Windsor Hills Condo Review

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by mrswh, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. mrswh

    mrswh DIS Veteran

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    I know a lot of people are looking for condos in WH for their Disney vacations, and when I was looking, I was able to get a lot of great info from this board, so I thought I'd do my part with a review of WH in general and also the specific condo we (DH, kids 21 months and 3.5 and I) stayed in.

    First off, Windsor Hills is terrific! I like that it is a secured neighborhood. Everything is very neat and clean. The pool is fantastic - I love the zero entry for the smaller kids, and my husband had fun on the big slide! Note that they do not have towels at the pool, so you need to bring some from your condo. WH is exactly how you see it in the pictures and on the website. The sundries shop is pretty much like 7-11 - a small selection of overpriced items, but definitely convenient.

    Everywhere you look, you will see claims that WH is 1 or 2 miles from Disney, or 2 or 3 or 5 minutes from Disney. Technically, this is true. What I learned when we were there (maybe I was just being ignorant, but this didn't occur to me before then) is that WH is 5 minutes from World Drive. The main gate. Which is still another X minutes from whichever park you are going to. Magic Kingdom is the furthest, and from door to door, once you drive, park, take the tram to the TTC, and the monorail to MK, it's a good 45 minutes. I'm not complaining, because I think WH is still closer than most anywhere else offsite (and even some Disney resorts!), but if you do stay there, don't think you're going to be at Cinderella's castle 5 minutes after walking out the door.

    There were a few grocery stores and quick food options nearby. Alas, no Starbucks on the way to Disney, but a new one just opened last week that is only a couple of miles out of the way.

    On to the condo. We stayed in a 2 BR, 2 BA condo within 3 minutes walking of the pool. (Maybe faster if you don't have two small children and all the accompanying stuff with you.) When we arrived, the key was in the lockbox - no check-in hassle. We went in and our kids had a ball going from room to room finding all the Disney decor. "There's Ariel! There's Buzz Lightyear! There's Mickey!!" There was a wide range of Disney characters represented, and the kids loved it! The kids bedroom had a talking Mickey lamp, character blankets and pillows, stuffed Mickey and Minnie and several pieces of Disney art. The kids bathroom had Princess and Cars towels and washcloths, Disney character shower curtain rings, and more Disney art on the walls. The kitchen was stocked with kids cups, plates and place mats with Disney characters. We usually stay in hotels on vacation, and my kids felt so much more at home at this condo. My 3 year old declared that it was better than home before we even visited Disney!

    For the adults, iPod docks/speakers (my iPhone worked in them as well), flat screen TVs with DVD, free wireless internet and long distance. Having a kitchen with dishwasher and full size washer/dryer was really nice too. The owner, John, and his business partner Dave couldn't have been nicer to deal with, and when I needed help with an issue (my son climbed out of the pack n play and we needed a full size crib), the property manager responded right away with the info I needed. Parking was so easy compared to a hotel - park right outside - no long hike, no parking charges. And I should mention that the place was spotlessly clean.

    The only negatives were that a few of the nights we were there, we had extraordinarily loud people staying above us. Most of the reviews I have read of WH say they never heard a peep, and I think that most people don't stomp around until 3 a.m., so I think this was an unusual circumstance and I won't let it stop me from staying there again. Also, when you stay at a condo, you're not likely to get a hotel caliber bed. The beds were fine and we got used to them (the kids didn't notice a difference), but don't expect the heavenly bed with 1000 thread count linens. :)

    We have never stayed in a vacation condo before but now that we have, I don't think we'll ever stay at a hotel for Disney again. The only edge I'd give to Disney properties is if you stay at a monorail resort (Poly, GF or CR), because of the convenience. But, I have to say that for most that convenience isn't worth the (no kidding) $5,000/wk price difference.

    Hope this is helpful to someone - if not, well, I just had a few minutes of happy Disney memories. :)

    The website for the condo (they have several 2 and 3 BR options - we stayed in 202C) is:

    http://www.vacationcentralflorida.com/
     
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  3. FayeW

    FayeW DIS Veteran

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    What a great review! I looked at those condos, but we are staying longer than 7 days and they only rent Sat-Sat. I gave some serious consideration to shortening our trip or staying elsewhere for the extra nights, but in the end DH wanted to just get groceries for the week on the way from the airport, and just settle in once. I don't mind switching resorts, but it isn't really convenient so we reserved elsewhere.
     
  4. mathgal

    mathgal Earning My Ears

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    How exciting to read your review of this condo...I just sent in my deposit for the very same one (202C) today!!

    Perhaps you could answer some of my questions...

    1. What size is the bed in the master? I'm hoping for a queen at least, but I can't tell from the photo on the website.
    2. Also...what grocery stores were nearby...and how close were they?
    3. Did the condo have laundry & dishwasher detergent or did you have to bring your own?
    4. How about coffee filters?
    I originally had booked the Comfort Suites Maingate East for our trip in mid May, but decided to switch when we were able to get this condo for about a $100 less for the week! I'm looking forward to the extra room AND the beautiful pool!
     
  5. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    I'm renting from the same company.. but the 204 unit. I'm glad to hear that the Ipod stuff works well -- in fact this was the selling point for us over other condos.

