View Full Version : Just Back from HIFS - Questions?

06-30-2003, 06:32 PM
I jyst got back from three nights at HIFS; I had the the entertainment book rate thatnks to the board. Iwas in building 11 fifth floor. First time there and my family really liked it. We were there for a family reunion and it was a great place to play and escape. Questions?

Princess Dot
06-30-2003, 06:45 PM
Do I have questions, LOL!

How did you enjoy the pool? We hope to spend a day away from the parks and love a good pool!

How was the food? Did the kids eat free at the counter service places with an adult purchase? How did you like your room? Clean? Beds ok? If you've stayed at any Disney resorts, how did HIFS compare?



06-30-2003, 09:46 PM
Pool was great! they had float rentals for five dollars an hour. We rented two alligators and had a blast. The pool was a major hit; we hit one major snag first night. They have a strict pool pants policy; apparently somebody did not follow this and they had to close the pool for three hours.

We have stayed at Poly before. This was different but a good different. On site is always better. I would say that HIFS compares very favorably to say an All Stars.

there is so much stuff for the kids to do.

We ate the buffet at night twice. On the weekend, the buffet was $17.95 while a 12 ounce strip steak was the same price. I went with the steak and it was quite good. Two nights later my wife and I each had steak while the kids ate the buffet. Total price both nights with tip (included in the bill BTW) was just short of $50. Not bad for the four to eat with the wife and I each getting a steak.

Beds were good. We had the king suite and I really slept well each night. The room was clean. We were right by the ppol which was not so good; too noisy. I would have preferred the parking lot for quiet.

07-02-2003, 12:44 AM
What are the weeknight prices for the buffet? Did you find the rooms large enough for a family?

07-02-2003, 03:23 PM
Weeknight dinner buffet price for adults was $13.95; I would have probably done that at that price. BTW kids eat free includes only their meal; you pay for their drinks. And the bill includes a 15% gratuity automatically. Neither of my servers pointed this out. I almost added another tip on top the first time.

07-02-2003, 03:25 PM
I have two girls and the room was big enough; we basically slpet there. The kids did watch movies in there beds with the curtain pulled (they loved their privacy). It was plenty big for us.

07-02-2003, 09:19 PM
Having stayed at both the AS Resort and HIFS I don't think you can compare the two. HIFS with its living room w/ tv, table and chairs, frig, and sink, master bedroom with door and separate kids area (w/ tv/vcr and nintendo), along with the kids eat free policy, zero depth pool, shuffle board, mini golf ant HOT TUBS, in no way compare to the 2 double beds in an All Star room, plain old swimming pool, mega bucks for Disney food and no other entertainment.

The HIFS is also closer to many of the Disney parks (with the exception of AK) then the All Star resorts are as well.

Please be fair when comparing the off site HIFS with a Disney resort.

Princess Dot
07-03-2003, 09:21 AM
I too was wondering about the comparison to the Allstars. I think the op was talking about the "luxury " level of the resort as compared to say the Poly. I least I hope so! I really am hoping the HIFS is better than Allstars. I am a bit nervous as I do tend to like "fancier" hotels, but the kid activities, pool, etc seem to look so great. I hope that it will be fun for all!

07-03-2003, 01:07 PM
Three questions please - TIA

1st - Can you use your own float at the zero depth pool, or do you have to rent one of theirs?;

2nd - Do the kids eat free at the counter service restaurants as well as the sit down restaurants?; and

3rd - How was the breakfast buffet and how early did they start serving it? (Ok, I know that was actually 4, sorry!)

07-03-2003, 01:42 PM
I was not comparing HIFS to Poly, although it does compare very favorably (dare say better) than an All Stars. All Stars are closer to the parks, by the mere fact they are on-site as you pass right by them on the Osceola Parkway. HIFS is a great alternative to an all stars or maybe a moderate (that seems a stretch though). I stey at Orange Lake Country Club on a time share and liked HIFS better for the family.

You can use your own float.

Kids eat free at counter service until 5pm

Breakfast buffet begins at 7 I think. It was set up with two identical (and sometimes three) sets of stations so lines were never long. It was really done quite well, although selection was limited. Good fruit. No carbonated beverages. It reminded me of a Residence Inn breakfast at a grander scale.

