Last Updated on April 30, 2022
Disney resorts are usually accompanied by theme parks. Early entry into said parks softens the blow when paying the outrageous prices found at these properties. The property on Hilton Head, however, stands alone. Is Disney’s Hilton Head Hotel worth visiting?
Is Disney’s Hilton Head Hotel Worth Visiting for You?: Things to Consider
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Is Disney’s Hilton Head Hotel Worth Visiting?
The closest airport to Disney’s Hilton Head Resort is a small one in Hilton Head. For better deals and more nonstop options, consider flying into Savannah, Georgia and making the hour drive to the property.
The resort is adjacent to Shelter Cove Harbour, giving you a view of a marina with expensive boats.
Note: Does Disney Hilton Head have a beach? Yes, but the main resort is not located on the beach. I repeat, the main resort is not located on the beach. The beachfront is a mile away. Plan accordingly.
2. Check-in and Checkout Times
Disney Hilton Head check-in time is 4:00 p.m. If you arrive early and your room is ready, they will likely let you in early.
Disney Hilton Head checkout time is 11:00 a.m. They almost definitely will not let you check out late. You can request it, but it is usually a hard no.
3. The Weather is Not Hot Year Round
This resort has a beach, but it won’t always be warm enough to enjoy it. Check the weather when you visit.
Average Disney Hilton Head Resort weather is as follows:
Average high: Low 60s
Average low: Low 40s
Average high: Mid 70s
Average low: Mid 50s
Average high: High 80s
Average low: Low 70s
Average high: High 70s
Average low: High 50s
4. There is No Disney Hilton Head Restaurant with Table Service
According to an employee of the resort with whom I spoke, the citizens of Hilton Head were not big fans of a Disney resort coming to the island. I can’t imagine why, because patrons of theme parks always have such great manners.
In the interest of compromise, the resort agreed to limit the Disney Hilton Head dining options, forcing its guests to eat within the community. To double down on its efforts to force guests off of the property, the resort doesn’t open its quick service restaurants if it isn’t busy.
There is no Disney Hilton Head character breakfast.
Pro tip: You can bring food and drinks from your room to the beach and pools. You aren’t limited to Disney’s offerings.
Bonus pro tip: DoorDash delivers to the Disney Hilton Head Resort Beach House, but Uber Eats doesn’t yet.
Extra bonus pro tip: There are Disney Hilton Head grills you can use at the main resort to barbecue.
As of the time of this writing, your dining options are:
Disney Hilton Head Signals
Signals is the quick service at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Beach House. It offers things like sandwiches and salads.
Pro tip: If you purchase refillable mugs (which I would not), you can fill them up here.
Note: Signals is closed often.
Tide Me Over
This is the quick service at the main property that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (depending upon the closing time). The Disney Hilton Head Tide Me Over menu features things like burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
Pro tip: This restaurant is open more often than Signals, but the hours are terrible. Be sure to check if you want to eat there.
Bonus pro tip: Does Disney Hilton Head have a bar? Not in the traditional sense, but there is alcohol, and it is fun. Think Dole Whip.
Extra bonus pro tip: They have beignets.
Extra bonus pro tip: There is no mobile order, but you can call in your order ahead of time.
Surfmen’s Sandbar is located at the Beach House. It is open for lunch only and serves some delicious cocktails.
Pro tip: Don’t miss the Pina Colava.
Note: This restaurant is often closed.
5. Where Should You Eat?
There is nowhere good to eat on property. What are some of the best restaurants near Disney Hilton Head Resort?
Bullies is a quick service, barbecue restaurant located three minutes from the resort. Prices are reasonably, servings are huge, and there are plenty of gluten free options.
Fiesta Fresh Mexican Grill
Fiesta Fresh is a quick service Mexican restaurant that is about seven minutes from the resort. The food is good and the prices are crazy cheap.
Hickory Tavern is three minutes from the resort. It has a huge menu filled with things you would expect at a typical bar and grill with several gluten free options.
Pro tip: This restaurant is a great option for a DoorDash delivery to the Beach House.
