DoubleTree Suites - Downtown Disney - Lake Buena Vista

Discussion in 'Hotel & Accommodations Reviews' started by clonetopia, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. clonetopia

    clonetopia Cheap Father of Four

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    We had such a great experience here in August 2014 that I had to come and post. We are a family of six so we can not fit into a standard on-site room. We have always stayed on-site but our youngest turned four so she finally "counted". In order to save money we headed off-site.

    The rooms had been recently updated and felt very modern. Everything was clean and well maintained. The halls were clean and quiet. We put two kids on the sleeper sofa in the front room. We left it unfolded every day and housekeeping re-made it up as a third bed. They even realized that kids were sleeping there and made up their animals into "scenes", kind of like Disney housekeeping.

    I have read in reviews of other hotels that there have been issues of theft but I don't see how that would happen here. With four kids we have plenty of electronics. We left out multiple laptops, iPhones, iPods, Vinylmations, pins and loose change and not one thing was ever missing.

    We used the bus system that is provided. The time leaving the hotel varies a little bit and we never quite figured out that schedule but the pick-up times in the park were within five minutes of the posted time.

    The pool was nice, although not overly large. There is a splash pad for little ones and a hot tub, too. We swam every day and it was never more than 8 people in the pool.

    The breakfast buffet was included in the price of our room. The listed price for breakfast was $18/person. There was fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, waffles, pastries and made-to-order omelets. We were only supposed to get vouchers for two adults and two children but when we checked in they asked us how many kids we had and they threw in two more vouchers (for all 10 days we were there) for free. Breakfast is served from 6AM-11AM, I think.

    Laundry services are available on the top floor. They are a little pricey but take a credit card. There is a small Disney store in the lobby that sells park merchandise and also a separate dry goods shop run by the hotel that sold soda, snacks, and toiletries.

    Room service is pretty good. If feeding kids, the room service pizza was pretty good. We ordered from Uno (about a block away) one night. The food came in an hour and was cold/chewy. Kinda expensive, too. Room service came quickly and was fresh. Plus, they came to our room so we didn't have to go down to the lobby to get it. Price was about a third less of having it delivered, too.

    The hotel is technically within waling distance of Downtown Disney (about a half-mile)? They do run a bus from the hotel but it only comes every half-hour so if you miss it you might as well walk.

    Hilton HHonors Silver members get wi-fi for free, otherwise it is $10/night per device. Someone told me the wi-fi was free in the lobby but I didn't check it out. There are also terminals that you can use for free.

    We used the MouseSavers link to get a rate for $109/night. To get a suite that would sleep all six for us plus free quality breakfast and bus transportation, all for $109/night, is crazy to me. It would cost at least twice that on-site.

    If there is one big thing that I would change it would be the $15/night parking fee. Free in-room wi-fi in the would probably be nice, too. Especially since you can get free wi-fi in the parks now. Even with the extra fee(s) I think you are getting a great room at a great price. My wife and I couldn't stop talking about how "lucky" we were to be in this room/hotel. It's going to be our default choice for future trips.
     
    happy2012 likes this.
  2. PinkCupcakes

    PinkCupcakes Earning My Ears

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    Thankyou so much for this review! You have made me feel so much better about our upcoming stay!

    We are from Australia and neither one of us is comfortable driving in the U.S.:lmao:

    We also have 3 dds and required at least a separate lounge and bedroom area. The resorts at WDW were much too expensive for a 12 night stay and too small for our needs. This is why we chose the Doubletree as it hadbus transportation to the parks ( so need for driving!) and had suites that were very reasonable in price.

    It's good to hear that it is walkable to DTD if we miss the bus and that the ride home was always reliable. Did you find it hard working out how to get to the parks once you arrived at DTD? Do you think it would be too much of a hassle to return to the Doubletree most afternoons for a nap/swim and then go back to the parks at night? We have a 2 year old so a rest will be a necessity!

    Thanks again for the info!
     
  3. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    Stayed last week and have to say there was always a bus coming in, at the resort or leaving. I was very impressed with all the buses I saw at the Downtown Disney hotels.
     
