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My family and I recently took a much needed vacation to Florida. If you weren’t aware, my husband was deployed for 9 months, and I had major surgery that took an entire year to recover from. We had made special plans to celebrate the holidays in Florida. Our first leg of our trip we stayed at Buena Vista Palace. It is located at 1900 E Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It is in a terrific location near downtown Disney and Walt Disney World. It is actually an official Walt Disney World Hotel.
The hotel has a vast array of amenities including a restaurant, sports bar, fitness center, concierge desk, Disney Store, heated pool and whirlpool, mini market, room service, valet parking, cyber cafe, lounge, Disney theme park shuttles, and more. Buena Vista Palace has 2 buildings the tower building and the island building. The majority of the services are in the tower building; however, our suite was in the island building.
We arrived at night after a long day of traveling. We pulled up to check in while the parking attendant held our car. We were immediately impressed when we walked into the lobby. It was beautifully decorated and inviting. The staff at check in was extremely courteous and friendly. We were directed to the island building where our suite was located.
The island building is adjacent to the main tower but is a considerable walk from the parking lot(s). It is not exactly ideal when you are traveling with heavy bags of luggage or are tired from traveling or walking the amusement parks all day. We parked in the nearest lot to the building, and it was a pretty substantial walk to go to our suite. The lobby of the island building was decorated nicely for Christmas. Our suite was on the top floor and had a magnificent view of downtown Disney.
We stayed in a family suite with 2 queen beds. The suite featured 1 1/2 bathrooms, separate bedroom and living room, 2 balconies, microwave, mini fridge, small coffee maker, wet bar, and in room safe.
Overall the suite was clean, but the living room furniture was worn and the master bath was a little run down; it could definitely use a new shower curtain.
The beds were remarkably comfortable, and the room was quiet. One of our favorite things to do was sit on the balcony at night and enjoy the view.
During our stay, we visited the Disney Store for information about Walt Disney World. The store is a small gift shop where you can also purchase tickets to Walt Disney World. We needed to buy a ticket, as well as, get more information about the parks. The Disney Store employees were extremely helpful and friendly and provided everything we needed. They also provided us with information about the Disney theme park shuttle. I was extremely impressed with excellent customer service from the staff in the store.
The outdoor grounds of Buena Vista Palace were absolutely beautiful. It is well maintained with beautiful trees, shrubs, plants and green grass, it was a welcome change to the scenery in Colorado.
Although we did not spend a lot of time at the hotel because we went to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World we did enjoy our time there. We had an opportunity to have breakfast at The Watercress Cafe. It is located in the main tower and has a beautiful view of the grounds. The breakfast menu includes traditional breakfast choice such as bacon and eggs, waffles, pancakes, yogurt and more. My husband and I both chose The Standard which includes two eggs any style, choice of toast, roasted fingerling breakfast potatoes or fruit on the side choice of ham, bacon, pork link sausage or turkey sausage. The price of The Standard is $14 per person. Spencer chose Create Your Own Omelet which includes whole eggs or just the egg whites, with roasted fingerling breakfast potatoes or fruit on the side choose three ingredients: spinach, pepper, tomato, onion, mushroom, ham, bacon, sausage,
mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese. The price for Create Your Own Omelet is $15.
The service at The Watercress Cafe was mediocre. The waiter we had was not friendly, we had to wait to get seated because no one was at the front (it was not busy either) and the food was just average.
However, the view of the hotel grounds was spectacular. I personally thought the prices were a little pricey for what we ate.
We also had the opportunity to dine at the hotel restaurant one80. It is also located in the main tower and is accessible from the lobby. Our dining experience was entirely different than our breakfast experience. The host at the restaurant was extremely friendly and seated us immediately. The menu has a terrific selection of items including pub food such as burgers, salads, flatbreads, as well as, main dining items including steak, ribs, chicken and pasta. We had a full day at Walt Disney World, so we were starving when we arrived.
We each ordered an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. For our appetizers, we ordered Smokey Beef Brisket Tostada $14, Southern Fried Calamari $9, and Pipeline Pot Stickers $10. They all arrived nicely plated and absolutely delicious. Of the 3, the Calamari was absolutely fantastic! It was cooked to perfection in a light and crispy batter. It was not rubbery or overcooked. For our entrees, we ordered Crispy Chicken Tenders $12, Market Fresh Fish which was Cajun Grouper, and New York Strip Steak 12oz $28.
Our entrees arrived around 15 minutes after the appetizers. The portion size of the entrees were perfect and balanced. The Grouper had a terrific Cajun flavor while also being light and flaky. The steak was cooked perfect for my taste and the tamarind ketchup was divine!
For dessert we ordered Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie $8, Caramelized Pineapple Tres Leche $9 and Hand Crafted Vanilla Milk Shake $6. As for dessert, all I can say is OH MY GOODNESS! The Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie was my husband’s dream come true in a dessert! It was surely one of the best desserts he has ever had. As for the Caramelized Pineapple Tres Leche cake it was HEAVENLY! Of course, Spencer was thrilled with the thick and rich vanilla milkshake. The dining experience was one of the best we had during our entire trip.
Overall we were pleased with our stay at Buena Vista Palace. The location, hotel grounds, shuttle and dining experience added extra pleasure to our stay. If you would like to learn more about Buena Vista Palace and what they offer please visit the website.