Top Dawg Tavern
Top Dawg Tavern is a bar and grill located a minute from the resort. It has a huge menu and reasonable prices.
Pro tip: This is another great option for a DoorDash delivery.
Kenny B’s is one of the best places to eat near Disney Hilton Head. In fact, it is downright amazing. It is a quick service restaurant that is heavily themed with New Orleans paraphernalia and English bulldogs. The kids’ meals are served in dog bowls. What’s not to love?
Note: The food is awesome. Everyone seems to know this. It is packed all the time. Try to visit at an off time. It will take you about ten minutes to get there.
6. What is There to Do at the Disney Hilton Head Beach Resort?
There are a lot of things to do at Disney Hilton Head Resort for kids. It is entirely possible to entertain yourselves for your entire trip without leaving the property (unless you plan to eat).
Note: The main section of the Disney Hilton Head Island Beach Resort has all of the guest rooms, a pool, and some games. This part of the resort is not located on the beach. The Beach House is located about a mile from the main property. There, you will find shoreline, a smaller pool, and some games.
The Disney Hilton Head Island Resort Beach House
Where is Disney Hilton Head Beach House? It is located about a mile from the main property (i.e. your room).
This is where you need to go for Disney Hilton Head beach access. There is a walkway directly to the sand and water.
Note: Disney does not offer free beach chairs. You may be able to find a private vendor from whom to rent during peak season.
Note: Is Disney Hilton Head open to the public? Yes and no. The beach is, but the Beach House is not. You will need your room key to access it.
Pro tip: You can drive here yourself or take the free Disney shuttle. Parking is free, but spots are limited.
Big Dipper Pool
The Big Dipper is the main pool at the resort. It has the only waterslide on property. There are periodic organized activities here, like trivia. Check the Disney Hilton Head Island Resort activity schedule you are given upon arrival for the current offerings.
This Disney Hilton Head Resort pool is heated, which is much needed during the off season.
You will also find the Little Dipper pool, a shallow pool for little kids, and a hot tub in this area.
Note: If it gets too cold, they will not open the pool, but the Disney Hilton Head hot tub is always open.
Disney Hilton Head Recreational Organized Activities
The resort runs activities throughout the day, some free and some paid. Options often include bingo, nature walks, tours of the property, crafts, trivia, and outdoor movies. If you’re looking for a campfire singalong that forces grown men to walk like penguins, you’re in luck.
Check the Disney Hilton Head activity calendar you are given upon arrival for the most up to date offerings.
Disney Hilton Head Community Hall is located next to the pool at the main property. It is similar to the one offered at the BoardWalk Villas. Here, you can play games and get out of the sun.
You can also hang out in the Live Oak Lodge, a sitting area in the same building as the lobby. There is a pool table and a lot to see in the way of decor.
Pro tip: Hammocks are located throughout the property near the outdoor games.
Fishing at Disney Hilton Head Resort
Disney Hilton Head fishing is available off the resort’s pier.
Recreational Disney Hilton Head Rentals at an Extra Charge
Disney Hilton Head Excursions
Pro tip: Do the math here. Odds are very good that you can get a better deal without Disney acting as the middle man and taking a cut.
Disney Hilton Head Gym
Bend & Stretch is a small gym on property that is free to access. It is open 24 hours per day.
Character Meet and Greets
Does Disney Hilton Head have characters? Yes, but they are few and far between. Check the Disney Hilton Head activities calendar provided to you when you arrive.
Hunt for O’lu Mel
O’lu Mel is a cardboard turtle. He moves throughout the resort. If you find him, you get a prize. Spoiler alert. It’s a sticker.
7. There Are No Elevators
The Disney Hilton Head layout consists of a bunch of individual buildings as opposed to the massive single building Deluxe Disney World properties. These small buildings do not have elevators.
Disney constructed these individual buildings to avoid chopping down some old trees, which is nice and all, but that doesn’t make the trip up multiple flights of stairs with strollers and heavy suitcases fun. If you are traveling with
baggage small kids and luggage, request a room on the ground floor.
8. Disney Hilton Head Vacation Rental Options
This resort is relatively small, with a total of 123 rooms between the studios and the Disney Hilton Head villas. All rooms have a view of either woodlands or water.
