Marriott Orlando World Center or Gaylord Palms?

olive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
We are staying offsite for a bit before really kicking off a trip to Disney with family. I had reserved for 3 nights at World Center and then read about the newly expanded "water park" at Gaylord Palms. I know the new parts of the water area at Gaylord Palms are extremely new, like in the last week or so, so it is unlikely that anyone on here will even have experienced it, but I understand that they added a lazy river kind of element. We have 2 kids, 8 and 13. Other than 1 day at DHS while we are offsite, we just really want to lounge around and hang out in the water and doing whatever family activities they have. It seems like both hotels have family stuff, movies, mini golf, I think, and water areas that are impressive in different ways. They are basically in approximately the same location so getting to DHS and back from either is pretty much the same.

Can anyone recommend one over the other? Has anyone had an especially excellent (or terrible) experience at either? We really just want the kids to be entertained and to have a clean, comfortable place to stay and relax before the insanity of being onsite at Disney for a week.

Thanks so much in advance! We haven't spent any time offisite in the Disney area (other than Universal hotels while at Universal, which I don't think really counts), so this is new and kind of fun for us!
 

DanaCeppy

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Gaylord Palms is excellent! I haven’t been since the lazy river but my 5 year old loved the water park. They have slides and a flo rider. We loved our time there.
 

olive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Gaylord Palms is excellent! I haven’t been since the lazy river but my 5 year old loved the water park. They have slides and a flo rider. We loved our time there.
Awesome! Do you think it is necessary to request a room closer to the water area for kids? I can't tell how enormous the hotel is from photos. And were you there during Covid times? I am wondering how crowded it is in the pool area. I saw that you can reserve seating and didn't know if that is a thing we really need to do.

Thanks!!
 

olive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
AND the wonderful indoor garden & alligators
It seems like a pretty unique hotel! I assume there will be rainstorms while we are there (summer in Florida) so it is nice to have indoor space to explore.
 

DanaCeppy

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Awesome! Do you think it is necessary to request a room closer to the water area for kids? I can't tell how enormous the hotel is from photos. And were you there during Covid times? I am wondering how crowded it is in the pool area. I saw that you can reserve seating and didn't know if that is a thing we really need to do.

Thanks!!
It is a really big place. Our room wasn’t that close to the water park but it didn’t bother us. We were there at the end of September so I’m not sure if they are doing things the same but right outside the pool there was like a check in station where we had to get a wrist band and then someone walked us to what chairs we could use. It wasn’t that busy when we were there so I’m not sure how the reserving seats works we didn’t need it.
 

olive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
It is a really big place. Our room wasn’t that close to the water park but it didn’t bother us. We were there at the end of September so I’m not sure if they are doing things the same but right outside the pool there was like a check in station where we had to get a wrist band and then someone walked us to what chairs we could use. It wasn’t that busy when we were there so I’m not sure how the reserving seats works we didn’t need it.
This is really helpful, thanks! I imagine late June may be more crowded than September with more school breaks having started, but it is great that they help you find seats! As far as distance to/from the room, I was a little worried about a long, wet slog through a huge hotel, but we'll manage. ;)
 
  • BostonEd

    I'd rather be skiing.
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2015
    It can't hurt to ask for a room closer to the pools. But do make sure you add in resort and parking fees when comparing prices. I don't know about the Marriott, but the Gaylord has pretty high fees.
     

    olive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2008
    It can't hurt to ask for a room closer to the pools. But do make sure you add in resort and parking fees when comparing prices. I don't know about the Marriott, but the Gaylord has pretty high fees.
    We are staying on Marriott points so we are paying resort fees only for the stay, and no car this trip, so no parking fees. The resort fees + parking can definitely add up! I put in a request for a room closer to the water park area/Emerald Bay, but who knows if they will honor it (or be able to). Looks like an uber/lyft/taxi is a better deal than rental car and parking to get around from here, especially since we aren't planning to go many places other than to the hotel from the airport and then to our Disney resort at the end of the stay. Maybe Disney Springs one evening, but I think the hotel shuttle goes there?
     