    I'm glad to hear there are no issues with the internet, phone or Ipod stuff. We are bit of techno geeks here and we liked the slightly understated way of decorating style (no garish pink walls)
     
  6. jacksmommy

    jacksmommy Mouseketeer

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    Great to hear such a positive review for WH. We are staying there in late September - different agency. Good to know about actual distance from the park to your condo door!
     
  7. SoonipiLady

    SoonipiLady DIS Veteran

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    It all depends on the site you rent from. We rented from Forida Sun Vacations and they rent by the night (have SOME min night requirements during holidays), with a discount for renting 7 or more nights (15% I think it was). JUst so you know for the next time....plus their rates before the discount were as much as 35.00 less per night than some of the other sites!
     
  8. mrswh

    mrswh DIS Veteran

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    The bed in the master is a queen . . . I could swear it seemed a bit smaller than our queen at home, but the sheets are queen size, so I guess that's what it is!

    Nearby there was a Publix and a Winn-Dixie. They were each only about 2 miles from the condo.

    They did have laundry and dishwasher detergent. I think you're supposed to replace whatever you finish off, so I suppose it's possible that the person before you could use it up and not replenish, but when we were there, there was plenty.

    I didn't make any coffee when I was there, but I don't recall seeing any coffee filters.

    The pool really is nice - and so many amenities at the clubhouse that we would have loved but were too busy to take advantage of!

    Hope you enjoy the condo as much as we did . . . I was skeptical of the whole condo thing, but it really worked out well for us.
     
  9. mrswh

    mrswh DIS Veteran

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    Cindy B, when are you going? I just booked 204 for February 2009 - I'd love to hear your review when you return!
     
  10. ALnRYSmom

    ALnRYSmom Dreaming of Disney

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    It looks like there is also a 24 hour SuperWalmart w/groceries about 6 miles from the resort. Go east on 192 and then north on Vineland.
     
  11. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    Not until August.

    I figured I'd do a 3 bedroom since it was the same price as a two bedroom. The 204 is in another building "across the street" but since I haven't been there yet, I can't visualize what that means. I can tell you it's in the 2785 building.

    I did get an email from Dave that the 204 will have a PS2 (it has that now) and all units will have ceiling fans by the time I get there. PS2 is a very nice guesture, but we are an Xbox and Wii family. Maybe by then they will have some games in the condo or I'll buy some cheaper ones at Gamestop before we go.

    How far was the pool? Was it an awful walk? Did you need more than one card? (we have one teen and one 11 year old at our trip)
     
  12. mrswh

    mrswh DIS Veteran

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    All the condo buildings are very close to the pool. I think 2785 is the farthest from the pool, but still not far at all. Here's a map that shows the plan - condos are in the upper right and the clubhouse/pool is in the middle on the right. (Ignore the unit numbers, these are not for the condo you're staying in, but will show you some building numbers.)

    http://www.allstarvacationhomes.com/res/subdivision.asp?SID=Windsor+Hills+Resort+Community

    We were in 2774 and it was a 3 minute walk to the pool. Easy.

    Actually, while we were there, we didn't need pool cards for some reason - something was going on where they weren't issuing them, they were just leaving the gate unlocked. But it's easy to get them and I think you just give a small ($6?) deposit for each one, for however many you decide you need.
     
  13. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    2785 is the furthest. It is really far? It looks like four building away. Was it safe for the kids to walk (remember I have teens) to walk by themselves?
     
  14. mom_2a_sept_princess

    mom_2a_sept_princess Mouseketeer

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    This is a nice review. We are renting 404 from the same people. We check in the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And the rate is only $399 for the week! We are staying with family on Thurs and Friday nights.

    I can't wait to go. We usually stay on property but the prices are crazy at that time of year. We are looking forward to staying in a condo. Plus this is our second trip of the year.
     
  15. dougsmom98

    dougsmom98 DIS Veteran

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    That was a great review. Thank you for being so thorough.
     
  16. Cazgal

    Cazgal Mouseketeer

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    Yes Thank you for the great review

    We are in the process of looking at whether we go for a 2bed condo or a 3bde villa - i would really like to have a private swimming pool if poss ... but do you think it would be actually used ?

    We are going in April 2009 - would like to hear about anybodys experience and if they used the private pool - or the communal one the most.

    If you didn't have a private pool is it something you missed and wished you had ?
     
  17. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    I think 404 is brand new (just finished) so you got really lucky.

    I wasn't truly loving the princess theme--but I have older kids so that just may be the issue there. My daughter would say ick and my son would just roll his eyes.
     
  18. mrswh

    mrswh DIS Veteran

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    No, it's not far at all. A few blocks. Won't take more than 5 minutes walking. The community is very nice, upscale, and gated. I felt 100% safe there. Only issue is whether you feel OK with your kids at the pool with no lifeguard on duty.
     
  19. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    I wasn't thinking of safety (BAD MOM!) but more of a traffic type thing..

    Other complexes we have gone to have had no lifeguards so that is really nothing new.
     
  20. mrswh

    mrswh DIS Veteran

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    Well, there are sidewalks but you do have to cross the street a couple of times. Not much traffic since the only traffic on the street is going to the condo parking lots. I'd think teenagers paying attention will be fine!
     
  21. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    That makes sense. Its not like they are crossing major intersections or anything.
     

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