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View Full Version : Just back from VWL, OKW, HH! (long)


colleen costello
07-04-2003, 05:05 PM
Hey guys! I thought so often of my DIS pals on our most wonderful trip yet. Got to try out two new resorts and couldn't wait to report back to all of you.

We checked into the Wilderness Lodge and I was so apprehensive about getting the dumpster view room. I was a complete spaz and the poor guy at the desk must have realized he had a nut case on his hands because he offered to walk us down to the room in case the view was "unacceptable!" In fact the view was fine but the room was a disabilites room and I did ask to be moved. No bathtub and little storage kinda sucks when you are in a studio. They were so gracious. Thet did reassign us, with no charge, and apologized for "not remembering to tell us it was a disability room!" I was so impressed -- I told dh, "This is why we stay at WDW!" A few minutes later the young man from check-in came back and brought us fastpasses for Test Track (our favorite!) for "the inconvenience!" Please remind me where to write so I can tell them how wonderful this cm (Christian) was!

We had 4 nights at the Lodge and it was so wonderful. It was our first time and we will definitely go back. We had a view out toward the front over a grassy area and there were lots of birds and critters. My kids fed bread to every animal they saw. I loved the sounds and smells of the area -- very "rustic." I grew up going to Ft. Wilderness so this place felt very "familiar" to me. Our studio room was plenty big for 4 nights. We hung out a lot, enjoying the boat to the MK, as we upgraded to annual passes and could go over "whenever we liked." I am already spoiled with the annual pass! We ate at Roaring Forks a lot. My kids loved the little pizzas and you can't beat the place for fast and cheap! The refillable mugs were great.

I liked the Lodge so much I waitlisted to stay on, but no go -- the place was booked. My ever-sensible hubby reminded me how much I love OKW so we happily checked in there to a 1-bedroom in building #35, near Turtle Pond Pool. The rooms are so big and so wonderful -- OKW is really like "coming home" for me. There was a pond right out back and the ducks were everwhere -- my kids were in heaven! We bought NINE loaves of 99-cent bread and the kids used every one! There was also a tame bunny and lots of lizards. From OKW we visited Downtown Disney and we swam in the Turtle Pond Pool and then went to our favorite quiet pool near building #55. Love the hot tubs! The kids loved the strawberry smoothies. We had a nice lunch at Olivia's and everyone who works here is so lovely. Not to open up any debate but while we were there I kept thinking "How can folks think this is the middle of nowhere?" because to us it is just so convenient. OKW never disappoints! On our last day at WDW we met local friends, the Fishers, over at BWV. They post here and are big Mickey fans. They had just gotten off a 7-day Western Carribean Cruise and Jenny gave me the whole scoop on their wonderful trip. Now I am looking forward to cruising -- if I can just save some points!

We checked out on Sunday morning and I wasn't too depressed as we were heading to Hilton Head! It was an easy 5-or-6 hour drive. The minute we checked in we felt relaxed. Thanks to all here who advised me to stay a full 3 nights. We were in building #20, close to parking and the pool -- perfect. The 2-bedroom unit was -- as all the rooms on our trip -- perfect. We stayed one night and then our friends from South Carolina joined us. They rarely vacation and were VERY impressed... We gave them the master suite! We enjoyed the beach house and swam at the ocean and the pool. Had lunch at the snack bar. The kids went crabbing and on Tuesday dh took them on the Dolphin-watch boat and they saw tons of dolphins. Took lots of pictures and then swam at the resort pool. Despite tropical storm Bob (?) we only had a few downpours. And the whole time we were in Florida, it only rained ONCE -- believe it or not. The weather was hot and sunny all week!

Well... now we are at my parents' house for the 4th and next week it's back to "reality" in Indiana. As always, we had a wonderful trip and the Magic was definitely alive. Every cast member I spoke to was so sweet and went out of their way for us. Every resort I stay at becomes my favorite! Hilton Head was a real treat for us landlocked Hoosiers. I loved coming home to the Lodge and OKW at night, and the nice folks at the guard gates would say "Welcome home!" and it made me smile every time! We have reservations for November and I can't wait to go back. I swear I love it more every time I visit.

Missed you all!

cgcw
07-04-2003, 05:45 PM
Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing the highlights.:D

ncligs
07-04-2003, 05:54 PM
Glad you had a great trip Colleen!!http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/biggthumpup.gif

P.S. Check your mailbox, its full.;)

RweTHEREyet
07-04-2003, 07:01 PM
What a great report. Thanks for sharing. Wonder if you now have a preference on your DVC resorts. We stayed at WLV in March, and although we had a grand time, our preference it to stay at OKW or BCV. Nothing wrong with WLV, we are just more beachy, tropical type people.

Have a safe trip on the rest of your journey back to reality.

Maistre Gracey
07-04-2003, 08:39 PM
Thanx for the great report, Colleen!
I just knew you would enyoy VWL....:cool:

Luv2Dream
07-04-2003, 08:50 PM
So nice to hear about your great trip....I'm so excited about getting to Florida in a week!

colleen costello
07-04-2003, 09:17 PM
I am really thinking hard on my list of favorites. As nifty as Beach Club is, I think it is my least favorite right now. My kids are so young that we do the MK a lot, so for now, Epcot access isn't so important...

Old Key West is still my favorite. It may not be the most "impressive" in terms of location or services, but if I was forced to pick just one place to stay forevermore, I guess it would be OKW. Something about that place just makes me smile! The Lodge is next -- loved the smells and the trees and critters. Next is Hilton Head, with the ocean and all the nice families we met, and so relaxing. Finally, Beach Club/Boardwalk... Gorgeous and shiny... and you can't beat those pools! I think I will love this area more as my children get older. I think now that a "perfect" vacation is a few nights at the Lodge, or Beach Club, or any of them, really -- followed with a few nights at OKW to RELAX!

Nick and Cindy, I cleared out the obscene junk mail that clogged my account while I was gone. I await your forwards! Again, missed you all while I was gone. :)

Margie J
07-04-2003, 09:44 PM
Welcome Home ........ to the DIS! :cool:

MaryJ
07-04-2003, 11:12 PM
Welcome back to Indiana, Colleen. I'll think about you when I'm at WDW in a few weeks!:D

Granny
07-04-2003, 11:50 PM
Colleen....so glad you had a great trip! I remember you stressing a little about dumpster views and such...so I'm glad you were satisfied with all of your accommodations.

I will say that going from a VWL studio to an OKW 1BR must have been quite a difference! And your comments about HH were nice to hear also. Some day.....some day! :)

JudithM
07-05-2003, 12:12 AM
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with three DVC resorts during one vacation - isn't DVC wonderful :)!? Personally I am impressed with OKW's location, service, etc. & have been for almost a decade!

dvcfamily41801
07-05-2003, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the excellent report!!!

We were at HH a month ago and totally fell in love with it! The CM's were wonderful and we were so relaxed. It was a perfect vacation.

DH and I are leaving for a mom & dad sneak away weekend and are staying at OKW in a studio for the first time (We were in a 1 BR May, 2002 and loved it!!) We loved our location, right across from the Hospitality House and we fed a lot of ducks from our room too!! Our son loved it!! I do have to say though, the 1 thing that I did NOT like about OKW was all the lizards and frogs that greeted us every night:eek: :(

We are staying at WLV this December and I have to say we are most excited about this trip!! WL decorated for the holidays just beautiful!! Also, it will be our first stay at WLV!

Glad you had a terrific vacation!!