While we usually love the immersive experience of staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort, on this last trip we decided to stay at one of the Disney Springs hotels. We were renting a car, driving to St. Augustine for the weekend, and had a rose gold cupcake tour planned, so flexibility was key. We knew we weren’t really going to be able to take advantage of the resort experience as we had in the past and just wanted something budget-friendly and nearby. So, we stayed at the Best Western Orlando, in Disney Springs
Best Western in Disney Springs
Ok, so lets be honest. Booking any hotel in any city anywhere is a crap shoot. You could get lucky and find one that’s amazing, for a good price, with parking and valet and on-site dining and in walking distance to everywhere, OR go a little too cheap, have paper thin walls and end up sharing your vacation with a high school band wondering why you didn’t just cash out your savings and book The Plaza instead.
In times like these we go for hotels we know. We’re part of the loyalty programs for all of the good ones and we count Best Western as a hotel we can trust. On a previous trip to the middle of nowhere near Yosemite in California we were able to find a Best Western that was stellar and have had good luck with this hotel chain ever since. Best Western has an excellent loyalty program and alongside the hotels.com loyalty program we’re usually able to earn perks in both places as a result of a single stay.
Mind you, we don’t give this praise lightly. At a previous stay in the Disney Springs area, at the Wyndham, we had a bug issue come up. The Wyndham did absolutely nothing to remedy the situation, move us to a different room or anything even remotely helpful. The excuse was ” it’s Florida”.
While we have been ridiculously spoiled by the Disney resort standard of quality we are aware that its possible for Florida hotels to not have bugs.
Thankfully the Best Western was remarkable in its service and attentive to guest needs, so helped to restore our faith in the Disney Springs hotels for the time being. Definitely a thumbs up for this hotel.
The Perks of Staying at a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel
The Best Western at Disney Springs is one of Disney’s “Good Neighbor” hotels. In general this means you get extra Disney perks for staying at these locations.
Most Disney Good Neighbor Hotels provide a shuttle to the parks, access to extra magic hours, and even a magic band for park entrance if you’ve attached the reservation through the My Disney Experience App to your hotel.
Things We Loved at the Best Western Disney Springs
Shuttle to the Parks
Extra Magic Hours
Near Disney Springs, but not walking distance.
Official Disney Gift Shop in the lobby
Fancy lemon water
Access to a small market and Joffrey’s Coffee
A booklet of coupons and discounts for Orlando restaurants and attractions.
Things We Missed
Free Parking ( previously available at Disney resorts but alas, no longer).
Free Breakfast ( a perk at some hotels, but rare) We usually have to hunt down a Holiday Inn Express for this perk.
The Mickey Mouse classic cartoon channel available at Disney resorts ( but also on youtube when we’re desperate).
Drink Refill Stations for our resort mugs ( yes, life is hard).
Best Western Rooms and Accomodations
We definitely loved the accommodations at this hotel. I actually found myself saying “gosh, this is great” oftentimes out of nowhere! Here’s a list of the things we really appreciated here.
1. Outlets and usb ports. While not a foreign concept we’re still staying at some hotels that by no means accommodate the phones, computers, ipads, camera that needs charged, etc. As bloggers and photographers having the extra outlets rank high on our list of needs.
2. The coffee maker setup was close to the sink/bathroom and housed on a counter with its own mirror. Having a second mirror is always a big plus. As sisters who have hair and makeup needs and toting my 12 year old niece whose experimenting with eye shadow, we always need that extra mirror.
3. They’re a Green Hotel! We love it when companies take responsibility for their footprint. This pretty much means they’ll replenish towels and linens if the used ones are thrown on the floor. Otherwise they’ll assume you can reuse the items ( like the sheets) through the length of your stay. As people we’re pretty big on saving the planet. Knowing that this hotel gives us the option to save on water by limiting washing aligned with our values and just made us happy:)
4. A balcony! Having a balcony was divine. While a mundane feature for those who probably get this perk and travel often, we loved having coffee out on our balcony while getting ready in the mornings. And at night we got to lust after the gorgeous B resort bathed in blue light along the road. The B resort is on our bucket list for a variety of reasons, apart from looking gorgeous at night.
Best Western Disney Springs Location
When considering hotels in the Disney Springs area, we always recommend checking the Disney site first to get a list of the Good Neighbor Hotels. Choosing one from this group of hotels ensures you’ll have access to a park shuttle and probably at least a few Disney perks available to you. Your second task should be seeing how far away your chosen hotel is from Disney Springs. The Best Western in Disney Springs was about a 2 mile walk from the shops. If we were vacationing during the summer and happy for the 30 minute walk we would have been in heaven. But since it was February and we were leaving early or arriving home after dark, we chose to just drive to and from the shops.
A huge perk of staying at a Disney Springs resort is that you get front row access to Disney Springs. You can treat yourself to a spa day, plan an evening bowling at Splitsville, or hop on the ferry boat to Port Orleans- French Quarter and grab yourself some beignets. If you need something sweet you can try out Ghirardelli or the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. And if you’re feeling festive, you can browse through the Christmas store open all year. If you haven’t visited Disney Springs, its pretty much the best way to get a disney experience for free.
Disney Springs Tips
If driving know that whether you park in the lot or in the garage, the parking is generally free. Keep an eye on the road lanes though, because some of the lanes bring you straight to the parking whether you want to go there or not.
Mornings are one of our favorite times of day, so breakfast is doubly important. If you’re at the hotels over in the Disney Springs area you can always stop at the Starbucks in Disney Springs. Since most of the specialty shops don’t open until 10 am, it may be your best bet for a quick coffee and sandwich before heading out to the parks. Park in the lot ( not the garage) to get the closest parking access.
If you’re heading there for lunch time we’d recommend the Disney food trucks. A mystery to us until this last trip they actually serve items like tacos and fare from the Food and Wine festival. So its a great way to get a light, cheaper lunch. Dinnertime is an entirely different beast. Dining at Disney Springs runs the gamut of everything and anything you could want at a variety of price points. Definitely be checking the Disney app or directory before venturing out of you could find yourself spending 25 bucks on street food. And make a reservation if you’re attempting dinner anytime Thursday through Sunday. If you need a surefire budget-friendly win we’d recommend Blaze Pizza or Earl of Sandwich.
Disney Springs Shopping
There’s enough shopping here to satisfy any shopping needs you may have. To keep the Disney vibe alive we recommend World of Disney, the largest Disney gift shop on Disney property. Also be sure to check out the Marketplace Co Op which houses several little Disney shops, including Cherry Tree Lane which has Dooney and Bourke bags, and Disney dresses. D-Living will have all the Disney decor you could want. Uniqlo will have budget friendly Mickey tees and other fun fashion. The Kate Spade here includes all the Disney collections, so definitely worth a browse. And if you’re done with Disney by the time you get to Disney Springs, know that there’s loads more shopping that has nothing to do with Disney!