Windsor Hills - your opinion please

We are loosely planning another Disney trip - Easter 2021. There is a lot to consider in preparation for this specific trip. However, my goal in this post is simply to discuss the Windsor Hills resort itself.

Some specifics about us - party of 3 but maybe larger. DH, myself, DD10. Maybe bringing a friend, maybe inviting an entire family to join us. We’d be staying in a condo, preferably building 7 or 8. 8 night stay, probably 5-6 days in parks, 1 day sight seeing, 1-2 days strictly at the condo.

If you have stayed there, would you recommend it?

Are there extra activities like at Disney - tie die shirt day, poolside activities, anything like that? I see all the amenities on the internet, but I don’t see any of these listed…

We stayed in the Windsor Hills Condos (not homes) back in 2018 during our Universal trip. At the time, the pool area was closed because they were building the new pool and water features section, which seems like a big improvement.

My thoughts?

Well, the trouble with judging the condos is that they have individual owners. That means the quality of the furniture and such will differ. The one we stayed in was okay, but we did have some issues. For one, there seemed to be a bug problem because we found the place smelled of bug spray, and one of the bedroom windows was left open. The same bedroom had a lot of dust on the ceiling fan, so it seemed it hadn’t been cleaned as well as it should have. As soon as my son turned on the ceiling fan, dust and dead bugs on the fan blade rained down on the bedspread. So, we immediately ended up washing the bedspread ourself.

The other bedrooms were okay, but the owner had not done a good job of maintaining it. Cables for the TVs in the different rooms were easily exposed and accessible, which if we had young kids, I wouldn’t have liked at all. There were also burned out light bulbs.

Still, once we got past those issues, it really was a find place to stay. Certainly not as nice as plenty of other places we’ve stayed at before (rentals through homeaway.com), but the price was VERY low, so we could overlook some of that. I did notice that many of the other condos in Windsor Hills seemed to be much nicer looking inside…but they were also more expensive.

The building itself was nice enough, although in the era of COVID, I’m not sure if having access to a pool table or arcade is something I’d want to bother with, so I’d call that a wash. Still, in 2018, we did make use of it.

We also were surprised at how many feral cats there were. Like, a lot of them. Every time we’d leave or come back from the parks, we see two or three. They were never a bother, but just an odd sight.

In terms of location? Well, in practice, we found getting from Windsor Hills to the parks took MUCH longer than anticipated. This is because the main route out to the highway to take us to Universal or Disney would get seriously backed up with traffic. We’d get stuck at one of the lights for as much as 10 minutes, which was pretty much unavoidable. As such, despite being PHYSICALLY close, I think you might be able to find properties that are further away but still take the same amount of time to get to the parks.

Would we stay there again? Maybe. Although, probably in a house, not a condo, if we did, so we could get a private pool. The nice thing is there are a lot of options there that are quite inexpensive. You get a lot for the money.

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Stayed there in a WH VRBO home for 1 month last sept 2019.

The facilities:

  • well kept
  • grounds clean
  • cool theater room with movies to pick up
  • pool quite large
  • lots of deck seating, tables
  • new splashpad w/ slides was very fun (adults, teens, and toddlers)
  • never did the game room or fitness center (just looked at, walked thru)
  • never tried food service.
  • VERY VERY fast to any park at WDW. (we stayed during H. Dorian and low season. early morns and late evenings)

house:

  • hit or miss like @ryan1 mentioned
  • lots of these homes are older so depends on vrbo owner to keep up to date
  • our house: would not stay at again.
  • it was fine, but would try another place there, maybe a newer division even if further from wdw.
  • vrbo pix was after everything was new/clean - NOT “todays” look - worn and dirty.
  • had private pool - very nice.
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I’m finding the kitchen and bathroom pics to be very telling. If they don’t have granite, they’re probably not updated elsewhere either.

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We love staying in offsite homes. We always choose something that has a pool and a hottub. That way, the kids can splash around while we sit and relax our tired feet/bones from the day’s Disney trekking.

Some homes are better than others. Look at the reviews and the photos. Many of the plans are the same, so you can get an idea of what is there. But even the nicest one may have a bed that’s too soft or blinds that don’t quite close enough to keep the morning sun out. You have to decide what you want to accept, particularly, given the price is a lot cheaper than a hotel and the space and number of bathrooms is a premium feature.

Another thing to note, some of these areas will have line ups to get in if it’s the typical check-in time. It doesn’t take long, but don’t get frustrated if you find yourself in one.

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I always stay off site. Haven’t stayed WH since 2007! BUT the location is superb. I stayed just past there this last November.
If you find a house you’re happy with the location is excellent.

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This is surprising to me! The length of time it took you to commute. Perhaps it was because we were in November?
We always rope dropped and left our house about 90 mins before park opening.

That area has a “back way” in to AK too, OP.

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We were there in February, during one of the lowest periods of the year. But it would take us 20 to 25 minutes to get to Universal. Disney Springs was closer to 15 to 20.

Ah. I read too quickly.
I didn’t drive from there to Universal.
I do know Universal from Clermont/Davenport was a doozy in 2014…
And LEGO land in Haines City was long as well. I didn’t do my traffic homework.

We stayed in a house in Haines City during one of our Disney trips…maybe it was 2016. It was about a 30 minute drive…but most of that drive was quite relaxing, and most importantly, there was an Aldi less than 2 miles from the house! :wink:

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The supposed “rest day” for that trip had me dropping off my sister at Universal for park opening and then taking DH & DD7 to Legoland before I went back to the house to “rest.“
And then was supposed to pick up DH & DS7 around 4 PM and then headed over to Universal to pick up my sister.

I spent all day driving.
We hit multiple traffic (and construction) messes. They have happier memories than I do of that day.

That doesn’t sound like being on vacation to me! But I blame less the house, and more the idea of scheduling different parks for different people in the party on the same day! :wink:

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Touché