View Full Version : Just back. OKW/BLT quick review

03-17-2010, 12:30 PM
Just got back from 3 nights at OKW in a studio and 7 nights at BLT MKV in a 1 bedroom.

Checked in to OKW on 3/6. I was really looking forward to checking out the resort. Before purchasing DVC we always like the Poly and CBR and always thought that OKW would be the closest DVC to these. Unfortunately reality did not live up to my expectations.

Aftering checking in we ate at Olivia's for lunch which we all loved. My wife was so happy with the main building she was wishing we had purchased there at this point. We both loved the restaurant, pool area and main building. Loved hearing Bob Marley (named our dd2 Marley) and Jimmy Buffett music. The grounds seemed nice as well.

The resort is spread out but so is SSR and we like that resort very much. It did seem more spread out then SSR to us but maybe it was just where we were. We had a studio in 5125 which seemed like the very last building in the resort.

The room however left something to be desired. I know the rooms are getting a refrub. Not sure if it is all rooms or just some but ours needed one. The room had a "smell" to it that can best be described as the logs from Splash Mountain. Basically that stale water smell. While the main area was clean, there was a lot of dust around. Bathroom floor looked like it needed a good cleaning.

I am big into views. I knew going in that the studio's did not have good views but I guess was in denial. :rotfl: Our balcony overlooked shrubs which seemed only a few feet away. In our 3 day stay we never ventured out there.

Then there was the noisy. Having only stayed at SSR to this point I didn't have much of a comparison but it just seemed very noise. Housing cleaning was cleaning the 1 bedroom next to us when we checked in and we could hear every word of their conversation easily. Thought it was weird that the buses drive through the parking lot. Being that the building and rooms are so close the buses were very loud. Had to keep the air on to drown out the noise some what as we have young children. On 3/7 was the marathon and I am not sure where exactly it is held but it sounded like it was in our room. The PA system and music were extremely loud at 5am and woke us all up.

All in all, we loved the grounds and common area's of the resort but were not very happy with the rooms. Maybe we just got a bad room and I know we only had a studio so trying to take that into consideration. While I am not rushing back to the resort, I will try it again in the future but stay in a 1 bedroom. Really do want to like the resort.

As for BLT, all I can say is WOW. We have stayed at SSR a few times and really liked it there but this blew it away.

Checked in on 3/9. While I have heard bad reviews of check in, we have never had better. A manager met us at the door and escorted us to the next available CM. Was very personable with us and the kids. After checking in he came back to see where we were located and wanted to know if there was anything else he could do for us. Made a BIG impression.

My wife always stayed at CR growing up so it has sentimental value to us. Loved having access to CR and all the restaurants, amenities, Monorail etc.

Upon getting our room, I couldn't have picked a better one. on the 11th floor with the Castle smack dab in the middle of the window. Felt like I could have touched SM. Could see Poly, GF, MK Monorail station, Splash Mountain, Castle, Fantasyland, TTA, SM, top of Toontown and train. Just WOW. Took many pictures of the view.

The room itself was beautiful. Extremely clean and very upscale. Loved having the 2nd bathroom. Also the size of the room was great. Much bigger than SSR.

Being a 5-10 minute walk to MK and monorail ride to Epcot was great. With a 5 year old and 5 month old it was awesome. Great not having to use the car to get to the park.

The pool was a little small but was very nice, as was community hall. Went to the Top of the World lounge and it was great. Realyl nice lounge. Could have sat there all night and had drinks. Just need some one to take the little ones so DW and I could enjoy ourselves! :rotfl:

All in all, BLT just seemed to me and DW what our "vision" of DVC was before purchasing. I know DVC is just pre-purchasing of a room and nothing more but always felt for the money it cost I wanted something really really nice. BLT just seemed to fit that. The place was beautiful and the staff was extremely helpful and friendly. We liked it so much in fact that we did another BLT add-on while we were there. While we still have our SSR contract, now the majority of our points are BLT. Would love some day to sell SSR and make all pts BLT. While we love SSR and will stay there again, just think we can always get it at 7 month window.

