Westgate Resorts Orlando: Budget Hotels Near Disney World with Kitchens and Water Park
When planning a trip to Orlando theme parks, staying at one of the off-site hotels near Disney World or Universal can be a big money saver—especially if you also want to do things in Orlando other than the theme parks. Westgate Resorts Orlando offers two properties near Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa is closer to SeaWorld and Universal Studios, while Westgate Vacation Villas is slightly closer to Disney World, but both of them offer large family-sized rooms with kitchenettes, on-site water parks and activities, and budget-friendly prices.
We recently stayed at one of the Westgate Resorts Orlando budget properties, Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa, to see how it stacked up for an Orlando family vacation. Here is the inside scoop.
Suite Accommodations at Westgate Lakes Resort
Full kitchens in every room can save families a lot of money.
Probably the biggest benefit of Westgate Resorts Orlando's Westgate Lakes properties is the large suites, including villas that sleep up to 16 people. All rooms have kitchens and washer/dryers, which is a huge convenience and money saver for family vacations. Rooms start at studios that sleep four (a king bed plus a sleeper sofa) and go up from there. We had two one-bedroom suites that connected with an interior door, creating a pretty massive room suite that not only would have slept eight, but actually been comfortable for that many people to spread out and have privacy. All rooms also have screened-in patios or balconies with additional spots for eating or lounging.
Westgate Lakes Water Park and Activities
There are lots of other fun things to do in Orlando other than the theme parks with kids and teens. Westgate Lakes’ central location makes it easy to hit all the local attractions, but the resort also has plenty to do on site for some more relaxing vacation days.
Westgate Lakes Resort has multiple heated swimming pools and hot tubs throughout the property, as well as an activity center that offers games and a schedule of activities like Zumba, crafts, and pool parties. There are paddleboat, kayak, and bike rentals available, plus mini golf and bowling. And, of course, there’s an arcade.
Treasure Cove Water Park offers a full day of fun for kids right on site.
Treasure Cove Water Park is probably the main attraction, though. The on-site water park has a wave pool(!), a lazy river, two full-size water slides, a large splash-pad kiddie area with a water play zone, and three more water slides fit for kids from toddlers to age 8. The water park has its own tiki bar, serving food and beverages, plus a fast-food counter with burgers, soft-serve, and other yummy eats. Treasure Cove Water Park was clean, had plenty of lounge seating, and was very well staffed with attentive lifeguards. Admission is not automatically included in your room rate or resort fee, but definitely check the direct booking through Westgateresorts.com for offers. Otherwise, entrance is $20 and children under 3 are free.
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Dining at Westgate Lakes and Westgate Villas
Both of these Westgate Resorts Orlando properties offer rooms with kitchens so you can cook your own meals, as well as a marketplace that sells basic groceries and supplies and a cafe that serves Starbucks coffee and little bites. Whole Foods and Publix are nearby and offer grocery delivery for a longer stay. If you want to dine on the property, Drafts Sports Bar and Grill is the main non-poolside dining option, serving large portions of hearty American food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We also tried Villa Italiano Chophouse at Westgate Villas and had a great Italian meal.
Westgate Lakes vs. Westgate Villas and Westgate Town Center
You may see options for Westgate Town Center, Westgate Villas, and Westgate Lakes and wonder what the difference is. Although all of the properties are comparable, Westgate Villas and Westgate Town Center are on the same property. The Town Center accommodations are in multistory buildings, like a traditional hotel, while the villas are in attached townhome-style accommodations. Whether you book through Town Center or Villas, all guests share and have access to the same resort amenities. Westgate Villas and Town Center are located in Kissimmee, south of Orlando, about five miles from Walt Disney World. Westgate Lakes has all the same amenities as Westgate Villas, but is more centrally located in Orlando with easy proximity to Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, and other Orlando attractions.
Close to all of the theme parks, Westgate Lakes is a great hub no matter what you have planned.
How Far is Westgate Lakes from Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Disney World?
Westgate Lakes Resort is very central. It's only 1.5 miles from SeaWorld and about five miles from Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. We took an Uber from the resort to Universal Studios, and it cost us under $15 and took about 15 minutes door to door.
How Much Does Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa Cost?
Prices vary by season and availability. At the time of writing, rooms started at $107 a night at Westgate Villas and $119 a night at Westgate Lakes Resort. Visit westgateresorts.com to see current pricing.
One thing you may notice when booking is an option for “preview pricing,” temptingly discounted up to 40 percent off the regular price. Because Westgate Resorts offer timeshares, if you agree to take a tour of the property and sit through a sales pitch, you can take advantage of this discounted rate. I don’t have personal experience with this, so I can’t say whether this is worth it or not.
Deluxe rooms include jacuzzi tubs and larger living spaces.
Pros and Cons of Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa
Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa offers an affordable Orlando family vacation option. In my opinion, the best thing about Westgate Lakes is the central location close to Orlando’s top theme parks, but also lots of other attractions and amenities. We went out to many nice restaurants including BarTaco and American Social, where we had great meals just a hop skip and a jump from the resort. And staying at a resort that has lots of fun things on site, plus a kitchen, is a big plus in my book because it offers a more well-rounded and relaxed vacation experience.
We enjoyed watching sunsets over the lakes and egrets and other birds by the water.
The accommodations at Westgate Lakes and Westgate Villas are decorated in a traditional style and, while the rooms have everything to make you comfortable, including plenty of outlets and USB ports on the nightstands (a feature I always appreciate), if you are looking for a high end, modern hotel, this might not be the best fit.
If you will not have a car, ask for a room close to the front of the resort. While the property is walkable and there is a shuttle that comes around, it can start to feel like a little bit of a hike if you need to walk to the front of the hotel every time you want a coffee or snack and don’t have your kitchen stocked.
Editor’s Note: This publication accepts hosted travel for the purpose of review. All opinions are based on the honest experience of the author.