Non-Disney hotels -- on Disney property?

The Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek
The Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but there are several non-Disney hotels on Disney Property. Let's take a look.

The Swan and Dolphin

The most obvious non-Disney hotel on Disney Property is The Swan and Dolphin, a Westin Resort with stunning architecture. The first thing you'll notice are the huge sculptures that sit on top and around the buildings (they look even better at night). The Swan and Dolphin is renowned for its outstanding rooms, service and unique dining experiences.

Downtown Disney Hotels

Just outside of the Downtown Disney mall are a group of hotels on Disney property billed as Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels. These hotels qualify for some of the perks that Disney guest get. All of the Downtown Disney hotels offer convenient shuttle service to all of the theme parks at Walt Disney World. Most of these hotels have undergone upgrades in the last few years.

  • Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel: This is a Best Western hotel which originally opened in 1972 as the Travelodge at Lake Buena Vista.
  • Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa: This hotel boasts plush new amenities such as totally remodeled bathrooms and a full-service spa.
  • DoubleTree Guest Suites: The DoubleTree is the only all-suite hotel in the Downtown Disney area.
  • Hilton: This is the host hotel of Downtown Disney. Located across the street from Downtown Disney, this hotel is the most convenient to Walt Disney World.
  • Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort: This resort features oversize rooms and are well known for their Kid Suites, where children have a separate room from the adults to sleep in.
  • Regal Sun Resort: In November, the Regal Sun will be transformed into the Wyhndam Lake Buena Vista Resort.
  • Royal Plaza: The 394 guest rooms are said to be the largest in the Downtown Disney area.

Downtown Disney is a huge shopping plaza full of interesting shops, restaurants, lounges and even, as Disney calls it, a 5-story "Indoor Interactive Theme Park" called DisneyQuest. (Pleasure Island is part of Downtown Disney, but is currently undergoing a major rehabilitation.)

Bonnet Creek

The Bonnet Creek Resort is a "hidden" area tucked just behind the Disney Caribbean Beach Resort. These hotels are not on Disney property officially, but Disney property surrounds this area. For several years, the Bonnet Creek area was dormant. No one knew, but when Walt came to Orlando and found the area that has become Walt Disney World, there was some property that Disney couldn't acquire. The owner wouldn't sell. Several years ago, the owner died and the heirs sold this tract to a developer not associated with Disney. After a few years of negotiations with Disney about access, the resort area started development.

There are three resorts in Bonnet Creek:

  • Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek: This 4 diamond AAA resort is the newest Hilton resort in Orlando.
  • The Waldorf Astoria: The Waldorf Astoria is the classiest of the hotels at Walt Disney World. This is truly an upscale resort.
  • Wyndham VR Bonnet Creek Resort: A timeshare with one and two bedroom suites available to all.

Bottom Line

All of the non-Disney hotels on Disney property are unique and offer interesting options for your next Orlando vacation.

–- Carl Trent of Dad’s Guide to Walt Disney World and Dad’s Guide to WDW the blog

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