and this includes boats to rent to be able to take out fishing. You can book at 2 hour or 4 hour long excursion that allows you to catch and release fish. The excursion includes an experienced guide, reels, tackle, bait and drinks (non-alcoholic). These excursions can accommodate up to 5 people.
There is limited shopping at Old Key West. The main reason for that is because you are minutes away from Disney Springs. The only shopping you’ll find is at the hospitality house. But it is worth a stop because there will be items here you won’t find anywhere else on property.
Conch Flats General Store
The only shop at Old Key West is Conch Flats General Store. A mix of merchandise and essentials is found in this store. On one end of the store is milk, juice, beer, yogurt and other grocery items. On the other end is selection of apparel for men, women and children. There’s also toys, gifts and books. This is the only place on Disney World property where you’ll find Old Key West items. They have shirts, sweaters and hats to mark your stay at this DVC resort. The store also carries prints and collectibles.
This resort certainly isn’t for everyone. It’s very large and expensive. But because of the vastness of the resort you’ll want to make sure you carve out time to spend at the resort. Between the amazing feature pool, the playgrounds, nighttime bonfires, you’ll have a full day discover the amazing place called Old Key West. For more reviews on other resorts found at Disney World check out these previous posts:
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village