Disney Hilton Head Resort a Cool Review

There’s something special about a multi-generation family vacay, and we know Disney always delivers.   We spent 3 nights at Disney’s Hilton Head Resort with our kiddos, and my parents.  We chose it for 3 reasons:  location, fun for kids, and enough space to comfortably share.  The resort is part of Disney Vacation Club.  To check out my Mom’s cool review click here, and to hear what the kiddos think click here.

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While part of the Disney world, it’s kind of ‘Disney Lite’.  No big signage announcing Mickey as you drive in, simply a cute Bambi and Thumper shrub out front.  The theme of Disney Hilton Head is low country fishing lodge, and its tasteful and low key.  The villas and cottages seem to sprout up amongst the huge oaks and Spanish moss as part of the landscape, and walkways offer scenic views of the marina on one side, and the marsh on the other.  Grills, picnic benches and hammocks abound and near the pool is a large playground for the kids.

Our check in was indeed magical, and this is one way you truly felt like you were having the Disney experience.  All the ‘cast members’ — from check in to lifeguards to housekeeping — were cheerful, helpful, and sprinkling that special fairy dust.  Although we checked in on a Saturday in August, we were able to request a room close to the pool, 2nd floor with a great view of the marsh.

The room was a two bedroom villa, comfortable for 6, with spacious bedrooms, bathrooms and balcony.  If I compare it with other time share units we’ve had before though, the living room and kitchen were — compact.  Its a smart design with a TV hiding in kitchen island, but as my Mom put it — its a ‘one butt’ kitchen.  It’s fully stocked, but there was only 1 skillet and 3 wine glasses.  There are TV’s in every room, so the kids could watch Disney programming in one while Grandpa could catch up on his financial news and golf :o)

Our balcony was a highlight, some rooms are marina side and face other villas, but ours faced the marsh.  It included a large picnic table and two rocking chairs.  We sat outside sipping coffee in the AM and wine in the PM watching cranes,  kayaks and paddle boarders.

Close to the Big Dipper Pool,our kids (10 and 14) would head over early while we took our time with breakfast.  The lifeguards were great — plenty of games and kid friendly music playing from noon until 6.  Most days the water slide closes at 6PM, except one night when they have ‘night slide’ (you’ll see huge canon shaped lights around the pool).  There are games like cornhole, shuffleboard, ping pong, and a hot tub, kiddie pool, and little snack shack plus ‘mercantile’ (again its ‘Disney Lite’ — some pins and small souvenirs but nothing like a Disneyworld park shop).

The second pool is at the Beach Club, which is across the street at Palmetto Dunes.  Both pools are shallow – I think 4 feet at most.  Disney’s Beach Club has a smallish parking lot, some underground parking, and a shuttle service that runs every 15 or 30 minutes.  If you go before 10:30 or after 1:00 you should be fine to park.  We only had trouble when we went at noon, and it took us a good 20 minutes to snag a spot.  Cool tip:  if you have an early riser, send them over to park with a carload of beach stuff, then shuttle back until everyone is ready to go.  You can rent chairs and umbrellas at the beach, and the pool has plenty of chaise loungers.  The beach pool also has a water volleyball net, and we had a mean game of 3 on 3!

In the evening there are plenty of activities, including campfire stories, a movie night under the stars, and kid/teen nights ‘in’.   The kids had a ball, and even got to play character bingo to earn some new pins.  If you are dining out, there are maybe 8 – 10 restaurants to choose from on the marina — a 5 minute walk from the villas.

All in all it was a pretty cool way to spend time with the family!


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