    happily single

    Left foot first!
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    we stayed at the Marriott World hotel several years ago. I remember the pool being beautiful, but with limited hours. The only reason I wouldn’t return is parking. The parking garage is literally about 1/2 mile away. And parking was expensive.
     

    olive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2008
    we stayed at the Marriott World hotel several years ago. I remember the pool being beautiful, but with limited hours. The only reason I wouldn’t return is parking. The parking garage is literally about 1/2 mile away. And parking was expensive.
    No car on this trip, so good to know that that is the only factor that would keep you away from the hotel! I have read that the parking is a pain there. Limited hours at the pool sounds like it could be an issue during a hot Florida summer.
     
  • MarBee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    The pool at MWC is currently closed for “emergency repairs.”
    When I called about a month ago to ask if it’s up yet, the person at the front desk said she thinks it might be back up and running in June or July but said they weren’t given a definite date.
    I have not stayed at either place, but this was a deal breaker for me.
     

    olive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2008
    Down for months for emergency repairs is wacky. I am so glad I changed the booking. I was getting worried when weeks were going by and the pool remained closed for "emergency repairs" with no updated information available. The kids would just have been so disappointed! Absolutely agree that is a deal breaker. I would go with the JW or Gaylord instead.
     

    HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    Right on their website ...

    Main pool -

    Falls Pool Oasis (Temporarily Closed through 6/18)

    The West Terrace ADULT ONLY pool -

    West Terrace Spa Pool(Closed for reinvention reopen Spring 2022)
     

    MarBee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Right on their website ...

    Main pool -

    Falls Pool Oasis (Temporarily Closed through 6/18)

    The West Terrace ADULT ONLY pool -

    West Terrace Spa Pool(Closed for reinvention reopen Spring 2022)
    I’m glad they’re finally posting it! I feel bad for all of the people who showed up and were unpleasantly surprised to find the pool closed!
     

    HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    I’m glad they’re finally posting it! I feel bad for all of the people who showed up and were unpleasantly surprised to find the pool closed!
    My hope is that they would notify them in advance, and offer alternative if issue. We are currently booked for July so I've been watching.
     
    Last edited:

    MarBee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    My hope is that they would notify them in advance, and offer alternative if issue. We are currently booked for July so I've been watching.
    Best of luck! I would definitely call closer to your trip and confirm. When I was ready to book in March, there was no mention of it. It was only after I read some reviews from angry people who were not informed of the pool closure did I call to check since it was not posted anywhere. Might be a good idea to have a backup plan ready if the pool is important to you.
    I’d love to hear how you liked the hotel if you do stay, though. It seems like a good use of some of my Marriott free nights, so I have had this on my list for a while. Have a great trip!
     

    HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    Best of luck! I would definitely call closer to your trip and confirm. When I was ready to book in March, there was no mention of it. It was only after I read some reviews from angry people who were not informed of the pool closure did I call to check since it was not posted anywhere. Might be a good idea to have a backup plan ready if the pool is important to you.
    I’d love to hear how you liked the hotel if you do stay, though. It seems like a good use of some of my Marriott free nights, so I have had this on my list for a while. Have a great trip!
    We are actually staying in one of the MVC units, a 3 bedroom. We have a small pool there but really wanted at least one full day at big pool and option for other shorter visits, and def the slides which look to be open. We are likely doing the parks, both Disney and Universal, since first time whole family (and new SIL) have been together there in 7 years. DH hasn't been to Universal in likely 15 years. We can't change our travel points so we will stick it out but plan to explore throughout.

    PS I booked (like a crazy person) July 4th week because the resort has awesome firework show. I usually book Embassy Suites South on holiday trips so I can pick a room on top floor facing Marriott & Disney. We can see all the fireworks and Marriott goes all out.
     

    olive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2008
    They must have posted that pretty recently. I had also only become aware of the issue from irate reviews. We are going at the end of June, but the dates are too close to when they plan to reopen for my comfort. Delays happen. I am glad they posted about it, though, but also glad we canceled! It's too bad, though, because it looks like such a cool pool area. Maybe for a future trip!
     


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