The majority of the Disney Hilton Head room layouts have enough space to accommodate families. If you can swing a villa with doors to close and full kitchens, it is definitely worth the upgrade.
Pro tip: Pack and Plays are available upon request.
Bonus pro tip: The villas have washers and dryers, perhaps the best of all the Disney Hilton Head amenities. If you are in a studio without this perk, there is a 24 hour self service laundry room. No need to overpack.
Extra bonus pro tip: Housekeeping leaves laundry detergent in the villas. You don’t need to bring it.
Which room amenities are available at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort? The answer varies by room choice.
Deluxe Disney Hilton Head Studio Rooms
Disney Hilton Head deluxe studios come with one queen bed and one double sleeper sofa. These are like standard hotel rooms. They have microwaves, small refrigerators, coffee makers, and lots of togetherness.
Maximum number of guests: Four
Disney Hilton Head One Bedroom Villas
One bedroom villas come with one king, one queen sleeper sofa, and one twin sleeper chair. The villas have a full kitchen, a washer and dryer, and a whirlpool tub. They also come with doors, and invaluable benefit when you Just. Need. A. Break. from kids.
Maximum number of guests: Five
Disney Hilton Head Two Bedroom Villas
Two bedroom villas are similar to the one bedroom villas, except you get another bedroom and bathroom. They feature one king, two queens, one queen sleeper sofa, and one twin sleeper chair.
Maximum number of guests: Nine
Disney Hilton Head Grand Villas
The Grand Villas are the Disney Hilton Head three bedroom villas. They feature four bathrooms and two levels. They have one king, four queens, and one queen sleeper sofa.
Maximum number of guests: 12
9. Wi-Fi is Included
What are some of the property amenities at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort? There aren’t many, unless designated smoking areas count. However, wi-fi is free in both the public areas and guest rooms, which is a nice perk.
10. There is a Small Grocery Store
The Broad Creek Mercantile is the Disney Hilton Head gift shop and general store that sells souvenirs, some limited groceries, and things like Mickey bars.
Pro tip: Don’t shop here. There are plenty of grocery stores near Disney Hilton Head. Visit them, or schedule a delivery for better food and cheaper prices.
Bonus pro tip: You can rent DVDs at this Disney Hilton Head mercantile shop.
11. No Pets Allowed
Is Hilton Head dog friendly? It definitely is, but they aren’t allowed at the resort. Turns out, the alligators and snakes aren’t just in Orlando.
If the no pet thing is a deal breaker for you, look elsewhere.
12. Mickey Mouse Isn’t in Your Face
The resort’s theme is 1940s hunting and fishing lodge, which is just so appealing to your average five year old.
However, while the intellectual property is much more subtle than that of the theme parks, it is there for those who want to find it. You will find Mickey in some shrubbery, and Disney Hilton Head hidden Mickeys throughout.
Pro tip: If you care about the hidden Mickeys, take the free Disney Hilton Head tour.
13. You Need a Car
Hilton Head is small, but it’s not walking distance small. There is also a whole bunch of traffic. To access all the tourist attractions and pretty much any dining safely, you need a car. Some people muscle through with only bicycles, but I would not try that with little kids.
Pro tip: There is a free Disney Hilton Head shuttle to the Beach House.
Bonus pro tip: Disney Hilton Head parking is free at both the main resort and Beach House. You need your room key to access the parking lot at the main resort.
14. Things to Do Near Disney’s Hilton Head Resort
Hilton Head Island offers miles of beaches, boats, and lots and lots of golf. The majority of the island seems to be made up of vacation rentals and Baby Boomers in tennis shorts, particularly in the off season. It has a bit of a Golden Girls vibe.
Given its relaxed nature, Hilton Head is a great option for a multigenerational trip.
There aren’t a ton of tourist activities that cater specifically to kids. This trip is really for those who want to bum around in the sand for a few days. One and done on Hilton Head is probably enough for most families.
Some off property tourist attractions to consider include:
Coastal Discovery Museum
The Coastal Discovery Museum is teeny tiny. It is also free. The price is right.
