HHI LOVERS THREAD

evedein

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Sorry, I wasn't clear. At 7 months, what are the chances of getting May 31st ( 1 or 2 BR) for a week.
 
  • cruisin5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2001
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. At 7 months, what are the chances of getting May 31st ( 1 or 2 BR) for a week.
    Pretty good IMO.

    As of now, everything is available. Doesn't mean rooms aren't booked, I'm sure they are but they didn't fill up at the 11 month mark.
     

    jerseygal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2008
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. At 7 months, what are the chances of getting May 31st ( 1 or 2 BR) for a week.
    We got a 2 BR for a week a few years ago at 7 months, end of May going into Memorial Day weekend. If not, waitlist immediately, you never know!
     

    renzmari

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2008
    We will be there on Sunday and we can't wait!!! We go to HHI every year for the past 6 years and are so looking forward to our trip again this year. Family, fun in the sun, good food and drink. Who could ask for more?
     

    tgree9369

    #EarsUp
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2014
    Can anyone please tell me the best restaurants that are close to the resort. Some that may be comparable to a table service meal at WDW. This will be our first family trip to Disney's Resort on HHI (I have stayed at other resorts but was many years ago). We would like to do a good seafood dinner and then some other descent variety. We will have a Studio - so not much in the way of cooking at the resort.
    Also, what is recommended for heading to the beach? Can you take coolers with drinks (alcohol - beer/ coolers)? And how far is the drive if you are hauling your own cooler, umbrella and beach chairs?
    Thanks in advance for any help! We are excited to see first hand the Disney Magic that is HHI! This will be our first vacation outside of WDW in 6 years. While we will miss our DVC "home" at OKW, we are excited for a truly relaxing vacation before the big 2021 Celebration trip to Beach Club Resort!

    FYI: We are driving from PA - so will have a car on property. I have heard that parking is still free, correct?
     
    Last edited:

    badeacon

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2000
    You can take a cooler to beach but not suppose to have alcohol but we have take alcohol as do others , but need to be discrete and not obviously out in open.
    Since you have a car can easily drive to Beach house or take shuttle, also many restaurants within walking or short drive from resort.
     

    tgree9369

    #EarsUp
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2014
    You can take a cooler to beach but not suppose to have alcohol but we have take alcohol as do others , but need to be discrete and not obviously out in open.
    Since you have a car can easily drive to Beach house or take shuttle, also many restaurants within walking or short drive from resort.
    Thank you - I have looked at the map of the surrounding area and see that there is plenty of places to eat within walking or short drive. Again, TY - we are excited for a relaxing vacation while still doing Disney!
     

    sleepydog25

    Been here awhile
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    Can anyone please tell me the best restaurants that are close to the resort. Some that may be comparable to a table service meal at WDW. This will be our first family trip to Disney's Resort on HHI (I have stayed at other resorts but was many years ago). We would like to do a good seafood dinner and then some other descent variety. We will have a Studio - so not much in the way of cooking at the resort.
    Also, what is recommended for heading to the beach? Can you take coolers with drinks (alcohol - beer/ coolers)? And how far is the drive if you are hauling your own cooler, umbrella and beach chairs?
    Thanks in advance for any help! We are excited to see first hand the Disney Magic that is HHI! This will be our first vacation outside of WDW in 6 years. While we will miss our DVC "home" at OKW, we are excited for a truly relaxing vacation before the big 2021 Celebration trip to Beach Club Resort!

    FYI: We are driving from PA - so will have a car on property. I have heard that parking is still free, correct?
    You'll likely get many recommendations and, truly, most of the recommended places will actually be good. We drive from VA just about every summer, and here are our favorites.
    Skull Creek Boathouse: We've tried many places over the years; however, we keep coming back to Boathouse (not to be confused with nearby Dockside which is owned by same company but lacks the character and uniqueness of Boathouse). Good, fresh seafood selection, including one of the best boils around. Moderately priced. You can't make reservations, so either go early or be prepared to wait awhile. Since it's just two of us, we often will go inside (they have both inside and outside seating) and see if two spots at the bar are open. You can get the same food and not wait as long that way.
    Fish Camp on Broad Creek: A new favorite. Excellent selection of oysters, scenic outdoor seating, good service. Wine selection is one of the better ones. Not extensive, but full of hidden gems, such as a moderately priced Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.
    Hudson's: A caveat here. We've enjoyed it in the past--fresh selections--but our last trip there the food wasn't prepared well, didn't seem as fresh as usual. However, it could have been an off night. Also, I've read they have a new outdoor seating area with nice views.
    Scott's: I mention it mostly because it's right across the bridge from the Disney resort, so less than a five-minute walk. Otherwise, we found the food average, not bad, just average. The lone exception was their crab cake--I've lived on both coasts, including five years in MD and four years in AK--and it's one of the better crab cakes I've had.

