Just returned from OKW...a few (almost all positive!) observations

Doctor P

<font color=navy><font color=navy>Chocolate covere
Jan 24, 2000
Just returned last night from my first trip home to OKW (DW and DSD had been in February without me). A few general observations:

1) The studio we had was truly excellent. We were in building 23 and had a second floor studio that overlooked the golf course. I found the room spacious as compared with a normal hotel room, loved the odd shape of the room and the space it created, and found it very quiet and peaceful.

2) I actually liked not having housekeeping every day. I really hate to have to reorganize and clean the room for the housekeeper every morning in a hotel. I was able to leave my stuff out and leave my CPAP set up. This was really nice. I did make the bed all but one morning (I dont't even do that at home) to give the room a little neater feel but would have felt very comfortable not doing so.

3) The bus transportation to and from OKW was nothing short of outstanding (we did have one maniac bus driver who almost killed us all, but that is a story for another day). Other than the first night when we went to Boma for dinner and then to WL for a fireworks cruise, we parked the car and didn't use it the whole week we were there. We park hopped, went to Downtown Disney, went to the Boardwalk, went to Typhoon Lagoon, and to the Contemporary all by bus. The longest wait we had for a bus was about 15 minutes and that was only once. Our average wait for a bus was certainly no more than 5 minutes!!!!! We started to laugh about it after the first few days--whenever we needed a bus, it came within just a few minutes! Even on New Years' Eve, we left Epcot after the late Illuminations (midnight). We watched from Japan, walked around the lagoon to Future World, stopped to get our things out of our locker, walked to the bus stop, and waited for a second bus after the first one left with a full load. We were home to OKW and in bed by 1:10 am. Not bad in the least!

4) We ate breakfast at Olivia's on New Year's Day. The food was excellent and portions were large. We certainly would go back for breakfast--we were also treated very well.

5) Member's Update meeting on New Year's Day did not occur. About a dozen people showed up, and they had not told the CM's at the desk that there was no meeting, but it did not appear on their weekly schedule. I was disappointed to miss the opportunity to ask a few questions, but I guess I will live!;)

6) We had trouble flushing the toilets--took multiple flushes sometimes to get a "good flush"--is this a member secret that you learn over time????;)

I was very, very pleased with our choice of OKW as our home resort. I looked more carefully at BW and VWL this time around, and I think OKW is definitely the type of resort I will be happiest at for a long period of time, but really like the other resorts for different reasons as well.

By the way, as one of those who complained fairly bitterly about the loss of early entry, I must say that it certainly was not needed (even during the busiest week of the year). We were able to get an hour or more of extra sleep and still able to get lots of things done in the early hours of park opening with few people around and very short lines (I rode Tower of Terror four consecutive times by going back into the queue and not waiting in line a SINGLE MINUTE--and I could have done it a few more times if I wanted to). Even the crowds on NYE were bearable given my expectations.

If anyone has any questions about how things were this past week, I would be glad to answer them. Thanks to all for all the tips and advice about making the most of our trip. Can't wait to go back home to OKW!
Thanks for the excellent report.

Ah, the Atomic toilets strike again.;) ;) For all the noise that they make, they don't do a very good job, do they?:p

Thanks for the report. We're also fans of the OKW bus system, and it's nice to hear that you had a great experience.

I hope that NYE is that easy this year. It just gives me that much more to look forward to.:)
I'm so glad that you had such a great trip. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

By the way, as one of those who complained fairly bitterly about the loss of early entry, I must say that it certainly was not needed (even during the busiest week of the year).

I'm glad you were able to admit this. I've had the same type of experience where I got all upset and worried about something posted here and, once you actually get to WDW and experience it/see for yourself, it ends up being no big deal. I don't know about you, but when it happened to me I felt like kicking myself for worrying over nothing....I try not to do it anymore. ;)

I'm very glad to hear your thoughts on EE.....perhaps I'll actually get enough sleep this trip! But maybe not....now that we have a kitchen I might actually be expected to make breakfast :eek:

Glad to see you are happy with your decision to join at OKW...we felt the exact opposite about our needs when we stayed at OKW and toured BWV (pre-VWL) and went with BWV. But, as has been said over and over, that's what is wonderful about DVC! And we all still have the option of the other experiences if we want to try them out.
Our first couple of trips we always got up early for EE. Then we started going to the other parks and not doing the EE. (2 hour time difference) That strategy seems to work best for us. Those first few days of a vacation are hard to adjust to the time change.

I'm glad you had a great trip!

It's nice to know things are changing for the better at OKW. When DH and I were at OKW over Labor Day weekend, the transportation was terrible! We never waited less than 20 minutes for a bus. We also had a studio but it was on the first floor - so no view.

