After spending a week on Royal Caribbean’s newest and largest ship, Harmony of the Seas, our family took the 2.5 hour drive from Fort Lauderdale cruise port to Orlando to extend our vacation a few days spend the 4th of July holiday weekend at Disney World before heading home.
Since we only planned to spend time at Downtown Disney Springs and the two Disney waterparks (Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon), I opted to finally use the Wyndham points we received in March 2015 from the Wyndham Barclay card sign up bonus that have been sitting around collecting dust. We stayed at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort in Bonnet Creek
One of the best things going for Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek is it’s location. Bonnet Creek is not actually owned by Disney but is surrounded by Disney property on three sides and an interstate highway on the fourth side. Walt Disney initially tried to purchase the land but couldn’t. It’s also only accessible from Disney property.
It is located between Disney’s Caribbean and Pop Century’s resorts and is within a mile of downtown Disney springs. It is also very close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We have stayed at both the Hilton and Waldorf Astoria (also in Bonnet Creek) so I was familiar with this Wyndham’s location before arriving.
At the time Wyndham had changed their hotel award chart – a free night at any of their hotels was 15,000 points per night. The credit card sign up bonus was 30,000 points when approved for the card with another 15,000 points after spending $1000 in three months. My wife and I both applied for, was approved for, and received 45,000 points each.
I tried to check the cash rate of the holiday weekend we stayed but wasn’t able to since the hotel was sold out. The three night cost the following Saturday, Sunday, Monday was just under $600 all-in. So just about 1.3¢ per point value.
There were no resort fees charged with the use of points. The only ‘extra’ cost was a $20/night self parking fee or $25/night valet if you bring a car.
Check-In / Lobby
Check-in was a breeze in the large lobby area.
We were assigned a room on the fifth (of 14) floor at the end of the hallway.
We had booked and received a confirmation email for two ‘Queen’ beds, looking back I think these may have been only ‘Full’ sized beds. These were pretty small.
There was a small refrigerator and safe located in the cabinet below.
Overall I thought it was a nice standard hotel room. It was clean and seemed to have been recently updated (last couple years).
Housekeeping was a little inconsistent. The first morning, they arrived at 9:00 am while we were still getting up. They serviced the room by the time we arrived around 4:00 pm. The second morning they didn’t arrive until ~4:30 pm. By that time we were back from Disney’s Blizzard Beach waterpark and getting ready for a night out at Disney Springs. The room did get serviced while we were gone for dinner.
Here is a directory of the different restaurants and amenities located on the lower and lobby levels.
The fitness center was located on the lower level near the spa and ballroom (where a wedding was being held during our stay).
The pool area was nice and large with plenty of loungers and a slide.
We didn’t eat at any of the onsite restaurants other than getting coffee and pastries from ‘The Barrista’ in the main lobby. ‘Deep Blu Seafood Grille’ restaurant on the main lobby level looked good. There was also a more casual buffet type restaurant on the lower level along with a pool bar and grill.
The Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek is a nice standard resort hotel and was fine for our short stay with visits only to the waterparks and downtown Disney Springs. It’s comparable to the adjacent Hilton Bonnet Creek. If I was going to the Disney theme parks, I would want the full Disney experience and transportation, therefore I would rent DVC points and stay at a Disney Deluxe resort like I have in the past.
But at the end of the day, it cost me 45,000 Wyndham points that I obtained from opening one credit card so I can’t complain.
It looks like Barclay currently has a similar offer to the one I received – 30,000 points after your first purchase with an additional 15,000 points after spending $2000 in 90 days.
What’s your favorite in Disney World to stay?