Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa (Credit: wdwgoodneighborhotels.com)
Our 5 Favorite Walt Disney World “Good Neighbor Hotels”
To be an official Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel, a resort does not have to just be in close vicinity of the parks. It also must meet Disney’s high standards of quality, comfort, and service. Good Neighbor Hotels have a special Disney concierge, so to speak, that can help you purchase tickets, plan your park itinerary, and make reservations, as well as transportation to Disney property (although it may have an extra fee and limit time schedule, just so you’re aware). Being what I call a “somewhat-local” to Disney (we live on the east coast), our family has used Good Neighbor Hotels multiple times for our Disney stay-cations, and we LOVE them! Not only are they easy on the budget, the ones we have tried have had a fun, helpful environment and large suites to help our big family feel at home. Here are a few favorites:
5. Embassy Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista
There are three Embassy Suites properties on the Good Neighbor Hotel list, but the most family-friendly is the Lake Buena Vista location. If you’ve stayed at an Embassy Suites before, you know the ambiance, and this hotel will live up to those expectations. However, there are a few extra features that up the fun factor at this specific location including poolside movies, a water playground, tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts. Complimentary hot breakfast is included, and the location less than 10 minutes away from Disney property (and right down the street from an awesome indoor surf place!) is perfect.
4. Blue Tree Resort at Lake Buena Vista
This resort feels tucked away and private, yet it’s only 1.5 miles to Disney World property. In true time-share style, there are a plethora of scheduled activities to get involved in on your non-park days, and the grounds include fun outdoor recreation such as swimming (4 pools!), basketball, shuffleboard, and even an on-site mini golf course. You can choose from one or two bedroom units, and each have a full kitchen and living room.
3. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Although we haven’t stayed here, Bonnet Creek is on our family’s wish list. Although it’s not technically run by Disney, you basically get most of the same amenities of a Disney Resort including a location actually inside Disney World property and reliable park transportation. Features include a relaxing lazy river, waterslide, scheduled activities, full spa, golf course, twelve restaurants, and an onsite Disney merchandise shop. Regular rooms and suites are available.
The sprawling grounds of the Sheraton Vistana include so many great features it almost feels like a mini-town. The condo-like accommodations feature sleek finishes and plenty of space to spread out, along with full kitchens and balconies. Waterfall pools with splash features keep kids entertained with a sophisticated vibe that’s still appealing to adults. Other highlights include numerous pool bars, coffee shops, tennis courts and a mini golf course. Shorter buildings mean hardly any wait for elevators and also a more secluded atmosphere while gated security keeps you feeling extra safe.
1. Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa
Our family’s absolute favorite Good Neighbor Hotel was chosen for the humongous pirate ship waterslide in the main pool. My kids could play there all day! We’ve stayed in both the two bedroom and three bedroom suites at Lake Buena Vista Resort, and found both to be spacious and comfortable with a sizable kitchen, dining table for six, living area, and balcony. Poolside activities at the LBVR are family friendly (like a visit from a baby alligator and her caretaker) and there’s even pirate and princess makeovers in the spa.
With so many great options available, I highly recommend taking a look at a Good Neighbor Hotel for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
Melissa resides on Florida's beautiful Space Coast with her husband and four Disney-loving boys. She frequently allows skipping school for Disney World visits...because making memories is more important than math. Their family has also been seen on HGTV's hit show "My Yard Goes Disney."