Well, we were supposed to be going on a Norwegian cruise soon, but that’s not happening. So, we decided to go back to Florida, and back to DisneyWorld because there’s not a lot out there to do. We were last there in August, and it was so nice then. The parks weren’t crowded, and the rides were walk on. How was it in October, two months later? Let’s just say that the crowds are picking up, and people are starting to live their lives again. How nice is that?!
Hilton Garden Inn, Lake Buena Vista
This time we decided to stay at Hilton Garden Inn at Lake Buena Vista. And it was a wonderful choice. It’s set in a newly developed area just off of I-4. Nearly everything is new, and it’s a hop, skip, and a jump from the Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland. We could see the outlets from our window even though it’s on the other side of I-4. The hotel is about 20 minutes from the parks. There are no restaurants in the immediate area of the Hilton, but you can easily drive to them. The outlet has restaurants, but they’re extremely expensive for the fast food restaurants that they are. One note about restaurants, all of the fast food ones seem to be take out only with the exception of the Outlet malls.
We chose a King Suite at the Hilton Garden in, which was spacious enough for four people, with a king bed in the bedroom and a sofa sleeper in the living room. It was very clean, although we’ve been taking Lysol spray and spraying all the surfaces down when we get to our room. Can’t hurt to be a little bit cautious. It has a mini-kitchenette with microwave, fridge, and Kuerig. We took extra K-Cups, but you can get more at the front desk. You can request housekeeping, but we decided that we didn’t really need it.
The bedroom is large but a bit dark. Windows are large and have a roll down screen that lets in some light, and also a room darkening shade. The bed is comfortable, and has four pillows. There is also a TV and closet in the room. The living room area is large, has a TV, two chairs, and a sofa sleeper. There are extra pillows in the cabinet, but no sheets. You can request sheets but we took our own double sheets. The bathroom is large, but only has a walk-in shower, no tub. It has two doors, one to the bedroom and one to the living room. You can request extra towels if you need them.
They do have a hot breakfast, but you have to walk to the hotel right next door to pick it up. Meals are ready made and you just ask for how many you need. Everyone was friendly there, and they have bags to carry the meals back to your room, no tables are open. Breakfasts were a bit different each day but each day had some sort of egg, some sort of meat, and potatoes, biscuit, or pancakes. You could also grab a bagel or muffin, some fruit, and some juice. One day they had cereal and milk. There’s no coffee.
The pool area
There is a nice pool area with tables, a hot tub, and a water feature. One foot deep is the starting point for the depth of the water, going up to 3.5 feet. Everything seemed clean, and I never saw it very crowded. We did end up taking our dinner down there to eat one day, and it was very pleasant. I think there was a game room, a fitness room, and a basketball hoop in the area.
And a great staff
The staff were wonderful. Shelton checked us in, and couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly during our stay. He always welcomed us back and had something kind to say. Steve was the morning clerk, and he too was always so nice and friendly. I was really impressed when Shelton emailed us after I left a five star review on TripAdviser. I don’t remember ever having hotel staff so nice and friendly and I’ve definitely never gotten an email from one.
Orlando Premium Outlet Mall
To get to the Vineland Outlets just turn right from the hotel, turn right again at the first light, then right at the first light again. You’ll see a Target on the left side of the road where you’re turning right. The outlet stores are at the end of this road, less than a mile. This Outlet has a Disney Character Warehouse which just recently re-opened. That was definitely on my must do list, so we headed over there the first day after we checked in.
Don’t forget the Disney Character Warehouse. It’s a must do!
The Disney Character Warehouse is an outlet store that sells official Disney merchandise at greatly reduced prices. There are two in the area, one at the International Drive Orlando Premium Outlets, and one at the Vineland Road location. You never know what you’re going to find there, and if you see something you want pick it up or it will be gone, nothing lasts long there. I saw things on YouTube that I wanted to pick up, but saw none of it when I got there. To enter the store you have to give the castmember your phone number and they will text you when it’s time for you to get in line. It never took me longer than 15 minutes to get into the store. Masks are required, and no gators. They do accept Disney Gift cards.
I ended up with some clothing and stocking stuffers for my granddaughter. I got myself a 2020 Disney T-shirt for $7.99, a Mickey Ears Necklace for $5.99, and a Haunted Mansion glass for $5.99. I had seen a Haunted Mansion jacket that I wanted but when I went back they were all gone, even though they had a lot of them before. It’s a great place to do some Christmas shopping. If I lived closer, I’d be there all the time.
I’ll be writing more next time on our trip to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Check back.