Residence Inn Orlando at Flamingo Crossings: Disney World Hotel Review
Residence Inn Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center is an extended stay hotel by Marriott near Walt Disney World featuring large family suites and full kitchens. This resort review features room photos, thoughts on amenities, and pros & cons of booking at this hotel–currently the newest hotel at Walt Disney World.
Whether this Residence Inn is an on-site or off-site hotel is a matter of perspective. Located off Western Way and State Road 429 near Coronado Springs and Animal Kingdom, the hotel is within the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District and part of Flamingo Crossings, which is being developed by Walt Disney World. However, it’s just outside the WDW gateway that greets visitors and typically demarcates “off-site” and the Disney bubble.
For those who are unfamiliar with Flamingo Crossings, this is actually an up-and-coming area of Walt Disney World and Central Florida. It’s like a budget version of Disney Springs, both literally and figuratively. None of the retailers are overtly Disney and there’s no Imagineering to speak of. Rather, it looks very much like a slightly upmarket suburban strip mall. It’s one populated by tourists and Disney Programs participants, thanks to the student housing nearby. If you’re curious about this area, read more in our Guide to Flamingo Crossings at Walt Disney World.
For its part, the Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center is about a 12 minute drive to Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios, and slightly longer to Epcot and Magic Kingdom.
Residence Inn has a quiet location at the “back” of Flamingo Crossings, away from the interstate while still being a short walk from Target, Five Guys, and everywhere else. This all makes it an conveniently-located option if you want a place to buy groceries or sundries–or late night burgers!
Modern extended stay hotels might be unfamiliar to Walt Disney World fans, but we’ve seen many of the current generation of these products in Anaheim. Within walking distance of Disneyland, there are numerous Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Home2 Suites, Element, and TownePlace Suites. The formulaic style has become ubiquitous there in the last decade or so–it’s great to see more of these being built around Walt Disney World, as new extended stay hotels are a great fit for many families.
Banish whatever negative preconceived notions of extended stay hotels you might have, as this generation is different. Rather than being the bland, boring, and utilitarian domain of corporate consultants (and not a cool one like George Clooney in Up in the Air; more like Bob Slydell in Office Space) the Residence Inn redefines what it means to be an extended stay hotel. Or, at the very least, makes more more appealing to families, business travelers, and young travelers.
This evolution of extended stay hotels is actually an industry-wide thing, and the major hoteliers have refined their product in the last several years. For those who are curious and want a bit of interesting (I think!) backstory, these hotels are innovating to compete with Airbnb and evolving consumer behavior, making efforts to grow this lucrative and in-demand segment of the hotel industry, and also meeting the higher expectations of young professionals and leisure travelers.
All of this is evident in the Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center. The downstairs lobby is modern, complete with inviting lounges, fireplaces, and large common areas for breakfast. None of this is trendy and hip, but it’s also not dull and boring either. It’s almost as if the Residence Inn has been precision-engineered to appeal across demographics.
This bar feels fun enough for the young business traveler ready to let loose after a long day of learning about the latest cutting edge tech at a Xerox expo, while still being approachable for the parents who likewise want to unwind after a long day in Walt Disney World. It’s actually impressive how the hotel as a whole toes that line, catering to both families and business travelers.
If an extended stay hotel actually being nice and somewhat on-trend doesn’t throw you for a loop, perhaps the exterior, vaguely resembling Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, will. Some might say it’s the Grand Faux-ridian. (Wocka wocka!)
The key differences? The Grand Faux-ridian isn’t within walking distance of Magic Kingdom, nor does it cost $750+ per night. Oh, and the guest rooms at the fake Grand Floridian are arguably nicer.
We might as well start the review there, as the rooms are one of the big selling points of the Residence Inn at Flamingo Crossings.
This hotel offers a variety of room options: spacious studios, plus one and two-bedroom suites with separate living and sleeping areas. All rooms also have fully-equipped kitchens, too.
For this stay, I booked the studio. This room is a surprisingly spacious 440 square feet, putting it on par with the Grand Floridian.
With that said, the square footage is utilized better at the fake Grand Floridian. There’s the bed plus a sitting area, desk, and television that swivels around. Most notably, there’s a full kitchen.
For most families, the full kitchen in all rooms is going to be the main selling point of the Residence Inn. This means a full-sized fridge, stovetop (no oven), microwave, and dishwasher.
The kitchen is also stocked with pots, pans, and all the dishes you’ll possibly need. Couple this with the Target at Flamingo Crossings that’s about a 5-10 minute walk from here, and you can easily make meals in your room.
