Last week we had a chance to visit Disney’s Hilton Head Island resort, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. For those of you who may not be familiar with this beautiful resort, I thought I would take you on a little tour today…
To start, Disney’s Hilton Head resort is a Disney Vacation Club property, although non-DVC members can stay there by paying the standard room rate, or probably a better way, by “renting” points from a DVC member.
As with all DVC resorts, there are several “sizes” available: studios, one and two bedroom villas, and grand villas. As we were traveling with 3 college girls, we reserved a two bedroom villa, which provided the girls with their own bedroom and bath, and we had the same. Lots of space to spread out, and the ability for them to keep all their stuff in one place made things comfortable for all of us.
The Disney Hilton Head resort is surrounded by lots of beautiful, old trees that are draped in Spanish moss. Not only do the trees give the resort a very “southern charm” feel, but they have an even more important function: they provide much-needed shade to the many bike/walking paths that wind around the resort, and honestly made what was an extremely hot and humid week tolerably comfortable. We remarked on a regular basis that all the trees really seemed to drop the temperature a good 10-15 degrees from what it actually was.
One of the things that is great about this resort is that there are so many choices. You can choose to lie on the beach or hammock doing nothing but reading…or you can decide to participate in one of the many official…or unofficial…activities that are available.
For instance, we brought bikes, and found that this is a popular way to get around, not just the resort, but pretty much everywhere on Hilton Head Island. (If you don’t want to bring your own, you can rent bikes from the Disney resort for a very reasonable price for the week.)
There are tons of other things to do, if you wish. Broad Creek, the marshy area right behind Disney’s property is popular with folks for fishing, crabbing, kayaking, and believe it or not, dolphin watching. And Disney offers a huge variety of activities as well, for kids of all ages, and families as well. So no excuses for being bored!
Now, what is not to like about this place? Well, some folks don’t like the fact that the main resort property is not on the beach, but is actually about a mile away. Personally, I have found this to not be a problem, and in fact kind of like the fact that it’s off the beaten path. Disney has a great little beach house with all you need (food, shower/changing areas, a second pool in addition to the one at the main resort) and provides shuttle transportation if you don’t want to drive or bike to the beach….but if you really *have* to be on the beach, then you should know that this is not.
Probably the other main complaint, if you could call it that, is that there is not an actual sit-down restaurant on Disney property…and I know that Chip and Co. folks like their Disney food 🙂 so you will want to know this in advance. However, there are TONS of great dining choices both within walking distance in the Shelter Cove area, and all over Hilton Head Island if you want to drive. Disney dining is always something to look forward to, I know, and having a Disney restaurant would definitely add to this resort, there is no doubt of that. My understanding, for what it’s worth, is that Disney can’t get the permits to do one, because Hilton Head doesn’t want the competition for the existing restaurants….not sure how true that actually is, but that is what we were told. But I noticed on the weekly activities sheet that Disney now offers cooking/tasting sessions with different chefs, so that may be how they are trying to add the dining aspect to their resort offerings.
Would I recommend staying here? Oh without a doubt! It’s a lovely place, and I honestly can’t wait to go back again. If you are still curious, you can check out my vacation photos for more details.
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. Her favorite things at Disney World (in no particular order) are Soarin’, most of the food in World Showcase, Illuminations…and that special Disney magic.
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