We just returned from our budget-friendly Disney vacation, and I’m excited to share our honest review of Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs.
Wyndham Gardens Review
My family loves going to DisneyWorld – as often as possible!
We’ve been enough times now that we know where we need to spend money and where we can save, so our vacations have gotten less and less expensive with each visit – but that doesn’t mean that we are going to settle for a less magical vacation!
While many of us mostly think of the Disney-owned resorts as the only resort options if you want to stay on property, there are a couple of options that keep you in the magic while being a bit more budget-friendly. One of these options is Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista, an official Walt Disney World Resort located just a two minute stroll from Disney Springs and offers many of the perks you would usually only be privy to if staying at a Disney-owned property, including Extra Magic Hours, 60 Day FastPass+, bus transportation to the four parks, an on-site Disney Character breakfast, and more!
Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area
My favorite thing about this hotel was it’s proximity to Disney Springs. You can see in our video – it took me less than 5 minutes to walk out of the hotel, down the sidewalk (and through the raised crosswalk) to Disney Springs.
All of Disney’s Value Resorts (and even most of it’s Moderate Resorts) are pretty out of the way and removed from the Disney action, so this was a huge advantage!
We didn’t have to wait for buses or pay for taxis or Ubers, and once my daughter started to get a bit tired at Disney Springs, we could be back at the hotel in a matter of minutes – no whiny, tired kids at bus stops or carrying sleeping bodies on and off Disney transportation.
Not only are you close to lots of Disney Springs entertainment (dance parties, concerts, street performers, bowling alley, theatre, etc), being within walking distance expands your meal options. (Our favorite places are Wolfgang Puck’s Express, D-Luxe Burgers, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Morimoto Asia.)
This location for the price is unheard of for Disney – and honestly, you could spend twice the amount and still not half as great of a location. Combined with the Disney perks, this hotel was an insane value for us.
Official Walt Disney World Hotel
Being an official Walt Disney World hotel lends Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista in the Disney Springs Resort Area some pretty amazing perks:
- AAA-certified, 3 Diamond, close to WDW property, all amenities and the same customer service that you would expect from a Disney hotel
- Guest Services Desk on property
- Guests get to enjoy Disney’s Extra Magic Hours (extra opening hours or extra late hours at each of the parks that was previously only open to WDW Resort Guests)
- 60 day booking window for Fast Passes (the same window that Disney hotel guests receive; off property stays usually only allow for 30 days)
- round trip bus transportation to the 4 parks
- Disney character breakfast 3 Days a Week at Wyndham’s Lakeview restaurant
You also get points if you join the Wyndham Guest Loyalty Rewards Program.
Keep in mind that you receive these perks no matter how you book your reservation – and I personally recommend booking your stay and Disney tickets through Undercover Tourist rather than directly through Disney. They are fully accredited by Disney and you will save way more money booking through them than booking directly withe Disney. The tickets also have a 90-day flexible return window, and you can book any rental cars or other entertainment in the Orlando area through them as well.
Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Amenities
Honestly, this hotel could just offer the above two perks and be a complete steal – but there’s more!
Ella’s favorite feature was the pools: there were two pools – a quieter “lane” pool and a zero-entry pool with a waterfall feature and built-in jungle gym, which were set to a warm temperature and had more than adequate seating around them, along with a hot tub and cabanas for rent.
They also had a pool-area restaurant (the Oasis Grill) which had phenomenal food and a decent bar selection, which made spending the day by the pool a welcome treat for both of us.
We had the chicken club sandwich and cheese pizza. (And I enjoyed the pineapple cider.)
As you will see in our upcoming video, there are also tennis, basketball and beach volleyball courts to keep everyone happy and busy on non-park days.
I loved that they had an on-property character breakfast (offered three mornings a week) at a fraction of the price of most other character breakfasts on property – and of course, it had Mickey Waffles! (At the time of writing it was $26.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids – the cheapest Disney-run buffet character breakfast is $35, and some are up to $60!)
We never felt rushed and my daughter was thrilled to get to interact with Goofy and Pluto twice during the breakfast – typically, characters will only visit a table once, but this character breakfast was a lot less busy so they had the freedom to really spend a decent amount of time with each family.
They also have a Director of Fun on staff (what a cool job title, right?) Jill arranges scavenger hunts and other fun weekly activities for kids, birthday surprises (on request), does pin trading, and helps each child add a special painted tile to the Memory Wall.
She was super accommodating, adding an additional tile painting time slot to fit our travel schedule. (And she’s easy to spot – she’ll probably be the only staff member you’ll see wearing Mickey Ears!) We can’t wait to return and spot our tiles on the Memory Wall.
There are also laundry services, a Disney store, a Jeffrey’s Coffeeshop, Sundries shop (with microwave available to use), tennis courts, room service, fitness room, valet and self-parking, and a lounge area. (It also has all conference and wedding services – if that’s something you’re looking for.)
Ella also got a kick out of the in-lobby Domino’s ordering kiosk; they are the only pizza company that the hotel allows to deliver to the hotel rooms. (Which didn’t stop us from ordering Giordano’s later on in the vacation and meeting them in the lobby, though. You know how I feel about Chicago deep dish!)
Garden View Room
There are two room types available – a Standard room and the garden view rooms, which are lower and offer scenic views of the pool, gardens, and lake; the Garden rooms are scheduled for updating soon, but I still found them bright, clean and with no visible signs of wear.
We stayed in a garden room, which was peaceful – and had the built-in perk of being able to check the Florida Spring weather every morning before deciding on our outfits (by peeking out to the outdoor hallway).
The room had a mini-fridge and two-cup coffee maker, along with a decent-sized table for us to eat or work at.
The only negative I experienced at the resort was at the Wyndham timeshare booth, which guests are referred to after check-in to pick up a coupon book. They will try to get you to sign up for a “one hour breakfast” which will be a time share presentation… Let’s just say, that my experience and the information I received by talking to staff was that the breakfast is never just an hour, the “breakfast” is muffins, bagels and juice, and the tactics employed by the sales agents are less than honest.
However, I do want to clarify – this is completely separate from the hotel (the breakfast is not even held on property) and when I voiced concerns to the Wyndham Garden staff they were mortified and made it clear that they were taking my concerns seriously. They were so awesome that I actually feel a bit bad mentioning it here, but I wouldn’t want any of you to unknowingly sign up for the presentation!
We had an amazing stay at the hotel – the value (average $105/night), the Disney Springs location, the Official Walt Disney World Hotel perks, AND the family-friendly amenities all combined to make this hotel one of our top recommendations for a Disney vacation!
Not to mention, the proximity to Disney Springs, the pool area, character breakfast and Director of Fun activities help make those non-park days special (and budget-friendly).
I would 100% recommend this hotel over a Disney Value hotel stay, and I would even say that the location and price give it a significant advantage over most Disney Moderate hotels – and it really is just as nice.
I cannot wait to return to Wyndham Garden and take a picture of Ella in front of her tile in the Memory Wall (and stuff my face at the Oasis Bar & Grill). We’ll build at least two full pool and Disney Springs days into our trip, in addition to our arrival and departure days.
Do you have any questions about Wyndham Garden at Disney Springs? Leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer them!
We loved our visit at Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs Resort Area and highly recommend it as a family-friendly and budget-savvy Disney vacation hotel.