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jel0511
02-13-2008, 10:01 AM
Hi,
We're thinking of renting one for a budget trip we're planning for the summer. Anyone stay at one of the townhouses? I'm looking more for some reviews, I did a search, but most of them were when they had their old management company,I couldn't find anything with their new one. Any help would be appreciated!

stczt
02-14-2008, 07:51 PM
We are renting from them @ the end of the month. I'll let you know whwen we get back. One thing is after we paid our balance they wanted $20 more for thier paypal fees. I think they should be included. we reserved over a year ago and had to put off the trip or we may have changed.

Cindy B
02-15-2008, 01:43 PM
We are renting from them @ the end of the month. I'll let you know whwen we get back. One thing is after we paid our balance they wanted $20 more for thier paypal fees. I think they should be included. we reserved over a year ago and had to put off the trip or we may have changed.

See I think that is tacky. I would call the Paypal fees the cost of doing business. If I was the owner, I 'd just charge $20 more the month somewhere instead of asking the owner after the payment... that's just rude.

mousemomof2
02-15-2008, 01:49 PM
We will be staying there in March.:cool1: As far as the fee, I kind of felt the same way because it does not mention anything about it anywhere on their site or the final balance notice. Kind of lousy.:rolleyes1 I asked about this on the boards and was told that it was not uncommon though.

willise
02-16-2008, 10:21 AM
I did stay there and never would again. Granted, it was with the old management company. However, the owners never did return my call or email concerning the problems we had, they just ignored me. I wasn't even asking for a refund! I just wanted to let them know of our experience. Not bothering to return an email or a phone call was enough to let me know that I would not go there again. I even sent them pictures of the broken glass, ants, etc.


Hopefully, things have changed as I have read others have stayed there with no problems.

Good Luck!

cinderella73
02-16-2008, 01:37 PM
Well I stayed with them from sept 25th till Oct 3rd (I might be off a bit on dates) of last year. We not only loved the house but we loved the owners. They went really above and beyond to help us . Really great people. Nice home. If you have any questions feel free to ask me. ~ Michelle

Lucky'sMom
02-16-2008, 03:48 PM
Another bad experience with the owners....ignored our emails..etc. (after they had our deposit).

mrswh
02-16-2008, 05:29 PM
I sent them an email a week ago inquiring about a trip for early 2009, and haven't heard a peep. I guess they don't want our business.

we6clarks
02-16-2008, 06:57 PM
We just booked with them today. Now I am a little nervous. They have been very quick to respond so far. I emailed about available dates last night I heard back from them in less than 5 min. We also contacted 2 other owners. 1 we heard from this morning and they were more expensicve. The other hasn't responded yet.

twinsmomvj
02-16-2008, 07:53 PM
We just booked for our upcoming short trip in May. I've exchanged multiple e-mails with Tanya (one of the owners? managers?), and she was super helpful and very quick to respond to all of my questions. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the good experience continues...

willise
02-16-2008, 08:43 PM
There was a very lengthy thread on this subject that got closed because it became failry nasty. If you do a search on storytime townhome, you may still be able to find it. As I said, we did not have a great experience with them. However, it didn't ruin our trip - although the ants in the dishwasher was very gross! LOL (I can laugh now looking back on it). Both owners were extremely helpful to me right until the day we arrived. They answered phone calls and replied to emails almost immediately. After the vacation, that all ended.

Now, I know they have purchased more homes (we stayed at the townhome on Fitz Clarence) and have gotten rid of Villa Direct as their management company. They now do it all themselves, I believe. Maybe the people like me who experienced problems are the minority, I really hope so.

If you need any specifics or pictures of the issues I had, PM me.

Best of luck!

hlbrink
02-17-2008, 06:30 AM
My SIL and her family are staying in one of their townhomes when we go in May (we are renting from a different owner - we had to go with two different owners in order to get in the same building). I'm a bit nervous for them now:scared: They do mention their new management company on their Web site, so hopefully this means they are making an effort to improve issues that have affected previous renters.

