Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando at Disney World Now Open!
Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando is a new on-site hotel at Walt Disney World. This resort within walking distance of Disney Springs is now partially open, with construction nearing completion. This post shares delay details, our commentary, official info, and whether you should book these accommodations. (Updated February 27, 2023.)
By way of background, the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando at Disney Springs is technically a partially-new hotel. It replaces the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort, and is a full renovation to that existing property plus a totally new tower. In 2017, Drury Hotels bought the Best Western property for $20.5 million and continued to operate the hotel as normal while planning this expansion.
Permits were filed for this project back in 2018 and construction began the following year. Then the closure of Walt Disney World happened. The Best Western never reopened when other Disney Springs hotels started returning, and the project was paused for a while. I know this because it’s on the route we used to take to Trader Joe’s, and I always marveled that so much equipment was on-site yet nothing was happening…
February 27, 2023 Update: Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando in the Disney Springs Resort Area welcomed its first guests during last year’s holiday season, and just held its official grand opening celebration. As you might recall, the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando was originally scheduled to open last fall, but had its opening date quietly pushed back a few times.
“We are pleased to provide our guests the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney World Resort with the exceptional value and customer service that Drury Hotels has provided for 50 years,” said Chuck Drury, President and CEO of Drury Hotels. “Our guests are at the very center of everything we do, and we hope to exceed their expectations with this incredible new hotel in the heart of the Disney Springs Resort Area.”
When construction is completed, Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando will feature 604 rooms with a targeted finish date in Spring 2023. It’s our understanding that the first phase, which is open already, features 264 rooms, or fewer than half of the total room count. (We’re planning a review stay, with late April 2023 as a tentative date, but we’ll push that back if the entire hotel isn’t done by then.)
Guests can also reserve one of the 78 two-room suites, perfect accommodations for families of up to six guests. In-room amenities include a 55” smart flat screen television, mini refrigerator, microwave, alarm clock with Bluetooth and charging station, executive work spaces, and in-room safe. The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando within the Disney Springs Area will also offer 17,000+ square feet of meeting and event space for up to 250 persons.
Previously, the company has confirmed that the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando at Disney Springs would offer the following amenities and perks:
- Drury will NOT charge a resort fee. The resort fee is normally $25 + tax per room night. According to Drury, the average length of stay is typically 5 nights, so this reflects a savings of $125. This decision aligns with Drury’s commitment to provide its guests with exceptional service and amenities at an honest value.
- Other complimentary hotel amenities include hot breakfast, dinnertime snacks and beverages at our 5:30 Kickback, WiFi, and shuttle service to all Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney Springs. (The hotel is also within walking distance of Disney Springs.)
- Starbucks Coffee will be onsite in the Market Place, along with Pizza Hut Express and two other onsite restaurants.
Here’s other info and past commentary about the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando at Disney Springs…
The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando at Disney Springs will feature a host of amenities and is in close proximity to the Walt Disney World theme parks. Drury also will offer transportation to and from the theme parks and other surrounding attractions.
The new hotel will be within walking distance of Disney Springs, and can be booked as part of a Walt Disney World vacation package. There are also a number of restaurants and stores within walking distance off-site on Vineland.
“We look forward to welcoming guests and providing them with a magical experience,” said Chuck Drury, CEO of Drury Hotels. “Our designation as an Official Walt Disney World Hotel means we have been entrusted to adhere to exceptional service standards. Given our track record of providing award-winning guest service, I know our team’s efforts will delight and impress our guests and visitors.”
Tom Drury, a seven-year veteran in the hotel and hospitality industry, has been named the hotel’s general manager. Drury team member, John Branciforte, will serve as the hotel director of sales. Once open, the hotel will employ 150 full- and part-time team members.
The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista will feature a resort-style pool, splash pad and poolside dining and refreshments at the Lakeside Bar & Grill. It will also offer an extensive marketplace for grab-and-go food items and sundries, and a cozier dining experience at The Kitchen + Bar.
Additionally, there will be a wide range of complimentary amenities, including hot breakfast with pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, KELSO+BROS coffee, and more. The new Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando will also offer a daily 5:30 pm reception including hot food and cold beverages, as well as 24-hour business and fitness centers.
The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando offers a number of special and discounted rates for auto club members, seniors, federal government, military, law enforcement and more. Most of these appear to be 10% off standard nightly rates.
Additionally, Florida residents will be able to save 10% on rates (proof of ID required at check-in) at the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista.
It appears that the best discount will be for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders, who can enjoy up to a 15% discount off the Best Flexible Rate when booked through the official Drury Hotels website.
As with all other Disney Springs Area resorts, Annual Passholders can make Disney Park Pass reservations for their length of stay if staying at the Drury Plaza Hotel. This means you will not be subject to passholder daily allotments to the theme parks.
In pricing out a range of different dates, the best pricing I could find was the above. That’s not too shabby for a new on-site hotel at Walt Disney World, but it’s nothing remarkable, either. As with most of the Disney Springs Area resorts, my expectation is that the biggest savings won’t come with any of the above affiliations, but via Priceline, Hotwire, and other discount booking sites.
