Post-COVID, Marriott Orlando World Center Continues to Shine!! GREAT Service & AMAZING Property
Jan 13, 2023
Dates of Stay: Sunday, 1/8/23 - Friday, 1/13/23
Total Nights: 5
In a nutshell, the Marriott Orlando World Center remains an AMAZING resort that sits in a perfect location and continues to offer a truly amazing experience after an extensive renovation throughout COVID. Staff and service remain top-notch, and every staff member that we interacted with was truly wonderful! With spectacular views of the theme park area and fireworks, combined with a quick and easy commute to many local attractions, make sure to consider the Marriott Orlando World Center for your next trip to the Orlando area!
Now, for my detailed review:
Pre-COVID, the Marriott Orlando World Center had always been one of my go-to properties in the Disney World area for years, including an annual visit for a massive week-long conference. This was my first opportunity to visit post-COVID, and the Marriott Orlando World Center truly continues to shine! Management made very good use of its time during the COVID slump, completing a massive floor-to-ceiling renovation and the addition of the "River Falls Water Park."
For more information on this amazing property from some of my prior stays, feel free to take a look as some of my prior reviews, which can still be found on TripAdvisor:
-January 2020, entitled: "Another PERFECT Stay - An AMAZING Resort in a GREAT Location!!!!" (posted 1/23/20)
-January 2018, entitled: "Spectacular Property!! Great Location, Perfect Views & Amazing Staff!!!" (posted January 25, 2018)
As my last review was a few years ago and pre-COVID, now seemed like the perfect time to post an updated review of this truly AMAZING property! Several recent photos of this property have been attached, including photos of the room renovations and the newly added "River Falls Water Park."
In a post-COVID world, the hotel service industry has been greatly affected by staffing woes and cost-cutting measures and will likely never be the same. However, I found that the Marriott Orlando World Center seems to have fully recovered and had more than ample staff and appears fully back to normal. Every staff member that we interacted with seemed truly happy to have the hotel full for this annual conference for the first time in three years, and all staff made it a point to thank Elite Tier Members of the Marriott Bonvoy Program for their loyalty and for returning. All dining venues have re-opened, all amenities and services have returned, and -- unlike many Orlando area properties -- full housekeeping services have resumed for all guests. And, a note on housekeeping -- all housekeeping staff we interacted with were extremely pleasant and efficient, and the rooms were kept spotless! You will find that the newly renovated rooms at the Marriott Orlando World Center are very well kept, and still feel like new! All-in-all, the Marriott Orlando World Center has bounced back from COVID and continues to shine as one of the best Marriott properties in the world, truly deserving of the "World Center" title!
Yes, this property is a "resort" in the heart of the Central Florida Theme Parks; and, much like all of the surrounding properties, you will be subject to the obligatory "Resort Fee." As inflation continues, these "Resort Fees" at all properties in Orlando have risen accordingly; but, the $42 "Resort Fee" at the Marriott Orlando World Center includes a lot of wonderful services, such as:
-Enhanced in-room wireless internet for up to 6 devices
-Daily scheduled shuttle service to Disney Parks & Disney Springs for up to 4 guests
-Daily access to River Falls for up to 4 guests
-Driving Range access, including bucket of balls & use of clubs for up to 4 guests
The shuttle service to Disney & Disney Springs alone vastly exceeds the cost of your Resort Fee. One-way ride-share services to the Disney theme parks range between $10-20 depending on timing and the lovely surge pricing experienced within the Orlando Theme Park Region, so you get a great value. Additionally, the Marriott Orlando World Center is one of the few properties that actually has transportation to Disney Springs -- most properties just drop you off at the Magic Kingdom's Ticket & Transportation Center, but you are provided with more convenient transportation when you stay at this property.
Oh, and in case you question the inclusion of "enhanced" WiFi, I need you to know that unlike many properties in Orlando -- and across the globe -- WiFi at the Marriott Orlando World Center truly is "enhanced." A quick speed-test at various points throughout the property during the week revealed both download and upload speeds in excess of 30Mbps. This speed vastly exceeds any property that I have experienced in the area, and it allowed for easy virtual work opportunities and even Streaming -- not that you would need to stream anything as this is a Marriott-flagged property, which means that all guest rooms are equipped with Marriott's high-end internet-televisions which allow for easy and instant access to most of the main streaming services. You are able to access the HBO & Showtime applications without log-in, as well as Netflix/Prime/Pandora with your personal log-in. Finally, if you need to log-in to any other service, the TVs have easily accessible HDMI-ports to connect your devices. All-in-all, wonderful services and multimedia capabilities are included and accessible so that you can remain both productive and entertained throughout your stay at the Marriott Orlando World Center.