I wonder how many of the owners lurk on the boards to get feedback? I know I would if I was an owner that rented out my unit (however, I tend to take things too personally sometimes :guilty: ). From what I have seen of the reviews, most posters are realistic in what they expect and aren't too nitpicky.

we6clarks
02-18-2008, 08:37 AM
hi twinsmommyj. We also have a set of twins. Do you did letting me know how your stay was in May? We are going over the summer. Which house are you staying in? Thanks.
Michele

twinsmomvj
02-18-2008, 11:53 AM
hi twinsmommyj. We also have a set of twins. Do you did letting me know how your stay was in May? We are going over the summer. Which house are you staying in? Thanks.
Michele

We are staying in townhouse #4. I know our kids will love their room. :) I'll let you know how it goes.

mikkiwikki
02-18-2008, 12:13 PM
I inquired at one point about dates over thanksgiving.

They were very short and curt with me. I got a one line email saying your dates are not available. I wasnt too impressed. No Thanks for looking into our property or anything.

The condos do look cute tho.:surfweb:

mousebit
02-18-2008, 02:29 PM
I hesitate to post comments that aren't real positive, but I believe most of us come to this board seeking help and advise so this is my humble opinion. I did not feel comfortable at all with the owners. My emails went unanswered; I felt that some important questions I asked were evaded. At one point, they were very defensive and I couldn't understand why until I read this board and learned they were going through a rough time. What was going on was none of my concern, but the way I was treated was enough to cause me to cancel my ressie, forfeiting the deposit. I just didn't want to take the chance of doing business with them - especially not when it came to a Disney vacation with my family. Their homes look beautiful and I was sooo disappointed. Things might have worked out just fine, but I couldn't shake the gut feeling that if I had a problem that needed to be addressed by the owner, I would have gotten my head bitten off! And that is not my idea of a vacation. Again, this is just my opinion.

kaseyoz
02-20-2008, 09:06 PM
It is hard to believe you are talking about the same people we have been dealing with.

I put in a request for my friend who is travelling with us (i had booked another home)out of about 40 replies they were the only ones to ring us and we are in australia . they have been "over the top" answering my questions. My friend has booked with them and i was considering changing to one of theirs also

mousebit
02-21-2008, 06:25 AM
It is hard to believe you are talking about the same people we have been dealing with.

I put in a request for my friend who is travelling with us (i had booked another home)out of about 40 replies they were the only ones to ring us and we are in australia . they have been "over the top" answering my questions. My friend has booked with them and i was considering changing to one of theirs also

I don't doubt this one bit. For those of you who have already booked with them, I'm fairly sure you will be getting a lovely place to stay for a good price.
As I said, there was some controversy (not concerning me) at the time I was dealing with the owners, and with the stress, tempers flared and some got caught in the crossfire. I just felt uncomfortable and didn't trust that if a problem should occur during my stay that it would be handled fairly and professionally. I'm sure once things cooled down, these owners realized they could have handled things differently. Have a great trip!

Lucky'sMom
02-21-2008, 06:35 AM
I'll also just add that they were friendly before they had my money, and ignored me after they had my deposit. I cancelled and would not book with them again. JMO.

YayDisney!
02-22-2008, 10:54 AM
It is hard to believe you are talking about the same people we have been dealing with.

I put in a request for my friend who is travelling with us (i had booked another home)out of about 40 replies they were the only ones to ring us and we are in australia . they have been "over the top" answering my questions. My friend has booked with them and i was considering changing to one of theirs also


We've also had very good communication with the owners of this rental property. We are staying there in early June...this will be our first time off-site and we are really excited. We have extra people in our travel party this time, so we decided to save a little and equip ourselves with a comfortable space to share. We looked long and hard before choosing StoryTime and we feel very comfortable with our decision.

Have a wonderful vacation!! :goodvibes

harmonium
02-22-2008, 11:11 AM
Just out of curiosity, could someone post some pics or a link to pics for the StoryTime Townhomes?

sympatico
02-22-2008, 11:17 AM
http://www.vrbo.com/74994

Scroll down past the rates and look at their own website.

harmonium
02-22-2008, 01:47 PM
http://www.vrbo.com/74994

Scroll down past the rates and look at their own website.

