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Travel Talk: Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort

The last stop on our road trip through North and South Carolina was Disney’s Hilton Head Resort.  Being the Disney fans that we are, and with our daughter having worked at Walt Disney World in Florida, we just could not pass up the opportunity to stop there. We had taken our sons to this resort in 1996 – the year it opened, but our daughter had never visited.

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You drive through the live oak lined streets of Hilton Head Island and turn at the entrance to Shelter Cove Harbor.  Then you cross the bridge over the waterway and enter the 15 acre Disney Resort that is tucked under live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.  The buildings and details are designed to evoke a hunting and fishing lodge from the 1940’s.  Check-in is at Live Oak Lodge.

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Being a Disney resort, it is majorly family friendly – with kids in mind in every aspect of the area.  And just like at other Disney properties, no detail is overlooked.  You will see precious topiaries of Disney characters scattered around the landscaping. When the resort was being constructed, a golden retriever puppy stayed around the property.  The workers became so enamored with her, (and she with them!) they named her Shadow and made her the resort’s unofficial mascot and have doghouses and bowls for her throughout the resort. 🙂

Entering the lobby you find comfortable seating…

more Disney characters…

and a fun activity room where you can watch Disney movies, play checkers, shoot pool, have your photo taken in the free photo booth, or enjoy a glass (or two 🙂 ) of their complimentary lemonade.

After our stop in Live Oak Lodge we took a walk around the property so that our daughter could check it out.

The landscaping everywhere was top notch
(as it is in any Disney property.)

There was even a butterfly garden!

Cute signs showed how far away we were from other Disney resorts.

There was a lovely pier over the wetlands where you could fish.

There is no end to all the activities you can enjoy at Disney’s Hilton Head resort.  You can relax in the numerous hammocks around the property, swing on the swings in the playground areas, rent bikes, go fishing, take a kayak tour, paddle board, play shuffleboard, or compete at cornhole – just to name a few.  There is also a mercatile where you can shop for Disney gear and rent equipment for all the resort activities.

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I will say the food choices there are very limited.  At the resort itself there is only one restaurant, Tide Me Over – located adjacent to the mercantile.  Open from 8-5, it serves biscuits, French toast, Mickey waffles, and yogurt for breakfast, and your typical burgers, hotdogs, chicken fingers, and sandwiches, etc. for lunch.

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Since the food selection there is so limited, you could eat some of your meals at any of the wonderful restaurants that are available in Hilton Head or in the shopping and dining area around the marina. But since you are staying in a villa that has a kitchen, you might want to cook or grill out.  There are picnic tables and grills in many locations throughout the resort.

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There is one other restaurant for guests of the resort that I will tell you about in a minute, but it too has a limited menu like Tide Me Over.  One thing the resort does have that is wonderful is its pool.  Our room years ago had a view of the pool, and our sons LOVED the waterslide. 🙂

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All of the buildings have clever signs on them to add to the feel of the resort.

The Hilton Head Resort is part of the Disney Vacation Club, but you do not have to be a member of the club in order to stay there.  You just make reservations for it like you would for any other Disney property.  Our previous unit was a 2 bedroom villa with a living room..

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a full kitchen…

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 2 bedrooms…

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and a private porch.
(Our unit overlooked the pool previously.)

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The unusual thing about this resort is that there is another part of it about a mile and half down the road.  You can take the shuttle from the resort, drive, or ride a bike to Disney’s private beach house located on a 3.5 acre oceanfront property.

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Over at that building there is a game room, an oceanfront swimming pool, and another quick service restaurant. I loved the nautical accessories over in the beach house.  It really had a nostalgic vibe.

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As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this was our last stop on our road trip. We had reservations to stay in a villa there for a couple of nights, but the day before we were to check in, we got the call that my father-in-law was going home with hospice care and we needed to return home.  We drove from Charleston and stopped in Hilton Head to cancel our reservations.  The people working the front desk could not have been any nicer.  They went overboard to help us cancel our reservations, gave us a full refund, and allowed us to take a quick tour of the resort with our daughter before continuing on our way home.  (And gave us lemonade to enjoy on our trip! 🙂 ) We were very very thankful for Disney’s hospitality that day.

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Hopefully, we will get to take another trip there soon and stay overnight so that we may take advantage of all that the resort has to offer.  I hope you have the opportunity to do the same as well!

Until next time..

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JEANNETTE - March 27, 2017 - 3:47 pm

I adore water resorts – peace and love of nature sooths my soul.

Louvina - March 27, 2017 - 11:51 am

Love everything that Disney does!! You always know there will be “Magic” and the details will be perfect!! I love the topiaries! On my my first trip to WDW I remember being so facinated with them and still one of my favorite things!! Would love to go on one of their cruises. What is your favorite thing Disney? The Villages where I taught was built on the Disney “idea” and Celebration was the inspiration. You would love The Villages– there is so much to do and so beautiful. Hope you are having a nice Monday. Going straight into summer here!!

Sherry - March 27, 2017 - 11:11 am

I loved the tour, Kelly. We have stayed at Hilton Head. It is a beautiful place and have often wondered about the Disney Resort. Since we are huge Disney fans this post definitely helps us see that we have to stay there next time. Thanks, Kelly. Have a great week.

cindy hattersley - March 27, 2017 - 10:53 am

I always enjoy your road trips Kelly. Kind thoughts for your father in law.

Garden, Home and Party - March 27, 2017 - 8:40 am

Kelly,
This is a pretty resort. The lack of many restaurants surprises me. Is Hilton Head close by? If I stayed there I might bring in my own food and cook. The kitchen looked pretty complete.
I hope your father-in-law is feeling better. He’s had a rocky road this past couple of years.
Karen

Leslie Anne Tarabella - March 27, 2017 - 8:39 am

Although I love Disney, I remember being somewhat nervous when they announced plans for this resort. Hilton Head is the kind of place that doesn’t need anything fake or kitschy-looking . . . but, I think they got it right. The fact they don’t have an abundance of restaurants shows respect for the local economy and the long-time eating establishments that have become Hilton Head traditions.

Starbuck’s has announced plans to move into Italy, and I hope they show the same respect Disney did with this location. I only wish WalMart had the same sense of respect for communities. — Wow! What a soapbox I’ve climbed on, early on a Monday morning!!! My week’s going to be a doozie!

Thanks for showing all of us your wonderful travels!

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