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Resorts & Accomodations Discuss Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista" in the Vacation Planning forums; Didn't see a thread for this, a little late, but technically it's on Disney property, so... B Hotels & Resorts: Royal Plaza at Disney World to become a B Hotel ...
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    clj2 is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Didn't see a thread for this, a little late, but technically it's on Disney property, so...

    B Hotels & Resorts: Royal Plaza at Disney World to become a B Hotel - Orlando Sentinel

    Here's a pic:

    Orlando Florida Hotels | B Resort Lake Buena Vista | Lake Buena Vista Florida Hotels

    I stayed at this hotel last time, very nice staff and affordable, but it needed some TLC. Will be interesting to see what B Hotels does with it!
    WDW:: March 1996 (Buena Vista Palace DTD) | March 2005 (Hilton DTD) | March 2007 (Hilton DTD) | March 2009 (Hilton DTD) | August 2011 (Hilton DTD) | March 2012 (Royal Plaza DTD) | August 10th-17th 2013

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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Interesting! I have empathy for that group of hotels. Embraced and encouraged by Disney then shunned. They were once beautiful hotels.

    I've stayed at the Hilton and that one seems to have been tapped by Disney and still does well.
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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    My SIL stayed at one of those DTD hotels when we stayed at Pop. She liked it. You could see her resort from the pin shop in DTD so it was actually within walking distance.
    "Life is an occassion. Rise to it."- Mr. Magorium
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    Mo Noyz is offline Unfortunately, this user's actions have resulted in him/her being BANNED from the site
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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    We stayed at the Hilton across the street from the Marketplace entrance. Fantastic location, fantastic hotel.

    $109 a night advance purchase the weekend before Christmas. You know, cuz it's "off property".

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    ohiodisneydad is offline Hi, my name is David and I like Beverly.
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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Do these DTD Hotels offer a decent shuttle program? For me, that is the biggest selling point to staying on property. Our last go around with the tram/ticket center/monorail killed it for me.

    The shuttles our off property hotels offered weren't very convenient. They stopped running at around 7:30 pm.
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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    The shuttles at the Hilton ran every half hour, started a half hour before park opening, and continued until an hour after closing.

    Now, here's the true kicker for the Hilton (making it an even more insane deal), if you stay there you are free to use extra magic hours. As far as I know, it's the only hotel off property to offer that.

    Also, since you're right across the street from the Marketplace entrance, if you miss the hotel shuttle for some reason, just walk across the street and hop a Disney bus to a resort and take a bus to the parks from there.

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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Quote Originally Posted by ohiodisneydad View Post
    Do these DTD Hotels offer a decent shuttle program? For me, that is the biggest selling point to staying on property. Our last go around with the tram/ticket center/monorail killed it for me.

    The shuttles our off property hotels offered weren't very convenient. They stopped running at around 7:30 pm.
    Through at least the late 80's these hotels were serviced by Disney Transportation. As Disney started to add moderate hotels Disney transportation was pulled and the hotels immediately started to suffer. The group banded together and offer a shuttle service which actually is pretty much down to a good science. When I rode them anyhow they were split between 2 different groupings ie A group of hotels B Group of hotels, so 2 different buses heading to MK, they like Disney also included the water parks in the appropriate bus run. At the time I rode them they were Coach Buses which was another plus. We always rode the coach to the parks. It had a set time it departed which was nice. Coming back, not as nice. The pick up points were far out, it was late and I wasn't a fan. We only did that once. Depending on where we were we took transportation to a resort and transferred to DTD, crossed the street to the Hilton. I don't know that that actually actually save time however it was certainly more pleasant at night.

    We stayed at the Hilton and the room was modern and huge with classy bedding, towels, bathrooms etc. The pool was large but nothing to write home about. It is more recent that Disney for whatever reason brought the Hilton somewhat back into the fold by allowing EMHs and it is the only one on Hotel Row. Also, Hotel row is quite a hike from other hotels on the row, 3 are pretty close but beyond that it could be too much of a walk for small children.