That’s one thing we loved about its predecessor, the Best Western. That hotel almost always had great last minute rates, and we’d frequently use it as a gap-filler reservation on nights when rates were high elsewhere. I loved that Best Western–it offered great budget accommodations and spacious rooms.
I’m also excited for the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando at Disney Springs. I don’t expect it to be anything like the Best Western in terms of pricing, but it should also benefit from being newer and having a more robust slate of amenities. Plus, more on-site hotels and competition is always a good thing, especially at a time when resort prices have spiraled out of control.
We’re also eager to check out another Drury Hotel. Admittedly, our experience is rather limited with this Midwestern chain, but we have heard nothing but great things. It sounds like an excellently-run family operation that takes care of its staff and guests. Based on feedback from friends and other travelers, they punch above their weight and the free hot breakfast and dinner/happy hour services are excellent. That alone is worth a lot for those who can take advantage, as food isn’t getting any cheaper at Walt Disney World! (If you have any feedback about Drury, we’d love to hear it in the comments.)
With that said, there’s absolutely no way I’d book this for November or December. Although Drury claims that the first phase is nearing completion, I’m skeptical. That doesn’t appear true when driving past the property. Although significant progress has been made in the last several months, it looks like there’s still a lot to be done.
If using other recent Orlando hotel projects as benchmarks, it’s impossible to say with certainty that it’ll be done on time. Labor shortages and supply chain woes are ongoing–and there’s the potential the latter could worsen in the coming months.
Anyone who booked the Swan Reserve last February when its reservations opened for summer can tell you how that went. Several delays later, the hotel finally opened–four months late. In fairness, that hotel had some unique issues and delays necessitated by work needing to be redone, but it’s hardly an outlier in terms of construction projects not hitting their original target.
The bigger difference between the Swan Reserve and this is that the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando doesn’t have a gigantic fish pyramid next door to which it can relocate displaced guests. Personally, I would not gamble with a cancellation during what’s likely to be another busy holiday season.
Nevertheless, the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando is an attractive option, especially for those already planning ahead for 2023 Walt Disney World vacations. As a general matter, we think the Disney Springs Area Resorts are underrated and overlooked by a lot of fans.
That should start to change, especially as visitors find alternative airport transportation to Walt Disney World, which will also open the door to third party hotels for some. The options at Disney Springs are compelling in that they’re technically on-site, significantly cheaper, and offer on-site perks like early entry. For how these hotels stack up, see our Disney Springs Resort Rankings.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Have you stayed at the new Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando at Disney Springs? If so, what did you think of the hotel? How was the breakfast? What about transportation to the parks? Any other highlights or lowlights? Did you ever stay at the Best Western in the same location? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
It looks like it will be really nice, so yes I’m excited to try it out once!! My husband and I will generally like to stay in the tighter bubble around Epcot or MK if we are visiting the parks… But if not and we’re just going to spend time in Orlando, I definitely want to be within walking distance of Disney Springs!
@Linda I just looked it up and the very first Drury Inn was in Sikeston, my mother’s hometown. I had no idea. This is a chain I will keep my eye on.
From our first visit in a Drury Inn, we’ve often planned driving trips around cities featuring Drury facilities. We have one in our home town and that is where we d book rooms for out-of-town visitors.
Their food and service is outstanding. Also, as are Loews hotels, Drury is dog friendly. Not sure if the DS one will be, but maybe.
All that being said … I will now be booking my trips there as soon as they open.
Drury Hotels are FANTASTIC! Always a very solid, clean, safe option. I am thrilled to read this. The drinks and included food, while not gourmet, are a great value. Can’t wait to book!
Is this new Drury resort the site of the original Travel Lodge? My family visited and stayed there in 1980 (!!!)
Hopefully I won’t regret it, but I’ve booked a few rooms there for early November. If it’s considered to be on-site, do you get free parking at the Theme Parks??
Tom, I’m genuinely curious about this statement “we’d frequently use it as a gap-filler reservation on nights when rates were high elsewhere.” You live close to WDW, why would you need a “gap-filler reservation” when you could stay at your home? Is it simply to get the on-site extras?
We’ve only lived close to WDW for a few years. We stayed at the Best Western somewhat regularly when we lived in CA.
I stayed at the old Best Western at this location 18 plus years ago and the location itself was fantastic. Balcony was also a big plus as panoramic view of fireworks if you requested a high enough floor facing the parks. But the hotel then was in rough shape and I remember the balcony sliding glass door lock was broken and held in place with a hook and latch. Gaps around the balcony door and frequent visits by little lizards. The room phone was smashed beyond repair and took the front desk 3 nights to replace it. This was before smart phones so my old flip phone was the only call out for an emergency and the reception was so terrible that I used the old pay phone down by the bar. So the new hotel can’t help but be a great upgrade. Good to see some realistic alternatives to on-site resorts.
I’ve stayed at the Drury Hotel in downtown San Antonio for years. Very friendly staff, and they have fantastic free breakfast. The happy hour drinks and dinners are also very good. I bet when word gets out it will be very popular at WDW.
