New look lobby at Disney's Old Key West Resort now open

Oct 14, 2021 in "Disney's Old Key West Resort"

Disney's Old Key West refurbished lobby 2021
Posted: Thursday October 14, 2021 1:27pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Earlier this week Disney's Old Key West Resort at Walt Disney World debuted its newly refreshed lobby design and layout.


As we have seen at other Disney resorts, the traditional long line of desks has been replaced with smaller counters offering a more personal interaction with cast members.

The color scheme is much lighter than the original, offering an open and airy feeling.


Here is a reminder of how the original Old Key West lobby looked prior to the refurbishment.

Seating areas and table tops are equipped with power outlets and USB points for guest use.

The new look is a significant departure from the original. Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.

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castlecake2.0Dec 31, 2021

I meant stanchions as in ropes to form a queue, most of the new lobby’s have removed those and replaced them with a sign to wait at. It doesn’t look like Saratoga lost any actual check-in areas/desks, they were just redesigned. The only resorts that I’ve seen a noticeable reduction in desks are Riverside (which probably had too many to begin with) and Art of Animation. I thought it was going to create an issue at Art but anytime I’m there I’ve been impressed with how quickly they move through their line. Pop Century I think is the last resort that still hasn’t switched over to the front desk “pods”.

SirwalterraleighDec 31, 2021

I assume that this new “station” thing is just an official acknowledgement that it’s 90% automated now and the hotel lobby serves little to no purpose… …I’m old though…I still have foggy memories of when the desks where the little nerve centers of the property. Those were the days, Edith

SirwalterraleighDec 31, 2021

I’ll help you out….you're gonna LOVE it 👍🏻

SirwalterraleighDec 31, 2021

…you haven’t noticed that “de-theming” is kind of a thing of late?

castlecake2.0Dec 31, 2021

It’s the same issue at Coronado, there’s a sign saying wait here for next host/ess but no one sees it or knows how to form one line. I know it’s done to try to eliminate stanchions but like you said, it falls apart quickly.

TikibirdLandDec 30, 2021

Yeah. Saw the same problem at a Verizon store on Monday. They have these tables in the middle of the store. When you walk in, no one was there to greet us. So, we didn't know how to get waited on. So, we hung around the store and finally someone came up with an iPad and added us to the wait list. Ended up that another guest that came in after us knew the routine and had tracked down one of the reps and added his name in front of us and was served first. Very frustrating design.

MarriedatdisneyDec 30, 2021

Just back from a stay at Saratoga. The ‘new’ check in area looked ok, but for me functioned horribly…. a group of unrelated customers walked in in a line…. Everyone split up coming in the door. Some were approached by employees. A few of us weren’t. Then it became unclear what to do. Do we queue behind individual people already being helped? Do we queue near the front desk? There is no clear answer… so you stand there watching new customers come in and suddenly grabbing someone that’s just finished with a guest while you spin around looking for someone to help you. The design works with more help than customers but falls apart as soon as more guests than help happens. Not a fan at all…..

nickysDec 28, 2021

That’s sad. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to judge for myself in a year from now.

Nubs70Dec 28, 2021

https://images.app.goo.gl/MGa2j8JgFZYeaW8f7 Maybe something like this but a smaller scale. Or a model for a new resort.

HauntedPirateDec 27, 2021

FWIW - I was not impressed at all with the refurbed OKW lobby. Terribly disappointed in the choices that were made which stripped out nearly all the character the old lobby had and replaced it with what looks like Ikea furniture and vinyl laminate flooring. At least they kept the bookcase wall, but outside of that... 👎👎👎

nickysDec 27, 2021

Why don’t you tell us what you really think? First off, DVC is not for eternity. One difference between DVC and most other timeshares is that it has an end date. Another difference is that there is a booming resale market. After 12 years I could resell and not only make my money back but also the maintenance fees I’ve paid since. We don’t go every year and have taken other vacations, but I can rent my points out to others who do want to go - just as well in the case of the last couple of years. And it sounds like you have a low opinion of Key West, cruise guests and the over 60s apparently too. That’s some broad sweeping judgements but your prerogative though.

NunuDec 26, 2021

Refurbished Saratoga Springs Porte Cochere:

BocabearOct 25, 2021

Not really... Yes, there are parts of Key West that are like that, but as a whole, that does not represent the island. If that is all you experienced while in Key West, I am sorry you didn't see the real island, just the lower end of Duval Street. The new Old Key West is more like a new hotel in Islamorada...lol

Club CooloholicOct 23, 2021

Well, first it's not an eternity. Second I am as critical as anyone even though I am a DVC member. The interesting thing is I can sell my contract today for more than I bought on the resale market 4 years ago, and if I ever decide the DVC value isn't there I can rent it out everytime or sell it. As it is, my kids like it so will hold for now. I also have no plans on staying at Rivera, but SSR does intrigue me after their room updates even if the lobby looks, pardon the pun "goofy" yet generic at the same time.