Planning a Resort Day at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Old Key West is often overlooked as a first-choice resort when guests are making resort reservations at Disney World. It isn’t immediately convenient to any of the theme parks, it lacks an overwhelming theme that will draw families to it, and is the oldest Disney Vacation Club resort, so it is often viewed as outdated. However, for guests who choose to stay at Old Key West is in for a great stay given all of the amenities available to them. Here are the things that you can do when planning a resort day at Old Key West!
1. Conch Flats General Store
Dissimilar from many of the other stores attached to resorts, the Conch Flats General Store features an assortment of options to guests — since it is a villa resort, there is a small grocery section where guests can grab whatever they want need or want to enjoy their stay, but the resort specific merchandise is unique and we often find general Disney merchandise that we don’t see in other stores throughout the resorts or the parks. Disney Vacation Club members can also find special merchandise for purchase here.
2. Relax in Your Room
We all need some time off for what can be a tiring and hectic Disney vacation. While not everyone enjoys relaxing in the room, the suggestion to do at Old Key West is warranted for a few reasons. First, Old Key West is the oldest Disney Vacation Club resort — while some may hear this and immediately think it is dated and in need of a refurb, hotels constructed 30 years ago had a different conception of an appropriate room size, so the rooms at Old Key West are actually larger than rooms at other resorts — you can spread out without being on top of one another. Secondly, the rooms at Old Key West come with covered balconies overlooking the grounds — this is a perfect way to enjoy your morning coffee, a glass of water after some exercise, or to finish the last few chapters of your current novel!
As the name suggests, the main pool at Old Key West features a giant sandcastle overlooking the waters of the pool, as well as being home to the over 100 foot waterslide that twists guests around before dropping them into the water. If you are looking for a little less activity at the pool, Old Key West has three other leisure pools where the splashing around will be just as enjoyable, but maybe a little more quiet!
4. Outdoor Activities
Guests wanting to stay dry (or if the weather is not accommodating to splashing around in the water) can find a bevy of other outdoor activities to fill their day. One of the golf courses runs through Old Key West and guests can run alongside some of the fairways and canals for almost a mile and a half. Old Key West also rents out traditional bicycles, as well as the family-friendly surrey bikes at the main building. Guests can also play tennis and basketball or cast their lines and try and hook a fish.
5. Olivia’s Café
The lone table service restaurant at Old Key West serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we are hard pressed to pick one of the seatings to recommend. Needless, you should read that as saying: TRY EVERYTHING. Breakfast features traditional options with old Florida twists, as well as some unique options. Lunch and dinner feature flavorful options, as well as some delectable seafood. The menu prices are also very reasonable — even before the current pandemic, reservations were easy to get for this overlooked gem.
6. Family Atmosphere
Being the first Disney Vacation Club resort, the atmosphere here is different than other resorts — if you are waiting to be seated at Olivia’s Café, walk around outside the restaurant and discover the family photos that members have sent in over the last 30 years to mark their vacations and some favorite memories. Additionally, guests can discover more activities in the activity room, take advantage of the movies under the stars program, as well as feed some quarters into their favorite arcade games — kids, teens, and adults are certain to find something to fill their leisure time with at Old Key West.
7. Gurgling Suitcase
Overlooking the pool, the Gurgling Suitcase offers up refreshing libations in a truly relaxed atmosphere. The bar is quite small, so if you want a seat, you may want to arrive when it opens to grab a seat, but it is also a great place to grab a quick drink as you head out for dinner or for a nightcap after returning from a long day in the park.
Old Key West is overlooked, but you shouldn’t shy away from exploring this resort since it overs a unique combination of amenities to entertain those guests choosing to stay there. Have you been to Old Key West? What was your favorite piece of the resort? If you haven’t stayed there, are you likely to check it out when you visit Disney World again?
Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!