I’ve been to the Walt Disney World Resort dozens of times, and when I go, I typically stay on property. But there are so many fabulous family-friendly hotels and resorts located near the theme parks. With wonderful amenities and activities, one of these hotels may be a good option for your Florida family vacation.
On our recent family cruise on the Disney Dream, we decided to spend two nights at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, a family-friendly Orlando hotel located right near Walt Disney World. While we didn’t go to the theme parks during this stay, we did want to spend some time at Disney Springs.
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A Review of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Location of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
The resort is conveniently located adjacent to Walt Disney World (within the Walt Disney World gates and surrounded by Walt Disney World). Many of the rooms have views of the Disney property, including the Disney World theme parks.
The 482-acre Bonnet Creek nature preserve complex includes the Hilton’s sister property – the Waldorf Astoria. It took us about a half-hour to travel from the Orlando International Airport, although this can vary depending on traffic.
This hotel doesn’t have an airport shuttle and doesn’t participate in Walt Disney World’s Magical Express, so you’ll have to figure out your own transportation to the resort. For our trip to the hotel from the airport, we took Uber. Renting a car is another option, if you are planning to visit other things in Orlando during your vacation.
Rooms at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel offers 1,009 guest rooms. There are plenty of different room and view options, including the Disney Fireworks view that we had, as well as standard rooms, Disney view, high floor, deluxe rooms, and suites.
When you book your room, you may have the option to opt in to upgrades (if they are available). If you choose to do that, you’ll automatically get the upgrade at a discount if it’s available when you check in. You do have to commit, however, so make sure you are willing to pay the extra fee.
If you absolutely want a specific type of room, it’s best to book that directly because the discounted upgrades aren’t guaranteed. During peak season, these rooms may not be available at the last minute.
Guest rooms at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek include a safe, hair dryer, complimentary WiFi, a desk, comfortable beds, Peter Thomas Roth amenities, and two complimentary bottles of water per day.
We found that it had plenty of room for our family, and we would have been comfortable staying there for more than two days. Of course, with so many activities in the surrounding area, it’s unlikely that you’ll be spending too much time in the rooms.
Because we planned to spend the evenings in the hotel room during our stay, I decided to upgrade to a “Disney Fireworks View” room. We were able to see both the Disney Hollywood Studios fireworks, as well as the Epcot fireworks, and it was the perfect end to our evening. Our room didn’t have a balcony, so we just watched them from our windows.
Amenities at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
The resort offers complimentary bus transportation to the parks and Disney Springs throughout the day. The transportation is available on a schedule – you just have to check in with the concierge for a free ticket before boarding.
We were easily able to work within the schedule, and found the bus to be comfortable and convenient. It’s important that you do get the free ticket before boarding however.
If the bus schedule isn’t convenient for your schedule, you could always book an Uber or get a cab. But with a little advance planning, it’s worth taking the complimentary shuttle to save money.
There are other Walt Disney World theme park benefits as well. A new option, offered through December 2020, is the opportunity to take advantage of Disney Extra Magic Hours at the park.
With Magic Hours, one theme park will be open either early or late each day, only for guests staying at specific hotels. They can be a great way to experience the parks with smaller crowds.
There are plenty of on-site amenities as well. The highlight for children is the Hilton Bonnet Creek pool complex, which includes a zero-entry pool, two whirlpools, a small waterslide, and a 3-acre lazy river. After arriving in the evening and looking at the pool, my kids were so excited to visit it first thing in the morning. Towel service and inner tubes are available.
There’s also a small shop where you can purchase floats, sunscreen, and other small toys. The weather wasn’t too warm during our visit, so the pool area was pretty empty. I can imagine that it’s lively when the weather is nice. As New Englanders, we enjoyed the water and didn’t find the temperature too cool.
If you need Disney theme park tickets, you can purchase them right at the resort. The adjacent Waldorf Astoria also has some activities that are available to guests of the Hilton, including a kids’ club, a championship golf course, and the Waldorf Astoria spa.
As a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotel, there are a number of benefits. The best family benefit, in my opinion, is the convenience. These hotels are all located near the parks, offer transportation to the parks, and many also offer Walt Disney World vacation packages.
There are a number of other amenities available at the resort, including fitness trails, a jogging track, video arcade, bike rentals, ATM, concierge, and digital key. Both regular parking and valet parking are offered at an additional fee to guests.
The property also offers a fitness center, a business center, and a Disney merchandise shop. That’s especially helpful if you’d like to purchase MagicBands, or want souvenirs from the parks but don’t want to carry them back to the hotel.
Restaurants at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
The hotel’s resort fee includes a great deal at one of the property’s restaurants – Harvest Bistro. Kids 12 and under get dinner free when ordering off the kids’ menu and when accompanied by an adult purchasing an entree. It’s a fabulous way to save some money on your Disney vacation. Kids can also get the restaurant’s breakfast buffet at 1/2 off when accompanied by an adult paying full price.
We ate at the restaurant twice and enjoyed our meals – especially the breakfast. Saving money on kids’ meals is always a great benefit, and it was nice to start our day with a full, delicious breakfast.
There’s also Zeta Asia, a sushi bar located off the lobby. After eating a late lunch for Thanksgiving, we decided to grab some sushi rolls during the happy hour at Zeta. They were absolutely delicious and it was the perfect light meal. We went pretty early, but it looks like the type of place that is fun all evening.
The hotel also offers a lobby bar, a pool-side restaurant, and a coffee bar. The Myth Lobby Bar is open daily from 11am to 2am, and offers cocktails, beer, wine, and light bites. We didn’t eat there during our stay, but would have if we were there longer.
Their coffee bar, Muse, has grab and go food as well as coffee and snacks. If you have plans for a larger lunch, you may prefer to grab food there before heading out. It’s open 24 hours so you can stop in whenever you need a snack or caffeine fix.
For a more upscale dinner within the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, there’s La Luce. There, you can get pasta, pizza, and seafood.
If you are hungry while you are at the gorgeous pool area, you can get food at the pool cafe – Beech. It’s open for lunch and dinner, on a weather dependent basis.
There are also six restaurants at the Waldorf Astoria, which is within walking distance, making a total of 12 restaurants at the complex. Aquamarine offers grilled foods and salads at the pool. There’s also the Bull & Bear, a New York steakhouse where you can get steak and seafood in a more upscale environment.
Oscar’s at the Waldorf Astoria is another NY favorite. It offers breakfast daily. At the resort’s golf course, you’ll find the Clubhouse Grille. It’s open for lunch daily, and the bar is open in the evenings. Both resorts also offer 24 hour room service, if you’d prefer to dine in your own room.
To read more reviews of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, click here.