View Full Version : Impressions from 1st OKW visit
03-08-2001, 06:37 AM
We just got back from our first stay ever at OKW. It was wonderful! Everything you OKW owners have said about the 1-bedrooms being spacious and home-like is true! We are BWV owners who have stayed in a 1-bedroom and a studio at our home resort, and we were anxious to try OKW.
We spent our first night in an OKW studio, and, unfortunately, were unhappy. While the room itself was bigger than the studio at BWV, the "kitchen" area was smaller. We found we prefer the queen bed and sofa-bed combination at BVW to the two queen beds at OKW. To us, the OKW studio seemed more like a hotel room, while the BVW studio seems more like an apartment, but that's just our personal taste. The OKW studio was room 3210 on Turtle Pond Rd., an end room on the building, near the street. All we heard all night long were the roar of the buses. That combined with the noise coming from the adjoining room's lock-out door, and a need for the whirlpool tub for sore backs, prompted us to request an upgrade to a 1-bedroom, which we were lucky to be able to do! We moved to room 3321, still on Turtle Pond Rd. It was beautiful, still close to the bus stop, but back from the street, making it quiet. We rarely heard noises from our neighbors through the lock-out door. (We tried to be considerate about noise ourselves, and hope we succeeded!)I'd stay in a 1-bed. at OKW again in a minute!
The bus service was erratic. One night we waited an hour at Downtown Disney for a bus to OKW. Other times, the buses seemed to be running every 20 minutes or so. However, I found it much faster to get out of OKW than to get back to it by bus.
We also checked out the model rooms at WLV. They are very nice and extremely well-themed. We saw a 1-bedroom and a studio. Both seemed, to us, a little smaller than at BWV (and OKW). The kitchen in the 1-bed. was definitely smaller than at BWV, and the bedroom seemed smaller, too.
We also attended the Tuesday member update meeting at OKW. The presentation was mainly a sales pitch for add-on points. I have the financing cost sheets for HH, VB, and WLV with that were handed out, if anyone has questions.
In response to questions after the meeting, we were told was that WLV is about 20% sold out, and at the rate it is selling, it could be sold out by end of this year. If that occurs, we were told, BCV might (emphasize might, nothing definite) go on sale earlier than planned. We had dinner at the Beach Club one night, and could see the steel for the buildings going up on the left side of the Beach Club as you face the front check-in area.
Sorry this went on so long. If anyone has any questions about our OKW experience and observations, what the WLV rooms look like, or what was said at the member meeting, I'd be happy to try to answer. All in all, we had a great, relaxing time!
Sorry to hear about your bad location at OKW. I try to stay away from the main roads because of the possible bus noise - you can request a location next time in advance.
I actually prefer the studios at OKW - I find the square shape of the room feels more spacious, also having two windows (patio and in front)is nice.
We're going to try VWL this summer - can't wait.
03-08-2001, 07:53 AM
hi and thanks for posting. i've never stayed at okw. was there anything to do at night after you returned from the parks? we're not particularly thrilled with any of the bus service; we can't ever seem to mesh our schedule with the bus schedules so this is our fault. my main concern is teenagers at okw- will they have anything to do while at the resort? i've been intrigued by the units at okw, but their location always makes me think of the di units and lack of theming, poor location, and iffy bus service. now that you've stayed at bwv and okw, are the larger units for less points worth the difference in location in your opinion?
Thanks for the VWL update. ;)
We have stayed at OKW and BWV. OKW is as described larger rooms, more laid back. It is a nice resort. We have found that there is not much to do after returning from the parks, except swim or go in the hot tub. If you get hungry you will not find food after 10:00pm. I have read posts about people who say their teens prefer it, so it depends on your teens. Ours prefer BW. They find more activities, the ease to the parks and the mini-golf at Fantasia Gardens. For us the larger rooms are not worth giving up the location, but let me make it clear, this is what is right FOR US.
03-08-2001, 09:27 AM
It really is a personal preference.
For us, even if the units were the same size and the points the same, the ability to park right in front of your unit and not be in the middle of a hotel, make OKW our first choice. I feel more like I am on vacation, I truly feel home without the endless corridors and hotel trappings.
The large units and lower points are just a bonus.
Some people like chocolate, some strawberry, I really dislike strawberry. I didn't know that till I tried it. You need to experience both resorts, at least visit it or make plans for a split stay next trip.
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", Karl Marx, pretty sick, huh?
