8 Pros & Cons for Staying at Old Key West Resort in Walt Disney World

Old Key West Resort
Disney's Old Key West Resort (Credit: Disney)

Old Key West was the very first of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts, located on the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course and the Sassagoula River.  This resort is home away from home for many Disney Vacation Club Members, but it is also a great resort choice for many guests during their Walt Disney World Vacation.  The tropical, pastel theme of the resort is tranquil and reminiscent of the Florida Keys.  Here are 8 pros and cons for staying at Old Key West.


8. Pro: Recreation Options

As a Disney Vacation Club resort, you will find some additional amenities at Old Key West that are not available at all of the resorts.  For instance, there are grills around the property to use for preparing meals.  One of the best things is that you can also find recreational facilities like Tennis Courts and Basketball Courts, and a Beach Volleyball Court.  You can rent regular bicycles and Surrey Bikes, there are guided fishing excursions, playgrounds, campfire activities, movies under the stars, and opportunities for games and crafts at the Conch Flats Community Hall.  All of these recreational activities give you the chance to enjoy the resort, and add a different element to your Walt Disney World Vacation.

7. Con: Size

Old Key West is a huge resort, and it is very spread out.  Because it was built specifically as a Disney Vacation Club property it is made up of numerous free-standing buildings spread out through the resort property.  Depending on where your villa is located you could be quite far away from the main building.  If you do not have a car with you it can be a trek to get around the resort, but there are internal buses.

6. Pro: Room Categories

As a Disney Vacation Club property, there are 4 room categories at Old Key West that you can reserve for your vacation.  The larger villas are great for families to give more space to spread out, and to allow bigger groups to stay together.  There are Studio Villas with 2 queen beds and a kitchenette, 1 bedroom villas with a bedroom, living area, full kitchen, and washer/dryer (these sleep up to 5 people with a king bed, queen sleeper sofa, and twin sleeper chair), two bedroom villas which add a second bedroom with 2 queen beds on to the 1 bedroom, and Grand Villas that have two stories and 3 bedrooms.  If you are looking for a home away from home stay, these villas are the perfect solution.  We love staying here and being able to prepare meals in the room, and go home with all of our clean clothes!

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5. Pro: Parking

If you are driving to Walt Disney World, Old Key West has a great set up for parking.  With those individual units of villas they each have their own parking lot, so you can be assured of a parking spot close to your villa with minimal walking if you are bringing up your luggage or groceries to use in your kitchen.  It is very convenient for my family as we drive down, and we prefer to drive ourselves to the parks (except for Magic Kingdom).  We loved having our car right outside the door.  Just note that Walt Disney World does charge overnight parking fees to guests staying at their resorts.

4. Con: Transportation

If you do not have your car, the transportation at Old Key West can be a little bit of a hassle.  There are bus stops located throughout the resort so one of the first things you will want to do after you get your villa assignment is to check the resort map to become acquainted with where you are and where the closest bus stop is to your villa.  Even the closest stop could be a bit of a walk depending on your location.  Because it is a large resort and pretty spread out, the transportation to and from the parks takes a little while as the buses go through all of the stops at the resort.

3. Pro: Olivia’s

One of the best kept secrets (shhh!) at Old Key West is the table service restaurant, Olivia’s.  This place feels like something you would encounter in the Florida Keys, and it is filled with photos of Disney Vacation Club families.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served here and you can often get a last minute reservation, or even walk up to be seated.  The breakfast menu features great items like a Crab Cake Eggs Benedict and Banana Bread French Toast.  Of course lunch and dinner offer Conch Chowder and Conch Fritters—appropriate to the theme of Old Key West.  Entrees include Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken, Seven Mile Sea Scallops, and Plantation Key Pork Chops.  Yummmm!

2. Pro: Location

Old Key West is in a great location.  While you are at the resort you have the peacefulness and tranquility of being on the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, and bordered by the Sassagoula River.  Depending on the location of your villa you may have a fairway view, or possibly a water view from your veranda (other views are possible too).  And that Sassagoula River will take you right over to Disney Springs—there is a boat launch near the main building that takes you on the relaxing trip down the river to Disney Springs.  If you are ambitious you can walk to Disney Springs, but it is quite a ways and that trail is probably better to be used for fitness.

1. Pro: Room Size

As the very first Disney Vacation Club property the rooms at Old Key West from the Studios to the Grand Villas are a great size, and by that I mean HUGE.  You have plenty of space to spread out in the villas, and each one has some type of outdoor living space . . . we loved the large veranda we had on our one bedroom villa—large enough for a table and chairs to enjoy meals outside. So not only is the layout of the villa great with the kitchens and laundry in the one bedroom and up sizes, but the actual square footage is fantastic. It is great to have that space after you’ve been in the theme parks for the day—plenty of breathing room.

What are your pros or cons to staying at Old Key West?

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).