    As my wife and I currently live in the mountains of southwest VA, fresh seafood is not something we see a lot of unless we drive for hours. So, while at HHI, we mostly do seafood/fish restaurants. However, there are numerous places to get menus that aren't seafood-centric. Our favorite spot is OMBRA Cucina, about a mile past Shelter Cove, so perhaps a 3-4 minute drive. It's upscale Italian, consistently placing in top four or five restaurants on the island. While upscale, it's not snooty or condescending. The food is fresh, authentically prepared, and is paired with a topnotch wine list. Chef Michael also ranks among the top chefs at HHI.

    Disney's Beach House is right at 1.5 miles from the resort proper. It's an easy drive, but parking can get scarce later in the day. Obviously, the shuttle is another option, leaving approximately every 20 minutes. Or, you can bike or walk. Now, if you're hauling things, biking and walking become problematic. Still, both are easy enough to do given the magnificent trail system at HHI--the bike/walking path even goes UNDER the main roadway near the entrance to Shelter Cove. As for what to bring, as noted, I believe it's illegal to have alcoholic beverages on the beach. . .technically. As another suggested, if you're discreet, I think you're fine. Others may have more to say about this. You can rent chairs and umbrellas from the lifeguards stationed up and down the beach. Pool towels are provided by Disney for the pools at both the main resort and the Beach House; however, you'll need to bring your own beach towels.

    Finally, there is the Shelter Cove Shopping Center, the outskirts of which you can walk to in 10 minutes. That works for us since a relatively new standalone Starbucks sits right there, so that's our morning walk: to and from Starbucks to get a latte. If you keep on past Starbucks, there are numerous shops, restaurants of all sorts, and both a Kroger and a Whole Foods. It's a spread out center, so while Starbucks can be reached in 10 minutes, the Kroger will take you another 5 minutes and Whole Foods yet another 5 minutes.

    The resort itself has numerous activities and play areas containing yard games such as bocci ball, a putting green, shuffleboard, basketball, and corn hole to name a few. Tide Me Over is a good QS--they're Mickey waffles are made to order! And what we enjoy most about the resort--outside of the ability to simply relax--are the CMs. They are without peer. Friendly, helpful, and simply fantastic in most regards. Have fun!!
     

    tgree9369

    #EarsUp
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2014
    You'll likely get many recommendations and, truly, most of the recommended places will actually be good. We drive from VA just about every summer, and here are our favorites.
    Skull Creek Boathouse: We've tried many places over the years; however, we keep coming back to Boathouse (not to be confused with nearby Dockside which is owned by same company but lacks the character and uniqueness of Boathouse). Good, fresh seafood selection, including one of the best boils around. Moderately priced. You can't make reservations, so either go early or be prepared to wait awhile. Since it's just two of us, we often will go inside (they have both inside and outside seating) and see if two spots at the bar are open. You can get the same food and not wait as long that way.
    Fish Camp on Broad Creek: A new favorite. Excellent selection of oysters, scenic outdoor seating, good service. Wine selection is one of the better ones. Not extensive, but full of hidden gems, such as a moderately priced Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.
    Hudson's: A caveat here. We've enjoyed it in the past--fresh selections--but our last trip there the food wasn't prepared well, didn't seem as fresh as usual. However, it could have been an off night. Also, I've read they have a new outdoor seating area with nice views.
    Scott's: I mention it mostly because it's right across the bridge from the Disney resort, so less than a five-minute walk. Otherwise, we found the food average, not bad, just average. The lone exception was their crab cake--I've lived on both coasts, including five years in MD and four years in AK--and it's one of the better crab cakes I've had.

    As my wife and I currently live in the mountains of southwest VA, fresh seafood is not something we see a lot of unless we drive for hours. So, while at HHI, we mostly do seafood/fish restaurants. However, there are numerous places to get menus that aren't seafood-centric. Our favorite spot is OMBRA Cucina, about a mile past Shelter Cove, so perhaps a 3-4 minute drive. It's upscale Italian, consistently placing in top four or five restaurants on the island. While upscale, it's not snooty or condescending. The food is fresh, authentically prepared, and is paired with a topnotch wine list. Chef Michael also ranks among the top chefs at HHI.