Should you choose to drive to the Marriott Orlando World Center, unlike many other resort properties in the area which do not have enough parking for all of the tourists, this property has a massive garage with plenty of parking! Parking options include Self Parking at $24/day or $40/day for Valet Parking, which is in-line with other local properties -- and Self Parking is, in fact, actually cheaper here than many other properties! Note, depending on which Tower your room is located in, you have multiple options for Self Parking. The main garage is connected to the Conference Center via a sky-bridge, providing access to the South and East Towers. Additionally, there is a large surface lot near the back of the property which provides convenient parking to the North and West Towers. Depending on where your room is located, it might be more convenient to utilize the surface lot, as it is a bit of a trek from the main parking garage; however, the Marriott Orlando World Center has you covered and if you do not want to walk, it offers a convenient shuttle from the garage to the Main Lobby. Ample and efficient parking at such a reasonable cost is yet another thing that sets this property apart from all of the other properties in the region!
Another thing that sets the Marriott Orlando World Center apart from its competition is its shear size! The property itself is massive, and this size is one of its greatest assets, as it makes the Marriott Orlando World Center truly a "world" in itself, a vacation destination in its own right! To keep you in shape, you will find a great walking/running trail that runs throughout the property, along with a well-equipped gym and tennis and volleyball facilities. Additionally, one of the best features of the Marriott Orlando World Center has always been its wonderful pool complex, but in the last year, the pool complex has become even more amazing! The original pool complex still reigns supreme, featuring the relaxing "Falls Main Pool," complete with rock grotto and its namesake waterfalls -- along with a slide tower that features two 200-foot slides and a separate 90-foot speed slide. However, the recent addition of a new and larger children's "Kiddie Splash Zone" and the "River Falls" Water Park have truly taken the pool complex at the Marriott Orlando World Center to new heights! "River Falls" is a truly amazing new space, featuring a relaxing lazy river and several truly theme-park level water slides! And, throughout its entire pool complex, you will find more than ample seating to allow for a great pool day, including the addition of numerous premium seating options -- such as Cabanas and Day Beds -- if you wish to pamper yourself. Finally, gone are the days of waiting in long lines at a pool-hut for pool towels; instead, the Marriott Orlando World Center features automated self-service pool towel stations where you simply swipe your room keys to select a set number of towels and then you easily swipe back in and return those towels at the end of the day. All-in-all, the Marriott Orlando World Center will offer you so many different recreation options that even though you have easy access to the theme parks, you might never want to leave!
In addition to the fun and relaxation that you can experience at the Marriott Orlando World Center, this property also features a heavenly spa -- truly one of the best in the region! Make sure not to miss out on the Spa ... or, should you prefer golf, the Marriott Orlando World Center features the 18-hole "Hawk's Landing Golf Club," a Jack Nicklaus Course that several of my golfing colleagues swear by!
So, while it is clear that you will never run out of fun and relaxing options to enjoy throughout your stay at the Marriott Orlando World Center, what about the rooms? Well, this property has always offered wonderful, spacious rooms -- but post-COVID, all of these rooms have been completely modernized! Newer and better SmartTVs, refreshed finishes and one thing that so many hotel rooms lack, PLENTY of electrical outlets, both regular wall sockets and USB charging ports. Depending on the reason for your stay, you may want to request a specific tower -- they cannot guarantee anything, but the wonderful staff at this property work very hard to make sure that everyone is happy! If you are here for a conference, I would suggest requesting either the East or the South Towers. If you are here just for the new Water Park, perhaps request the West Tower. Either way, if you want some of the best views in the area, make sure to book a Pool View Room, and -- in addition to the property's wonderful nightly Laser Light Show over the "Falls Main Pool" -- you might even be able to see the Disney Fireworks!
Our room on this stay was in one of the newly renovated Pool View 1-Bedroom Suites; it was located on the 9th Floor of the East Tower and it offered wonderful views of the Disney Fireworks from its attached Terrace! While many of the rooms at the Marriott Orlando World Center feature large balconies, some of the Suites actually offer over-sized Terraces -- and we were lucky enough to end up in one of those!
Our Suite could be entered via two doors, one through the main living area and one directly into the bedroom. The living area was very spacious, complete with a small kitchenette/wet-bar that featured a mini-fridge, a microwave, sink and a coffee maker. Further into the living area, one could certainly notice the new and modern furnishings, including a comfortable sofa-sleeper along with a coffee table, chair and large ottoman. Across from sofa was a large dresser topped with a new LG SmartTV equipped with the Marriott smart-TV connectivity and a set of electrical outlets. Next to the television was a work/computer desk, with desk lamp and additional included electrical outlets. Then, just past the desk you will find a set of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that opened to a large balcony over-looking the property's beautiful pool.
