Hey y’all! I just got home from a wonderful vacation. We headed down to Orlando for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. While I didn’t run, I had a great time chEARing on the racers with my family. I planned this trip last minute and what little availability that was left at a Walt Disney World Resort was out of my price range. So being the budget conscious traveler that I am, I turned to one of my favorite resources, HomeAway, to look for off property condo rentals for our trip.
I love HomeAway because you can search places to stay based on where you want to go, price minimum and maximum, number of bedrooms and so much more. They have tons of filters to search by and it’s really easy to use. Being a budget conscious traveler can be time consuming so I love the added search features they offer. For this trip, I found a condo to rent in the Windsor Hills Resort that was in my price range. I had never heard of it before but after lots of review reading and some google searching I decided to give it a try.
I am so glad I did. My family and I absolutely loved staying off property in our privately owned condo on the Windsor Hills Resort property. The location of the resort couldn’t be better. It is seriously only 2 major roads to get to the Walt Disney World property and then not far from the parks. There was never any major traffic either, which is a plus when you are trying to get to the parks early. The condo we stayed in was a two bedroom, two bathroom with a living room, kitchen and laundry area. My family shared the condo with my mother and her husband so it was nice to have the extra space to spread out. Our bedroom was decorated Disney style with Mickey and all the gang! It was so cute and really kept us in the Disney spirit. The full kitchen was lovely. It saved us a lot of money being able to bring some breakfast items from home and eat them before heading out each day. The main focus of our trip was the races and riding rides at the parks so we didn’t enjoy any of the many amenities the Windsor Hills Resort has to offer but they sure looked fun. At the resort, you can find a double Olympic size pool, waterside, several hot tubs, a putting green, clubhouse games, a movie theater, a play ground and many other fun things to do. We really could have had an entire day of fun without ever leaving the property. Windsor Hills Resort also seemed so family friendly. Obviously there were a ton of vacationers there but it was nice seeing families out walking together and kids out rollerblading on the sidewalk. It was also incredibly safe. Upon check in, we needed to stop by the security booth to get our verification. The security guards were very friendly but you can tell they take their job very seriously. No one gets in our our without a pass to scan – not even a food delivery person. If you want to have food delivered you have to call the security guards and let them know and if they aren’t on the approved list, you must go up to the front gate and get your food there. I loved this. I am always worried about staying in unsafe areas and this really put my mind at ease. Here’s a look at what our unit looked like. Only thing not pictured is the master suite, my mom had gotten there before I did and I didn’t want to invade her space for pictures – blogger problems. Ha. You can view the owners photos of the condo on the HomAway page here. One thing I can say about the condo was it was very, very clean. And I’m really picky when it comes to hotels, condos and the like about cleanliness and this was top notch.
Something I was a little nervous about was not being able to take part in Extra Magic Hours at the Disney Parks. Extra Magic Hours is when the park opens early or stays open late to only Walt Disney World Resort Guests. And we are Extra Magic Hour people, especially in the morning. It’s incredible how many attractions we can do before the park actually opens and I was worried we weren’t going to be able to squeeze all of our favorites in. With not that much extra planning, I am happy to report we did everything we wanted to do, sometimes multiple times and more. Staying off property is something that we really enjoyed and didn’t impact our Walt Disney World vacation nearly as much as I was expecting it to. In fact, we are already talking about booking off property for when we go in February for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. If you’ve considered staying off property but haven’t yet and you have questions about it, please leave them below in the comments. I’m more than happy to help and share my experiences with you.