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Do you love classic Floridian culture?
Is Key West one of your favorite places to visit?
Do those island vibes just soothe your soul?
Then Disney’s Old Key West is the resort for you!
The original Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort, Old Key West has a vintage feel that is distinctly Florida and distinctly Disney. Opened in December 1991, this resort maintains some of the atmosphere of the classic Disney resorts. A large property that incorporates inspiration from Florida Keys architecture, you’ll forget you’re not within walking distance from the beach.
We also love Old Key West for its proximity to Disney Springs – just a short boat ride away!
Let’s get our relaxation on with Disney’s Old Key West resort.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort – The Original DVC
- Resort Overview
- History of Old Key West
- Accommodations & Amenities
- Sports and Recreation
- Resort Location
- Contact Information
Disney’s Old Key West Resort Overview
From the moment you arrive at Old Key West, you’ll think you’re at a resort in the Florida Keys. From the vintage Keys architecture and colors, to the market atmospheres of the dining, finishing at the beach-themed pool, you’ll love the mix of authentic Florida Keys and Disney vibes. Even the sprawling layout of the resort makes you feel like you’re in the Keys rather than Walt Disney World.
As you approach the Hospitality House, the center of Old Key West resort, the sky blue building beckons to guests. White trim and island-esque décor will have you relaxing in no time, providing shade and sun in equal measure. Inside the lobby, wood floors and vaulted ceilings continue the vintage feeling, reminiscent of small island houses in the Keys. Tropical plants and other décor solidifies that authentic Florida Keys atmosphere.
The rest of Old Key West resort spreads wide throughout the property, with the resort buildings in clusters throughout the massive 156 acres of space. In many ways, this makes the resort feel like little neighborhoods. At the same time, this does cause a wider spread of amenities. You may have to walk a bit or use the in-resort shuttle to get to the restaurants or the boat docks.
Disney Vacation Club Resort – History of Old Key West
Opening December 20, 1991, Disney Vacation Club Resort was Disney’s first crack at a vacation time-share. In the 1980s, there was a resort boom happening in Orlando, and Michael Eisner wanted to get in on the action. The boom was because of Disney after all – why shouldn’t they benefit as well?
Guests in 1991 still used points to book their rooms, which were available for purchase starting October 1991. Even during its conception, the goal was to make these buildings into a home away from home, a goal still emphasized today in the Welcome Home slogan. Many of the original attributes of the resort were there from the beginning, including the gorgeous blue Hospitality House and the iconic lighthouse on the lake.
With the opening of Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in 1995, Disney Vacation Club Resort received its new name – Disney’s Old Key West Resort. By 1998, Old Key West membership completely sold out, prompting an expansion of the resort. Today, it is still one of the largest DVC resorts in terms of acreage, and has the largest guest rooms.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort Accommodations & Amenities
Old Key West Resort Accommodations
As Old Key West is a DVC resort, the rooms all have the addition features and space that give them that homey touch. Frequent DVC fliers will recognize the room types – Deluxe Studio, One-bedroom Villa, Two-bedroom Villa, and Three-Bedroom Grand Villa. Guests also have the option of reserving a room closer to the Hospitality House (which would be the OKW version of preferred), although these tend to go quickly.
All the Old Key West resort rooms are more spacious than other DVC resorts, even larger resorts like Saratoga Springs. While Disney quickly learned that they could house more guests in slightly smaller rooms, that doesn’t change the condo-esque style of the OKW spaces.
All deluxe studios have the same basic amenities:
- Paper plates and bowls, and plastic utensils
- Small refrigerator
- Full bathroom
- DVD player
- Iron and ironing board
- Hair dryer
- In-room safe
- Coffee maker
The kitchenette really makes the difference between a studio and a standard Disney resort room. You won’t believe the convenience of being able to cook items in your room, even if it’s just with a microwave. A breakfast pastry in the morning, reheat leftovers in the afternoon, or enjoy popcorn in the evening – all of these are possible with the kitchenette.
In addition, if you’re staying for a long weekend or plan to be in the parks the majority of the trip, a studio gives you all the comforts you need without having to pay extra for the larger space. A place to put your head and eat breakfast, and you’re raring to go!
Old Key West has villas of the one, two, and three-bedroom varieties, each with their own benefits and point levels.
At their core, the villas all have the same amenities as the studios, with the notable addition of a full kitchen (including dishes and cookware) and laundry units. On top of putting the sleeping areas in their own spaces, the villas are great for extended stays and family trips. Over the summer, we put four adults and a toddler into a two-bedroom villa at the Wilderness Lodge, and we were definitely glad for the extra features!
In the one-bedroom units, you can choose between one king bed or two queen beds in the bedroom, and all have a sleeper sofa in the living room. With the two-bedroom and three-bedroom spaces, you typically have a master bedroom with the king bed and larger split bathroom. The second and third bedrooms have two queen beds, and the second bedroom will have its own smaller bathroom.
When you’re trying to decide which room to pick, take into account your budget and the time you’ll spend in the room. A three-bedroom might sound great to keep your whole party together, but rooms connected or down the hall can often accomplish the same goal in a less expensive way. One bedroom villas are amazing with a couple or small children, but when your kiddos get bigger it might be nice to stick them in their own room entirely. Really think about the space, how you want to use it, and go from there.
Old Key West Resort Amenities
Old Key West boasts four pools – the main themed Sandcastle Pool and three leisure pools. The Sandcastle Pool is right behind the Hospitality House with views of the lighthouse and lake. Living up to its name, a larger-than-life sandcastle sits right in the middle of the pool with a waterslide emerging from a special iconic feature. You’ll also find a separate kid’s pool for your young ones to splash, as well as a dry sauna inside the base of the lighthouse. Nearby is a playground if your kiddos need a break from swimming and just want to run around.
