|Ping Pong near the activity area and warm pool
Overview: On our second big family trip to Disney and the Orlando area we chose to stay at an economical family friendly place. Our first family trip three years ago was epic fun and really incomparable because we stayed at a Disney Moderate Resort called Port Orleans. Port Orleans was a bit more expensive than our usual accommodations, but it was Disney A+ service all the way. The Radisson was not that trip. Nor did we intend it to be. We had a standard room with two double beds and few frills. We chose this spot – offered through Sunwing – for the price and the fact that the resort offered a shuttle service to theme parks. It also offered a kids eat free for breakfast and dinner at Mandolin’s restaurant.
Room: The room was relatively clean, but with some issues. It was ready by 4 p.m. as promised and in fact earlier, but because we had travelled all night (6 a.m. flight from Toronto which meant we left London at 2 a.m.) any wait was unmanageable with children. As a regular traveller I think this is an area that really demands improvement. Families shouldn’t wait to check in. There should be a speedier means of getting luggage quickly and getting settled almost instantly on arrival. I have found this to be an issue whenever we take an early flight. The coffee maker was cheap and the brand of coffee tasted like water. I don’t think that is an area that should be scrimped on. Stairwells were dirty. Several nights I noted that room service items were left in the hall for over 12 hours. Cups in our room were dirty at least two of the days we were there. We stayed one week.
Activities/Amenities: The Radisson promised it was family friendly, with lots of pools. It had multiple pools. A Kiddie pool, a warm pool, a main pool and a small 40 foot waterslide. Two lovely hot tubs were also on the property. Everything around the pool is extra except for the small towels. The hut off to the side was well staffed, but there was a charge to rent or buy even cheap pool toys. The floats all cost money as did the beachballs. Cabanas, which were seldom in use, I soon learned were $20 for the day. As a result they were empty most days – which made little to no sense. It would make more sense to offer them free and keep patrons happy. When you travel to Florida you expect a lot of this type of stuff. Florida gauges tourists. But resorts shouldn’t add to that burden. Big chains like Radisson should make families want to come back, because realistically there are so many options in central Florida that you could travel every year and never stay in the same spot twice.
On a long weekend, the Fourth of July, in fact, we came down for a night swim one evening and found the main pool closed, the warm pool overcrowded, towels all gone and nobody in sight. Many angry travellers complained and eventually towels showed up. But the patio bar and snack area that the guest services staff stated was open was not. Guest services also assured us there were towels at the patio bar at night, but there weren’t.
A highlight for me: The business centre and the nightly movies in the lobby on a giant inflatable screen.
The Radisson was alright for what we needed. But the service and activities promised were not upto my usual standards. The activity portion of the day was minimal. We learned when we arrived that a new activity person had been hired and that sounded great. But in fact we seldom saw him. There were activities scheduled and posted for kids on the days that we stayed at the resort. But I only ever saw about two of the activities happen.
The grounds were lovely and the breakfast buffet was good. Good price and the kids ate free. Loved the Belgian waffle maker. Never saw the omelet station that was mentioned in the Sunwing brochure. Sometimes you get what you pay for and next time I would spring for the Disney resort.
The Radisson Orlando-Celebration gets a $$1/2 out of $$$$$.
We stayed there recently on a family vacation. I received no compensation for this post, but thought readers might be interested.