Ever since I was a little girl the part of our vacations that I looked forward to the most was the hotel stay. At 6 and 7 years old, I didn’t care the brand of hotel or even the location, I was simply excited to be in a different location. As an adult I still get excited, but for a different set of reasons.
Our recent 2 night stay at the Waldorf Astoria set a bar for hotel standards that is going to be very, very difficult to live up to.
When my 5-year-old saw Mickey Mouse for the first time, he ran up and wrapped his tiny arms around Mickey’s wide middle. When I first walked into the lobby of the grand Waldorf Astoria, I felt that same surge of pure joy. I did manage to restrain myself from throwing my arms around the first hotel employee I saw, but it took some willpower.
After eight hours of Mickey and friends, it’s relaxing to escape to a room where the theme is strictly adult, where elegance trumps “magical” and there’s never a need to stand in line. Even my children appreciated the respite from the rush of the theme park, as they snuggled into the plush bed and watched the fireworks.
Every staff member that we encountered was extremely helpful, and most importantly, genuine. My son was wearing a button from Disney that said Happy Birthday, and not 30 minutes after we settled into our room, there was a knock at the door and we were presented with a plate of beautiful cupcakes. What’s more, my oldest said ‘we need to sing Happy Birthday!” and the man that delivered them said “sure we do” and proceeded to sing along with our family from the doorway.
The room was a one bedroom suite, with a living and dining area that was separate from the sleeping area. This separation is a huge plus to my husband and I as parents of small kids. There are times that it is time for the kids to go to bed before the parents are ready, and having an area to relax and watch TV is a tremendous bonus. The expansive bathroom featured a large glassed in shower and a separate tub, I can’t tell you how wonderful a long soak in the tub was after a long day of trekking around Disney.
Quite possibly the part of the room that I loved the most were the sweeping views of the parks. From my plush corner chair I could see Spaceship Earth at Epcot, the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios and the train station at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. I briefly addressed it before, but my children could see the fireworks from all 3 of the parks that have them on the nightly basis all from the comfort of our hotel room. Guys, this is huge! Not having to be in the crush of the crowds to watch the fireworks, or having to take multiple buses back to your hotel was a huge perk for us.
Which brings me to transportation. It was very convenient, one bus took you from the park that you were visiting back to the hotel. Upon check in we were given a schedule of the buses. The drivers were cheerful and funny. This transportation was provided as a service to the guests staying at the hotel
I hate to tell you that we never got the chance to enjoy the pool, as we were trying to pack in as much Disney as we possibly could into each day. However, it looked so inviting and I would have gladly jumped at the chance to put my feet up and soak in the sun at the pool. A day at the pool is absolutely on my list for the next trip, and there will be a return trip!
Here is the biggest surprise of our trip, the prices for a standard size room aren’t out of line with what you would pay to stay in a moderate Disney resort. The Waldorf Astoria Orlando made believers out of us!