Thanks. They look nice. I could totally see staying there if we were going in a big group. Good to know they are out there.

Soccerpooh
02-22-2008, 05:03 PM
We stayed in Storytime 3 for 8 days last June. It was GREAT! The owners were very nice, and they answered all emails quickly and very businesslike. The townhome was VERY clean, well equiped, and exactly as pictured on their website. We would stay in a Storytime townhome again- hopefully we will have the opportunity next year.
FWIW- We were at WDW last month for DS's soccer tournament, an we were forced to use the tournament travel agency, thus we had no choice on which community we got to stay in. We stayed in a condo at the Villas of Sommerset. The management company was very unresponsive, and the condo was DIRTY. It made us appreciate how great our stay was in June with Storytime, and Windsor Hills in general. :thumbsup2

YayDisney!
02-26-2008, 01:45 PM
We stayed in Storytime 3 for 8 days last June. It was GREAT! The owners were very nice, and they answered all emails quickly and very businesslike. The townhome was VERY clean, well equiped, and exactly as pictured on their website. We would stay in a Storytime townhome again- hopefully we will have the opportunity next year.
FWIW- We were at WDW last month for DS's soccer tournament, an we were forced to use the tournament travel agency, thus we had no choice on which community we got to stay in. We stayed in a condo at the Villas of Sommerset. The management company was very unresponsive, and the condo was DIRTY. It made us appreciate how great our stay was in June with Storytime, and Windsor Hills in general. :thumbsup2

Thank you for posting your experience, as we are booked in StoryTime 3 in June. We have had extremely good customer service from the owners up to this point and expect to have a similar wonderful review of our vacation. We are really looking forward to this trip. Thank you for sharing!!

:goodvibes

can
03-03-2008, 10:07 AM
We have booked Storytime #1 for our trip in just 17 days. After reading some of these posts, I am now nervous on how things will be. So far have had nothing but a positive experience. They have been prompt in replying and answering any questions. Will post once we get down there. Hope things will work out. It is our DD's "Sweet 16" birthday and this is all she wanted, was to be at WDW for her birthday. Would just like things to be nice!

wmson2000
03-03-2008, 11:08 AM
So far so good for us with StoryTime.

The owners, Tanya & Elias, have been prompt enough with communication even after getting my deposits - even with follow up questions about the location within Windsor Hills etc.

We're in the six bedroom villa in May 08.

I'm paying the balance on the rental tomorrow. I'll make sure I let everyone know our continuing experience with Storytime.

I'm sure hoping the experience is a good one. I'd love to be a repeat guest of theirs. My grandaughter talks all the time about her princess room!

John & Brenda

Atotty
03-04-2008, 01:26 PM
I thought about renting from them last year. I suggest you do a search for Storytime and read some of the threads that show up from last year. The Storytime owners even posted on one thread; they had recently joined the dis. It's very enlightening.

I decided to rent elsewhere.

mousemomof2
03-18-2008, 02:08 PM
We just got back from our 7 night stay. It was absolutely wonderful. Very clean, no ants. We did make sure to do our share in not attracting ants. This is Florida after all. Everything about it was wonderful. The beds are very comfortable. The kids loved their room. Pool was just perfect. Eli was great. Had to call him a couple of times. One time was to find out where the key was to turn up the air and another was from the park because we forgot to write down the phone # to the home. He also allowed us to stay an extra hour since NWA changed our flight departure time. I would definitely recommend and stay there again.:)

stczt
03-18-2008, 07:17 PM
we stayed in storytime 4 the first week of march. It was awesome. the kitchen was well stocked as far as cooking dishes. I did take a pitcher from home just in case and I did use it. The tv in the living room broke at the begining of our stay so we could not watch tv all together, he called the owners a few times and we recived compensation today in the mail. I highly recomend storytime and would stay with them again.

can
03-22-2008, 11:42 PM
We are currently staying at StoryTime 1 and are very happy with our decision. This 3 bdrm, 3 ba townhome is beautiful, clean, and has everything we could possibly need. Have had great communication with the owners, they are quick in responding and have been pleasant to deal with you.