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  5. clonetopia

    clonetopia Cheap Father of Four

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    The only caution that I would give about the DTD bus system is that the buses leaving the parks run VERY much on time. We were a minute late getting to the bus stop and were running down the sidewalk waving our arms and the bus would not let us on. They actually stopped to "mouth" through the door/glass "I can't stop" but would not let us on. It was our fault we were late but I would warn you to get there 5 minutes early. If you miss the bus you will be waiting a half hour. It can take 20-30 minutes to make it from the back of any park to the bus pickup, so plan for that as well. The bus stops aren't that far away, it's just the sheer size of the parks and people traffic.

    DTD hotels double-up their bus pick ups. One bus picks up from Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom while the other bus goes to EPCOT and Disney Studios. There is some construction going on around DTD that is clogging up traffic so it can take 30 minutes to go from park #1, to park #2 and then back to the hotel.

    All of this sounds like complaining but I was actually very impressed by the DTD bus system and we are going to be going back to the DoubleTree when we return. I just wanted to make the point the going back to the hotel from the parks can be time consuming. If you are at the back of EPCOT (like at the America pavillion) and decide that you want to head back to your hotel you are looking at a one-hour trip.
     
  6. PinkCupcakes

    PinkCupcakes Earning My Ears

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    Thankyou so much for all this valuable information!

    So...does the bus that picks you up from the Doubletree take you directly to a park or do you have to change buses at DTD?

    Also - is it walkable to the shops at that Crossroads? What sort of shops/restaurants do they have there?

    Sorry for all the questions but I haven't found a lot of information
     
  7. clonetopia

    clonetopia Cheap Father of Four

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    The buses take you directly to the parks with no stop at DTD. There is a separate bus that goes from the DoubleTree to DTD but we did not ride it.

    We chose to drive our car to both DTD and Crossroads and it is extremely slow going due to construction and traffic in the evenings. Both locations are very close but traffic is so bad that it took us 20 minutes to drive from the hotel and park at DTD. I "hopped" over to Crossroads another night to get groceries and it took 15 minutes to get back across Vineland Ave. If your feet can handle it and you aren't carrying back armloads of goods then I would suggest walking to both locations, especially if you are driving-adverse.

    There are several chain restaurants at Crossroads (Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Bell, McDonalds, UNO Pizzeria) and a few independents. We only had delivery from UNO and it was extremely poor. I don't know if it was an issue with this location or an issue with delivery but it ruined us forever going to UNO again. If you decide to get pizza, go with room service. It was very good, quick and the staff that brought it up was really pleasant.
     
  8. lulucornbread

    lulucornbread DIS Veteran

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    If you wanted to go to a Disney resort for say, dinner, would you take a bus to the theme park closest to resort and then take a bus from theme park to said resort?
     
  9. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    You could but I would walk over to Downtown Disney and board the bus direct to that resort. The bus terminal is at the end of Downtown closest to the Hotel Plaza hotels.
     
  10. lulucornbread

    lulucornbread DIS Veteran

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    oh that's such a better idea!! thank you!!
     
  11. eeyore81

    eeyore81 DIS Veteran

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    Can anyone tell me what the walk is like? I'm trying to decide if walking is doable for us. My mom uses a mobility scooter so I think she will be fine. The rest of our party is "able bodied" but we do have two 3 year olds. Any thoughts?
     
  12. alliecat523

    alliecat523 DIS Veteran

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    I thought I read recently that there is a bridge now to get you across from the hotels to DTD. Is this correct?

    I've done the walk with a 5 year old and a 65 year old grandmother. It's not bad at all. Half mile at worst. Easily do able.
     
  13. deejohn

    deejohn WDW is my Prozac

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    I just booked for a family of six Dec 13 for a suite. My youngest is 12 and my oldest is 21; so we are really 6 grown-ups for a one-bed room suite - do you think we will be cramped? Also, is it an easy walk to the shopping center, which appears to be across the street - but I think that "street" is a major highway :)
     

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