As resort prices soar many guests have considered staying off-property (outside of the Disney owned resort hotels) when visiting Walt Disney World. It's so difficult to know if a resort is a good match for your families needs. That's why I asked Ewan to share with us his personal experience staying at the Windsor Hills Resort Community.
Our Trip to Disney – Staying at Windsor Hills
My last trip to Disney involved staying off-site at the Windsor Hills Resort Community just two miles from the main gates of the Magic Kingdom. It was a trip party that included my wife and I, my parents, my sister and her partner and their two small children (my nieces), aged just 3 and 1 but a whole bundle of trouble. We’ve always stayed off-site during previous trips to Orlando as we’ve come to appreciate the freedom and space it offers in addition to working out cheaper.
We flew in to Orlando Sanford International airport, north east of the greater Orlando area. Flying in from Glasgow Scotland meant a 9hr flight with two small children so on arrival we were ready to get to our accommodation. From previous experience of flying into Sanford, after getting our hire car, we avoided the I4 and took the longer (but quicker we believe) route to Windsor Hills and Kissimmee along the 417. Travel time by car is around 1hr.
We were staying in a 6 bed private villa on the resort called Jura Villa. Check in was straight forward. Windsor Hills is a secure gated community so you
We’ve been to Orlando many times before and, based on previous experience, we spent 1 day at Magic Kingdom and 1 day at Animal Kingdom. With two small kids the real benefit was for the 3 year old who, as expected, was thrilled to be meeting Mickey Mouse in person. Benefits of staying off-site are obviously freedom, space in your own place and cost but getting to and from the parks is easy too. Windsor Hills has a small on-site sundries shop (great for groceries) but also the pickup and drop off point for a shuttle service to and from the major parks and shopping malls. You can find schedules and book pickups from the shop. Cost is $10 per person round trip to Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, MGM and $14 per person round trip to Seaworld, Universal Orlando and the major shopping areas. The shuttle is run by a company called Maingate Transportation.
We spent most of our vacation just relaxing. Days usually involved breakfast al fresco by our own private villa pool followed by afternoon at the fantastic Windsor Hills Resort Clubhouse and Pool. The clubhouse area benefits from a large lagoon style pool with water slides for the kids. The clubhouse also has a gym and cinema, available to all guests. On a few occasions I made my way to the pool early and swam lengths. We had a fantastic time playing with the two kids. Windsor Hills is made for the perfect family holiday. I even managed to slip in a trip to Kennedy Space Centre, a favourite of mine but that was one for just me and the wife. Not something a 3 year old would appreciate. We always stay off-site and there are so many resorts to choose from but we are never disappointed with Windsor Hills. We stayed for 7 nights in June and paid £900 (Deb here, that's $1345.41 in US dollars) for the villa rental.
About Our Guest: Ewan runs a number of villa rental websites for resorts in Florida and locations around the world such as Cape Verde Islands and Kalkan Turkey. He loves to travel and develop his online rental offerings based on customer feedback. Windsor Hills Resort inquiries.
Doesn't Windsor Hills sound delightful? Have you ever stayed off-property?