The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace (Disney Springs) – Hotel Tour & Review


The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is considered one of the better hotels in the Disney Springs Resort Area and is an Official Walt Disney World Hotel.  The hotel features 1,012-rooms and 124 suites on a sprawling 27-acre property that is located just across the street from the Disney Springs shopping, dining and entertainment complex.

First opened in March 1983, the resort was formerly known as the Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa and the Buena Vista Palace Hotel. The property features a 27-story tower building as well as garden style “Island Building” that are adjacent to the pool area.  

In 2015 Hilton acquired the hotel and completed a $45 million renovation which included the rooms and common areas as well as the addition of an all new lazy river resort pool.  The property is an Official Walt Disney World Hotel that provides an array of guests benefits that are almost exclusively offered to on-site Disney hotels and resorts.

At the time of most recent stay there were a number of hotel features that were not available due to COVID restrictions.  Once fully reopened, we will update this hotel tour and review.

Click here for rates at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace at Disney Springs

About the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is located in the Disney Springs Resorts Area of the Walt Disney World Resort. This area features seven individual resort hotels, each of which are “flagged” by a major hotel brand.  The area is highlighted by the Disney Springs that is located at the intersection of Hotel Plaza Boulevard and East Buena Vista Drive.  

The resort hotels located in the Disney Springs Resort Area are as follows:

While technically the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels are not considered “on-site” Disney properties (and not owned by Disney) these resorts are “Official” Walt Disney World hotels.  Official Walt Disney World hotels provide a host of benefits that are primarily offered to on-site Disney hotel properties. 

Disney Springs Resort Area hotel benefits include:

  • Extra Magic Hours
  • Fastpass+ Reservations
  • Free Theme Park Shuttle Service
  • Exclusive Savings Passport
  • On-site Ticket Desk

** Extra Magic Hours and Fastpass+ reservations are currently suspended at this time due to COVID.  As of early 2021 it remains to be seen if all the theme park benefits will continue for the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels.

Click here to see our Complete Guide to the Disney Springs Area Hotels for 2021

Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the rates at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace hotel?

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is moderately priced with rates ranging from less than $150 per night to more than $200 per night depending on the time of year and type of room (Disney Springs and Epcot views command premium prices).  See our price chart below for specific rates.

How close is the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace to the Disney theme parks?

Every single theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort is within 15 minutes door-to-door (provided you are driving yourself) from the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace. Universal Orlando is approximately 20 minutes away and SeaWorld Orlando is around 10 to 15 minutes.

Can I walk to Disney Springs from the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace?

Yes you can walk to Disney Springs from the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace – it is literally across East Buena Vista Drive.  There is an elevated walkway at the corner of East Buena Vista Drive and Hotel Plaza Boulevard which provides for easy access to Disney Springs.

Does the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace have a nice pool area?

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace has great pool area which includes multiple  pools including a lazy river pool and a children’s splash play area.  

Which room should I choose when staying at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace?

Although it is a slight premium, we highly recommend the tower rooms with the direct view of Disney Springs.  The Epcot view rooms and you can see fireworks at night but Epcot is quite a ways away.

Is there a Resort Fee or Parking Charges at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace?

Resort fees are quite common in Orlando and there is a resort fee of $35 per day for guests staying at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace.  In addition, on-site parking charges are $22 per day.

What is the check-in and check-out time for the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace?

The check in-time at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is 4:00 pm and check out time is at 11:00 am.

Does the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace provide transportation to the Disney theme parks?

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace does provide shuttle bus transportation to The Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.

The Location of the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

The Hilton is located on East Buena Vista Drive just across from Disney springs.  Access to the Disney Springs Resort area is via Hotel Plaza Boulevard which is one of the main entrance roadways.  Guests can get to the property from Interstate 4 by exiting to Apopka Vineland Road  (exit 68), then heading north to Hotel Plaza Boulevard.  Once at the crossroads of Hotel Plaza Boulevard and East Buena Vista Drive, make a right and the hotel will be on the right hand side.

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace – Disney Springs Area

1900 E. Buena Vista Drive

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

407.827.2727

It is a fairly direct route from the Orlando International Airport via SR 528 (the Beachline Expressway) to Interstate 4 west or State Road 417 to World Center Drive which becomes Epcot Center Drive at Interstate 4.  Barring any significant traffic issues, it will take approximately 30 minutes to get from the airport to the resort.  The Orlando / Orange County Convention Center is also close the hotel, just 10 miles along Interstate 4 east towards downtown Orlando.

Since the Hilton is located within the boundaries of the Walt Disney World Resort, all four Disney theme parks as well as the two Disney water parks and Disney Springs are a very short distance (and even walking distance to Disney Springs).

