Looking for an affordable Orlando hotel near Walt Disney World and Universal? The family-friendly Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club is the perfect home base for the Orlando theme parks — and it is budget-friendly too.
Staying with your family in a Walt Disney World resort hotel is awesome — no doubt about it. But the price tag — sometimes not so awesome nor worth the convenience (although staying within the Disney theme park does have its advantages…). When the budget doesn’t fit the family vacation, look outside the Orlando theme parks and stay at the quiet and family friendly Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club.
Located just 8 miles from Walt Disney World and 13 miles from SeaWorld, this affordable Orlando hotel offers everything your family might need for their Florida vacation. For my multigenerational family (me, my son, daughter-in-law and 3-year-old granddaughter), Mystic Dunes was perfect as it offered 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom suites. After several very busy days at the Disney theme parks, this gave my son and his wife an opportunity to spend time alone, while the granddaughter bunked in my room.
Arrival – From Walt Disney World to Mystic Dunes
After two nights at Disney’s Beach Club Resort (review coming soon!) and another at the Four Seasons Orlando, we packed our bags, loaded them into the rental car, and headed to Mystic Dunes, a mere 15-minute drive. We’d spent the day at the theme parks, so our arrival was late evening (8 pm), and we were tired. And there was a line. (Doesn’t that always happen?) Even so, after a 10-minute wait, the busy receptionist checked us in quickly and marked the spot of our building on the map.
Even so, after a 10-minute wait, the busy receptionist checked us in quickly and marked the spot of our building on the map.
And this property is massive — spread out over 600 acres. There are apartment-like multiple buildings scattered throughout the property which house the accommodations. Fortunately, ours was near the pool — score!
Accommodations at Mystic Dunes
Did I mention spacious? Seriously, the accommodations at Mystic Dunes Resort give any family a lot of room to roam. Their one- to three-bedroom villas come with full kitchens, living areas, dining tables and a breakfast bar.
Ours was a two-bedroom villa, one the second floor. The elevators are dated, but parking was close to the building’s entrance. We hauled our luggage in (self-service, no valet), but when we opened the door, we relaxed.
The entry hallway merged into a formal dining room with a full kitchen with breakfast nook to the right. The dining area stretched into a living room with comfy leather sofa and two chairs in front of a TV entertainment center. A sliding glass door opened onto the patio which overlooked the golf course.
The granddaughter and I took the bedroom tucked into the back corner hallway with two beds and a full bathroom conveniently located next door.
The master bedroom was HUGE located in the back of the villa with a king bed, full bathroom, and hot tub.
We had more than enough room to stretch out and relax after being cramped in a standard hotel room. Our only regret — that we would only be here for one night.
Things to do at Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club
Well, there is golf, and we had an amazing view, as our balcony overlooked a portion of the course. Guests are invited to enjoy one of four pools scattered throughout the property, all with waterslides and private cabanas. The closest pool to our room was located a few minutes away from our room. Walkable about 5 but we chose to drove and it took us more time to get into the rental car than it did to drive there.
And the granddaughter loved the pool. To be honest, though, she loves all pools as do my other grandchildren, but her parents and I particularly liked that there was a shallow end for her to splash in.
With its close proximity to Walt Disney World, the hotel also offers discount packages and provides complimentary shuttle service to the theme parks. Be aware though that the shuttle only runs on a limited schedule, unlike the every-20-minutes at a Disney resort.
Other things to do at Mystic Dunes include an 18-hole and a miniature golf course. Rent bicycles to explore the resort. Check the schedule for planned children’s activities and kids club.
Dining at Mystic Dunes
By the time we unloaded and relaxed in our “villa,” the on-site restaurant Kenzie’s located in the clubhouse was closed. However, the front desk suggested we call for local pizza delivery, which we did. Yes, it was a bit more expensive (but much less than dining at Disney parks) and took nearly an hour to arrive. In each of the villas, the resort provides menus from local restaurants. Guests can also have groceries delivered.
When lounging at the pool, a must-have is food and drinks. Check that off the list at Aloha Tiki Bar & Grille — and when you ask for your check, it won’t break your family vacation budget either. While the granddaughter enjoyed her smoothie while her dad, mom and me shared a $15 ice cold bucket of beer – a bargain anywhere especially near Disney theme parks. Food was also affordable, with a kids’ meal just $6.95 and a 16″ build-your-own pizza at only $16.95.
(NOTE: This is also a vacation rental property, and guests will get an invite to receive a free gift at the front desk for a vacation package offer — a really good deal– to return in an attempt to sell your family a vacation rental.)