Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort Review
The Wyndham is a hotel in Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs Area. This review covers our stays here, featuring photos of rooms and hotel amenities at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, thoughts on whether it’s worth the money, and how it stacks up to other Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels.
To most noteworthy thing about the Wyndham is that it’s treated almost as if it’s two different hotels, with the smaller, motel-style wings known as the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista, and the main tower being the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista (no “Garden”). We know that everyone loves a nice garden, but these exterior buildings are not exactly nice.
Rather, they are old school motels, and feel like they have not been updated in years. While we didn’t have any issue with them, the internet is filled with reports of maintenance issues and general upkeep issues. The tower, on the other hand, is modernized and downright posh. In that sense, it’s a tale of two hotels, and something of which you need to be aware when booking the Wyndham. The “Garden” is cheaper, but unless you get a free upgrade to the tower, you’ll be paying for it in terms of comfort and room quality. With that said, this room concerns shared amenities and rooms in the garden wings…
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.
The biggest “amenity” the Wyndham offers is its location. This is the closest hotel to Disney Springs, and you can be inside the shopping and entertainment complex within 10 minutes of leaving the hotel lobby. That’s great if you want to grab a quick meal at the Boathouse or have drinks at the Edison.
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–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 seven Disney Springs 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 refurbished at some point in the last 5 years.
However, 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 Holiday 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, 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 slightly above a Value Resort in terms of overall quality.
You can often get a Value Resort for about this price from time to time with discounts, and 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 Disney Springs, 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.
Not sure which Walt Disney World hotel is right for you? Check out our Walt Disney World Hotel Reviews page, which offers quick-hit capsule reviews of the strengths and weaknesses of every Walt Disney World hotel, plus links to our reviews and photo pages for every hotel we have reviewed. Looking for comprehensive Walt Disney World vacation tips? Make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide.
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!
We will never stay at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista again! The restaurant we were expecting to eat our meals at is only open for a breakfast buffet which set us back $58.00 for 2!!! And their bar is where we had to eat our evening meals, bar food only. And what bar closes at 9! Our room’s safe didn’t work, and neither did our deadbolt on our door, which the front desk seemed totally unconcerned about. But what really got me was charging us $20.00 a day for parking! Where else are we supposed to park at since we’re staying there?
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BEWARE-Not actually a “Disney Resort” We are halfway through our WDW vacation and are very upset with the way I am being treated by the bus transportation due to my rented scooter (which is the reason why we need to stay in a Disney resort). Last night it took us 4 hours (10pm-2am) to get home from Magic Kingdom and a Disney Springs Security officer found us crying, scared and lost at 1:30am. Over the past 4 days we have been lied to by bus drivers telling us they aren’t going to our hotel because they didn’t want to take the scooter (same people that got on the bus were at the hotel when we arrived), another driver drove off with the scooter in the middle of the aisle unsecured, yet another called a fellow bus driver to take us instead, amd NONE are willing to help or guide me in trying to get the scooter into place on the bus. The last bus home from Epcot was 45 minutes late 2 nights ago, and the hotel kept telling me to just take a taxi in case it’s not coming, but we can’t do that with the scooter, nor should guests be told to purchase their own ride. It was not specified at the time of booking that these buses are picking up and dropping off in the parking lots as opposed to the Disney bus spots, which necessitates extra travel/ferry or monorail lines to access.
Last night brought us to our breaking point. We were stranded at Magic Kingdom due to overcrowding and an excessive wait to reach the parking lot. We reached the parking lot pickup spot 10 mins late (11:40 due to ferry/monorail lines) along with 50 other people needing the same buses. A Disney transportation manager called the bus company and arranged pick up because we couldn’t take an uber with the scooter like the other families did. An hour later and it was clear they weren’t coming. The hotel claimed no knowledge of the Disney transportation manager’s call. Another transportation manager got us a ride to Disney Springs at 12:45am, snd we were lost, scared and crying on a major road with a scooter and a child at 1:30am. This is unacceptable.
We chose the Wyndham LBV hotel because it is advertised as a Disney hotel. We are now being told that the hotel paid Disney to be able to make this false claim?! We would like very much to transfer immediately to Pop Century where we usually stay, but I don’t want our linked fast passes and extra magic hours to get deleted, nor do we want to lose time and money to make the change. All REAL Disney staff members and bus drivers have been excellent as always.