The Drury Hotel family is from my town in SE Missouri and they are the only hotel chain to win the JD Powers hotel award 16 years in a row! They care about pleasing their customers and offer the breakfast and evening food and 3 drinks to all their properties. I’m excited to see them be close to Disney!
Parking and resort fees?
Yes they will have those fees but they are cheaper then all the rest. We’re booked there October 31st – November 10th this year. 14 of us. 3 suites. We can’t wait. So excited.
I second everything Kara said about Drury. Well known brand in the Midwest. Typically known for being family friendly, clean property and the hot breakfast and Kickback happy hour! Like she said, sign up for the rewards program!!! My only question would be will breakfast be served early enough before going to the park? They are known for serving a solid breakfast. I am excited to read this. This may tempt me to stay off property if the price is right. The fact that one of Drury family is named as the GM seems to make me think they will do things right. I also stayed at one in the Denver area (possibly Aurora) during pre-covid times and the place was immaculate. The breakfast was solid buffet like a Hampton Inn but up a notch. Huge breakfast area at that property. We missed the Kickback hour but it definitely is a perk, especially for the business traveller.
Probably would be in the parks during the Kickback time anyways on a regular day.
(Not sure how Covid times are affecting breakfast buffets these days.)
Their rates tend to be competitive, but like Kara said there will be slikely some discounts for rewards members. If they do offer park transportation as mentioned in the article this could be a very solid choice in the future…
I would love to hear more about how the bus transportation works from these hotels. Very little information other than that they have it. Seems like something that may have changed since the reopening.
I had noticed at the Trip Advisor forum that the (original) Lake Buena Vista area tends to be not noticed, and have been puzzled over that. I was introduced via a conference at the Buena Vista Palace. It was being renovated at the time, causing some problems, but I was rewarded with a new tower room, view across the pool to Disney Springs. The whole areas has seen considerable attention since then..
How far/long is the walk to Disney Springs? Any shuttle service? Combined use could make this hotel arguably one of the best in dining options.
We really like Drury Inn Hotels, most recently staying at the one off I-459 in Birmingham (or is that part of Hoover?) during our road back home during Hurricane Ida. We’ve stayed there as our go to place going to and from the Smokey Mountains. The free breakfast is good as is Happy Hour. Clean and well run, this is a legit choice for a WDW/Orlando trip.
Question, and I know it is subject to change: Do you currently get free theme park parking as a perk with the Disney Springs Resorts?
This is such a weird timing thing, I just looked up when it was opening thinking I might do a Halloween trip this fall and stay at Drury instead! Drury is our go-to hotel anywhere we can find one, just got back from a wonderful stay in a Denver one in fact! With the kick-back dinner option which includes 3 FREE DRINKS, yes, you read that correctly, 3 FREE DRINKS for every adult in the party!!! As well as a decent meal (not a 3 star but it fills your belly!) and with options for kids like nachos and hot dogs AND a hot breakfast daily, it really can’t be beat. We’ve been so excited to get one closer to Disney, the one by Universal is nice, but this will be a real treat with the resort atmosphere. They did verify in Denver that the new Orlando Drury will have the same kickback options with drinks, we visit a lot for family and the manager is fabulous and verified for me since I had been thinking about Oct travel there.
Also, do sign up be a rewards members and earn free night stays plus you get multiple options for cheaper rates when you book stays through their website. There is one more rate which is member early booking which is even cheaper than just the member discount rate posted above but you have to book it at least two weeks prior to travel…which is still fairly last minute for a Disney trip…in my planning anyway!
Also, I swear I do not work for Drury nor does anyone I know, we just really like the whole package of food, drinks, and always great rooms and service we get from them at any of their hotels!
I’ve stayed at a Drury Hotel in Baton Rouge in the past and loved it. They really treated me good. I wonder if this new one will include the 3 free adult beverages daily along with the hot food? That was a really nice evening treat.
Looks like a solid, albeit generic option. Great location, price point and basic amenities above the WDW Values. More of the same-old theming you can find anywhere, though.
I’m surprised none of the Disney Springs hotels haven’t watched the recent watering down of on-site perks and, more importantly, the watering down of Disney resort theming, and stepped in with a real alternative. The biggest difference between on and off site right now is the vibe, which presents an excellent opportunity. Cabana Bay is my personal gold star version of this. It’s not particularly “Universal” any more than this resort is “Disney”, but it is excellent in creating a sense of place that feels like a vacation resort.
Pick a family-friendly theme. Add a killer pool area. Offer reliable transportation. Make sure there’s a Starbucks for the morning and a convenient late night bar/counter service option at night. A Cabana Bay type hotel would absolutely crush it at Disney Springs.
I wonder if Disney has any say over design on their property when it’s not their resort to run. They must, right? It would explain why they are all so bland.
With free breakfast and transportation to the parks, this could be a contender for our Christmas 2023 trip. I’m starting to get All-Star burn-out and I’m looking for an affordable alternative that still has nice perks!