I guess that is the beauty of DVC. There is something for everyone. For us it is BLT!

03-17-2010, 12:57 PM
Congratulations on your newest BLT add on!!! It sounds like that resort really speaks to you!!! Glad you had such a great time there.


03-17-2010, 01:04 PM
Thanks for the review!!!! DH and I just bought DVC and I am on a mission to stay at every resort before we think of adding on for just this reason.

I do totally get a resort being 'for you' DH and I fell in love with AKV/AKL the first time we saw them (and fell even more in love after eating at Jiko and Sanaa) we wouldn't have even imagined buying anywhere else. However, we know that if we keep up our twice a year trips we will need more points soon so I want to make sure any add ons are also at resorts we love if not more at AKV!!!!

03-17-2010, 11:22 PM
Looks like one less person i need to worry about taking my studio :)
Stayed at BLT in January... I totally agree with the OP about BLT being so convenient with small kids DD2 and DS5... if you're doing Disney with a stroller, there's not a better DVC, for sure. However, BLT has as much personality as a solid piece of concrete shaped into an arc... sorry... just opinion. Heading back home in December.

03-18-2010, 06:51 AM
Thanks for the review. Glad you had a wonderful trip. I wish mine would end with an add on.:goodvibes

03-18-2010, 07:02 AM
Thanks for the great review. We have stayed twice and I love it. We bought there because we knew we would and it has not disappointed us.

We are so happy to have it as our home resort. I want more points too but have to wait until I know about DD and college. Of course, we don't really NEED more points (with 2 of our 3 children no longer coming with us on a regular basis), but I can't wait to get more!!!

Congratulations on the add on.

03-18-2010, 08:18 AM
Awwww, thank you so much for the thorough and thoughtful review. So glad that you liked your BLT stay, and would love to see some pictures of your awesome view (we likely won't ever stay in a MK view, so I have to live through others in that respect - LOLOLOL). :goodvibes

03-18-2010, 09:25 AM
Glad to hear you enjoyed your DVC stay - sorry to hear OKW didn't please you. We love OKW and always stay there if we can. We especially love the 1 or 2 bedroom units as they have the most square footage of any DVC resort and the largest outdoor space (we live on the patio in the evenings). With OKW over the years I've found you really have to know the building and room locations and work with the CM on check-in with the resort map to pick your best available location. We have changed rooms a couple of times after check in because of the views or location once we see the room. Studios can be especially 'iffy' because they are on the ends of each building, and if you're in an outer building on the property, you may get highway noise or a poor view. When you get a good location there, OKW is amazing.
BLT we haven't tried yet, and I don't know if we ever will. The points are high, and our kids are older and don't always travel with us, so being on the monorail and close to MK isn't a priority for us - I also have toured the rooms at the DVC center and honestly don't like the seventies decor - it doesn't feel homey to me, and we spend a lot of time in our villa relaxing or having meals.

03-18-2010, 09:27 AM
OKW wows when you stay in one bedroom or higher. The studios are just too hotel-like for me.

03-18-2010, 09:55 AM
OKW wows when you stay in one bedroom or higher. The studios are just too hotel-like for me.

That's very true, and that's why our studio stays (which are very few and far between) are usually at AKV and not OKW. We LOVE the OKW 1,2 and 3 bedrooms though, and miss them when we are staying at other resorts.

With OKW over the years I've found you really have to know the building and room locations and work with the CM on check-in with the resort map to pick your best available location.

I agree with this as well. We have learned that certain areas are more to our liking than others. We also know that areas that some love are not to our liking. We love the South Point area of buildings 55, 56, 45, and 46. FYI, we also stayed in building 51 once, but we were in one of the inside second floor dedicated 2 bedroom units. We never heard a bus, and marveled at that, since they turn around there.

We also woke up to the loud music they played at Epcot for the start of the marathon, but we knew about it ahead of time from the VM left on our phone warning us about it, and also from past experience with marathons. We made sure we got to bed early the night before, and just got up with the noise and headed out to the parks early.

03-18-2010, 10:30 AM
I am joining in on this thread because the 2 exact resorts discussed are the 2 that DH and I have a debate about.