That living area is then connected to a spacious bedroom via a sliding door to allow for privacy. The bedroom had also been fully renovated and featured a new and extremely comfortable King-sized bed equipped with over-sized pillows and plush linens. The bedroom featured a similar dresser with another large LG smart-TV and a comfortable chair and ottoman. The bed was flanked with new side tables, each equipped with ample electrical outlets. The bathroom is ultra-modern, with a large unique sink connected to a separate room with a toilet and a shower. The shower itself was ultra-modern, featuring three separate shower heads with great water pressure, all controlled by a set of digital controls, allowing one to select the heads and set the temperature. Much like the living area, the bedroom also featured a set of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that opened onto the same large balcony. Finally, the best part of this Suite was found just outside a small door next to the bed; a large terrace, offering spectacular views of the property and the Disney fireworks! All-in-all, one of the finest Suites you could experience in the Disney area!
For more information on our Suite, several photos have been attached for your review. I can assure you that you will rest comfortably and enjoy your stay in any of these recently renovated rooms at the Marriott Orlando World Center!
Finally, while staying at the Marriott Orlando World Center, you will never tire of your dining options, as it offers so many different dining venues! For a Disney-area property, you will find that the food is reasonably priced and very tasty! During our week here, we were able to experience almost all that the property had to offer dining wise, and I can assure you that you we were never left without a full stomach!
A few of our favorite options include:
Siro Urban Italian Kitchen - offering amazing Italian options, combined with great service, this is a must-dine! The pasta options truly were to die for!!
Mikado Japanese Steakhouse - a wonderful hibachi restaurant, offering some of the best Hibachi steak that we have ever experienced, along with stellar service!
High Velocity Sports Bar - a relaxing place to dine and enjoy any number of sports events on several large screen televisions. Great food and great drink options!
Falls Pool Bar - beautiful views of the pool, excellent bar service and some wonderful and reasonably priced food options.
Central Pantry - this remains one of our favorite options, as it allows for easy grab-and-go meals during conference sessions. It offers numerous hot and cold options that you could quickly grab, as well as several hot and fresh-cooked menu items. Additionally, you will find a wide assortment of snacks and beverages -- including beer, wine and liquor -- available to take back to your room and some extremely tasty soft-serve ice cream.
All-in-all, with so many truly excellent dining options, you will never go hungry during a stay at the the Marriott Orlando World Center!
In sum, the Marriott Orlando World Center is an amazing property that continues to shine post-COVID. It has returned to normal operations, and it continues to offer stellar service and amenities, all in a perfect location! Make sure not to miss a stay at this beautiful property the next time that you travel to Disney World area!!!
Jan 12, 2023
Called one hour before to make sure that we would get a high level so we had a great view however when we got there the girl at the desk supervisor named Grace put us at a low level. She seemed very upset that we would not except a low level and that we were told we would definitely get a high level floor.
This woman clearly showed that she wasn’t built for the job.
When I asked for her business card along with Roberts the general manager she all of a sudden decided to give me the higher up floor but with an attitude.
When departing the next day our valet guy named Craig made us wait over 45 minutes for us to get our car so we could leave how coincidental is that maybe he works directly for Grace on the front desk.
Nice job Mr. general manager Robert Bray Pretty sure I would not return to the corrupt facility.
Beware of rate hikes
(Delray Beach, Florida)
Jan 12, 2023
Stayed here for a large Conference and the hotel was immediately sold out. I then booked when I found out that a room opened up when an attendee had to cancel due to Covid. The management team would not honor the Conference daily rate of 299 even when the room was originally booked at that rate. They instead inflated the rate to 587, thus taking advantage of the situation. Disappointing experience overall especially when the basic room cleaning standards day to day were not adhered to, for example, waters were not restocked, and the room was not tidied up properly each day. Also disappointing that some of the restaurants could not handle the volume and lunch hours had very long wait times making it impossible to have a sit down lunch and return to the conference on time. Certainly not a 587 dollar a night experience.
Beautiful visit & still here…
Jan 10, 2023
We are currently at this property for a conference and we have visited here many times pre-pandemic for same conference.
The property is still beautiful (I don’t get the negative reviews) the housekeeping staff is so amazing & friendly (our key lock to open door needed a battery change and within minutes they had someone up to do this) The room could use a few updates .. bathroom door handle missing but nothing that’s horrible. Nice shower and love the sleep pillow spray!
Food at pool is good, pricey, of course, but that’s all resorts.
PLEASE change at least one of the large screens at the pool off of sports, though. Music videos, food network, a fun movie, anything but sports on all day.
We self-parked and I just walked to the car this morning. It’s a nice morning walk … great way to get your steps in.
Lots to do with on site activities and pool is lovely.
Repeat trip annually
Jan 09, 2023
We love this resort. We call it a resort , not a hotel because it offers anything and everything that you could possibly need. Christmas time is magical and New Year’s Eve celebration out at the pool is great. Food is a bit expensive everywhere inside, but so is all of Orlando.