Old Key West: My Favorite Spring Retreat

IMG_3224It is always a real treat to be at Old Key West, Disney’s first time-share property. Modeled after the Caribbean-style residences and guesthouses of the Florida Keys, the resort is the least Disney-esque of all Disney properties. To say that I love staying here is an understatement. I have been blessed to do so four times, yet I still get excited every time I get to go back.  I would love one day to stay here for an extended time and indulge myself in everything the resort has to offer.

IMG_7535Old Key West  has the roomiest accommodations in all of Walt Disney World. Each villa has a private balcony with views of the golf course, a pristine landscape, or the waterway. I stayed in a two-bedroom villa featuring a king-size bed in the master bedroom, two queen beds in the second bedroom, and a queen-size sleeper sofa and foldout chair in the living room. It is perfect for a family of six and can accommodate up to nine guests. I love to have a full kitchen, especially for longer stays. Walt Disney World offers lots of great restaurants, but there comes a time where I really enjoy having a meal with family and friends in a private setting.

Pool Time at Old Key West

Old Key WestOld Key West has four pools. The main pool also has  a hot tub, kiddie pool, a water play area, and (most amazingly) a free sauna inside the idyllic lighthouse. The other, smaller pools are located near buildings 19 and 20; buildings 39, 40, and 41; and another one near building 55. These are basic pools with plenty of towels and a hot tub. The bonus is that they are “quiet pools” where loud play is discouraged. Runners will enjoy the resort, as there are plenty of well-marked routes for a nice run. Want to golf? Search no more, as the golf course is right there on the premises of the resort and absolutely immaculate.

The resort has only one restaurant. Olivia’s is nice and offers casual dining. On the menu: seafood including conch dishes, slow-cooked prime rib, and Key Lime Tart. It is fine for a meal or two but nothing to write home about.IMG_3213

Disney Springs is only a boat ride away. Boats run every half hour; unless you are in a hurry, they are really a good choice. I love sitting back and enjoying a ride down the Sassagoula River. Keep in mind that the last boat back from Disney Springs leaves by 11:30 p.m.

There is something special about returning to this quiet and beautiful resort after a long day in the parks. I love sitting on the balcony of my home away from home, unwinding, sipping a glass of wine—and feeling that I am on vacation.

IMG_3432I love the parks, but I could see myself staying at Old Key West for a LONG time without ever leaving the resort. So I want to leave you tonight with my favorite view, taken from the balcony of my Old Key West Town House this March.

Next month, my son and future daughter-in-law will be visiting my new home here in Birmingham.  I can’t wait to finally share with them my world, the one outside of Walt Disney World.