07-03-2003, 06:04 PM
Just because a hotel is "on-site" does not make it closer to the theme parks. In fact, many off-site hotels are closer to the parks then on site hotels. The "on-site" area of WDW is huge.

07-03-2003, 06:25 PM
I am going to stay here in Sept. with my dd 3, and my 2 nieces, 12 and 16. The older 2 will probably like to play the Nintendo. Is there a fee to rent games, or are they in the room for the kids?

Is the counter service pretty reasonable? We are on a very limited budget (just started talking about this trip 2 weeks ago!! haven't saved for it!)

How was the mini golf and playground? Did your kids do the train ride, and how often is it offered?

Sorry so many ????'s my 12 yr old niece is so excited I'm trying to find all the info I can for her!!!

07-04-2003, 12:06 AM
Counter service seemed reasonable; Pizza Hut and a&w were the restaurants. i did use them but the kids and wife did

Mini golf - nine hole and nothing to write home about. amusing one time maybe.

The playground was a Mcdonald's time gym set; we never went to this though the five year old wanted to.

The train runs in the morning 8 to 10:30. It did not run either Saturday or Sunday while we were there; the excuse was the driver was sick. Basically a pulled set of cars behind a lawnmower like train doo hickey around the parking lot. Looked lame to me but my kids really wanted to ride it.

One thing for your niece is the Kids spa that offers manicures and hair braids for the girls; I have never seen this before. Jamaica braids were thirty dollars and lasted about 40 minutes. Also hair braid with the string at the pool like the ones at disney.

They also had face painting and balloon animals (really cool animals) (cost money for each) on site Saturday. Not sure if this was a summer deal or every weekend.

07-04-2003, 10:03 AM
Now I'm confused! In their ad and on their website, it says that the "activities" (face painting, kareoke, etc.) are free. That was one of our main selling points, that there was so much to do at no cost. Would my two older nieces think the mini golf was lame?
I know my dd will want to play on the playground, and probably ride the train. Maybe I'll send the older ones to the spa. What time does it close? We're only going for the weekend to visit Universal and since the parks close so early in Sept. we wanted a place to stay where the kids would have something to do. I hope I haven't built their hopes up too far for a place that doesn't live up to it....

p.s. Is there a fee for the video games in the room?

07-04-2003, 10:49 AM
I'm curious about the video games also. We are taking the auto train with out car so we can bring video games with us. Will this work? I'm not sure if they charge you for using the Nintendo or do they charge you to rent the tapes. Anyone know?

07-04-2003, 11:20 AM
I'm on their web site now....it says "nominal fee" for the games.

07-04-2003, 12:13 PM
The kid's spa hours were 9am to noon and then 6 to 10pm. Smart to work around the parks.

They charge for renting the games; each suite had a nintendo.

the key is the shuffleboard, table tennis, putt-putt and pool are all together. While we were there, they had pool side activities, My older daughter did a tie dye shirt for $9. Great souvenir,

07-04-2003, 01:18 PM
We were there last September and the face painting was free. The artist did have a tip jar though. She was great with the kids and did a fabulous job. I am not sure if they have changed the policy since though.

Have a great time!

07-06-2003, 02:32 PM
We were just there this past weekend (6/29-7/1) and we loved it!! The hotel staff was really nice. On the Sunday night we were there they had entertainment set up in the main building for the family. I'm not totally sure what the first two hours consisted of, but the last two hours was Karoke, which all the kids loved. There was face painting that I believe was free, but a tip was accepted. There is also a game arcade room. The kids received 2 free game tokens upon check in. The kids can also get move game tokens at the pool if they play some of the games, which was a lot of fun for my dks - ages 6 & 8. They loved the pool.

We left HIFS to go stay at the Hard Rock for four nights at Universal - next time, I'll stay at HIFS the entire trip. We had a room on the second floor of building six. We were supposed to have a pool view room, but all it consitsted of was a view of the Snack Building. I called and complained and we were given a refund of $20/night w/ the option of changing rooms, but we decided to stay in the room we were in.

Vinnie The Pooh
07-06-2003, 04:52 PM
We recently stayed at a Holiday Inn in Washington DC (very nice) and they did not have Fox News Channel (although the FNC Washington Bureau was right next door). Anyway it prompted me to ask the question. My DW and I love to watch "Fox and Friends" in the morning.

