Review: Disney Hilton Head Island Resort

Recently, we spent our family vacation at the Disney Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina. It seems to be a well-kept secret, but it quickly became one of our favorite Disney Resorts.  We had used this resort as a stopping point to rest on long drives down the east coast, but we had never stayed longer than overnight.

The Rooms

For this vacation, we stayed in the one bedroom villa, and we found that they are extremely spacious.

The bedroom was large and beautifully decorated.

The bathroom had two entrances, one from the bedroom and one from the living area. A whirlpool tub was situated in a separate pass through space with a large double vanity. The separation from the shower, small sink and toilet meant that several people can get ready all at one time.

The villas have a full kitchen with plenty of space to cook.  I would suggest preparing for using the kitchen like you would prepare for renting a condo at the beach.  Make sure that you bring all the essentials for cooking (salt, pepper, spices, oils, etc.). The dining table was adequate for our family, and the balcony was spacious and sturdy.

Chair pulls out to a bed.

There were added sleeping accommodations by using the pull out couch and pull out chair.  This one bedroom could sleep five people, six people if one of them is a child and sleeping with mom and dad.

 During one of our stop-over stays, we were in a two bedroom villa.  That space was truly big enough to comfortably accommodate two small families.  One of the bedrooms was laid out the same as the one bedroom villa. The second bedroom also had a full bathroom.

The Food

There is a counter service restaurant next to the pool that serves breakfast and lunch. We found the portions to be generous and the food to be comparable to the counter services you would find in the Disney Parks.
The Mickey waffles were just as yummy here as they are at Disney World.
One major plus was the Mickey waffles… yes… that’s right.  Mickey waffles!!  We actually cooked eggs in the room, purchased the waffles and brought them back to the room. Oh and I should also mention… Dole Whip! It is not listed on the menu as Dole Whip, but I assure you that it is the same pineapple soft serve that you will find at the Magic Kingdom.  Those two things, Mickey waffles and “Dole Whip”, could be enough just to go back for an overnight stay.

The Beach House

It is important to note that there is no beach access on the resort property. The beach house is directly across the street about a half mile away from the resort entrance, so you will need to either drive or take the shuttle. There is plenty of parking both under and in front of the building.  You could also bike or walk to the beach house.  There is a pedestrian tunnel to pass to the other side of the busy intersection.
 
There is nothing amazing about the beach house, but that is not to say that it is not Disney quality. The cast members are Disney all the way in every area of the resort. The pool at the beach house is very basic, and the kids water play area by the pool seemed more like an after-thought than a well thought out plan for the kids. Photos of the beach house seem hard to find online, but I would think that it is because it really is a basic space. There is a counter service restaurant and a bar, but they close early.
The beach at the beach house is wonderful.  The sand is hard enough close to the water to ride bicycles, and with a lifeguard stationed in front of the beach house, we felt more at ease with our small children. There is also free access to a sand wheelchair for those who have a hard time walking in the sand.

The Big Dipper Pool

Our family loved the resort pool!  The lifeguard staff was professional and absolutely full of Disney charm. They also conduct some of the activities close to the pool, so they seem fully invested into the experience that each family has.  By the end of our stay, we knew a few of them by name, and we were sad to leave our new friends.
The slide was fun. It wasn’t huge, but it was big enough to get up some speed. My son probably went down that slide fifty times.  Even my little three-year old tried it.
Again, the kiddie pool seemed more like an after thought than a typical well thought through children’s space. I will say that I was disappointed in this. However, there are life vests in different sizes available for the kids to use in the big pool. Our kids are not swimmers, but they loved floating in the pool.

The Activities

The activities were well planned and well staffed. The campfire was definitely our favorite, with stories and s’mores. There are a few areas to play corn hole, horse shoes and even a putting green.  The playground was also a huge hit, and the movie under the stars was perfectly situated next to the playground.

Conclusion

This was probably the first time that we have really taken time to enjoy a relaxed vacation.  We usually either go to Disney World and go as fast as we can the entire time, or we take a super short two night trip that feels like we never even had a chance to unwind. This was definitely a wonderful family vacation, and we will go back to Disney Hilton Head Island Resort again.

*Photos courtesy Olman Hidalgo 2017

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About The Author

Tonya

I became a first-time mommy at 37. The timing for starting our family landed us in the middle of becoming a co-caregiver for my mom and at a high point in my career. Our adventure continues as we navigate through this amazing and crazy journey we call life.

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