Travel time per Google Maps (non-peak hours) to the other Orlando area theme parks and significant destinations include:

  • The Universal Orlando Resort: approximately 20 minutes
  • SeaWorld Orlando: approximately 10 to 15 minutes
  • ICON Park: approximately 15 minutes
  • Downtown Orlando: approximately 25 minutes
  • Vineland Premium Outlets: approximately 10 minutes
  • The Mall at Millenia: approximately 20 minutes
  • The Florida Mall: approximately 25 minutes

In addition to the hotel amenities indicated below, the Hilton features an on-site car rental desk, valet parking and an on-site Disney planning services.

Click here to see hotel photo gallery

About Disney Springs

Originally built in 1975 as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, Disney Springs is a 120-acre outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment development. Larger than most major indoor malls, the property underwent a rebranding in 2013 that massively expanded the complex into four distinct neighborhoods that comprise

  • Over 100 retail stores, pavilions and kiosks
  • More than 60 restaurants and lounges
  • 23 attractions, shows and events

Unlike many of the other Disney attractions, there is no admission charge to enter Disney Springs and parking is free in one of its three parking garages or surface lots.  

Some of the major attractions, restaurants and retail store at Disney Springs include:

  • Cirque du Soleil
  • AMC Disney Springs 24
  • House of Blues Music Hall
  • NBA Experience
  • Splitsville Luxury Lanes
  • World of Disney (the largest Disney store at 51,000 sf)
  • Planet Hollywood
  • The Boathouse
  • Morimoto Asia
  • The Coca-Cola Store
  • The Lego Store

Click here to see our Complete Guide to Disney Springs for 2021

Hotel Amenities at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

Amenities at the this resort are typical of other similar class hotels in the Orlando tourist area.  However, the Hilton was originally constructed in 1983 so it lacks some of the more modern styling and design.  However, the property does not lack in amenities.

Amenities at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace include:

  • Lazy river and zero entry float pool with water features
  • Separate resort pool
  • Separate adult pool
  • Private poolside cabanas
  • Poolside bar and restaurant
  • Large outdoor event lawn / play area
  • A fully equipped fitness center with a variety of cardiovascular machines and strength training equipment.
  • Shuttle bus service to the Disney theme parks
  • An on-site business center, FedEx Office store and computer terminals.
  • Video arcade
  • Concierge Desk

Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Dining Option

There are a several different dining options available at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace which include grab-and-go, quick service and resort casual dining. 

Shades

Shades is the hotels poolside bar and grill.  This outdoor casual dining restaurant features burgers, sandwiches, salads and wraps as well as specialty cocktails and local craft beer.  There is ample covered seating with both bar and table service along with a cozy firepit to enjoy a cocktail.

The hours of operation are limited as Shades is open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (closed Monday through Thursday).

Click here to see the menu at Shades.

Sunnies Lounge

Sunnies is the Hilton’s lobby bar which also includes a warm and inviting lounge room as well as an outdoor patio seating area which overlooks looks the hotel pool and grounds.  Specialty cocktails, wine and beer along with a variety of appetizers, burgers and sandwiches are offered daily from 4:00 PM to 10: 00 PM.

Click here to see the menu at Sunnies.

Citrus 28

When guests are looking for something quick and easy, Citrus 28 is the place to go.  This quick service / grab-and-go style restaurant offers breakfast sandwiches, made-to-order pizzas, ice cream, beverages and coffee.  Citrus 28 is open daily from 6:00 AM to 10:0o PM.

Endless Summer enjoyed the freshly make breakfast sandwiches during our most recent stay.

Letterpress (temporarily closed)

Letterpress is the resorts casual / upscale dining experience featuring American comfort food with a bit of southern flair.  Although this restaurant is temporarily closed, it is customarily open from break, lunch and dinner service.

In addition to the dining options indicated above, the Blue sports bar and the the a top floor lounge were not open at the time of our visit and are not shown on the hotel’s web site.  We were able to access the top floor lounge and based on the lack of furniture or décor, it appears that this lounge has not been used for some time.

Overall the dining options were very limited based on the size of the hotel and slightly disappointing. We anticipate that dining services has been significantly curtailed due to the pandemic and subsequent slowdown in hotel traffic (limited convention and meeting business included).  In addition, with the vast number of dining experiences available at Disney Springs (and all within walking distance) are significant competition on the hotels on-site venues.

We’re looking forward to a post-pandemic stay when the hotel is back to 100% operation to visit Letterpress and see if additional dining options are available.

Rooms at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

Rooms and suites feature premium linens, high quality bathroom finishes, flat panel televisions and mini-refrigerators.   Guests can be sure that the rooms are well services with the Hilton CleanStay program.