The travel to MK even feels like less time than when we have stayed on resort property and used Disney transportation.

So glad we decided to take the plunge on off resort property. Has been a very positive experience for us so far.

anut4disney
03-24-2008, 10:38 PM
We are staying in townhouse #4. I know our kids will love their room. :) I'll let you know how it goes.

I just booked #4 for August. I hope you let us know how it was.

anut4disney
03-24-2008, 10:46 PM
We just got back from our 7 night stay. It was absolutely wonderful. Very clean, no ants. We did make sure to do our share in not attracting ants. This is Florida after all. Everything about it was wonderful. The beds are very comfortable. The kids loved their room. Pool was just perfect. Eli was great. Had to call him a couple of times. One time was to find out where the key was to turn up the air and another was from the park because we forgot to write down the phone # to the home. He also allowed us to stay an extra hour since NWA changed our flight departure time. I would definitely recommend and stay there again.:)

Oh, so glad to hear something good. We are staying in #4 and I am getting excited about it (I am a die hard stay on property person, but it is getting so expensive and dh doesn't like the values). I think the kids (9) will love having the pool. It will be nice having 3 seperate rooms so when everyone gets a little tense, everyone can go to their room to calm down, lol.

wmson2000
04-26-2008, 06:53 PM
Just one week away from our family's (with grandchildren) stay at Storytime Villa in WH.

I just got off the phone with Elias (owner). Every communication, email and phone, with Elias and Tanya has been prompt and curteous. Today I got the key code and all the particulars for the property.

We've always stayed on dis properties or name brand hotels (Hilton, Doubletree). I don't mind saying that I'm a little nervous - giving someone I don't know a bunch of money to stay in their home. But so far, the owners have been easy and friendly. I'll keep posting updates!

John

can
04-27-2008, 07:45 PM
John,

I know exactly how you feel, I was nervous too. We have always stayed on Disney property and I just wasn't sure how this would work out. I cannot say enough good things about the week. Which townhouse are you staying in? We stayed in Storytime #1, which was literally a less than 2 min. walk to the pool. The pictures don't do justice to how it really looks in person. You will be glad you made this choice. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your week!

cinderella73
04-27-2008, 09:40 PM
We are booking with them again as well. The owners are really nice people . The townhome's are nicely decorated and the resort is great. I dont even want to book with anyone else after such a great experience last year. I will have to do a trip report this year when we get back. We really wanted to rent their 6 bedroom but it was all booked for the dates we needed. Really once you stay with them you just cant imagine going back to staying on Disney Resort property.

anut4disney
04-28-2008, 08:33 AM
Just one week away from our family's (with grandchildren) stay at Storytime Villa in WH.

I just got off the phone with Elias (owner). Every communication, email and phone, with Elias and Tanya has been prompt and curteous. Today I got the key code and all the particulars for the property.

We've always stayed on dis properties or name brand hotels (Hilton, Doubletree). I don't mind saying that I'm a little nervous - giving someone I don't know a bunch of money to stay in their home. But so far, the owners have been easy and friendly. I'll keep posting updates!

John

John,

I know exactly how you feel, I was nervous too. We have always stayed on Disney property and I just wasn't sure how this would work out. I cannot say enough good things about the week. Which townhouse are you staying in? We stayed in Storytime #1, which was literally a less than 2 min. walk to the pool. The pictures don't do justice to how it really looks in person. You will be glad you made this choice. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your week!

We are booking with them again as well. The owners are really nice people . The townhome's are nicely decorated and the resort is great. I dont even want to book with anyone else after such a great experience last year. I will have to do a trip report this year when we get back. We really wanted to rent their 6 bedroom but it was all booked for the dates we needed. Really once you stay with them you just cant imagine going back to staying on Disney Resort property.


Thank y'all so much for the great reviews. I am beginning to feel like we made a good choice. :yay:

wmson2000
05-03-2008, 04:06 PM
John,

I know exactly how you feel, I was nervous too. We have always stayed on Disney property and I just wasn't sure how this would work out. I cannot say enough good things about the week. Which townhouse are you staying in? We stayed in Storytime #1, which was literally a less than 2 min. walk to the pool. The pictures don't do justice to how it really looks in person. You will be glad you made this choice. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your week!
We're staying at the Storytime Villa - the 6 bedroom house.

