Old Key West Walks
Old Key West Photo Walk - 140 Photos in a Tour from the Hospitality House to Downtown Disney
It's been over 5 years since I posted a photo walk of Disney's Old Key West Resort, and it was time for an update! Disney's Old Key West Resort is the original Disney Vacation Club resort, opening in 1991. It's hard to believe that more than 20 years have gone by since it opened. It is my favorite of the Disney Vacation Club resorts, with spacious villas and a laid-back feel.
Disney's Old Key West Resort is walking distance to Downtown Disney (soon to be re-themed to Disney Springs) as well as Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort. Depending on where you start inside Old Key West, the time can be longer or shorter to get to Downtown Disney. We are starting from the Hospitality House, which is the central location for much of what happens at the resort. This is where check-in takes place, and the Conch Flats General Store is located. The main pool is located here, as well as other recreational activities.
We will be starting the timed walk a little further down - I wanted to first share some photos from this area, including the pool.
to the This is one of the entrances to the Conch Flats General Store.
This walkway passes by the check-in area, a second entrance to Conch Flats General Store and Olivia's Cafe.
Here are two of the current Old Key West shirts - there is also a large variety of Disney Vacation Club merchandise.
Check-in (I will have a few photos at the end of the article):
There is some nice theming in this area.
Olivia's Cafe is a relatively moderately priced restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Once past Olivia's, this is where recreational boats, the main pool and much more can be found. The DVC Ferry also is here, bringing guests to Downtown Disney.
We are walking to the left, which is toward the main pool.
The Gurgling Suitcase is the bar for Old Key West.
Good's Food to Go is the quick-service location, and is where refillable mug fountains can be found. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, and there are outdoor tables.
The arcade here is called the Electric Eel.
Hanks Rent n' Return rents out boats, bikes, and surrey bikes. Guided Bass Fishing Excursions and the Bayou Pirate Adventure Cruise can be booked as well.
Conch Flats Community Hall:
Bikes and surrey bikes that can be rented from Hank's - we tried a surrey bike at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress a couple of weeks ago, and it was definitely harder than I expected!
The pool area includes a lighthouse with sauna, volleyball, jacuzzi and a new fire pit.
The sandcastle themed pool lets guests slide through a Mickey head!
There is a walkway in the back that includes a playful dolphin water feature.
The jacuzzi is behind the pool slide:
The theme of a sandcastle continues, with a larger-than-life bucket and shovel.
There is a children's playground here.
Fire pits have been popping up at resorts around property lately.
I went during two mornings to get photos - one morning was a bit darker with a rain threat, the other boasted blue skies. This area is especially beautiful with the blue above it!
The archways under the bridge have always fascinated me, they are quite photogenic with the water beneath.
A last look at the pool area, which didn't yet have lifeguards present. I believe this is the only pool that has lifeguards at Disney's Old Key West Resort.
I think this is a skink - I don't see them often, but they look like a cross between a lizard and a small snake.
Another look at the bridge:
This is where I'm starting the timed portion of the walk, at 10:32am. I had already photographed the route. During the summer, it is already hot after 10am, so bring plenty of water if you are out walking.
We are crossing the road and turning left here. It's very simple to get to Downtown Disney from here, though it does take close to a half hour.
We will be heading to a road with vacation homes 53-56. We are passing this sign at 10:33am.
We are walking over the bridge we saw a moment ago.
To the right, vacation homes are set back from the water. This is a large resort, and we aren't exploring everything. Villas include studios, one-bedroom, two bedroom and Grand Villas. Guests do not need to be Disney Vacation Club members to stay here, I highly recommend Fairy Godmother Travel for booking Disney vacations. I used to work with Teresa and she's very knowledgeable! Just let them know that Mousesteps sent you.
We are on Peninsular Road, and the Peninsular bus stop is straight ahead. There are stops throughout the resort.
