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Old 07-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
missycj96
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Hi - We just came back from our first HHI vacation and we LOVED it. Want to give some highlights for those considering a different type of DVC vacation. We have 2 girls - 1 and 6. It felt like a really great version of an old fashioned family summer vacation.

The cast members are the best of any dvc resort I have experienced - friendly, caring and by the time we went home, all seemed to know us and especially my DD who did a lot of activities.

Loved the pool. Water is warm and we could always get a chair. Slide was fun.

DD6 loved kids night in, and craft activities. Great activities and the CMs were fantastic - after a few days everyone knew her name and knew us.

The beach house is great. Go before 11 to get a spot or take the shuttle. The ocean is warm and the beach is flat. DD learned to boogie board. Loved going to the beach and then coming up to the beach house for a dip in the pool (and to get a mug fill - I love iced tea). The ocean water was really warm.

Movies at night were fun. We saw the Incredibles, Monsters Inc and Up.

Tues night is pirate pool party. Lots of pool games and other games - DD had a ball. Fun from 6:30 to 9 (and fireworks at 9).

DD loved getting cookies and lemonade at 3 in the lobby.

Went to the low country boil ($25 pp for adults, about 11 for kids). They make the shrimp, corn, sausage boil right there so it is fresh. We liked the food. DD didn't like the food so much but had a great time doing activities - face painting, pool games, playing instruments, making crafts.

DD did a pirate treasure hunt around the resort that was fun - make sure to check the schedule as there are lots of fun activities.

We did a day trip to Savannah. hot, hot, hot. We did a trolley tour. If you go with kids, go very early (we went in the middle of the day - too hot). But the squares are beautiful. Kids tip - ice cream at Leopolds - a great old fashioned ice cream parlor (www.leopoldsicecream.com). Got a hot fudge sundae with pecans (yum and they have fresh lemonade). Next time we go, I might just go for the ice cream and walk around a little. The tour is too long for small kids - but the city is beautiful.

If you have a stroller, try to get a room in the lodge or bldg 12 for the elevator. We got bldg 12. Its not the best location in the resort, but I could push the baby in the stroller at night and when she fell asleep wheel her right up to the room. If you don't need the elevator, go for a room near the pool area as that is where most activities are.

Try the playground, it seemed not to be used that much and it was really nice with lots to climb on.

The gift shop has mickey ice-cream bars and mickey ice cream sandwiches (DD loves these). Take advantage of the free movie rentals.

Also, don't forget to bring some pins because the kids can trade with CMs there. And the gift shop CM said they do annual pass discounts. I don't have one right now but I wouldn't have thought of bringing it anyway.

They don't sell much food there but what they have is pretty good - the mickey waffle was made fresh and was delish. I also had a salad with fish that was good. For offsite, there is a drive through panera bread and mcdonalds not too far away.

If anyone has questions, I am happy to answer. We are looking forward to our return. If anyone is on the fence about trying HHI, go ahead and try it. The kids loved it and it was lots of good family summer fun.

Love the DVC!!

Last edited by missycj96; 08-12-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Congratulations! You just discovered DVC's best kept secret, IMHO.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #3
missycj96
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agreed - it was such a great vacation. Lots to do for kids but not so hectic - plus the beach. I am thinking of looking for a HHI contract.

I also forgot to mention the campfires. At WDW the campfires are mostly marshmallow roasts. This one is about 40 minutes of singing and fun and then roasting marshmallows. But then you bring the marshmallows all roasted and they put it in graham crackers with chocolate for real smores. yum. My dd loved it and I loved the smores (had seconds).
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Hi, so excited to hear about your great time at HHI....we will be there for the first time this week. I have 3 boys (18,14 & 12) so they will be interested in different activities then your girls. One big question my boys have .....are there waves, even small ones for riding their boogie boards. They are wondering should they bring theirs with them. ? What type of villa were you in? I could only snag a 1 bedroom, so middle son is on a cot.

How warm was the ocean? Can you rent kayaks right at the resort to go out in the lagoons and marsh area? Is the lodge area that far from the pool, it looks like it?

Anything, you can share or think older boys would like it would be appreciated...
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
missycj96
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bring the boogie boards for sure. DD6 got one and my husband rode it. I saw lots of older kids on boogie boards. They were further out than DD. I'd say the ocean was over 80 degrees - it felt warm. The pool a the hotel is warm, too.

We had a one bedroom. I thought it was one of the best DVC one bedrooms. Even though there is only one bathroom, there is a great mud room type space off the entranceway that helps keep the villa neat because there is a place to put all the stuff when you walk in. There is plenty of floor space for a cot or inflatable. And the balcony is huge.

Disney listed 2 hour guided nature kayak excursions for $30 per adult, $20 per child. I don't know if you can rent a kayak there. Though I saw plenty of people kayaking by.

The lodge was a decent shlep to the pool and store etc. I needed it for the elevator for the stroller because I didn't want to carry the stroller up the stairs to a room. But if you don't need the elevator, I'd go for a location closer to the pool, store, fishing pier, food etc. The advantage to the lodge is the elevator and close to the shuttle to the beach house.

I think they'd like fishing off the pier. My husband said fishing was slow but he did catch a very small shark and a sting ray. The store sells bait, but if you want to fish at night (they post the tides), buy the bait by 5:00.

If they like fishing there is a party boat (captain hook) in the shelter cove marina that goes out every day from 9-2:30. DH went and said fishing was slow but he enjoyed it .

I saw lots of people riding bicycles. There are bike racks outside of all the buildings so it is easy to go anywhere by bicycle. They might like that.

