Flying under the radar! With the opening of Disney’s Riviera Resort, there are now twelve Disney Vacation Club resorts (DVC) at Walt Disney World. It got us thinking, what are the underrated DVC Resorts at Disney World? While everyone has their favorite go-to DVC resort, there are a select few that traditional fly under the radar. These are the resorts you can usually find for a last-minute getaway or are overlooked when compared to newer options. Alright, the time has come to reveal our top 3 underrated DVC resorts. Drumroll, please!
Kicking It Off
You have to start somewhere. In traditionally list fashion we’re starting our list of underrated DVC resorts with our third selection. You can have to build up the excitement, right? Our first stop is Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, or as we like to say the resort you can usually book. First and foremost, you can more often than not find a last-minute reservation at Saratoga Springs because it is the largest of the 12 DVC resorts. More room means more space!
We find Saratoga Springs to be a very underrated DVC resort, especially when you consider the amenities. For us, one of our favorite aspects of the resort is access to Disney Springs. The walking path that connects the resort to Disney Springs is perfect for our early morning runs or heading over to one of the many restaurants for dinner or a cocktail after a day in the parks. Or if a boat is more your style, you can cruise on over as well. This definitely makes up for the more limited dining options at the resort.
Back the resort the amenities continue to match up very well for how we like to vacation, especially with it having the best gym on Disney property. The activities continue with the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, which is attached to the resort. No need to shuttle over to the course, you can easily walk to the first tee from your room. This is great for those early morning tee times. We definitely appreciate getting an extra wink or two of sleep.
Rounding out what we love about Saratoga Springs is the points per night (ie cost per night). If you’re looking for a way to maximize your points, Saratoga Springs is a great value, especially when you factor in the newly refurbished rooms.
Surprise? We’re always up for a good surprise. Well, coming in second on our underrated DVC resorts is Boulder Ridge over at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. We know what you’re thinking and yes, we can read minds! How is Boulder Ridge underrated? For us, what makes Boulder Ridge underrated is that Cooper Creek is also a DVC option at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. With Cooper Creek being the newer addition to the resort, it tends to be the more popular option and book up faster. Paired with the fact that Disney’s Wilderness Lodge tends to be the last Magic Kingdom resort option behind The Contemporary, The Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian Resorts, Boulder Ridge is “underrated”.
Now that we may or may not have successfully defended our underrated tag for Boulder Ridge (we’ll let you be the judge), onto why it’s a great option. First off is the themeing, it feels more rustic to us. When we think of the wilderness our minds quickly go to camping and a more “homey” feel. Boulder Ridge knocks this out the parks. Especially with the knotted pine doors, tall trees out the windows, and the less modern feel that you’ll find with the updated Copper Creek rooms. The Copper Creek rooms are gorgeous, but they are more like glamping than camping. The best part is the rooms at Boulder Ridge are bigger than Copper Creek while having the same resort amenities. We call that winning!
Beyond the themeing is the easy access to the Magic Kingdom. For us, there is nothing more relaxing and easy than a boat ride to the house of the mouse. You just cannot beat the breeze and views as you make your way from Bay Lake to Seas Lagoon, on your way to the Magic Kingdom. If you’re looking for a faster way to the Magic Kingdom, you can also jump on the bus for a short 7-minute ride to the park.
Finishing up what we love about Boulder Ridge is how you feel like you’re away from it all, but still close to the action. There is something about waking up to the views of Bay Lake that is so peaceful!
An Oldie But A Goodie
Or should we say classic? Let’s say classic, it sounds more timeless. Topping our list of underrated DVC resorts is the resort that started it all. Originally named The Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s Old Key West is by far the most underrated resort of the twelve. Where should we begin? Walking into Disney’s Old West you immediately feel the laidback vibe as steel drums play in the background. We don’t know how Disney does it, but somehow this resort doesn’t have the same hustle and bustle feel of most Disney resorts. It’s got that Hawaiian shirt vacation feel we all dream about!
Similar to Saratoga Springs, Disney’s Old West is the best point value for DVC members. With the lowest point per night cost, the resort definitely offers a wide variety of amenities. From the boat ride to Disney Springs to the two main pool areas, and our favorite off the beaten path restaurant in Olivia’s Cafe. Outside the amenities, the resort has some of the largest studios at Walt Disney World, only being outdone by the Polynesian Resort. Plus, it has two full queen beds instead of the standard pullout sofa.
What puts Old Key West over the top is the resort layout. Whereas most DVC resorts consist of a single building or larger buildings altogether, Disney’s Old Key West has smaller more spread buildings. The buildings are spread across the majority of the front nine of Disney’s Lake Buena Vista golf course. For us, this makes feels like the resort is a little quieter and less like we’re at a “hotel”.
Every DVC resort has something special about it. Over the years, we’ve found ourselves switching back and forth around which resort is our favorite and which ones are underrated. If you ask us next month this list may change. One thing is for sure and that’s Disney Old West could be the best least talked about DVC resort. It only takes staying there once to fall in love with it. Alright, that concludes our top 3 underrated DVC resorts, there is only one thing left to do. Book another trip!
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