The canal that we saw earlier is now on the left side, along with the main pool area and lighthouse.
We are heading straight past the bus stop (there is a shaded walkway around it as well).
All of the villas are painted in lovely pastel colors.
Disney's Old Key West Resort isn't over-the-top on it's Disney theming, but I do love the little touches like these Mickey heads.
Palm trees line Peninsular road.
From a distance, the fire pit can be seen.
A boat was arriving from Downtown Disney.
There is a pool that includes snacks for sale at the Turtle Shack if walking to the right (Old Turtle Pond Rd).
We are still walking on Peninsular Road.
If not paying attention, it can be easy to miss the left turn. We will be turing left at villas 53-56, at 10:42am.
The road we will be turning on is right before this bus stop.
If you've reached this bus stop, you've gone too far.
There are a handful of villas here, along with a quiet pool and playground.
Passing by the pool area on the left, the Conch Flats Trail is straight ahead. Biking is allowed, along with walking.
We arrive at Conch Flats Trail at 10:44am.
We are turning to the left, there is no path for walkers on the right (there is golf).
We are walking over a bridge.
The nature path is open from dawn to dusk - there is no lighting.
The path was busier in the early morning. It looks more secluded than it is, there were golfers to the right of me beyond the trees, Cast Members on golf carts passing by, and boats between Old Key West and Downtown Disney. It is still always a good idea to walk with a friend when possible. There are no water fountains between Old Key West and past the bridge to Saratoga Springs, so plan accordingly - I actually didn't have quite enough for my walk back and forth during timing.
Old Key West villas across the river.
A boat was on it's way from Downtown Disney to the left.
To the right, golfers were making their way around the course.
We are almost to the next bridge, which we arrive to at 10:50am. The bridge is for golfers only.
We are just around the bend from our first views of Downtown Disney.
The second bridge is for Cast Members only, and leads to the Treehouses at Saratoga Springs. Back when I photographed the walk in 2007, the Disney Institute had closed, and the bridge had as well. I was delighted they refurbished and brought back the treehouses!
Looking the opposite direction, the nature path is named for Old Key West.
A boat was heading down the river - and we can see our first view of Saratoga Springs from here.
Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney is visible past the golf course.
Saratoga Springs guest villas appear to the left.
Up ahead, there is a bridge to the left for walking to Saratoga Springs. To the right, the path heads to the parking lot for Downtown Disney's West Side (behind Cirque du Soleil). I walked past a number of golfers, including what appeared to be golf lessons for young kids.
I arrive to the bridge at 10:56, which is the end of the timed portion of the walk. It took 24 minutes from the Hospitality House at Old Key West to reach here.
There are great views looking from either way on the bridge.
For the photographed portion of the walk, I continued to the West Side at Downtown Disney.
There is a water fountain here, which sends quite the stream!
I'm heading down the sidewalk here, and then to the left.
Cirque du Soleil is a wonderful show, I definitely recommend seeing it! There are large sections of the parking lot out front now blocked off for Disney Springs development - this is my favorite area to park on the West Side, since not all guests know about it.
DisneyQuest was just about to open for the day.
Curl by Sammy Duvall moved off Pleasure Island and next to the Splitsville bowling alley.
A quick view of the former Comedy Warehouse, which is being demolished for Disney Springs.
Behind the House of Blues at Downtown Disney's West Side, there is a boat back to Old Key West. I took it back after my first walk to Downtown Disney (the second time I turned around at the Saratoga Springs bridge and walked back).
It was quite a pretty view to return back to!
Here are a few photos of the check-in area that I took on the way out.
I have stayed at Disney's Old Key West several times over the years, and really like that the units are larger than any of the other Disney Vacation Club properties. We often go to visit friends for dinner on Thanksgiving day here as well. If you are interested in the Disney Vacation Club, I recommend Mousesowners, which is a website with very friendly message boards! I also recommend Garden Grocer for groceries, they deliver!
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