The museum is located on the Honey Horn property, a 68 acre area with some nice walks and historic buildings.
Sandbox Children’s Museum
Sandbox Children’s Museum is a great place for young kids to burn some energy out of the sun for a couple of hours.
There are multiple miniature golf courses throughout the island.
Adventure Hilton Head offers ropes courses and ziplining. Check the hours at the time of your visit. It is not open every day during the off season.
Take a pirate cruise with lots of noise. This isn’t open year round, so check the calendar when you visit.
Lawton Stables offers horseback and pony rides.
You can climb a bunch of stairs to the top of the Harbourtown Lighthouse. The stairwells are tight. You will most certainly make friends with strangers. The reward is a pretty view at the top.
Pro tip: You may be able to get discounts on other boat tours if you visit the lighthouse. Ask when you purchase your ticket.
Note: The lighthouse is located in Sea Pines. Sea Pines residents apparently don’t like tourists, because you have to pay $9 per car to enter the community as of the time of this writing. In addition to the lighthouse, you will find shops, restaurants, a playground, and some boat tours. Plan to spend a few hours in the area.
15. When is the Best Time to Visit?
The best time to visit the resort will vary person to person.
The weather is certainly the best during the summer and fall. Peak season offers the most activities and action throughout the island. However, you will pay increased Disney Hilton Head prices and fight the masses to do just about anything.
If you can tolerate the colder weather, accept the fact that everything on the island will not be open, and don’t want to see other people, winter is the way to go.
16. The Employees Are Great
Disney properties have chipper employees. The ones at this resort take it up a notch. Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. We were gifted free snacks at the pool on two occasions for no reason whatsoever.
Is Disney Hilton Head worth it? The employees tip the scale in the right direction.
17. How to Stay at Disney Hilton Head Resort for Less
How much does it cost to stay at Disney Hilton Head? A lot. This resort is not cheap. Try not to pay full price.
Rent Disney Hilton Head Vacation Club Points
This resort is part of Disney’s Vacation Club (DVC) program. Members pay Disney thousands of dollars for the honor of staying at its properties for decades, whether they want to or not.
When said members can’t or don’t want to use their points, you can rent them at a cheaper rate than you can get by booking directly with Disney. Check David’s Disney Vacation Club Rentals and DVC Rental Store.
Downsides to Disney Hilton Head DVC Rentals
Renting points is not for everyone. There are some key things to keep in mind when making your decision:
A. You must pay in full at the time of booking your Disney Hilton Head reservations
B. You cannot get a refund or make changes to your Disney Hilton Head Island reservations
C. You only get housekeeping on the fourth and eighth days of your trip
Pro tip: You can book as early as eleven months before your trip. Book as soon as possible. Availability will disappear.
Check Third Party Sites for Discounted Disney Hilton Head Rates
Travel at an Off Peak Time for Disney Hilton Head Specials
If you are willing to travel at an off peak time (think Disney Hilton Head in winter), you will get a better rate.
Note: Traveling at off peak times also comes with colder weather and reduced activities. On the plus side, there will be fewer people.
Use Miles and Points for Disney Hilton Head Deals
Miles and points are a great way to save on the vast majority of travel. Things get a little dicey with Disney properties. You can’t book them in most travel portals. You really only have one good option.
The Capital One Venture line of cards allow you to erase travel expenses from your statement. You could book directly with Disney, then erase it.
18. What Do You Need to Pack?
Don’t go crazy here. Consult this free packing list to figure out what you actually need.
Final Thoughts – Is Disney’s Hilton Head Hotel Worth Visiting?
This property is similar to any beach all inclusive property in that it offers a lot of activities that are included. You can easily entertain yourself at the pools and beach without leaving the Disney Hilton Head Hotel and spending extra money.
Obviously, since Disney Hilton Head food and alcohol is not included, you don’t get the same value that your Mexican favorite provides, but Hilton Head isn’t brimming with all inclusive competitors from which to choose. If you want to visit the island, this resort is one of your best bets.
The hotel is pricy and nowhere near a theme park. Is Disney’s Hilton Head Hotel worth visiting? I believe that it is. Once.