    Tiffany Lilo88 here, wrote a good trip report last year on the Buena Vista hotel which was the most coveted before the Moderate hotels came online. I'll try and find that.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    We never tried to take one back. We always did the resort/DTD thing.

    The bus for the Hilton is a Mears coach now. Very nice, super comfy.

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    clj2 is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Have the DTD hotels stopped using the old, traditional "Downtown Disney" buses, then? They would send one of the oh-so-nice Mears coaches if there was one needed for overflow, but a year ago, they were still using the old, not very well kept DTD buses. The only other time I've ever ridden a nice bus consistently was when Mears ran all of the coaches in March 2007. I know a lot about these hotels as this is the only area I've actually ever stayed in...love the location and the perks (shuttles, Disney stores, DTD and Orlando proximity, etc).

    These are some nice hotels. The Holiday Inn was recently made over from floor to ceiling and is a nice, affordable hotel. HI bought the property from Howard Johnson a while back, I believe. It had suffered major damage from a hurricane back in 2004 and was closed for years. Hilton is nice as are the DoubleTree and Buena Vista Palace. Stay away from the Best Western and Wyndham hotels in this area....I've not heard or read good things and they LOOK run-down, even outside.

    Royal Plaza (soon to be "B") was a STEAL in March 2012. $89/night for a decent hotel, I got 17th (top) floor facing the resort. It's a pretty nice place, great staff/service, just a little worn. I saw the EPCOT fireworks every night and could even see the FLE cranes. Here are some pics:






    In the final photo, my room was the top window on the far right of the front.
    WDW:: March 1996 (Buena Vista Palace DTD) | March 2005 (Hilton DTD) | March 2007 (Hilton DTD) | March 2009 (Hilton DTD) | August 2011 (Hilton DTD) | March 2012 (Royal Plaza DTD) | August 10th-17th 2013

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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Just Mears coaches during our stay.

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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    You know, you are likely correct. It was Mears buses we rode on. My DH did say the one time we took the bus back to the hotel at night it was a DTD bus so maybe it does depend on how full those hotels are. We did stay during a teachers convention and couldn't get into any moderate or fair price rooms at a Deluxe, everything was booked so to the Hilton we did go.




    Lou's review of DTD Holiday Inn re-opening. Some pictures at bottom.

    Holiday Inn at Downtown Disney Review
    Last edited by HauntedGabe; 01-15-2013 at 03:05 PM.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

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    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    clj2 is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Quote Originally Posted by HauntedGabe View Post
    You know, you are likely correct. It was Mears buses we rode on. My DH did say the one time we took the bus back to the hotel at night it was a DTD bus so maybe it does depend on how full those hotels are. We did stay during a teachers convention and couldn't get into any moderate or fair price rooms at a Deluxe, everything was booked so to the Hilton we did go.

    These are the buses that I've always ridden on, except for my 2007 trip when they were running yellow Mears coaches, or on a rare occasion that they send one instead of (or in addition to if crowded) the regular DTD buses. These buses are also run by Mears, correct? I don't think they have anything to do with Disney.

    What's the story/history behind Hotel Plaza Blvd.? I saw a comment earlier that Disney turned their backs on the hotels there or something, so I was curious. Some of these hotels are 40 years old, but most have been kept up. Does Disney have any guidelines over them? I can't believe that Best Western is never updated. Really nice building, but run down. If I were WDW, I wouldn't really want to be associated.

    Holiday Inn looks pretty nice - but the rooms appeared a little too small for our needs.
    WDW:: March 1996 (Buena Vista Palace DTD) | March 2005 (Hilton DTD) | March 2007 (Hilton DTD) | March 2009 (Hilton DTD) | August 2011 (Hilton DTD) | March 2012 (Royal Plaza DTD) | August 10th-17th 2013

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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    We rode a Mears coach from DHS one night at closing due to overflow. So yes, they do still use them when necessary.

