Disney Romance at Old Key West

by on January 18, 2017 3 Comments

Filed under: Adults, Beyond the Parks, DVC, Resorts, Walt Disney World (FL)

With Valentine’s Day a month out, we’re looking at some places at Walt Disney World that offer the chance for couples to get away from the usual park experience and enjoy some romance – Disney style. Disney’s Old Key West Resort is a surprisingly great resort pick if you are looking for some Disney romance with your significant other. At least it was a surprise to my husband and me when we made a recent adults-only getaway and stayed there for the first time.

As Disney Vacation Club members, we often plan our trips months in advance, but this trip was planned within a much shorter time frame. Old Key West is one of the DVC resorts that is more likely to have availability when planning just a couple months out.We were thrilled to find a room there for our dates. While we were excited for our first stay at this resort, what we didn’t expect was how much a part Old Key West would play in the overall romantic mood of the trip.

© Sarah Graffam

Covered walkway leading to the riverfront

So here’s a rundown of reasons why you should consider Old Key West Resort when planning your next couples trip to Disney World.

Disney Romance Factor 1: Setting

Old Key West’s layout is very spread out, with a central Hospitality House and two- to three-story buildings in pastel colors throughout several “neighborhoods.” This layout, especially for the buildings that are a bit tucked away, is extremely conducive to the feeling of privacy that enhances romance. The abundant foliage, palm trees, water features, and golf course fairways create an atmosphere of relaxation and seclusion away from the busy parks.

The slow pace extends to the Hospitality House where you can wander with your sweetie under a wide covered walkway that opens onto the riverfront and dock area. Upon arrival at the resort, take a stroll together through the walkway out to the river. This transition creates a similar reveal, and a feeling of “you are here,” as when walking under the railroad station into Magic Kingdom’s Town Square—but without the crowds. This first impression of the resort was one of the earliest indications that our time at Old Key West would be even more relaxing and romantic than we expected.

© Sarah Graffam

Disney Romance Factor 2: Mornings and afternoons on the patio

One of our absolute favorite features of this resort was our room’s patio. Late nights in the parks meant leisurely mornings enjoying our coffee overlooking a pond, reading, and hearing the satisfying thwack of golf balls from across the way. The patio was also a great setting for snacking on cheese & crackers and wine during our late afternoon breaks. We ended up spending way more time enjoying our quiet patio than we ever get to do when the kids are along. Although I expected more of this type of relaxation on an adults-only trip, it was even more special for the two of us because of the peaceful landscape just outside our door.

© Sarah Graffam

Disney Romance Factor 3: Quiet Pool

Our room was in the Turtle Pond neighborhood of Old Key West, and it was a short walk to the neighborhood’s Old Turtle Pond quiet pool. I’ll admit that I’m not a swimmer. Unless it’s really, really (really) hot, I prefer to read and enjoy a beverage by the pool while the rest of the family plays in the water, so my husband got a surprise when I suggested taking a dip. The fact that the quiet pool was in fact quiet meant that we could just relax and talk in the warm water. Very romantic!

Old Turtle Pond quiet pool (photo by Len Testa)

 

Disney Romance Factor 4: Dining options

On our arrival day, we got to the resort just before lunch. We had planned to grab a quick bite before heading off to the parks, maybe at the main pool’s quick service location. What we found was a much better option to start off a relaxing just-the-two-of-us trip. We walked right into Olivia’s Cafe. I had heard that this table service restaurant could be walk-in, but I had to see it to believe it. And after the great experience we had there the first time, we walked in twice more during our trip. All three times, we had the same fantastic server, and it was nice to be recognized as “regulars.”

© Sarah Graffam

Another excellent dining option when staying at Old Key West is to take the resort’s boat transportation to Disney Springs. With all the restaurant and bar options now at Disney Springs, we make it a point on just about every trip to get over there for some progressive drinking and dining. But taking the boat added a new dimension of romance.

© Sarah Graffam

Disney Romance Factor 5: Parking?

What? How can parking be romantic? No, not that kind of parking. I’m talking about the fact that you can just plain park right outside your room at Old Key West after a long day at the park. Or simply walk outside your door in the morning to your car just steps away. Knowing this before our trip, we decided to rent a car. Yes, after many trips to Disney World when we have, for the most part happily, shared transportation with the masses (and our children), having our alone time extend to our trips to and from the parks enhanced the romance. Having a car also made it easy for us to swing by one of our favorite spots, Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, for some drinks (and wings) one night.

Disney Romance Pro Tip: Create Your Own Pixie Dust© Sarah Graffam

If you are looking to impress your romantic partner on a Disney trip, I can vouch that a special gift will add just the right amount of pixie dust—and earn you some major points. My husband had Disney Floral and Gifts deliver some pixie dust to our room, and I brought home a treasured souvenir. They can deliver to any Disney resort, but the fact is I will always remember Old Key West was where I was surprised one afternoon with a special gift box.

At what resorts, have you found romance? If your trip was as rejuvenating as ours at Old Key West, you may be moved to pay tribute by writing a line or two, like this:

 

Oh, Old Key West! Home of respite

Your soft breezes and stirring palms inspire romance

Your airy spaces of hospitality and wide expanses of green

All evoke an amorous setting.

 

Those who neglect to consider you

Should sit and reflect with another upon a peaceful patio

Or cool off together in a pool of tranquility.© Sarah Graffam

 

Oh, Old Key West! From you, we sailed away

To a land of dining and imbibing bliss

Other adventures began with transport steps away.

 

And now that we have parted

I will remember this and think upon our return

Pixie dust and romance at Old Key West.

Posted on January 18, 2017

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