Spread throughout the resort area you’ll find the three leisure pools – Old Turtle Pond, South Point, and Miller’s Road. Each nestles into one of the room blocks, giving you a nice alternative to trekking all the way to Sandcastle Pool from across the resort. While the theme pool is beautiful, we always recommend finding the closest leisure pool for a quick dip.
The Fitness Center at R.E.S.T. Beach
Are you looking to keep up with your exercise routine on vacation? Then the fitness center at R.E.S.T. Beach is perfect for you. With exercise machines, like treadmills and ellipticals, as well as free weights and mats, you won’t have a problem completing your normal workout. Officially open from 6:00am to 9:00pm, OKW guests have complementary access.
You can technically get into the weight room at any time, day or night, you just need to use your MagicBand to scan in. We recommend these early morning or late night times if you want to ensure a private workout, or if you want to limit the time you have to take out of your vacation to visit the weight room.
Take a look inside the fitness center!
Conch Flats General Store
Located in the Hospitality House, you’ll find Conch Flats General Store, Old Key West’s gift shop and sundries location. Similar to Fulton’s over at Port Orleans – Riverside, Conch Flats is a catch-all for your Old Key West specific merchandise and other Disney souvenirs, as well as grocery items and staples you might have forgotten.
No matter where you stay, I always recommend checking out the central store. Sometimes you can get souvenirs here that are hard to find elsewhere, even in places like World of Disney. You can’t discount the fact that this is where you’ll get that Old Key West resort pin, mug, t-shirt, or other collectables!
Here’s a look at the most recent merchandise:
Old Key West has both self-parking and valet parking for overnight guests. If you are a DVC member, you do not have to pay the parking fee for self-parking, although there is an extra charge for valet. If you are not a member, but you are still staying at OKW, you will have to pay a $25 overnight parking fee for each night of your stay. The fee is $33 if you choose to do valet.
You do not have to pay a parking fee for daytime parking, such as coming to see the shops or if you have a dining reservation. Please be aware that certain peak times of the year make it harder to drop by a resort for a visit, so you might have to have that dining reservation to get in.
Sports and Recreation
Old Key West resort has plenty to do, from Disney related activities to more traditional sports and everything in between. You’ll also find plenty of your favorite family time fun activities around the Old Key West resort area.
Reserve a spot for a catch and release fishing excursion, taking you out on the lake by right by the Hospitality House for a fishing trip. All of your equipment is provided, and you can choose between two and four hour excursions. Life jackets are also provided, making it easy to feel safe out on the boat. You do want to reserve your spot in advance, so be sure to call (407) 939-2277 to get your fish on!
Rent a bike over at the Hank’s Rent ‘N Return, and enjoy pedaling your way around rolling fairways of the Lake Buena Vista Gold Course, as well as the gorgeous pathways surrounding the resort. There are bikes of all sizes to accommodate the whole family, including child seat attachments should you need them. Helmets are required, but you can get a helmet at Hank’s Rent ‘N Return should you need to borrow one.
You can also rent surrey bikes, which are fun for the whole family! Put your littles in the ride along baskets in the front, and let them ring the bell to let pedestrians know you are on the path. These bikes aren’t for the faint of heart, so make sure you’re really ready to pedal before renting.
Looking for a fun family activity to end your evening? Try roasting marshmallows over a campfire before watching a movie under the stars!
Located on the Sandcastle Pool Deck, you’ll find cast members waiting for you with the materials for your delicious snack before showing a family-friendly Disney film. This is a great way to wind down for the evening before heading back to your room for the night. If you don’t have to get up early for a park the next day, you have to give this a try!
Walking & Jogging
Do you just want to keep to your daily run routine? A walking and jogging path winds through the entirety of Old Key West resort, perfect for that morning run or evening stroll. Enjoy the shade of the trees and the sounds of the birds as you move along the path – just be sure to stay aware of others around you. Your path will take you along the beautiful canals that connect with the Sassagoula River, as well as along the fairways of the Lake Buena Vista golf course. This routine is also makes for a pleasant walk in the evenings if you need to walk of that large Disney dinner.
In addition to the other activities, Old Key West resort also has tennis courts, volleyball courts, basketball courts, and playgrounds. Let your kiddos run around and get out their energy, or host a friendly competition with the others in your group. Short story – you’ll never be bored during your stay!
Old Key West has two Disney transportation options – the Disney busses and water taxis to Disney Springs. There are also internal resort shuttles that help guests that are a bit far from the main amenities to get there via bus, rather than always have to walk. It’s important that you know which bus you need to take, and board that bus. Each section of the resort does have its own bus stop, so you don’t need to walk to the Hospitality House to catch the bus.
The boat docks are right behind the Hospitality House, and are one of the best ways to get to Disney Springs. While it isn’t always the fastest way, the boat ride is a leisurely one, and puts you right in the middle of the Springs area.
Old Key West Resort Location
As it is centrally located, you have a few options when driving to Old Key West. If you’re going to come off I-4 (Florida 400), I would recommend taking the exit for Epcot Center Drive. The gets you away from much of the Disney Springs traffic, rather than going right into the thick of things. From there, you’ll take the right lane to exit onto Disney Vacation Club Way, and then it’s an easy right into the resort.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
North Cove Road, Lake Buena Vista, FL
If you need to contact the resort directly, call (407) 827-7700. However, if you need help with bookings, tickets, or Disney packages, please call (407) 939-5277.
For all Disney Vacation Club membership questions or issues, you can call (800) 800-9800. If you are not a member, but have DVC related inquiries, you can call (800) 500-3990.
Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer
Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.