    Disney's Beach House is right at 1.5 miles from the resort proper. It's an easy drive, but parking can get scarce later in the day. Obviously, the shuttle is another option, leaving approximately every 20 minutes. Or, you can bike or walk. Now, if you're hauling things, biking and walking become problematic. Still, both are easy enough to do given the magnificent trail system at HHI--the bike/walking path even goes UNDER the main roadway near the entrance to Shelter Cove. As for what to bring, as noted, I believe it's illegal to have alcoholic beverages on the beach. . .technically. As another suggested, if you're discreet, I think you're fine. Others may have more to say about this. You can rent chairs and umbrellas from the lifeguards stationed up and down the beach. Pool towels are provided by Disney for the pools at both the main resort and the Beach House; however, you'll need to bring your own beach towels.

    Finally, there is the Shelter Cove Shopping Center, the outskirts of which you can walk to in 10 minutes. That works for us since a relatively new standalone Starbucks sits right there, so that's our morning walk: to and from Starbucks to get a latte. If you keep on past Starbucks, there are numerous shops, restaurants of all sorts, and both a Kroger and a Whole Foods. It's a spread out center, so while Starbucks can be reached in 10 minutes, the Kroger will take you another 5 minutes and Whole Foods yet another 5 minutes.

    The resort itself has numerous activities and play areas containing yard games such as bocci ball, a putting green, shuffleboard, basketball, and corn hole to name a few. Tide Me Over is a good QS--they're Mickey waffles are made to order! And what we enjoy most about the resort--outside of the ability to simply relax--are the CMs. They are without peer. Friendly, helpful, and simply fantastic in most regards. Have fun!!
    TY @sleepydog25 ! This helps tremendously! Again, as I mentioned above, we have done WDW every year for the past 6 years and just wanted a break before the Big 50th in 2021. We wanted to still have the Disney Magic but in a more relaxed environment. I grew up going to Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island, so I knew the vacation would be more relaxed but reading and hearing that this resort, in particular, does Disney proud - has made my decision much easier. I think WDW could take a look at the CMs at HHI and learn a thing or two. That has been my biggest complaint with WDW, it's starting to loose it's guests focus. It will be interesting to see if our 2 boys (12 & 15) will get the whole relaxing thing after be used to WDW. We all needed a break from the rope drops and scheduled dinners - but we just couldn't do a year without experiencing some Pixie Dust!
     

    sleepydog25

    Been here awhile
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    TY @sleepydog25 ! This helps tremendously! Again, as I mentioned above, we have done WDW every year for the past 6 years and just wanted a break before the Big 50th in 2021. We wanted to still have the Disney Magic but in a more relaxed environment. I grew up going to Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island, so I knew the vacation would be more relaxed but reading and hearing that this resort, in particular, does Disney proud - has made my decision much easier. I think WDW could take a look at the CMs at HHI and learn a thing or two. That has been my biggest complaint with WDW, it's starting to loose it's guests focus. It will be interesting to see if our 2 boys (12 & 15) will get the whole relaxing thing after be used to WDW. We all needed a break from the rope drops and scheduled dinners - but we just couldn't do a year without experiencing some Pixie Dust!
    Glad to help out, and I hope others chime in since there are lots of great suggestions out there, I'm certain. Almost universally, kids of all ages love HHI and the laid back vibe. One thing it stresses, as you may have gathered, is to enjoy your family on vacation rather than enjoying a vacation with your family. No rope drops, no EMHs, no FPs, no tens of thousands of your closest friends attempting to squeeze through turnstiles or watch a fireworks show. Instead, you can go crabbing off the pier at the resort (free though you toss the crabs back); go kayaking; go biking; swim in either pool (we've never seen either overly crowded); boogie board in the ocean; nap under an umbrella while your kids boogie board in the ocean; play miniature golf (there's one nearby); do the campfire; take a tour; play a family corn hole tournament or shuffleboard tournament or H-O-R-S-E at the b-ball court. . .and the list goes on. Even though you're in a studio, there are numerous charcoal grills scattered throughout the resort, and people use them all the time. Hardly a night goes by you don't smell burgers, dogs, steaks, or even fish being cooked over open flames. Meanwhile, there are enough Disney touches to make it fun, from the front entrance, to the lobby, to small touches in the room, to the small gift shop, to the aforementioned Mickey waffles, and, of course, to the amazing CMs. I hope you and your family enjoy your stay it as much as we do. And, yes, mainstream WDW could learn a ton from the CMs at Disney HHI. Yes, it's a different animal and far fewer people. But, at one time, WDW did stress great CM interaction and helpfulness. Now, Disney prefers to let the major stockholders' demands influence their decisions which, in turn, has fueled the reduction in services overall. . .let's just hope that pervasive thinking never reached HHI. ;)
     

