The Wyndham is a hotel in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney Area. This review covers my recent stay here, featuring photos of rooms and hotel amenities at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort. The Wyndham is an interesting hotel due to its…relative uninterestingness. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, and it probably is, but in just about every regard, the Wyndham is fairly standard. Nothing over the top, nothing really bad, nothing really great. Pretty much a utilitarian hotel that gets the job done in every regard, but likewise fails to wow. Depending upon your perspective, this might be its biggest strength or greatest weakness.
From the generic tower structure of the hotel to the low-to-average prices to the pedestrian but serviceable rooms and beyond, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista doesn’t disappoint. Nor does it exceed any expectations. It’s not a diamond in the rough, it’s just a predictable, solid hotel.
Amenities at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista include a lot of the standard hotel stuff, like a fitness center, tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts, meeting spaces, restaurants (including a 24-hour cafe), video arcade, car rental, and Disney gift shop. Then there’s the less-standard stuff: a nice pool with water play area for kids, Disney character dining, and a “Director of Fun” for kids’ activities.
Let’s take a look at all of this, plus the rooms and pros and cons of the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista…
First, let’s start with those amenities. I was impressed by the pool and water play area, which reminded me a bit of a poor man’s version of the new area at the Grand Floridian. This is not to knock it–the Grand Floridian is Disney’s flagship resort and exponentially more expensive. Comparatively, the Wyndham holds its own here, and features a better pool than I’ve seen at other comparable hotels.
Then, there’s the Director of Fun. This seems like an odd position, but while I was touring the resort, I met a number of staff members at the hotel who were all pretty passionate about ensuring guests have incredible memories, including kids. One of the cool things this director does is have kids paint tiles that are gradually going to cover this entire wall (above).
At first, I thought this may have been that I was being given special treatment because I’m a blogger, but after encountering several staffers who had no idea who I was (and giving myself an ego-check to realize that no one in their right mind thinks bloggers are special!) and having similar experiences with them, I became convinced its a culture thing at the hotel. This is corroborated by numerous reviews on TripAdvisor, too. So, while it might be an unconventional concept, the Director of Fun certainly is legitimately trying to ensure kids have a lot of fun at the Wyndham.
Another significant amenity, from my perspective, is the character dining. This breakfast is held a few days per week and features standard fab five characters (usually 2-3) for around $20 for adults, and half that for kids. The buffet itself has decent variety and is on par with average character breakfasts at Walt Disney World hotels, but the big difference I noticed here was the crowd: there wasn’t any. Guests had a ton of time for (multiple) interactions, or could get their interactions and leave quickly. The downside is the setting, which is totally generic and doesn’t offer nearly the ambiance of any Disney-hotel or in-park meals.
Along with all 7 Downtown Disney Area Resorts, the Wyndham offers complimentary theme park transportation every half hour. Although I had a rental car for this trip, I decided to test this out to so I could comment on it for this review. I was concerned that the shared transportation would be slow, but I didn’t find it any more inconvenient than standard Walt Disney World bus transportation. There’s an internal path between the hotels for the bus, and it was basically a redux of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. My recommendation would be to have a rental car when staying here, but the transportation isn’t bad if you need it.
Then there are the rooms. Guest rooms at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista are fairly basic. It’s my understanding that they were recently refurbished, but it felt like this either wasn’t the case, or the style chosen during that refurbishment was very bland and hasn’t aged well. The bathroom and bedroom areas were perfectly fine, just nothing out of the ordinary.
They were clean and the bed was plush and comfortable (more comfortable than many Disney resorts), but the overall look just felt like something you’d find at any well-managed Best Western or Comfort Inn. If you don’t care about an interesting, luxurious, or unique hotel, these are perfectly fine. Just don’t expect anything special.
In terms of price point, the Wyndham is a bit interesting. As I’ve been searching, there are pretty much perpetual 30% offers bringing the cost of the hotel down to ~$75 per night. Unfortunately, that’s not the total cost as that dreaded resort fee sneaks in (if you’ve read my Swan & Dolphin Resort Review, you already know how much I loathe that, so I’ll spare you the redundancy), plus taxes, and the total jumps to just above $100/night. Then, there’s the charge for parking if you have a rental car. (Note: my stay and my meal here were comped.)
Now, of course you can probably find better deals or perhaps use Wyndham Rewards, etc., to turn this into a good deal, but for the $100/night price point, I think it’s merely an average option for what’s offered. I’d consider it in between a Value Resort and a Moderate Resort in terms of overall quality. My room was slightly nicer than those at a Value Resort (the bed, especially), but you can often get a Value Resort for about this price from time to time with discounts. My personal preference would be for the Value Resort given the perks offered from staying on-site, but like I said, that’s personal. I know many people don’t like the style or loudness of the Value Resorts, and you won’t find those issues here.
Overall, I don’t think the Wyndham is a bad choice, but I don’t think it’s a great one, either. I know a lot of people like it, and it certainly gets the job done and will satisfy a certain type of guest. For me, it felt a little too basic given the price point. For me, the rationale of staying in an off-site or non-Disney hotel while at Walt Disney World would be to obtain better value for money. This occurs through really basic accommodations for a bottom-dollar price or luxury-caliber accommodations for a Moderate-level price. The Wyndham falls somewhere in between, which makes it unappealing to me as an alternative from an on-site hotel or another off-site hotel. It isn’t all that much cheaper than a Walt Disney World Value Resort, nor is it that much nicer (and if you have kids, you can’t forget that lack of a theme and “Disney” feel). Those looking for a location near Downtown Disney, away from the ‘loud’ Disney resorts, or using Wyndham Rewards might like this and find it to be a good option, but I think many readers will be better suited elsewhere.
Check out current special offers for the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista on their website.
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Do you like the look of Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort or its amenities? Have you stayed here? Planning on staying here someday? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments!