This is a former Diamond Resort that has been rebranded as a Hilton resort after their recent buyout. This is a strong signal for an old travel pro like me that this resort is going to be amazing. Hilton chose just a few of these resorts to rebrand right away.
Video by Theme Parks for Grown-Ups
Day One Travel & Arrival at Hilton Vacation Club Mystic Dunes Orlando
My trip began with a flight down to Orlando. When you fly into Orlando, you come into the Orlando airport and already it feels a bit like flying into Miami because you have the major resorts and theme parks represented, much like the cruise lines there picking up guests. Almost all use vendors to do that, but it is still very visible.
For me, this creates a kind of a supper vacation atmosphere. The feeling is a bit like it must have felt in the old days getting off of a flight to Hawaii where the plane would pull up on the tarmac and local hula girls would greet you with a lei of flowers around your neck.
I had that same kind of experience in Miami when I first cruised. You got off the plane, looked for your bags in baggage claim, and then you sought out the representative for the cruise line to get aboard your transportation to the ship.
Today I would be going for a rental car instead and I was relieved to see that they had my reservation given all the foot traffic. I had a new convertible for the trip since it was averaging only highs of 75 degrees this week in Orlando. I thought it would be perfect. For me, that perfect zone for convertible top-down weather was 65-75 degrees. Warm enough but not too hot in the sun. At home, I have a convertible mustang but the temperature here now was warm enough to put the top down and at home, it really was not yet. I think in Virginia, the high was going to be 60 for the day. That 15 degrees makes a difference.
Orlando International Airport is about a 45-minute drive from the resort itself. This is because the resort is staged closer to the major theme parks and the airport is more on the SE side of the city. I am in town a while before check-in time, so I head for lunch on the way toward the resort.
Close to my path I chose the resort is Reyes Mezcaleria, a Mexican restaurant that I have not been to before but one that has excellent reviews. I thought there would be little I could do to relax better than a margarita and a nice meal on the way. I just need to stop at one margarita since I am driving. I enjoyed a drink along with a swordfish dish which was great. Also, I was hungry so even the chips and salsa were good before the meal.
Once I had eaten, I felt a little more in control and human. I am just not a hundred percent when I have not eaten these days. Not a blood sugar thing as much as I am a spoiled person who likes routines.
The resort itself is impressive. It is giant, and it has its own golf course on-site as well. The golf club and some local woods give the entire site a peaceful feeling as you drive up. I came in off of the Formosa Gardens BLVD road into the resort. As I stopped at the guard gate, I realized that the main entrance was on N Lake Wilson road but I could get where I needed to be for check-in from this side. This resort is so big that it covers all the space between these two major roads from side to side.
I would later find the North Lake Wilson road access point has a grand entrance with a big resort sign and water feature. On either side of the entrance.
They made checking in a breeze once you found the correct building when coming into the resort the wrong way. They made it easy to find with interior signs on the inside of the resort.
Here the accommodations offered options from 1-bedroom to 3-bedroom villas or suites. I have a 1 bedroom king deluxe suite for my stay booked. All the suites come with full kitchens and good internet access. While most people want internet access, these days, I find it critical to not only research things as I write but also to stay in touch with family and other customers. When you travel as much as I do and run a business, it is important to stay available. Even when doing these mini vacations, I may take time to make a call to a client or more often send and receive a series of emails.
The suite is great with modern appliances, and even a jetted tub. It is in the bedroom to the side which had that romantic feeling to the setup. The room had been updated, but the layout was that older romance feels that I think newer locations often lack these days.
Extremely pleased with my stay here. Upon arrival, it was reassuring to see how thoroughly the guard gate vetted new arrivals. There was an issue on the night of my check-in with the Hilton website not sending new reservations to the hotel, but the very helpful front desk agent was able to get everything sorted out in a few minutes. I booked a 1-bedroom balcony suite which was the nicest, biggest, and most well-equipped hotel room I’ve ever stayed at. Two-person tubs, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and living area, and a screen on the balcony. It was just wonderful. Loved the huge property to walk around and the choice of 4 swimming pools and several other outdoor activities. Definitely looking forward to staying here again and I’ve already recommended it to several of my coworkers.