    BP Roo

    Black Cauldron fanatic
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2014
    TY @sleepydog25 ! This helps tremendously! Again, as I mentioned above, we have done WDW every year for the past 6 years and just wanted a break before the Big 50th in 2021. We wanted to still have the Disney Magic but in a more relaxed environment. I grew up going to Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island, so I knew the vacation would be more relaxed but reading and hearing that this resort, in particular, does Disney proud - has made my decision much easier. I think WDW could take a look at the CMs at HHI and learn a thing or two. That has been my biggest complaint with WDW, it's starting to loose it's guests focus. It will be interesting to see if our 2 boys (12 & 15) will get the whole relaxing thing after be used to WDW. We all needed a break from the rope drops and scheduled dinners - but we just couldn't do a year without experiencing some Pixie Dust!
    We did HHI this past May for this very reason: Disney magic without the fast pace of the theme parks. We rented four nights DVC sandwiched between stops in Savannah and Charleston. While we loved all three areas, we really wished we had spent more time on Hilton Head. There is so much to do at the resort. And the Atlantic is so much warmer than the Pacific, even in early May. The CMs there are as advertised. We were so impressed that this stay convinced us to finally buy into DVC. We ended up buying Boardwalk and Grand Californian, but would buy HHI in a flash if we could ever get direct flights from KC.
    We ate all of our breakfasts and lunches at the resort. Signals and Tide have small menus but a lot of great stuff we wanted to try. Having a vegetarian in our party limits the restaurant selection a bit (especially seafood places), but we did enjoy Salty Dog Café. It definitely has that touristy Disney feel to it, even though it is in Sea Pines.
     

    OffToDWD

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2014
    We haven't been to HHI but thinking of going next June after spending a week in Disney World parks. It looks to be a great place to just chill and enjoy life with the family! I see some mention of crabbing which sounds super fun (especially for my 6 year old!)... when is the crabbing season? Any special "tools" needed to do it? Also, are items like boogie boards, sand toys, bikes included (or any outdoor activity items) with the resort or easily rented? Many thanks!
     

    sleepydog25

    Been here awhile
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    We haven't been to HHI but thinking of going next June after spending a week in Disney World parks. It looks to be a great place to just chill and enjoy life with the family! I see some mention of crabbing which sounds super fun (especially for my 6 year old!)... when is the crabbing season? Any special "tools" needed to do it? Also, are items like boogie boards, sand toys, bikes included (or any outdoor activity items) with the resort or easily rented? Many thanks!
    I can give you partial answers. Not exactly sure when crabbing season begins, but you'll be safe by June. The resort usually does a crabbing session each day (you can ask for times), and they provide everything--bait, trap, and a quick explanation. It's simple. You (or usually the CM) affixes the bait to the trap, and you lower it into the water. Wait. Pull up when a crab goes for the bait. My wife and I went out one afternoon, and literally within five minutes, she had caught a crab. The CM will usually put them in a container which she/he then dumps back into the water once the session is over. It would be great fun for a 6-year old. You can rent bikes and kayaks, for sure, but there may be other items, as well. Enjoy!
     

    Travel60

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2012
    We haven't been to HHI but thinking of going next June after spending a week in Disney World parks. It looks to be a great place to just chill and enjoy life with the family! I see some mention of crabbing which sounds super fun (especially for my 6 year old!)... when is the crabbing season? Any special "tools" needed to do it? Also, are items like boogie boards, sand toys, bikes included (or any outdoor activity items) with the resort or easily rented? Many thanks!
    The resort has two parts. The main resort is on Broad Creek, not the beach. All the rooms are here. This is where you can fish and crab (I've never done the group thing, just got the tools (net, poles, bait) from the activities deck). They also do kayak excursions from here.

    Then there is a beach house just over a mile away. There is a shuttle or you can easily drive or bike. Both have pools and quick food eating places. The beach house also has a bar. Both have community rooms where activities are held (t-shirt decorating, pillow cases, etc.).

    At the main resort there are activities scattered about...basketball court, bocce ball, bean bag toss, etc. A couple of times a week is a campfire that ends with s'mores. There are outside movies most nights.

    Just got back from week with grandkids...they loved it.
     

