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Old 04-04-2001, 01:27 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 20

Just back from HIFS, any ?s (LONG)

Just returned from a magical trip at Disney World. Stayed at HIFS. If you have any questions, I would love to answer them. We found this place from this forum so I would be glad to help anyone out since I received so much help from everyone here. In summary....I think it is a fantasic place to stay if you have young children. We stayed at the Residential suite which was perfect for my husband and my 2yr daughter and me. There were tons of kids under 12 there. It is really family oriented (hence the name..) Well, here is just a summary of my opinion (which could differ from others...)

Rooms - Clean and more narrower than the picture from the brochure. Still they were much larger than a typical hotel room. When sitting on the sofa to watch tv you feel like you are literally up against the tv (at least in the residential rooms). Not that we did much tv watching. It was great to have the full refrig to keep my toddlers milk and juice plus a supply of water. If you have a preference for room location, ask when you make ressies. I asked to be by kiddie pool and they put me on the 3rd floor near the kiddie pool. It would have been a great walk if we didn't ask ahead of time and ended up by the "quiet pool."

Hotel - Even though there are hundreds of rooms, it never seemed too crowded (even at the pools.) Most times we didn't even have anyone on the elevators with us and it was never hard to get the elevator. The lobby area and the free breakfast brought the most crowds.

Food - Only ate at the breakfast buffet twice. It does get crowded around 9am but still isn't too bad. As for the food, typical buffet but not an extended buffet (ie. no omelets or waffels.) They did rotate between ham and bacon the 2 days we ate there. Food was fair but what do you expect when it is free.

Train - If you are interested in riding the train (so cute), make sure to ask when it is running. Everytime we went down (ie either am or pm) it wasn't running until the opposite time (for ex..went after breakfast and it wasn't running until that evening.) My daughter had fun sitting in it though.

Transportation - Didn't use the buses. Saw a lot of people waiting for them though. We drove to all the parks and didn't have trouble with traffice. It literally took us 4 min to drive from the hotel to the parking lot of the parks. The only downside was a MK when we went later and had to take the tran to the monorail and then the monorail over to MK. It was really nice to have a car and be able to leave when we wanted especially with a 2 yr old. We didn't experience the traffic after the fireworks because we didn't really end up there that late at night. One night we went to the boardwalk (parked at Boardwalk Inn) and walked around the boardwalk and then went into Epcot for the parade and then the fireworks. Since we were in the main Epcot parking lot, I am not sure what the traffic would have been after the fireworks. We didn't have any trouble leaving the boardwalk to the hotel. It only took 40 min to leave the boardwalk, walk to our car, change our child and get to the hotel.

Pools - GREAT! The 0 depth had the most kids in it but there was still room to push my toddler around in a float. The kiddie pool was great. It was fenced in (locked) and had a umbrella over it to provide for some shade. There was also a wonderful play-yard next to it. Although, I think it wasn't meant for children as young as ours. She got lost in it but ended up coming out down the stairs instead of the slide.

Entertainment at night - didn't participate but saw a lot of kids and families enjoying bingo and other activities.

Well, that is my summary of the place. We would definitely go back again. I really think it is ideal for families with young children especially for the price (we paid $138 but I read on this site that people got the room for less). The location to the parks and restaurants (esp International drive) was ideal. Hope this helps someone out. Just wanted to share what I learned and thank eveyone who contributed info about HIFS. It really helped in our decision to go there. I am so jealous to all of you who still have your trip to look forward to....
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Old 04-04-2001, 05:43 PM   #2
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 19


Thanks for the review. We are going next week for ten days and can't wait. I wanted to know what you know about the refillable cups at the hotel. How much are they if you know? If you didn't eat breakfast at the resort is there somewhere good nearby? Anything else you can think of to help us would be great.
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Old 04-04-2001, 07:38 PM   #3
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 906

Welcome Home!

I'm so glad to hear you had a great time! It sounds like your experience was very similar to ours. I'm itching to plan a return trip, also!
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Old 04-05-2001, 12:12 PM   #4
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 20

to sharonhowran

We didn't get the refillable mugs so I can't answer that question. Maybe someone else will be able to. As for breakfast, there are many places nearby (McDonalds, Waffle House, Perkins, etc.) We didn't go to any of them. Instead, we either picked something quick up from the parks, ate in our room (we had the residential room with full refrig, so we stocked up on items that my 2 yr old would eat,) or ate at the buffet (either sat down or to-go items.) At the bkfst buffet, they have a variety of items such as eggs, pancakes, fruit, yogurt, ham (or bacon), bagels, doughnuts, and cereal. I saw a lot of people packing food to go. We did this one day and ate in the car on our way to the park.
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