A lot of people who travel to Disney World chose to stay on-site, due to it’s many perks and proximity to the Parks. But for some people, staying in a Disney hotel, no matter how appealing, was just not an option. Especially with our last trip which was quite last minute for us, therefore not giving us a great deal of time to save, we could not afford to stay on property. So we did what we considered the next best thing, and chose a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, namely The Clarion Inn on Palm Parkway.
The Clarion is approximately a 5 minute drive from Down Town Disney. You could even walk there if you were brave enough to face the Florida heat and the huge US roads (no offense guys).
The hotel itself is set in lovely grounds with fountains and palm trees making it very pleasing to the eye. There are 2 swimming pools and a kiddies play area, our 2 year old loved it and we felt she was very safe there. There is a also a small secure playground for little ones.
There is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant (where kids under 9 eat free when with a paying adult) and bar and grille, offering varying food types through out the day and evening, and a deli and light-bight mini mart. These are all really useful if you don’t want to race off to the parks or if you find yourself home early. There are however also an abundance of restaurants and eateries on Palm Parkway in the Cross Roads area, suitable for all budgets and tastes (including my long time favorite, The Olive Garden and new best find ever, Sweet Tomatoes – yummy!!!).
The rooms in the hotel were perfect for us. It was not super fancy but perfectly adequate. We requested a ground floor room as we felt that was safer with a pre-schooler but I have heard if you get a high room you can see the Disney fireworks! We also asked for a car park facing room rather than I4 as Tink is a light sleeper. We had no issues with noise at all. The rooms were spacious and clean, and House Keeping were very good at coming back if madam was napping. The rooms were pretty standard to other hotels we’ve stayed in in the US – 2 double beds, private bathroom with shower over bath, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, TV with various cable channels including Disney and free wifi.
Although we chose to hire a car, there was the option of a free shuttle to WDW and we saw them coming and going a lot, always with plenty of people using them.
But the best accolade I could give them is that we would definitely return and use this hotel again and 100% recommend them to other people wishing, for whatever reason, not to stay on-site.