The room types at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace are as follows:

  • One king bed – Resort View, Island or Tower
  • Two queen beds – Resort View, Island or Tower
  • One king bed – Disney Springs, Tower
  • Two queen beds – Disney Springs, Tower
  • One king bed – Epcot View, Tower
  • Two queen beds – Epcot View, Tower
  • Two queen beds – Pool View, Tower
  • Island Suite – 800 square feet, Resort View
  • Island Penthouse Suite – 1,650 square feet, Resort View
  • Tower Junior Suite – 800 square feet, Resort View
  • Tower Suite, 1 Bedroom – 800 square feet, Resort View
  • Tower Suite, 2 Bedrooms – 1,200 square feet, Resort View
  • Deluxe Tower Suite – 1,800 square feet, Resort View
  • Tower Presidential Suite – 1,800 square feet, Disney Springs View
  • Parlor Suite – 2 Bedrooms / 3 bathrooms, Disney Springs View

All the rooms at this resort were recently renovated and feature alarm clock, coffee maker / tea service, in-room safe, flat panel televisions featuring premium channels and pay-per-view movies and Wi-Fi high-speed internet service (free to Hilton Honors members who book direct).  The Hilton also provides Pacific Coast down pillows and duvet, plush pillow-top bedding and Hilton Serenity beds.

During our most recent visit we stayed in a room on the 26th floor which had an Epcot view.  The room would have a perfect view the Epcot fireworks (currently the show is not operating), but the theme parks itself were far off in the distance.  As a result, we would recommend a Disney Springs view over the Epcot Resort View since it is just closer to the hotel.

Conferences and Events at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

Although they are not the largest in the Disney / Orlando area, the Hilton’s convention and event facilities are more than adequate for all but the largest conventions.  The hotel is perfect for small to mid-sized corporate meetings, weddings and trade shows.

There is 160,076 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibition space with three ballrooms (the largest at 23,046 square feet which can accommodate over 2,000 guests), 55 breakout meeting rooms and an executive boardroom for 14 attendees and extensive outdoor function venues.  The Hilton also offers exclusive access to all things Disney.

Hotels Rates at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

Rates are this resort vary for different dates throughout the year.  The rates shown below are the best available rate for two adults in three different room types offered at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace.

The following rates were obtained from the hotel web site at the time of publication.  

Rates for 2021   March 15th July 15th October 15th
Standard Guest Room – 2 Queen Beds   $136.00 $183.00 $179.00
Epcot View – 2 Queen Beds   $148.00 $197.00 $193.00
Disney Springs View – 2 Queen Beds   $160.00 $212.00 $208.00

BOOK DIRECTLY FROM HILTON AND SAVE

There is a resort fee of $35 per day as well a 6% resort tax on top of a 6.5% sales tax on rates for this hotel.  Other charges include an on-site parking fee of $22 per day.

The resort fee includes wi-fi, Disney bus transportation, float lagoon access, daily sun-care product, 10% off food & beverage service, local and domestic long distance telephone calls, DVDNow movie rentals and attraction discount tickets.

What We Liked about the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

There are a number of things to like at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace.  Following are some of the highlights:

  • Next Door to Disney Springs:  You can walk directly to Disney Springs in less than 5 minutes.  There is even a walking bridge over Hotel Plaza Boulevard and East Buena Vista Drive.
  • Excellent View:  while we would have preferred a Disney Springs view, the Epcot view from our 26th floor room was great.  We could not only see Epcot but also the Magic Kingdom in the distance.
  • Official Walt Disney World Hotel Benefits: Extra Magic Hours, 60-day advance FastPass+ and complimentary  shuttle bus service throughout the Walt Disney World resort.  
  • Location: This hotel has an excellent location on the grounds of the Walt Disney World Resort adjacent to Disney Springs and is within the heart of the tourist service district.

What We Didn’t Like about the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

While we enjoyed staying at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, there were a number of things made our overall stay disappointing.  These include:

  • Ancillary Costs: Resort fees of $35 per day and self parking of $22 per day (coupled with a total of 12.5% in taxes, this can easily increase the cost of your visit by more than 30%). 
  • Small Room Size:  Although fully renovated, the room was considered to be small for a hotel of this caliber and the bathrooms only had one sink (most have two).
  • Limited Dining Options:  For a hotel of this size, we felt that the dining options were limited.  At this time the pool bar is only open Friday, Saturday & Sunday and Letterpress is closed.
  • Hotel Age:  At 30 years old, the building is started to show its age with respect to its design and features. Although the hotel has been renovated with updated amenities, the style and design of the building itself is a bit dated.
  • Closed Resort Amenities: The top floor lounge was not open and we were told by hotel staff that the spa has not been in operation for several years. 

What We Think the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

This hotel has so much to offer in just about every area and we consider it a good fit for the travelers who are coming to the Orlando area for:

  • Family Walt Disney World vacations
  • Small to mid-sized business conferences in the Orlando area
  • Couples weekend getaways

Endless Summer Recommendation:  If you are plan on spending time at Disney Springs, the Hilton is perfect as you can walk out the back door and be right in the Marketplace neighborhood in about 5 minutes.

Our Endless Summer Hotel Rating

We consider this hotel one of the more desirable hotels in the Disney Springs Resorts Area. As a result we rate the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace at Disney Springs a 3.75 out of a possible 5 stars and would give it an average recommendation for your next trip to visit the Walt Disney World Resort.

Click here to see the photo gallery for the Hilton Orlando Buena Palace at Disney Springs

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