Our home is BWV. After that weekend, I don't think I'll ever get my DH to try OKW again. Oh well, we love the Boardwalk so it will all work out. :)

Hi Dr P! Nice to run into you on the bridge NYE! Talk about a small world. We were in Japan as well - the real noisy group (can't control those college kids any more!). For those of you wondering about going at the holidays, everyone in our group from HS age - 50 something said it was the best NYE ever. Where else can you go with your family and all have a good time TOGETHER. Usually the young adults do not want to spend much time with the older ones. We all sang along with the British invasion, and they made us dance with them at the video DJ in Japan. Anyway... I just want to add that having visited during the holidays and later in Jan as well, the bus service tends to be superb during the peak times- Disney really makes an effort to manage the crowds. While at slower seasons it can be a longer wait. My experience is limited to the Epcot resorts area (we own at BWV, but stayed at BC the years prior to DVC membership). Also MK, AK and MGM did open at 8 am before Jan 1 which was almost like having early entry at every park. Our group got moving later and I have to say the crowds did build up. On Jan 2 we got to Epcot at 10:15 am- just 15 min after opening and the fast pass for test track were already at 12:45- 1:45 return. My observation on our first trip to BWV is that the studio portion of our two bedroom, while large enough, really could only sleep 3 adults. The sofa bed is barely double size- fine for 2 young children, but that's about it. CM's were all fantastic- Our guests commented on their helpful attitudes. Never got a Welcome Home- but didn't miss it - just appreciated the terrific service!
It was good to run into you and Roger and Debra, too! Glad you had a good NYE. I have no doubt that your experiences with the bus transportation are a completely accurate representation of the realities. The bus transportation last week was, frankly, too good to be true or too good to be sustained for any given length of time in the absence of lots of revenues flowing in. It is also true that the earlier park opening times did cushion the loss of early entry. However, even on the days when MK and Epcot opened later, there was still an early morning lull that one could really take advantage of (the TT fast passes went fast every morning--there was a mad dash to the FP machines--but you could ride TT fairly quickly in the early hours through the standby line and the other attractions appeared to be pretty empty). As an example, MK opened at 8:00 am on Saturday December 29th. We were still walking onto all the rides we wanted to go on (admittedly we headed for less crowded areas of the park as it got later) until at least 11:00 am when we left to go to AK for a few hours.
Re Building 23 Dr. P ... did you request to be in that building? When did you all make your ressies (i.e., 11 mos. 7 mos?) Do you think a 2br in that building would have a nice water view of the water between 23 and 62? Thanks.
As Doctor P stated, dd and I stayed at OKW in February with my dad and I came back extremely disappointed. We were in building 23 (actually in the room just below the one we were at last week) and I was very disappointed. Well, come to find out it was a handicapped room and the balcony had a big tree hanging into it so you couldn't even sit out there. So this time, I asked him to request a 2nd floor room so that we would be able to have a balcony we could see out of (that was my main reason). It just felt so much more comfortable this time not having a handicapped room. So if you don't want to take that risk, make sure you request a non-first floor room. I believe we had to make our request like 6 months ahead but you should make them when you make your ressies. If I'm not wrong you can make 2 requests for a room area/type (non-smoking, floor choice, view choice, etc.).

I was very impressed also with the transportation. Many mornings we walked up to the Hospitality House to catch the bus there so we didn't have to ride through the whole resort. By the time we got there...the bus was on it's way and was there in a matter of minutes. It was very smooth also going to Downtown Disney to make connections to other resorts and going to Typhoon Lagoon.

I'm anxious to go back, which won't be probably for a few years. I am planning on taking a solo trip in December for DIS-CON and I think I am rooming with someone at either Y&BC/Boardwalk/Swan/Dolphin area. it will be neat to compare the various resorts now. The first time we went to WDW we stayed at All Star Movies which we thought was great!
We also just returned from a Feb. trip to OKW. It was our first time there and had a fabulous time.
Our impression of the room: the bed was quite comfy with a quilt under the fitted sheet and an extra blanket on the bed, pictures on the walls gave the room the intended beachy feel, kitchenette was a well used feature and the bathroom was spacious with well heated hot water (nice hot baths were great after a cold day), the balcony was beautiful as we overlooked the golf course and fountained pond. Suprisingly, it was nice to not have housekeeping enter and have to put valuables away every day. We simply kept the room tidy ourselves.

A few less than impressive aspects were that we asked for a bell man and were told that only those without cars had this service. Also, at this resort there are no elevators so one must carry the luggage up the stairs. We were in a second floor room and the children in the room above us found it necessary to run at 1am. Next time we'll request a third story room. We stayed for 4 days and would have liked to washed some clothes, however, the laundry room is not incredibly convenient as we would have to walk near one of the pools to do so.
Overall, the resort was neatly painted and very well maintained. No complaints on the asthetics. It's simply a matter of preference. We just tend to like the services offered in a hotel atmosphere (such as VWL) as compared to the condo style (OKW).:D
Originally posted by Disney On The Bayou
We also just returned from a Feb. trip to OKW.

You're kidding, right? "You also just returned from a FEBRUARY trip" to OKW? It's January now, so either it's a typo, or I'm wishing I had your points to stay down there ELEVEN months!!!

I believe buildings 62, 63 and 64 have elevators. The new buildings that is.
December - I just sent you an email. So you were in building 23 2x? Would you think it's a good choice as long as you are 2nd floor or higher? I was just a bit confused on the post. I'm really thinking we should stick to requesting buildings 62 - 64 as they offer elevators. I just thought that the view between building 23 and 64 offered a pretty nice view (from what we saw on my daugher's video) and she thought the same.
Doctor P:

We had a wacky bus briver going from OKW to MK one evening when we stayed there in August. He was snapping at people and driving too fast for my comfort.


Dreams Unlimited Travel is committed to providing you with the very best vacation planning experience possible. Our Vacation Planners are experts and will share their honest advice to help you have a magical vacation.

Let us help you with your next Disney Vacation!

facebook twitter