Dear WDW Representative,
We are halfway through our WDW vacation and are very upset with the way I am being treated by the bus transportation due to my rented scooter (which is the reason why we need to stay in a Disney resort). Last night it took us 4 hours to get home from Magic Kingdom after a Disney Springs Security officer found us crying, scared and lost at 1:30am. Over the past 4 days we have been lied to by bus drivers telling us they aren’t going to our hotel because they didn’t want to take the scooter (same people that got on the bus were at the hotel when we arrived), another driver drove off with the scooter in the middle of the aisle unsecured, yet another called a fellow bus driver to take us instead, amd NONE are willing to help or guide me in trying to get the scooter into place on the bus. The last bus home from Epcot was 45 minutes late 2 nights ago, and the hotel kept telling me to just take a taxi in case it’s not coming, but i can’t do that with the scooter, nor should guests be told to purchase their own ride.
Last night brought us to our breaking point. We were stranded at Magic Kingdom due to overcrowding and an excessive wait to reach the parking lot. A Disney transportation manager called the bus company and arranged pick up because we couldn’t take an uber with the scooter like the other families did. An hour later and it was clear they weren’t coming. Another transportation manager got us a ride to Disney Springs at 12:45am, snd we were lost, scared and crying on a major road with a scooter and a child at 1:30am. This is unacceptable.
We chose the Wyndham LBV hotel because it is advertised as a Disney hotel. We are now being told that the hotel paid Disney to be able to make this false claim?! I would like very much to transfer immediately to Pop Century where we usually stay, but I don’t want our linked fast passes and extra magic hours to get deleted, nor do I want to lose time and money to make the change.
**Big Changes to the bus system***
We have stayed here a couple times and we have always loved it, however they just changed the FREE bus transportation to pay per person. I believe it was 6$ per person (including the baby) for the day. Also you had to schedule your pick up and drop off time-the day before, which is terrible. We took a Taxi every time and it was not as convenient as when the hotel offered that great free bus ride. Also the buses don’t run as often. That was a huge plus for us and this year we are staying somewhere else.
Are you sure you have the hotel correct? Per the Disney Springs page, transportation is still complimentary: http://disneyspringshotels.com/disney-advantage/
I would have never have thought to do a character breakfast at an off site resort. I know the ambiance isn’t the same, but the last character meal we had was at 1900 Park Faire, which has slightly less ambiance than the hotel ballroom my high school prom was held at. Would it be worth it if we were staying offsite somewhere else to do breakfast here?
I think it really depends on what you’re after. If it’s a quiet and efficient meal, this is a good option. If it’s more characters or a better ambiance, there are certainly much better choices.
We stayed at wyndham bonnet creek over presidents week and were very impressed. But the major difference is we booked a 2 bed/2 bath with full kitchen. We also were in the $100 range per night but booked from tripadvisor through a private owner. Free parking, concierge brought up our groceries to the room that we had ordered online. It was so close to the parks but we all had space to relax. And with 3 girls we all had bathroom space to get ready.
I hear what your saying that the decor is basic but it was very nice just not disney or themed. The pools were great as were the grounds.
I have to say I had absolutely no idea about the character dining which is disappointing. I would have taken advantage of that. But overall I would stay here again.
Was the Wyndham the first or last stop on the bus route for that side of the street? The Hilton is the first on its side, which is good–you’re guaranteed a seat if the bus gets crowded in the morning, and when you come back in the evening you get dropped off quicker.
I know you’re not a huge fan of Downtown Disney, but I think it’s worth noting that the Wyndham is the closest on that side. Other “Downtown Disney area” hotels are a longer walk just by virtue of being farther up the road.
Any plans to review the others? I kind of wanted to check out the Holiday Inn, because I’m a platinum IHG member, but I didn’t find time for it on our recent trip.
Stayed here when it first opened Tom. I think it was called the “Americanas Dutch” but I am losing my memory.It was bland even then. All the hotels on Hotel Plaza Blvd are about the same except the Hilton which stands out. The bus service was fine when I stayed at the Best Western in 2009.
I think B Resort (a new one) is another exception to that. I haven’t stayed at the rest of the Hotel Plaza Blvd. locations, but based on the exteriors, your assessment doesn’t surprise me.