Back in March we met up with another family to hang out at Disney World for the weekend. We decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando and wanted to share our thoughts since it is a property that many traveling families will likely consider when heading to Disney. In Part 1 of the review I covered the room, an overview of the property, their transportation options to Disney, and the on-site dining options. In this post I will look at some of the many amenities, the Regency Club, the process of getting Disney tickets through them, and how you can do it too.
This hotel has very solid water offerings for families! There is a 1/2 acre free flowing lagoon pool, twelve waterfalls, two whirlpools, a water slide, splash zone, and more. It is fresh off a pretty substantial renovation and it looks great! It was a bit cold while we were there in early March, but it was warm enough for us to play in one of the heated pools for a little bit. If we were there in the summer we could easily spend a ton of time taking advantage of all the pools and water features.
In addition to the pools there is a sandy beach area for the kids to play in as well. This backs up to a small lake that is not for swimming.
Other Outdoor Amenities:
Accompanying the large amount of pools and water activities, the resort has plenty of activities on dry land. Some of those include bike rentals, a rock wall, and a golf course.
The hotel has a Regency Club with both indoor and outdoor seating areas. You can book a Regency Club room for additional dollars or points, or get access by having Diamond status with Hyatt. Many Regency Clubs in the US aren’t overly amazing, but this one was actually one of the better ones.
As shown in the photo below, the Regency Club is open from 6:30AM – 9:00AM for breakfast. It is closed from 3PM – 5PM in the afternoon. From 5PM – 9PM there are evening snacks served.
The evening spread was pretty decent with one hot dish, many appetizers, sushi, wraps, bruschetta, and more.
We didn’t have any problem getting seats, but it did get pretty busy at peak times.
There were plenty of breakfast options to keep us happy for the few days we were there.
Buying Disney Tickets Through the Hotel:
Thanks to a very lucrative MyPoints.com and OpenSky promo in 2012, I had a good amount of Hyatt gift certificates to use. While much of this hotel stay was already paid for via a certificate I won at a charity auction, I decided to charge Disney tickets to the room and pay for them via those Hyatt certificates. I wasn’t 100% sure it would work, but it did. There was a small fee to do this – I think about $3 per ticket, but it was well worth it in our case as the bulk of our Disney ticket expense was covered via the Hyatt certificates I had on hand.
Normally I like to buy my tickets via a discount link to UnderCoverTourist from the MouseSavers newsletter, but they don’t really discount tickets of less than three days anyway. In my case it was a no-brainer to use the certificates to significantly reduce the cost of the weekend. It also allowed us to go straight to the gate at Disney instead of having to get tickets (though that wouldn’t have added too much time).
You Can Do it Too:
This is a Category 5 property that is fresh off a renovation. It seems to be common for rates to be between $200 – $300 per night, so it isn’t “cheap”, but if you plan to take advantage of the many resort features it isn’t horrible. Of course it is a much better value if you can use points and not have the out of pocket cost. It would require 18,000 Gold Passport points or Ultimate Reward points transferred in 1:1 via cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus® Business Card. This is a hotel that would be worth using your two free nights that come with the Hyatt Credit Card (make a reservation on Hyatt.com and you may get an offer for a $100 statement credit on top of the two free nights) if visiting a Category 6 isn’t in your plans. Using points would save you from the $25 daily resort fee. If the rates are closer to $300 I would strongly consider using points, otherwise it would come down to looking at my budget and points balance and making a call.
If all you want is a hotel close to Disney with a clean bed to sleep in at night, this is probably not the place for you. If you want a Hyatt resort property where you can take advantage of using points or your elite benefits, this may be the place for you. We very much enjoyed the Regency Club and they do have some high quality outdoor amenities. It is very much not a Disney property. It is more of a large resort that wants you to spend several days of your vacation on-site enjoying their amenities and activities. When we were there we saw a few other families, but far more convention goers than families. If you don’t value the activities they have on the property, or you want to be closer to Disney, you will be better served elsewhere. We enjoyed our stay for the most part, and I do like the property, but we will probably do our next Disney-centered vacation back on Disney property while Little C is still little.
Have you stayed at this property before? What are your thoughts?
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