The room is nicely designed and feels modern thanks to the carpet, lighting, artwork, and other detail touches. The color scheme is a bit muted and subdued for my tastes, but this style probably has been focus-tested as the most universally-appealing/least offensive of hotel room styles (and one that won’t date itself too quickly).
Bedding and pillows are perfectly plush, and will get the job done after a long day in the parks. It’s nothing exceptional, but pretty comparable to most non-luxury hotels both on-site and off-site. There really isn’t a huge range in bedding quality among hotels at or near Walt Disney World. Most of the newer, reasonably nice ones are very comparable to one another.
The bathrooms at the Residence Inn are a definite plus, and in the same upgraded style as others around Flamingo Crossings. Nice sink, counter top, and highly effective lighting.
Shower is also a walk-in as can be expected from pretty much any new hotel being built today. Like the room, this bathroom is quite spacious.
The basic rooms at the Residence Inn rank very highly relative the competition at Flamingo Crossings.
I’ve done a number of standard or studio stays already, and this is the only one that’s more like a 1-bedroom unit. Essentially all it’s missing is the wall separating the bedroom and living room. Anyone who will use that full kitchen will definitely favor the Residence Inn over most other regular room options at Flamingo Crossings.
Prices obviously vary by date, but nightly rates at the Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center are typically under $200 per night. (Travel costs have skyrocketed recently, but all these hotels were in the $100/night range not too long ago…and hopefully will be again!)
In my random searches for rates this summer, I found this Residence Inn to be within $20/night of everything at Flamingo Crossings except the SpringHill Suites across the street, which is a few years older than everything else. In light of what the Residence Inn offers relative to the competition, I’d consider this pricing incredibly fair.
The breakfast offered in the mornings is a bit on the sparse side, but it’s still one of the better free breakfasts among the hotels near Walt Disney World. The room where this breakfast is served is huge, and there’s also outdoor seating near the pool.
While it’s not great, there are hot options, proteins, and fruit. If you want approximately 738% of your daily serving of sugar, there are even pre-packaged Liege Waffles.
Other amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, self-service laundry room, lobby convenience store, and bar/lounge. As you’d likely expect with a brand new hotel, the fitness center here is quite nice. Huge, and with a ton of equipment and large screens on each device.
The Residence Inn also offers complimentary parking, which is notable because it’s becoming increasingly uncommon of hotels near Walt Disney World.
Transportation is available from most of these Flamingo Crossings hotels, but comes with several huge asterisks. The bus is paid (currently $5 per person), must be scheduled at least an hour in advance, has limited departure & return times, and is a shared shuttle from Flamingo Crossings Hotels to the Walt Disney World Transportation and Ticket Center.
Suffice to say, no one who values their time should use this Flamingo Crossings bus transportation–you need to have your own vehicle or use a rideshare service. An Uber or Lyft will cost you around $10 to $20 depending on the park you’re visiting and demand, and that’s the far superior option. One thing to note is that pick-up times are often lengthy (~10 minutes) out here, as this is not a prime area for drivers.
Additionally, none of the Flamingo Crossings hotels are eligible for Early Entry or Extended Evening Hours. This is another potentially big blow, as those on-site perks can be advantageous for early risers or night owls.
Not having efficient “free” transportation and the “free” extra hours are probably the most compelling reasons to stay on-site. Our advice: put the money saved on accommodations (and potentially meals) towards Genie+ and Uber/Lyft. There’s still a decent chance you’ll come out ahead. Of course, that won’t be the case for everyone–do the math and figure out which is better for your needs and preferences.
The pool area is really nice, with plenty of seating, fire pits, and even an outdoor bar. There are also little fountains that provide soothing sounds when this area is uncrowded.
The problem is that this area was seldom uncrowded during my stay. Don’t let this photo fool you–I took it early in the morning to avoid awkwardness. Midday and in the evening, this area was packed. A lot of hotels in Central Florida have fantastic pool areas, but this isn’t one of them–this pool is undersized for the hotel.
Overall, the Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center earns our highest recommendation, and its deserving of the Grand Faux-ridian moniker as a sincere form of praise. That undersized pool is about the only point of criticism, and even that might not be a major problem for many families. This hotel will defy guest expectations for an extended stay hotel, and it’s nice to finally see a well-executed version of this concept so close to Walt Disney World.
Across every demographic I can think of, the Grand Faux-ridian hotel performs incredibly well. It’s great for couples who want to a fully stocked fridge of beers and perfect for families looking to save money by cooking their own meals. Pretty much anyone wanting a bit more space or the ability to prepare meals/drinks will love it. When it comes to rankings for Flamingo Crossings hotels, the Residence Inn is currently #1. When expanding that to all hotels near Walt Disney World, it scores near the top in terms of value for money.