There is a pool table off the lobby of the lodge, there are nature programs (for example pickney island wildlife tour they might like) and teen programs - for example, teen hoops basketball). The older one might not like these but the younger ones might.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbn1122 View Post
Hi, so excited to hear about your great time at HHI....we will be there for the first time this week. I have 3 boys (18,14 & 12) so they will be interested in different activities then your girls. One big question my boys have .....are there waves, even small ones for riding their boogie boards. They are wondering should they bring theirs with them. ? What type of villa were you in? I could only snag a 1 bedroom, so middle son is on a cot.
How warm was the ocean? Can you rent kayaks right at the resort to go out in the lagoons and marsh area? Is the lodge area that far from the pool, it looks like it?

Anything, you can share or think older boys would like it would be appreciated...
Hope you are bringing a cot because resort does not provide them.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:09 PM   #7
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THANK YOU SO MUCH for this review! Ahhh you have no idea how excited I am to hear about the Mickey bars, waffles, and pin trading!!! We are going in about 2 weeks and I can't wait!
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:44 AM   #8
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camp fire and dolphin tour?

For the camp fire, do you bring your own smore stuff and sticks? Will they let you roast marshmellows?

Did you take a dolphin tour?

Thank you!
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marynvince View Post
Hope you are bringing a cot because resort does not provide them.
Thanks foR the input, but we know that there is only bedding and dishes etc for 4. We are bringing cot and sleeping bag, as well as linens etc....

Leave tomorrow....praying for good weather!
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WDW: ASM 1996, POLY 2003,WL 2006, All Star Sports 2008
DVC - BLT April 2011, 2013
AKL - Aug 2011,
HHI - August 2012
OKW - August 2014
Vero Beach - August 2014
Magic - West Carib April 2010, 2 night NYC June 2012
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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we'll be there sat, praying for that same good weather
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marynvince View Post
we'll be there sat, praying for that same good weather
I see from you pix...it looks like you have 3 boys too....

See you around the resort.....
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WDW: ASM 1996, POLY 2003,WL 2006, All Star Sports 2008
DVC - BLT April 2011, 2013
AKL - Aug 2011,
HHI - August 2012
OKW - August 2014
Vero Beach - August 2014
Magic - West Carib April 2010, 2 night NYC June 2012
Dream - 3 night - August 2011 3 Night Dream - August 2014
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:34 AM   #12
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Thanks so much for your quick reply.....I am living on these boards waiting for info on HHI....

I though the pool look a little far, but with my boys being bigger they can go everywhere on their own. Hurray!

Do you know if they can long board around the resort (that a long skateboard that you just glide around on)?

It funny that mentioned basketball my oldest is 6'6" and played inHS, but my youngest is the be fanatic! They had already had me check that out.

Did you go out for dinner.? A friend who has been to HHI told me to go to the Salty Dog is a must! And she mentioned the Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Did you rent an umbrella and chairs at the beach?

Did you BBQ?


Thanks again for all your insights!
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WDW: ASM 1996, POLY 2003,WL 2006, All Star Sports 2008
DVC - BLT April 2011, 2013
AKL - Aug 2011,
HHI - August 2012
OKW - August 2014
Vero Beach - August 2014
Magic - West Carib April 2010, 2 night NYC June 2012
Dream - 3 night - August 2011 3 Night Dream - August 2014
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:17 PM   #13
missycj96
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We went out for dinner 2x (my little kids don't sit in restaurants and it is kind of unpleasant). We went to the Crazy Crab (very popular and not bad) and the kingfisher (not that great).

I saw people going by in the water on long boards. I don't know where they came from.

You are better off buying chairs there even if you don't bring them home. 2 chairs and an umbrella were about $30 with @$20 for subsequent days. For 5 people, the cost to rent 5 chairs wouldn't make sense. Plus the chairs are set up already a little higher up than we like to be. There is a CVS at the traffic circle that has loads of chairs, umbrellas and beach stuff. Prices are normal CVS prices. We brought a neat sheet and beach umbrella from home and bought chairs at CVS. If you drive to the beach house it is no big deal to bring the chairs.

Didn't bbq but saw others who did. We ordered pizza one night, and 2x brought in roast chicken from piggly wiggly (it was surprisingly good). One night we ordered dinner for the kids before 5 and brought it back to the room (Tide me over closes at 5). I saw another mom doing the same thing.

Before I went, I called the resort and asked them for the activity schedule, which they promptly emailed me. So you can get the schedule in advance.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbn1122 View Post
Thanks so much for your quick reply.....I am living on these boards waiting for info on HHI....

I though the pool look a little far, but with my boys being bigger they can go everywhere on their own. Hurray!

Do you know if they can long board around the resort (that a long skateboard that you just glide around on)?

It funny that mentioned basketball my oldest is 6'6" and played inHS, but my youngest is the be fanatic! They had already had me check that out.

Did you go out for dinner.? A friend who has been to HHI told me to go to the Salty Dog is a must! And she mentioned the Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Did you rent an umbrella and chairs at the beach?

Did you BBQ?


Thanks again for all your insights!
Across the bridge is the booth for "outside Hilton Head" (I believe that is what it is called). Anyway, they do the tours and are cheaper than Disney. I also think there are coupons for them. I did not know that they were there until last trip. We did a dolphin tour that took off near there......
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:52 PM   #15
bbn1122
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Thanks again, for your fast response....

Chairs and umbrella....only for DH and me...boys do not sit...so I will have to figure that out.

I remember the days of little ones at restaurants...

Thanks again....
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WDW: ASM 1996, POLY 2003,WL 2006, All Star Sports 2008
DVC - BLT April 2011, 2013
AKL - Aug 2011,
HHI - August 2012
OKW - August 2014
Vero Beach - August 2014
Magic - West Carib April 2010, 2 night NYC June 2012
Dream - 3 night - August 2011 3 Night Dream - August 2014
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