DVC Lodging Series – Old Key West
My Easter time Disney visit with my son and his family flew by quickly. Yet even with no special Parade at the Magic Kingdom, everyone was busy. DVC member can use any resort facilities as long as time and space allows, and the festivities on grounds were great. You should have seen Granddaughter #1 at the Boardwalk decorating cookies, coloring, and getting pictures with the characters. She managed to gather up ten pounds of candy the Easter bunny left on the lawn in record time.
Then on to Key West. The gateman’s “Welcome Home,” was cheery. It reminded me of past vacations there, family ones where we rejoiced in family and shared bonds eating, relaxing, and amusing ourselves. With its Victorian architecture complete with gingerbread, clapboard siding, and tin roofs, it is my favorite Disney Vacation Club resort. Both its studios and one or two bed-rooms villas are on the same floor. However, grand villas take two. Self-parking is just outside every door.
The focal point of each villa is its great room, big enough to fit a queen size mattress in an unobtrusive corner. But who needs to do that? Its furnishings are reminiscent of the 40’s with a comfortable queen-size sofa bed, a big screen television, a big round table, and lots of chairs.
Across from the grand room is a full kitchen–stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator-freezer, dishwasher, garbage disposal–and all the pots, pans, glasses, dishes, bowls, utensils, etc. that any good cook needs. French doors lead out to a roofed patio cooled by the breeze or paddle fan. What a place for kids to watch nature and feed the birds and squirrels!
Each villa has a separate laundry, naturally complete with full-sized washer, drier, ironing board, and iron. Its bath is spacious and accommodating. It has a whirlpool spa tub big enough for two at least, a walk in standing shower, and the perfunctory lav and sink.
The master bedroom is fit for a king with its king sized bed and pillowtop mattress, far comfier than most mattresses back home. It too could fit a single or double fold-away in an unused corner. It has a door leading out to the covered patio just off the great room.
A second bedroom entranced from the great room boasts its own television, wet bar complete with sink, mini-refrigerator, and microwave. Rerserved alone, it is considered a studio. Furnishings include two queen sized beds and room enough for several portacribs. I can well remember back when we needed two for our irish twins. This bedroom has its own patio as well as entrance from outside providing that it is a non-dedicated room. For privacy, that’s a nice feature when different families are traveling together. (Dedicated ones do not.)
Old Key West has a well stocked Conch Flats General Store, a good restaurant Olivia’s, a quick service window Good Food to Go, an outdoor bar the Gurgling Suitcase, and the Electric Eel Gameroom and Arcade. A great recreation, exercise, swimming, and a tennis complex with volleyball and basketball courts adjoins it. Note: There are another three heated pools, jacuzzis, and saunas, in other areas of the resort with playgrounds bordering each one.
From its docks guests can travel by ferry to the Treehouse Villas (when they officially open), Saratoga Springs, and Downtown Disney. They can go fishing. Insiders have whispered to me that Disney stocks its lakes. They can also rental personal watercraft including pontoon boats, canopy boats, sailboats, pedal boats, canoes, and Mercury Watermice and explore nearby Trumbo Canal, the resort’s intracoastal waterway as it winds along.
If visitors are landfarers, then they can jog along a 1.5 scenic trail or rent a bike and leisurely check out the woods, the water, and the golf course. They can also also the complimentary coach transportation Downtown Disney and all four amusement parks regularly scheduled. The bus service is excellent, a good choice for those who don’t want to drive.
OKW’s landscaping is well-groomed and tropical. My favorites are the birds-of-paradise and the gardenias nestled among the palms. I was touched when my grandchild brought me a gardenia on our arrival Easter morning. Its beauty and lush aroma hinted the promise of warm days and romantic nights both gone by and yet to come. For old duffers, the WDW Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is on property so golfers in their carts prove entertaining moments chasing their balls.
On a clear evening, coincidentally my last night there, just outside the villa, I watched fireworks from Epcot visible overhead. I have always loved fireworks; they sparkle like my time in Old Key West. I can’t wait to go back again….
I’m including floor plans.
This is for the Studio, One and Two Bedroom units.
The Grand Villa.
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