I just had some more good communication with Tanya (one of the owners) - very prompt and very cordial.

Monday's, 5/5, is our arrival. I'll post pics and updates

cinderella73
05-03-2008, 08:32 PM
We're staying at the Storytime Villa - the 6 bedroom house.

I just had some more good communication with Tanya (one of the owners) - very prompt and very cordial.

Monday's, 5/5, is our arrival. I'll post pics and updates

Oh please do! I am so heartbroken because we really wanted to stay there but we can just never seem to get the dates when we need them. We are staying in a townhome soon instead. They are beautiful themselves of course. But at some point we would really love to experience the 6 bdrm. I know you will love it. Please take a ton of pics for us. I cant wait for out visit in Sept!

hlbrink
05-13-2008, 02:27 PM
Another good comment about StoryTime. My sister-in-law and her family stayed in ST 4 townhome last week and from what I could tell, they had a very good experience. We rented from a different owner because we wanted to be in the same building or as close as possible (we were directly across the street from them) and ST didn't have this option available for our travel week. Anyway, it was furnished very nicely and the owners were really responsive (even allowing the elusive "early" check-in because the townhome was ready a couple of hours in advance of 4:00 pm). They said they would stay there again when they returned to DisneyWorld - I think that is the best recommendation possible!

wmson2000
05-14-2008, 05:11 AM
Just got home late last night

I'll post a full report soon but 6 BR Storytime villa was nice and vacation was fun

:banana:

bridget
05-17-2008, 05:35 PM
We stayed 3 nights at Story Time 2 last week. I liked it. I have a 1 year old and 5 year old. We just blocked the staircase with 2 dining room chairs. We were not there much- mostly to sleep, but it was nice.

Twice we went up to the castle park, and the kids had a blast!!!!

I love staying on site at Disney. My husband really wanted to try this out.

wmson2000
05-19-2008, 11:11 AM
We got back last Tues night after our trip to Disney and Universal. I promised a trip report on the rental property so here we go. . .

We arrived Mon 5/5 at about noon. Went to Costco and bought groceries and then went to Chevy's at Lake Buena Vista/Downtown Disney (Cinco de Mayo, yeah). Then we went to the Storytime house. Gate check-in at the Windsor Hills gate was easy and the access code at the Storytime home worked like a charm.

FYI - there were 12 of us. My wife and I, my three married daughters and their spouses, and 4 grandchildren (one 4.5 year old, and three others under the age of two). Each family had a rental car - the driveway easily accomodated the 4 cars.

About the house: Great for a group! Great layout. Very well stocked with plates, utensils, some pool toys. Disney themes galore throughout the house! Every room, art, accessories - all point to the world of Walt Disney. Just like the pics on VRBO or on the Storytime website - this house looks like the Disney imagineers decorated it.
More info:


Master bedroom and bath are big - lots of room
Other bedrooms well appointed and comfortable
Themed "Cars" and "Princess" rooms were loved by the kids (nearly had tears when the "little princess" grandaughter had to leave to come home. Her words, "this is certainly a sad day".
House was quiet - even with little kids running around
Game room is nice but didn't get used much - too busy with other stuff
Game room is not air conditioned but garage door can be opened for airflow
Initial roll of toilet paper was supplied as well as diswashing soap
Tiny bar soaps are supplied for bathing - you'll probably want to get regular sized bars or liquid soap for bathing.
Water heater seemed to handle out large group fine
TV's all over the place. Family room TV is a 50+" flat-panel - nice!
Windsor Hills is perfect. It never took us more than 10 minutes to get anywhere at Disney. It seems to be just about the closest residential facility to the park. There is a nice "castle themed" playground 1/2 block away from the house. The clubhouse has great amenities.

The pool at the home was a favorite of the family. Deep enough for careful and gentle diving. Big enough for the family to have lots of playful fun.

