If you click on the links in this post, we may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post, at no extra cost to you. You can read the full disclaimer here.
My family loves staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. We tell you all the reasons why in our Old Key West review here. We love visiting any time of the year.
But for the last couple of years, we have stayed here during the holiday season. And we have loved our stay!
I think there are a lot of reasons why staying at this Disney World hotel over the holiday season is really special. But in this blog entry, we’ll limit it to just five reasons!
Reason #1: Old Key West Resort Christmas Decorations
First and foremost, I love the resort’s holiday decorations! The lobby and the area around the lobby are beautifully decorated for the holiday season.
What I love about it is that it is not just generic holiday decorations. No, this is Disney, so there is an extra touch. Since this is Old Key West, after all, it has an ocean theme! They feature colorful decorations like seahorses, turtles, crabs, starfishes, shells, and more.
I love how all these decorations are perfectly themed, have that island flavor, and yet simple all at the same time. It just really fits the relaxed island feel of the whole resort.
Also, there’s no guarantee here, but for the last couple of years, they’ve been putting up the decorations around the middle of November. So that gives you plenty of time to enjoy the holiday decorations, too!
Reason #2: Availability & Pricing
Okay, before I begin on this point, let me mention that the Old Key West Resort is actually a Disney Vacation Club hotel. That means that a lot of the time it is rented out by Disney vacation club members. But before you think that means you can’t stay there if you are not a Disney Vacation Club member, don’t worry. I am not a Disney Vacation Club member and I stay here all of the time.
I’ve booked the hotel through Disney’s website before. But by far the cheaper way to find a room at Old Key West is by renting DVC points. This may seem complicated, but it’s actually not; we go over how to book DVC rooms here. All my most recent stays at Old Key West I have done this way. We have saved so much money this way. In fact, we’ve even gotten the room at a cheaper price this way than staying at a value hotel at Disney World, even though Old Key West is classified as a deluxe hotel.
And, for whatever reason, we have found that there has been more availability during the holiday season than during other times of the year even earlier in the fall or spring.
You could also find cheaper prices for Old Key West during the holiday season than at other times. This is no guarantee, but if you check out confirmed reservations on David’s Vacation Club Rentals, you could find a good deal for an Old Key West during the holiday season.
Reason #3: Extended Hours
So you know how I mentioned that Old Key West is considered a deluxe hotel? Well, that means that it qualifies for extended evening hours! That means on select nights, you could stay later at the park. A lot of Disney World’s most popular rides are open, but since not that many guests qualify to stay late, the lines are much shorter.
Which park is open depends on when you stay as they rotate different parks. But just imagine getting a much shorter line for a ride like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind or Avatar Flight of Passage! And you won’t even have to bother with Genie Plus to get these shorter lines!
So that is really a reason to visit Old Key West at any time during the year. But why this is special during the holiday season is that I feel like the Disney parks at night are most special during the holiday season. That is when the Christmas lights come on and all four parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) have such beautiful holiday lights.
Reason #4: Boat Transportation to Old Key West
Speaking of places that are great during the holiday season, my family loves Disney Springs. They have Christmas trees up throughout Disney Springs that are themed specifically to different Disney movies, characters, and rides. It is part of their Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll. For example, one of their trees last year was an Encanto themed Christmas tree, which you can see below.
Now, all the Disney hotels offer bus transportation to Disney Springs. But what I think is really special is the transportation from Old Key West. Because they offer boat transportation to Disney Springs! It’s a really nice, relaxing boat ride – much more relaxing than a bus ride. So by staying at Old Key West, you can take a boat over to Disney Springs and get a great look at all their special Christmas trees!
Reason #5: Extra Room
I visit Disney World during every season, and one thing I’ve noticed is that I pack a lot more during a winter trip than other times of the year. This is because the clothes you wear in November and December just take up more room than say a June or July visit. Jackets, coats, and Christmas sweaters are just bulkier than tank tops and shorts.
During the holiday season too, depending on your visit, you might be bringing gifts from home. Or you could be purchasing gifts during your holiday trip.
All of this means that ideally, you’d be staying in a guest room with enough space for all this stuff.
And luckily, the rooms at Old Key West are huge. They have 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and even 3 bedroom villas. They have studio villas, but even these are large. Larger than studio villas you’d find at other Disney World hotels. So you’ll have plenty of room to store your luggage during your stay.