Disney’s Hilton Head Resort Fact Sheet
Read Deb Wills' 2001 Review HERE
Michelle Buchecker – May 2005
My husband, father-in-law, and myself went to Hilton Head for my first ever golf vacation. Being Disney fans, but not DVC members I was looking for a discounted rate at the Disney Hilton Head Island Resort. Mousesavers.com did the trick as it described both a Disney Visa cardholder rate (already sold out at that for the dates we wanted) and a Birnbaum's Guide coupon rate for 20% off, which was available. In addition to what the other readers mentioned, there is complimentary coffee in the check-in area in the AM, and lemonade and cookies in the PM. The room also comes with coffee packets, and Tide laundry detergent (although replenishment of these and the recycle bags are spotty).
Since dining option are extremely limited, Disney has negotiated discounts with area restaurants to receive 10% off of your bill. We ended up eating at some of these restaurants and completely forgot to ask for the discount and couldn't remember to bring the list with us in the car, so after a couple of days we asked at every restaurant. One restaurant granted the discount even though they weren't on the list, and one restaurant granted us the discount even though they said they weren't on the list and they were.
Restaurants we ate at: Harold's Diner – a local hole-in-the-wall on the main drag. Great diner food (burgers, grilled cheese, fish), limited menu but fun atmosphere and we all agreed we would go back and recommend it to others. Hilton Head Brewing Company (discount) – extremely difficult to find. Out of Disney, turn right on the main drag. When you get to Sea Pines Circle go the equivalent of straight. It is the first plaza (Hilton Head
Plaza) on the left. Park and walk toward the back of the plaza. There are no signs. There are 12 brews they make on premises, 5 of which are available at any one time. The beer was good, not great. The food was OK, although my pizza was pretty bland. Overall I say go for the beer, but skip the food. Fratello's – recommended by a friend, and they made an excellent choice. High quality Italian with an extensive wine list. Giuseppe's (discount) – near Disney (left on the main drag in the same shopping center as Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store). A family style pizza and pasta joint. Good food though and reasonably priced. Scott's Fish Market (discount) – nearest restaurant to the resort. Excellent seafood dishes with a good variety. Outdoor and indoor seating, and a live muscian playing outdoors while we were there. Old Fort Pub (discount?) – High-end restaurant in Hilton Head Plantation on the north part of the island. Spectacular views! Personally, I thought the menu was limited (1 duck item, 1 chicken item (with skin and bones), 1 filet mignon (not petite), prime rib, and 4 fish entrees). They did accommodate me just getting a side of the gorgonzola mac and cheese side dish (not listed as a separate side, just as what comes with the prime rib) and that was quite tasty. Pricey restaurant, but worth it. Signes Bakery – we heard about this on the Food Network. We decided the key to this restaurant is to get something that's warm (like the frittata or french toast) and forego the bakery items. The scone and crumb cake we had were very dry.
We didn't try it but Disney offered an "Edmunds' Family Low-Country Boil" that had an all you care to eat boiled shrimp, smoked sausage, red potatoes, corn on the cob, pork tenderloin, hushpuppies, and a dessert for $24.95. Beer and wine sold upon request. Kid's menu is chicken fingers, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, and lemonade for $8.95. Live music and face painting. It looks like they do this twice a week at the beach house.
Interesting note about alcoholic drinks – we noticed that all the bars there served out of miniatures instead of regular sized bottles. Turns out there is a South Carolina law that requires bars and restaurants to serve this way since they tax per bottle and want to keep the tax revenues high. An interesting side effect to this is that a miniature has about 1.75 oz of alcohol versus the 1 oz of a standard pour. So you get literally more alcohol per drink. The price at Disney's Signal Beach for a Pina Colada was $6.50, which I thought was very reasonable especially given the extra booze.
Transportation – You need a car on Hilton Head. Some things are in walking distance, but overall you need a car. We ran into a problem where my father-in-law had an 8:30 AM tee time with a late afternoon flight and we had an 11:30 AM flight. So we booked a shuttle to the Savannah airport on Low Country Adventures (http://www.lowcountryadventures.com/ or 1-800-845-5582). It was $60 for 2 people and worked out fine. Our driver also mentioned that you can call them for free transportation from the Disney resort to the beach. He said it takes about 5 minutes from the time you call until they get there and the service is available from 8 AM to 10 PM. Which is better
than the Disney shuttle which runs strictly on the 1/2 hour from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Overall, we had an excellent time and can't wait to go back!
Derek and Laurie Mazenko – November 2004
My wife and I recently took my parents to Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort for their birthdays. We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa the first week of November 2004. We have been to many websites and it was hard to find much info on this resort. Most of what we found though was positive, but there was some negative that made us a little skeptical.
As we first arrived, we noticed that the grounds were gorgeous. Just like Disney style with beautiful shrubbery and plantings all over. Check in was simple and they were very helpful with familiarizing us with the resort and the island itself. We walked on the path to our villa at the back of the resort. The scenery and foliage was magnificent. It almost seemed like we were in an exotic location. We stayed on the 2nd floor with a marsh view. You may think a marsh view didn't sound like anything special but it was spectacular. Even my mom who adores the ocean was taken aback by the marsh's beauty.
The rooms were very large and roomy. It was nice to have a full kitchen, 2 baths, and especially a washer and dryer in the room. This made packing for the trip much lighter.
The resort has a small gift shop with some sundries and a little place to get something to eat. It is not "Disneyed Up" like the Orlando resorts but there were still many subtle Disney items everywhere.
The resort has a daily list of activities and happenings that go on every day. We took advantage of many of them including: a tour to Pickney Island and a nature walk at Berk's beach. We also went kayaking for a few hours with a guide and took a dolphin tour which was fantastic!! Many of the activities are free but some do require a small fee.
At night we listened to stories about Hilton Head around a fire with B'Lou. B'Lou is a storyteller that works on site and really made our stay more fun. If you are looking for things to do and see, ask him or any other cast member, they really know all the island's beauty and local favorites. We even sat around a campfire one night playing games with the cast members and singing songs and later everyone made s'mores. This was geared towards kids but the adults enjoyed it too. We heard about "Shadow", the golden retreiver, on some websites but then other sites said that he was a myth. Shadow is the local Disney dog and B'Lou's personal sidekick. They had a special day that everyone could meet and greet this sweet and wonderful dog. I think this was the highlight of the trip for my wife.
Besides having a lot of things to do at the resort, there is also a lot to do on and off the island – plenty of shopping, golf and restaurants galore. We took a day trip to Savannah, Georgia, which was only 45 minutes away and later went to Tybee Island Georgia and stopped at a few Civil War forts on the way which were really neat to tour through. The best part of the trip for us was taking a day trip to Hunting Island. It is about a 90 minute drive but it was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen. It is a "prehistoric" island and beach where nothing is done to the plants or life on the island. If a tree falls somewhere they leave it lay, and if a storm does damage somewhere it is not cleaned up or removed. Only about 6 houses remain on the island and building more is not allowed. They also have a beautiful lighthouse to go to on the island. You will not be dissapointed. We only found out about this because of talking to B'Lou.
My parents are in their late 50's and have traveled most of the country but they told us that this was their favorite vacation because of the beauty. I heard many people say the Hilton Head is boring with not a lot to do but nothing could be further from the truth. My dad and I are both golfers and looked forward to playing a round or 2 on the island, but we were so busy with trips and activities that we never had time. Hilton Head Island is a great vacation spot and The Disney Resort was above and beyond what was expected. We are definitely looking forward to going back in the future for another stay.