    Fantasia79

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    Booked our first trip to HHI! I have 3 nights in a 1br (waitlisted for studio), and 3 nights in a studio for a total of 6 nights. Going Late March/Early April. We’re from Chicago, so I’m sure it’ll be warmer than home.

    Trying to learn more about the area and resort. Hoping to fly into either Charleston, Savanna or HH. Just depends on times and prices. Renting a car and bringing a car seat.

    My daughter will be nearly 5 when we are there, she loves the parks, so hoping to make this a great trip for her.

    Any recommendations are welcomed. Very excited there is both a Starbucks & Whole Foods close by!
     

    Fantasia79

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    Booked our first trip to HHI! I have 3 nights in a 1br (waitlisted for studio), and 3 nights in a studio for a total of 6 nights. Going Late March/Early April. We’re from Chicago, so I’m sure it’ll be warmer than home.

    Trying to learn more about the area and resort. Hoping to fly into either Charleston, Savanna or HH. Just depends on times and prices. Renting a car and bringing a car seat.

    My daughter will be nearly 5 when we are there, she loves the parks, so hoping to make this a great trip for her.

    Any recommendations are welcomed. Very excited there is both a Starbucks & Whole Foods close by!
     

    OffToDWD

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2014
    I can give you partial answers. Not exactly sure when crabbing season begins, but you'll be safe by June. The resort usually does a crabbing session each day (you can ask for times), and they provide everything--bait, trap, and a quick explanation. It's simple. You (or usually the CM) affixes the bait to the trap, and you lower it into the water. Wait. Pull up when a crab goes for the bait. My wife and I went out one afternoon, and literally within five minutes, she had caught a crab. The CM will usually put them in a container which she/he then dumps back into the water once the session is over. It would be great fun for a 6-year old. You can rent bikes and kayaks, for sure, but there may be other items, as well. Enjoy!
    The resort has two parts. The main resort is on Broad Creek, not the beach. All the rooms are here. This is where you can fish and crab (I've never done the group thing, just got the tools (net, poles, bait) from the activities deck). They also do kayak excursions from here.

    Then there is a beach house just over a mile away. There is a shuttle or you can easily drive or bike. Both have pools and quick food eating places. The beach house also has a bar. Both have community rooms where activities are held (t-shirt decorating, pillow cases, etc.).

    At the main resort there are activities scattered about...basketball court, bocce ball, bean bag toss, etc. A couple of times a week is a campfire that ends with s'mores. There are outside movies most nights.

    Just got back from week with grandkids...they loved it.
    Thank you! This is super helpful! Can't wait to go
     

    sleepydog25

    Been here awhile
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    Booked our first trip to HHI! I have 3 nights in a 1br (waitlisted for studio), and 3 nights in a studio for a total of 6 nights. Going Late March/Early April. We’re from Chicago, so I’m sure it’ll be warmer than home.

    Trying to learn more about the area and resort. Hoping to fly into either Charleston, Savanna or HH. Just depends on times and prices. Renting a car and bringing a car seat.

    My daughter will be nearly 5 when we are there, she loves the parks, so hoping to make this a great trip for her.

    Any recommendations are welcomed. Very excited there is both a Starbucks & Whole Foods close by!
    If you scroll back a ways, there are plenty of great suggestions, but at the risk of being repetitive of earlier posts, you will be within easy walking distance of the Starbucks and Kroger; within an easy bike, shuttle bus ride, or drive to the beach house; and within an easy drive to many excellent restaurants. I would also suggest you cook your own version of a low country boil while you have a full kitchen in the 1BR. You can buy some good seafood from Barnacle Bill's just down the road from the resort, or Kroger usually has a solid selection, too.

    The resort has the best CMs anywhere, hands down. There are two QS places, one at the beach house and one at the main resort. Tide Me Over (the main resort) has made-to-order Mickey waffles, so that's a bonus. Plenty of activities at the main resort--just check with the front desk.

    As for restaurants, while there are many from which to choose, I'd recommend Skull Creek Boathouse (not Dockside which is fine but not as good), Fish Camp on Broad Creek, and OMBRA Cucina (just a mile or so down the road from the resort). Scott's Fish Market is just across the bridge from the resort--literally a 3-minute walk--but there food is just average save for the crab cakes. Social Bakery is over there, too, and it has very good, albeit expensive, pastries, quiche, and other such items.

    HHI is all about relaxation, not going gung-ho all day at a park. Kick back, slow down, and enjoy being with family. ;)
     

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