This is an exceptional resort, and the staff is fantastic (especially Michelle at the front desk)! The pools are amazing, fun activities, and we loved the full kitchen, saving so much money not having to eat out every meal. Close to Disney and lots of fun places to eat, and mini-golf.
This was our first time staying here, but this is now where we will stay in Orlando. Very safe, and family-friendly. Highly recommend!
This place is amazing. We had a great girls’ weekend of just relaxing and enjoying all the amenities. The staff was great, very accommodating, and friendly. We had the 2-bedroom condo with plenty of room for us. The screened-in porch was a bonus. The variety of pools and vibes you’re looking for we’re great. Kenzie’s happy hour and the food were yummy! We will 1000% be back!
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! This is a beautiful place to stay. This was our home for a week, while we played at Disney Parks and Universal. There were plenty of activities @ the condo for the kids to do, without having to go elsewhere. The pools were beautiful and included an H20 slide. This is our go-to place whenever we stay in the Orlando area.
I really enjoyed my stay here. The rooms are clean and new. The customer service was spectacular. On the grounds, there is so much to do you don’t even have to leave to have a good time. I will say this: if you check in late you may have a difficult time finding parking depending on how crowded your building is. Now, this could’ve been due to the time we went. It was memorial day weekend and graduation. Overall I loved it and I will return. Also, the restaurant on site is nice too.
Wonderful resort, not too crowded, with very attentive and polite staff. You can contact them as easily as a text message and they will resolve any issue in about 15 mins. The only issue for me, since I was going to the parks, was the limited shuttles. If you are looking for a place to relax in a great atmosphere, then this is the place for you!
This resort has over 7,800 reviews, so I only chose the first few to share with you.
The one thing that Hilton seems to be very good at is housekeeping. Making sure everything is clean and the feeling and appearance are consistent seem to be a brand imperative. It is something every guest comments on and measures. I think if I was ever going to open my own hotel, or motel, or even just offer a short-term rental. I would focus first on making sure I had a great cleaning plan, and staff to address that part of guest comfort. This resort was a good example of how well that can be executed at scale.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- On-Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
Day Two Disney Hollywood Studios
The resort is closest to Hollywood Studios of all parks at Disney. You are only about a mile from Disney’s own All-Star Movies Resort, which to me is just brilliant branding because other than some food service and pools, those are just hotels. They are like highly themed Days Inn hotels. Which is fine, but I was happy to be offsite at the Hilton resort instead. It is calmer and the accommodations are much nicer. Also, staying on-site at Disney is very costly. When I go these days, I prefer an external resort with more fun options that staying on-site.
Hollywood Studios now includes some major Star Wars features which, if you grew up watching the entire series of movies as I did, is amazing.
Watch this video to find out more.
Day Three The Magic Kingdom
With 34 rides and attractions, the Magic Kingdom still is a major park for me. I can’t come to Disney not at least spend a full day in this park.
The rides are so iconic, and so are the shows and the experiences here. The few things they have added over the years have been a great fit and added to the fun. I am grateful that most of the original park remains even 50 years later. I am now 51 and the park has been a part of my life and mind since I first visited around the age of 4-5. That is a major part of the draw for me and millions of others. The mental ties we have to all the rides and fun here.
To be able to take your kids, nieces, nephews, or even grandchildren to a place you have so many fond memories of can’t be anything but special.
Watch this video to learn inside secrets for the Magic Kingdom
These days, those video hints are important because there is a lot to plan and do these days. There is no easy way to plan your trip, but this video is helpful. Remember to get your pass which you need to get in addition to your tickets so your place in the total count of visitors is logged for the day and to make sure you get in.
The Magic Kingdom for me is all about the rides and shows. Yes, I enjoy food as much as any guy, but I can eat anywhere and these rides are only available here. Also, some of the shows are just amazing and bring back many great memories flooding into me as soon as I arrive in the Magic Kingdom.
Plan your vacation and if you can afford the fast access Disney Genie, this is the park to use it for.
No matter where you decide to go in this theme park book, your stay with Tzort for this amazing resort so you have a good base of operations for your visit to Disney, Orlando, or Sea World.