During my latest visit to Walt Disney World for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I stayed at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for two nights to get the scoop on their Marathon Weekends, offered during many runDisney races since 2011. Marathon Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Orlando offer runners complimentary transportation to runDisney half-marathons and marathon, an included pre-race breakfast and send-off party, discounted rates that include late check-out, a runner’s concierge, and more.
My room was large, comfortable, and clean with a beautiful view of the pool and Walt Disney World beyond. And best of all, it was within the gates of Walt Disney World Resort—a 10-minute drive to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—with free transportation to the parks. I thoroughly enjoyed the hotel and would stay there again in a heartbeat when visiting or running Walt Disney World. The value and bang-for-your-buck is exceptional.
As a mid-week guest I wasn’t able to experience the Marathon Weekends myself, but chatted with folks in the know, got a look at some of the runner amenities like the welcome bag, and took in much of what the resort had to offer. I ran the property, lounged poolside in a cabana, made use of guests’ 10% discount at the Waldorf Astoria spa, hit the lobby coffee shop—which has some amazing pastries, by the way—and more.
Here’s the low-down on Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends and runner-friendly amenities at the resort.
Marathon Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Marathon Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek give runners the royal treatment with complimentary transportation to runDisney half-marathons and marathon plus other perks:
- Complimentary bus transportation to and from half marathons and the full marathon
- Personalized assistance from a dedicated Runner’s Concierge
- Complimentary snacks and beverages before the races
- Send-off party from Hilton cheerleaders, even at 3 a.m. before morning races
- A welcome bag
- Special pasta dinner options
If you book the special Marathon Weekend Rate, you also receive:
- Discounted rate exclusive to marathon runners
- A 2 p.m. late check-out time
- 10% food & beverage savings card to be used during your stay
Before the Disney Princess Half Marathon, the 200-some Marathon Weekend guests were treated to coffee, tea, water, energy bars, granola bars, muffins, bananas, oatmeal, bagels and schmear such as cream cheese, peanut butter and jelly starting at 2:45 a.m. for the 5:30 a.m. race. Runners sign-up in advance to reserve a bus spot with a blue wristband serving as your ticket.
Marathon Weekends also often include a “Runner’s Challenge” to win a weekend stay at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. Before the race, runners can submit their anticipated finish time. The runner who comes closest to their predicted time wins.
Guests staying at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando can also book Marathon Weekend packages with all the same amenities, but note that pre-race snacks, race shuttles, and other perks are located at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek next door.
It’s also worth noting that they provide transportation only for the half-marathons and marathon, not for the 5Ks, Kids Races, and Expo. But their Runner’s Concierge can help set you up with transportation for those other events. The hotel is a 10-minute drive to each Epcot and ESPN Wide World of Sports, the two spots where most of the races, Kids Races, and Expo are staged. Here’s a map:
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is a 1,001-room resort connected to the 498-room Waldorf Astoria via a large convention center, which together make up the Bonnet Creek Resort. The five-year-old property sits within the gates of Walt Disney World adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort to the west and the 482-acre Bonnet Creek Nature Preserve to the east.
Here are just a few of the amenities I loved during my stay:
Pool—Can you say lazy river? I’ve posted about my favorite Orlando pools before, and I have to add the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek to the list. The 3-acre pool not only has a lazy river, but a water slide, waterfalls, zero-entry family pool, and lagoon-side cabanas. I spent an entire day at the pool lounging in a cabana that came stocked with fruit, soda, and water. I also ordered lunch from Beech, the pool-side cafe. It was all just too lovely.
Running Path—A 1-mile off-road loop encircles the hotel. If you want to eke out more mileage without doing 1-mile repeats, the sidewalk along Chelonia Parkway, which connects to the hotel, is a touch over 1.5-miles long. I mapped out a 4-mile run that includes one loop of the Bonnet Creek resort with an out-and-back along Chelonia. Here’s a link to the zoom-able map.
Fitness Center—Open 24-hours, the 4,000 sq. ft. Fitness Center offers endless rows of treadmills and Precor machines looking onto the pool. It’s the antidote to the dingy basement hotel gym.
Waldorf Astoria Spa—I booked a massage on a rainy night at the 24,000 sq. ft. facility. I didn’t even have to go outside to get there, since the Waldorf Astoria is connected to the Hilton through the convention center. My treatment was wonderful and I spent time afterward using the sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi. As a Bonnet Creek guest, I received 10% off my treatment.
Restaurants—There are six restaurants including an Italian trattoria, American bistro, coffee house, poolside cafe, and two bars and lounges. I enjoyed bites from three of them including the truly standout sweets at MUSE coffee shop. The connected Waldorf Astoria offers six more restaurants, including a steakhouse and American brasserie.
Disney Parks Transportation—Complimentary private buses take guests directly to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney during park hours. You can find the daily shuttle schedule at the hotel or online. Guests can purchase theme park tickets directly from the hotel concierge. The hotel is also home to a Disney Store off the lobby, where you can find Disney souvenirs and park tickets, too.
For more information, visit hiltonbonnetcreek.com.
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek provided me with complimentary accommodations for one night. I footed the rest the of the bill. As always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.