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 Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center? What did you think of the room layout and quality? Did the full kitchen or living area appeal to you? Was the bedding satisfactory? Did you enjoy your stay at this hotel? Thoughts on the breakfast? Considering the Residence Inn? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!
Does anyone know if the Residence @Flamingo has a pull out sofa in the 2 bedroom suite? Thanks!
FYI just went to book a stay here for next month (January 2023) and they are now charging $10/night parking fee. Boo! I fear the other flamingo crossings resorts may soon follow suit.
They already have, the two Hilton hotels next to it also charge 10 dollars. The marriot that shares the same garage also charges 10 dollars.
The only two hotels not yet charging for parking is SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites.
It’s a ridiculous decision because across the road of all those hotels is a big free parking space… and I have the impression from staying there multiple times the area is safe.
Ugh-thanks for the update. We stayed at the Homewood Suites in July and I thought it was still free. Like you say, I assumed with the plethora of parking they would stay parking fee-free. Wishful thinking on my part♀️
Hi Tom. Thanks for the great tip on Residence Inn by Marriot! I planned a 1-day visit to Hollywood Studios for June 13 (and took your advice from your post on that park). I originally wanted an on-site hotel, but went with Residence Inn. As your said, it was a 12 minute drive (own car) from HS parking lot (why is WDW parking $25…PER DAY?!?) to the RI parking lot. Parking is free BTW. The Flamingo Crossings area is technically “off-site”, but honestly it feels like Disney. Very quiet, a Target across the street, and so close you can smell the churros. I booked my stay about a month out, all online, by phone. This included reservation, payment, email/text updates, check-in. The only thing I did face-to-face was pick-up my keys from the front desk. Sweet. I chose a studio w/king. $183.00 for the night and worth every penny. For a studio I expected a dingy hole-in-wall. I was way-off! It was spacious, had a living room area with full couch and tables, full kitchen (including pots, pans, dishes and dishwasher!), big office area, king bed (comfy), large TV (that swiveled to be seen from all areas, a crazy-good bathroom, and USBs everywhere for your charging needs. Honestly, this was bigger than on-site, economy rooms. The price included free breakfast (which I missed: it was 6:30-9:30), 24 hr fitness center, guest laundry room(clean), lobby convenience store, and a bar/lounge. Lobby is comfortable w/ multiple TVs and a fireplace. There is a pool area (that I didn’t take advantage of) that appeared to have lots of seating, fire pit, and soothing fountains. I hear there are transportation options to WDW, but I didn’t look into them. Overall I give 9/10.
I am totally hooked on Flamingo Crossings. It is currently the best location to stay off site if you are going for a Walt Disney World trip. Traffic is much better then when you need to be around the I4 or US192 area. It’s quiet, clean, new, … I have stayed 4 times now in the area, two times in the Towneplace Suites by Marriott and two times in the Homewood Suites by Hilton. The Marriott is older and is already showing. It also has some very bad sound isolation from the hallways and has smaller rooms than the newer hotels, but it is generally also cheaper. In winter times it is best to request a room facing away from the highway because when the airconditioning is not on I was having trouble sleeping because of the highway noice. Second visit they gave me a room facing away from the highway and the difference was big for me. The Homewood Suites by Hilton is currently my favourite because the rooms are bigger than the Towneplace Suites and sounds from the hallway don’t come in to the room. I am going to try the Residence Inn on my next trip in a couple of months. Chances are very low I’ll be staying in another area in the coming years, Flamingo Crossings is really a hidden gem when you are having a Disney World focused vacation.
If we would like to tour some of the on-property hotels to look at holiday decorations and/or eat a meal, can we do this without paying for parking or ride sharing? Can we park at any of the hotels on property? We will have a car available.
Yes, but you’ll either need to have an ADR at one of the resort restaurants or take Disney transportation to the hotel. You will not be able to park at one of the WDW resorts without a specific purpose there.
Drive to Disney Springs, park in the garages. Take a bus to any hotel you like, we do this to see the decorations. Have fun!!!
This is funny, because I always think of the Grand Floridian as “the fake Hotel del Coronado.” I’m a tremendous fan of this modern trend in extended stay resorts, and have stayed in many across the country. This studio room has the nicest kitchen set up of any studio I’ve seen! Great to know about this option for future trips!
THANK YOU! It’s kind of noticeable in 3 floor Residence Inns but I can’t not see it here. As for the Grand Floridian, somebody must have designed the resort (or changed the route of the ferryboat) so that the boat ride between the MK and the TTC really shows off the GF’s “Del tower” feature.
Or maybe I’m wrong. Well, nobody’s perfect.