07-07-2003, 05:53 PM
We are taking my two nieces, 12 and 16 and I think they would enjoy the kid's spa. Any idea on pricing for the treatments there? One of them will have a birthday the week before we leave, and I was looking for a present for her as a surprise when we get down there. She's a real "girly girl" and I think this would be perfect!

07-07-2003, 09:12 PM
o.k., I'm getting a little worried now, I just scrolled down to another thread where a lot of people were saying that they didn't like this resort. They said it was dirty and that none of the pool stuff worked, playground smelled of urine, etc. etc.....did any of you have a bad experience with this? Also they said the buffet breakfast was always cold....Help!!! I'm taking my dd, and also 2 kids that aren't mine!!! I don't want this to not be a good experience!

07-08-2003, 08:25 AM
We were there for 10 days last September and had a wonderful time. We always enjoyed the breakfast & everything in the pool worked wonderfully. My children have been begging to go back since we left, but since baby #6 is due in September, we will have to wait until next year.

I have highly recommended this place to everyone that I speak with. My children definitely recommend it. I hope that you have a fabulous time. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.


07-08-2003, 04:44 PM
Thanks! That makes me feel so much better!!! I know that every resort can have an off day, but the other thread made it sound like it was having an off year!!! I chose this place because it was named Best HI in North America for the past two years, so I figured it couldn't be that bad!!!

p.s. I just noticed....baby #6 is due on my birthday!!! Congratulations!

07-08-2003, 05:34 PM
Kirsten's Mommy:
Don't worry! Most of the reviews for HIFS (over the 2 + years since I first researched it) have been good. The thread you are referring to is an old one (12/2001). Even so, we were there in 12/2001 and we loved it! I did notice that some of the water toys weren't working, but more recent reviews indicate that they are now fixed. I didn't notice any urine smell at the playground, nor was the pool closed anytime that we noticed. It is a great family place with plenty to do for the three ages you mentioned. Have a great time!

07-09-2003, 05:33 AM
in 2001 the nintendo games cost $5. per 24 hr period. Dd got sick and this saved the trip for her!!

fa mulan
07-10-2003, 07:10 AM
I posted this question on a new thread, but got only 1 reply so far: Would you recommend using the HIFS shuttles to & from the parks, or is a rental car a 'must' here?


07-10-2003, 07:37 AM
Well, we rented a car, so I don't have first hand experience with the shuttles. However, there have been several posts about this topic, try "HIFS, shuttle", if you can't find any they're in the archives. The shuttle schedule is limited and you have to reserve the day before, so you don't have near the freedom to come and go as you would with a rental. Also, the drive to the parks is an absolute breeze! If you can get a good rate, I would rent, but that's JMHO.

fa mulan
07-10-2003, 12:06 PM
Thanks MrsMud! I would search, but for some reason my search function says it's been disabled. :confused: I guess i need to take that up w/ the administrators....

07-12-2003, 06:50 PM
Can anyone tell me what the rates are for the kid's spa at HIFS? I am interested in this for a 12 and 16 yr. old....

07-14-2003, 11:01 AM

There is some info listed at the above site concerning spa amenities and prices...it might help.

07-14-2003, 11:33 AM
Thank you so much!!! That's just what I needed! I printed a copy for my niece, she's so excited I think she may burst before we get there!!! I told her about the spa last night, and she said "Oh I love you so much for taking me!!!" Doesn't get any better than that!

07-14-2003, 01:47 PM
You're welcome!
DD will still be too little for the spa when we go in February, but I would have loved it when I was younger!

07-18-2003, 09:17 PM
I have a question...having not yet stayed there myself...

How large is the fridge? Specifically, what size container of milk would fit into it? We will need to buy milk for the baby and will be stopping on the way from the airport. I'd like to know how much/ what size cartons to pick up.


07-19-2003, 08:48 AM
We fit a gallon in the refrigerator. Also, they do sell milk in the shop off of the lobby, but it is more expensive. We found a Publix that was not even 5 minutes away, so one of us usually went there.

Have a great vacation!

07-19-2003, 10:22 AM
Thanks -- I'm happy to hear a gallon will fit. We didn't want to have to make too many grocery trips! (Though at this point I have no idea how much she'll be drinking. My boys are 10 and 9, so I can't remember. DD is only 9mos now and still on formula.)