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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    Quote Originally Posted by clj2 View Post
    These are the buses that I've always ridden on, except for my 2007 trip when they were running yellow Mears coaches, or on a rare occasion that they send one instead of (or in addition to if crowded) the regular DTD buses. These buses are also run by Mears, correct? I don't think they have anything to do with Disney.

    What's the story/history behind Hotel Plaza Blvd.? I saw a comment earlier that Disney turned their backs on the hotels there or something, so I was curious. Some of these hotels are 40 years old, but most have been kept up. Does Disney have any guidelines over them? I can't believe that Best Western is never updated. Really nice building, but run down. If I were WDW, I wouldn't really want to be associated.

    Holiday Inn looks pretty nice - but the rooms appeared a little too small for our needs.
    Boy, I will try and give you some fuzzy history as we stayed frequently at these when I was a child. Disney built the Poly, Contemporary, Disney Golf around the MK. They also had a few housing options around the golf course near DTD like homes and townhouses, tree houses. To cut costs for additional resorts Disney long termed leased the land for hotels to be built on that hotel row adjacent to DTD. Those hotels always were serviced by Disney Transportation at a fee to the hotel. About the time the first moderate came online and future plans of additinal hotels and launching DVCs Disney reportedly jacked up the bus transportation fee beyond what hotels were willing to pay. Also those hotels no longer had perks, like the $15 charge to resort guests to stay in parks for E late nights. Basically they became like off sight hotels even though they sit on Disney Property. Yet when the Dolphin and Swan were built, they were treated like the hotel row was originally. Disney once needed the hotels in that DTD row but eventually they were competing for guests business and Disney squeezed them out. It is a shame because a good chunk of those hotels were very elegant and the rooms were quite nice.

    What I have missed and am still curious about is why the Hilton was brought back into the anointed role. How they and only they now are allowed EMHs. Now that EMHs are shorter and fewer and standard park hours are longer I wonder how much EMHs will matter with a chunk of WDW guests. These hotels at their lower rates and larger square footage with more guest capacity per room, could actually become a great option for some Disney Guests that have stayed on Disney resorts prior. I guess My Magic FP+ rules will come into play with that decision in the future. That will surely devalue off sight time shares in the immediate area too if this FP situation actually plays out. God I hope not.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    clj2 is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    Re: Downtown Disney: Royal Plaza to rebrand as "B Resort Lake Buena Vista"

    That makes sense - thanks for the details.

    I don't remember going in the 90s very clearly, but I have seen pics from earlier trips, and a couple of the hotels in these areas (notably the BVP) had Disney theming in the rooms, such as Mickey Mouse telephones and Disney-folded towels. Interestingly, that's all gone now. I can't help but wonder if these resorts are attempting to "distance" themselves from Disney due to the lack of relationship with WDW. The DTD resorts are hidden gems in a beautiful area. Most people I know that have gone to Disney do not know they exist or do not know they are associated with Disney. I can get a room at Royal Plaza, Hilton, or Buena Vista Palace for what one of the All-Star or Pop Century resorts costs, it's a no-brainer for me when deciding where to stay. No wonder Disney doesn't want you to know about them. Then again, some people love the true on-site experience, so I guess you're paying for it.

    I am planning on staying at the Royal Plaza-soon-to-be-B Resort in August, if they have the best deal.... and have been told most of the renovations should be completed, although it won't be 100%. I'll most definitely be sharing a review and pics of what I see.

    BTW: I've always wondered about the EMH at the Hilton, also. I guess they pay Disney a decent amount of $$$ for that? I've never seen any kind of promotion on Disney's side that they offer them.
    Last edited by clj2; 01-16-2013 at 04:12 PM.
    WDW:: March 1996 (Buena Vista Palace DTD) | March 2005 (Hilton DTD) | March 2007 (Hilton DTD) | March 2009 (Hilton DTD) | August 2011 (Hilton DTD) | March 2012 (Royal Plaza DTD) | August 10th-17th 2013

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