I don’t think it’s any secret that the Grand Floridian itself is modeled after Hotel del Coronado–Disney stated that was one of the major inspirations in books and television specials back in the 1990s. Probably not something they’d admit today, though.
Dubbing this Hotel Faux-ranado probably wouldn’t have quite the same ring to it–and would be confusing to Disney fans only familiar with Coronado Springs! 😉
Completely agreed with your take (which is almost always the case)!
Stayed here in February and thought the exact same thing as we approached it – was a little surprised as I didn’t pick up on it from the website images, but it was hilarious.
As for the interior, very pleased! Better fitness room than most Disney hotels as well.
Everyone in the Midwest knows the TRUE fake Grand Floridian is in Sheboygan, Wisconsin!! https://www.blueharborresort.com/
This is true!!! Haha, from one cheesehead to another!
This is true!!! Haha, from one cheesehead to another!
This hotel is one of six at Flamingo Crossings, 4 Marriott & 2 Hilton. As Florida residents we drive to Disney and normally stay on property for a few days for the full Disney experience. On the last day though we go to one of these Flamingo Crossings hotels to stay the night before we drive home. It saves us a couple few hundreds of dollars and we still get free theme park parking for the day we checked out of the Disney hotel. This saves us from trying to drive home after a long day at the park.
The exterior and interior of this Residence Inn are both substantially nicer than any Disney owned hotel built since the Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2001.
All of the Disney owned hotels built since then have had small guest rooms and either plain, modern style exteriors or garish, over the top cartoonish exteriors.
This Residence Inn has an attractive, traditional style of exterior architecture which seems to be rare of hotels built in the past decade.
It also has large rooms, which is a welcome reprieve from the pathetically puny rooms found in many of the Disney owned hotels built since the 1990s.
This is good news for Marriott travelers – more options around Disney that are larger rooms for those with families and cars. Almost booked this or the springhill but got a good rate at the Swan and the transportation advantage (we flew that trip) won out. I will say though, I don’t consider any non-Disney shuttle offerings worthy of staying at An offsite hotel thinking the shuttle makes any difference.
You note the undersized pool, curious whether the breakfast area holds up to the crowds both in size of seating area and ability to keep up with food demands?
This is a good example of how the modern hotel world has passed both Disney’s value and moderate hotels by. Our family won’t stay a week in a standard hotel room anymore. When you can have a kitchen, laundry, separate bedrooms, and multiple bathrooms on vacation with kid(s)- you will never go back to watching your kid eat nacho Doritos while laying on a bed with white sheets. We visit the resorts now like we are visiting a theme park and then we go back to stay at our superior room with an as good or better location at Wyndham bonnet creek. Just the balcony there is half the size of a room at all star movies and the cost is the same or less.
Lol on balcony vs all star! Agree on the approach now. Always bugged me to be treated like a number by Disney hotels when my Marriott roll out the red carpet as a frequent traveler.
Disney has sorely miscalculated and diminished their on-site advantage through things like removing the free airport shuttle, fast pass advance booking, etc.
I just finished a stay at this hotel and really found it great, especially for the price. My wife went to May the Fourth at Hollywood Studios while I worked remotely from the room. The room met both our needs. I highly recommend it as a lower priced option near the bubble.
This hotel (and all flamingo crossing hotels) make me feel slightly nauseous about how much I paid for a few nights on property.
I may have missed this but it this hotel considered on site and does it get the Disney benefits? Early entry, reservations etc?
Thank you for this thorough review. Inevitably when I suggest this property my clients want to know about the transportation to WDW options from here. I’ve explained they do have a shuttle, but it’s insufficient for decent touring and you need to plan to rent a car or take rideshares when you stay at Flamingo Crossings (if you fly in). Any notes on the specifics of the shuttle here? (price & timing). Thanks
One thing to mention-compared to most hotels that offer full-kitchen suites, this residence inn one bedroom (2queen suite) lacks a pullout couch so only sleeps 4, unlike many suites elsewhere. I learned this when I tried to book a room for 2 adults, 3 kids, and the online system said that no rooms could accommodate 5 people. So perhaps the 2 bedroom suites sell out more quickly here? My kids would be fine to sleep on the sofa, but technically it wouldn’t be allowed, with breakfast for 5, etc. A bummer since it looks so nice! We will be staying at the Homewood Suites instead, since their 1 bedroom, 2 queen can accommodate 6. For reference, we are staying May 15-20 and found best rate on hotels.com for $167/night. Thanks for another great review, Tom!
You definitely need a full size fridge to stock the drinks for the Xerox after party. If you’ve never been to one, you’re missing out.