We bought BLT after staying in a studio at SSR and were so thrilled with our purchase. Fast forward to our first trip and sure enough extra family members came with us so we changed to a 2 bedroom at OKW, the points used were much more reasonable than what we would have needed to stay at BLT. Well to our surprise we LOVED OKW and were apparently in a building that most OKW lovers find terrible. My family all agreed that the grounds and room to roam around was very appealing, the size of the resort room was impressive as well. Anyway, we then started re-thinking whether or not BLT was really for us since it is a hotel style building and there isn't the same feel as OKW and SSR with large grounds, several pools etc.

This year it is only DH, DD, myself and possibly my Mom going so we will stay at BLT in a 1 bedroom LV and see for ourselves what we really think of it, I am looking forward to the easy access to MK and the monorail etc. My prediction is that we will also love BLT but limit our stays there for when it is just a few of us, once we have extra family joining us we will likely go with SSR or OKW. The best of both worlds (hopefully!)

03-18-2010, 11:41 AM
I definitely think that part of our issue with OKW was my lack of planning and fact that we had a studio.

Usually I have a request for a particular building/floor but this time since I heard that studio's really don't have a view I didn't care where we were. Maybe if I picked a better area it would have been different.

Plus having a studio with all our stuff was a little crampled. Sure the 1 and 2 bedroom's would make a world of difference.

We loved the grounds and main area, so maybe next time will do the 1 bedroom and research a better area.

would love to see some pictures of your awesome view (we likely won't ever stay in a MK view, so I have to live through others in that respect - LOLOLOL). :goodvibes
Here are a few pic's. In person everything is much closer than appears in the pictures. Didn't have a zoom lens with me.







03-18-2010, 12:53 PM
Good pictures! We toured BLT last week when we stayed at OKW, and we thought it looked too much like any run of the mill metropolitan high rise for us. I thought the lake side view was more impressive than the MK view, because there aren't many MK views that don't also have that parking lot view. LOL, I figured Disney making those cost more points for "magic kingdom" view was just a spin for not charging less for a parking lot view!:rotfl:

03-18-2010, 01:04 PM
WOW nice view of MK, I know where I want to stay my next trip to Disney. :thumbsup2
You said you stayed on the 11th floor, how many floors are there in BLT?

03-18-2010, 03:26 PM
That is an awesome view. What room were you in?

My wife and I bought into DVC/BLT last year and used our developer pts in Sept at SSR for my son's first visit. We are taking my brother-in-law and his family this Sept to BLT for their first visit.

03-18-2010, 05:23 PM
I had similar complaints about our OKW studio in Dec. Our first room was smelly/musty/stale smoke and requested to move immediately. Then we were right next to a bus stop. Not really won over.

We really enjoyed our BLT stay though. We had a lake view and loved watching the boat traffic in the morning.

03-19-2010, 11:15 AM
Glad you enjoyed your BLT stay!! We have stayed @ OKW 3 times and never had any of the complaints you spoke of. LOVE OKW!!!

That said, I love my home of BLT even more :love:

I think when people have not stayed in a MK view all they see is a parking lot. Unless you've stayed there, it is truly beyond words. If you are in MK and looking at the castle and attractions do you notice the trash cans and people more than the castle? I can tell you that over our entire trip, I noticed the parking lot maybe 2 times and that was because our friends were walking to the lobby. Other than that, I only looked at the view, not the details :goodvibes

03-19-2010, 11:18 AM
Awesome, awesome views - - thanks so much for sharing! :goodvibes

03-19-2010, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the trip report, sorry your OKW experience wasn't the best. I felt very much the same way the 1st time we stayed at BWV and avoided it for several years, until DS asked to revisit it. It was one of the best vacations we've had, BWV villas were clean and the location was great for us and it changed my mind . OKW is our favorite resort, but we always have 2br's and we've always been pleased with the villas. We've had the pleasure of having GV's 3 times and that's a real WOW. We do stay at the other resorts from time to time and each of them has that something special to offer. I'm also looking forward to trying BLT, hopefully in the near future. Great pics.

Thanks Again