Best OFFSITE Resort Rental?

Just returned from a wonderful WDW trip! Due to rising costs and a bit of sticker shock (this past visit was solely on our DVC points and AP from last year), looking to stay offsite next year to save $$$. I have just spent literally hours perusing VRBO/Homeaway sites and love what I am seeing. Problem is, it’s just so darn overwhelming! There are SO MANY properties out there!! So, would love some recommendations from experienced liners. We have only stayed Deluxe at WDW and Uni, and DH is very apprehensive about anything outside of the bubble. ( 60 FPP and EMH are not as important to us any more since we have been going every year since the kids were little.)
We are a family of 5 and may have 2 grandparents along.

Here are some things that are important to us:

Cost: Looking at less than $150/night for minimum 3 bedrooms/2 baths OR less than $300 for minimum 4BR/3B.

Location: Renting a car will be necessary, but would prefer an ‘easy’ location to the parks.

Resort Community: Really love the resort feel of WDW deluxe. We would like to be able to have easy access to dining, community pools and other WDW deluxe-like amenities (walking preferred).

Private Pool: Private pool would be a bonus so kids can swim while parents relax in the air:)

Timing: Would like to go in late June/July 2020. When do I need to book?

Where would you recommend?

Anywhere else I should look besides VRBO/Homeaway?


We stayed at Windsor hills in January, rented thru global resort homes (Florida Sun vacations). Our unit (apartment style) didn’t have a pool but others in the subdivision (townhomes) did have pools, there is also a community pool with water slides, a approx 25 seat theater and very close to the parks. Full kitchen, laundry and I believe up to 5 or 6 bedroom units are available.

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renting a house this year at windsor hills w/ pool. Great theming in the house too. If extended stay, e.g. longer than 7 nights, be sure to write to owner and ask for a deal. Can’t hurt. Worst they say is no.

WH has water park, movie theater w/ library, game room, playground.

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Windsor Hills is great. Closest rental house resort to the parks. VERY close.

How long did it take to drive to the parks?

Animal Kingdom is the closest. I’m gonna say 10 minutes? You take the backroad, Sherbeth Road;
Maps says- 13 minutes Epcot; 12 minutes- Hollywood Studios; Magic Kingdom- 14 minutes to TTC.
All of those sound about right from what I remember.

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Good morning!
We’ve been renting off-site accommodations since 2002. IMO if you are looking for less than $150/night, closer proximity and resort like amenities, you will be probably be able to find it, but it may take a little effort.

I am going to cut and paste this from a thread from January. I added the bold today.

If you are looking for resort feel I’d suggest Windsor Hills, Windsor Palms, and Reunion. If I remember more names later, I will come back.

I still haven’t found our rental for November.
A new site I found (It could be backlash from all those mergers…) is It works like the old Homeaway. I see room for negotiation here again.

Hope some of this helps.


In case this didn’t jump out to you in my verbose response the size of the home almost doesn’t matter as much as what it’s got going on. Location, theming (yes - some are incredibly themed) and who owns it tend to make a much bigger difference.

I’d drive an extra 10 minutes for this one… :wink:

Looks beautiful! And thank you so much for answering all my wordy questions!! I think that if we need to rent a car anyway, an extra 10 minute drive will not be an issue at all! We will see what DH says. This all came about btw because DD and I are of course itching to plan next year’s trip and he gave me a 5K budget for 2 weeks. I was like, um - not gonna happen onsite deluxe::flushed:

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Is the $5K all in (tickets and airfare and rental car)?

We have used Homeaway/VRBO for years. It is hard to say what is “best” since there are so many options. We have typically stayed in a condo rental, although we did a house rental in 2016 that we loved. It was in Haines City, so about a 30 minute drive…but that didn’t bother us at all for what we got. It was great.

We did say in a Windsor Hills condo for our last trip, and I have to admit, I’d never do it again. It wasn’t a house, though. But overall, it just wasn’t as nice as other places we’ve stayed. HOWEVER, since you are renting from individual owners, it can vary widely even in the same resort. We also find that the drive from Windsor Hills was tedious. Despite being close, traffic was extremely backed up and it took about 20 minutes.

We are renting a 5 bedroom home for our May 2020 trip. It is about a 30 minute drive from the parks again. But for $150/night, we are getting 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, game room (pool table, etc), private pool and hot tub, etc. We haven’t stayed yet, but reviews and pictures are great.

Here is the house we stayed at in 2016. We would have stayed there again, except we needed 5 bedrooms this trip:

Here is the house we plan to stay in May 2020:

I suppose I should post the condo we stayed at in Windsor Hills as well for reference. As I mentioned above, we wouldn’t stay again there, but based on the photos, it DOES appear the have updated things in the condo unit we stayed in…so my impression today might be different from what it was a year and a half ago.

(You can read my review on the website…mine is the 3-star review.)

I did remember what you had said about your Windsor Hills property. The resort itself, however, just completed a water area refurb that I thought may appeal to the OP.

OP - As far as traffic to and from rentals, we are always rope drop to after closing people.

I can only comment on the ease of driving at those off times.

This is true. It was undergoing construction when we were there, so didn’t get to experience it.

One more thing that was unusual (neither bad nor good) was the number of feral cats there were! Every time we came/went, we’d see several cats prowling about! Never a hindrance or anything. But I expected to see geckos, not cats! :slight_smile:

I’ve done vrbo once. My experience was mediocre.

One challenge I had that you will probably not face is that we needed eight bedrooms and it had to be cheap. Now for context this group usually goes to the Outer Banks. The vacation rentals there we rent at a higher price point becau no one is buying park tickets. We’ve never had a place that wasn’t emaculate an stocked with everything from potato mashers to rolling pins.

The place in Florida was not horrifying, but it had more damage and dirt in the corners. Taking the linens off the beds revealed scary mattress pads!

So, if I were to do it over, Id spend a little more a night and rent the place with the highest rating and highest number of reviews (the place we stayed had only six reviews.)

All this may be stuff you already know.

The law of supply and demand is most certainly not in your favor. Eight bedroom houses are much harder to come by than 3-5 bedroom ones.

Though dependent on time of year, we consistently find homes in Disney area the cheapest nationwide. I paid double for half the sizes house in SoCal last year and again this year for Williamstown, KY.

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as long as it’s not a gator… :crocodile:

True story! We didn’t have as much to choose from and it was less than half what we’d pay in NC

We saw armadillo and wild pigs.

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