My family and I discovered a true gem of a resort on our current trip to Disney World. The Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort is located 10-15 minutes from all the Disney Parks, Universal Sea World, downtown Disney and is perfect for families of all shapes and sizes. It’s not a hotel or even a Disney resort; it’s actually a timeshare. It has so much to offer: location, activities, accessibility, spacious rooms, amenities, free shuttle service to all the Disney parks, five pools scattered around the resort, miniature golf, club rooms, an extremely kind staff and more. It’s the perfect kind of trip for a family that wants something for everyone.
We really didn’t know what to expect before we arrived. We were anxious to see what timeshares were all about. In our time spent here, I can honestly say that I understand why people invest in timeshares. Staying in a timeshare is far more comfortable and economical than your average hotel stay, especially in a place like Disney World. You can avoid the cost of meals out, transportation to the theme parks and parking fees. Plus, your family won’t be squeezed into a small room. Everyone who stays here seems very content, and many are return visitors year after year. The Wyndham Bonnet Creek is really the perfect destination for a family.
When we walked into our suite for the first time, we were immediately impressed and somewhat relieved to find a full kitchen, two bedrooms, living space, two bathrooms and lovely balcony. Oh, and did I mention an eat-in kitchen and washer and dryer? Seriously, it’s like a home away from home. Given the fully equipped kitchen, we’ve been able to make healthy meals, which, if you’ve been to Disney, is a huge time and cost saving, as well as a relief that you are feeding your kids right while away. The beds are lush and the bedding is really comfortable. There’s a jacuzzi in the master bedroom suite which is fantastic after a day out in the parks (particularly for aching feet). The rooms have flat screen TVs and WIFI (in the new towers, the others towers are soon to adopt new TVs). Check out some of the photos of our room:
And the views…ahh, the views. The view from our balcony is stunning. We can see the tops of all 4 Disney parks and the lake in the middle of the Wyndham towerssurrounded by lush palm trees, swimming pools, water slides, bars, pathways and …it’s in full view. It’s wonderful to wake up to.
Another bonus of staying here is that you truly have everything you need. Five pools, some with water slides for the kids (and for mom), an arts & crafts room, a playground, miniature golf, club rooms with games for kids including board games and Wii, ping pong and billiards tables keep my kids entertained so much so that it’s not necessary to leave on the days we are not at Disney. The pools are shallow, not much more than 3 feet, which is helpful for us with a child who just learned to swim. The kids are having an absolute ball, and I love that after a busy, hot day at the pool, we can come back to our suite and vegetate, yet not be on top of each other. There is also a full fitness center in each building. In addition, the property offers activities throughout the day – ice-cream socials, bingo games, karaoke, music. It’s been a pleasure to just hang out here rather than run to the parks everyday.
My kids particularly adore the water slides. Our tower is located by a nice sized pool centered around a pirate ship with a furiously fast water slide (trust me, I tried it), with hot tubs on both sides. The tower next door has the “Lazy River” which we all love – a pool that goes in a loop, with large-size tubes for us all to float in. My son, the newly trained swimmer, can float, swim or walk around the pool that doesn’t go deeper than 3 feet. It’s amazing to see how much his swimming skills have improved since we’ve been here.
The bars have pool food – pizzas, chicken nuggets, snack-ish food for when the kids are hungry and we don’t have to carry ID or credit cards. It’s a money-less environment, it can all go on our room charges. It’s all pretty inexpensive, too. For more plentiful food, it’s important to have a car to get to the grocery store which is only a few miles away, and Wyndham provides free parking passes to all residents. Another bonus is that one of the bars below delivers pizza to all the rooms in the resort, which I took advantage of once or twice for my kids. But the beauty of staying here is that we can go to the grocery store and come back and make homemade meals. They have grills on the main grounds for anyone who wants to grill outside. We’ve prepared burgers, fish and hot dogs. In the mornings, I’ve been preparing french toast and cereal for my kids. For lunch, we pack sandwiches to take with us. It’s a huge savings on the food bill.
You may be asking, what exactly is a timeshare? It’s vacation ownership, and I think it’s a great idea. It’s a program in which a group of people shares ownership of a resort or club by dividing among themselves the rights to use the property or club for specific time periods. Management and upkeep are handled by a professional management company, and costs are shared among all owners. Wyndham Vacation Ownership offers point-based timeshare products. Owners receive an allocation of points for usage either annually or biennially, depending on their purchase agreement. Each unit at each participating resort is assigned a points-value. Owners use their points towards their vacation, allowing them the freedom to select their resort, unit size and dates of travel, subject to availability. Ownership may include deeded real estate at a “home resort.” Owners work up to different statuses, and the Presidential reserve is the highest level of ownership.
So, you basically put up a certain amount of money upfront that guarantees you to a room for life at locations around the world. Not bad!
Another plus is that there are 89 Wyndham properties in the U.S. and 150 worldwide, and members are entitled to stay at any of the resorts. Seeing that Bonnet Creek is located in Orlando, you have to book 11-13 months out for better availability. Depending on the number of points you have, you can come for certain periods of time. Everyone wants to go to Disney World, and the Bonnet Creek is certainly popular. There are 1149 rooms in the entire resort. The tower we are staying in is called tower 6. It opened in June of last year and has 300 rooms, and everything in the building is state-of-the-art.
It is certainly easy to clean and the resort has everything you need to keep it clean without having to worry, and the room is laid out in such a way that you can spread out your belongings . But in case you were wondering, as I would if I were you, do you have to clean up everyday if this is not a hotel? The simple answer is no – cleaning fees are included in your monthly maintenance fees, and you don’t have to worry about anything while you’re here.
It’s just that easy. I like that. Timeshares are certainly appealing and something to consider if you’re looking for an easy, economical way to travel with your family for years to come.
Looking around today as we spent the entire day at the resort, what did I see? Big smiles on the faces of my own kids and everyone else staying here. You can tell how much people love the Wyndam Bonnet Creek. I asked several people their thoughts about staying here and they only had positive reports. One man told me happily that this is his 11th year here!
And my kids…if you ask them their opinions, they’d gladly tell you what they enjoyed:
Sliding down water slides:
Playing miniature golf:
Swimming in the various pools:
Eating ice-cream sundaes at an ice-cream social:
Playing chess on the playground:
Watching the fireworks at Epcot from our balcony:
Our experience at Wyndham Bonnet Creek has been truly magical and one that I’d recommend to anyone looking to invest in future family vacations. If you are interested in finding more about the timeshare offerings at Wyndham Bonnet Creek, call 800-210-0948 or go here. You can also visit their Facebook page or join their Twitter handle over at @WyndhamDeals.
To get an even better idea of what Wyndham Bonnet Creek or another time share like this has to offer, watch this video:
Disclosure: Our visit was made complimentary by the team at Wyndham Bonnet Creek to facilitate this review, but all opinions expressed are my own.