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Old 09-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #16
ClanHarrison
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Noble View Post
One compromise might be to rent a home, but go through a management company rather than rent from an owner directly. This will cost a little more (the agent takes a cut), but gives you a little more peace of mind---you are renting from a larger company rather than a private individual, they have a larger stable of houses they can rebook you into if something goes wrong with the one you book, etc. All Star Vacation Homes is one popular agent, and there are others.

Personally, I am comfortable renting directly form an owner, and that's the route I'd go, but you have to do what is comfortable for you.
This is exactly what we did for our very first trip, because I was so uneasy about all this...and we also went thru All Star. They were EXCELLENT & the home was more exquisite than the website showed it to be. All Star was also conveniently located in the shopping center down the road from the development (on 192) so I had *someone* to address face-to-face, immediately, with any concerns. They were VERY friendly & responsive. The extra money was well worth my piece of mind...until I got used to this industry & what to look for when renting from an owner.

But, be careful. You think you're worried about renting now. Once you do it...you will be HOOKED .

We fell in love with offsite villa renting and will probably NEVER stay onsite (except for Universal for Front of the Line Access & Wyndham Bonnet Creek).
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:28 PM   #17
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I think you can book vacation homes through travel websites like orbitz, expedia and lastminutetravel.com if that makes you feel any better about the process. I personally haven't done so but definitely would if I was traveling with my family - you get a lot more for your money! Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:38 PM   #18
Davey-D-99
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The more we look at those condos on the All-Star vacations website, the more tempting it's becoming

I'm sure the closer we get to actually booking I will be asking more questions

Thanks for all the help...I love the DIS!
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:03 AM   #19
ruadisneyfan2
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Before we bought our timeshare in 05, we stayed in rental homes many, many times and loved it. Even though we're a family of 4, we could get a 4 BR single home for around $120/nt with our own private pool. We'd even have a spare bedroom to store our luggage.

Back then (2003-05) we used a rental management company called Villa Direct which, by the time I discovered the Disboards, was going downhill quickly & not getting good reviews on here. I'm not sure it's still in business but regardless, the rental route is a great way to travel when you want a lot of space & privacy. When our kids were small, it was so hard staying in a hotel room. Trying to get kids to sleep, while dh & I don't want to go to sleep at 8 pm.

All Star rentals was around back then too; we used to see their maintenance trucks often in the Kissimmee area. I think renting through a reliable agency would give you more peace of mind since it's your 1st time.

Also, if you're thinking of visiting Universal I highly recommend staying at one of their onsite hotels. They are all 4* deluxe (Loews Hotels) but the best part is that you simply show your room key and bypass all the regular lines. It's like an unlimited fast pass. You will be instantly spoiled so I would do this last on your list of theme parks. It's hard to wait in line after that.
The Royal Pacific & Hard Rock Hotels are an easy walk to the parks or there's a water taxi also. Their pools are massive with plenty of lounge chairs & very relaxing. Really, they put the Poly's pool to shame. (My kids were shocked on our recent stay how small and lame that was.)

Have fun planning!
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:34 AM   #20
shalom
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You can also rent a lot of the Timeshares in the area direct from the corporation that manages the place -- for instance, Floridays and The Fountains are both well under $200 per day and you'll get a 2 BR unit with a living room and full kitchen. The Fountains even has a little lake you can canoe on, and both of them have onsite activities if you plan on taking a day off from the parks. I'm sure there are dozens of other TS units available within your budget where you can rent from the corporation rather than from an individual.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:18 PM   #21
canadianjovigirl
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We to were in the same situation for our Florida vacation and due to family size and kids ages/sexes decided to go the vacation home route and boy were we glad we did as we tend to vacation alot that way now other than our all inclusive vacations.

We started our vacation by spending 4 days at http://clearwaterbeachholidayinn.com...nd-suites.aspx

in a family suite which was perfect for us.

We then moved to our rental home who had great owners who went above and beyond.

http://www.vrbo.com/88561

We loved the location as we were close to everything, yet in a nice community which was quiet and peaceful. The kids loved the pool and it was nice to relax on down days or in the evenings. There was a publix and shopping complex close by and it was a nice community to walk around. We paid the lower prices listed and had pool heat......

Any questions please let me know, we spent almost a month in Florida and cant wait to return. We did Disney, Universal, IOA, Discovery Cove, Sea World, Daytona 500, Daytona beach, Cocoa beach, kennedy space center, citrus picking, candy factory, NFL game in Tampa, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Air boat ride etc etc....