03-08-2001, 09:49 AM
In January, we spent one night in OKW 1 BDR and 2 nites at BWV 1 bdr. My 18 year old DS definitely preferred BWV. Said that there wasn't enough to do at OKW after the parks closed.
03-08-2001, 09:57 AM
In response to your question about things to do, there is a small video game room, and teenagers were using it when we were there. In addition to the 3 swimming pools in the resort, there are tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. You can rent surrey bikes and ride around the resort. You also can rent pedal boats, pontoon boats, and hyrdo bikes and venture down the Trumbo Canal. The Lake Buena Vista golf course is nearby and winds through the resort. For younger kids, activites are run in the Community Hall. Kids were doing some kind of crafts when we there. After the parks close, though, there really isn't much to do, other than the game room, I think. It's interesting that you would ask this question because I have teenagers in my family and they just love the Boardwalk, which is one of the many reasons why we own there. But, everyone's preferences are different, and even every trip can be different, I think. For this trip, we were looking for a more relaxed, home-like atmosphere, and we found it at OKW.
03-08-2001, 10:05 AM
I just wanted to make an additional comment about VWL. I really loved the decor of this resort! The northwest lodge theme was carried right down to the tiles in the shower (relief figures of moose, bear, etc.) and the doors of the washer-dryer closet in the 1-bedroom were carved with leaf cutouts. It reminded me of a cabin in the woods. I'm anxious to stay there. :)
03-08-2001, 10:24 AM
I must agree with KMARIE about the studio's at OKW. I much prefer the BWV studio for exactly the same reasons. I hate the two queen setup. I like the ability to sit on something other than a bed. :cool:
03-08-2001, 10:34 AM
So glad you liked our "home". We don't care to take the bus to DD either. It is so near but takes so long on the bus. Instead, we go to the walkway behind building 55 and walk there in 10 minutes. Also, the pontoon is usually faster than the buses. ;)
03-08-2001, 11:20 AM
I prefer strawbery ice cream and okw. ;)
03-08-2001, 11:35 AM
Well, we are OKW owners and empty nesters. We like to park infront of our door, love the large 1 BR and all the wrap around windowns, rise late and enjoy coffee watching the golfers, return from the parks and are not looking for anymore to do, prop up our feet and watch the news. The bus noise has never bothered us and we stayed in bldg 23 one time right next to the bridge in a 1 BR.
But if we had teenagers they would probably want to be at BWV. I would to if I was a teenager. But alas we are not and we like all the above about OKW!
03-08-2001, 01:48 PM
KMarie, I have a question. You said you were upgraded to a 1 bedroom. Did you get a free upgrade or did you have to use more points?? Thanks
03-08-2001, 01:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I hate the two queen setup. I like the ability to sit on something other than a bed. [/quote]
But I prefer to sleepon something other than a couch! ;)
FYI -- There are chairs to sit on in the OKW studio as well as lounging on the bed.
03-08-2001, 02:00 PM
I agree with KMARIA about the two queens as apposed to a sofa bed and from what I've heard from most people is that a choice would be nice. But several months ago DVD brought this up at a member meeting and the people in attendance voted no because they were afraid their dues would rise to pay for the sofas. They also voted no on a water slide because they didn't want to pay for lifeguards. I think for my points,my dues would have gone up $3.00 for the year to have both. I was disappointed both were rejected.
03-09-2001, 03:55 AM
We used additional points. My ressie was for a studio, and, having never been to OKW before, we thought it would suit us for this particular trip. We were so glad to be able to upgrade because it really made a difference in our comfort level. I highly recommend the one-bedrooms at OKW because they are like being at home. :)
03-09-2001, 04:30 AM
KMarie et al,
We have never upgraded our room after arrival. How do you do that? Do you call MS from the resort or go to the front desk? I would assume this would only work if there had been enough cancelations or other availability.
03-09-2001, 05:41 AM
We own at BWV but we have stayed at OKW twice. The Diffrence between OKW and BWV is huge. Both appeal to different people for different reasons (I love both). Both are truly beautiful resorts, and both have their good points. My goal is to try all the DVC properties because all give you a different kind of vacation.
Joe in CT
p.s its snowing....AGAIN!!!...2 days to OKW!!!
I guess as you can see the general consensus of teens enjoy BW more, it just has more activities/opportunities for them.