Any problems: yes, a couple.
1- pool heat wasn't on when we arrived (quickly resolved)
2- We thought the refrigerator was broken. It wasn't (it was our mistake). I guess it was turned down when we arrived and then we put in a bunch of room temp bottled water, etc. It took a couple of days to get down to the right internal temperature.
3- The house has two central furnace/air-conditioners (one for upstairs, one for downstairs). The one downstairs couldn't get the temp less than 82 when we arrived. It took a couple of days to get the problem resolved (repeated visits from repairmen!).

The owners were fantastic. I guess I could have been a jerk about the furnace problem and got verbally abusive with the owner on the phone. But how could I . . . he was working hard to get it fixed. I know he paid overtime costs to get people out late in the evening (the first night). He proactively called me multiple times on my cell phone to give me a status report. Elias couldn't have worked harder to resolve the problem and that made me happy. We dealt with the problem - it wasn't unbearably hot and anyway, we were gone much of the time at the parks. The multiple ceiling fans kept the air moving when we were there. And if you are a upcoming renter . . .it works fine now!

Again, I have no problems reccomending the owners (Elias was my primary contact).

One other note:
My wife and I keep a super clean house. The Storytime house is clean but it might be time for a "real good house cleaning" (my wife's words) . . . including carpets. Probably just our personal preference and just the nature of a rental vacation home.

All in all, a very good time for our family.

Would I rent a Storytime home again from these owners? If I were again sponsoring a family trip like this one . . . absolutely. It was great. But if Brenda and I go to Orlando for a getaway? . . . I'm not sure. Staying at a Disney property and letting someone else make my bed . . . that has advantages for a lazy guy like me, too! ;)

Here's some pictures taken at the house:
http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/295394858_aJRTa-S.jpg

http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/295231935_teEP3-S.jpg

http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/295233525_xeoSa-S.jpg

http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/295404713_Sc6ZJ-S.jpg

http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/295418736_Sr5cT-S.jpg

http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/297569358_c2VRQ-S.jpg

http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/297571844_bpqVh-S.jpg

http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/295419384_qXCrW-S.jpg

And one of Brenda and I . . .
http://cspics.smugmug.com/photos/295235701_HAqJK-S.jpg

cinderella73
05-19-2008, 02:10 PM
WMSON2000 ~ Thanks so much for the trip report! You have such a beautiful family! We are booked with Tonya and Elia's again this year for a townhome. Last year we stayed in ST2 this year it will be ST1 . We wanted to rent the house so badly but our dates just were not available again. I love how your grandaughter was so sad to leave. My kids were like that last time as well. Mine also loved the castle playground.

Sorry to hear about your tech problems. The fridge hopefully didnt spoil your food. Because I know that would have been pretty upsetting for me. The first thing I have to do when I get there ( having a kid with food allergies) is hit the grocery store. Maybe they cleaning people just forgot to turn it back up after cleaning? Your right about Elias being nice though. Its one of the reasons we are going back. They have been really nice to deal with.

Looks like you all had a good time. Thanks for sharing. If it comes open for our dates I will be sure to book it right away. They have some of the most popular homes at WH so you have to always watch the availability like a hawk. Sigh.. maybe next year I will get the house. If I dont move back down to Florida before then!

BTW how long did it take u guys to get from the house to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure ? We will be buying the 7 day ticket and was unsure how far we would be driving. Thanks! ~ Michelle

wmson2000
05-19-2008, 03:05 PM
We booked the house/villa about a year in advance of our trip. I've noticed their calendar fills fast.

No food spoiled so we were fine.

It took about 15-20 minutes to get to Universal. Traffic isn't too bad in May. I've been in Orlando at other times of the year where the drive could've been double that time. We also had the 7-day ticket and went a couple of times. Do the "meal deal" at Universal - costs about $20 and you can eat all day. Food is pretty good too - ate at the "Burger Digs" and at some Diner near Spiderman - and then dinner at the end of the day at the italian resturant at the regular (non-islands) Universal.

By the way, the new Simpsons ride is a lot of fun!

twob4him
09-20-2012, 06:08 AM
We love Storytime Castle too and only book off property with them. My husband is pretty picky and requests to stay here! So I rebooked for August! Looking forward to our trip!! :banana: