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Old 08-08-2012, 05:55 AM   #1
2Pirates2Princesses
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Question Timeshare vs. private owner communities

We are looking into both timeshares (Wyndham Bonnet Creek, Sheraton Vistana, Silver Lake) and private owner communities (Windsor Hills, Seven Dwarfs Lane) for our next Disney vacation. For those of you who have experience with both, what are the advantages and disadvantages with both types of communities based on your experiences? Thank you for the feedback
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
Brian Noble
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The big difference is "vibe".

The private-ownership communities tend to be quieter, and more private. The homes each have the owner's "touch" and can vary widely in furnishings---sometimes lovely, sometimes, well, not so much.

The timeshare resorts are a little more active, and tend to have more (and better) central services and amenities. There is more consistency from unit to unit.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
2Pirates2Princesses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Noble View Post
The big difference is "vibe".

The private-ownership communities tend to be quieter, and more private. The homes each have the owner's "touch" and can vary widely in furnishings---sometimes lovely, sometimes, well, not so much.

The timeshare resorts are a little more active, and tend to have more (and better) central services and amenities. There is more consistency from unit to unit.
Thank you for your reply. It seems like we can get lower rates over at Windsor Hills or Seven Dwarfs, but I wonder if we will have a better overall experience at a timeshare? We do spend a large percentage of our days in the parks, but we also like to have some non-park downtime as well.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #4
Christine
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I've stayed at both. I did not care for the timeshare experience. While I had a 2-bdrm, it was kind of "industrial" for a better. I mean, it "looked" nice but all the furniture was kind of cheap when you sat on, carpet may or may not be clean enough. I don't know, I can't really explain it but it just had a lower-end hotel vibe to it. I'm sure there are better resorts--I was at the Sheraton Vistana.

In contrast, I have stayed at two private homes.

The first was a 4 BDRM townhouse built in the mid 2000s. Very well maintained, EXTREMELY clean, wonderful furniture, great kitchen, laundry facilities, and we liked having the pool in our own yard. This place did have a clubhouse and a community pool and playground. It did feel somewhat resort-ish in the neighborhood but not as much as the timeshare.

The place I stay last week was a single family home, a bit older than where I stayed before but still very well maintained, clean, and so much more comfortable that a hotel or the timeshare. Furnitue was quite luxurious, TV etc, all good. Made for very nice nights after the parks.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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I also think it depends on what time of year you are traveling.

Will it busy a busy time? If so, the resort might be extremely crowded. And that's when renting in a private community might be a better option.

Will it be warm? If so, you might want the amenities at a timeshare resort like Bonnet Creek where they have 6 pools, mini golf etc.

But if it's cold, it might be nice to rent a house in a private community that has it's own pool. While you may pay for heat, it's much nicer walking out your door right to the pool on chilly evenings rather than walking to/from the pool at a larger resort.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:25 PM   #6
Brian Noble
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Quote:
Thank you for your reply. It seems like we can get lower rates over at Windsor Hills or Seven Dwarfs, but I wonder if we will have a better overall experience at a timeshare?
It really comes down to what you want: extra privacy, or more activity/amenities?

Quote:
I was at the Sheraton Vistana.
I'm going to guess this was before their resort-wide refurbishment was completed. They gutted the units to the studs, and re-did everything. Now, they are very very nice. There was a time when Vistana was not "on my list", but it is back on now.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #7
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As others have said, the TS places tend to have a lot more onsite activity and the individually rented stuff less. Although we've been in homes (not in Orlando) that were in a big complex with a TS resort, but the homes were on the edge and the TS units right in the action. There was some overlap in amenities, but the TS units had access to a lot more onsite activities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine View Post
While I had a 2-bdrm, it was kind of "industrial" for a better.
I think I know what you mean, but I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it "industrial" -- I've always though of it as "decorated by committee." It has a very sterile feel to it. The places we've been that were owned by individuals were sometimes the same level of clean as the TSs, and I doubt the furniture was much better quality, however the decor was somehow just a tad more homey. The furniture had been picked by an individual rather than an interior designer used to working with semi-public spaces, I guess, or maybe it's the fact that they're looking at furniture at totally different places, I dunno.

Anyhow, to me it's not a real obvious difference, but I have noticed it.
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