Floridays Resort Orlando is an off-site hotel near Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando with suite and condo-style rooms. This review features photos of the rooms & resort, thoughts on the amenities, and our experience in staying here during our recent visit to Walt Disney World.
In terms of the “suite and condo-style rooms,” for those of you Disney fans who want a baseline comparison, think of these rooms as a poor man’s Disney Vacation Club. Err…maybe that has an unnecessarily negative connotation to it. Think of Floridays as a cheap man’s Disney Vacation Club. With rates starting below $200/night for 2-bedroom suites (disclosure: our stay was comped) when booked directly, Floridays is squarely targeting thrifty visitors to Orlando.
I can see Floridays most appealing to large families on a budget that want to be in a single room, and those visiting Florida for an extended vacation who are hitting a variety of destinations in the Orlando area. For 2 people or even 4 people, it’s a bit of overkill unless you want to really spread out. With a location that’s roughly between Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, the resort works really well for those who are renting a car and driving around.
Of course, low prices don’t make a difference if the hotel itself is a veritable hellhole. After all, there are plenty of shady motels along I-Drive that charge less than this but are sketchy at best and scary at worst.
Thankfully, that is far from the case at Floridays–there’s a reason it’s one of the top hotels in Orlando on TripAdvisor. Let’s take a look at what this resort has to offer…
Let’s start in the lobby, which looks nice. In terms of additional amenities, there’s a shuttle to Universal, SeaWorld, and Epcot, but with only 3 departure times to each per day that need to be scheduled in advance, it’s not very practical for most people. You’ll want to either rent a car or use Uber if you stay here. We used Uber during our stay here, with the average trip to Walt Disney World costing $10-13.
While we were initially concerned about location, it turned out to be a non-factor. I noticed no appreciable difference in transit times to the parks between Floridays and Animal Kingdom Lodge (where we stayed prior to transferring to Floridays).
The pool is one of Floridays’ biggest selling points, and this thing is huge. In the far corner where the yellow umbrella-thing is, there’s an area that Floridays calls the “Playscape.” I’m no expert on water play areas, but it looks pretty basic. If your kids are easily impressed, this should do the trick nicely, though.
More than the pool itself, what I really liked about this area is that the resort had a live steel drum band performing by the pool on the weekend during the day, and we could hear them perfectly from our balcony. That was a nice little plus that allowed me to soak up a bit of Florida atmosphere while I worked.
Adjacent to the pool area is a nice little bar. This place was fairly popular most of the time during our visit, and seemed to have a decent drink menu.
For those of you with serious self-loathing issues, you can work-out on vacation while watching Stephen A. Smith’s inflammatory diatribes in the fitness center. Still beats Stitch’s Great Escape.
If the fitness center doesn’t scratch your “centers” itch, Floridays also has a 24-hour business center for printing boarding passes and that sort of thing.
There’s also an arcade. It’s like DisneyQuest at your resort!
Since the suites contain multiple rooms, the best way to get your bearings on the layout might be to watch the video walk-through that I shot. I’m no expert videographer, but hopefully this will suffice…
This is the view of the room from the front door. All of the rooms were renovated in 2015, and the new design looks fresh and contemporary.
The style of the room works well and blends modern with timeless for a look that will likely age well over the next several years.
The full-size, fully-equipped kitchen is nice, and will certainly be appreciated by those on a budget who use the room to prepare their own meals. In our case, only the Kuerig machine got a work-out.
We were really impressed by the style and spaciousness of the suites, but let’s not kid ourselves. These rooms at Floridays are never going to compete with the Waldorf Astoria or Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in terms of design, but they also don’t compare in terms of room size or price. It’s all relative.
Given the <$200 rate of this 2-bedroom suite, we were very impressed with the quality of the furniture and decor in the Floridays rooms. They are far better than they should be, and best plenty of generic-looking timeshare rooms that cost far more.
In particular, I liked the living room set-up. This whole area felt light and conducive to lounging around…or in my case, lounging around barely mobile as I recovered from the Dopey Challenge.
Here’s the second bedroom–nice looking, but pretty standard.
Likewise, the unit’s regular bathroom was basic and on the smaller side. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, and it looked like it had been refreshed as well.
The bed in the master suite was incredibly comfortable. Superior to Disney bedding at even the Deluxe Resorts, and just a notch below some of the upper end hotels in Grand Cypress and Bonnet Creek.
The Master bathroom was nice and really spacious, with a lot of empty floor space. Being a fan of walk-in showers, I really appreciated that, and while I’d normally skip the bath, I made use of the jacuzzi tub after the half and full marathons.
Few off-site hotel reviews would be complete without mentioning that little ugly thing plaguing the Orlando hotel industry. Like so many others, Floridays is branded with the “Scarlet R” for charging a resort fee. In this case, it’s only ~$15/night, and even with that, total prices are low. Still, as I’ve said so many times, resort fees are a deceptive and consumer unfriendly practice, and it’s time we rally against them. It doesn’t matter that “everyone charges one” in a certain area–they are a bad thing, and need to be eliminated.
Overall, I don’t think Floridays is going to turn any heads with trendy accommodations or over-the-top amenities–but I doubt that’s the intent. Instead, it’s turning heads with value for money, plus rooms and amenities that feel nice and modern. These rooms are far nicer and larger than the price would suggest, and that plus the large pool and other amenities easily explain why Floridays ranks so well. For the budget-conscious like us, this would be an easy pick if we ever needed a room for 6-8 near Walt Disney World.
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Have you stayed at Floridays Resort Orlando? Are you a fan of it? What did you think of the suites? Is this a hotel you’d consider? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below!