BTW I have yet to hear a TEEN complain about, hotel atmosphere, parking or long corridors. As far as teens go the ice cream flavor they enjoy is generally whichever all the other teens are eating at that moment.
03-09-2001, 07:58 AM
I was kind of surprised when my 17 year-old niece said she liked OKW better. She and her parents had to switch between the two one Christmas and I thought she'd be let down coming over to OKW. Go figure!
03-09-2001, 08:05 AM
The teens we have had with us have always enjoyed OKW, but then they have never stayed at BWV! I would think the boardwalk atmosphere might be a little adult for some. The teens traveling with us to OKW have enjoyed going to DD on the pontoon and swimming at ALL the pools! Some have even brought along game stations and just chilled at the villa when they didn't go to the parks. In fact, they tended to want to stay "home" when all us oldsters were going back to the parks in the evening!
03-09-2001, 07:41 PM
I don't ever recall my folks asking me where/what I preferred when it came to vacation lodging decisions. Maybe that's a sign of the times.
When we are on a Disney vacation, we veg in the evening or swim after the parks are closed. I am on vacation so I don't feel the need to being doing something all of the time. I do feel that the lock-offs get more noise at OKW than they do at BW or for that matter the one time we stayed at the VLW. Maybe it has something to do with the design/construction of this portion of the OKW units.
With the excellent size of the OKW studios, having a queen sofa as one of the beds would be awesome. My little ones sleep in the other bed and I haven't really asked them how they like the bed. I guess I am just insensitive to the little tykesters.
I do feel that the OKW property doesn't seem so Disney and that may or may not be a good thing. It just is to me. But until things change it is nice, with the proper planning or timing, to enjoy different types of lodging/locations within the DVC. If some think that they have figured out which is best then, God bless them. After staying at the VWL recently, it is actually scary just how nice that place is.
[This message was edited by baileybrad on 03-09-01 at 11:47 PM.]
We have this debate every trip (BWV vs OKW). We have two teens and they usually want OKW. They hate it when one of them has to sleep on the pull out. They also like to spend a lot of time at DD and Disney Quest. They do have a hard time deciding though because of Stormalong Bay. They love to pool hop there. Once the pool hopping is gone (which I believe will happen when BCV opens) they will probably want to be at OKW every time.
03-10-2001, 04:54 AM
In response to your question about how I upgraded the room while I was there, I called the front desk in the morning (before check-out time) and asked if it would be possible for us to upgrade to a 1-bedroom and use points to do it. The CM checked availability of the room, found there was one, and then contacted member services to make sure we had enough points. We checked out of our studio and into our 1-bedroom, which, fortunately, was ready, so we didn't have to wait until check-in time. The CM was very gracious (as all the CMs were at OKW during our stay), and said if we called bell services, they would more our belongings, too. We ended up moving the stuff ourselves since the new room was nearby.
03-10-2001, 06:08 AM
whether or not the the pool hopping goes away remains to be seen, everytime a new resort opens that rumor starts to make the rounds.
I bet that we would be surprised by how many DVCers actually pool hop. I think the number is quite small. I would almost be willing to guess that there are more flat out trespassers at Disney pools than actual DVCers pool hopping.
03-10-2001, 10:33 AM
My kids just jump on the bus or boat and go explore themselves, they usually make friends of other teens and have a great time, it's not like they are trapped in a concentration camp.o
03-10-2001, 11:12 AM
Our home resort is OKW. One time we could not get in there and had to stay at BW. We always stay in a studio, so we wanted to see if there was any difference. We like OKW better for a number of reasons. OUr kids (DD 9 and DS 6) did not like sleeping on the pull-out. They like the activities at Community Hall at OKW better. They did like the pool at BW better because of the slide. DH and I like OKW because of the peaceful and quiet atmosphere and the close proximity of our car. After we get back from the parks, we are usually too tired to be looking for other activities. Maybe when the kids are older we'll try BW again.
03-10-2001, 11:50 AM
Galahad - -
We upgraded a VB 1BR to 2BR after arrival. While we stood at the check-in counter, the CM checked the availability, then called MS or someone to make sure it was OK to use with DVC points (instead of cash walk-in, I guess). It was very simple and quick. Took maybe 3 minutes. It should be possible at any DVC property as long as the room is available.
03-12-2001, 05:18 AM
KMarie & slindamood,
Thanks for the answers! So it seems that it doesn't matter whether MS is "open" or not to be able to do this. It's good to know. Thanks
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