Last edited by canadianjovigirl; 09-12-2011 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:21 PM   #22
Kim1964
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We rented a 3 bedroom/3 bath townhome at Windsor Hills last month. The particular unit was one that I had seen people mention here and on another Disney board to which I belong. Since others had rented from this owner without issue, I felt comfortable renting from her. The place was clean, comfortable, and well-maintained. It was as close to Disney World as advertised. The week cost us about $900, $1200 less than the ASMu family suite we rented the year before for the exact same dates. While I now know that offsite isn't for me, it wasn't because of the unit or the unit's owner.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #23
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I am a bit surprised that based on your discomfort with rental properties, more people aren't suggesting renting at a timeshare resort. The Sheraton Vistanas (2), Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs (3), and Wyndham Bonnet Creek among others offer all the space you are looking for, but are a lot closer to a more traditional hotel experience from the rental aspect. It should be relatively easy to find a 2BR unit sleeping 6-8 people with full kitchen and laundry for under the $200 you mention. Add in a full slate of daily activities, pools, restaurants and bars in the resort, and housekeeping (some do daily for extra cost, most do twice weekly). It is a very hassle free way to have all the space you need. The larger chains generally rent direct to the public, or you can often rent from a timeshare owner at the resort for less.

Although home rentals are also an amazing option, there are a few negatives that come with that property type as well. Many expect you to do at least some of the regular cleaning duties before vacating; something I don't want to worry about. And some of these communities often have pretty good amenities, but I don't think they measure up to what is available at the top end timeshare resorts. We go to Sheraton Vistana Resort annually, and there are 7 pools, 2 restaurants, food court, 3 exercise rooms, 12 tennis courts, a giant water slide, mini-golf, and I can go on. And at the end of the stay, you drop your key at the front desk, and they look after the rest!
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:18 AM   #24
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We have stayed at Wyndham Bonnet Creek and we loved it!! We had a 2 bedroom. My oldest (10 at the time) slept on the living room couch pull out and my daughter (8) and grandma (65) took the 2nd bedroom. Great facilities for our needs. The day we wanted to travel to the beach we drove to Cocoa Beach. It was wonderful. Kennedy Space Center is also a fun day trip. Hope you have a fabulous trip!
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #25
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We stay in a 4 BR home in Windsor Hills and have rented through Florida Sun Vacation Homes for our last two trips. They are another management company that has been highly recommended on these boards.

When I was pricing our trip for next March, only one person out of 8 on vrbo came out cheaper than Florida Sun Vacation Homes since they have a 15% off discount on stays of 7 nights or longer and offer free pool heat during the cool weather months (it's $25 per day or more through other agencies). Since we've used them before and know their homes are very clean and look exactly like the pictures, we will be booking through them again for peace of mind.

If we were wanting to stay at a more resort type place, I would pick Wyndham Bonnet Creek. Check out the "We love Bonnet Creek" thread on this board for great information about staying there.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:05 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bankr63 View Post
I am a bit surprised that based on your discomfort with rental properties, more people aren't suggesting renting at a timeshare resort.
We stayed at Marriott Cypress Harbour for a week last year. A friend rented us his week for a price comparable to a villa rental. The place was beautiful, very well-maintained. The grounds were very nice and there were numerous activities and amenities (not that we personally used any of them). This is certainly a nice option for people who want more space than a hotel but don't want the complete independence of a rental home. We've also rented at Orbit One several times through SkyMouse. That was even better as we only paid about $40/nite for a 2-bedroom unit but I don't know if those kinds of deals are still out there.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:49 PM   #27
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Davey,
For us, the timeshare villas are the best. We tried one for the first time 10 years ago and we'll never go back to a hotel. They offer:
  • huge rooms, everyone has more then they need
  • seperate bedrooms
  • full kitchens
  • washer and dryer
  • your own deck/patio
  • Beautiful resorts
  • Great pools
  • Lots of activities for all ages
  • Gated security
  • And
we save tons of money by hitting the Publix and covering breakfast, lunch, and snacks/drinks out of our resort.

Stay with a name brand to ensure high quality (Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton)

You may never go back onsite again. We haven't since, totally spoiled.

Jeff
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:28 PM   #28
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Just to pipe in. We have been going to disney for over 10 years now, staying onsite and offsite in hotels. this january we are going to stay in windsor hills. At first I was hesitant but I did a search on this forum for the company I am renting through and no one had any bad things to say about them. I am a little excited about it. I can make my own meals and even bring cold cut sandwiches into the park. I can do my laundry while I am sleeping (we are staying 7 days and then taking a cruise so this is going to help). My son will have his own room and bathroom so I won't have to get up an hour early to get ready so that he can then use the bathroom. I will be writing about my experience when I come back (middle of january).
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:51 PM   #29
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Hello everyone,

A friend of a co-worker has recently booked "Worldquest" near WDW based on reviews. It seems to have good reviews on TA. Wondering if anyone from DIS has any experience with "Worldquest"?
Have not ever seen it mentioned before here. It seems to have everything I would be looking for at a really decent price...$118 per night for 2BR?
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:57 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey-D-99 View Post
A friend of a co-worker has recently booked "Worldquest" near WDW based on reviews. It seems to have good reviews on TA. Wondering if anyone from DIS has any experience with "Worldquest"?
Have not ever seen it mentioned before here. It seems to have everything I would be looking for at a really decent price...$118 per night for 2BR?
I've actually never heard of it. Looks pretty on the website though I watched their video and found it odd that the two amusement park images they show when talking about Disney World are not from Disney World (or Universal). You might want to check TripAdvisor and/or start another thread here asking for opinions. I'm sure others have heard of it.
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